Vortex With Aluminum Foil

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
IMO, what makes the Vortex work is it increases convection. Lining the charcoal grate with foil, not only keeps the Kettle cleaner but it directs air flow up through the Vortex and it then bounces off the dome.

My old Kettle did not have a heat shield on the lid handle. Using the Vortex, that handle will get so hot I have to wear a glove.

But the outside of the Kettle, where the wings or meats are at, doesn't get nearly that hot. I have an analog Tel Tru gauge at grate level and it might get to 375* but not over 400* .

So there's a lot happening inside the Kettle from the time the heat rises up from the Vortex until it bounces to the outside of the cooking grate. Its cooling fast and that has to create convection.

BTW, when ya line the charcoal grate with foil, ya have to watch for small grease fire. If the grease puddles near the Vortex and seeps under the edge of the Vortex, it can catch fire.
Thanx for the replies; This afternoon I will be grilling on my Weber Performer Deluxe around 4lbs of chicken wings using the Small-size Vortex instead of my Medium-size Vortex. I will fill the Vortex with a regular-size Weber Chimney 3/4 full with Weber Blue Bag charcoal and when lit I will add a little more unlit lump charcoal on-top. I figure the chicken wings to reach an internal temperature of 180F will take around one(1) hour and I will give them a flip at the thirty(30) minute mark. Oh, the reason I am using the Small-size Vortex is to give me a little more Indirect grilling Space and here's hoping my lighted Vortex will maintain the proper temperature for around one(1) hour.
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Started around 12 Noon today Costa Rica Time and Maintained around 400F at the Grill Grate Level for around 1 1/4 hours; pulled the Chicken Wings at around 175F and except for no crispy skin the wife stated it-came-out-great. Also added two(2) ears of corn at the same time as the Chicken Wings and that too came-out-great. Oh, last night we put the chicken wings in a Brine bath which produced a moist succulent outcome.

I found-out today that the Small Vortex only has a capacity of holding a little more than 1/2 Regular Weber Chimney full of charcoal which gave me a maximum sustained temperature of 400F pulling-off my chicken wings which were fully-cooked in about 1 1/4 hours.

Also, I did place Aluminum Foil completely around the Vortex and it worked very well.

I know, No pictures, as I still need to post my first when I figure-out how to do it???
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Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
The chunks do not ignite, and that's what it takes to get clean smoke. Just not enough air flow.
Lynn, I don’t understand what you are saying here, can you clarify the “ The chunks don’t ignite” statement if they are in a combustion chamber, why do they not ignite?
To be clearer about my set up, I place the Vortex, place the foil to the “outside” (3-4 pieces to isolate airflow through the Vortex) from the bottom of the vortex to the sidewalk of the kettle. If I put a chunk of wood in the Vortex it’s going to burn, thats ignition, isn’t it?
Not raining on a parade but genuinely curious about your statement.

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
Lynn, I don’t understand what you are saying here, can you clarify the “ The chunks don’t ignite” statement if they are in a combustion chamber, why do they not ignite?
Unless the chunks are in flame, they are smoldering to some degree. Igniting into flame is a product of air flow. They don't get enough oxygen in Kettle or WSM.
Yesterday was the first time using Aluminum Foil to cover my Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grate while using the Vortex and happy to report that Clean-up was a "snap". Also, my chicken wings turned-out moist and tasty according to my Grilling Judge "Wifey".
Did you set up like this?
Pretty much the same except I used a little more Aluminum Foil which laid-flat and fully-covered the Charcoal Grate around the Vortex and little-bit up-the-side of the Kettle. I just did a clean-up of the Kettle and this method caught around 99% of the chicken wing's grease dripping. Ugh; need to figure-out how to post some photos on this website??