Snaffling Pig Bluey Kamado BBQ vs Big Green Egg May 21, 2021 11:21
In 2019, Snaffling Pig Launched our Pig Bluey. A 16 inch ceramic kamado BBQ. Bright blue, highest of quality, it was something we were deeply proud of. Little did we know what this thing of piggin' beauty would go on to rival the market leaders, Big Green Egg. Alicia Miller of the Independent recently reviewed our BBQ and the Big Green Egg. You can read the full article here or snippets below:
"Summer’s must-have accessory? It’s not a designer swimsuit or limited-release trainer: it’s a kamado barbecue. Popular in the US for decades, these premium charcoal barbecues have gained ground in the UK over the past years, thanks to the backing of Michelin-starred chefs, celebrity influencers and moneyed foodie suburbanites. And not just because they’re stylish, with their rounded, dimpled exteriors; kamados really do take barbecued food to the next level.
With Big Green Egg’s success has, inevitably, come the imitators. One of the latest? The Pig Bluey, by The Snaffling Pig Co – a brand that, up until now, has best been known for its premium range of pork crackling. Launched in 2020, this one-size portable ‘cue, comparable to Big Green Egg’s smallest offering, comes in at £499 – less than two-thirds of the price of the MiniMax.
Of course, neither is cheap for a barbecue. But with £280 in it, can the affordable Pig Bluey dethrone the pricey stalwart?
Snaffling Pig Co Pig Bluey Mini BBQ
Launched in 2020, the pig bluey is a mini, portable version of a classic kamado-style barbecue. Apart from the blazing bright blue hue, it otherwise looks very similar to Big Green Egg’s MiniMax – dimpled surface, wooden handle, temperature gauge and adjustable air vents. One immediate difference, however, is size: a grilling surface of 16 inches versus MiniMax’s 13 – enough, potentially, to feed a whole extra person. It’s also a shade taller (57cm rather than 50), and heavier at 43kg (versus MiniMax’s 40kg).
On closer inspection, there are a few other differences. The temperature gauge is handily colour-coded into cooking zones – say for baking, or searing – making it immediately user-friendly for the casual barbecuer. Less ideally, however, the top ventilator is bolted on, so every time you open and close the lid the mechanism slides shut; you have to remember to reset it back to where it was, or else risk a dramatic change in temperature.
Specs aside, the performance is impressive. We threw everything at the bluey that we did the egg, with excellent results. Temperature control was easy, and with both direct grilling (prawns and steak), and a slow, indirect cook (pork shoulder), it was on par with the Egg’s efficiency and held temperature just as well. The final smoky flavour was a shade less subtle than the Big Green Egg’s, but it was very close – if the meals hadn’t been side-by-side we’re not sure we could have told the difference.
The current range of bluey accessories is limited: just a pizza stone (£20, Snafflingpig.co.uk) and rib rack (£10, Snafflingpig.co.uk), but more will launch this August, along with a larger, 19in edition (a smidge smaller than Big Green Egg’s “large”, at 22in). Unlike Big Green Egg’s included “convEGGtor”, the ceramic bluey heat “deflector” for indirect cooking is sold separately; at £30 (Snafflingpig.co.uk), though, it’s not exactly a deal-breaker. Snaffling Pig Co doesn’t currently sell charcoal, so for top results, you’ll need to purchase either Big Green Egg’s or another premium natural brand such as Whittle and Flame.
On the whole, this is a very good ceramic barbecue for under £500. The only major unknown for the pig bluey – simply given it’s such as new brand – is its long-term durability. Unlike the egg’s limited lifetime warranty, this one comes with just two-year coverage. Some of the fittings on our sample felt a little bit loose, and we might worry about extensive year-round use. But if you’re only using it for weekly summer barbecues, we don’t foresee too many issues.
The verdict: Big Green Egg v Snaffling Pig Co pig bluey
There’s no question: both are high-quality barbecues, worthy of their price point, and given neither is cheap you would expect as much. On multiple tests, side by side, we found that the Big Green Egg just about edged it on taste – but the margin was extremely slim indeed. Both cost the same to run; either way, you need to invest in high-quality natural charcoal and firestarters to get the best results. So, whether you can justify an additional £280-plus for a Big Green Egg really comes down to what you’re looking for in a barbecue.
For card-carrying foodies who favour limitless cooking options, the Big Green Eggis a sound investment. This thing is adaptable, works consistently to the highest standard – and, like a luxury car or handbag, comes with a certain status. Saying that, don’t buy it for just the odd summer barbecue. To be worth its outlay the Big Green Egg should be considered an extension of your home kitchen, to be used with regularity year-round. Once purchased, you’ll have it for decades, and should anything eventually need replacing this long-established brand should be there to help you.
If you barbecue less often and mostly just want to make great burgers, sausages and ribs – with perhaps the occasional slow-cook or pizza – then it’s hard to see how you could go wrong with the pig bluey. It works well, looks good and delivers great-tasting food. It may not have the same gourmet cachet as the Big Green Egg does, but remember this is a very new brand. The jury’s out on its long-term durability – only time can tell – but if you’re willing to take a punt you’ll save £280 now. And that’s not to be sniffed at"
Thank you to Alicia Miller of the Independent for the very honest review.