📢 Hey, Y’all! I have never been more stoked to get this one-on-one interview with a dear friend and a free meal (woo-hoo!) while visiting the gorgeous state of Georgia. Curious about the Big Green Egg? Read on. My friend fires up the family meals in his household with the Big Green Egg and loves it. Nothing sponsored here folks merely spreading some Midwest love to things that make summer tastier!
I have a gas grill. But I come from a family that loves their grill charcoal-based. Fondest memories of grilling are of my Dad lighting the grill at the state park beach by Lake Michigan while us kids made drip castles in the sand. To this day, my folks prefer the Weber grill, a kettle grill invented in 1952. I am sure he has spent through a few of these grills, and every year I think could I possibly sway him to another? Investigating the idea I turn to what I do best, ask questions. The Big Green Egg a ceramic grill and charcoal smoker often referred to a Kamado began its roots in Tucker, GA in the 70’s. The popularity of this grill has created quite a cult following resulting in festivals and cook-offs. These massive green vessels can be seen perched outside several restaurants I’ve passed here on my visit to GA. I decided I need to know why this grill has become so hot with its consumers, 750˚ F to be exact.
Enter in a fellow friend, business cohort, Big Green Egg owner. Brian has owned his Egg for six years and has moved it from Missouri too, ironically, the birthplace of the Egg – Georgia. That’s dedication in my book. So, what is the obsession?
Check out my friend Egg Master, Brian Johnson firing up the grill.
Q: What’s cooking Bry?
A: Finishing up smoking some ribs and grilling corn on the cob and sliced okra.
Q: What makes the Egg better versus any other grilling source? Why do you prefer using the Egg?
A: Two reasons. First is flexibility. The design and extra attachments available allow you the flexibility to grill, roast, and smoke. The second reason, it holds the heat for a very long time. The ceramic insulation enables the cook the ability to maintain low to medium heat for many hours or allows you to create a hot environment for searing or baking pizzas.
Q: What have you baked?
A: I have baked pizza, meatloaf, baked beans.
Q: Speaking of beans, did you eat your veggies growing up?
A: I did, not very many, but I did.
Q: What is your fav vegetable to grill?
Fire in the hole, time out to take the rack off. Segway to egg master in training son Hayden. So, Hayden is quite confident that he has made the best chicken a hen has ever had. (Brian chuckles.)
Q: Back to the veggies question.
A: Corn, and grilled okra mostly. I’ve also grilled peppers and onions. One time I grilled some veggies to put into a paella. (Grilled Okra Recipe Here!)
Q: How did you get into the grilling scene?
A: Not sure. I liked BBQ quite a lot and had always heard that guys were having a blast messing around with their Eggs. I guess I’ve gotten caught up like a lot of guys my age, working on having a beautiful yard and throwing stuff on the Big Green Egg.
Q: Favorite fuel source?
A: There is only one fuel source for the Egg, it’s called lump charcoal. Lump charcoal is real wood that has been burnt down to the form of charcoal.
Q: For when you smoke meat is there a particular wood you like for smoking?
A: I like apple and cherry. They are both pretty neutral and can be a good smoke source for some meats.
Q: For your ribs?
A: I prefer apple and cherry with pork and hickory when I do beef.
Q: Who in the food world do you most admire? Or a favorite restaurant?
A: Jack Stack BBQ is an inspiration for BBQ people. It’s my favorite.
Q: What is your go-to grill at home choice? Like your home and don’t have a lot going on.
A: BONE-IN RIBEYE
Q: What is your BBQ beer of choice?
A: Being from Kansas City, I would say Boulevard Wheat.
Q: What is your number one tip for people who want to start smoking meat on an Egg?
A: Plan – it’s a process. And don’t be afraid to experiment and put your spin on what you are doing.
Q: You’ve already answered rib-eye as your favorite, does that count as well as your favorite cut of meat?
A: Grilling it’s probably an excellent thick rib-eye. But, my single favorite item to prep is roast a prime rib at Christmas. That’s probably my favorite thing to do.
Q: In the winter? Don’t you lose heat? Particularly in colder climates like Missouri? How long does that take in Missouri vs. Georgia?
A: It doesn’t matter the temperature outside. It could be freezing it could be 90 degrees, it doesn’t matter its, all the same, all the time. The insulated Egg makes sure of that.
Q: How fast does it take to get to your cooking temp?
A: From opening the Egg to start cooking – probably a half hour.
Q: How many steaks can you fit on your Egg?
A: I have a big Egg; you could probably put 6-8 big steaks.
Q: How many ribs? Since we are eating ribs tonight?
A: Eight racks at one time were pretty easy.
Q: One last question. In homage to the late Anthony Bourdain, what is your last supper meal, your death row meal?
A: Probably a perfectly cooked prime rib, it’s about as good as it gets.
When Brian is not tending the grill, he is raising three boys (future Big Green Egg masters) with his lovely wife and is the Director of Client Success at DataScan in Alpharetta, Georgia.1