It can generally go without saying that choosing the right grill for your cooking needs can take a lot of time and effort. After all, there are so many different aspects that you need to think about, such as the size of the grill, the type of grill, and what you are going to be using the grill for. A gas grill is going to be vastly different than a grill designed for exclusively smoking meats.
Out of all the grills out there, many people butt heads over two grills in particular. These grills are the Big Green Egg and the gas grill. While just about everyone who is searching for a grill knows what a gas grill is, not everyone might know what a Big Green Egg is. To put things simply, the Green Egg is a specific type of grill that is meant to charcoal grill (with lump coal), although it can be an oven, smoker or pizza oven if needed.
To decide which grill is best for your needs, there are a few things that you are going to need to look at and think about. First things first, you will need to think about the purposes that each grill serves, and you will need to decide which one will suit your needs that way.
From there, you will need to think about different aspects such as the portability of the grill, the ease of use, the cooking methods offered, and so on. When you put the time in to think about these things, you can rest assured knowing that you will choose the perfect grill for your needs.
Before you can compare these two grills, you are going to want to make sure that you know what exactly the Green Egg is.
What Is the Big Green Egg?
To put things specifically, the Green Egg is the name of a kamado-style ceramic charcoal barbecue cooker. There are several different things to note here. For instance, a kamado-style cooker comes from the Japanese word for a “stove” or “place for the cauldron.” It refers to the modernized version of the 3,000-year-old earthenware cooking that has been used by the Japanese, and its shape often resembles an egg, hence the name of the cooker.
The ceramic in the cooker also makes a massive difference. Ceramic is known to withstand incredibly hot temperatures, and it can heat up considerably quickly as well. This means that this particular cooker is going to be able to handle the heat of anything you cook, while also not taking a long time to heat up on a cold winter day. Ceramic is also known for holding its heat well, meaning that you can also consider slow-cooking an option with these cookers.
Finally, this cooker utilizes charcoal as its power source, rather than gas or electricity. This gives experienced smokers the option of using different kinds of charcoal and wood chips to add another layer of flavor to the meats they cook. This also means that you have the opportunity to smoke food in this cooker, which is something that many people enjoy doing.
The Green Egg is a cooker that has a number of different uses and can compete with just about any gas grill in terms of usability.
What Can a Gas Grill Do for You?
Gas grills are pretty standardized, when you think about it. Sure, there are a fair few gas grills that you can add some wood chips to so that you can add some nice smoked flavor, and there are certainly some grills that can act as an oven, but for the most part, gas grills are meant to do exactly as the name suggests. They are meant to grill your food to perfection.
Gas grills are also known for being relatively quick with their cooking, depending on which model and type you invest in. This is good for when you want to cook a quick and easy dinner for your family on a late night.
Gas grills are also considerably easy to operate as well, meaning that you don’t need a lot of cooking experience to be able to use one of them. All you really need to do is know how to turn the knobs to get your desired temperature.
Grilling food traditionally with a gas grill can give you the advantage of being able to cook either end of the grill at a different temperature, which is spectacular for larger meals. This gives you the opportunity to have one type of food cooking on one end of the grill, and another type of food at the other end.
Most other grills don’t have this option, making the gas grill rather unique in this aspect. In a way, you can compare this feature to the different burners on a stove top.
What Can the Big Green Egg Do for You?
Charcoal grills, and the Green Egg, function a little bit differently. They take a little bit more time to start up, as you have to make sure that the charcoal is lit and is able to begin burning properly, which can be problematic if you want to cook and it is particularly windy outside. Charcoal grills also require you to have a steady supply of charcoal at the ready, which can be a little bit more demanding than a gas grill, depending on how much you cook.
On the other hand, the Green Egg offers a number of additional options for cooking that gas grills do not. This includes being able to sear, bake, and smoke foods. This means that the Green Egg is not only a grill, but can double as a number of other cooking utensils. If you are someone who enjoys cooking outside, this can be a significant money saver.
The Big Green Egg takes a little bit more time to cook for the benefits that it can provide. Of course, you can always take food off early if you or your family is impatient for food.
However, if you are willing to wait the extra time, you will end up adding a wonderful smoked flavor to your dishes. When it comes to grilling meats, that smoked flavor can make an immense difference in the quality of the dish, and it is oftentimes worth the extra wait.
