Saturday, May 19, 2007

BGE

Missing the tastes and smells of the good ol' BBQ, I recently spent a fair amount of time researching various natural gas (my house is plumbed for it) and propane (it's what i grew up with) grills. Before acquiring the little guy (well, BIG guy... I got the large and man that sucker is HEAVY)... I visited Costco Home in Kirkland, WA on recommendation of some folk. Needless to say, I left disappointed. Not much selection, and what they had to select from -- to be blunt -- sucked.

I then went to Sutter Home & Hearth in Woodinville, WA. I met a man named Chip who took me on a tour of every grill in my stated price range and despite looking at some nice models from Vermont Castings (some of their features really appeal to the geek in me) and Weber (build like a tank and with a great rotisserie), I was eventually -- and quite inexorably -- drawn to the strange, green, egg-shaped looking thing by the door.

Now that I know better, I can see that it was clearly a trap. The Big Green Egg is not haphazardly placed -- nay, it lies in wait. As you walk in, you pass right by it without giving it a second glance. The monstrous hearth that greets you inexorably draws you deeper into the store. You prowl around the accessories, then find yourself pleasantly lost in a fantasy land of gas grills (many priced well over two thousand dollars), hearths, fireplaces, tiling, and more spices than you can shake a tong at. And as you begin to reel from the dizzying array of novelties which have beset you, you begin to list towards the door.

And that's when it accosts you. The strangest looking grill you've ever seen. If it weren't green, you'd expect Robin Williams to pop out and announce, "Nanoo, nanoo!" (Apparently on Ork they grill out a lot; flame-retardant gauntlets seem to be standard issue.) Yet, Mork is no where to be found. Instead, you are invited to peer inside. Cracking the top, images of glass-blowers dance in your head. Indeed, it looks like a kiln in there. A kiln with a cooking surface. How bizarre!

Of course, I would probably have left it at that, or possibly even taken home a (much more expensive) gas grill, had a friend of mine, Ken, not placed seeds of wonder in me several summers prior. You see, I once shared an office with Ken at my work, and in between getting work done we would do what all office-mates do... wax poetic about anything and everything that was of momentary interest, from computers to cookouts. Ken used to regale me with tales of The Egg. He would fulminate his desire for one to me repeatedly, yet always with a twinge of lament in his tone. You see, Ken was getting married. And buying a house. But that's not important right now.

What IS important is that I had heard of this contraption, even seen a picture or two on Ye Olde "Innernets"... but I had never experienced the Egg for myself. In fact, having no immediate knowledge of any Egg owners, I had long since dismissed his hyperbole-strewn ravings, filing them away as obscure anecdotes for a future party or barbecue where I found myself not too fond of the food and would need some "good lump" for a conversation.

As fate would have it, my mind connected the dots for me. The legend was before me, within my grasp... and the price was right. All that remained was substantiation of the rumors. Sifting the fact from the fiction. I asked Chip if he'd used one. With a knowing smile, he then gently proceeded to tell me how everything I thought I knew about grilling out and barbecue was wrong...

An hour later I left the store, brochure and shopping list in hand, to think things over. I went to Tully's and ordered some piping hot white jasmine tea. I read the brochure, reviewed the list, and thought deeply about it. I sipped tea and crunched numbers in my head. I prayed about it. I sipped more tea and let it all brew for a while. Eventually, I felt a peace about the decision and went straight back to Chip instead of heading straight home.

We piled up all the requisite accessories (including a plate setter and a pizza stone) and some optional ones (like a remote temperature monitor and a charcoal chimney starter). Twenty minutes and a few herniated discs later, I was on the road towards home with a 170 lb. monstrosity in tow... a large-sized Big Green Egg!

Tomorrow... the setup. And after that... the fire... and then... well, we all know what comes THEN. :)

-jer

1 comment:

Freedom Rocks! said...

Hello... you're a better author than I would have expected. Then again, I'm not really sure what I was expecting.

Anyways, your writing makes me chuckle. I appreciate it ^_^