The Big Green Egg (BGE) is a specialty cooking system in most countries (where you can find them) and admittedly expensive to boot. Since the BGE (Company) is based in the US and the use of the barbeque as a means of cooking is a backyard specialty…you can find the BGE for sale in major US cities (especially where there’s more foodies). The easy way to find the Big Green Egg in your local area is just to google it and find the local gourmet barbeque shop or Ace Hardware store that sells it. Finding an actual real Big Green Egg of any size on a boat (especially a sailboat) is truly unique but there’s no substitute for the nuance of flavor profiles you can find once you start cooking more complex foods on the BGE.
We have a Big Green Egg on our cruising sailboat and left the United States in November with our kids and Great Dane to cruise the Seven Seas as time and money permits. Since the Big Green Egg only burns real, high quality charcoal and never any kind of gas, it presents unique challenges with charcoal storage and open flames on a boat that must be thought through and overcome before making a decision to light it up and cook on it. Since we owned a large size Big Green Egg at our home before selling it all (to live on a boat) we knew the challenges firsthand.
Provisioning and loading out the boat in November, I brought a hardy stock of flame/fire starting supplies, but it was the charcoal I worried about the most. Charcoal and salt water don’t mix…so keeping my charcoal dry was a priority and as was bringing enough charcoal to enjoy cooking without constantly worrying about how much is being used was another concern. I brought three large bags of Big Green Egg Brand Charcoal (I love to use that brand) and waterproof wrapped them as best I could. I did ok, since they made it down the coast intact and mostly dry. Now I’m running through my second bag of charcoal and will soon have to start using charcoal I find in Mexico…prospects are high I’ll find it (just not BGE Brand). I haven’t seen much pure charcoal…but I haven’t looked hard for it either.
Sitting here in the early morning hours to write (before the kid chaos starts) the boat is skimmed by a ray getting its early morning sun and a small turtle drifts by slowly. On board, we have both the Big Green Egg and a Solavare Solar Oven ( but the oven is still in the tub). Cooking on the Big Green Egg is my thing…and the other night I cooked my first nearly full meal on the egg (minus the rice). We cooked up a menu of mixed veggies, marinated shrimp and bone-in fresh chicken + rice (of course). I couldn’t have done it better, since we took time to prep/marinate and then cook slowly without rushing anything. The BGE never went above 300 degrees or so and I had charcoal left over when the night was done…like I always do. The nice thing about a BGE is that all the charcoal doesn’t burn up and you can use what’s left another night. Here’s the food in pics:
Living and cooking on a sailboat presents unique challenges but also opportunities. Food is fresh when near markets and opportunities to explore new foods abounds. We’re glad you could read this post on our tiny website and invite you to FOLLOW us if you don’t already.
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