Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our Big Green Egg Table

Many of our friends own, and regularly cook on, a Big Green Egg (BGE) - a kamodo-type outdoor cooker.  We've owned our Big Green Egg for one year.  As word got around that we took the 'Big Green Plunge,' friends recommended favorite accessories, recipes, cooking tools, etc.  Most also recommended a Big Green Egg Table.  At the time of purchase, we opted for a nest, or rolling cart, to raise the cooker up to the right height, rather than a table.   We figured we would get the hang of using the BGE and, a some point in the future, use plans found online (thousands exist) and build our own, customized model.
Beer Can Chicken on our BGE
We are one year in and love learning how to cook on the BGE - it has truly been an 'Eggcelent Eggventure."  We've smoked ribs, baked pizzas, and grilled steaks, chicken and burgers.   The BGE sits proudly on our back deck.  We set up a makeshift prep table next to the BGE using an old camping table to provide a place to set plates, utensils, etc. while cooking.  We used a metal trash can to store the charcoal, and repurposed a large plastic container to store tools, oven mitts, etc.

This all worked very well.  Still, we thought it would be nice to have a permanent home to store accessories, such as the plate setter and pizza stone when not in use.  When my husband's birthday rolled around this Spring, I considered buying him a BGE table.  I knew he would love it, but also that he would never forgive me If I paid retail for something he could easily build, let alone if I paid shipping on such a heavy item.

You Say Workbench, We say Big Green Egg Table

I am glad I held off.  A few weeks after his birthday, while at a Moving Sale, we spied a handmade workbench that, with a few modifications, could work perfectly as a BGE table.  The price was right - it was only $10 (!?!?) .  The 3/4-inch plywood alone would cost far more than that.  After verifying that the dimensions would accommodate our Big Green Egg (using our handy dandy mobile device), we paid the seller and hauled it home.  The seller even threw in four casters - what a score!

Workbench purchased at moving sale with hole cut to accommodate a  BGE.
During the next two weekends, we altered the workbench to create my husband's dream BGE table.  Searching "Big Green Egg Table" on the Internet yielded an enormous amount of creative, detailed plans and pictures.  We referred to the Egghead Forum and The Naked Whiz's Ceramic Charcoal Cooker Page the most.  Because we altered an existing structure, rather than build from scratch, these web sites were invaluable.  

Creating Our Big Green Egg Table: 
Some of the alterations we made to the workbench included the following:
  • Inset a tile work surface:  We had room to add a 18 x 18 inch tile work surface to the top of the table.  This dimension in Granite was on back order at the store, so we are using Travertine instead. We'll purchase a black Granite tile later on - to give us options.  After some tweaking to get the tile flush, we settled on spare molding and two paint sticks (one previously used).  Thankfully, no one will ever see the inner workings, right? 
Spare molding and paint sticks ensure tile work surface sits flush.
  •  Sand all surfaces and Protect Table using Polyurethane:  My husband used wood filler and an orbital sander to level and smooth the surfaces, especially where the plywood and side trim molding meet.  We had enough leftover polyurethane on hand to give the table three coats of protection.
Drying between coats of polyurethane.
  • Customize Storage Solutions:  We added hooks, gadgets, etc. - we'll probably add more to get it exactly how we want it.   
A cleat for the grilling light; a swing hinge for the grilling grid when not in use.
Hooks for all the grilling tools.
  • Set Cooker on a 2-3 inch thick paving stone:  The paving stone protects wood table from the high heat of the cooker.  Because we altered an existing structure, we needed to raise the cooker up even more than most plans recommend.  We found four paving tiles gave us the height required for the BGE lid's spring hinge to clear the table surface when opening:
Four paving stones raised cooker to proper height.
Let's Get Cooking:
We cooked dinner using the new BGE table  last evening - turkey burgers for a busy school night.  The BGE table served it's purpose wonderfully.  Best of all, my husband was thrilled to have all his tools in one, handy location.  I see many, many more 'Eggventures' coming our way this summer!


1 comment:

  1. You are so clever!!! You guys did an awesome job!!! I love the recycled bench...now only to find one so that we can do the same!!! Then, the purchase of the BGE is a MUST!!!