Large Adjustable Rig - click the red tabs/links below for more information
Custom Fabricated Accessories for Big Green Egg®
Adjustable Rig Section Quick Links
- Grill - Raised Grid & Direct
- Barbeque - Indirect Set-ups w/ One Grid
- Barbeque - Indirect Set-ups w/ Two Grids
- Pizza & Baking
- Unique Set-ups
- Tips & Techniques
STAINLESS STEEL ADJUSTABLE RIG w/ PAIR of CROSSBARS
The Large Adjustable Rig fits the Big Green Egg® Large cooker
The Large Adjustable Rig (Rig) is one of the first pieces we designed for our own use. Over the years, it has grown in popularity and is in use world wide. We believe the Adjustable Rig's popularity is a true testament to its versatility. We know you'll enjoy yours as much as we have enjoyed ours!
In a few words, the Adjustable Rig is a simple to use “multi-tasking” platform. The Adjustable Rig is easy to set-up, will not hinder airflow, weighs less than four pounds and can live in your cooker. Plus, it is fabricated from 304 Grade Stainless Steel, passivated for improved durability and made in the USA.
The “nuts and bolts” of the design are:
- The Adjustable Rig sits on the fire ring.
- The Rig's overall height is 6 inches.
- The Crossbars heights are at 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5 inches above the fire ring.
- The Rig's top and bottom ring diameters are 17.375" OD, matching the center of the fire ring.
- A portion of the top ring is cut away and lowered to improve access to the firebox.
- Two adjustable Crossbars support ceramic stones, pans, grids and such.
- The opening between the front two brackets is approximately 13-3/16 inches.
- The rings, back support and crossbars are fabricated from 1/4-inch diameter stainless round bar.
- The four brackets are laser cut from 3/16-inch stainless plate and are 1-1/8 inches wide.
- The Big Green Eggs® (porcelain or stainless) or our Stainless Large grid sits atop the Rig.
Note: We recommend you take one quick measurement on your Big Green Egg® Large cooker before ordering. This is the simplest way we’ve found to make sure the Large Adjustable Rig fits your cooker. Measure the distance from the top of the fire ring to the felt rim on the base. The measurement should be approximately 4-1/4 inches. If it is not, contact us and we’ll see what we can do to get you set-up.
Before continuing on, we thought it best to answer a couple of the more popular questions.
What size objects fit inside the Adjustable Rig? Any round object (ceramic stone, pan & grid) must have a diameter less than 16-3/4 inches. To slide between the front brackets, the object's width must be less than 13-1/8 inches.
- What does Level 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5 mean? These Levels correspond to Crossbar settings on the Rig and are measured in inches from the top of the fire ring with the Rig sitting on the fire ring. For example, when we recommend placing a grid on Rig Level 4.5, it is the same as putting a grid 4.5 inches above the fire ring. Level 1.5 is 1.5 inches above the fire ring. Level 3.0 is 3 inches above the fire ring.
- Can the Adjustable Rig be set-up to create an indirect (platesetter like) configuration? Yes, with the addition of either a 13", 16", Oval or Half ceramic stone, the Adjustable Rig can be set-up to create an indirect (barbeque) configuration. We recommend the 13" Stone as your primary, day-to-day, stone. Big Green Egg's® 14" stone fits the Rig but is not recommended for use on the Spider. Only the 13" Stone is recommended for the Spider. After the 13" Stone, you can add our specialty stones (Oval, Half, 16), as needed. The Adjustable Rig is not designed to be used in conjunction with the platesetter.
The Adjustable Rig is designed to work with a variety of grids, ceramic stones, drip pans, skillets and such. If you are new to ceramic cooking or an experienced veteran, we have put together a couple of Large Adjustable Rig Combo packages in our Shopping Section to get you started. We truly recommend you purchase one of the Combo packs to save yourself some cash. Many customers have reported back to us that the Adjustable Rig is their "go to" set-up platform and for some, given the wide variety of available accessories, it's the only platform they need for their Large Big Green Egg®.
