I tend to be of the opinion that we foodies own far too many cooking gadgets and appliances, so I’m glad to find one product that takes the place of two (or more!)
Recently I had the pleasure of making an annual pilgrimage of sorts to Camden, South Carolina where I was introduced to a fantastic multi-function cooking contraption by my friends, the Scheuers, known as the Big Green Egg.
On the back deck of the Scheuer home sit two Big Green Egg grills (one large and one small) side by side in a home-built wooden stand. I had read about the Big Green Egg previously, but this was the first time that I had the fortune to test its reputation. The official Big Green Egg website explains the grill’s uniqueness:
“It is a smoker, a grill and an oven and you can cook literally any food on it year around, from appetizers to entrees to desserts.”
And I found this to be true. The Scheuers welcomed me with dry-rubbed, 18-hour-smoked pulled pork and sent me home with perfectly crisp, thick-cut bacon – both cooked on the Egg. Pressing the true foodie patriarch of the family, Dr. Scheuer admitted that he owned two Eggs of differing sizes so that no meal was too small to warrant the firing-up of an Egg.
The idea of the Big Green Egg originated from the Japanese clay cooker called a “kamado” – a traditional Japanese wood or charcoal fired earthen vessel used as a stove or oven. This style of ceramic cooker is offers excellent versatility for the outdoor cook as it functions as a grill and a smoker – and if two isn’t quite enough, the grate can function as a stove top for cast-iron skillet cooking.
Kamado grills typically use charcoal, and while that is true for the Egg, the Kamado brand of ceramic cookers offers a gas option. While I can’t attest to the quality of the Kamado, I do admit intrigue at its genie-in-a-bottle design.