Author Topic: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???  (Read 5692 times)

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Offline TomN

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The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« on: November 18, 2013, 02:34:34 AM »
I recently visited a store in my area that sells "The Big Green Egg". I am really considering getting one soon. Cost - $1200.00 / perhaps less when on sale (For the biggest model) . I am told they make great pizza.  I have searched for info on the forum, but I only see comments from those that recently purchased one and are seeking recipes.

Does anyone have any feedback on this oven/grill ?? Anyone have photos of some of the pizza that they have made???  Any buyer's remorse or are you thrilled that you bought one???

Thank you in advance.  Also, if i am missing a link on the forum that is complete with feedback on performance for pizza making and has photos, please post it.

Thank you

TomN
PS
What i see in the  Big Green Egg Life Style Complimentary Magazine, the Pizza looks amazing.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 02:52:37 AM by TomN »


Offline TomN

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 02:44:24 AM »
A page that I scanned from the magazine.

Offline norma427

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 08:25:55 AM »
Tom,

I went to Fred's different times and watched him bake pizzas on the Big Green Egg.  One of my threads about that is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9727.msg84409.html#msg84409 

Another time was some of the photos at Reply 11 and thereafter.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10020.msg88262.html#msg88262 

I also went to another pizza making class at Fred's (SmokinGuitarPlayer) but those pizzas were not baked in the Green Egg. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13261.msg130984.html#msg130984 

I am not sure but think Fred told me he burnt many gaskets trying to make pizza in different Green Eggs.  If you look at Fred's website you can see different videos.

Norma

Offline csafranek

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 08:55:02 AM »
I have a big green egg and LOVE it. Best grill/smoker/do it all cooker. I have done pizzas in it before with the pizza stone. Works great but not neapolitan style if that's what you want to do. Plus the big green eggs are guaranteed for life so you should never have to buy another grill. I have done ribs, whole chickens, briskets, turkey's, quesadillas, grilled everything and more and everything has turned out great. Holds heat very well. Did a pork butt for 18 hours and never had to add more lump charcoal.

Offline bbqchuck

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2013, 12:39:02 PM »
Tom
I think you'll really enjoy it for bbq and grilling

Offline Pook

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2013, 12:55:04 PM »
All of the info you can possibly need can be found searching here....

http://www.greeneggers.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&Itemid=112&func=showcat&view=flat&catid=1
Some of the nicest, most knowledgeable and helpful folks I have met, same as this place from what I have seen thus far.

Better yet, talk to your dealer or other dealers in your area, and find out if they do an annual eggfest.  A great time to buy an egg, a one time used demo at a fest is sold at a discount to new eggers.

I've been mostly a Weber guy for about a decade.  Sold them all but one, a WSM.  I still sometimes long for my kettle, but using lump charcoal over briquettes puts out a better end product, and cleanup is so much easier with less ash buildup.  The ceramic properties will shine in your climate as well.  Old man winter can get nasty here in IL, and the egg just laughs.  Wouldn't be able to cook in some cold, wet, and windy conditions using Webers, and sometimes I had to get creative with windblocks.

Currently own 2 Large eggs and 1 Small.  The Large is their flagship, and most versatile in the lineup.  You may want to consider a Large/Small egg combination for close to the same price as their XL.  Cooking at two different temps simultaneously and having the option to transport the small are enticing. 

You are investing in a phenomenal and versatile lifetime grill.  Keep in mind they have a lifetime warrantee.  Internal fireboxes sometimes end up cracking.  One of my two larges has been replaced at no charge under warrantee.  Still use the cracked one, and the new firebox is stowed away until needed.  Eggs now come with a high heat nomex type gasket, so you shouldn't be faced with that issue that many new owners struggled with. 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 12:59:40 PM by Pook »
"And let us not grow weary in doing good: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  Galations 6:9

Online mitchjg

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2013, 09:38:31 PM »
Adding my own questions to Tom's (thanks Tom!).

I have thought off and on about getting a BGE but have not mostly because I am an off again, on again cheapskate.  I have a Weber Bullet smoker and a Weber propane grill.

