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2-zone Grilling (Reverse Sear) Methods


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I just purchased my Akorn off Amazon the other day and will be putting it together this weekend. I've been cooking on webers/gassers for years and wanted to change it up for some low-n-slow smoking and this forum made me pull the trigger. It will be my only current grill, so I was trying to figure out the best way to cook a reverse sear/2-zone steak or similar. It's the best way to cook a steak IMO and I see many varying ways to do it. What you you guys consider the best?

 

The main thread on this site showing the custom bent wire basket or something no longer shows pictures so I had a tough time trying to understand how that process all worked. I've seen split diffusers online, the adjustable CharGriller rack, searing directly on the weber grate...etc. Has anyone been able to replicate a true 2-zone cooking process where I can bring a steak up to 105 in 45 min or so, then sear it quick up to 125?

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Hi MustangSS glad to have both you and your Akorn with us. I am not sure what kid of diffuser rack comes with an Akorn, but here is a pic of how I do a two zone set up on my large Egg. I just did a Tri Tip and CowBoy beans cook. I simply slip a half 13" or 14" stone onto a spider placed beneath my main grate. In this pic you can see my pot of beans set over the stone and the Tri Tip directly over my coals. Previous to this pic I positioned the Tri Tip directly above the foil wrapped 1/2 stone. This set up works easy pizzey, you simply slide the meat from one side to the other. During this cook I brought the Tri Tip up to and IT of  110 and then moved it over to sear up to an IT  125, before I pulled it.  

 

You can see the stone or the left side of my Egg, beneath the main grate. 

DSC_3118.JPG

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-Light your coals and manage your vents for low/slow.

-Set a cast iron griddle on the Weber grate. I use the one from Academy sports

-Cook steaks low/slow to an IT of 105.

-Open vents and remove main cooking grate.

-When your griddle is screaming hot throw the steaks on for a finishing sear.

 

 

 

 

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So here's the searing basket set-up.  You need the Weber charcoal grate (or one like it) that fits on the lower tabs, and it helps to have the expanded metal basket to contain the lump.

 

Cook on the cool side until you're close to pull temp, then finish with a sear on the hot side.

 

It takes about 3/4 of a chimney to fill up your hot side with lit lump.  The lump will be very close to the meat and you'll get a good sear.

 

IMG_0648.JPG

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On 5/10/2017 at 11:58 AM, 540perry said:

So here's the searing basket set-up.  You need the Weber charcoal grate (or one like it) that fits on the lower tabs, and it helps to have the expanded metal basket to contain the lump.

 

Cook on the cool side until you're close to pull temp, then finish with a sear on the hot side.

 

It takes about 3/4 of a chimney to fill up your hot side with lit lump.  The lump will be very close to the meat and you'll get a good sear.

 

IMG_0648.JPG

 

This is exactly what I'm looking for. Any info on how to build this basket? I saw there was another thread a while ago but the pictures are missing.

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21 minutes ago, MustngSS said:

 

This is exactly what I'm looking for. Any info on how to build this basket? I saw there was another thread a while ago but the pictures are missing.

FWIW Weber has half moon charcoal holders that will do the trick. Should be able to find them at any big box store like Home Depot.

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37 minutes ago, MustngSS said:

This is exactly what I'm looking for. Any info on how to build this basket? I saw there was another thread a while ago but the pictures are missing.

 

  • Go to HD/Lowes and buy the Weber charcoal grate that fits the lower tabs, and a 12" x 24" steel expanded sheet (plain steel not galvanized)
  • Cut the steel to match the grate.
  • Bend the other end up to contain the lump.  I just clamped it in my B&D work table and did it with a rubber mallet.
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2 minutes ago, phyre said:

I use the Slow N Sear charcoal basket. It fits perfectly between the Weber grate & the cast iron main grate. I'll snap a cpl pics the next time I use it. 

This is exactly what i did. It worked perfectly. Of course any thing that holds the lump in a nice high pile will work.

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On 5/18/2017 at 11:11 AM, AugustusRooster said:

To each his own but the Slow N Sear seems like overkill (from a cost perspective) for this particular use. You're just looking for something to keep the lump in one place as Marty says.

 

Might be a lil overkill, but I'd bet it does a much better job keeping the cool(ish) side at a lower temp. 2 layers of metal & an air gap between it & the coals. Also if I remember correctly, its like $35...not overly expensive. 

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