The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

Two Egg Breakfast

First Image
I wanted to start making use of my two Big Green Eggs, now that I’ve done a few cooks on the new Egg to make sure it was working correctly. I wanted to learn the logistics of getting them both started and cooking things on them simultaneously. Perhaps there were little things I hadn’t thought of and would only find out by doing it. I also wanted to check out my new cabinet arrangement and how it worked for doing prep and holding ingredients for both of my Eggs. I wanted to get some practice runs in before I needed to actually use both Eggs for a holiday or some special occasion. For my first meal I decided to make a breakfast bowl AKA a skillet breakfast. I decided to make what I called a Meatlovers Breakfast Bowl.


But the more I thought about it, I didn’t actually want to use a skillet. A skillet was too confining and my wok was much larger. in the past I’d liked the way my wok worked to mix eggs in with some of the fried-rice recipes I’ve made. Plus the wok did it faster to boot. The one thing I didn’t want to do, was try cooking the bacon or sausage on the wok. They would be better cooked in a frying pan or a grill griddle grate. I also wanted to grill my English muffins on the griddle. So a basic plan was forming. I would use one Egg for the wok and the other for the grill griddle. I decided I would actually use both of the grill griddles I owned. I would use one with the flat top side up and the other with the raised ridges up. Originally I was planning on doing the English muffins at the end, but everything needed to happen fast for the food being stir-fried. I probably wouldn’t be able to do the stir-fry justice and keep tabs on the muffins. The two Eggs are just far enough apart that I can’t work on both at once. So I decided I would do the muffins first on the flat top griddle, meanwhile I would start the bacon on the other half moon griddle grate which would be installed ribbed side up. Once the bacon & sausage were cooked, I would move over to the wok to finish the dish there.


Since I was inventing this one as I went along, I needed to figure out what to use for ingredients. Eggs were an obvious first choice and I wanted this to serve two so I figured 4 eggs. I wanted to use bacon, & sausage & ham. So I would buy some thick cut bacon & some mini ham steaks and I already has some ground sausage around. For veggies I used bell peppers. I wanted some color so I picked up mini red, green & yellow peppers. They were small enough that together they were about the equivalent of one full sized bell pepper which is the quantity I was shooting for. I also had some scallions , these I would cut up until I had an amount equivalent to the other veggies. I was thinking about 1/2 cup would be right. I had a shredded cheddar cheese blend I had used for pizza that I wanted to use. The cheese was a 5-cheese blend of white and yellow, mild and sharp cheddar cheeses. I figured on 4 strips of bacon which I would grill up and then dice. I also picked up some sandwich size English muffins.

When I got home I put the food the needed it in the fridge. Then I went out to the Eggs. I stirred up the charcoal in both Eggs and then cleaned up the ash drop areas in both. I topped off both Eggs with some Wicked Good Weekend Warrior lump charcoal and brought the level up to the top of the Firebox/bottom of the Fire Ring. I put 4 Big Green Egg paraffin starters in each, at the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 & 9:00 positions. I added the Spider to my older Egg & brought the 2 cast iron half moon grill grates out near the Egg. I went back inside to set the table and start the prep. So far this was just like any cooks I’d done on my first Egg, only 2 Eggs took twice as long - nothing unexpected there. For future 2 Egg cooks I now knew I should leave twice the time. After I got the table set, I headed into the Kitchen and I figured to work on the prep until I had a little less than 30 minutes left to go and then I’d light both Eggs. The Egg I was using the wok on would be taken to 550 degrees (288 C) and the other one would be 400 degrees (204 C). I figured I could start cooking on the Egg that hit 400 (204 C) and keep an eye on the Egg I needed to get to 550 (288 C) while I was using the griddle grill.


When it came time I headed out to light the two Eggs. Once again nothing new here, just double the pleasure in seeing two Eggs firing up. I went back in to do some more prep. After 8 minutes I headed back out as the firestarters were dying down. I put the s/s grill grate in the Egg I would be using the griddle grates in. I added the two half moon griddles with one installed flat side up and the other ribs up and closed the lid to let this Egg start warming up. The Egg I would be stir-frying on I simply closed the lid. Both Eggs had the lower draft doors fully open and the chimney wide open without the metal cap. The 550 degree (288 C) Egg I would not use a metal cap on at all and simply control the temps with the draft door. Eventually I would be wokking with the cover open so I need to get the temps correct via the lower draft door before that. So no reason to put on a metal cap that would not be used while cooking. I went back in the house and continued my prep. I kept tabs on the Eggs by looking in on them every 5 minutes. Even though it was in the low 20’s (-6 C), the two Eggs warmed up in the normal amount of time: 30 minutes or less. I finished up the prep and made up two trays: one for the food being griddle grilled and one for the food going on the wok. On the tray with the foods headed for the griddle, I also added some empty bowls to hold the cooked bacon & sausage. I didn’t want to reuse the bowls from when the bacon & sausage were raw. I left the tray with the wok food inside and the Eggs unbroken for now.