What I like about the grill is that I can come home from work, turn it on and start cooking after a 10 minute heat up. No coals ,wood, chips, whatever to deal with.

So, how fast can the egg be ready before you can grill on it?  And comments on how much hassle there is to start it and clean it? 

Thanks,
Mitch
Mitch

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2013, 11:18:06 PM »
Tom
I think you'll really enjoy it for bbq and grilling

I agree. My parents have one and so do my neighbors. I think every bit of food I've had from it grilled or bbq has been excellent. It makes the best baked potatoes ever! If bbq/grilling is the primary reason you are buying it, I think you will really like it. If pizza is the main reason you are considering it, a legitimate WFO may be a better option. It's not optimal for pizza.
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Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2013, 11:23:36 PM »
 ^^^

I have one and they are great for long slow smoked pork butts and also for high temp grilling. But for pizza they are not great. I'm not saying you cannot do pizza on them, but they really are not set up properly for pizza.  A Blackstone oven would be my recommendation for pizza (or a WFO of course but that is a big commitment in many ways). 

Regards,

TinRoof


Offline TomN

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2013, 01:01:35 AM »
All of the info you can possibly need can be found searching here....

http://www.greeneggers.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&Itemid=112&func=showcat&view=flat&catid=1
Some of the nicest, most knowledgeable and helpful folks I have met, same as this place from what I have seen thus far.

Better yet, talk to your dealer or other dealers in your area, and find out if they do an annual eggfest.  A great time to buy an egg, a one time used demo at a fest is sold at a discount to new eggers.

I've been mostly a Weber guy for about a decade.  Sold them all but one, a WSM.  I still sometimes long for my kettle, but using lump charcoal over briquettes puts out a better end product, and cleanup is so much easier with less ash buildup.  The ceramic properties will shine in your climate as well.  Old man winter can get nasty here in IL, and the egg just laughs.  Wouldn't be able to cook in some cold, wet, and windy conditions using Webers, and sometimes I had to get creative with windblocks.

Currently own 2 Large eggs and 1 Small.  The Large is their flagship, and most versatile in the lineup.  You may want to consider a Large/Small egg combination for close to the same price as their XL.  Cooking at two different temps simultaneously and having the option to transport the small are enticing. 

You are investing in a phenomenal and versatile lifetime grill.  Keep in mind they have a lifetime warrantee.  Internal fireboxes sometimes end up cracking.  One of my two larges has been replaced at no charge under warrantee.  Still use the cracked one, and the new firebox is stowed away until needed.  Eggs now come with a high heat nomex type gasket, so you shouldn't be faced with that issue that many new owners struggled with.

I appreciate the feedback from everyone!!!!! The dealer in my area said that they do have an annual Eggfest and that they sell off at a discount the Brand New Big Green Eggs that are used in the fest. I am leaning towards seeing someone do a pizza with it first before committing to the $1200 or less price tag for the XL Egg. Also, I am thinking about trying a pizza with my own ingredients at the next Eggfest. (Bringing my own dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings.)  I think that I need to see it first hand and then decide.  I am disappointed to hear any negative about pizza with the Big Green Egg. I figured that this would be just as good or better than a WFO.  Thank you again for the comments and feedback, both the postive and the negative. I specifically would be buying this for pizza and secondly for any other BBQ.

Thank you again and i look forward to hear from anyone else.

TomN

Offline TomN

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2013, 01:08:47 AM »
The cover of Big Green Egg Life Style Magazine, which is a complimentary issue to promote the product, has a picture of a Pizza on the cover. This magazine and a recommendation from a friend at work, is what attracted me to it.

TomN
PS
I value the feedback of those using the product first hand to make pizza.

Offline TomN

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2013, 01:19:53 AM »
The Article on page 20 from the Magazine. I sectioned the article into three pictures so it is easier to read.

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2013, 09:02:14 AM »
You can easily get the BGE hot enough to cook a pizza, but every time you open  the lid you lose quite a lot of heat and it takes time to build back up.  It's difficult to maintain the proper temperatures while keeping an eye on the pizza. Every time you peek you lose heat. An OK pizza is certainly possible but it really isn't where you want to be making pizzas, IMHO. 

