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DKMC2000

Best Uses for the Basket Splitter

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10 minutes ago, DKMC2000 said:

Please explain to this newbie when, what circumstances and how much of the basket splitter should be used on a 32  Is the basket pretty much needed for direct grilling burgers, steaks and such to have a cooler zone to shift “done” items?  

My basket splitter is almost always in place in the 50% position. Why? https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/grill-and-smoker-setup-and-firing/how-control-temperature-indirect

With this setup I have a direct zone and an indirect zone. I'll often have the half-main grate positioned on the indirect side, and a lower (usually the sear grate) on the direct side. It's the perfect configuration for 90% of what I do. Only time I'll remove the splitter and go full basket is if I need more of a direct zone for some reason...but that's pretty rare. In fact, I have both sides of the splitter filled with charcoal, and just cover the side I don't want to use. One side is full of coco-char for low/slow cooks. The other side is full of regular ol' lump (Fogo or similar).

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Here's a pic of the two zone in action. Note the half main on the left. Once I got enough char on, I moved the steak to the half main and closed the lid for about 5 minutes. With a reverse sear, you start on the cool side until you get to the right internal temp, then flash it over the coals to sear. This configuration also works for low and slow. I'll keep the temp down in the 250-300 range and put the meat on the half main. No need to reconfigure anything. 

 

MVIMG_20190413_164442.thumb.jpg.657821cf27947706cb0f95c69fcedc44.jpg

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True, those of us with the smaller KKs can't get this same configuration; but, the 23" can do a decent approximation of it. However, the 23" has a round charcoal basket, so we can do front/back splits and not just left/right. This front/back configuration works great when you are using the rotisserie, as you can put the fire in the back, so the meat as it rotates in and out of the direct heat zone. 

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I mostly use my splitter when using the rotisserie, so towards the back (just have the 23).  Now there is a partial main grate for the 23, but what I have been doing is putting the whole main grate on my table next to my KK and when things get too seared, and need to finish cooking through, I just move them onto the main grate, then transfer the whole main grate into position.  It's easy and fulfills the same purpose. 

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BTW, if you need the space, I'd never talk you out of a 32, but the 23 can hold a whole lot of BBQ/or probably atleast 2 big roasts.  When I entertain for biggish groups I'm usually doing these things rather than individual steaks (although I have done steaks for 10 without any issues) because I'd rather spend time with my guests.  However if you'd rather grill like that for large groups, I'd say get the 32.

For reference I usually BBQ for groups of approximately 25.

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3 minutes ago, DKMC2000 said:

Thanks for the pic!!!  Does it still fit removing 1 or more of the straight centers if needing more direct space?  And does a brisket cook best positioned all on the indirect side?  Thanks!

The splitter is designed so you can remove one or more flat sections. Most useful configuration is 50% (one flat section removed). I haven't used it any other way and can't imagine why I'd want to.

For low and slow, yes you want indirect heat. In the 32 you could do this one of two ways (and I've done both successfully). 

1) Use a full basket lit in ONE SPOT ONLY. Put in the middle grate. Lay down a sheet of aluminum foil as a heat deflector (that's all you need...aluminum foil). Put the meat on the main grate above the foil.

2) Use the splitter and put the meat on the half main indirect. Make sure you put a drip pan on the flat part of the splitter to catch the drips.

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Here's a pic of the second method -- with the meat on the indirect side. What I like about this is that it leaves the coal exposed so I can throw on more wood chunks if I want, or just reposition them to make sure I'm getting smoke (sometimes hard to do in a kamado due to very small flame zone for low and slow cooks).

IMG_20181124_114128.thumb.jpg.4663b0a7c7e5a90c1f859b0fb7642365.jpg

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19 minutes ago, DKMC2000 said:

Thanks for the info!  What temperature and time were you using to get such a pretty barking on top?  Is that a rib roast?

Pork shoulder. I don't recall the temp on this particular cook, but I typically do shoulders at 250-275. 

Oh...and looking at it, I think this was the Korean Pulled Pork recipe from Steven Raichlen. The "rub" is gojuchang.

Edited by Pequod
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