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The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke
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Cracked Egg II

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To my great surprise about a week after I replaced the bottom half of my second large BGE, I had another part crack. This time it was the ceramic Fire Ring, the 3” (7.6 cm) high ring that sits on top of the the ceramic Fire Box. Happily this part is simple to replace. Getting the new part was made totally painless by my dealer, who took care of everything for me. not to beat a dead horse, but this is why I keep saying that finding the right dealer is more important than getting the rock bottom lowest price.This blog entry will describe the totally painless process involved replacing it.

I was heating my LBGE up to 350 degrees (175 C) to make some GRILLED RATATOUILLE. I was in the process of adding charcoal to my other Egg when I heard a loud snapping sound which I’d only heard once before. It was identical to the sound I’d heard a month ago when the base of my Large Big Green Egg cracked. I cursed to myself and thought it odd that on a day where the temps were in the high 70’s (26 C) and I was cooking at only 350 degrees (175 C) something would crack. I was relieved when I saw no cracks on the lower half of the Egg (which I had just replaced one month ago) or on the dome. I began to wonder if the sound I heard was something else after all. I reinspected the outside of the Egg again and still couldn’t find any cracks. I started thinking it might be the ceramic Firebox inside the Egg. I opened the lid to take a quick peak and it turned out it wasn’t the Firebox, but the 3” (7.6 cm) ceramic Fire Ring which sits above the top ring of the Fire Box. The crack extend from one of the notches in the top of the Fire Ring down to the base. It was a wider crack and easier to see than the one in the base of the Egg.

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The ceramic Fire Ring sits on top of the ceramic Fire Box. You fill the Fire Box with charcoal and the Fire Ring provides a 3” (7.6 cm) space between the top of the Fire Box and the grill grid which sits on the top edge of the Fire Ring

I was happy when I saw it was this part, because other than the top cap this was the easiest ceramic part to replace. I called the dealer and the procedure was the same as before. Take a picture, email it to the dealer and they would get the replacement part approved by the distributor. Once the replacement was approved the distributor would ship it to the dealer. Four days later I got a call from the dealer telling me my replacement part was in. When I called in the Fire Ring, I also asked them to order a new lower draft door for me for my first large Big Green Egg. I liked the new version that came on the replacement base I’d just installed a month ago. I’ve installed the draft door and will cover that in a future blog post.

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I picked up my replacement Fire Ring and returned the cracked one to the dealer. Installing the new Fire Ring was a matter of removing the grill grid which sits directly on the Fire Ring and lowering the Fire Ring on to the top rim of the Fire Box. The only thing you need to pay attention to is to make sure to have one of the three notches for the Plate Setter legs facing the rear in front of the spring hinges for the lid.

I am hoping this is the last time I will have trouble with the ceramic cracking on the Egg. I am beginning to wonder if there may have been a bad run of ceramic from around the time I purchased my Egg. I have now talked to several other folks who have all had cracked ceramic pieces on Eggs purchased within a month of when I bought my Large. As long as the Big Green Egg Company is willing to honor the lifetime warrantee I am not going to lose too much sleep over it. I am still convinced this is the best grill money can buy at this prices point. I will share that there is a third Large Big Green Egg on my radar screen. In fact the way the dealer and the company have dealt with these two issues have only made me more sure of my choice of grill.

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