Large Adjustable Rig - click the red tabs/links below for more information
Barbequing with the Large Adjustable Rig
Barbeque is typically created using low cooking temperatures and slow cooking times. For most low & slow cooks (ribs, brisket & butts), the cooking temperatures range from 200° to 275° F. The best way to recognize when a cook is done is by meat tenderness or internal temperature. We recommend you shy away from using the "so many hours per pound" method to calculate cooking times. Barbeque is just one of those lazy cooking methods that answers to the ole saying . . . "It's done when it's done!"
With ceramic cookers, Big Green Egg® and Kamado Joe® included, the essential accessory to create mouth watering barbeque is a heat diffuser or indirect piece. A heat diffuser or indirect piece protects the underside of the food from burning. Using a heat diffuser or indirect piece in ceramic cooking is universally called an indirect set-up.
Our preferred indirect set-ups use ceramic stones as the indirect piece or heat diffuser. More information on ceramic stones can be found here. To summarize: Stones come in various sizes, lend themselves to multiple configurations, are durable, match the round shape of the cooker and have no legs to hinder airflow. Lump can burn in excess of 1000° F, so it's important to use the proper heat diffuser. Our stones are produced with high temperature cordierite formulas, have 5/8" minimum thickness and are made in the USA.
If at all possible, we recommend matching the indirect set-up to the size of the cook. Go small indirect with small cooks. Go large indirect with large cooks. Go long indirect with lengthy cuts, such as ribs and brisket. Setting up in this manner will provide the greatest protection and produce consistent temperatures across the grid.
The primary (first) ceramic stone to purchase is either our 13" Round or 13”x17” Oval Ceramic Stone. Match the 13" Stone with our 13.5", 14” and 16” Round Stainless Drip Pans for conventional indirect set-ups. If your primary barbeque is ribs and/or briskets, then the 13"x17” Oval Stone might be your best match. We specifically designed the Oval Stone to provide full indirect protection along the entire rib rack and brisket. We offer an R (Ribs) & B (brisket) Oval Combo Package in our Shopping Cart.
Single Grid Barbequing:
Generally, with the large 18" grid atop the Adjustable Rig, you can smoke one or two butts, a couple racks of baby back or St. Louis style ribs, a couple spatchcock chickens, or a brisket flat or small packer. Again, the set-ups are similar to grilling atop the Rig except for the indirect set-up and lower cooking temperatures.
Pictured below are the more common, one grid, indirect set-ups using the 13" Stone with the 13.5" or 16" Drip Pan. We offer a Customer Combo package in our Shopping Cart that includes the 13" Round Ceramic Stone and 13.5" Round Stainless Drip Pan.
Some folks prefer to keep the drip pan off the stone. They feel it helps minimize burned drippings during the cook. Raising our 13.5", 14" or 16" Round Stainless Drip Pans is very easy with the Rig. It just requires a second set of Rig Crossbars.
We exclusively designed the Oval Stone and Oval Foil Ring to extend indirect protection under long meat cuts, specifically ribs and brisket. The Oval shape provides maximum protection with minimal impact on air circulation. The Oval Stone can slide on the Slide Guide. Actual stone measurements are 12.75" wide and 17" long. The Oval Stone is a good match with our 13"x17" Oval Stainless Grid.
For most cooks, the Oval Stone and Oval Ring should sit at Rig Level 1.5. At this Level, the stone is 1.5" above the fire ring and 3.5" below the 18" grid atop the Rig. The Oval Foil Ring needs to sit on the Oval Stone.
Here are a couple barbeque cooks using a single grid, indirect set-up on the Adjustable Rig.
If you need extra headroom above the grid (turkey cooks), you can forgo the 18" grid atop the Rig and use our 16.5" Round or 13"x17" Oval Stainless Grid on Rig Level 4.5. Each Combo package includes either the 16.5" or Oval Grid, so dropping the grid is a convenient option. Level 4.5 provides an extra 1.5" of headroom and Level 3.0 an extra 3" of headroom. Pictured below is a brisket packer cook using the 13"x17" Oval Stone, Foil Ring and Oval Grid. The brisket is on Level 4.5. The Oval Stone and Foil Ring (indirect set-up) are on Level 1.5. The brisket packer was a little more than half way through the cook when the picture was taken. Remember, the indirect set-ups require an extra pair of Rig Crossbars or a Slide Guide.
