In 1974, Ed Fisher opened a store here called the Pachinko House to sell a game that he imported from Japan. He also shipped in oval earthenware grills called kamados. But they only collected dust in the back of the store until he began cooking chicken wings with them and fanning the smoke toward the street to attract shoppers.
“We were selling something called a kamado from a place named after a pachinko,” said Mr. Fisher, who saw the charcoal grills in the 1950s as a Navy lieutenant in Japan. “That didn’t sound American, and that wasn’t easy. But once I got people to try one, once they tasted the chicken we cooked on them, they were hooked.”
Giving them a distinctive green, dimpled surface and a catchy name - Big Green Egg - helped. So did that cool shape, which looked somehow countercultural when compared with conventional grills.
Now, more than 2,000 retailers across the nation stock Big Green Eggs, the brand Mr. Fisher eventually developed. And sales are growing by more than 20 percent every year for the past two decades.
More than a dozen competitors have entered the market, latching onto a customer base that proselytizes as well as cooks. Sometimes known as Eggheads, fans of the Big Green Egg Grill agree that these kamado grills light faster than other grills, require less charcoal and hold and distribute heat more evenly, and that meats cooked on them are more moist and succulent.
At first, the eggs caught on as compact backyard barbecue pits. But as the fervor grew, fans began using them for many things that could be made in an oven and a grill, either Bundt cakes or pepperoni pizzas.
“I was a Weber and briquettes kind of guy,” said Michael Barry who has prepared everything from turkeys to apple brown betties on his Big Green Egg. “But then I heard about Big Green Eggs, and then I cooked on one, and I never looked back.”
If you are interested in checking out the Big Green Egg for yourself and seeing what all the hype is about, contact us or stop by Fireplace Showcase in Seekonk.
Original Article -NYTimes