We have one last housekeeping detail to mention. Listed at the top of this page are the Adjustable Rig Section Quick Links. Click on any one of them and you will advance to that section in the narrative. Our web designer added this handy feature, very cool! Ok, enough, let's see what the Large Adjustable Rig can do.
Grill - Raised Grid(s) & Direct
When grilling in the Large Big Green Egg® cooker, we recommend two approaches. The first approach uses a very hot fire to sear, char or saute'. Our preference is to perform these cooks close to the lump, either atop the fire ring or inside the fire ring where the heat is greatest. The Adjustable Rig is not our preferred set-up for these cooks but our Spider accessory is. To learn more about the Spider click here.
The second grilling approach is similar to roasting, where the cooking temperatures typically range from 300 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. With this approach, the goal is to create a light crust, cook to an internal temperature, render fat or crisp skin. Examples of these cooks include: searing brats without breaking the casing; finishing steaks to doneness after a sear; crisping chicken skin; and rendering bacon fat on ABTs. Our recommendation is to complete these cooks by raising the grid above the fire ring. The Adjustable Rig and Woo3 are our equipment choices for raising the grids. Woo3 details can be found here.
By raising the grid above the fire ring, temperature control is less demanding. Simply, you minimize your chances to burn the food. Plus, handling food with tongs and spatulas is much easier. Some veteran Big Green Egg® cooks advocate that reflective heating off the dome and/or convective heat patterns within the dome enhances grilling in the dome. We have not proven the reflective or convective theories but each makes for interesting conversation. We can confirm that many Adjustable Rig owners have reported back to us that: When "roast" grilling, the cooking methods are easier and the end product is characteristically better, when the grid is raised above the fire ring.
The one question we get often is: What is the best height for "roast" grilling in a Big Green Egg® cooker? Well, there is no "best" height, as everyone's goals, habits or cook procedures are slightly different. With the Rig, it is just nice to know you have set-up flexibility, as the Rig provides several options for raising the grid(s).
The Adjustable Rig's upper ring positions the 18.25" diameter cooking grid approximately 6-inches above the fire ring, which is also 2 inches above the felt line. Our Electro-polished stainless grid and the Big Green Egg® black porcelain or stainless grid fit atop the Rig. Depending on the amount of lump in the firebox, the distance from the lump to the grid ranges from 10 to 13 inches. Also, since the Rig's upper ring is 1/4-inch wide, almost the entire grid area is available for grilling. As pictured below, the set-up is quick and straightforward: set the Adjustable Rig on the fire ring and set the Large grid atop the Rig. To help keep the grid properly positioned, the Rig's top ring slips between the grid's outer band and center support wires.
With the Large grid atop the Rig, there is ample room above to grill just about anything. It's approximately 10-inches from the grid to the top of the Big Green Egg® daisy wheel. Another advantage of having the grid above the felt line (atop the Rig) is it minimizes grid interference when adding wood chunks or using a "lump" stir stick during the cook.
Our 16.5-inch Round and 12.75"x17.5" Oval grids are designed to fit inside the Adjustable Rig. The Rig Crossbars hold the grids. Either grid can be positioned at Level 1.5, 3.0 or 4.5. Both the 16.5" Round and Oval grids are fabricated with 304 Stainless and have an Electro-polish finish for improved surface performance. The Oval grid slides between the Rig's front brackets and works best with long cuts of meat, such as ribs and brisket. Additional information on Sliding Grids can be found here. The 16.5" Round grid is slightly bigger than the inside diameter of the fire ring and is analogous in surface area to grilling on the fire ring.
Again, the set-ups are straightforward. Just set the Rig Crossbars at the desired level and place the 16.5 or Oval grid on the Crossbars.
