Big Green Egg Frequently Asked Questions

How do I adjust the EGG to reach a given temperature and then maintain it?
One important attribute of the Big Green Egg is its ability to set and accurately maintain a desired temperature. The EGG has a two damper system that facilitates easy heat control. By adjusting both the top and bottom dampers, the heat inside the can attain and hold temperatures ranging from under 200°F to over 750°F This range should accommodate any cooking needs — from low-temperature smoking to high-heat searing. The thermometer installed on the ceramic lid will provide accurate internal readings without opening the lid.

A dual function metal top is included with each unit. The daisy wheel design contains openings that can be adjusted to allow more or less air to "fine tune" the desired cooking temperature. Opening the entire sliding metal top will achieve high temperatures more quickly.

Already installed on the base of each unit is a stainless steel draft door, which now has a mesh panel for extra safety. (If you have an older unit without the mesh, you have the option of purchasing a replacement draft door with the mesh.) It is best to keep the mesh panel fully closed to prevent hot ash or coals from popping out. As with the dual function metal top, you can adjust the draft door opening slightly to "fine tune" the cooking temperature or open the solid door fully to reach higher temperatures faster.

I still cannot get the temperature above 350°F. What could I be doing wrong?
There are two common reasons why the you will not reach higher temperatures.

The first is lack of airflow. Make sure that all of the air holes are free of obstructions, including those in the fire grate, the fire box, and the space behind and around the firebox. It is also necessary for the horseshoe shaped opening in the firebox to be aligned with the lower draft door in order to obtain proper air flow. Increasing the amount of air will ensure higher temperatures.

The second reason you may have trouble attaining higher temperatures is that the lump charcoal is wet or damp. If charcoal is wet, or was wet and has not completely dried, it will be very difficult to reach higher cooking temperatures. Removing the wet charcoal and replacing it with fresh, dry lump coal will remedy this problem.

Am I doing something wrong if I open the lid and flames come out?
If you've been cooking at temperatures above 300°F, be very careful when opening the lid. First raise the lid an inch or two and pause to "burp" it before raising the lid completely. This will allow the sudden rush of oxygen to burn safely inside and not as a flashback which could startle you and possibly cause injury.

There is a gap between the dome and base and smoke is leaking out. How can I correct this?
Fortunately, a small gap between the base and the dome can be easily fixed. Simply loosen the upper band just enough to move the lid; then press the lid down tightly against the base and re-tighten the bolt. This should eliminate the gap and resolve smoke leakage.

If this technique does not remedy the problem, there is another option. Sometimes through normal use the two nuts holding the spring to the lower edge of the band can loosen. If these nuts are no longer in a parallel line, tighten them until they are parallel again.

What are the procedures for replacing a worn gasket?
Should the gasket eventually show signs of excessive wear, it can be easily replaced following these simple steps:

  • The grill should be completely cool before attempting to work on the gasket.
  • Remove the old gasket with a flat-edged scraper or box cutter.
  • Clean the rim of the base and lid with acetone (preferred) or rubbing alcohol and let dry for at least 30 minutes. The surface must be totally clean for the new gasket to adhere.
  • The new gasket is self-adhesive but you can use a spray adhesive (Super 77 by 3M) to ensure a good seal. If using the spray adhesive, spray a small amount around the rim of the base and lid. Allow this to set for about 2 minutes to become tacky.
  • Remove the backing from the gasket and press firmly down onto the rim. Bend the gasket around the rim as you press down. Do not stretch the gasket; there is ample material for the top and bottom rim.
  • Allow the adhesive to cure for 24 hours with the lid closed before using.
  • If the gasket should loosen, glue it back on with Elmer's glue or another household adhesive.

One of the ceramic pieces has a crack. What should I do?
The fire ring and fire box often develop superficial fissures or small cracks. This is due to normal aging of ceramics and will not affect the cooking results or durability. Should the ceramic ever break apart, it can usually still be used for cooking until a repair can be made. Any of our ceramic parts can be easily repaired with the use of a heat resistant epoxy. Look for a high temperature, non-toxic epoxy, available at most home center or hardware stores. Follow the instructions that come with the product. The repaired part should be ready within a few hours.

Mold has grown in my grill. How can I remove it safely?
Mold is naturally in the air around us virtually all the time. When it settles in a warm, moist environment, such as the interior of the grill, it can readily grow and spread. When this occurs you will actually see the mold. To eliminate it, just light it and bring the temperature up to 450°F and allow  to cook for about 30 minutes. Then close the vents to put out the fire; after it cools down use a wire brush to remove any leftover mold residue. Do not use any chemicals to treat the mold! The ceramics can absorb the chemicals and emit dangerous fumes when in use thereafter.

What can I do to keep my Big Green Egg wood table free from grease and food stains?
Some owners elect to purchase a Big Green Egg wood table instead of a nest. Available in several sizes, these tables are made of Cypress and they are very light in color in their natural state. Cypress is very rot resistant and will weather naturally to a light grey color. To retain the original color, use a clear protective deck coating on the entire surface of the table. If another darker color is desired instead, stain the wood with any outdoor wood stain. Applying a protective finish to the table will prevent or diminish grease and food stains; the protective finish will keep the table attractive for many years, even with frequent use.

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