Offline csafranek

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2013, 09:30:15 AM »
 ^^^

My pizza journey started on a BGE. They were good but no where near WFO capability. Plus I would go for a large unless you are going to be doing very big cooks very often. Large has all of the other parts needed for slow indirect cooks for example the platesetter, pizza stone and what not. The extra large BGE will use a ton of lump charcoal every time. I have a large and a mini. The mini is great for travel and uses literally a handful of lump to cook. I will never go back to any other grill.

Chad

Offline Pook

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2013, 10:24:53 AM »
The cover of Big Green Egg Life Style Magazine, which is a complimentary issue to promote the product, has a picture of a Pizza on the cover. This magazine and a recommendation from a friend at work, is what attracted me to it.

TomN
PS
I value the feedback of those using the product first hand to make pizza.

The BGE puts out beautiful pizzas, it's only restriction is a 90 second NP bake.  This is where the BS comes into play.  My first setup was a platesetter inverted, then spacers, and pizza stone.  500-600 seemed to be the sweet spot for 6-10 min bakes, depending on toppings.  You can see the setup and my ugly mug in the first pic.  Even though I'm having fun on my NP journey with the BS, I will be going back to the egg for NY, for now.  Any other style of pizza you choose, the egg will handle it with ease.

Recently, my preferred setup is a spider(device to hold a wok), 16" wok, grid, copper tees, baking steel seen in the second pic.  The wok's shape pushes the heat around the side and into the dome.  The fastest bake I could get was 3 min.  The key to successful pizza on the egg, similar to a WFO, is a longer preheat for the ceramic, at least an hour.  Monitoring the pizza is done through the dome hole and the only times I open the egg are halfway for a turn, and removal.

In regards to the Weber vs Egg startup and cleaning process, the egg wins hands down.  I can cook on my egg a couple of times a week for two months and then have to clean the small amount of ash buildup using lump.  Before each cook I take some trashed charcoal tongs and stir the ashes off the partially used lump from the cook before, dump new on top and light.  With Rutland firestarters, I can be cooking in 20-30 min.  Some guys use weed burners or MAPP gas and are up to speed much quicker.  I just manage my time and prep the cook or chill and drink more during this window, must be the nurse in me.   :-D
The egg uses far less lump due to the ceramic, saving money, and time spent cleaning. 

With the kettle and briquettes, you have to clean it with each use, a PITA.  As stated above, briquettes produce alot more ash, and are made with chemical binders.  Lump is cleaner burning, and more subtle of a wood charcoal flavor.  Kingsford can be a little overpowering at times, especially with fish or poultry.   

Have many favorite cooks on the egg, but using a carbon steel wok with the high heat capabilities of lump charcoal for kung pao chicken is at the top of my list.  Wok Hei(breath of a wok) is easily achieved.  Most home cooktops high heat saute and don't have the BTUs to get to wok hei.  You can create stir fry dishes better than most asian or thai restaurants.  It is a quick, fun cook having everything mis en place.  Once you get the basics down for protein marinades, how and what order the meat and vegetables cook, you open the doors for personalizing it to your own tastes.     

Tom I encourage you to go to an eggfest, you will meet some awesome salt of the earth peeps who will share with you their recipes, tips, and techniques to lessen your learning curve to create amazing meals.  I am blown away by their kindness and creativity.
Like here, that forum is better than any cookbook you could find on the subject.  :chef:
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 11:17:59 AM by Pook »
"And let us not grow weary in doing good: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  Galations 6:9

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2013, 11:02:39 AM »
I donít think the comments were negative at all. Like everything else, it depends on what you want out of it.  If the 600-700F range is what you want for pizza, this might be a good choice, and you get a great grill/bbq as a bonus. If you want to bake pizza like you see in the BGE advertisement (and bear in mind that it is just a long advertisement Ė itís not a magazine), and donít plan to use it as a grill/bbq, why not just use your home oven and save $1200?  Itís a bit ironic that they are talking about Naples and wood fired ovens while showing a picture of a pizza made on docked generic sort of crust that could have been baked in any home oven.

