Three thousand years ago, in the mountains of China, villagers used a round clay vessel, filled with smoldering coals, to cook their meat and vegetables. Archaeologists have found some of these cooking vessels, which are known as Kamados, still intact, and they offer an interesting insight into the cooking practices of our ancient communities.
Though primitive, these Chinese villagers had in fact perfected a technique of cooking that sealed in the flavor of the food and kept it from drying out. By using the right kind of wood and keeping temperatures low, the kamados could even smoke meat and fish.
Three thousand years later, and everything old is new again.
Understanding that the kamado was the perfect model for what the modern BBQ cooker could do, a guy by the name of Ed Fisher has taken the principles of the kamado and given it thoroughly modern makeover.
The result is the Green Egg, and it is revolutionizing barbeque cooking across America.
What Fisher has done is to replicate the unique design of the kamado using durable space-age ceramics.
The ceramic walls retain all the heat inside the barbeque, maintaining constant temperature without any hot or cool spots.
According to Guy Thompson at Thompson’s Hearth and Home, the key is the sealed environment of the egg.
“The Green Egg uses lump charcoal, not gas, or briquettes,” he said. “Because of the design of this barbeque, the airflow is restricted which means the meat is kept moist. Most barbeque’s use a gas burner system, that is open at the bottom, which means the food you are cooking dries out quickly. By keeping the food moist you bring out the flavor.”
Thompson said that the typical grill or gas barbeque was taking all the flavor out of barbeque cooking.
“With the Green Egg, you aren’t just dry searing the meat,” he said. “With good barbecue, you get the flavor off the wood. That’s what you get with the Green Egg.”
The space-age ceramic is not the only modern aspect of the Green Egg — it’s actually connected to the internet!
“That’s right, the BBQ Guru is an accessory that allows you to control the temperature inside the Green Egg by using wireless technology,” Thompson said. “It is accurate to within 2 degrees, and monitors the temperature of the food, not just the setting of a burner. It also automatically lowers the temperature when the food is close to being cooked.”
This would be particularly handy when employing one of the special functions of the Green Egg, the ability to smoke meats and fish.
Just light the coals, close the Green Egg, set it to about 200 degrees, and your BBQ becomes a smoker.
Because the design forms a complete seal, the temperature will remain constant as the smoke from the coals or wood permeates the meat.
The Green Egg is so fuel efficient that the charcoal will last for 30 hours at a low temperature without needing to be changed.
And when you crank it up to 500 or 600 degrees to sear those steaks or sausages, you don’t have to worry about flare ups from the fat dripping on the gas burners, an important safety consideration for those enjoying a nice cookout with their family.
Since its launch in the Northwest five years ago, the Green Egg has been something of a culinary sensation, quickly becoming the fastest selling barbecue in the state.
As well as at Thompson’s Hearth and Home, you can also see the Green Egg at Fischer Meats on Front Street.
Fischer Meats, the oldest business in Issaquah, has taken to the Green Egg like a duck to water! After all, who’s going to know more about the right way to barbeque than a butcher! Now, Fischer Meats really is your one stop barbeque shop.
The trained butchers will cut your fresh meat to order, and will give you great advice on cooking techniques.
If you’re like me, all this talk of barbeque is making your mouth water!
With the dreary winter behind us now, and Washington pulling out some of those beautiful sunny spring and summer days we all love, now’s the time to discover the real barbeque chef in you with the Green Egg.