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    West Long Branch NJ 07764

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Articles

How The Big Green Egg Became A Phenomenon, Monmouth County


The outdoor grill barely quivers, without billowing any eye-watering smoke signals, and it provides the only dash of deep color on this otherwise monochrome gray deck. To someone who hasn’t watched a cooking show or attended an upper-middle-class dinner party during the past decade, it would look distinctly foreign—either prehistoric or futuristic, as if it holds the fetus of a brontosaurus or thrums like some ominous extraterrestrial pod from science fiction. In any case, the Big Green Egg is about to hatch something wondrous.

“See, most grills would have smoke all over the place at this point,” says chef Kevin Rathbun, demonstrating the cooker he uses at his Morningside home. “With a low heat, you can walk away from it for hours, all night even, but at this high heat—about 700 degrees—you really need to burp the egg to let air in slowly. It’s demanding oxygen to breathe.” He gently lifts the 40-pound domed lid, which releases a small plume of smoke and reveals a sizzling 30-ounce porterhouse steak. It’s exquisitely charred in eight minutes, and then Rathbun slings a mammoth curl of lobster tail on the grill, along with some lightly seasoned yu choy greens.

“See how tender and juicy everything is?” he says. “The tight seal and the sheer thickness of the ceramic material is the best at retaining moisture, so your food never dries out.”

This cooker—which functions as a multipurpose hybrid of grill, smoker, and outdoor oven—has fed friends and philanthropists for the many charity dinners Rathbun holds at home, but he also employs one at Kevin Rathbun Steak, his critically acclaimed steakhouse, and at KR SteakBar. “People associate it with meat and ribs, but I’ve found it’s essential for vegetables, too, because not everybody wants bacon in the Brussels sprouts,” he says. “I also use it a lot for stocks, and I use it for fish and shellfish—especially razor clams—and pork butts, grilled meatballs, fondues, smoked butter, smoked tomato grits. People use it for pizza and desserts. It’s one of the most versatile pieces of equipment. And it’s forgiving—it’s pretty hard to screw up anything on the Egg.”

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