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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 11-19-2015, 07:48 AM   #1
Kirkle
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Join Date: 11-06-15
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Question Baking in the Smoke Vault - What am I doing wrong?

New member, great forum! Every year I use my 24" Camp Chef Smoke Vault to smoke our Thanksgiving turkey. I've had great success using Meathead's turkey recipe but the accolades stop there. To free up our oven, I attempted to bake Thanksgiving casserole dishes in my Smoke Vault (350 degrees) but for the last two years, by the time the top of the casserole is done, the bottom is burned. (Oven temperature is not a factor as I use a Maverick wireless thermometer.)
Questions: Do I leave the cast iron wood chip plate in or out? I just read online that I should be baking on the top rack (I was not, but it was on an upper shelf). If that is the case, am I limited to just top shelf baking, or can I cook two casseroles on two shelves? I know you can bake very well in a Smoke Vault, apparently I just don't know how. I am attempting a trial run this weekend to restore my spousal acceptance factor so any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank You!

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Old 11-19-2015, 08:48 AM   #2
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I am not familiar with this cooker but if it has enough racks could you place an empty pan on one of the lower racks to act as a heat shield? It sounds like direct heat hitting the bottom of the food is the issue.
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Old 11-19-2015, 12:28 PM   #3
Metron
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What are the dishes you're backing in made out of? For years, my family would buy the big family size Stouffer's Lasagna's and when we baked them, the bottoms would burn. I turns out that placing the large, long cooking lasagna on a sheet pan transferred too much heat to the bottom and caused it to burn. Solved the issue by placing the sheet pan on the rack below to catch drips and the lasagna directly on the grate above.

Keeping with the lasagna theme, I'd pick up 2-4 of the regular size Stouffer's/Banquette/Marie Calendar's/Frozen Lasagna of Your Choice and bake them in the Smoke Vault. I'd also leave the cast iron chip holder in to diffuse the flame. Cook one or two at the recommended temp direct on an upper rack and see if they burn. If they do, you may want to put another diffuser on one of the bottom racks. A pan of water, an empty sheet pan, foil covered bricks, etc and bake another of the lasagnas to see if the bottoms burn.

Again, it may just be the dish you're baking in transferring too much heat to the bottom of the casserole which is already taking a good amount of heat from the bottom.

Another thing would be to cook to an internal temp at a different, lower temperature that may be a bit more gentle.
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Old 11-19-2015, 12:56 PM   #4
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I agree, sounds like you have too much direct heat hitting the pan, or that the pan has more conductivity in the base than is workable. I use insulated cookie sheets to buffer heat to the bottom of the pan, but, any way to prevent direct heating would work
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