Nuts & Botlts
One thing you should do every 6 months and after a few cooks on a new Egg is go around and re-tighten all the bolts. Remember you are dealing with a ceramic Egg that is held together by metal parts. The ceramic heats up and it heats up the metal. Over time, this can cause the metal parts to loosen as heating and cooling expands and contracts.
Remember, this is worth checking because a falling dome shattering onto the concrete patio is NOT covered under warranty 🙂
Generally the insides of the Egg are self cleaning. If you need to clean your Egg run it with no food in it at about 600F with a full load of lump and let it burn out. It will almost look like new again inside. If you still have gunk burned on, be careful rubbing it off with a brush. DO NOT USE WATER to clean the inside of your Egg!!!
One thing that Big Green Egg says NOT to do is to take the internal parts out to clean the Eggs. Reading the documentation on their website I believe it is so that people don’t accidentally drop them because that is NOT covered under warranty. So up until this point I have never taken the Fire Ring and Fire Box out of the Large. However, when replacing the Fire Box and Fire Ring I found I had a mountain of charcoal ash in the back of the Egg, between the Fire Box and Egg itself. This cannot have be good for airflow!!! There was no other way to get this out other than by taking the Fire Box out.
IF you are going to take out the guts to clean your Eggs, be VERY careful!!! Dropped ceramics are not covered under warranty!!! I take no responsibility for your own klutziness should you remove and break your Fire Box or Fire Ring!!!
Periodically cleaning your Egg will help it run at optimum efficiency!
Calibrate the Thermometer
The Mini was the first Egg I have ever had to assemble myself. The other 2 were demo Eggs I got at EggFests and they were already pre-assembled. One of the things I had not done, which I did with the Mini was calibrate the dome thermometer.
What you do is bring a pot of water to a boil. Using an independent thermometer (I used my Thermapen which I had already calibrated) I checked the temp of the water while it is boiling. I got about 210F. Water boils at 212F at sea level and standard pressure, so this 2 degree variation was acceptable to me.
I the put the Mini Thermometer into the water and it read 210F on the nose. So I had nothing to change. It came calibrated correctly.
I took the thermometer off my Large Egg and tried it out and it was reading 60F below what it should at only 150F!!! That means that large has been cooking at 60F hotter than I have wanted it. That is not a good thing!
On the back of the thermometer there is a 7/16 nut that you can adjust with a wrench and it will change the base line of temperature. I gave the nut a small turn and put it back in the water… I was close, but needed to do it again. It was finally reading 210F and I was happy. I can live with a 2F margin of error… not 60F.
You use your thermometer every time you cook ANYTHING on the Big Green Egg so make sure you check your thermometers at least once a year.
1) Check your nuts & bolts at least twice a year.
2) Clean out your Eggs internally once a year to improve airflow and efficiency.
3) Calibrate your thermometers at least once a year for best cooking results and food safety.
Do this and you should have a lifetime of Eggcellent cooking!