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Can of beer in the lump??

Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
edited 10:45PM in EggHead Forum
I'm trying to figure out an easy way to add a little steam to my direct cooking, just as an experiment. I don't want to use a drip pan because I want the fat to drip off the meat and into the fire. (For example, when I do chicken on a raised grid, the dripping fat doesn't cause a flareup but it does add to the flavor, I think. I have heard that it's probably not very healthful, but I think it's worth the risk.)[p]A while back, somebody mentioned sticking an open can of beer down into the lump itself. Will that work? Will the can melt? Do I have to burn the paint off the can first? Will the can boil over and extinguish the fire? What happens if it runs out of beer while I'm still cooking?[p]I don't want to use a larger container, like a pie tin -- I don't want to cover up very much of the fire.[p]Thanks, as always, for your ideas!


  • Prof Dan,
    For a long time, I've used an Al. pan filled with water, and covered with foil. I set the raised grill on it, with the item to be cooked. It seems to work pretty well, especially for long slow cooks, i.e. ribs, etc.[p]Have fun

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Prof Dan,
    Just an idea- a small cast iron pot with a wire handle that is suspended under the grid above the lump. I have seen small pots made for melting lead bullets at Gander Mountain. [p]Clay

  • wdanwdan Posts: 261
    Prof Dan,
    I love your questions and am willing to wager you have a hypothesis for each situation. Here's my 2 cents, and that's all it is worth. [p]I too do not particularly fear the thought of eating food that was subjected to the smoke/contaminants from its drippings flashing off the fire...eeh gads, we're all going to die...aieeeee! Global warming is only theory too. And the most abundant greenhouse gas there is happens to be water...and the models don't even take water into account...yep, we're all going to die.[p]Here's my bbq world feeling. In an egg, I personally, would not miss the extra flavor of the the poultry fat flaming up versus just the flavor imparted by the lump. In a gasser, I would definitely go for the dripping routine. In the egg, there is lump, some smoking wood if you like, and a little bit of flavor from any liquid you might have in a drip pan...not to mention the possibility of some extra temperature stability you can get from a wet environment...entropy, enthalpy, water at 212 stuff...I'm too long gone out of engineering school to recreate the PV and RT diagrams we used to have to draw.[p]Bottom line for me: A drip pan full of liquid gives me some additional temperature stability, a bit of moisture and an additional source of flavor. The lump speaks for itself as far as flavor adders is concerned. Smoking wood is always another flavor adding option. Beer is good in a whole bunch of foods, including chicken. But I have personally melted beer cans in bon fires and other incindiary applications. Lump temps could likely do the same. If you want a lot of beer flavor, I recommend doing the beer butt chicken thing.

  • Prof Dan,
    For baking bread I'll put the cooking grid on the fire ring with a pan of water on it, and put the plate setter on top of that. A little steam in the system at the beginning of baking helps develop volume in your loaf. Also, you can always set a pan of water on the inverted plate setter with the grid on the feets.

  • Prof Dan,
    i have many times stuck an open can of beer in the back of the firebox to add beer steam to something. . .i've done it when grilling chicen parts (like thighs) and wanted the same effect as if i was doing beer can birds. .. .i take an empty can, cut the top off and then fill it almost full of beer. . .add a tblspoon of the same rub i'm using on the meat. . .the paint does not blister or melt off the can at all. . .and over a couple of hour cook, there is still liquid in the can. . .you are not cooking at temps high enough to melt the can either. . .[p]i have a picture somewhere of the set up. .if i can find it i'll post it later. . .[p]max

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,002
    Prof Dan,
    if you have 2 grills you could put 3 cans under the top one to raise it and add liguid whenever you want. choose the size can you want, say 3 tuna fish cans may work for you. most of my cooks are raised grill, direct. some onion and rosemary thrown directly on the coals adds flavor and some moisture too.

  • here is the picture. .. i just prop it in the back of the firebox in a way to insure it doesn't tip as the lump burns down... adds great beer steam to whatever your cooking and whatever the rest of your setup maybe.. .simple...[p]chicken-8-162.bmp
  • Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
    mad max beyond eggdome,[p]I think your setup gets the prize for "really easy," which is a big deal for someone [like me] who Eggs several times a week. I am going to try it, next time I do semi-spatchcocks [i.e., half chickens].[p]Thanks!

  • Prof Dan,
    easy is my middle name!! . .. don't forget to add some rub to the beer. .

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