Adjustable Rig for the Large Big Green Egg® - Grilling
How to Grill with the Rig in the Large Egg®
When grilling on ceramics, we recommend two approaches. The first grilling approach uses a very hot fire to sear, char or sauté. Grilling burgers and steaks are the most common cooks. Our preference is to perform these cooks close to the lump, either atop the fire ring or inside the fire ring where the temperatures are greatest. Our Large Spider is the preferred platform for these cooks. To learn more about the Large Spider, click here.
The second grilling approach uses typical oven temperatures (300° - 425° F) to create a light crust, cook to an internal temperature, render fat and/or crisp skin. Examples of these cooks include: grilling brats without breaking the casing; roasting steaks before or after a sear, roasting chicken with crispy skin and/or rendering bacon fat on Jalapeno poppers (ABTs).
Our recommendation is to complete these cooks by raising the grid(s) up to the felt line or into the dome. The Large Adjustable Rig is the preferred equipment choice for raising the grid(s).
By raising the grid, temperature control is less demanding. Simply, you take full advantage of the radiant heat and minimize your chances to burn the food. Plus, handling food with tongs and turners is much easier.
Many Big Green Egg® veterans advocate that reflective heating off the dome and/or convective heat patterns within the dome enhance grilling on a raised grid. We can confirm that many Adjustable Rig owners have commented: When grilling, the cooking methods are easier and the end product is characteristically better with a raised grid on the Rig.
The one question we get often is: What is the best height for raised grid grilling? There is no "best" height, as everyone's goals, habits or cooking procedures are slightly different. With the Adjustable Rig, it is nice to know you have flexibility, as the Rig provides several options for raising the grid(s).
Single Grid Grilling:
As pictured below, the most common raised grid configuration is the Adjustable Rig on the fire ring and the egg's 18” grid atop the Rig. This set-up puts the cooking grid 6” above the fire ring and 2” above the felt line. The Rig's upper ring is only 1/4” wide, so the entire 18” grid area is available for grilling. To help keep the grid properly positioned, the Rig's top ring slips between the grid's outer band and center support wires.
Another advantage of having the grid above the felt line (atop the Rig) is it minimizes grid interference when adding wood chunks or using a "lump" stir stick during the cook.
It is possible to grill at the three Rig levels. Simply, set the Crossbars in the Rig's notches and drop a grid on the Crossbars. Pictured, below left is the 16" D Grid on the Crossbars. It's the same 16" D Grid used on the Rig Extender. Note, the open front edge on the Grid provides access to the lump. Pictured, below right, is the 13"x17" Oval Grid at the Rig's middle setting. With either grid, adding wood chunks during the cook is easy.
The 18" egg® grid only fits atop or under the Rig and not inside the Rig.
Multiple Grid Grilling:
An economical approach to multi-grids is our 9"x18" Stainless Half Grid for 1-1/2 grid grilling. The Half Grid sits atop and along the backside of the Adjustable Rig. The lower grid can be a 13" on the Spider (scallop & crab leg cook below) or the Rig can sit on the lower grid. Pictured below right is the 18" cast iron grid with the Rig and Half Grid on top.
Either set-up is fantastic for searing steaks or grilling burgers.
Grilling with multiple full grids is possible on the Large Adjustable Rig. Pictured below left is the large 18" grid atop the Rig and the 16.5" Grid at the Rig's lower setting. The lower grid is below the felt line. To access the lower grid, the 18" egg® grid must be removed or the Rig pulled from the cooker.
Pictured above right is the Sliding Grid set-up with an Oval Grid at the felt line. The Oval Grid slides in and out. This set up requires the Rig Extender, see below. More on Sliding Grids can be found here.
The 18" egg® grid is not used with the Rig Extender.