I will just leave this here


 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
That is correct Larry. The gas assist on the Summit and many Perfomers is simply a convenient way to light the charcoal. It is not meant to be used to cook food. In reality, it does not produce enough heat to cook anything by itself.
 

Joe Zoots

TVWBB Fan
I have a gas assist performer. I seems like the longer you leave the assist on, it longer it takes for all of the coals to light(the ones right over the flames are red hot but the ones on top of the pile stay black). Turn it off and 10 minutes later, they are all burning.
It’s like the flame from the burner consumes all of the oxygen and keeps the fire from spreading. What do I know?
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Joe,
I admittedly have little experience with coal burning and this was the first time that I had ever used the gas assist system. But, I would back you up on that assertion. I lit it and almost immediately the smoke started rolling and I could tell it was working, but after 4 or 5 minutes, I really couldn't hardly even see any gray on the coals. I don't know how long I left it on, but it did seem to not progress like I thought it would with the flames blowing. When I finally turned it off, I could just barely see some gray on the bottom coals so I went in to prep the wings and 10-15 minutes later, I came out to find a pile of coals with gray all over them. I do also think there is a diminishing return with the use of the gas assist with 5 minutes being nearly as effective as 10 minutes of use.
 

Rich G

TVWBB Diamond Member
Man, Bruce, good thing you used the gas assist on that wing cook, otherwise this would be a lot of charcoal talk in the gasser forum! ;) ;)

That's a great pickup for $200, let alone $100. I'd probably keep it in place of one of my kettles, but then again, I'm only a slightly reformed charcoal bigot. :) Glad you cooked on it!

@Joe Zoots, my process with my Performer is to pile the coals over the assist burner, light, then come back three minutes later and turn it off. I look at it like my chimney......I just need to get the bottom few coals going, and they'll do the rest.....saves on gas, too. :)

R
 

Kevin L (NKY)

TVWBB Gold Member
OK, guys. My first attempt at charcoal grilling in probably 15 years and I was only a very occasional coal burner before that. I had the opportunity to do this on my $100 Summit Charcoal Grilling Center. I picked it up a week ago and plan to rehab and resell it, but I wanted to be able to say I have actually cooked on one.
So, lets begin. I am now convinced I did not use enough charcoal. I used Kingsford and combined with my lack of experience using coal and the sheer size of this grill, I wound up mistakenly going light on the charcoal. So, I fired up the gas assist....What a great invention. So after running the gas for 4 or 5 minutes, I spread out the coals and let the grill get up to 400. Then I got to work putting on the Buffalo Chicken Wings. It was a great thing to have the extra grill space of this grill. I had about 8lbs of wings and it was a tight fit. No way would my Genesis have handled that. After I put the wings on, I never did get it back to much over about 350, but that was plenty to get them done. Just not as "crispy" as I can normally get them on the Genesis. This was clue #2 that I didn't have enough coal. After they were fully cooked, I coated them with the Buffalo sauce and put them back on. This is where I really felt the mistake of not enough coal. I like to sear the snot out them for a few minutes each side to get the sauce to glaze on. But that wasn't happening at 300 degrees and a good foot from the coals to the cooking grate. Anyway, they came out fine. The wife loved them and says they are better than when I do them on the Genesis. But, she just likes the grill. She calls it the "Hair Dryer" grill because she thinks it looks like the 1950's hair dryers when the lid is open. I personally did not really taste a difference. Maybe if I had some Genesis wings to eat side by side I might taste a difference, but I just didn't notice any special smoke flavor or anything like that.

So anyway, back to the ease and familiarity of my Genesis. But, if I ever do decide to get back into coal burning, I will definitely get a Performer with the gas assist. Wish me luck on the rehab and flip on the Summit. I am anxious to get started on it.

5:38pm, I have had the gas assist going for a couple minutes.
View attachment 36477

This is 5:40pm and I can see white at the bottom of the coal pile.

View attachment 36478

This is 6:00pm and the coals are ready to do their thing.

View attachment 36479

This is 6:28pm and the wings are getting close to needing sauce View attachment 36480

All Done and ready for the table:

View attachment 36487

Here are the coals after I was done cooking. Definitely looking a bit thin.

View attachment 36482

Picture of the $100 grill after I got it home.

View attachment 36490
Bruce,
Ok I will be a nice guy and give you 500 for if you meet me say half way from AZ to do the pick up.
That would be the last grill I would ever have to buy. I might even chip in for your gas....
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Joe,
I admittedly have little experience with coal burning and this was the first time that I had ever used the gas assist system. But, I would back you up on that assertion. I lit it and almost immediately the smoke started rolling and I could tell it was working, but after 4 or 5 minutes, I really couldn't hardly even see any gray on the coals. I don't know how long I left it on, but it did seem to not progress like I thought it would with the flames blowing. When I finally turned it off, I could just barely see some gray on the bottom coals so I went in to prep the wings and 10-15 minutes later, I came out to find a pile of coals with gray all over them. I do also think there is a diminishing return with the use of the gas assist with 5 minutes being nearly as effective as 10 minutes of use.
I agree Bruce I've had a gas assist performer for many years and 5 minutes is the max I run it. After that you're just wasting propane.
 

Dave in KC

TVWBB Wizard
I am now convinced I did not use enough charcoal.

Bruce, I think you had about the right amount of charcoal. Lump puts out a little
more heat as others have mentioned, but your good old KBB should have done
the job just fine. From your post, it seems you were looking to make grilled wings,
but ended up with smoked wings. Nothing wrong with either, just not the same and
it doesn't fulfill your desire when you want one, but end up with the other.
Here are a couple of things I would recommend ...

Use a chimney to light the coals. They will light much quicker and uniform to
reach the higher temp needed for what you wanted.

The coal grate is a 2 position grate. You had the center lowered -- for smoking.
To grill at higher temps you would want the coals closer to the food.

I didn't see any mention of the dampers, but they would need wide open for the highest
heat possible. I have also propped the lid open a little and have even used a fan a few
feet from the bottom damper to get that temp up around 550 degrees.

No shame in your wings though. They look great. If you happen to have any leftover,
dropped them in a hot skillet with some oil to crispen up.
Fried, smoked wings are AWESOME!!
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Dave: I did have the dampers wide open. But, I found out later that you can actually open the entire top damper by lifting it. It is on a hinge. Yep, I did use the bottom position for the coals. I figured that was normal since that is where the gas assist is.
 

DanHoo

TVWBB Pro
I'm amazed that he's asking $10 for the wood framed model. I guess that makes it rare and unique.

This is what "Free" could have bought on Saturday.

1631046490821.png
 

DanHoo

TVWBB Pro
is there a parallel thread like this for the coal burners? I fear this may stray too far OT since it isn't gas assist and there's not even a gas can in the background.


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