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Can You Use Charcoal Briquettes in A Big Green Egg?

In today’s post, we will be talking about one of America’s favorite grills: the Big Green Egg! This prize-winning grill is one of the best on the market today. 

It is natural to have certain doubts while using the Big Green Egg. Is one of your doubts whether you can use charcoal briquettes? If it is, you’re in the right place!


Can I use charcoal briquettes in a Big Green Egg?

Yes, you can use charcoal briquettes in the Big Green Egg. You’d have received instructions against using charcoal briquettes if it were otherwise. If you want a smokier taste from your food, using charcoal briquettes is a good idea. You don’t need to worry about them affecting the taste of your food.

Now that you know you can use charcoal briquettes in a Big Green Egg, it will help to know the best way of doing so.

To help you with this, we’ve put together a detailed guide with 5 excellent tips to make grilling easier for you. Read further to learn more! 

Using Charcoal Briquettes in the Big Green Egg

Charcoal briquettes contribute to a unique taste because of the smokiness they offer. They are versatile as they’re not only great for grilling but also fantastic for BBQs.

However, we understand your concerns while using charcoal briquettes. The ingredients used to produce these briquettes may sound worrisome.

So, are you wondering whether using charcoal briquettes can be toxic?

Charcoal briquettes are mainly not toxic. Burning charcoal briquettes doesn’t liberate harmful toxins that could affect your health. The most they do is add a slightly smoky flavor. Other than that, charcoal briquettes do not alter the taste of your food.

If using charcoal briquettes isn’t a good idea, the manufacturing company would have instructed you against doing so.

While they advise you only to use their special charcoal, charcoal briquettes are also safe. (You can think of this as marketing technique manufacturers employ!).

How is the Big Green Egg charcoal different?

The Big Green Egg charcoal is natural lump charcoal. They are the first option people generally consider.

Most charcoal is not as clean as natural lump charcoal. It is an efficient fuel that burns well without producing too much ash.

Due to this, it has a higher price point. Either way, charcoal briquettes work great too! 

You’d want only to use the best charcoal briquettes while grilling.

We’ve made a choice more accessible for you by mentioning our top picks.

Go ahead and check out what they are! 

Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump CharcoalGet it Now
Duraflame Cowboy Natural Hardwood BriquettesGet it Now
OLIVETTE Organic Charcoal BriquettesGet it Now

Charcoal Briquettes in a Big Green Egg: 5 Tips to Using it!

As mentioned above, charcoal briquettes work well with the Big Green Egg. Knowing how to burn charcoal briquettes for your grill efficiently is vital.

To make the grilling process go smoother, we have shared 5 tips for using charcoal briquettes in a Big Green Egg.

Let’s dive in right away! 

Tip #1: Adequate Ventilation

The Big Green Egg offers an excellent ventilation system. It helps to know how to use it to the fullest!

If you look at the lower side of the Egg, you will find a vent. This vent also has a net that helps filter out the ash from the air.

This majorly helps your cleaning process and regulates airflow.

Next, if you check the top of the cover, there is a chimney. It has a lid that can either be closed or kept open. Our advice is to keep it open.

Using a hand fan is a great idea that helps regulate airflow through the Egg. It will improve air circulation through your grill, and we know how important ventilation is! 

We recommend you open the lid when you start lighting the briquettes.

You can keep it open for the initial 7 to 10 minutes. You can close the lid after this. In 15-20 minutes, the temperature will reach your satisfactory point.

If you’re looking for hand fan recommendations, check out the ones we’ve mentioned!

Recommended ProductsPrice
Esweny Outdoor Cooking BBQ Fan Air BlowerBuy it Now
VersionTECH. Mini Handheld FanBuy it Now
JISULIFE Handheld FanBuy it Now

Tip #2: Correctly Loading the Egg

Another vital aspect to consider is how much you fill the Egg.

Thoroughly filling the Big Green Egg will not get you the best results. It is essential to know precisely how much charcoal briquette to burn in the Egg.

The place for the charcoal in the Egg is distinguishable from the rest of it.

The difference in material imparts a whitish color to it. It is also thicker. So you won’t have any trouble figuring out where to put the charcoal briquettes. 

Once you’ve recognized this part, please fill the Egg up until this material ends.

Electric lighters and paraffin igniter cubes are great options to get the charcoal briquettes to start burning.

Here’s a tip: Avoid using lighter fluid, as it doesn’t help the process. Instead, it may impart an unpleasant odor to your food.

Tip #3: Slow Smoking

Charcoal briquettes are an excellent option if you’re going for that smoky flavor. So, how many charcoal briquettes should you use to get that smoking effect?

Whether you have a large or xl Big Green Egg, the average amount of charcoal briquettes is ideal for smoking. The exact amount is proportional to the amount of food you’re cooking.

It is best to only fill charcoal briquettes in 75% of the Egg’s space.

You can light the briquettes with a paraffin igniter. It is best to start by lighting the briquettes right in the center. The flame will spread to the rest of the briquettes eventually.

