Big Steel Keg Review
The following is an excerpt of a review of the Ash Dragon Grill divider from the www.bigsteelkeg.com forums. The complete review with photos and subsequent comments can be seen on their site. Many thank to Michael, aka Skinsandos.
Ash Dragon Fire Bowl Divider Review - Part 1 - I will do a cook later today to see it in action
First design, fit and finish - well made heavy duty 1/4' laser cut steel, it is two pieces the bottom and the upright divider - this allows for easy storage or like me I will leave the bottom in at all times and add the divider when two zone (direct/indirect) or sear and slide cooking is desired.
Fit for the keg is not perfect but it was definitely not designed by our government, as there is only a half inch gaps on each side of the divider between the upright and the keg fire bowl. To be fair this was not aimed specifically at the keg and it is more than usable as designed (see pic) The bottom grate of this fits well and I view it as an upgrade to the standard fire bowl grate.
The height is perfect in my opinion with the cast iron grate in the lower position and the lump to the top of the divider, the coals will be 2.5" below the grate (think colander trick). With grate in upper position the coals are 4.75" below or further below if less lump is used - With the 2.5" coals to grate spacing in the lower position I see some serious searing in my future.
This is not stainless so rust will happen but for me that will allow it to match my fire bowl that has been working hard for almost five years -there would be absolutely no need to try to season this as the direct contact with the coals would not allow seasoning to remain, so an occasional brushing for those with OCD will work and for me that will not happen - Disclaimer stainless would also deteriorate at the temps we cook at keggers.
All in all I am very happy with this new toy of mine and as with all my product references I have no vested interest in this. Visit later to see it in action.
Ash Dragon Firebowl Divider Review - Part 2:
The divider is what it says it is - worked like a champ. I have never two zoned cooked on one keg as I usually fire up two kegs one to sear one to smoke and finish. The thoughts of only needed one keg to get it done intrigued me so I took the plunge.
I wanted wings for the race so I started them on the indirect side with a mild 225* fire and apple smoke, let them go an hour. The one sided fire was as easy if not more easily controlled temp wise as a normal cook, vent setting were exactly the same as I would use with a full bowl of lump. Once the fat was rendered to my liking I opened the vents and in 15 min it was 550*, seared them bad boys for 4 min and juicy crispy skin wings were the result - test one excellent
I shut the vents down to pin holes to keep a fire for later, 5 hours later it was 200* I added a little more lump and opened the vents for a 400* cook, in 20 min I had a blast furnace on one side of the keg and 400* dome
I loaded stuffed portabella caps on the "cool" side and the tri-tip on the furnace side for a good searing it spent 4 min flipping around on the direct heat then joined the shrooms for a nice oven type oak smoke and finish. Took the tri-tip off at 125 internal with a nice crust, the shrooms finished right on time with the beef. As with all my steak cooks I did the searing lid open the whole time.
I again have had no experience with this style of cooking and the cook was perfect so any kegger out there should be able to put this contraption to work without issues. Below are some pics of both cooks
Tri-Tip with blue cheese mashed taters - spinach, red bell pepper, garlic, leek, panko, asiago stuffed portabella caps - homemade fresh horseradish sauce