Several years ago, I messed around with baking some pies on my parentís BGE (XL). I was able to get some decent pies out, and I didnít have the ideal set-up. Iím sure it can make some very good NY or maybe even NY-NP pies Ė certainly better than you can make in a home oven Ė with the right set-up and a little effort.

Quote
I figured that this would be just as good or better than a WFO.

The quote in the BGE advertisement that the ďBig Green Egg bakes and roasts better and quicker than these wood fired ovens ever couldĒ is sheer nonsense. If you want to bake Neapolitan, a BGE is not and never will be as good as the right WFO. Not even close.

This is probably the best pie NP-style Iíve seen come out of a BGE: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20477.msg273141.html#msg273141 My guess is that this is a 2-2.5 minute pie. Itís a good looking pie, but it would have been much simpler to bake in a WFO.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Offline bbqchuck

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2013, 01:12:32 PM »
I don't have a BGE, but I have a double walled insulated steel clone.  From what I hear from those that have both, they cook nearly identical.  I can put my hand on the outside during high temp cooks without burning. 

The "keg" (and I would expect a BGE would be the same) is the single best BBQ/grill I've bought.  It will do very low and slow (real BBQ) smoking as well as everything right up to very hot grilling.  In the first picture, you can see I have a Stoker automatic temperature control running on it.  It will hold low/slow temps (250F ish) +/- a few degrees for around 24 hrs without reloading charcoal.   

But for pizza, a Blackstone or 2Stone are both, better pizza ovens, possibly unless you're doing Chicago Deepdish , IMO.

All the food below was cooked on my "Keg".

« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 01:22:16 PM by bbqchuck »

Offline derricktung

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2013, 01:34:43 PM »
I have both a BGE and a WFO (FGM).  It's been said already, but I'd agree with the sentiments...

BGE is great for grilling/smoking/and can make some decent pizza for the home chef.  It's a versatile tool that can do a lot of things really well.  It just depends on what level of pizza you're trying to make... if you want to do NP pies, you can't do it effectively on the BGE.  It just doesn't get hot enough, and you lose too much heat when you open the top of the grill to get top heat on the pizza.

If you're just looking to do some really great grilled pizzas, it works.  But in the realm of NP pies, it will never outperform a WFO unless it's been significantly modded... (to the point where your warranty would likely be void.)


Offline TomN

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2013, 05:40:53 PM »
derricktung, (and Everyone Else)

I really appreciate the feedback.

TomN

Offline adm

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2013, 12:13:37 PM »

In regards to the Weber vs Egg startup and cleaning process, the egg wins hands down.  I can cook on my egg a couple of times a week for two months and then have to clean the small amount of ash buildup using lump.  Before each cook I take some trashed charcoal tongs and stir the ashes off the partially used lump from the cook before, dump new on top and light.  With Rutland firestarters, I can be cooking in 20-30 min. 
The egg uses far less lump due to the ceramic, saving money, and time spent cleaning. 

With the kettle and briquettes, you have to clean it with each use, a PITA.  As stated above, briquettes produce alot more ash, and are made with chemical binders.  Lump is cleaner burning, and more subtle of a wood charcoal flavor.  Kingsford can be a little overpowering at times, especially with fish or poultry. 

While I do lust after a BGE, I have to take issue with the above..... you are just describing the difference between lump and briquettes which applies the same to an egg or a kettle grill.

If you use lump with a kettle, which I fully recommend for all the same reasons you list - and also because it burns hotter, then you get the same low ash and easy lighting. Then just shut the vents on the kettle after cooking and the unused lump goes out to be reused the next time. I am sure that an egg does use less charcoal than a kettle though.

I would also recommend the use of a chimney starter for charcoal rather than firelighters due to the chemicals in them. A single sheet of newspaper, one match and the charcoal is ready to cook in 15 minutes.

Offline Pook

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2013, 10:41:17 AM »
While I do lust after a BGE, I have to take issue with the above..... you are just describing the difference between lump and briquettes which applies the same to an egg or a kettle grill.

