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Vortex vs SNS

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    Vortex vs SNS

    I have a weber 22" kettle that I use a sns on all the time. It is by far my favorite way to make steak, which I do frequently. Once in a while I smoke food on it, but normally use my PBC for that. To be honest I haven't done wings on the sns more than a couple times and actually have done them on the PBC more frequently. I'd still like to get my wings crispier and keep hearing about the vortex. Do a lot of you have both the sns and the vortex?

    I recently had a brief chat on here with a member in regards to the difference and tried to research it, but didn't find much. Seeing the vortex is very inexpensive, I'm more than likely just buying it, but wanted to know what you guys thought. Is there value in adding the vortex to what I already have? Are their things aside from wings the vortex should be utilized for?

    #2
    I made one from a bowl I got at the second-hand store. It's a great charcoal basket option just like the SnS. But I only use it occasionally. Same as the SnS.

    Comment


      #3
      Do you need a Vortex for wings while already having the SnS? No. If you didn't have either yet and mainly cook wings, I'd say Vortex over the SnS. In your particular situation though honestly I think it's just another way to accomplish the same thing. Since you have the SnS, it, in my opinion, is the more versatile of the 2 and will do wings mighty fine, plus a brisket for hours & hours uninterrupted. So all things considered I'd say skip buying a Vortex ...unless you just want to have another piece of gear, then by all means, get it!

      Comment


      • SipIt
        SipIt commented
        Editing a comment
        Attjack I have actually never used the snake method, only a modified setup with a water pan on one side and coals on the other. To be honest I didn't start smoking things until I got a PBC. 5 years ago I didn't realize smoking was even possible on a kettle.

      • Attjack
        Attjack commented
        Editing a comment
        I think the snake is part of kettle cooking 101. You should try it just so you have that technique in your tool belt.

      • SipIt
        SipIt commented
        Editing a comment
        Attjack I think your right. I've seen it in videos, but never done it myself. Would make it easy when at the brother in laws cabin should I forget my sns again.

      #4
      I have a slightly different take - I have both the SNS and a Vortex knock off from Amazon (much cheaper than Vortex). The SNS is a great accessory and works just fine for chicken but the vortex does a better job IMHO. With the Vortex, the wings are evenly spaced around the fire and I feel I have more room to cook more wings. Now, I do have the 26 inch kettle so that does make a difference. More and more I am realizing the 26 inch kettle isn’t just a bigger version of the 22-inch kettle. On the 22 kettle the 2 accessories might work the same but I get different outcomes on the 26, for whatever it’s worth.

      Comment


      • ColonialDawg
        ColonialDawg commented
        Editing a comment
        Huskee the distance between each wing and the heat source is uniform but the vent certainly could affect heat distribution. I agree with you there. I personally rotate the lid 90 degrees every 15-30 minutes. I have no idea if that makes a difference or not.

        SipIt the 22-inch kettle has its advantages and is a fine grill on its own. I sometimes wish I had one in addition to my 26 incher as sometimes you just don’t need 26 inches of grill space.

      • bardsleyque
        bardsleyque commented
        Editing a comment
        I got lucky! I've had a 26' for years and last year someone left a 22'(with cover) on the street with "free" sign.I have the SNS but no vortex so no input on that.

      • ColonialDawg
        ColonialDawg commented
        Editing a comment
        SipIt here is the vortex knockoff I purchased. It’s a lot cheaper and does the job nicely.

        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      #5
      I've only done wings with the vortex on my 22. Haven't done them with the SnS, but I would think you get more grate space with the vortex.

      Comment


        #6
        I have a 22" and both. I find the vortex has a bit more flexibilty with chicken parts. I do wings, thighs and breasts on it. What I like is once the chunks of wood starts smokin' every 10 to 15 minutes rotate the cover 90 degrees 4 times back to where it began. That way the vent is over all the chicken for that period of time. It allows for the balanced smoke flavor all the way around IMO.

        Comment


        • Andrrr
          Andrrr commented
          Editing a comment
          I was also instructed to rotate the lid and I never noticed any uneven cooking.

        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Makes sense, good plan!

        • SipIt
          SipIt commented
          Editing a comment
          Nice! I read about rotating the vent earlier this morning and am glad to hear it has some merit.

        #7
        Guess I got you thinking on this one SipIt. For skillet grilling I will put it wide side up, grate on top and then my cast iron skillet. My 10” skillet is basically the same diameter so it works well. The sides were a little high for smash burgers so I ended up buying the lodge 14” pizza pan which makes getting at the burgers easier and enough capacity to fit 4 sets of buns at once. Anything without a handle I find is easier to use on the 22”.

