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Big Green Egg Cooking Class with Cameron Low

During this class we looked at the alignment of the Egg dome, temperature control and cooked a number of recipes for Cameron Low.

Rack of lamb

Lamb rack, French Trimmed

The recipe is here.

This would be a great recipe to do with the cauliflower as it also can be cooked on the back of the plate setter (or a ceramic plancha).

Again we setup the Egg in an indirect configuration with the plate setter feet down. We set the temperature of the Egg to 180-200°C.

I scored the fat of the lamb rack in a diagonal pattern with the scoring about 3/4 cm apart. I then added a tiny bit of oil and generously seasoned the lamb with maldon salt.

I then cooked this directly on the plate setter, fat side down for about 15 minutes. At the last minute we turned the lamb to add a little bit of sear to the edges. We used a small piece of foil to support the lamb when it wanted to fall over.

Roast Cauliflower

The recipe is here.

The technique here was to cook on the back side of the plate setter. All I did was wipe down the back of the plate setter with a dry paper towel.

We setup the Egg to cook at 180-200°C with the plate setter in feet down.

I cut the cauliflower into about 7mm thick slices all the way through the cauliflower. I removed most of really thick bit of stalk before cooking. I then added a touch of oil and some maldon salt to the slices (on both sides) and placed them directly onto the plate setter. We then cooked them for about 5 minutes on each side until they start to become golden brown.

To this we added the dressing. A great addition is toasted black sesame seeds to give a little crunch.

Focaccia

The recipe is here.

This Italian bread is really simple to make and an easy first go at baking on the Egg.

Make a batch of my basic bread recipe and let it rise. Knock it back and split into two portions. Push out each of these dough balls into the bottom of a 30cm x 20cm baking pan, lightly oil the top and cover with cling film. Put to one side to allow it to rise again.

When ready poke it with your fingers to put in the dimples. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and herbs (we use rosemary).

Setup your Egg for an indirect cook with the plate setter feet up, stainless steel grid on top and the baking/pizza stone on top of that. Get your Egg to 220°C and give the baking stone a while to heat up (we didn’t leave it long enough).

Cook your focaccia in the tin on the baking stone for about 15 minutes until it’s both golden brown on the top, but also crunchy on the bottom. Allow it to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Salmon

Planked Salmon

The plank is designed to smoulder while the salmon roasts on top of it, taking on the wood flavour as it cooks.

Soak the planks in water for at least 1 hour before you use them. You can also soak them in other liquids such as:

  • Beer, lager or cider.
  • A dilution on circus juice.

Get your Egg to 180°C in a direct setup with just the stainless or cast iron grids. Dry the side of the plank you will put the fish onto for about a minute by placing in cooking side down on the Egg.

Take your salmon fillets and place them skin side down onto the plank. Use the grill gripper to move the plank onto the Egg. I put a slice of lemon onto the salmon to show the smoke, not to add flavour. It looks pretty though.

Cook until the salmon has firmed up enough to show it is cooked (about 8-10 mins). Take off the plank with the grill grippers and put onto something heat proof.

Pork Chop

Pork Chops

We cooked pork chops in two different ways:

  • Direct over the charcoal with the cast iron grid. We cooked the chop for about 4 minutes a side at 250°C, turning the chop 90° after a couple of minutes.
  • Dirty by putting the chop directly onto the charcaol. Again the Egg was set to about 250°C.

After removing the chops cooked either method we rested the chop wrapped in foil for about 5 minutes.

Pizza

Pizza

The recipe is here.

I made a standard bread dough and left it to rise. We then knocked it back before portioning it to roll out for pizza. Each 500g batch of flour makes 4 pizzas.

You can choose the toppings of your choice, be sparing though as you need them to cook through.

We cooked basic pizzas of just tomato sauce and mozzerella.

Chocolate Brownie

Chocolate Brownie

The recipe is here.

This recipe is super simple and always a hit. You can use sweet wood chips such as pecan, cherry or apple to give the brownie a little bit of a smoke.

I cook this recipe at 160°C in the Egg using a silicon baking tray. I find this makes it much easier to get the sticky brownie out of the tray after it’s cooked. An alternative is to use baking parchment to make it easier to release the brownie from the pan.

Be careful using a silicon baking tray as silicon will melt at 240°C, you really wouldn’t want to do this in your Egg. Make sure you keep the tray over your plate setter and not over any direct heat.

Technique

What temperature should I cook at?

The following chart shows meat cooking temperatures depending on your cut of meat and your preferred level of cook:

 

Cooking_temps

Cooking temp guide from AmazingRibs.com

What settings are needed for specific temperatures?

Setting the temperature on your Egg will vary slightly from Egg to Egg. However for a large Big Green Egg the settings are roughly as per the guide I have put together.

Rest your meat

Always remember to rest your meat after cooking it. This give the structure time to relax and reabsorb moisture. It will make your meat taste far more tender and juicy.

How do I stop the pizza stone getting too hot?

If you’re cooking multiple pizzas some people have reported that the pizza stone may become too hot. There are two different techniques to controlling this:

  1. Setup your Egg with the plate setter feet up, the stainless grid on top of this and then the baking stone on top of that. This method separates the baking stone from the plate setter and by doing so the baking stone doesn’t get too hot. However this setup takes longer to get up to temperature than having the plate setter feet down and the baking stone directly on top.
  2. Wipe down the baking stone with a damp cloth between pizzas. This will cool the surface of the baking stone and should stop you burning the bottom of the pizza.

Always try and keep the amount of flour, semolina or rice flour on the bottom of your pizza to a minimum. Use a Super Peel for great results as you can use less flour.

Aligning the Egg

The Big Green Egg is a handmade product and so every one is unique. Occasionally an Egg will develop and underbite where the dome of the Egg sits back slightly from the base. The normal cause of this is that the bands of the Egg haven’t been tightened sufficiently during setup and white cooking at higher temperatures, the bottom band has slipped down on the base of the Egg. This will cause the dome of the Egg to sit back slightly.

To overcome this you need to loosen the bands but only slightly. Loosen them just to the point that they still grip the Egg but so that with a bit of pressure you can move them over the Egg. For the large Egg position the bottom band so that it is just below the gasket tape and level all the way round. Tighten it, you can’t over tighten it.

Now align the top band so it is level and just above the gasket tape of the dome. Tighten as per the bottom band. The dome should sit flush with the front or close to it. Up to 4mm is fine for it to sit back.

Smoke seeping while using a Digi Q or wireless thermometer

It’s perfectly normal for there to be smoke escaping from your Egg while you are using a wireless thermometer such as the Maverick or a forced air controller such as the Digi Q or Party Q. This is as the probe wires will leave your dome open slightly as they exit the Egg.

Remember that wired probes should only be used while your BBQ is in an indirect setup. Always bring the probe wires out over the plate setter leg, never over the gap directly over the charcoal as there maybe a much higher temperature here that could damage your probes.

Forums and great sources of information

The following are great sources of information:

  1. CountryWoodSmoke – UK BBQ – CWS – a great Facebook forum. Lots of people from competition teams to people learning. It’s members only but just request to join and you will be added.
  2. AmazingRibs.com – run by Meathead, an absolute legend when it comes to BBQ. He uses science to explain BBQ.
French Trimmed Rack of Pork

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