Once the briquettes start to light, wait till it gets as hot as you want. Then, cover the lid to let the food cook at your desired temperature.

You can slow cook in this smoking pit and allow it to cook for 16 to 18 hours.

One plus point is that charcoal briquettes aren’t a headache to clean. It is easy to clean out the ash they produce quickly.

So, you can go ahead and use charcoal briquettes without too much doubt!

Another tip is to add some hardwood chips along with the briquettes too. Typically, 3 hardwood chips are sufficient  

The hardwood chips you’ll need for a regular-sized Egg is 3 handfuls. Scatter them all around the charcoals. Make sure you poke them inside the briquettes, though. 

If you’re looking for some great choices for wood pellets, you can check out our top picks!

BEAR MOUNTAIN Premium Wood PelletsGet it From Amazon
Traegar Hardwood PelletsGet it From Amazon
J-C-s Wood ChunkGet it From Amazon

Tip #4: Grilling 

Who doesn’t love grilling some fresh patties and steaks?

The Big Green Egg is the way to do it! It is a whiz at grilling patties and steaks; the Big Green Egg has been perfectly designed for this process.

Most ways of grilling work well enough with the Big Green Egg. If you’re open to it, you can follow our brief stepwise guide to grilling patties and steaks!

  • Step 1: First, open both vents simultaneously. Set your Big Green Egg at 600 to 700 degrees F to preheat it.
  • Step 2: Next, bring the steak out and let it cook on the grill for 2 mins on each side. Please ensure that the meat is well-marinated. You should still see it dripping a little. 
  • Step 3: Finally, you have to lower the Egg’s lid. Cleaning won’t be a hassle!

How do charcoal briquettes add to the flavor?

Well, when your marinated steak drips onto the coal, it burns along with the juice. This helps add more flavor while cooking the steak.

Your next question must be whether charcoal briquettes are smokeless. Yes, they certainly are!

You don’t need to worry about the chemicals mixing with your food when the evaporated juice settles on it.

Additionally, you don’t need to worry about the smoke giving your steak a particular flavor.

Please ensure the lid is closed, so the smoke stays inside and cooks the steak well. This will also add a smoky, rich taste to your steak.

Keeping the lid closed with the smoke inside also speeds up the cooking process. You’ll only need an average of 7 minutes to finish cooking the meat!

Tip #5: Properly Regulating the Heat

Heat flashes can be a concern while using charcoal briquettes for the Big Green Egg.

What is a heat flash?

When you let the grill become too hot, you’ll feel a surge of hot air on opening the lid.

If the Big Green Egg becomes too hot, you will have trouble opening it. It is not too safe to let your Egg heat up so much that there are heat flashes.

If you’re too close, there is a good chance of getting burnt.

It is best to allow the grill to heat up to the desired temperature. Then, slightly open the lid (about 2 to 3 inches) and let some of the heat escape. This way, you can maintain your ideal temperature while avoiding heat flashes.

Big Green Egg thermometer may sometimes stop functioning or show inaccurate readings. In such situations, you will need another thermometer to measure the temperature of your grill.

Please check the temperature regularly with the thermometer to ensure that the Egg doesn’t become too hot. 

Please take a look at our recommendations for excellent thermometers you can try!

Rubbermaid Stainless Steel Instant Read ThermometerOrder Now!
KIZEN Digital Thermometer with ProbeOrder Now!
ThermoPro Wireless ThermometerOrder Now!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why don’t my charcoal briquettes stay lit?

There is more than one reason for your charcoal briquettes not staying lit.

If your charcoal briquettes aren’t dry enough, they won’t burn for long.

Additionally, we know the importance of oxygen to keep a fire burning. So, it is essential to ensure that there is adequate ventilation. 

One tip that helps is arranging the briquettes vertically and starting the flame at the bottom.

What is the most common Big Green Egg problem I can face?

One common problem that most people face with Big Green Egg is its lid alignment.

Sometimes, the top part and the bottom of the Big Green Egg don’t perfectly fit into place.

They could be a little misaligned, which causes their hinges to sag. So, tightening them once you notice them becoming loose is essential.

What is the burn time of charcoal briquettes?

Charcoal briquettes have a burn time of 4 to 5 hours. On the other hand, lump charcoals or similar charcoal kinds have a burn time of 2 to 3 hours.

Briquettes burn for a more extended period if they contain binders and additives. The only issue with that can be the pungent odor they cause.

Wrapping Up

We’ve reached the end of the post!

You’ve got your answer if you’re wondering whether charcoal briquettes are a good idea for the Big Green Egg!

Even though the Big Green Egg manufacturers do not specify it, charcoal briquettes burn great on the grill.

They are easy to clean and don’t add unpleasant flavors or odors to your food. Please try out our tips to make your grilling process more efficient. 

Thank you for reading our post. Happy Grilling! 

Susan Wilson

My name is Susan and I am the person behind this blog. My mission is to help you become a better cook and start cooking like a pro! Here we talk about our kitchen adventures – good or bad- so you can laugh or two about it. So let the journey of mastering the ART OF COOKING begin.