Adjustable Rig for the XL Big Green Egg® - Grilling
How to Grill with the Rig in the XL Egg®
When grilling on the XL Big Green Egg®, we recommend two approaches. The first approach uses a very hot fire to sear, blacken, char or saute'. Our preference is to perform these cooks close to the lump, either atop the fire ring or inside the fire ring where the heat is greatest. The XL Adjustable Rig (Rig) is not our preferred set-up for these cooks but our XL Spider and XL Woo accessories are.
The second grilling approach is similar to roasting, where the cooking temperatures typically range from 300°F to 450°F. With this approach, the goal is to create a light crust, cook to an internal temperature, render fat or crisp skin. Examples of these cooks include: grilling brats without breaking the casing; finishing steaks to doneness after a sear; crisping chicken skin; and rendering bacon fat on ABT's. Our recommendation is to complete these cooks by raising the grid above the fire ring. The XL Adjustable Rig is the preferred accessory for raising the cooking grid above the fire ring and into the dome.
By raising the grid above the fire ring, temperature control is less demanding. Simply, you minimize your chances to burn the food. Plus, using tongs and turners to handle the food is much easier.
Some veteran cooks advocate that reflective heating off the dome and/or convective heat patterns within the Big Green Egg® dome enhance grilling in the dome. We can confirm that many XL Adjustable Rig owners have reported back to us that: When "roast" grilling, the cooking methods are easier and the end product is characteristically better on a raised grid in the dome.
Creating a raised grid set-up with the Rig is quick. Just set the Rig directly on the fire ring and add the 16"x20" Oval or 20" Round cooking grid(s). Pictured below is the 20" Round Stainless Grid atop the Rig. The Grid position is 6" above the fire ring, 3" above the felt line and 7.5" from the top center of the dome.
The 20" diameter grid is a fantastic match to the 17.5" diameter lump grate and 21" diameter fire ring. 20" is the perfect size for achieving consistent temperatures across the entire grid with a full firebox burning. It's basically the same usable grid space as grilling on the fire ring with the 24" stock grid. Plus, many XL owners have commented that the XL Rig puts the 20" grid at the dome's sweet spot.
With the spatchcock chicken cook below, we partitioned the firebox using the Ang-L Brackets. The goal was to have two temperature zones to control how the chicken cooked and still generate enough heat to cook the veggies in the foil pouch. The lump burn was set-up in the back half of the firebox.
This set-up eliminates the off flavors from the chicken fat dripping and burning on the hot lump. Note the drippings in the foil under the bird. Also, having breast meat away from the heat minimizes the potential to overcook it. To crisp the skin, we periodically flipped the bird over the lump with skin side down.
With the XL Rig on the fire ring, it's easy to add smoking wood to the lump during the cook. Only thing two things you'll need to touch is the dome handle to open the grill and the smoking wood. How convenient is that!
The 20" Grid can go higher in the dome. Simply place the XL Woo and 24" XL grid under the Rig. This puts the top grid approximately 5-1/2" above the felt line. See chicken leg cook below. It is also a great set-up for pizza high in the dome. You can use the Big Green Egg® ConveGGtor (platesetter) or our 17.5" ceramic stone to set-up with an indirect cook.
It is possible to set-up multiple grids on the XL Rig. The configuration starts with the XL Slide Guide. We recommend the XL Slide Guide, instead of the Crossbars. The Slide Guide supports the 16"x20" Oval Grid as it moves in and out of the Rig. The Slide Guide fits either of the Rig's lower two notches.
Our 16"x20" Oval Stainless Grid is designed to fit between the Rig's brackets. Sliding the Oval Grid on the Slide Guide is a simple pull out or push in move.
20" Round vs 16"x20" Oval Grid: All we do is trim the 20" Round to get a 16"x20" Oval. The 16"x20" has one less grid wire on each end than the 20".
If rotating grids is key, we recommend using two 16"x20" Oval Grids. Rotating grids is very quick: slide the bottom grid out; slide the top grid in; and place the bottom grid on top. Use one of the two lowest notch settings for the lower Oval Grid and Slide Guide.
When cooking in the dome, it may be worthwhile to draw the thermometer stem up a bit. With a Big Green Egg®, the easiest way to do this is to move the thermometer clip from the inside to the outside of the cooker, as picture. This will insure you don't stick your food and get false temperature readings.