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Breaking in the Vortex on the kettle: questions.

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by browneyesvictim, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    So i got this thing fired up. Got 3/4 chimney with RO Chefs Select and several medium sized pieces of Lazzari lump. Left vents open and temps shot up like a rocket like i expected it would. Im cooking some chicken hind quarters to get a feel for it. Do you guys throttle the temps down with vents or just let it blaze as intended!

    Dried out skin in convection oven. Sprinkled a little of Jeff's rub with oil. A fresh batch of Jeff's bbq sauce to finish.

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  2. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

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    Instant read says 185 to 190. Time to flip and start saucing.

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    Quite the disparity between dome temp and grate temp.
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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  3. dcecil

    dcecil Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Chicken looks awesome. I can’t wait to get a vortex for my Weber. THe thing that caught my eye in the picture is what your chimney is sitting on. Is that a propane burner. And let me just say if it is and that’s how you light your chimney GENIUS. LOL
     
  4. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thank you. And yes. That propane burner is awesome for that. They light in mere minutes. When I start the Lazzari lump with that... what a fireworks show!
     
  5. dcecil

    dcecil Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I bet it is, guess I’m gonna have to grab one of those when I grab my kettle. How did the chicken turn out
     
  6. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Outstanding skin and flavor but a little overdone. Not dry though being dark meat. Char was perfect to my liking. I have learned to not be afraid to go hotter and faster and less time with the vortex. It's not going to burn with the dome therm pegged!
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    gmc2003 likes this.
  7. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The propane burner came with a turkey fryer set-up. I use the aluminum stockpot and perforated basket more for boiling crab. But i use the gas burner for pan roasting green coffee beans now too.
     
  8. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    I let it go full bore. No throttling down the vents. That chicken looks great.

    Point for sure.

    Chris
     
  9. joedube70

    joedube70 Meat Mopper

    Looks good!
    I am breaking in a new vortex this afternoon.
     
    browneyesvictim likes this.
  10. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I let mine go full throttle too, but I use a full grate & put a chunk of wood over the fire.
    I have found it easier to just start with about 1/2 chimney of coals & the fire isn't quite so hot.
    The first time I used it I did wings & they were done in about 15 minutes, I had to use welding gloves to take the lid off.
    I thought it was gonna melt the lid. But boy is it a chicken wing smoking machine!!
    Al
     
  11. 73saint

    73saint Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I hadn’t even heard of this device, where have I been? Gotta get one!
     
  12. What size Vortex is it? Which size should I get for 22" Weber? The medium? Are you all getting the actual Vortex brand or knock offs?
     
  13. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thanks Chris for the like. Thank you for the input. I throttled this cook down. But I wont on the next one and see how it goes.

    Awesome. I really like this thing so far. I can envision I will be using mine a lot.

    Thank you AL Your input is appreciated as well. For wings I will definitely go full bore, but I wasn't so sure about that with leg quarters. But it sure got hot when I did have all the vents open! I guess I "chickened" out. I wasn't sure on how much charcoal to put in it either. Do you monitor your grate temps at all other than (ignoring) the dome therm? I'm going to try the full grate next time and a wood chunk. I didn't put any in with the coals either and I didn't get much smoke al all.

    Place your order 73 and join the club. Everyone that I know of that got one LOVES it. I just got my first crush last night...

    This one is a Medium size that is for the 22 Kettle 26.75 WSM, and the medium Kamado and BGE. This one is an authentic Vortex brand.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  14. Thank you! Gotta order one!
     
  15. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thank you AL Your input is appreciated as well. For wings I will definitely go full bore, but I wasn't so sure about that with leg quarters. But it sure got hot when I did have all the vents open! I guess I "chickened" out. I wasn't sure on how much charcoal to put in it either. Do you monitor your grate temps at all other than (ignoring) the dome therm? I'm going to try the full grate next time and a wood chunk. I didn't put any in with the coals either and I didn't get much smoke al all.

    I put an oven therm on the grate close to the outside where the meat is, you know one of those $5 ones from Wally World. The temp usually stays in the 350+ range.
    I figured that much heat would fry a temp probe. I'm sure the middle of the dome was 1000 degrees, the first run.
    Also after the first run I used a cast iron grate, cause I thought the Weber S/S grate was going to melt. It got red hot in about 30 seconds.
    After using less charcoal the wings take about 45 min to an hour to cook, and boy are they crispy!!
    Al
     
    browneyesvictim likes this.
  16. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    I'm with Al on the full grate, I only use KKB and a full grate with a chunk of wood in the middle. The only difference is that I fill the Vortex up to the top. If it's too hot you can lift the lid and basically stop the cooking(except residual). Make sure you use some type of insulated glove or you'll burn your hand.

    Chris
     
    browneyesvictim likes this.
  17. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Another round... wings this time! 24 hours in slaughterhouse brine.

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    3/4 chimney RO select. I did also throw in a chunk of kiawe. 5 lbs of wings sections on. No rub.

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    Getting there... for some reason temps are cruising at 425 with vents wide open. I eas expecting hotter and faster like last time. Hmmm...
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    Sauced 1/2 with dirtsailors Carolina Gold and 1/2 Jeff's Bbq sauce.
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    They took over an hour to get done. But OMG so good! The kiawe really came through and were a hit for the 4th.

    Lessons learned:
    Adding some Lump vs straight briquettes= BIG difference in temps with vents wide open.
    5 lbs. of wing sections is the max load with this ring shaped grate.
    Kiawe is AWSOME on wings!
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  18. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    Looks mighty tasty to me BEV, I was surprised that it took over an hour to finish. Mine are usually done in under an hour. I do however fill the Vortex up to just under grate level. Nice job on those wings.

    Chris
     
  19. 73saint

    73saint Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    That sure looks tasty, where do you get kiawe?
     
  20. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thank you. That's what I was expecting as well- particularly after my experiences with the hind quarter smoke. The only thing different is I used a mix of lump and briquetts last time. I guess it is possible I might have had a bottom vent(s) plugged or something.

    Thank you. I bought the Kiawe directly online from Guava Wood Farms Hawaii, but the order was fulfilled by Kauai Tree Care
     
    73saint likes this.

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