If you use lump with a kettle, which I fully recommend for all the same reasons you list - and also because it burns hotter, then you get the same low ash and easy lighting. Then just shut the vents on the kettle after cooking and the unused lump goes out to be reused the next time. I am sure that an egg does use less charcoal than a kettle though.

I would also recommend the use of a chimney starter for charcoal rather than firelighters due to the chemicals in them. A single sheet of newspaper, one match and the charcoal is ready to cook in 15 minutes.



In regards to the BGE, lump is the only fuel recommended.  No matter what type of charcoal used in the kettle, you still use much more charcoal than a ceramic grill which is more efficient.  More fuel used = more ash....even lump.  I am surprised you have lump or briquettes remaining after cooking on a kettle?  I very rarely did, even after shutting the vents completely down.  This was mostly due to the poor insulating properties of porcelain enameled steel and the lack of tight seals with the lid and vents on the base.  On the egg shutdown, the fire is starved of O2 immediately.  The heated ceramic takes hours to cool, but the fire is out.     

I agree that a Weber brand chimney starter is a must with a kettle.  A waste for the BGE.  A firestarter dropped into the middle of the charcoal works just fine with the updraft.  I first started using newspaper in the chimney.  The burnt newspaper gets easily caught in the wind and blown over your cooking area.  It also has a short burn time.  A paper towel tied in a knot with a small drizzle of used cooking oil works great and there is no burnt newspaper flying around.  Another option is using wadded up pieces of the charcoal bag, same results, no flying ash.  The firestarters are not an issue when used properly.  They completely burn off in the preheat, doing no harm.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 10:46:40 AM by Pook »
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Offline halfprice

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2013, 11:16:13 AM »
I love my XL BGE.  Like everyone said its a smoker/griller first, pizza oven second.  I was lucky and found my XL BGE with all the extra stuff, plate setter, pizza stone, on Craigs list for $250.  No way I was going to spend $1500 for it.  For grilling I use a couple fire starters and its ready to cook in 15-20 minutes.  For smoking its take a while longer because you have to get the proper temp stabilized.  Now I just use an I-Que 110.  just light the lump (always lump never briquette), set the temp you want and the I-que does the rest.

The guy I bought the BGE from sold it because he only wanted it to make pizza's   It didn't make them the way he wanted.  He ended up getting a WFO and selling the BGE.

I have a big 4 burner gas BBQ that I haven't used in 2 years since getting my BGE.  The only down side is having to buy the lump.  I found a commercial company to buy from so I get a 40lb bag.  The BGE is a very efficent cooker and the 40lbs last a long time.  The taste is far superior to the gas BBQ so the little inconveinence to drive to get the lump is worth it than using the gas BBQ.

I have made a lot of pizzas in the BGE and it was a pain.  I thought it did good but you can go from a good pizza to burnt in a matter of a couple of seconds.  I normally cooked them at 600*  Having to open and closed the lid is where the problems are.  Temp is lost fast but it builds up fast also.  I seem to burn it right at the end because of this.   I stopped using the BGE and just used my inside oven.  Just got my BS and will fire it up this weekend.

Get the egg if you plan on smoking or grilling.  If pizza is your main focus get a BS.

Jerry

Offline TomN

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2013, 02:58:53 PM »
Hi Jerry,

Thank you for your feedback. I was going to buy the BGE specifically for pizza since the BGE Magazine shows pizza being made on the cover and that the salesman swears by it for pizza. However, after all the feedback on the forum about pizza making, (just average pizza and sometimes difficult to use feedback),  I am hesitant to purchase one at $1500.00. i am glad that you got a great deal. Thanks again.

Tom N
PS
I am going to attend the next BGE cook off when the weather gets better and see it first hand for myself before making any kind of purchase.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 03:00:31 PM by TomN »

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: The Big Green Egg - Feedback???
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2013, 03:24:41 PM »
Let's put it like this:  I know of at least 5 people who have gone on from the BGE to build ovens for pizza, and not a single soul who has sold their oven to buy a BGE.