Large Spider - click the red tabs/links below for more information
Custom Fabricated Accessories for Big Green Egg®
The Spider Section Quick Links
- Searing with the Spider
- Woking With the Spider
- Blackening With the Spider
- Using the Adjustable Rig with the Spider
- Dutch Oven Cooking
- Wear & Tear On the Spider
The Spider outlined below fits Big Green Egg's “Large” cooker. The XL Spider for Big Green Egg's XL Cooker can be found here.
The Spider is one of our cool, yet simple, inventions. We named it the Spider because if you turn it legs down, the legs look like spider legs. The Spider could skedaddle away! It’s a work-horse that can be used with the Adjustable Rig or combined with other pieces for new cooking experiences.
The Spider hangs from the five dimples on the Big Green Egg® fire ring, does not interfere with a grid sitting on the fire ring and weighs approximately one pound. The ring diameter is roughly 11.25 inches. The Spider drops approximately 2-inches into the Big Green Egg® fire ring. It can also sit up on the fire ring. The material is 1/4-inch, 304 stainless steel round bar. The Spider is passivated for improved protection against the high lump temperatures.
WARNING: For self protection, anyone using the ceramic cooker needs to understand the principals and preventive methods surrounding a Flashback, including Flashbacks from the lower slider vent, felt rim opening and/or top daisy wheel vent. Please consult your ceramic grill manufacturer or retailer for Flashback details and preventative measures before attempting any cook in the ceramic cooker, including cooks with or without, the Spider, Woo2 or Adjustable Rig. Keep children away from the cooker, especially the lower slider opening, at all times.
WARNING: Only remove the Spider, grid on Spider, pan/skillet on Spider when the cooker has cooled to ambient temperatures. Do not remove the Spider, grid, pan or skillet during a high temperature (>300 degrees Fahrenheit) cook. The cooker can flashback. The dome thermometer or remote sensing probes positioned above the fire ring are not an accurate measure of the temperatures in the fire ring and firebox. The temperatures in the fire ring and firebox can be much higher. Lump burns in excess of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Adequate hand protection is required when removing heated items from the cooker.
Searing with the Spider
The Spider holds Big Green Egg's 13-inch small cast iron grid (Model 13CI). Add the Adjustable Rig and you have a fantastic combination for searing and roasting.
Producing that perfect steak is a two step process: sear/blacken and then roast. The Spider/cast iron grid combo provides the means to sear inside the Big Green Egg fire ring. By searing closer to the lump, you can get the same char results but with lower temperatures than if searing on top of the fire ring. When the desired char is obtained, you can either rest the steak or move it immediately onto the Adjustable Rig’s raised grid. Here, you stop the searing process and basically roast the meat to the desired doneness. This two step process, sear then roast, is akin to a chef searing on a stove top and sliding the pan in the oven to finish.
We recommend using 16-inch long tongs for handling food on the Spider/grid combo. Hand protection is recommended. This is a wonderful steak process when doing three or less steaks. More than three, it can get a bit time consuming as you need to let the cast iron grid reheat between batches.
We recommend keeping the searing grid in place while finishing the cook on the upper grid. Depending on the fire, a piece or two of your favorite wood can be dropped on the searing grid for smoke. This keeps the wood from direct contact with the lump, so the wood only smolders.
The first picture on the left is Big Green Egg's small cast iron grid, 13CI , sitting on the Spider. The first picture on the right is a smoldering chunk of mesquite on the grid. The balance of pictures are cooks, including sea scallops, ribeyes, beef tenderloin and a flat iron.
Wok Cooking with the Spider
The spider holds a 14 or 16-inch round bottom wok. Wok cooking can be a fun change of pace in the Big Green Egg®. And, there is more than Asian foods to wok. The 16-inch wok is pictured below, first photo on left.
Blackening with the Spider
The Spider holds a 14" Bayou Classic griddle for blackening. However, for the griddle to fit in the fire ring, the griddle’s two side handles must be cut-off. The griddle is generally found online for less than $30 and offers a flat and ribbed side. If you have an old cast iron pan, 12 to14-inch diameter and are willing to sacrifice the handle, it will work too.
Adjustable Rig - Indirect Set-up
Using the Spider is another way to set-up indirect with the Adjustable Rig. The Spider is designed to hold our 13-inch ceramic stone and drip pan to create the indirect set-up. (Important) Since the inside diameter of the Big Green Egg® fire ring is 15-1/2 inches to 16 inches, we strongly recommend limiting the stone and pan's diameter to 13-1/2 inches. This 13-1/2 inch limitation insures proper airflow by maintaining a minimum one inch gap between the stone's outer edge and the fire ring's inner wall. We strongly recommend using a stone under any aluminum drip pan to prevent the pan from melting. Unfortunately, we do not recommend using Big Green Egg's 14-inch stone on the Spider, as it limits airflow in the fire ring. More on the Adjustable Rig can be found here.
As you can see with the stone on the Spider, the air circulation is virtually unobstructed for 360 degrees – all around the stone. This is the best method we have found for uniform circulation. You can fill up to 1/3 of the Big Green Egg fire ring with lump, so on very long cooks or when using fast burning lump, we recommend you monitor the lump to maintain fuel.
With barbequing on two grids, the Spider is generally used to create the indirect set-up. This allows the grids to be set up on any of the Adjustable Rig Levels. For large cuts, pork butt, we recommend setting the Oval or 16.5 Round grid on Rig Level 1.5 and the Large grid atop the Rig. This provides 4.5-inches of spacing between grids, enough room so the top and bottom butts won't touch. For smaller cuts of meat, you have the option on using Level 1.5 or 3.0 for the lower grid.
Dutch Oven Cooking
If you have a flair for Dutch Oven cooking, you might think about giving it a try in your Big Green Egg®. Spider owners report success with sitting their Dutch Ovens on the Spider. They prefer the Spider over a grid as it opens up the cooker for adding smoking wood to the lump. Plus, the Spider offers two height options: sitting down in or up above the fire ring.
Wear and Tear on the Spider
Under normal conditions, 304 grade stainless is generally resistant to rust and corrosion. Unfortunately, given the huge temperature swings with ceramic cooking, the temperatures in and around the Spider are anything but normal ambient conditions. So we need to point out that in all likelihood the Spider will not last forever and will show signs of corrosion. Exactly how many years a Spider will last is still unknown, as we still have not heard of one failing. To settle our curiosity, we grabbed one that has seen heavy action and gave it a quick buffing. As you can see, it cleaned right up.
This ends the Spider narrative.