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Drip pan size VS deflector placement..


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I cooked beef plate ribs yesterday and cleaned up the Kamado this morning.

Two things going on, my ribs were on the upper tier cook grate and therefore up in the dome which was hotter than I wanted, plus the amount of grease I caught was such that I can't imagine not using a pan, and so now I'm on a mission to move to shorter drip pan and to cook on the lowest grid level and still not flood my fire chamber with grease.

The orientation (upside down or right side up) of the diffuser determines the drip pan placement, diameter and depth.

I can fit a 16" but it will start to block off the airgap between the firebowl and diffuser while a 14' will match the floor of the diffuser and not influence heat flow toward the cook grate BUT will it catch all the drippings from a large brisket?

A further datapoint is that I'm going to start using a cast iron pot to produce wood smoke but I'm concerned about the height of the lump pile combined with an iron pot.

With the diffuser installed right side up the distance from my fire grate to the underside of the diffuser is 10.25" which is plenty of room for a pot on the fire but with the diffuser up side down the distance is 8.75", which is perfect for a 1'' drip pan, (no matter if it's 14" or 16" diameter..) BUT leaves no room for a drip pan.

So what to do, I need space for a drip pan but I need space for a iron pot, how to do both?

 

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Personally I don't care that I don't catch every drip I just try to get the biggest part of what's going to drip, never had a fire doing a low and slow even with 3 pork butts on the Akron. That was a lot of drippings in a small area and pan, no problems. I'm sure it could happen under the right circumstances tho.
I don't think that after trimming a full brisket that you would have to worry about a fire with a smaller drip pan. That's been my experience anyway.
You could even trim down a larger disposable aluminum pan to make it fit better if you think that's needed.
Always remember to BURP the lid, grease fumes can ignite.
This has been my experience smoking, as they say yours may vary.


Sent from my Commodore 64

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I use a 2" deep cake pan, sized appropriately in diameter as to not block the air gap. I put in about an inch to 1.5" of clean "play" sand that can be bought in most big box home improvement stores. It acts as a combo drip pan and diffuser. No flare-ups or smelly burnt grease.

When the cook is over I toss the sand with the collected drippings, wipe out the pan and it's ready to refill with sand for another cook.

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My preference is to use a diffuser albeit a thin pizza stone most often and a drip pan for every cook except when I'm grilling direct.  I fill my fire bowl up to the bottom of my diffuser and give the charcoal a stir to let is settle in.  I foil the drip pan so that there is an air space between the foil and the bottom of the pan.  Unless I'm grilling I don't want the greasy smoke on my meat that is produced by the drippings unless I'm doing to steaks or burgers.

Perhaps you could simply bury your smoke pot in the charcoal.  

There is no question the diameter of the diffuser/drip pan has an effect on catching the drippings, also true, size can have an effect on the performance of the cooker.

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My two quart cast iron pot arrived today, got 5 holes drilled in the bottom, gonna toast some wood Sunday and see how she smokes.

I'm going to get a good size fire going lighting in the middle and three places around the outside and press the pot down onto the center coals until the diffuser will clear the handle on the lid.

Hope that that plan succeeds, if not I'll have learned what not to do.

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Hopefully you will achieve what you're looking for.  Here's a link to the diffuser kit I have for my Keg.  I have no idea why BK ever suggested water is needed.  It's totally unnecessary but this pan makes a great drip pan when foiled.  It's heavy gauge steel.  Have a look though at the rack.  It can extend down into your bowl and give you more clearance or conversely it can be elevated.  Just something to think about.  Sometimes there are tools of other cookers that work.

 

Broil King Keg® - KA5533 - Diffuser Kit - YouTube

Edited by K'man
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On 5/8/2017 at 10:48 AM, Rip said:

I use a 2" deep cake pan, sized appropriately in diameter as to not block the air gap. I put in about an inch to 1.5" of clean "play" sand that can be bought in most big box home improvement stores. It acts as a combo drip pan and diffuser. No flare-ups or smelly burnt grease.

When the cook is over I toss the sand with the collected drippings, wipe out the pan and it's ready to refill with sand for another cook.

 

How much air gap do allow with the drip pan in place?

Reason I ask is that I just viewed a youtube video on the subject of fire starting in Kamado (nothing new BUT) when the gentleman was done with the tutorial, he placed a wire rack in the firebowl and then a diffuser or pizza plate on the rack.

The interesting thing is that his diffuser filled almost the entire opening on the fire dome..there was around an 1" or 1 1/4" gap left for air/smoke/heat to rise to the cooking grate.

Reason I ask is that when I first got my Pitboss I bought a 20 inch pizza pan/drip pan, which I was not going use due to possible air blockage.

Here's what it looks like in place and it's the same clearance I saw on that video..

I could use it on the diffuser or with an air gap..I'm very tempted to try it as I want to catch all the grease from a 16lb packer that's thawing in the fridge..

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If you look at the KJ's and I'm sure John S. or other owners can comment in more detail but with their deflector/diffusers in their lower portion they do not leave much room for air.  I've found using the two different sized diffusers that my Keg reacts more slowly with the larger diameter.  I would do a test burn for a few hours if you are unsure how it will operate.

Once I cooked a very large brisket and I used a stainless steel drinking mug under the centre of the brisket to hump it and take up some of the extra length.  I also put foil under the areas of the brisket that hung over the hot zone.  After about 3 hours I was able to remove the cup once the brisket shrunk.  Maybe this idea might assist you.

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Edited by K'man
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21 hours ago, Chasdev said:

 

How much air gap do allow with the drip pan in place?

Reason I ask is that I just viewed a youtube video on the subject of fire starting in Kamado (nothing new BUT) when the gentleman was done with the tutorial, he placed a wire rack in the firebowl and then a diffuser or pizza plate on the rack.

The interesting thing is that his diffuser filled almost the entire opening on the fire dome..there was around an 1" or 1 1/4" gap left for air/smoke/heat to rise to the cooking grate.

Reason I ask is that when I first got my Pitboss I bought a 20 inch pizza pan/drip pan, which I was not going use due to possible air blockage.

Here's what it looks like in place and it's the same clearance I saw on that video..

I could use it on the diffuser or with an air gap..I'm very tempted to try it as I want to catch all the grease from a 16lb packer that's thawing in the fridge..

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My Bubba Keg grate is 18" diameter and I use a 14" pan. So I have basically a 2" gap if the pan is centered. The UDS is about 22.5" dia. and I have a 20" pan. That would have even less gap at about 1.5". I haven't noticed any problems with either as far as draft or temp control goes.
Considering my vent controls are only "cracked" open about 1/4" - top and bottom - after my grill settles down for a low and slow, I believe any gap around the pan around an inch wouldn't affect the draft or the ability to regulate it....that's just from my experiences.  
I cooked an 8lb. Butt this last weekend on The Bubba with this setup and it turned out just fine.
Good luck!!

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35 minutes ago, Chasdev said:

Good news for sure, not only do I have good drip pan, but now I can prove the to the wife it was NOT a waste of money!

You can tell her a 50 lb. sack of sand lasts a long time!

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