It’s big enough to roast a chicken, sear a couple of large steaks at a time, or fit about six 12-inch skewers. But when preparing meat and vegetables for a family of four, you need to cook in several portions. In practice it’s not that bad. Most meats need to rest after cooking anyway so you have time to tend to the veggies. In my tests, the Mini Big Green Egg has excellent heat control and, like the larger version, is extremely fuel efficient.
Best grill to charge your devices
The FirePit+ is a sleek, portable mesh box with detachable legs, a Hibachi-style grill, and an ash pan. It uses a Bluetooth compatible app to precisely control airflow, which in turn controls your cooking temperature. Be sure to read my colleague Adrienne So’s full review of the original model for more details. However, I focused specifically on seeing how it grilled, and the answer is: Very well.
The main downside to using the FirePit as a grill is its size. It’s big enough to cook for four people, but it’s long and narrow, which makes some things awkward (I recommend you not Try a whole chicken). It is best suited for grilling skewers and the like. Think “sticks”.
Perhaps the best thing about the FirePit is that after dinner you can lower the fuel shelf and turn it into a fire pit. And of course it can charge your devices, but there’s something somehow sacrilegious about sitting by the fire and charging your phone.
The conditions grilling And grill are often used interchangeably, which is fine, but if you’re serious about flame cooking, you should learn the difference. Grilling usually means cooking directly over high heat, while grilling typically means cooking over indirect heat for long periods of time: you’re grilling a steak. You grill ribs.
I’ve used both methods for testing and have grilled everything from steak and salmon to corn and even kale. (This recipe for grilled kale is my go-to place to test how hard it is to clean a grill. It’s delicious, but incredibly messy.)
For the charcoal variant, I also smoked ribs, pork, and brisket. If you plan to smoke, I highly recommend investing in a thermometer system. At home I like SmartFire BBQ controller (AUD 375).). It has adapters to match your grill and offers a temperature probe and three food probes. There’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support so you can keep an eye on your chef from anywhere. There’s even a handy storage case for everything.
This means that when I’m on the go, I usually reach for Webers Connect Smart Hub ($100). It’s not as sophisticated as the SmartFire, but it’s more portable, and on small grills I generally only need two probes. I also never cook without my faithful companion Thermopen One ($100).
Stop using propane bottles
The ubiquitous disposable green propane bottle is convenient, but it is one huge source of pollution. It’s illegal to throw them in the trash in many jurisdictions, although that doesn’t seem to stop many people considering how many end up in landfills each year. Don’t be that person.
Instead, I use this refillable 11-pound propane tank (Amazon, $80). Cooking three meals a day outdoors over the stove and grill will last me about two weeks in an 11 pound tank. It’s small and light enough that it’s no more difficult to transport than the four to six 1-pound bottles it replaces.
You can also buy it an adapter ($15) You will need to refill your smaller canisters, although depending on where you live and your common sense, this may not be legal or advisable as you can easily overfill or break the valve. If you live in California, you might have something to contribute as well 1 pound canister for free refills or exchange empty canisters for full ones.