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BGE and Indirect cooking

ChicagoQChicagoQ Posts: 20
edited 4:38AM in EggHead Forum
Hi everyone, in only my third cooking, I wow'ed my family and friends last weekend with some hickory slo-smoked baby backs. But those membranes sure are a thorn in my side, especially because I was dry-rubbing and de-membraning at 1AM with a belly fulla booze. Left most of em on. [p]Anyway, wondering what you think about this: in his book "How to Grill", Steven Raichlen says that in ceramic cookers like the BGE, the distance between the fuel and the cooking grate results in cooking that is more like indirect than direct. Agree? Disagree?[p]I am wondering because I dig his book and want to adapt some of his recipes to the BGE and he often recommends indirect cooking. [p]So I want to know when the firebrick/drip pan/extra grate is absolutely necessary to get the best results. Do the firebricks and and drip pans and such interfere with the heat circulation? [p]At what temperatures and cooking times, does the makeup of the BGE really require that you use a ceramic barrier and drip pan to avoid charring/drying/flareups? Thanks.


  • hounddoghounddog Posts: 126
    You can experiment and there no doubt will be many opinions on this issue. It doesn't hurt circulation to have the extra ceramic, and frequently the same recipe will work both ways. The primary risk of not using the extra ceramic, in my opinion, is that a portion of your cooking area has hot spots that get too hot for the cook and you don't realize it until it is too late. This tends to be a real problem for me only when I am cooking at temps over 275. So, on higher temps, if I don't want to be checking very often (and I usually don't) I tend to insert the extra ceramic. This does not cut down on the amount of smoky taste the cook imparts, though it does cut back on the extent of browning, but not to the point where I have ever regretted doing the indirect. One reason further for indirect, which i don't really worry too much about (but have seen people that do) is that fat does not drop on the fire and burn.[p]With Raichlin's books, he is pretty careful to tell you how hot a fire he thinks you should use, and I believe in the egg it is more important that you follow that direction. You can play with the direct/indirect without too much risk. And when you are not sure, try the indirect first because you are not likely to ruin anything indirect.
  • Ca_rnivoreCa_rnivore Posts: 120
    ChicagoQ,[p]I have most of Raichlen's books, and there's very little modification to the recipes when doing them on the egg. If he suggests indirect, that's what I do using either the plate setter or firebricks, it doesn't seem to make alot of difference. [p]As far as direct versus indirect, just follow the recipe the first time. If the results are to your liking, keep doing it. When you don't have guests or any expectations of having a "perfect" meal, try experimenting with different cooking methods like direct vs. indirect, drip pan vs. no drip pan, etc. The 'sperimentin's half the fun anyway! [p]--Kevin

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