Intro: Using a Disco on a Cheap Smoker
I have a little $30 weber R2D2 smoker that I was using to test out the new Instafire Charcoal Starter and decided to do an experiment on using a discada on a kettle smoker. A Disco Grill, or Discada, aka Cowboy Wok, is a cooking surface made from a discarded disk plow. I made one a few years ago but but up my turkey fryer making lead bullets so my wok has been sitting idle.
The Discada sits perfectly on the top of the grill, and what I found is that it works, but if you just throw the grill on top and then overload it with fajita mix then it cooks slowly. (It actually worked better than it seems, because after I ended my experiment I loaded the grill with sausage and that cooked great). Turns out I just had too much at a time for the way I was using it.
However, since the main idea of using a disco is to cook for a lot of people, like this post on how to feed 30 people for $40, I need a better solution.
Step 1: Upgrade to Fix Airflow and Heat Convection
My plan to fix it was to find some aluminum channel and cut three spacers to sit on the lip of the grill to allow air (and heat) to flow up and around my cowboy wok.
The channel was too expensive and the aluminum block that I remember seeing in the electrical aisle at Lowes was no where to be found, so I bought three large nuts and cut a channel in them by placing them in a vice and hitting them with an metal cutting circular saw (you can’t use a skill saw with a metal cutting blade the RPM and torque is different.
This slot allowed me to place the nuts over the lip of my kettle grill so as to make a air gap between the top of my grill and the bottom of the disco grill. This allowed the smoke to flow and heat to rise out more efficiently.
You can see in the picture how I set the nuts on to the grill so to allow the grill to sit perfectly balanced. The last thing you want is to have the grill unbalanced, tip, and cause the dog to get all your nicely grilled but slightly dirty meat.
Step 2: Raise Your Coal Bowl
The last thing I did was to set the coal bowl on the grate that was supposed to hold the water bowl. After all it is a water smoker. The bowl can fit on the lips that hold the grate, but that leaves the coals about 6 inches father from the bottom of my grill, and the idea was to get more heat, not less.
These two small changes did wonders in making my disco cook better on the kettle smoker.