The best birthday present I ever got was a cool robot at the age of 10, but that was until my significant other said, “Hey, why don’t you go on Facebook Marketplace and look for a Big Green Egg?” DONE!

Yesterday I drove a pickup from our home in St. Petersburg, Fla., across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and through Bradenton to hand over $900 in cash for a like-new Large EGG and a stunning nest table. It would have been well over twice that for a new purchase.

The seller and his teenage son were super helpful in helping me safely pack the goods for transport back, and it was a win-win. The seller had barely used it and wanted something bigger and different, so we both got what we wanted.

big green egg parts
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This is one way to get into the ceramic cooking life, if you’ve been wearing out that Home Depot gas grill the last few years. There’s nothing better than smoking brisket or charring a perfect ribeye or baking a pizza over indirect fire this way.

Like anything in life, buying anything on a secondary market comes with inherent risk, so you have to be smart and use common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you buy a used vehicle, you know the ropes. If you buy a baseball ticket on Stubhub, you know you’re probably in good shape but still need to be safe.

With that in mind, here are some things to keep in mind as you go looking for that good value item on your way to a big family cookout.

Things to Watch Out For When Buying a Used Ceramic Grill

First and foremost, understand that the minute you buy a used Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe or other ceramic cooker and BBQ smoker, you are going to be without the lifetime warranty on ceramic parts that you would get if you buy a new one. Unless you work something out with the previous owner, but don’t expect anything to be covered going forward. I don’t get hung up on warranties.

You obviously have to make sure there are no ceramic cracks. At all. One hairline could be a disaster, even though someone on Facebook Marketplace will tell you it’s a hairline but “it does a great job anyway.” The catch is, if you travel any distance to buy your EGG, you may not know until you get there, and then there’s that fun awkward pressure of being super investigative in front of the stranger in their driveway. It sucks if you have to back out at that moment. I recommend asking them for some extra pictures if the listing images are insufficient.

You want to make sure you leave with all the essentials if possible. The longer I hung around, the more time the seller had to eventually go around the back and “find” the well-worn charcoal grate behind his house. I really needed it so I was glad he brought it up. He also had the fire box, fire ring and cast iron grate. I could EGGsessorize the rest.

Most of the barbecue grill listings are going to be really sketchy, or too far away. They might be too expensive, but Marketplace is all about the bartering. I jumped at the $900 so gave him what he asked in cash. That’s the other thing, expect that the seller will want cash or Venmo for this, as opposed to having a payment plan or credit card or whatever with a dealer. I rarely use cash anymore, so I had to relearn how to actually go into the bank teller and withdraw nine Benjamins.

Make sure you are well-equipped with pads and straps, because you don’t want an EGG rolling off your flatbed and bouncing onto the tops of all the traffic behind you. Also be very careful that the two main EGG pieces are each individually padded and secured in safe and separate locations. I was going to use the table to push up against the EGG bottom in the flatbed so it would stay secure, but the seller was concerned that any bumps could make the table bump into the EGG enough that it might crack the ceramic. So we took some extra time to make sure everything was copacetic, and it all worked well.

big green fire box
big green egg fire ring

But there’s another thing to watch for: the band has to be removed to pack them separately, and it’s not going to be easy getting it back on (see below).

Keep travel to a minimum if you can. It’s just common sense, whether that long journey to another state with gas fill-ups negates the amount saved. Also, the longer the journey, the more risk of any bumps, and any crack as a result is egg on your face.

Advantages of Buying Used

Money. This it really the only advantage that matters. These babies are expensive, and everyone knows that. You’re going to load up on EGGsessories so save some bucks here.

Again, bartering usually works with Facebook Marketplace, and there can be some really great deals. You just have to sort through the duds. One promising listing disappeared before I could commit to it, but just have patience because this beauty came along right after that.

The Large EGG and nest table I bought had a retail value of over $2,000, and it was in amazingly new condition. The owner said he made a few prime ribs on it. You can tell when it’s super seasoned or when it’s BS. Everything was in excellent shape.

Hey, you might even get to enjoy some travel scenes! My seller lived along the Gulf of Mexico in an idyllic part of Bradenton on the way to Anna Maria Island. Just a reminder that there are BBQ lovers everywhere, from sea to shining sea. He was super nice as was his teenage son, and he was extremely helpful in helping me load it all into the pickup.

Seller's Block In Bradenton

You’re also helping another BBQ captain who just wants to keep it going, maybe move up to an XL from a Large, or on to a Traeger or something new. The Big Green Egg community appreciates each other, and buying and selling is just part of that world.

How It Turned Out

All the ceramic pieces were pristine when I made it home, and that was my main priority.

My only issue was with the metal band. I initially planned to just lay out a couple pads on the pickup’s flatbed and then roll the egg on its side and wrap it, then wedge it up against the back of the flatbed so it’s secure. When we did that, the band popped loose, or what they call “spontaneous catastrophic disassembly.” Actually it was a blessing in disguise, because that’s when we realized the two pieces of the EGG needed to be separated for the move.

big green egg metal band

So the band was coming off anyway. Unfortunately, when I got home, putting the band back on was FAR more complicated than I had expected. I looked at youtube videos and saw how it’s done for a new band, and the catch is that new bands come with those four blue-colored spacers. Those are really vital when you are doing what I had to do. The band is in perfect shape, but I had to eyeball the spacing while reassembling it myself, loosening and tightening nuts, loosening and tightening over and over again, and that was a hassle.

I have it close to new condition, but there’s a bit of an afterbite at the moment. I expect there to be a little air leak as I start using it, and then I’ll have to start loosening nuts and try again. The seller disappeared after I started asking about the band. Buyer beware, hope for the best, worst case I’ll have to buy a new band set down the road.

Other than the band, life is beautiful. After spending much of an extra-hot summer in Florida building a new deck out back, there was a perfect spot just waiting for this table and EGG.

I’d love to keep it in a shed or a garage to extend its life, but with deck steps and with a retractable awning that is not possible. So I quickly bought a universal Big Green Egg cover at my local Vision Ace Hardware in St. Pete, and that will at least keep the sun and rain off of my birthday present. When I got back home, the cover was much thinner than I had in mind, so at some point I’ll have to bite the bullet and upgrade to a sturdier cover.

I grabbed the charcoal, the starter equipment, a grate remover tool, a new set of knives, and ash removal equipment. After a quick road trip, I’ll come back and grab the convEGGtor and the EGGspander. The cost adds up, but I’ll be back on Marketplace looking for that stuff as well.

Now it’s time to enjoy cooking and breaking in the “new” Big Green Egg.

used big green egg on deck

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Kate founded DrizzleMeSkinny in 2014. Since then she has shared nearly 1000 weight watchers friendly recipes with DrizzleMeSkinny's over 500,000 social media followers.

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