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Charcoal Steamer

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Charcoal Steamer

Postby Danux » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:28 am

First, the mighty steamer tower:
Charcoal_Steam_Tower_001.JPG (103.92 KiB) Viewed 322 times

It is comprised of a Cobb Grill, Stove Tec skirted pot, and a Sheng Fa steamer set.

I didn't set out to make this steamer from the beginning, I'm sure it can be done far less expensively than the sum of each of these pieces' price, but each can be used separately as well, so it's a good modular fit...

I had purchased the Cobb Grill initially, a few years ago. Then I found the Stove Tec skirted pot on sale, so scooped it up. I was inspecting the Cobb Grill a few weeks ago, realized that the ridge around the edge of the grill might fit the bottom of the skirt on the Stove Tec pot. Sure enough, it drops right in, like it was made for it. I ordered a Sheng Fa 26cm steamer set from Amazon.ca, from which I've taken the two deep steam baskets and lid. The baskets also slide into the Stove Tec pot snugly, secure.

I realized that the grill on the Cobb was designed to deflect heat out to the edges, so I had to get a spare grill and take a drill saw to it, bore out a 4" hole to let the heat up the middle to the pot's base.
This photo has the steam system sitting atop two base extensions on the grill, so I could also bake some meat on a grill, before and steaming on top, if I was inclined. So far, though, I've only steamed, without the extensions in place. The baskets hold a massive amount of food, you could steam enough to feed, maybe, six people, readily. With briquettes, I find that after the meal has been cooked, you can refill the Stove Tec pot completely (7l) and put it back on top of the combustion chamber, the water will be very hot for washing up afterwards.

The tower looks like it would tip readily, but it doesn't. I wouldn't want to try and use it in, say, a moving van, but I'm not scared of leaving it unattended in the garage. The quantity of water affects boil times, obviously, I find 0.75l is about how much water I consume to steam up two baskets of vegetables. A breeze also seems to whisk away a lot of heat; still air works much better. I'll experiment from time to time, to see how little charcoal it takes to boil a litre of water, maybe report back (if there is interest). But really, this is a BIG setup, it would be good for feeding a rotating table of people, once the boil is on, maybe steam blanching vegetables for freezing.

I have a smaller charcoal burner on order, will perhaps see about putting together a system limited to steaming for two, using far less fuel. I have found no small skirted S/S pots out there, though.
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