Plus, you can change a direct grilling cook to an indirect roasting cook by quickly adding a stone under the grid. Pictured below left, our 16" Round Ceramic Stone was set under the chicken legs. Pictured below right, the Oval Stone and foil piece were added under the spatchcock chicken and the chicken dropped to a lower grid setting. We recommend setting the Crossbars or Slide Guide before starting the cook. This way, all you need to do is slip or slide the Stone under the grid.
Indirect with the Spider:
Using the Large Spider accessory is another way to set-up indirect with the Adjustable Rig. The Spider has five legs and drops two inches into the fire ring. The Spider holds our 13" Round Ceramic Stone and 13.5" Round Stainless Drip Pan, creating the indirect set-up. As you can see with the stone on the Spider, the air circulation is virtually unobstructed for 360 degrees - around the entire stone. It is this unobstructed airflow that makes ceramic stones our preferred indirect (barbequing) method in ceramic cookers.
(Important) Since the inside diameter of the Large Big Green Egg® fire ring is 15-1/2" to 16", we strongly recommend limiting the stone and pan's maximum diameter to 13-1/2". This 13-1/2" limitation insures proper airflow by maintaining a minimum one inch gap between the stone's outer edge and fire ring's inner wall. We strongly recommend using a stone under any drip pan to prevent the pan from melting. Unfortunately, we do not recommend using Big Green Egg's® 14" stone on the Spider, as it limits airflow in the fire ring. We offer a 13" Stone and 13.5" tapered Stainless Drip Pan in our Shopping Cart. And, the Customer Combo package includes the Spider, 13" Stone and 13.5" Stainless Drip Pan.
More on the Large Spider can be found here and below in Multi Grid Barbequing.
Multi Grid Barbequing:
Barbequing on two grids is possible with the Adjustable Rig. It's the same types of food as single grid cooks, just more food. The set-ups easily accommodate two brisket flats or small packers; four butterfly (spatchcock) chickens and a minimum four baby back or St. Louis style ribs or pork butts.
For thin meats, it is possible to build the entire set-up on the Rig. Pictured below are two set-ups using the 13" Round and 13"x17" Oval Stone on Rig Level 1.5. Our 16.5" or Oval Grid sits at Level 3.0. The large 18" grid goes atop the Rig. Unrestricted spacing between grids is approximately 2.625". Please note, most conventional drip pans are too tall to sit on the stone.
As mentioned above with one grid, it is possible to set-up with two grids using the Spider. The Spider holds the indirect pieces (stone & drip pan) and the lower grid (16.5" or Oval) goes on Rig Level 1.5. This set-up creates approximately 4.25" of unrestricted space between grids. You can fill up to 1/3 of the fire ring with lump. It's not a problem but for peace of mind, we suggest monitoring lump usage on very long cooks or with fast burning lump.
An alternative set-up that makes access to the lower grid easier is our sliding grid system. The sliding grid set-up, pictured below left and center, has the pork butts on Rig Level 3.0 and two baby back racks atop the Rig Extender. The Oval Stone is the indirect piece on Rig Level 1.5. If you pull the Rig on this set-up, you can slide the lower grid in and out. Or, you can simply lift off the Extender/Grid to access the lower gird. The set-up provides approximately 4.5" of vertical space above the lower grid.
Pictured above right, the lower Oval Grid is at Rig Level 4.5, the felt line. Now the lower 13"x17" Oval Grid just slides in and out. The set-up has two baby back racks at the felt line and two racks atop the Rig Extender. Vertically, there is approximately 2.75" of open area above the lower grid. Again, no need to pull the Rig from the cooker, just slide the lower grid out. More on sliding grids can be found here.