High Heat

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Dave from Denver

TVWBB Wizard
I'm fairly comfortable with my WSM in re: low and slow cooking but the world of high heat cooks is still a little foreign to me. As I just installed a flower pot base into my water pan, I anticipate experimenting with more high heat cooks.

Does your book address this technique? Do you use it personally? Any tips you'd like to share specific to high-heat cooks?


Gary Wiviott

TVWBB Member

Basic instructions for high-heat cooking or “smoke-roasting” on the WSM, kettle, and offset are outlined in “Low & Slow” on page 221. My thoughts? Smoke-roasting makes sense when you’re cooking naturally tender cuts of meat that don’t require the low and slow, indirect cook that tougher cuts require. My preferred technique, particularly for smoke-roasting prime rib, is to remove the waterpan. By opening all of the vents and removing the waterpan, you can make the temperature in the cooker run closer to 375*F—comparable to oven-roasting, but oh so much better. The combination of direct heat, lump charcoal and wood chunks gives prime rib a crunchy, spicy, caramelized, juicy, fatty, rich, smoky, meaty riot of flavors that really trips my trigger.

I have not used the "flower pot base", but I occasionally use sand in the waterpan to the same basic effect. My technique for using sand is a little different than most: I fill a Brinkman* 2-gallon charcoal pan 3/4s full of sand, cover the sand with foil, and fill the remainder with water. The foil/water cover cuts down on dripping fat burning and creating off flavors in the meat, particularly in the initial stages of the cook.



*Brinkman Charcoal Pan modification on VWB site
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