It happens every now and then, we fail to hit the target grilling temperature at the grid. If you are new to Big Green Egg® ceramic cooking, a couple of reasons for failing to hit the temperature can be: miss the settings on the lower slider or upper daisy wheel; forgot to mix old and new lump; let the temperature run up; or, try to stretch the backend of a long low & slow with a quick grilling cook. So, if you find that you missed the target cooking temperature at your initial grid height, simply move the grid up or down to another Level for a quick fix. Remember this, it will come in handy!
Grilling with multiple grids is possible on the Adjustable Rig. The more common set-ups include the Large grid atop the Rig and either our 16.5 Round or Oval grid positioned on Level 1.5 or 3.0. Please note that the lower grid will be below the felt line, so when cooking with two grids, the top grid must be removed or the Rig pulled from the cooker to access the lower grid. An alternative set-up where both grids can be set at or above the felt line is our Sliding Grid System, found here. Another option uses our Stainless Large Half grid for 1-1/2 grid grilling. The Half Grid sits atop and along the backside of the Adjustable Rig's upper ring, virtually out of the way. The Half grid is a handy staging area when searing with the Large Spider inside the fire ring.
Barbeque - Indirect Set-ups w/ One Grid
Barbeque in the Big Green Egg® is typically created using low cooking temperatures and slow cooking times. For most low & slow cooks (ribs, brisket & butts), the cooking temperatures generally range from 200 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking times can vary from several hours to a full day. The best way to recognize when a cook is done is by meat tenderness or internal temperature. We recommend you shy away from using the "so many hours per pound" method to calculate cooking times. Barbeque is just one of those lazy cooking methods that answer to the ole saying......it's done when it's done!
With ceramic cookers, Big Green Egg® included, the essential accessory needed to create mouth watering barbeque is a heat diffuser: Something that controls how the heat rises up through the cooker. Some of the more common heat diffusers in use include: ceramic stones, platesetters, fire bricks, pans, skillets, and metal disks. Using a heat diffuser in ceramic cooking is universally called an indirect set-up.
Our preferred indirect set-ups use ceramic stones as the heat diffuser. Why ceramic stones can be found here. Put simply, stones come in various sizes, lend themselves to multiple configurations, are durable, match the round shape of the Big Green Egg® cookers and have no legs to hinder horizontal airflow. Remember, the lump can burn in excess of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's important to use the proper heat diffuser. Our stones are produced from high temperature cordierite formulas and have a minimum 5/8-inch thickness.
Many of the same techniques and set-ups that work when grilling on the Adjustable Rig also work when barbequing on the Adjustable Rig. Except, now add a ceramic stone below the grid(s) and lower the cooking temperature. If at all possible, we recommend matching the indirect set-up to the size of the cook. Go small indirect with small cooks. Go large indirect with large cooks. Go long indirect with lengthy cuts, such as ribs and brisket. Setting up in this manner will provide the greatest protection against burnt edges and the best chances for even temperatures across the grid surface.
Ceramic Stone and Drip Pan Recommendations: The primary (first) ceramic stone to purchase is our 13" stone. Match the 13" Stone with our 13" Drip Pan for medium to small cooks. Match the 13" Stone with our 16" Drip Pan for large cooks. Then, as your need and experience grows, add our specialty stones (Oval, 16" or Half) to enhance your abilities. The Oval Stone is great for long cuts, brisket and ribs. The Half Stone creates a quasi direct, indirect set-up. We suggest foiling all Drip Pans for easy clean up.
The typical low & slow cooks can be completed on one grid. Generally, with the Large grid atop the Adjustable Rig, you can smoke one or two butts, couple racks of babyback or St. Louis style ribs, couple spatchcock chickens, or a brisket flat or small packer. Again, the set-up is similar to grilling atop the Rig except for the indirect set-up. Pictured below are some of the more common, one grid, indirect set-ups using the 13" Stone with the 13" or 16" Drip Pan. Some folks prefer to keep the Drip Pan off the Stone. They feel it helps minimize burned drippings during the cook. Raising the pan is very easy with the Rig; it just requires a second set of Crossbars.
