Originally Posted by Kirk
Honestly I can't imagine why the radiant heat wouldn't affect the meat closest to the fire, but I have never tried one of these cookers either so I have no direct experience to draw from. I can tell you exactly what the effects of direct line of sight form fire to meat are in a WSM without a water pan in it, and they are significant enough to have to compensate for.
In all fairness, the one that said they were partly inedible also said they were overcooked. Maybe it's different when a rack is in at the right time and temp to be done properly in the middle? IDK. Regardless, I'm having a hard time seeing how the radiant heat doesn't enter into it.
I'm with you. I think the same way. The good thing is, with so many people from the forum buying and trying it, we should get lots more firsthand info on whether it's a factor or not or how much of a factor it is. Lots of other variables to consider like coal set up, when you put the lid on and what temp the coals are at that very point, but even then once those variables settle, you still have hotter temps closer to the basket. Does it come with a set of instructions for start up? Even in a regular UDS with multiple grates, you see higher temps and faster cooking times on the lower grate, not drastic but there is a difference. Closer to the coals and you'd almost be low temp grilling it would seem.