Why I bought a Bubba Keg

by zydecopaws on January 17, 2010

Back in October of 2009 we bought a Bubba Keg Convection Grill (BKCG, or more commonly known as Bubba Ho-Keg around here). As early as the second post about Bubba Ho-Keg we started getting questions about why we decided to buy one of these rather than a Big Green Egg (BGE) or other similar cooker. At the time I promised to do a post about it. For those of you still waiting, this would be that post.

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First of all, I have to admit that lack of a good outdoor cooker was not an issue; if anything I had more cookers than space to keep all of them. Most of them were Weber charcoal models of some sort, ranging in size from a Smokey Joe to a Ranch Kettle and pretty much everything in between. I’d recently acquired a brand new 22″ One-Touch Gold and a Performer for ridiculously low prices at a local sporting goods chain going-out-of-business sale, and had given away one of my older OTGs to Pigdog to replace an aging gasser that died on his patio. So none of the buying decision had anything to do with need, perceived or otherwise.

As much as I hate to admit it, the decision to get another cooker had a lot to do with pizza. Although I had successfully cooked pizza on the Webers, I wasn’t real satisfied with the process and degree of difficulty involved in turning out good pizza in a consistent fashion.

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It also didn’t hurt that I’d been looking at pictures of BGE results on the BBQ Brethren forums and over at Nibble Me This. And since I had an unexpected bonus check from the day job arrive in late September, there was some discretionary income sitting in the bank account that pretty much determined that it was time to go spend some money on (yet another) new grill.

So what to buy? I wanted an insulated cooker that would cook at extremely high temps but also work for low-and-slow (if I wanted). Whatever I bought had to have enough grill space to cook entire meals all at once for a family of four that includes a couple of big appetites. And here is one of the most important items; it had to be portable, both from the ability to load it on the truck and haul it around as well as just rolling it around the yard. We don’t have a covered patio where the cooker can sit out all year, and most of our flat areas where I cook are covered with large gravel. I also wanted something that had a decent warranty and good quality construction. No one wants to spend a lot of money on a cooker only to have to replace it after a season or two (Note: BBQ season for us is from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 every year).

Ultimately it was a combination of the portability factor and price that caused Bubba Ho-Keg to come into our life. Although there is no question of quality construction, flexible cooking, and great warranty coverage when it comes to the BGE, you just can’t get around the weight and portability issues associated with ceramic cookers. Shipping alone would have cost a fortune, and I probably would have invested in a nest had I bought a BGE. By the time I was done, I likely would have spent over twice as much money and still had to worry about ceramic breakage if I ever wanted to take it anyplace. Not to mention the weight issues and degree of difficulty in loading it on the truck.

Any regrets? None worth talking about; Bubba Ho-Keg has become the primary grill at home and displaced the Weber Performer, causing it to be moved to the lake. But more on that tomorrow when I review life with Bubba Ho-Keg, and how it could improved.

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