Anatomy of a Big Green Egg

eggsDespite the wide range of shapes, sizes and configurations, most smokers are similar in construction.  If you understand the various parts and its function, your are well on your way to being a pit master.

The Big Green Egg design is a modern take on the clay kamado style cookers from the Chinese Qin Dynasty. Entrepreneur Ed Fisher discovered the domed clay cooker while overseas. His determination, state-of-the-art ceramic design, along with a patented draft door and vent cap have allowed the Big Green Egg company to be the world’s largest producer and international distributor of the ceramic kamado style cooker.

Big Green Egg Dimensions

model grill diameter height width weight turkey capacity
Extra Large 24″ 27 ¼” 26 ½” 205 lbs. 20 lbs. x2
Large 18 ¼” 30″ 21″ 140 lbs. 15+ lbs.
Medium 15″ 26″ 18″ 95 lbs. 12-15 lbs.
Small 13″ 22″ 16″ 65 lbs. 10-12 lbs.
Mini 9.5″ 15″ 12″ 30 lbs. n/a


Components of a Big Green Egg

egg_componentsAt the bottom of the Big Green Egg is the fire box.  This is where you burn wood or a wood product to generate the smoke.  The bottom draft door allows you to control the amount of fresh air entering the fire box for temperature control.

The bottom ceramic grate separates the ash from the actual lump charcoal burning.  The bottom draft door can be opened to clear away residual ash.

The fire ring sits inside the egg, on top of the fire box. The fire ring creates a void where the charcoal can burn. Usually the charcoal is placed in the fire box up to the fire ring, any higher and the combustion chamber for the charcoal would be limited and would prevent even burning causing the fire to burn out, or not get hot enough. Both the fire box and fire ring create an interior lining for the Egg where it gets the hottest. Never use the Big Green Egg without the fire box and fire ring in place.

On top of the fire ring sits a grid for direct cooking or a plate setter for indirect cooking.  For direct cooking, Big Green Egg offers a cast iron grate.  It retains heat when cold foods are placed on it, creating good sear marks.

plate_setter__91189.1392398944.120.120The Plate Setter is used for indirect cooking on the Big Green Egg, providing a barrier between the food and the fire and turning your EGG into an outdoor convection oven. The design of the Plate Setter allows heat to radiate within the dome while preventing the flames and direct heat of the fire from reaching the food. Nothing will contribute greater versatility to your outdoor cooking than adding a Plate Setter to your accessories collection.

The dual function metal top, also known as the chimney vent, regulates the escape of hot air and smoke.  It is a rotating disks to control airflow, as a result controls the heat in the smoker.

  • Greater airflow equals higher heat
  • Reduced airflow equals lower heat

Close and open the vents to control the airflow and the heat.

The temperature gauge helps monitor the internal temperature of the Egg.

  • Lower heat gives you more smoke
  • Higher heat gives you less smoke

Smokin J’s Barbeque competes exclusively with The Big Green Egg.  We receive no sponsorship, nor monitory endorsement for the above article.


Preparing food at home on the Big Green Egg

Pitmaster, Doug cooking ribs

Pit master, Doug cooking ribs

Big Green Egg

Big Green Egg









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