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For about $100 you can easily convert a standard Weber Kettle into a much better grill as well as a smoker capable of making restaurant quality smoked ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey, salmon, or whatever you want to smoke. This revolutionary new device also makes an awesome searing tool for steaks. We have even baked brioche with it. We have used ours extensively and hereby crown it “The Single Best Accessory For The Weber Kettle Ever”.
If you have a limited budget or limited deck space, or even if neither is a concern, the Slow ‘N Sear can turn your trusty rusty kettle into a smoking, grilling, and baking powerhouse. Read on for more info.
A word of caution. There are cheap Chinese knockoffs on Amazon.
The Slow ‘N Sear is made of two laser cut pieces of 16 gauge 304 stainless steel that are machine formed and hand welded/polished. Formed into a charcoal basket with a built-in water reservoir, it weighs about 5 pounds and it turns your kettle into a perfect 2-zone cooker.
Without a doubt, 2-zone cooking is the single most important technique a backyarder needs to master. On the indirect convection heat side you can bake or smoke roast food that rivals the output of a big rig for thousands of dollars. On the direct radiant heat side the Slow ‘N Sear creates a searing zone that rivals steakhouse temps. It creates the hottest sear zone we’ve ever tested on any grill.
You can smoke for more than 8 hours on one Weber chimney of charcoal (80 or so briquets). A quart of tap water in the well will give you 5 or more hours of smoke enhancing steam. Some readers report the Slow ‘N Sear overdelivers with 10 hours of cook time at 225°F and 5 hours of steam from a quart of water.
The owner of the company, David Parrish knows his stuff. He has a degree in physics and was the founding “Pit Boss” of our Pitmaster Club. But we don’t love the SNS because we love David, we love this tool because it is the best of breed. And it works better than the other kettle add-on on the market.
To smoke with the Slow ‘N Sear you simply place it on the charcoal grate and fit the curved charcoal basket almost flush against the side of the grill. You can place meat on the lower and the upper rack so it is possible to cook multiple large hunks of meat at once. If you have something drippy like a pork butt, put a drip pan or aluminum foil shaped boat on the charcoal grate under the meat. There is no need to add water to the drip pan.
Now we’re ready to fire things up. Wad up two sheets of newspaper or place a parafin starter in one corner of the charcoal basket. Pour 12 charcoal briquets on top, pile them into one corner, and light them in place like you would light a chimney.
Once the hot coals are white, fill the remainder of the basket with unlit charcoal, place two or three wood chunks in the charcoal, add a quart of water to the reservoir, and close the lid. Leave the top vent fully open and the bottom vent cracked about 1/2″. In a few minutes, as the temperature passes 200°F close the top vent until it’s about 1/3 open and the bottom vent to 1/4 open. Your grill will settle at a stable cooking temperature in 15 to 20 minutes. At this point if the temperature is not where you want it to be you can further adjust the vents as needed (we like 225°F for most low and slow cooks). Once you’re at your desired temp add the food to the indirect side. You now have an ideal 2-zone setup, and the food will slow roast with indirect heat, just like the big boys.
Put the lid on and go drink a beer. The Slow ‘N Sear will pump out aromatic smoke and just the right low and slow temp for hours. We’ve had no trouble keeping the temp between 225°F and 250°F in all kinds of weather. The thick steel double walled water reservoir blocks your meat from direct exposure to the radiant heat and flames of the coals. The water puts moisture in the air that condenses on the meat and wet surfaces attract smoke.
The Slow ‘N Sear is the perfect way to cook thick steaks with the reverse sear. I start the meat on the indirect side, just a few wood pellets in the Slow ‘N Sear with the coals, and I slowly warm the meat to about 115°F, getting the interior perfectly even colored. Then I take the steak off for a few moments, let the grill heat up with the vents open, and place the steak right over the hot coals, lid off. You need to stand right there and flip every minute or the meat will burn. Perfect seared exterior. Perfect wall to wall medium rare interior. Click here to learn more about the reverse sear.
For thin steaks, I just fill the charcoal basket with hot coals and throw the steak right on the grate above the coals. Turn often to prevent burning and you will have a deep dark exterior and a medium rare interiors.
But you don’t have to smoke or sear on it. Check out these delicate brioche hamburger buns we baked on it on the very first cook after we got it.
Keep in mind that this is a “hot” smoker so it can’t do cold smoking for things like lox or cheese. But it can do just about anything else the fancy-schmancy smokers do.
Slow ‘N Sear has two nice add-ons. There is a half moon shaped stainless drip pan that you can place on the bottom grate on the indirect side to catch drips for making sauces or just for keeping the bowl of your grill clean. I put a little water in it to make sure the drips don’t burn. It can also be used as a griddle.
They also offer GrillGrates, a special cast aluminum grate that makes perfect sear marks and keeps small foods from falling through.
Here are some tips for success. Special thanks to David “Pit Boss” Parrish for several of these tips. He created the thing. He should know how to use it!
Published On: 5/14/2018 Last Modified: 7/20/2021
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