I’ve seen an accessory for kettle BBQ grills called The Vortex. It’s a cone- like structure that funnels the air up through the coals and creates an intense amount of heat for searing steaks. It costs around $40 and people that have purchased them rave about them.
The thing is, the STOK Charcoal Drum comes with an insert that is supposed to be used as a chimney but it’s the same shape as The Vortex.
See this pic from when I first assembled the STOK grill–
Here is an image of the Vortex from a review video from BBQ Bros–
The video is quite good and gives some great tips on other things you can do with The Vortex (and thereby also with the charcoal basket insert that comes included with the STOK Charcoal Kettle) It should be noted that the Vortex is made from 20 gauge 304 grade stainless steel whereas the charcoal basket that comes free with the STOK Charcoal Drum is made of powder coated steel.
As you can see the two units are nearly identical.
I decided to flip the Charcoal insert that comes with the STOK Drum upside down and see if it would do the same thing as the Vortex.
Here’s how it went-
Flipped the STOK charcoal basket insert upside down, dropped in a crumpled piece of newspaper, lit it and filled it with Charcoal and waited for the temps to climb.
Tossed the ribeye on, three minutes, then flipped for three minutes on the other side. The upside down STOK Charcoal Basket created an intense amount of directed volcano-like heat, perfect for searing.
After three minutes on each side directly over the coals, put them on the outside of where the coals were and placed the cover on.
The results were perfect.
After a 10 minute rest. Just perfect!