There are two kinds of regular maintenance that every EGG owner should take time to give some attention to. The first is routine maintenance to keep the EGG performing in peak condition.
Although Big Green Egg natural lump charcoal burns cleanly and leaves little ash, it is necessary to clean out the lower fire chamber using the ash tool and ash pan every few cooks. Always be sure the EGG is completely cool and that any ash is only placed in a non-flammable container for disposal. This only takes a few minutes, but will ensure that there is no buildup of ash or unburned pieces of lump that might block the airflow inside the EGG.
A more complete cleaning can be done by removing the cooking grid, fire box and fire grate. When doing this – which is recommended every few bags of charcoal – you will want to pay attention to the small holes in the fire box and fire grate, and make sure they are cleaned out and free of any buildup, so the air will flow freely throughout the EGG. Again, only clean a cool EGG.
If you have both a Dual Function Metal Top (DFMT), and the small green ceramic cap, it is a good idea to place the DFMT inside the EGG as soon as you are finished cooking as the residual heat will help clean it and keep the metal top in peak condition. The ceramic lid will keep rainwater out of the EGG when not in use. An EGG should never be stored without either cap in place.
Other than that, we suggest the outside be wiped off occasionally with any mild household cleaner and that the EGG be covered when not in use to keep it as clean as possible.
The cooking grid itself can be brushed clean using our bristle-free grill brush or any of the other grill cleaning tools we offer.
The other maintenance requirements are less frequent, but just as important to the performance and enjoyment of the EGG.
Depending on how often the EGG is used, and how often it is moved about, it is recommended to check the nuts and bolts for tightness every 90 days.
Check the bands and hinge bolts as well as all the hardware fittings on the Nest, Mates, handle, casters, and so on. By check, we mean to check to see that the hardware is still snug and has not loosened from use – it does not mean to re-tighten everything a few more turns, as over time that can stress and fatigue the fitting, leading to potential breakage. This is also a good time to check the base and dome alignment, and if needed simply follow the video tutorial and instructions at biggreenegg.com to make the adjustment and get everything back in alignment.
The final maintenance check is the felt gasket that lines the rim of the base and dome of the EGG. The gasket installed on your Big Green Egg is made from advanced heat resistant materials engineered to last for years under normal operating conditions. However, if the gasket shows signs of excessive wear or deterioration, it can be easily replaced using a Genuine Big Green Egg High Temperature Gasket Kit.
That’s about all there is to it – a Big Green Egg is about a close you can come to a maintenance free outdoor cooker, and make sure your customers know that the inside will remain relatively clean thanks to the air tight design which uses the convective heat remaining when the EGG is closed down after a cook to burn off the food residue inside. Trying to soak a cooking grid to loosen the buildup, or scraping for hours is a thing of the past with an EGG! Just remember, never use soap and water or any cleaner on the inside of an EGG as it can damage the ceramic … and is totally unnecessary.
One final note on cleaning the inside of any EGG – over time, or due to heavy use, the interior of the EGG may turn a darker smoky color and you may notice a light residue on the surfaces. This can also occur on the underside of the metal vent cap.
If your EGG is showing signs of this, or if the EGG has been stored for winter or any long period of time – it is simple to do what is called a clean burn if you feel that the EGG needs to be “refreshed” inside. By the way, putting your EGG away for the winter is another unnecessary effort, since the EGG will work just fine year round in any kind of weather!
To do a clean burn, just fill the EGG with charcoal to top of fire box, and once lit leave the metal top and lower draft door wide open. The EGG should reach temperatures in excess of 700 degrees, so please be very careful and do not open it to see what is happening inside! You may need to close the metal top slightly to keep it from allowing too much air flow, as the EGG should not be allowed to exceed 750 degrees during a clean burn. After an hour or so, if you have a ceramic top, remove the metal cap and replace it with the ceramic one, or close the DFMT completely. Then open the EGG very carefully – remembering to burp the EGG for three to four seconds to slowly introduce airflow into the hot chamber, then put the metal cap inside on the cooking grid. Carefully close the lower draft door and let the EGG to cool down naturally. Just like a self-cleaning indoor over, an EGG’s thermal efficiencies allows it to use the power of residual heat to clean itself, without chemical cleaners of any kind!
Virtually maintenance free, made to last forever, and it cleans itself – is it any wonder the EGG is the most popular and enjoyable outdoor cooker ever made?!!