        Comment


        • SipIt
          SipIt commented
          Editing a comment
          Ha, yup! Why not have another toy, when it's small and cheap. Gives my kettle a new look and feel to tinker with. Kind of like my golf clubs - if I don't get new clubs I always replace the grips every year, and it subliminally feels like I bought new ones.

        #8
        I also have a couple of 22’s and both SnS and Vortex.
        IMO, for what it’s worth, the Vortex is far superior at making wings. No doubt the SnS is an awesome tool for sooo many things.
        But from what I can tell, you are mainly looking for a better wing.
        Get the Vortex. Like you said it’s cheap enough.
        I actually place a chunk of wood, usually apple or cherry, on the grate over the center of the Vortex. This way it smokes for a much longer period of time as opposed to placing it on the coals.

        Oh. Also if turn it so the larger opening is on top you can get a great sear on a steak as well.

        Comment


        • SipIt
          SipIt commented
          Editing a comment
          Interesting. For steak to do you normally front or reverse sear? I only ask because I imagine the sns is a better tool for a reverse sear on a steak, but maybe I'm wrong. I like the idea of putting the wood on top for the wings and will definitely try it.

        • Steve B
          Steve B commented
          Editing a comment
          If you’re doing the entire steak cook on your kettle the SnS is the way to go.
          If I SV a steak and don’t sear it caveman style I like the larger round opening that the Vortex has for
          searing. Kinda like using a charcoal starter only bigger.
          Last edited by Steve B; March 5, 2020, 03:48 PM.

        • SipIt
          SipIt commented
          Editing a comment
          Ah, makes sense! Being in MN, I certainly do a fair share of SV steaks, but try to still sear over charcoal.

        #9
        Turn the S&S upside down and arrange the wings in a semi-circle instead of a circle.

        You’re welcome.

        Comment


        • SipIt
          SipIt commented
          Editing a comment
          Ha, that is a pretty good idea, although I think would be easier with the original model where they don't have a built in bottom. Meaning I'd have to stack my charcoal pile nice and neat and then put the sns over it. Blastphemy! Just kidding, I'm sure it puts out similar results!

        #10
        I use my vortex for high heat indirect cooks. Wings, thighs, pork chops. It heats up to over 600 degrees indirect and can brown things and smoke roast very quickly.

        I like the slow and sear for reverse searing steaks and thicker cuts of meat.

        Comment


          #11
          I actually go an entirely different direction. I have Grillgrates for my kettle, and my favorite way to cook wings now is direct, on the Grillgrates. The Grillgrates allow me to just dump a chimney or so of lit coals in the kettle, throw on the set of Grillgrates, and fill the entire kettle with wings. They get smoke through the holes in the grate, some of the ‘sizzle’ effect when I add buffalo wing sauce, and get nice and crispy with a little char. The Grillgrates prevent flare ups and make it sort of a direct-indirect cooking method.

          Edit: this is my favorite way to cook ALL chicken, split, spatchcocked, parts or just wings. Direct on the Grillgrates, with charcoal.
          Last edited by jfmorris; March 5, 2020, 08:15 PM.

          Comment


          • Razor
            Razor commented
            Editing a comment
            I’ve been placing the Performer baskets in the middle and placing the wings around the outside edge. I get a lot of grease buildup in the bottom bowl and would like to try your method.

            I usually cook ~ 45-60 minutes without touching them. You do anything special like flip them? How long do they take with this method?

          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Razor when cooking them on Grillgrates I flip them every 10-15 minutes. Gives me something to do while watching the grill, haha. I sauce them at the end, probably 3-4 minutes per side with the sauce. Total time probably 45ish.

            If you are cooking on the wire Weber grates, watch for flare ups and don’t let your wings burn up. My technique is more oriented towards the Grillgrates.
            Last edited by jfmorris; March 8, 2020, 06:47 PM.

          • Razor
            Razor commented
            Editing a comment
            I have the GrillGrates too. Between them, the WSM and the Weber baskets I’m trying to avoid the two more popular accessories around these parts. 😉

          #12
          Full disclosure, I do not have nor have I ever used the SNS.
          The Vortex OTOH... It’s a wing cooking machine.
          I use one in my WSCGC. “Stoopid” easy and the results are great.
          Given the price, it’s easy to recommend.

          Comment


            #13
            I like 500F indirect for wings. If I’m not smoking and deep frying them. Easier to get that high with the vortex vs the sns. Taller narrower fire pulling more air I guess.

            Comment

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