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I'm thinking of an alternative to the 2-zone method

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    I'm thinking of an alternative to the 2-zone method

    I originally posted this as a comment on the 2-zone setup page, and I'd like to throw it to a wider audience:

    I've been getting great results with 2-Zone cooking, but a recent trip to Jamaica made me start to wonder if I might be missing out on something.
    I had jerk chicken and pork just about every day, at places all over the northern coast, and every time I approached a jerk hut my mouth was set to watering by the wonderful aroma of the cooking meat. I don't really get that aroma at home; I only smell the smoke. The wonderful, wonderful smoke. Anyway, I began to ponder why. In jerk cooking, the meat is placed on green pimento wood sticks which are laid about six inches above the coals, shielding it from direct heat and flare-ups but allowing the juices to drip through.
    Obviously, the aroma comes from the juices dropping directly onto the hot coals and burning.
    What I'm wondering is, how much of that aroma then goes back into the meat? Is the outcome likely to be significantly different with the 2-Zone method vs. what I've taken to calling the Permeable Heat Shield method? Or am I worrying too much?

    I'm making about 25 pounds of pork shoulder this weekend, and I think that's more than my Weber/Smokenator combo can handle; therefore, I'll be using my frankensmoker. It's the barrel from an electric Brinkmann set on the grill of my Weber, with aluminum foil around the sides. Go ahead and laugh, but it's been working pretty well for when I'm cooking more than will fit in the Weber. I've preferred the Smokenator because the temperature control is so much easier, but in pondering all this I've realized that an adjustable heat shield may be just what the frankensmoker needs. I'm thinking I'll make "sticks" out of crumpled aluminum foil and lay them on the lowest level of the frankensmoker. As the burn goes on, I can remove sticks to allow more heat through and add them back when I add more coals.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Am I insane? Am I going to a lot of effort for very little result?

    That sounds very interesting!


      If nobody talks me out of it I'll post my results next week


        Well my UDS (ugly drum smoker) essentially does this. The coal basket is far enough away from the grill that it allows the temperature at teh grate to be correct. But the fat / juices / rub / sauce from the meat can drop straight down onto the coals and cause a flare up. It certainly does add flavor to the meat. I can tell the difference since i went from a vertical w/ water pan to the UDS. What pit are you using for cooks? I would say that the additional effort may not be worth it. You will go through a lot of work to use a pit that isn't designed for that type of cook.


          Originally posted by jrobertson50 View Post
          What pit are you using for cooks?
          Unless I've misunderstood you, I already described my setup.

          It certainly does add flavor to the meat. I can tell the difference since i went from a vertical w/ water pan to the UDS.
          Again, I may have misunderstood you, because the above seems to contradict the below:
          I would say that the additional effort may not be worth it.


            Keith, have you check out the Pit BarrelbCooker? This thing puts a wicked insane BBQ flavor on the meat for the reasons you mentioned above.


            • bocefuss
              bocefuss commented
              Editing a comment
              Love it... true redneck engineering

            • _Keith
              _Keith commented
              Editing a comment
              It's on my Christmas wish list :-) Right now I need my cash for a trip to Ireland to study the fiddle, so it won't be happening any time soon

            Keith I love what your doing here. AWESOME thought process. I want to see the frankensmoker!

            Heck I want one!


              If one could get some banana leaves or other suitable material, it might be interesting to weave a mat to sit on top of a grill grate in a kettle or UDS.


              • _Keith
                _Keith commented
                Editing a comment
                I use banana leaves when I make puerco pibil. Tearing them into strips and weaving them into a mat sounds like waaaaay more work than I'm willing to do for 'Q.
                I was at a restaurant supply store a couple days ago and they have these stainless steel panels with a bunch of holes in them for $15 each. Not sure what they are actually for, but I think three of them would make an ideal permeable heat shield for the smokerator. As things started to cool I'd be able to remove a panel or two to keep the temperature where I want it

              • _John_
                _John_ commented
                Editing a comment
                Have grill greats? Sounds very similar.

              • _Keith
                _Keith commented
                Editing a comment
                The holes in grill grates are smaller than I want. They would let plenty of smoke through, but I'm concerned that they'd hold back the drippings too much. Plus, these things are way cheaper than the grill grates.

              you can get them at Amazon... just be sure to you use the tiny link or Barry will be on your behind... lol


              • Jerod Broussard
                Jerod Broussard commented
                Editing a comment
                hahaha...use it or lose it.

              I may have the ultimate alternative to the two-zone method... I call it the "BBB", "The Big Black Buoy"... capable of 17 1/2hr+ cooks @ 225* on one initial load of lump charcoal. Hard to believe, yet true!!! Ask me how.
              Last edited by FamilyD; August 3, 2014, 06:59 AM.


              • Jon Solberg
                Jon Solberg commented
                Editing a comment
                Nice avatar FD lolololol

              • Gunderich_1
                Gunderich_1 commented
                Editing a comment
                Ok sir, I see in your signature you talk about the BBB and how to modify it for some 17 hour smokes. I would like to know more. Came to your profile and I'm looking at the pics. I have a gold as well and I am very interested. Shout back when you get a minute and give me some pointers please.

              • FamilyD
                FamilyD commented
                Editing a comment
                Gunderich_1 said...
                "Shout back when you get a minute and give me some pointers please."

                I sent you a Private Message.

              Nice D!!!!



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