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g_atchley

Fire Bowl Alterations

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After 10 years of great performance, my Bubba Keg finally bit the dust and rusted out (salt air is a killer). So to replace it, I purchased a value-priced Kamado style ceramic cooker. It's nicely detailed and a good looking finish but the fire bowl is too tall to accommodate my heat deflector and cast iron cooking grate (retained from the Bubba Keg). My initial thought is to notch the ceramic fire bowl in three places in order to lower the cooking surface by 1.5 inches so that it doesn't stand proud of the gasketed lower half of the cooker. Does anyone have experience or suggestions for cutting or notching the ceramic fire bowl? My fear is that it might crack, break, shatter either during the process or after the fact while cooking.

 

Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated.

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Welcome, glad to have you and your Vision with us. IMO notching the fire box is petty risky and a bigger loss for you, if things don't go well.   If it were me, I would cut the legs on the griddle, before I would mess with the fire box. Another option is to just get a spider from CGS to hold a stone, that's what I used when I cooked on a Vision. Best of luck finding a solution. 

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Posted (edited)

Keeperovdeflame and I are thinking exactly the same thing... you have much less risk in cutting the legs off the heat deflector that way if anything was to go wrong the heat deflector is a much easier piece to replace with after market parts than the fire bowl.

 

P.s. if the heat deflector you already have is metal it will be easier to cut than the ceramic is to notch

 

Edited by ndg_2000
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Thanks for all the input.

My fears are confirmed and I'll leave the fire bowl as is and just get over the height of the cooking surface. I guess it doesn't really bother anything, it just looks jack leg and slightly unstable.

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Welcome. I agree with not cutting the fire bowl,  it's liable to result in disaster either now or later.

 

Check out my "I rebuilt my Bubba Keg" post here -

It was a fun project and my Keg still lives. 

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Ditch the legged heat deflector, take some measurements and get a spider CGS, and use a round pizza stone as a deflector. That will lower the deflector and let you put the grate on the fire bowl.

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So, I decided to fire it up a few minutes ago and roll with the set up as shown and see what we get. I have prepped three racks of ribs for this first trial.

 

Now,  I have a new question. When cooking ribs, do you guys use a drip pan with water? No water? No drip pan? 

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5 hours ago, g_atchley said:

So, I decided to fire it up a few minutes ago and roll with the set up as shown and see what we get. I have prepped three racks of ribs for this first trial.

 

Now,  I have a new question. When cooking ribs, do you guys use a drip pan with water? No water? No drip pan? 

I don't use a drip pan. I just cook the ribs indirect.

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The ribs turned out great! I used the setup as shown in the photos with a drip pan set on the heat deflector. Initially I didn't use any water but ultimately shared a beer or two with the drip pan. My "go to" procedure is based on the one Adam Perry Lang details in his book. It works every time but the more I use it, the more I ad-lib to suit my time frame and mood (I'm sure you all do the same). So, bottom line, I'm very happy with this cooker. Looking forward to sharing next efforts. We have a local BGE competition coming up in September (http://www.eggsonthebeach.com/) so we'll be trying some new things in preparation for this event that will have 700+ attendees.

As always, we're all ears for ideas, tips, and suggestions.

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