Another option is to drop the grid down on Level 4.5 and use the 16.5" Round or Oval grid. One reason to drop the grid is to gain extra headroom in the dome. Having space between the stone, pan and grid is still possible, pictured below right. Remember, these set-ups require extra Crossbars.
Here are a couple indirect cooks using the Adjustable Rig, stone and pan combo in the Large Big Green Egg®. Also note, you can change a high temperature grilling cook to an indirect cook just by adding a stone. This was done to the chicken legs, pictured below.
Using the Large Spider accessory is another way to set-up indirect with the Adjustable Rig. The Spider has five legs and drops two inches into the fire ring. The Spider is designed to hold a ceramic stone and pan to create the indirect set-up. As you can see with the stone on the Spider, the air circulation is virtually unobstructed for 360 degrees - all around the entire stone. It is this unobstructed airflow that makes ceramic stones our preferred indirect, barbequing, method in the Big Green Egg® cookers. In addition to fitting the Large Spider and Adjustable Rig, the 13" Ceramic Stone also fits the Large Woo3.
(Important) Because the inside diameter of the Large Big Green Egg® fire ring is 15-1/2" to 16", we strongly recommend limiting the stone and pan's maximum diameter to 13-1/2". This 13-1/2 inch limitation insures proper airflow by maintaining a minimum one inch gap between the stone's outer edge and 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. Our 13" Stone and Drip Pan is recommended for the Spider. More on the Spider can be found here.
Please note, the Spider is generally used when barbequing on two grids. The first grid is the Large grid atop the Rig. The second grid is either the 16.5" or Oval grid on Level 1.5 or 3.0. The Spider holds the 13" Stone and Drip Pan to create the 2 grid indirect set-up. You can fill up to 1/3 of the Big Green Egg® fire ring with lump, so on very long cooks or when burning fast lump, we suggest monitoring the lump to maintain fuel.
Barbequing - Indirect Set-ups w/ Two Grids
These are the large indirect cooks. It is the same types of food as with single grid barbequing, just more food. The barbeque set-ups are basically the same as the Grilling set-ups, except it is now indirect with lower temperatures. The stone and pan are typically set on the Spider but if you can swing the set-up with thin meat cuts, Level 1.5 on the Rig works too.
Pizza & Baking
Pizza and Baking are fan favorites on the Big Green Egg®. Both cooks can be done on the Adjustable Rig but each requires at least one ceramic stone. A second stone may be necessary depending on the baking temperatures, type and thickness of the dough and your experience. Since these are specialty cooks, we'll leave the exact details to you but most find success by raising the baking stone as high as possible in the Big Green Dome® dome. This helps maintain even temperatures through the stone. If you find the dough bottom burns, then a second stone on the Spider or Rig Level 1.5 can prevent this. One last point on stone placement, if going two stones, the bottom stone needs to be as big or bigger than the top stone. This insures the rising heat is pushed out past the edges of the upper baking stone.
Care must be taken when setting the stone on Rig Level 4.5, at the felt line. If the stone is too large, it can push the heat out toward felt lining. If this lining is wool or similar material, the heat can burn the lining. Again, we recommend setting the baking stone high in the Large Big Green Egg's® dome to minimize damage to the felt.
We are not much on making homemade pizza but we do enjoy baking fresh pizzas. Our pizza choice for 'take & bake' is Pappa Murphy's large thin crust pizza. We prefer to place our stone on the Rig Extender, found here, as it raises the stone another 1.5 inches higher from the lining. Plus, the pizza is that much higher in the dome and closer to where the heat builds. It's that reflective heat thing off the dome again. Our favorite stone is the 16 Stone, as it matches well on size with Pappa Murphy's large thin crust pizza. The two pizzas below are Pappa Murphy's pizzas.