Having the full height base cabinet in between the two Eggs is a great work surface. I can fit two half sheet pans or a sheet pan and grill utensils. (left) The Meat is grilling on the griddle. It was “grate” having two griddle grates so I could use the flat & ribbed sides at the same time. (right).

Just before leaving the Kitchen I brushed the English muffins with some melted butter. I opened the lid of my new Egg and added the sandwich size English muffins onto the flat top griddle. Next I added the bacon to the griddle with the raised ribs. It was here I ran into my only little hiccup of the day. The muffins came off after two minutes of grilling time and were cooked rather evenly. When I picked up the bacon with some tongs, I could see that there was a hot spot on the left side of this griddle grate. I was able to shift the bacon to the right and rotate the slices 180 degrees too, in order to even out the cooking, but it would have been nicer if I’d known this in advance. Next time I will use my infrared thermometer to shoot the surface of the griddle & it should tell me where the hot & cold spots are. Then I can position the food appropriately from the start. I keep forgetting that live fire is very variable and each fire is differently. When I removed the English muffins I added the sausage in their place. I ran them inside to the Kitchen and when I got back I began using two spatulas to chop up the ground sausage into smaller pieces. I flipped the bacon at the 4 minute mark when it looked not quite done on the first side. My intent was to slightly undercook the bacon since it would cook a little more when it was added to the wok. The same was true of the sausage. When the two meats were done I was going to into the Kitchen with them. Before going inside I shut down this Egg and I checked the temperature on the other Egg. I was pretty sure I had it stabilized at 550 (288 C) but now was the time to make one last adjustment if needed. The Egg was indeed stabilized at 550 (288 C), so it was of to the Kitchen.


Once back in the Kitchen I chopped the bacon into small chunks. I also cracked the eggs & whisked them together. After looking at the amount of egg vs the fillings, I could see 4 eggs wasn’t enough. So I added a 5th and then a 6th egg. the 6th egg looked like it made enough so I stopped there. I whisked in the salt & pepper. I used 1/2 teaspoon of each. It is better to whisk it into the egg mixture than try to sprinkle that small amount of salt & pepper evenly over the ingredients on the wok. It is hard to get it to pour evenly and one little gust of wind can send it flying off into space. Next I ran the wok out to the Egg and put it on and closed the lid. I headed back into the Kitchen and grabbed the tray with all of the ingredients. Once back out at the Egg I used my oil can and it’s narrow spout to swirl a tablespoon of peanut oil down the sides of the wok. I closed the lid again and gave it a minute to heat the peanut oil.


When I reopened the lid after a minute, the peanut oil was just beginning to smoke which meant both the wok and the oil were hot enough to get started.I was basing the cooking time for many of these items on the times I’d used on various stir-fry recipes I’d made. The cooking method for the eggs came from one of the fried rice recipes I’d made. But first I needed to get the peppers going. I added them to the wok and was rewarded with an instant sizzle that told me the wok was good and hot. Other recipes with peppers cooked them for around 2 minutes or until they had softened. One minute along with the peppers I added the diced ham and let them cook along with peppers for the last minute. Then I added in the cooked bacon and ground sausage and stir-fried them long enough to thoroughly mix the meat with the peppers. Now is where I took my cue from one of the fried rice recipes. I pushed the ingredients slightly up the sides of the wok and left a round empty spot in the middle. Basically a donut shaped ring. The egg mixture gets poured into the middle and I immediately added the cheese mixture and began to stir-fry everything as fast as I could to try to get the eggs and cheese and the solid ingredients thoroughly mixed together before the eggs started hardening. At first I was worried I didn’t have enough liquids (eggs & cheese) to solids (meats & veggies). If it was just eggs I would have been right, but I believe it was the cup of cheese that put me over the top. I was also concerned about the cheese sticking to the wok at 550 degrees, but I kept things moving and my wok is now so well cured the cheese slid around with ease. I stir-fried vigorously for about two minutes at which point the eggs looked almost cooked. There were still a few places where the eggs were slightly juicy and not quite solidified. I pulled the wok at this point and headed for the Kitchen. I figured correctly that the eggs would finish cooking in the 30 seconds it took me to get to the Kitchen and plate the food.


