The Big Green Egg is a top-of-the-line charcoal grill and smoker. It is made of space-grade ceramics, and designed for maximum thermal efficency. While the website says that it can reach temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit for steakhouse-type searing, I've gotten mine up to nearly 1000 degrees without a problem. Amazingly, it can also smoke foods at temperatures as low as 100 degrees--perfect for smoking cheeses and nuts.
The Large Big Green Egg is a good size for both family grilling and entertaining. It can fit a 20 pound turkey, or 12 large burgers, or 7 racks of ribs if done vertically. Optional accessories can provide it with multiple levels of cooking space. With an optional electric starter, it's very easy to start the fire. For those who are intimidated by learning how to control the fire, the Egg comes with a DVD that shows exactly how to work the controls.
The thermal efficiency is the selling point of this product. The Large Big Green Egg weighs 140 pounds, most of which is very thick ceramic. The fire box is in the bottom of the egg-shaped device, with a vent at the bottom and a daisy wheel at the top to control airflow. A load of hardwood lump charcoal and smoking chips can last for upwards of 24 hours in the Egg at smoking temperatures of 200-225 degrees, without having to check or stoke the fire and add lump. Once you get a hang of the temperature controls of the bottom vent and daisy wheel, you'll find that the Egg can maintain steady temperatures for hours without having to constantly run out and check on it. You just put the meat down, walk away, crack open a beer, and check it again in about 12 hours. Long, low and slow smokes make for amazing meat--the Big Green Egg makes what is by far the best pulled pork I've ever had, up there with my favorite local BBQ restaurants.
High temperature sears work great as well. I have made steaks that rival the best steakhouses in town, because this is the only grill that can reach temperatures as high as the professional grills used in the steakhouses. And it's better, because you get the taste of hardwood lump charcoal instead of the taste of an indoor gas grill.
Most interestingly, the Big Green Egg can essentially be used as an oven! Because it can maintain a steady temperature over time, you can make baked goods in it just as you would your indoor oven! I've made wonderful pizzas in the Egg with the optional pizza stone, and the Egg makes a stellar meatloaf with a delectable smoky taste.
Yes, the Big Green Egg is expensive, but to me it's worth every penny. It's durable, meant to last a lifetime, and the warranty is great (but keep in mind that if you buy from an online retailer, you void the warranty, so you have to find a local dealer). You can buy many optional items to customize it--we have a cast-iron cooking grate instead of the standard ceramic-coated iron to use for steaks, a pizza stone, an electric starter, and an additional half-grate to add more cooking space. We also have a large table that the Egg rests in to give extra prep-space, but that's not necessary in the least. Really, all you need is the Egg itself and a stable surface to rest it on, and you'll be able to enjoy barbecue that makes you the envy of the entire neighborhood.