Why every home should have a Big Green Egg

big green egg bbq
Design Icon: the Big Green Egg barbrecueMATT AUSTIN

The House Beautiful team pick a design classic we think you'll love forever – this time, the Big Green Egg barbecue.

Who designed it?

Ed Fisher, a US entrepreneur and ex-serviceman. Fisher created his barbecue based on the design principles of ancient ceramic and charcoal cookers. The first Big Green Egg store opened in Atlanta in 1974. In 2001, it arrived in Europe and revolutionised alfresco haute cuisine.

Why we love it?

Versions of ceramic, wood-fired domed cookers have been found in archaeological ruins around the world, and it was in Japan that Ed Fisher first encountered them. He was stationed there with the US Navy in the 1950s, and used traditional mushikamados (egg-shaped rice steamers), which provided the starting point for his design.

After launching the first model, Fisher worked to hone the Big Green Egg into something that cooks even better. He used innovative materials created by experts at NASA to craft a barbecue cooker that today features both excellent heat isolation and an ability to withstand harsh elements when not being used. It is the ultimate piece of garden kit for foodies and will turn even the most amateur griller into a full-on chef.

You’ll be in good company if you’re a fan of the Big Green Egg – the barbecue is regarded as top in its class by many Michelin-starred chefs and even counts Holly Willoughby and David Beckham among its celebrity users.

Why you'll love it forever?

The Big Green Egg can be used for roasting, smoking and slow cooking, as well as traditional grilling, and, thanks to its design, can reach very high temperatures that normal household ovens and grills can’t.

It is possible to cook directly (using a pan or griddle straight onto the flames) or indirectly (using tools that create an even heat around the system), and the brand offers advice for setting up the equipment to its configurations. There are lively communities of fans, known as 'Eggheads', swapping tips and tricks online on how to make the most out of barbecues, too.

While undoubtedly an investment piece, the Big Green Egg does come with a lifetime warranty and its inherent versatility ensures its value goes well beyond the usual barbecue season.

What makes a design icon?

For a piece to be truly iconic to the HB editors, it needs to:

  • Be recognisable homeware that deserves the spotlight.

  • Illustrate innovative design, whether from the high street or a high-end showroom.

  • Have longevity and really stand the test of time.

  • Serve as an object of desire – beautiful, yes, but useful, too.

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