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SloRoller on Big Joe 2 - Worth It?


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I searched and didn't find any existing topic on this - at least not within the past two years.  If this is a dup please just direct me to the original.

 

I have a Big Joe 2 and was interested in adding the SloRoller, but I know that it was specifically designed to work with the shape of the Joe 3 series, rather than the shorter Joe 2.  Has anyone that's added it to their Joe 2 noticed any improvement in their cooks?  Or is it one of those things that is technically compatible with the 2, but really not beneficial unless you have the 3?

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You'll probably get a few opinions on this. I have two Big Joe IIIs, which came with the SloRollers, and here are my thoughts:

  1. It's overrated. I don't find it produces much better flavor than just using heat deflectors.
  2. It's not as versatile as the heat deflectors.
  3. It's harder to clean than the heat deflectors.
  4. It takes up a lot more space when not in use than the heat deflectors.

If my grills hadn't come with them, I would not buy them. As a matter of fact, one of mine has never been used. Not because I'm avoiding it, just because I have never ran both grills together where I could put both to use.

 

I don't think having a gen II vs a gen III will make the SloRoller any more or less effective. It should perform the same on yours as it would a III.

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Thanks for that review.  That matches many other reviews I've read across the net, but of course, there's the folks that swear by them.  I wonder if they've only used the SloRoller, or are going off of solid before/after comparisons.  Definitely something I'd like to try out, but I'm not going to spend the $250ish just to experiment, so maybe I'll keep my eyes on the classified section and craigslist to see if anyone's getting rid of one.

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I just got mine from Lowes for my BJ II.  Haven't used it.   Definitely gonna use a drip pan.  I'm  hoping, if it ends up like my DoJoe in the closet under the garage, I can psychologically deceive myself into thinking it is awesome.  See, I couldn't do that with the DoJoe, LOL...

 

Some things look so good on paper.

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On 12/14/2021 at 8:59 AM, Gebo said:

I just got mine from Lowes for my BJ II.  Haven't used it.   Definitely gonna use a drip pan.  I'm  hoping, if it ends up like my DoJoe in the closet under the garage, I can psychologically deceive myself into thinking it is awesome.  See, I couldn't do that with the DoJoe, LOL...

 

Some things look so good on paper.

 

I dont think you can run a drip pan

From what i've seen the grill grates pretty much sit on the SloRoller if fitted to a series 2 grill  

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If you've already got a JT and have some Grill Toys money burning a hole in your pocket, i'd say go for it but i can think of better things to spend $250 on

 

IME, there is a difference in the cooks with a SloRoller but its not significant enough to justify the additional expense and cumbersome storage of it compared to a traditional heat deflector set up 

 

I'd wager that the people who sing its praises the loudest are either:

1- People who got it with their Series 3 from the get go and don't know any different (ignorance) 

2- People who believed the marketing and upgraded their grill specifically to get a SloRoller without ever trying it first (confirmation bias) 

3- Ultra Grilling Nerds who appreciate all the nuance and subtly of this hobby 

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On 12/19/2021 at 11:31 PM, Polar Bear said:

I dont think you can run a drip pan

I bought a SS pizza pan to use as a drip pan (Classic 3) but seldom use it. It’s easier to just wrap the top in foil, which solves the series 2 issue.

 

I agree with most of the other comments here - I’m glad to have it, but wouldn’t spend $250 for it. It came with my Classic 3. I’ve used both the SloRoller and deflector plates and haven’t found a noticeable difference in results. Smoke ring was more pronounced in a SloRoller brisket, but I can’t say for certain that the SloRoller was the contributing factor. 

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I have a Big Joe 2 with no sloroller and a Classic 3 that came with it and I'll say that the sloroller is a noticeable improvement over the deflectors when doing 300+ degree cooks IME. I just cooked on the Big Joe Saturday, and it was at 325 doing three racks of turbo ribs. There was a hot spot on one edge that scorched the end of one of the racks and made it inedible. Was this a disaster? No. Would it have happened with the sloroller? Very unlikely. The heat is so evenly distributed, which I've found to be great when you have to use most of your grill space. I trust my dome temp much more with it.

 

Having seen the difference, I only use my deflectors if I'm going indirect on one side, never both of them in place.

 

It's horrible to clean, though. Just awful.

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3 hours ago, wallawu said:

It's horrible to clean, though. Just awful.

Do you clean the entire unit? I’ve only cleaned the top 2 pieces, not the base. I wrap the flat cover piece in foil, so it stays clean and since the other top piece sits underneath it, it also stays clean. The base, however, is a different story - kinda gross. I asked KJ if it could be taken above 500° for a high heat cleaning, hoping that restriction only applied to the top 2 pieces, but they said it applied to the entire unit.

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My sloroller is a greasy mess. I use a drip pan, but sometimes the meat is larger than the drip pan covers, and sometimes you have mishaps that spill the drip pan onto the sloroller etc.

There seems to be a point where it won't really get any greasier, if that makes sense, but it sure does make for something dirty you have to store somewhere at some point.

My ceramics are fairly clean, in contrast, mostly because I can burn off the crap once in a while.

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On 12/22/2021 at 5:58 PM, jark87 said:

Do you clean the entire unit? I’ve only cleaned the top 2 pieces, not the base. I wrap the flat cover piece in foil, so it stays clean and since the other top piece sits underneath it, it also stays clean. The base, however, is a different story - kinda gross. I asked KJ if it could be taken above 500° for a high heat cleaning, hoping that restriction only applied to the top 2 pieces, but they said it applied to the entire unit.

 

I just flip the top one each time. I'll scrape it off with the side of the long tool that comes with it if it has too much built up. I also use that to scrape off the base, but most importantly, unclog the four slats around the sides. If you point the end straight at it, it'll push right through. It's the perfect size. I don't care about how it looks, just how it performs.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I recently used the SloRoller for a reverse sear steak cook and ended up with better results than a 2 zone cook with a deflector plate. My KJ is a Classic 3, so it’s only 18” vs the larger Big Joe. The Big Joe may allow for better 2 zone cooking.

 

The SloRoller allowed me to space my steaks out better and each one arrived at the target temp at the same time. I then pulled out the SloRoller, dropped in the accessory ring, and put my cast iron griddle in. Griddle was up to 700° in just a few minutes and provided an excellent sear.

 

When using a 1/2 deflector plate, I always had some steaks reaching temp sooner than others. Considering I paid $30/lb for prime filets, I gained a little more appreciation for my SloRoller.

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