I have been cooking on my large Big Green Egg for about 5 months. I have spent the last 20+ years cooking with a gas grill. I fondly remember cooking burgers on a hibachi grill as a kid and on a Webber Kettle in my early adult life with charcoal briquettes. I remember liking it so much, I would eat at least one extra burger without a bun once I knew everybody had what they wanted. Hoping to get the flavor I remember back, I hinted about a BGE and my wife got me one for Christmas. I have cooked steaks several times and burgers several times. The meat has a bitter charcoal taste, especially the burgers. I thought maybe I was putting the meat on too soon. I also thought that I might have too much charcoal. I also thought I maybe should open the chimney opening wider and close the lower vent more. I have been using BGE charcoal and do not have any reason the believe it is the cause of the bitter taste. I decided to change things up and try really hard to eliminate the issues i thought might be the cause. I cleaned my grill out. I removed all the charcoal pieces and all the ash from my previous cooks. I put what I would call a medium amount of charcoal reaching just above the air holes. I used a new bag of Cowboy lump charcoal. I lit the charcoal using a BGE fire starter cube. When the starter cube went out the charcoal was lit. I left it alone for about 15 minutes before putting the grate on and closing the lid. I then waited for the grey smoke to become clear and waited another 15 minutes after that. I left the top chimney vent completely open and waited for the temperature to reach 350 degrees. At that point I closed the bottom vent down to about a quarter open and let the grill come up to my desired temperature of 400 degrees. I waited 10 more minutes making sure the temperature stayed at 400 Degrees and then put my burgers on. I am a well done meat eater so this could contribute to the issue, but I used an instant read thermometer to make sure I removed the burgers as soon as they reach 160 degrees. In this case actually 155 degrees.
The burgers still came out bitter tasting. Maybe I still left them on too long. I have no idea. I am not giving up, but this will be a pretty expensive mistake to have made, if i don’t figure out how to get a flavor I like. Maybe not as I remember it but at least good tasting. Thank you for reading.