For Father’s Day, my dear wife and our 4 furry “children” gave me a stainless steel chimney cap from the folks at Eggware for my large Big Green Egg.
The cap is sold as a replacement for both the standard issue ceramic cap and the dual-function metal top (daisy wheel). It is a two-piece design that uses a fixed base and a rotating cap that can be adjusted through a wide range of openings to control the air flow and cooking temperature.
The big selling points for the new cap for me were:
- Stainless steel won’t rust or break like cast iron can – having lost one daisy wheel to breakage and having the replacement rust up on me, this is a big deal for me.
- The fit is snug enough that the vent opening doesn’t change (thus throwing off your temperature) when opening and closing the Egg.
- The overhang on the top lets you cook even when it’s raining (great benefit considering the weather we’ve been having lately) and can be left open when it isn’t being used to prevent crud from growing inside the Egg.
I’ve done both screaming hot and low and slow cooks with it and it has really performed nicely.
For cooking a steak, I brought Big Green Egg up to about 900°F (the thermometer was pegged all the way to the right), then put the cap on with the vents wide open and the temp didn’t drop a bit. It was like it wasn’t even there. After the steak, I put my filthy blackened plate setter in and left the vents open for an hour to do a clean out. I now have a (very nearly) clean white plate setter, fire box, fire ring, and a much cleaner dome.
For my spare rib cook, I closed the cap down until only a tiny hole (about the size of a roofing nail) was visible above the adjustment tab and shut my bottom vent down to about the width of a nickle. The Egg held 250°F for just over 5 hours, rock solid. When the ribs where done I closed the top and bottom vents and the Egg shut right down – losing 50°F in an hour and 100°F after two hours.
The only down side was that the cap gets a lot hotter than the daisy wheel ever did (be safe – always wear gloves or use tongs when adjusting), and there was some slight discoloration around the vent openings. I’ve been told that the top is dishwasher safe, so I might give that a try to remove the stain. If not, then it’ll be Bar Keepers Friend to the rescue.
In short – Big Green Egg ought to make this their standard cap, period. It easily replaces both the ceramic cap and the daisy wheel and offered better features than either.