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Long Cooks Without Plate Setter

Hoster05Hoster05 Posts: 239
What results have folks on here achieved when cooking brisket, pork butts, pork shoulders without the plate setter in place?  I am currently reading the book Cooked and as many of you know, the old school bbq pits dont have plate setters or heat deflection.  Obviously the pit is much larger than an egg and I would imagine the heat in the egg is much more concentrated then the old school pits.  The direct setup of the larger pits also helps with grease burning off.  Just curious on results people have seen without plate setter as that mimics the pits a little bit more. 
Mankato, MN - LBGE


  • SoCalTimSoCalTim Posts: 2,158
    @lousubcap - Any Thoughts? 
    I've slow smoked and eaten so much pork, I'm legally recognized as being part swine - Chatsworth Ca.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 22,511
    I will be interested in the responses as I have not cooked L&S w/o the platesetter in place.  I know you can manage the fire volume  for temperature control with a limited lump load to achieve major separation between the protein and fire but that set-up would require frequent fuel reload to run for the cook duration.  FWIW-
    BTW-welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.  
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 22,511
    @SoCalTim - posts passing in the ether!!
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 10,087
    I believe that @fishlessman does brisket direct with good luck but I may be mistaken 


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • SoCalTimSoCalTim Posts: 2,158
    @lousubcap .. thought of you, your my go to guy on stuff like this. 
    I've slow smoked and eaten so much pork, I'm legally recognized as being part swine - Chatsworth Ca.
  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 1,690
    I would think you would have a lot of grease dripping on the fire which would make a mess in the egg, suppress the fire a bit, and create a lot of greasy smoke which I would be concerned about giving an off flavor to the meat.  I would not even try it - not sure why one would?
    XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 22,511
    Upon further review, there is a a cooking set-up that runs direct for all cooks.  A variation is the pit barrel cooker ( which I own) but have never run a brisket or butt on it-primarily since their preferred recipes call for a major foil finish.   If I were to ignore the foil step I would have to reload the charcoal to punch it home.  But no doubt it can be done as the key to any cook is the cook temp and protein exposure to that temp for the requisite duration.  FWIW-
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 16,029
    I think that is why I own a BGE, due to its ease and versatility of, and for, just about any cook.
    Can you do it? I am absolutely sure you can, once you determine the correct parameters and protocol.
    I do think the results are tremendous, and relatively pretty dang easy to get, using the indirect method.
    So my question becomes; On the BGE, why would you if you do not have to?
    I am too lazy and lack the motivation to cook any other way. That is just me though.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 10,444
    edited March 2017
    I think the main reason this can't really work on an egg is the fire is too close to the food. There is radiant heat from the food that is facing the fire so that will always cook faster. You can use a raised direct setup on the egg that reduces this; but you will still need to flip/rotate the food.  As @lousubcap eluded to I think you could probably do it with a small amount of lump and then a raised grid...but then you run out of fuel. 

    That being said almost every other smoker that I have seen does use some kind of indirect setup, such as an offset fire box. The old pits may have had a direct fire...but I suspect they evolved into indirect for a reason. People got tired of tending to the food. 

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • bclarksiclebclarksicle Posts: 167
    Cooked my last brisket without the plate setter (or technically without the AR oval stone). I did have a drip pan, though. Just totally forgot to add the stone. First time I've ever done that...brisket turned out just fine. 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,664
    have done brisket direct hot and fast with a foil finish at 350, good but tastes more like steak. butts ive done direct like this, appantly you can only do this during a hurricane =)

    i do ribs direct all the time

  • HellrodKCHellrodKC Posts: 173
    I've done it with ribs. Everything turned out fine, there were some "crispy" edges but nothing was burnt or anything like that. I'd be worried about grease with a pork butt or brisket, though. 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,664
    heres the brisket, it smokes like a fog machine, lots of oak chunks to get that ring

  • kweitzkweitz Posts: 305
    I bought a large Casa-Q made by Sazco in California in the mid 60's, at an antique store about 15 years ago. The innards were shot, so I retro-fitted with LBGE ceramics and daisy wheel. Between the fire box and fire ring I placed a carbon steel grate, On that grate I placed a drip pan, which was an old 8 qt. stock pot, then my grill grate on the fire ring. At that time, I was not aware there was a thing called a "plate setter". So, for 15 years, I have been smoking EVERYTHING direct. I've done 18 lb turkeys, ribs, venison roasts, burgers, etc. without a problem. Recently I bought a LBGE, and have found out what I have been missing! BGE much easier to control temp, as well as bring up to temp.

    Charles Town, West-by-God Virginia

    Sazco large Casa-Q

    Large BGE

  • nth78nth78 Posts: 154
    Why not just buy a platesetter?
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