Baking on the Big Green Egg

My last post explained a bit of how my parents have moved to a new home and are getting settled here in Santa Barbara. My dad’s ultimate goal is a garden and chickens (coming soon!), but along the way he’s had many other interesting thoughts and hopes–and some have come to fruition, and others, like the outdoor oven I was telepathically rooting for, have not.

But, he did purchase a Big Green Egg.

If you haven’t encountered one of these round, fuel efficient, space-age-looking barbecues, then, well, maybe you will? 🙂 I have a brother-in-law who loves his–and makes pizza, and cooks turkeys, and bakes lasagnas and all sorts of other kooky things… But cooking on this type of barbecue is all new for me and my dad.

We were curious how a loaf of bread would bake in the egg. Would it act like my cast iron pots, would it bake like a wood-fired pizza oven, would it mimic an earthen oven? So we put it to the test one gorgeous, Santa Barbara afternoon.

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And the verdict is?

  • We opened the lid too many times to check on things.
  • The heat was easy to control by fiddling with the vents and we were basically able to bake between 500 and 400 degrees for the full 40 minutes.
  • The surface of the heating stone gets too hot and burns the bottom of the loaves. Will need to fix that–will ask Brother-In-Law!!!
  • Had to scrape away quite a layer of char on the bottom.
  • The heat in the egg seems to be quite dry–will add a can of water for steam next time.
  • Though the finished loaves look kind of nice in the photograph, the crust color was pasty and muted, and I know you’ll say they look super fabulous, but you were not measuring their color alongside a dad, who is a baker…
  • Warm bread, no matter how off color, even when you have to saw away the burned bottom with a knife, is always delicious…

Because we burned the bottom of the bread, we decided not to grace the neighbors with the second loaf. We WILL try again and certainly do some sharing.

What about you? Have you had success baking in an outdoor setting? I’d love to hear your stories of adventurous baking.

Cheers, friends…