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Indirect Cooking Secrets

cheid1977cheid1977 Posts: 20
edited November 2011 in EggHead Forum
What is the secret to getting the Egg up to temp when cooking indirect and with wood chips? Whenever I cook indirect and with wood chips the Egg seems to take forever getting to the temp I am looking for. Should I wait until the Egg really gets hot before putting the chips and plate in?  What are your suggestions? Thanks.


  • I hesitate to call it a "secret", but I don't put my set up in the egg until i get my temp pretty much dialed in.  Then put whatever setup in the egg.  I see a temp. dip for roughly 10 min. or so since I'm adding a colder mass of ceramic but it's not too terribly long until it comes back to the proper temp.

    Plus, it's easier to add the wood chips without the plate setter in the way....




    Wobbly Pops to ya, Chris
  • I use very similar steps.  I almost always indirect cook at a dome temp of 250 which is almost always 2 finger widths of an opening at the bottom vent and the daisy wheel large opening completely closed with the small holes half way open.  After the electric starter gets the coals burning I close the dome with the vents wide open until it reaches 250, which is only a few minutes.  After it reaches temp I immediately set the vents as stated above.  I go back inside and finish my meat prep.  If it is still at 250, I put the wood chips in, then the plate setter, the grate and then put the meat on.  I don't touch the vents from whatever they were at to have a stable 250 before I put the meat on.  As the plate setter and the outside of the meat warm up, the temp in the dome will warm up without having to mess with it.
    Large BGE Decatur, AL
  • njlnjl Posts: 886
    How important is the plate setter?  My method for indirect cooking has been to place the rib rack inside a disposable foil baking pan placed on the grill.  It seems to have worked so far, for cooking whole beef tenderloin or rack of pork.  Am I fooling myself and not really cooking indirect...or is this fine as long as whatever I'm cooking will fit on the rib rack in the foil pan?
  • I think it will work just fine.  My only concern is that the pan may get hot and burn the meat that it touching it, but if you aren't having that problem don't worry about it.  In some cases it may be better the way you are doing it.  I have had the ends of ribs burn where they go farther than the plate setter.  In a pan you won't have that problem.
    Large BGE Decatur, AL
  • njlnjl Posts: 886
    With the rib rack inverted (I guess...V up), the meat doesn't touch the baking pan.  Drippings are collected by the pan...but they do burn up / carbonize real fast.
  • Last weekend I tried to put my Spider + Pizza Stone + Adjustable rig with the second Pizza stone right after starting the fire... bad idea. It took so much time to raise, I thought the fire had choked.

    It is better to let the fire go, maybe a bit crazy if you're cooking pizza, and then drop the whole indirect setup...
    BGE XL, Large & Mini, Black Wifi Stoker Cannes, France
  • I get the fire going to what i consider a "medium level", throw in my chips, then start messing with putting the place setter  and grate in. i then close the lid and let the initial smoke from the wood chips clear (about 5 minutes), then dial in my vents to where i know i'll be close to my preferred temp. 

    this method has a couple of nice benefits. 
    1. you get your place setter and grate moving towards internal temps. 
     2. you've not wasted much time waiting for the initial blast of smoke to clear from your new chips. 
    3. you know your fire is definitely not going to go out.
     4. you get to bring your egg "down" (which is my preference)  to correct temperature (vs. up) . 

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,946
    How important is the plate setter?  My method for indirect cooking has been to place the rib rack inside a disposable foil baking pan placed on the grill.  It seems to have worked so far...
    I didn't have a platesetter for at least the 1st 6 mo. I had an Egg. I did the same thing you are doing. But I did add a raised grill, and then used various foil "pans," and real pans to make the cooks indirect.

    When I did get a platesetter, I found I liked using it more for roasting or baking.

    Not too long ago, I did a test where I put a pie pan with 2 cups of water on a grill extender. I timed how long it took to reach 180 (simmering) with a dome of 250. I don't have the figures handy, but it was pretty quick, as one would expect with a direct cook.

    I then put an empty drip pan at the lower grill level, and brought the dome back to 250, and let the refreshed pan of water reach 180 again. Not surprisingly, it took longer. What did surprise me was that the empty aluminum drip pan was actually cooler than the water. It did eventually go above 250.

    I then put in the platesetter, and the refreshed water pan. It took quite awhile for the dome to reach 250 again. I checked, and the platesetter was also 250, but water still cool. By the time the water reached 180, the platesetter surface was over 450. Eventually, the platesetter was just about 600, altho the dome temp was 250.

    So, as far as I can tell, the main advantage of the platesetter for "indirect" cooking is not heat deflection, but keeping the interior temperature more even when the dome might be opened.

    But, as mentioned above, when it comes to baking breads, the platesetter and stone make for a great heat store to cook the cool wet dough.
  • DeckhandDeckhand Posts: 318
    My favorite (and most versatile) accessory for indirect smokin and grilling is the Spider from the Ceramic Grill store.  Used in the "down" position, a 13" pizza stone will block the direct heat from the coals while allowing the hot air/smoke around the edges.  Replace the stone with a 13" cast iron grate and you can sear without heating the whole to 700°.  Flip it over and it is perfect for holding a wok.  Haven't used my platesetter since getting the spider and stone. 
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