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Heat diffuser - when do you use it


dman
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I know I am still a newbie, having only hadmy Big Joe since May, but I have done several cooks with and without the deflector. Last night I cooked a pork loin without the deflector and without wrapping in foil. I usually foil the loin from the beginning for more juice. This time I cooked it at 290 for about one hour, turning every 20 minutes or so. The first side down kinda seared, but the other side did not.

I am thinking with the deflector this would not happen. I usually do not use the deflector on beef roasts but tend to do soon chicken, ribs slow cooks, etc.

Do most of you use the deflector except when cooking steaks?

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At 290 Dman you're definitely still at a roasting smoking temp. The cook would've definitely benefited from a heat deflector. North American pork is extremely lean. Neatly cutting the pork tenderloin into a flat roll and and adding a premium creamy butter will also improve the moisture and flavor. I normally inject my pork tenderloin with pink salt, chicken broth and garlic powder and let fridge it overnight to make it more tender as well.

By adding a little extra fat you get and more tender and moist pork tenderloin.

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I use a deflector for everything except a steak cook. Even on a high heat Pizza cook I use both a deflector in a low position and a pizza stone up at mid dome height. Using the deflector and a probe, I feel that I can stretch out a cook causing it to take longer without direct searing heat. Even with the deflector, if I let the heat climb at the end , I get nice crisp skin, just like a roast in the oven.

 

Works for me.

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You discovered exactly what a heat deflector is for.  It's to stop food from searing.  Even if you are cooking at 225-250 degrees without a heat deflector, your food will sear.  It will just take longer.  The heat from the fire rising directly to the meat will sear it.  It's HOTTER than your dome temperature.  Significantly hotter. The heat deflector forces that hot air around the meat in a more uniform manner... a convection cook in a sense.  It more evenly distributes the heat at a slower pace.  

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I've pretty much decided that I will use the deflector for everything except steaks. With my Joe it's a breeze to get to whatever temp I choose.

the indirect method is a GREAT way to cook... but with your decision, does this mean no flame-kissed burgers, chicken, veggies. etc.?  Ever??

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  • 7 years later...

I use  1/2 deflector plate for chicken thighs thick chops or anything i want to cook slow then when close to temp i place on a lower level grate to sear and crisp the skin. I guess this is a type of reverse searing I do veggies this way also. I don't use foil on the deflectors just flip over every cook plus i after cooking i kick the grill up to about 500 while we eat to burn the lost flavor juice off.  

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Same as the above, drip pan above deflectors, especially if I’m mopping, and high heat for cleaning up. The one thing I do wrap in foil is the slo roller cover plate, since it says not to heat that over 500°.

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