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Future Home for some Swangin' Meat

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Well, this isn't a review per se, but kind of a preview. Someone posed the question of hanging meat down through a top vent... I have and enjoy my Pit Barrel Cooker.... And I've been toying with this concept for Kamado for a while. THEN I watched one of Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke shows where he smoked a hanging beef tenderloin on a PBC. This was what pushed me toward filling this void in my grilling sub-conscience.

My safety net here is my Vortex metal cone. That makes me think I can hang meat either direct over coals or indirect.

The hangman apparatus is a "Chicken Rack" made by/for Kahuna Kamado's. The model of their Kamado is what they call 23" size, and the diameter of the GrillGrates is just under 21". All of this looks to be a great fit for my Big Joe. Locating one online and then getting correct item shipped was a challenge, but I won't get into the 'customer service' of the retailer I used. I spent $60 on the rack. The company website sells them for $80 (not sure of shipping). And I found a seller on eBay that sells them for $45. If I was starting over, I'd go the eBay route. Quality of the rack seems good enough. Definitely not up to snuff for a KJ product, or any of the other competitors. I mention KJ because I physically sat the rack on one of my SS half-grates, and the gauge and weight wasn't close. I'd guess about 60-70% as thick of gauge? The one big bar that goes over the top is almost as thick as the KJ rod, but the bottom grate is weaker. Not perfectly welded, but not too bad. The hanging hook would probably be best for poultry smaller than a turkey. But, the circle loop would take any smallish hanging hook.

Set-up shown is with Vortex opening up with the small hole down and big hole up. Centers nicely on my KickAshBasket. Would spread coals and wood around outside of the Vortex inside the KAB. While I did not try the Chicken Rack with the D&C it would probably work. It does work perfectly withe the X-Rack, sitting on top of the fire-bowl-ring. The center rod of the Chicken Rack is just inside/smaller than the center circle of the X-Rack. I'm sure a person could cut and file the center ring out of the chicken-rack and your hanging area would be as waive as the center opening of the X-Rack. With the chicken rack basically at the top f the fire ring, the top of the rack is about 4 inches from the top opening of the top vent...which translates to ant an inch of space between top of rack and inside of lid. The top part goes into the two rod/pipe/joint spots with a set-screw (think that's what they're called) to secure it. So storage of the rack is almost flat (the X-spikes on the hanger part are maybe two inches wide), so this will store basically in the same space as my X-Rack. All things considered, it is a really great fit, I think! I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff, but was pretty excited to set up some new toys. Will hang something on it as soon as I can.





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You need to cover the firegrate holes below the meat, otherwise you will just get a jet of fresh outside air rising around the meat.  You will end up with less smoke flavor if you leave those holes uncovered.

Thanks for the tip, that should be a big factor when I'm doing indirect. I had thought that there wouldn't be much airflow, but the shape and physics of it all would do just that.. I was thinking that I'd put some sort of dip pan there in the center. Primarily to keep a mess of stuff from dripping down through to the ash chute and bottom of fire bowl, but potentially to save some drippings to make gravy or au jus. You think a decent heavy drip pan would do the trick? Would I want a solid circular pan that fits tight inside the bowl of the Vortex? That would essentially force all the air to the outside of the Vortex, into the coals. That would probably be ideal? I'm sure there's a ton of things I'll have to experiment with and learn as I go. If there's any other detail I haven't thought of, I'm counting on you guru's to help me out.

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