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The Good Life: License to Grill

Why coal power isn’t always a bad thing

Aug 1, 2014

by Alberta Venture Staff

The Good Life Level Up Fashion Statement
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Big Green Egg – $1,175
barbecuecountry.com, Edmonton, Alberta

Photo Ryan Girard

The smell of marinated meat searing on the barbecue is one of the great joys of our regrettably short summers in Alberta. But if you’ve been making do with a beat-up old propane grill you bought at the hardware store a decade ago, well, it’s time to make an investment in your own happiness. There’s nothing wrong with upgrading to a better gas grill, but those looking to truly get their cook on should turn to coal. And while there are plenty of charcoal contenders out there, Barbecue World sales supervisor George Fleming says the reigning champ is the Big Green Egg, a ceramic kamado-style cooker that retains heat better than any of its peers.

It’s also dead-easy to use, he says. “If you’re a novice and you’ve never cooked on a barbecue before, it’s the perfect thing to start with. Once you’ve got your air dampers controlled, you barely even have to touch the thing.” Better still, if you do happen to touch it by accident you don’t have to worry about it leaving a mark. “Even at 400 degrees it won’t burn you unless you physically stand there for 10 minutes pressing against it,” Fleming says. “So it’s great if you have kids around.”

And while the price tag might seem a bit steep (the larger versions retail for more than $1,000), the egg is no one-season wonder. “I’ve sold them to people who actually live up north – and when I say up north, we’re talking almost Alaska,” Fleming says. “So they’re getting minus-50s, and they’re using them without a problem.”

It’s not limited to grilling meat, either – he says he has a customer in Red Deer who does all of her Christmas baking in one. Can your hibachi do that?

A great barbecue is important, but so too is having the right mix of seasonings for your meat of choice. And while you could pick up a jar at the nearby grocery store, well, that’s kind of like putting regular fuel in a Ferrari. Instead, find out what goes into making the premium stuff – and where you can buy it – by clicking here: albertaventure.com/bbqrub

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