I was rewarded with eggs cooked just the way I like them. They were fluffy, light & still moist without being all dried up. Sometimes moist eggs are way too dense. These eggs were just perfect: moist, light & fluffy. Before I get to excited the trick will be seeing if I can repeat this performance consistently and reliably. The breakfast bowl was excellent. I liked my selection of fillings very much. Every bite was a little bit different than the one before and the one to come. One change I am going to make next time out is to reduce the amount of salt. I only used 1/2 teaspoon of table salt, but with bacon, sausage and ham bringing their own salt flavor with them there was almost but not quite too much salt. I will try 1/4 teaspoon next. I don’t want to eliminate the salt entirely because I feel the eggs might taste too bland without some salt.


Lessons Learned - Big Green Egg:
So what did I learn from my first Two Egg Breakfast? It was pretty much all good.
  • Getting two Eggs cleaned and lit takes twice as long as one, so I need to allow twice as much time. No rocket science there, but important to know.
  • It is possible to get both Eggs lit and stabilized in virtually the same amount of time as one.
  • With my current setup I can’t be actively attending to food on both Eggs at once. My arms aren’t long enough. But this isn’t really a problem with most things I’ll be cooking.
  • I like having the full height base cabinets between the two Eggs, it is wide enough that it makes a good work surface for one or both Eggs.
  • I am so glad I got two of the same sized Eggs. The ability for the to share the same Eggcessories is great and I don’t have to think about which Egg I am using one of them on.
  • The one exception to this is the Spider for holding the wok which only fits on the fire ring for my first Large BGE.
  • The other advantage to the same sized Egg is no learning curve and identical performance. There really is something to be said for predictably identical performance.
  • The identical Eggs simplify the cooking process. You are making twice as much food, but you haven’t doubled the amount of thinking about the cooking device you are using. It is more like cooking on the stove with one of two identical pans. You have to get the temperature right, but you aren’t having to think about which pan to use or how to use it versus a different pan. The pans are identical and you don’t have to factor the pans into what you are doing. This is far different than say cooking on two different sized Eggs. Similar but still a little different. When I am busy with a more complex cook the more thing I DON’T have to think about, the better.


Lessons Learned - Breakfast Bowl:
And what did I learn from this particular cook which wasn’t my typical cook in terms of the way I grilled?
  • Even though there is quite a bit of mass to the CI Half Moon Griddle Grate, it is still possible to have a hot spot on it.
  • Going forward it probably makes sense to shoot the surface of the griddle with an infrared thermometer, which I already own, to see if and where the hot spots/ cold spots are.
  • I am going to use a little olive oil on the the flat top griddle the next time I grill up ground sausage. The ground sausage seemed to have less fat than sausage links you cut open and strip the meat out of.
  • Adding seasonings into the beaten eggs to help get even distribution works better than trying to sprinkle small quantities on evenly. This is particularly true on a windy day.
  • Use less salt when your other ingredients (in this case my 3 meats) are salty by nature.
  • When you are making a recipe from scratch, you may have to make it several times to fine tune the seasonings. This is to be expected.
  • A well seasoned wok is just about the most non-stick pan that you own. When I decided to finish this cook in the wok I was originally worried about adding cheese to a 550 degree (288 C) wok. In my mind there was the possibility I’d be scraping off burnt on cheese for hours. But happily it just slid right off.
  • A wok is more than just for stir-frying Asian meals. Here I used it to quickly cook up 6 eggs together with all my other ingredients. I was able to vigorously stir-fry the eggs and get all of the other ingredient evenly distributed. With a 12” frying pan I’d be trying to stir the eggs while at the same time trying to keep everything in the pan.
  • When doing a recipe you are creating from scratch, it is probably a good idea to add it to your recipe software. This way you won’t forget to one of the ingredients when you start making it. A simplified version of this is to list everything going into the recipe so when you are doing the prep you can double check to make sure you have gathered everything.
  • This last one I already knew, but it is worth reinforcing. A dry run to test out a recipe is a good thing to do. I will be making this recipe again on the weekend for four people. I had a fun, low stress dry run during the week where I wasn’t on a schedule of any kind. I could take my time, have fun and test out a new recipe and a new way of cooking some of it. If it hadn't worked out I didn’t disappoint my company. I could get the timing down and learn what little tweaks to my recipe my be needed.
All things said this was a fun cook and a great learning experience. I am looking forward to the next session like this.

Here is the link for the Picture entry on the Meatlovers Breakfast Bowl.



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