This is my attempt to modify my new Green Mountain Daniel Boone grill to sear, grill, and cook high temperature items. About all pellet cookers are setup to cook indirect which makes it a little more difficult to accomplish this task. A few of the better pellet cookers do have an insert which can be installed or setup for just this purpose. Much of the ideas and data used in this modification comes from the Pelletheads.com forum and I have refined it to suit my method of cooking.
In my opinion, the very best steak or chop must be cooked direct at the “Tip of a Charcoal or Wood Flame” and I feel that this modification comes pretty close to what I can get out of cookers that are designed for this task.
This is a State Fair cut ribeye which I have cut 3/4” thick out of the whole ribeye loin and will be used in a sandwich just like one would purchase at the fair. It was cooked for 4 minutes, turned 90 degrees and cooked for 4 more minutes, turned over and cooked for 4 minutes, and the turned again 90 degrees for 4 more minutes and removed from the cooker. Totally overcooked at well done but this was my first attempt and very easy to fix.
Here is my setup in my Daniel Boone GMG cooker.
I started by laying two firebricks on each side like you see in the picture. My plan is to use a couple of Brinkmann Stainless Steel heat tents over the firebox and up as high as I can get them in the cooker. I want my fire to get plenty of air and as much flame as possible to hit the bottom of the heat tents and spread out under my Grill Grates. Again, the closer I can get to cooking somewhat direct at the “Tip of the Flame” is what I want.
These are my two adjustable Brinkmann Stainless heat tents installed in the cooker.
I put the standard grids into the cooker and then added my two Grill Grates which gives me a very high temp cooking surface of about 13-3/4” by 10-1/2 inch total.
The setup works perfectly in my opinion and the flame or tip of the flame from the fire box is right at the cooking surface of the Grill Grates. At this raised height, the fire does spread out under the heat tents as planned and gives me an even very high heat cooking surface over the total area of the grates. If you look close, I think you can see the flames thru the holes at the grate level.
I was also hoping to be able to cook at under my cookers top temperature range of 500 degrees and still get great results as I felt that it is kinda foolish to have to run at these temps which can lead to warped parts and wasted fuel. I am happy to report that all my cooking is being done at 350 degrees set temp and I am getting great results.
My second round of State Fair steaks were cooked 2 minutes and then turned 90 degrees and then cooked for 2 more minutes and turned again for 2 more minutes and pulled off the grill. This 8 minute total cooking time produced a medium done steak. Still a little too much time as I prefer a more rare steak.
Next up were a couple of boneless chicken breasts and these were cooked for 2-1/2 minutes, turned 90 and cooked 2-1/2 more, then turned over and followed the same on the second side. This 10 minute total cook time produced a final internal temp of 165 degrees.
Chicken just off the cooker.
I also cooked three 1/4 pound fat burgers. These were cooked the same total time as the steaks and were just slightly over done.
The results off my first high temp cook.
The State Fair ribeye is normally served on a bun but since we low carb, I put them on a couple pieces of toasted low carb bread. I then add some lettuce, a thin slice of onion, tomato, and a slice of pickle.
That is one fine sandwich!
I am very pleased with this setup and just need to work on my cooking times.