A half direct or indirect set-up is very easy to achieve on the Adjustable Rig. We offer an 8"x16" Half Stone that can be set-up in the back or along either side of the Rig. To set the Half Stone at the back, we include an extra Crossbar with two hooks that positions the Stone at Level 4.5. Simply, set the Rig Crossbar across in the back brackets at Level 4.5 and hang the extra Crossbars with the hooks from the Rig's upper ring. Set the Half Stone on the Crossbars and place the grid atop the Rig. You have the option of using either a full or half grid set-up. The hooks sit on the Rig's top ring and fit between the grid's crosswires.
For a left or right set-up, just set the Rig's Crossbars at the desired Level and place the Half Stone on top of the Crossbars. What Level is totally up to you. Pictured below left is the Half Stone on Level 3.0.
The Ceramic Stone does not have to be round. With long cuts of meat, ribs & brisket, our 12.75"x17" Ceramic Oval Stone is a preferred option. The Oval Stone, pictured above right, extends indirect coverage up to 1-inch from the inside wall of the Big Green Egg®. At 12.75 inches wide, the Stone is wide enough for two racks of babyback or St. Louis style ribs and a brisket packer or flat. To date, we have not found a pan to match the Stone, so a homemade foil pan is recommended to catch drippings.
If you are one who constantly worries about running out of lump or lives in a very cold climate, you can overfill the Large Big Green Egg® fire ring to fuel a low & slow cook. The photo, bottom left, shows the indirect set-up on Level 3.0. Guess if you need more lump, you could set the stone on Level 4.5. DO NOT use this much lump for grilling or high temperature cooks.
If you are a fan of jerky, it is feasible to load a grid on each Level. The set-up requires 3 Crossbar pairs and 3 - 16.5 Round or Oval grids. Pictured above right is the set-up with 3 oval grids. The Large grid sits atop the Rig for additonal space. Spacing between grids is approximately 1.5 inches.
Tips & Techniques
One thing to check out is our Thermometer information, especially how to set the thermometer when cooking high in the dome. It can be found here. This will insure accurate temperature readings during a cook.
One of the cool features of the Adjustable Rig is how fast it and its contents can be removed from the Large Big Green Egg®. When feasible, we recommend setting up all the pieces (grids, stones, pans) directly on the Rig. The first step in removing the Rig is to have your landing area ready and reasonably close by. The second step is to wear adequate personal protection. To remove the Adjustable Rig, grab under the Rig's upper ring and lift the Rig up and out. Keep the Rig level. Remember, these items are hot, so it is worth repeating, have the landing area close by and take the necessary safety precautions to protect yourself and other equipment. You may wonder, how fast is the move? There is a good chance it took you longer to read this one paragraph than it will take you to lift out the loaded Rig.
The Oval grid is 12.75" wide by 17.5" long. So, it is possible to drop wood chunks past the grid at all three Levels. The picture sequence, right to left, is Level 4.5, 3.0 and 1.5. The wood chunk is 1-1/2 inches thick.
Sometimes with direct grilling, the lump burn can create hot spots across the grid. You can minimize the effects from the hot spot by spinning the round grid(s). To spin the grid, just set the tongs at grid center and turn.
If you need to slow the cook down, changing from a direct to an indirect set-up with a stone can reduce temperatures at the grid. If you think you may change over during a cook, we recommend setting the Crossbars before starting the cook. The chicken leg cook, pictured below, started direct with grid temperatures over 375 degrees. After rendering the fat for a short time and charring the skin, the 16" Stone was added (Level 3.0) which changed the cook from a direct set-up to an indirect set-up. This change took the direct heat off the legs and allowed them to "roast" till done. Similar cooks can be done with our other stones, including the 8x16 Half Stone for a half direct & half indirect set-up.
If you are not using a Crossbar during a cook or have an extra set, one can be used as a wiggle rod to shake the ash from the Big Green Egg® lump grate during a cook. Slip the Crossbar through the lower slider opening, hook into one of the open grate holes and lightly push/pull. The motion will shake the ash from the grate openings, improving airflow.
Click here to see how Sliding Grids work in the Large Big Green Egg®.
This ends the Adjustable Rig narrative.