What Makes the Gas Grill Better?
When you are trying to decide what makes a better cooking platform, there are a number of things you need to look at besides the features of them. You will need to think about warranties, portability, ease of use, and the amount of space that each product takes up.
The price is going to be the toughest point to consider, as there are so many different variables to factor in. Of course, the smallest grill that you can find is going to be less expensive than the most expensive counterpart.
Fueling the gas grill compared to fueling a charcoal grill of any kind is going to be a benefit in several ways. For one, while it might be annoying to dislodge and dispose of the gas tank, you only have to do that once or twice a year, depending on how much you cook.
Compared to charcoal grills, you will be buying several bags of coal a year, with each bag being about the price of a canister of gas. In terms of fuel, the gas grill is going to be the more convenient option.
Cleaning out your gas grill is also going to be considerably easier as well. Because you aren’t dealing with a fuel source that leaves anything behind but fumes that evaporate in the air, you aren’t going to need to worry about trying to dispose of a massive ashtray. Instead, you just need to clean off the grid and the lid, and then you will be ready to continue grilling.
It is also much simpler to adjust the temperature on a gas grill, and it is much easier for newer cooks to learn. It is, quite literally, as simple as turning a dial in the direction that you want the temperature to go.
On the other hand, charcoal grills have air vents that you have to learn to manipulate. Most people can agree that the simple turn of a dial is going to be much easier to get the hang of.
Finally, starting up a gas grill is just about the easiest thing to do. All you really need to do is flick the switch, wait a little bit for everything to heat up, and then you will be ready to cook. On the other hand, charcoal requires burning. Depending on the temperature and conditions outside, it can be quite troublesome to get anything burning.
To put things simply, gas grills excel at being easy to use, easy to manage, and easy to take care of. There is not a lot of work involved in making sure that they are clean, running, and at the temperature that you need them to be at.
If you are looking for something that is easiest to work with, then you are absolutely going to want to consider the gas grill.
What Makes the Big Green Egg Better?
While gas grills might be easier to use and maintain, the Green Egg excels at the actual cooking portion of grilling and smoking. For one, it can provide many more options when it comes to ways that you can cook foods. For people who enjoy being able to cook their meats outdoors, all in one place, this is going to be the perfect device to do so with.
When you choose to cook meats with a charcoal grill, any charcoal grill, you are going to get some degree of smoked flavoring. With an egg-shaped grill like this one, the smoke flavoring is enhanced significantly. If you are in the mood to cook smoked meats, or if you even want to smoke the meat yourself, then this is going to be the grill for that purpose.
It can also cook considerably faster, due to the ceramic. Whether you are cooking steak, or you want to simply have a quick meal, the ceramic is going to get hot, and it is going to retain its heat for as long as you choose to cook with it. This allows you to have any freshly cooked meal, no matter how cold it might be outside. Despite this, you can also choose to slow-cook some of your meals, if that suits your fancy more.
These grills also have quite a few more options for portability. While they do tend to run heavy, they can come in much smaller sizes than even the smallest gas grills can come in. They also don’t require a massive tank of gas to be attached to it, so you won’t have to worry about extra luggage if you are taking your Big Green Egg on the go with you. All you need to worry about is making sure that you have enough charcoal to make a few meals with, or that you can purchase some charcoal at your destination.
This also means that the Green Egg is going to have more options in terms of the amount of space that it takes up. Some people might not have a lot of space on their porch for a large, clunky gas grill. If you choose the smallest option of a Big Green Egg, there’s a good chance that you are going to be able to find the space for it somewhere on your property.
Which One Is Best?
It can go without saying that determining the best grill, ultimately is a matter of circumstance and opinion. Some people might find that they want a grill that they can simply turn on, put some meat on to cook, and clean up easily afterwards. Some people prefer the freedom offered by grills such as the Big Green Egg.
If you are looking for something that is easy to use, manage, and maintain, then you should absolutely be looking at the gas grill as the grill of your choice. On the other hand, if you are looking for capability and versatility and the freedom to cook many more types of food, then you might want to consider investing in the Big Green Egg.
Keep in mind that many people who are truly passionate about grilling will take the best of both worlds, investing in both of these grills for their respective benefits.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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