Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg | TigerDroppings.com

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LSU Fan SLU Grad
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2006
3722 posts

Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


For those of you that like to spend little money to build something that would normally cost a lot in the store, this is for you. The great thing is that is should only take a day, maybe two.

Backgound:
Ceramic Grills/Smokers have been praised by many for their excellent heat retention and insulation properties. They also help keep in moisture. High cooking temperatures are also a nice benefit. They also have the ability to hold temperatures at low heat for the purpose of smoking or slow-cooking for extended periods of time.

In-Store brands:
Many of you have heard of "Big Green Egg", "Primo", or "Grill Dome". These are all ceramic grills that you would spend anywhere between $600 - $1200 depending on which size you go with.


The interior of these grills looks like this:


The Project:
Terra Cotta Pot with Saucer (Preferably around 21" dia.)

The saucer will be the grill lid


Replacement stainless steel grating from a kettle-style grill


Find another grate to support the charcoal

By now you should have a picture of this thing in your mind. Perhaps it looks a bit like this:



Things to Consider:
- Come up with some kind of nifty hinge system for the cover. You will also need to drill holes in the top for venting. I'd like to find away to make it adjustable.
- Add a cheap thermometer (replacement part for other grill). It should get up to 600 F - 700 F
- Create an adjustable opening at the base to help control air flow into the grill.

You should be able to spend less than $50 for a nice grill.



This post was edited on 2/21 at 12:32 pm



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LSU Tammany Tiger
LSU Fan
Folsom, LA
Member since Dec 2007
1597 posts

re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


I like the way you think. Might have to try it.
Went looking at the eggs this weekend....






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LSU Fan SLU Grad
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2006
3722 posts

re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


Where did you go looking? I might have to check them out to see how to improve the terra cotta design.

I figure even if it doesn't work quite like a BGE, it will still work well as a grill. Plus the fact that it didn't cost a lot to make.






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andouille
LSU Fan
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Member since Dec 2004
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re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


Great idea. In his book:



Alton has instructions for building one of these. But he calls for using an electric hot plate for a heat source. But since the control knob is sitting on the plate, which is at the bottom of the cooker, you either have to regulate by plugging and unplugging or do what he did, put a heavy duty inline rheostat on the cord.

I think this whole project would be simpler to make with standard parts, if you can find big, square, unglazed pots. Adding hinges would be easier anyway. The stand can be another inverted pot cemented to the bottom for stability.

I'll take a look around the stores. Of course if I buy or make one more cooking gadget my wife will flip.

I think a single hibachi placed in the bottom would be a great heat source that can be taken out and cleaned easily.



This post was edited on 2/15 at 7:36 pm


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LSU Fan SLU Grad
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2006
3722 posts

re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


quote:

andouille


Awesome info. My wife is also going to kill me if that makes you feel better.

Do you think the round shape of the BGE is the reason it can get temperatures so high? I wonder how high the temp could get in a square or rectangular-shaped pot.






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LSU Fan SLU Grad
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2006
3722 posts

re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


By the way, if this works.....who's interested in a starting a little company on the side





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andouille
LSU Fan
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Member since Dec 2004
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re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


I don't think the shape is very important, look at clay ovens, big square boxes. The hard part will be finding square pots. If all that's available is round pots then drilling holes with a dremel or masonry bit is easy, but attaching flat hinges to round pots may be tricky. If I can find square pots, finding square grills to fit should not be aq problem.





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Tbobby
USA Fan
Member since Dec 2006
3476 posts

re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


The store-bought ceramics have a felt gasket on the lid and base to prevent chipping when the lid is lowered. They also have a thermometer built into the lid that is essential.





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LSU Fan SLU Grad
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2006
3722 posts

re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


We would also need some way to create a decent seal where the cover meets the base. My company has fiberglass insulation material with high-temp aluminized fabric that withstands temps up to 1000F I could probably make a thin strip of the stuff and secure it to the rim on the cover. That would seal nicely.





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LSU Fan SLU Grad
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2006
3722 posts

re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


quote:

felt gasket


Is it high-temperature felt? Sounds kind of flimsy to me.






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LSU Fan SLU Grad
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2006
3722 posts

re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


Here is Alton Brown's version with the hot plate.
LINK


Anybody know if you could cut out a draft door at the bottom of a terra cotta pot without it cracking?






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andouille
LSU Fan
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Member since Dec 2004
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re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


I haven't tried it, but I have cut almost anything I want with those dremel cutting wheels, I bet it would it thru terra cotta. I'll try it this week.

You better think twice about selling these things, to go legit you have to have product liability, that is likely no small portion of the cost of the BGE. If you make a good one worth selling, stick to friends and family.






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LSU Tammany Tiger
LSU Fan
Folsom, LA
Member since Dec 2007
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re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


quote:

Where did you go looking? I might have to check them out to see how to improve the terra cotta design.

At the outdoor living center in Covington..






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LSU Fan SLU Grad
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2006
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re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


quote:

Covington


nevermind






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andouille
LSU Fan
A table near a waiter.
Member since Dec 2004
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re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


Keep in mind, AB's is meant to be a smoker/roaster, not an 800F oven, the hot plate can't get that hot and if it did it would burn itself up. Either a gas burner or a hibachi-type cooker would do it though.

For simplicity the hibachi looks easier. Here is an idea, this thing is 15" across, cut the whole bottom out of the terra cotta and set it on here:







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Dallas Tiger
Lamar Fan
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Member since Mar 2006
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re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


And a stand. You may be able to rig a hinge system to the stand w/ a metal top.



And a green pot if you like.








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andouille
LSU Fan
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Member since Dec 2004
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re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


The green one looks glazed, has to be unglazed, you don't want to deal with possible lead contamination. The orange one has possibilities. No actually it is coated, terra cotta is not gray underneath.




This post was edited on 2/15 at 8:55 pm


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Dallas Tiger
Lamar Fan
Dallas
Member since Mar 2006
15080 posts

re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


quote:

The green one looks glazed, has to be unglazed,


Just using it as an example. I've seen green clay pots though with no glazing.






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andouille
LSU Fan
A table near a waiter.
Member since Dec 2004
7337 posts

re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


I am a gardener and frequent all the nurseries in BR looking for plants. I'll keep my eyes open for pots. This is a good time of year to be looking, Everyone is getting stocked up for spring.





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tigerbyteu
LSU Fan
Franklin Parish
Member since Dec 2004
1657 posts

re: Man Projects: Make your own Big Green Egg


Very interesting. I am going to have to give it a try. Should be able to bend some hinges for lid and air vent. Thanks !!





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