Outdoor cooking is no longer just about the meat. Any kind of indirect heat smoker that can hold a baking temperature can be used for cooking dishes you normally wouldn’t think of cooking outdoors, including my grandma’s amazing pecan pie!
In my opinion, no Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday is complete without homemade pie. Pumpkin is high on the list for many, but pecan pie is my all-time favorite, so I decided to show you how easy it is to cook a pecan pie on the Big Green Egg and take it a notch above the ordinary.
This would make an excellent dessert for your holiday meal or any time of year, really.
Do you need help cooking your holiday meals? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.
My wife made the crust for this pie from scratch using the following recipe. It’s gluten free and delicious! The oat flour gives it a delicate, crumbly texture I really like.
- 1-3/4 cups oat flour
- 6 tablespoons oat fiber
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2/3 cup cold butter, grated
- 1/4–1/2 cup ice water
Combine the first four ingredients in a medium bowl, and then cut in the butter until it forms small crumbs. Add enough water as you’re mixing it to turn it into a dough consistency.
This recipe makes two crusts, so separate the dough into two equal parts. Roll each one thin between two pieces of wax paper, remove the top piece of wax paper, and flip it onto a pie dish. Cut the excess crust off with a butter knife and crimp the edge with your fingers.
If you are used to making your own pie crusts, you might have a favorite recipe already. Or if you don’t want to make your own crust, you can always purchase a 9-inch shell at the grocery store and still enjoy the wonderful wood-fired flavor we’re getting ready to enjoy here.
My mom passed this on from her mom, so it’s been in my family for quite some time. Once you taste it, you’ll understand why!
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pecan halves or pieces
Beat all the ingredients, reserving the pecans. Stir in the pecans and pour the mixture into a pie crust.
At this point, you can bake the pie either in the oven or in your smoker. I’m using the Big Green Egg with a target temperature of 375 degrees F.
I used the Flame Boss to control the temperature (more on that below).
Once the charcoal is well lit in one or two spots, add a chunk of smoking wood, set the convEGGtor in the grill to set it up for indirect heat, and rest the cooking grate on the convEGGtor.
Close the lid and adjust both vents to wide open. Use the screen vent in the bottom to keep embers from escaping the bottom of the grill.
Once the temperature is within 50 degrees of your target temperature (325 degrees), it's time to hook up the Flame Boss or start adjusting the vents to stabilize the temperature.
If you are using the Flame Boss, see my notes on how to set it up below. If not, slide both vents to 1” open and then adjust the top vent as needed to stabilize it at 375 degrees. See my notes on temperature control below if you are having trouble dialing in the temperature.
Bake the pie in the grill for 40–50 minutes or until the filling has set and is only a bit jiggly.
Temperature Control in the Big Green Egg
If you're new to this, it will take some time to master temperature control, but it works on this principle: Give the grill more air to raise the temperature and give it less air to lower the temperature. This is done by adjusting both the top and bottom vents.
How you fire the grill and what your target temperature is will affect how you adjust the vents, but if you understand the principle, you can figure out how to master the temperature in any scenario. For most cooks, you'll be running with the vents between 1/4” (a pencil thickness) and 1-1/2”.
In this cook, I used the Flame Boss to control the grill temperature. This cool gadget is like cruise control for your charcoal grill. It electronically adjusts the air flow to keep the temperature steady and also monitors the temperature of up to three different pieces of meat. You can connect it to your network for monitoring the grill and meats from your phone too.
Note: As you can see in the photos above, I set up the Flame Boss while the grill was getting hot, but it works best to wait until the grill is within 50 degrees of your target temperature.
Install the adapter in the bottom vent, plug in the power cord, pit probe, and fan, hook the fan into the adapter, clip the pit probe onto the grill's factory thermometer probe, and set the pit temperature on the Flame Boss to 375 degrees F.
Close the bottom vent so the only air going into the grill is through the Flame Boss adapter. The Flame Boss works with forced draft, so close the top vent to about 1/16" open.
Flame Boss Tips:
- If the temperature creeps above what you have the Flame Boss set, you may need to close the top vent a little more (no less than a sliver).
- If the temperature won't rise to the set pit temperature, slide the top vent open in tiny increments until the Flame Boss can do its job.
- Be careful not to let the Egg get too hot. The Flame Boss is designed to raise and maintain the grill temperature, so it has a hard time lowering a runaway fire by 50–100 degrees.
Cool the pie a bit before serving it. I prefer it cooled overnight in the fridge and served the following day. This is an advantage if you have a small smoker and don’t have room for the entire meal. You can easily make your pies a day or two early and surprise everyone the day of your family gathering with a delicious wood-fired dessert.
If you’ve never tried a smoked dessert, I hope you try this one. It’s “easy as pie,” and the flavor is perfect for anyone who loves that classic wood-fired flavor!
Do you need help cooking your holiday meal? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.
About the author: Lavern Gingerich is a writer and the digital marketing manager for Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply.