I used to cook on this once a week & fed a lot of hungry people. It always worked perfectly, if you just leave it alone. A few tips... use an entire ten lb. bag of charcoal, stack it up like a pyramid in the charcoal pan, and make sure it's completely saturated with lighter fluid. If you do these steps correctly, you can let it smoke for 5 to 6 hrs. and never once have to open the door to check on it, or add more charcoal or water. Your thermostat should stay at the lower end of "hot". This method cooked everything I ever put on it to perfection, with that rich, reddish ring around the outside edge. Whole pork loins, huge beef rump roasts turkeys, etc. Go ahead & fill up the racks & then LEAVE IT ALONE! Opening the door or lid is the enemy of a good smoking session. I used to put assorted vegetables in the water pan, along with the water. I filled it up with potatoes, carrots, onions, whole mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, etc., then filled the pan all the way to the top with water. As the meat would cook, the juices would drip and become incorporated into the vegetables, which would give them a delicious flavor. They're the tastiest vegetables you'll ever eat. Only once did my coals seem to burn a little hot & I had to add more water to the pan in all my years of cooking this way. If you absolutely must open the door, just make it fast. Enjoy. This is a good value and works well.
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