• Weber Smokey Mountain
• Orion 101 Cooker
• Kamado Kooker
• Portable Kitchen
Stellar Performer... The Orion 101 Convection Cooker
The Orion 101 Convection Cooker represents an innovative concept in cooking, introducing a fully enclosed cooking chamber with charcoal generating heat from a tray surrounding the outside of the cylinder. This creates convection currents within the cooker which means that food is not just cooked from one direction but from all around. The lack of direct heating also means that moisture in the food is retained much more effectively than in a conventional cooker. The result is much quicker cooking times, as well as more tender and juicy food.
The Orion is a highly efficient cooker as it is, but it can also serve as a fine barbecue smoker. To achieve a smokey effect in food, you place wood chips inside the cylinder, against the bottom wall adjacent to the burning charcoal on the outside. The wood chips will heat up enough to smoulder, without igniting. As with all smokers, you can experiment with various types of wood chip for different flavors.
Water, beer or a liquid of your choice may be added to the drip pan, more to add flavor to the meat than to keep the food from drying out. Everything hangs inside the cooking cylinder, with the result that fat and juice from the meat product drips down into the pan causing it to steam and ultimately keeping the meat moist.
The Orion Convection Cooker is constructed from 100% stainless steel. Even though it may discolor from the heat, it will not rust. Thus you can be assured that it will give you many good years of delicious meals.
THE GOODIES IN THE BOX
The accessories that come with the unit are:
FALL-OFF-THE-BONE RIBS IN A FEW EASY STEPS
This cooker is easy to assemble, easy to use, cooks quicker than other smokers, obtains more juicy results and does not pump as much smoke into the air as other smokers.
How easy the Orion is to use can be seen from the manufacturer's instructions:
General Cooking Instructions
1. Place the drip pan in cooking cylinder.
2. Place wood chips between the cooking cylinder and the drip pan. (Optional)
3. Prepare food and choose appropriate accessory.
4. Affix food to appropriate cooking accessory and place in the cooking cylinder or place food on cooking grates in the cooking cylinder.
5. Secure the lid on the cooking cylinder.
6. Place a 15 lb. bag of instant light charcoal around the lower charcoal ring, with the exception of 10-12 briquettes.
7. Place the remaining 10-12 briquettes in the upper charcoal ring on the lid.
8. Light charcoal in both the upper and lower charcoal rings and return at the designated time!
Trust our general cook times. Do not check before designated time. If the lid is removed the convection current is lost and cook times will increase. Remember, If you’re Lookin’—You ain’t Cookin!
Always use thermometer to check doneness.
That's all there is to it! And if you still think it's difficult, look at this recipe submitted by a user:
Grey Poupon™ Pork Tenderloin
4 lb pork tenderloin
Take tenderloin out of package.
Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel.
With knife, spread a thin layer of Grey Poupon™ over entire tenderloin.
Place alder chips between drip pan and cooking cylinder.
Place tenderloin on cooking grate.
Add charcoal to upper and lower charcoal ring.
Place lid on cooking cylinder.
Light and check at 1 hour.
Check meat for doneness.
(Liz Smith, Nashville, TN)
IMPROVIZE TO OPTIMIZE!
Heavy, Heavy Fuel
Reading the manufacturer's instructions above, you may have received a bit of a jolt at the thought of having to use a full bag of charcoal for each cooking session. Indeed, this is one of the few difficulties with the cooker, especially if you were planning on cooking a smaller portion of food. One user came up with the ingenious idea of using only half of the charcoal tray, in order to reduce the amount of charcoal used. He used some copper sheathing to keep the reduced amount of charcoal close up to the cylinder. He claims that he still obtains enough heat to cook a turkey thoroughly. (See the picture above.)
Other buyers have also departed from the manufacturer's recommended "instant light" charcoal and are happily using cheaper charcoal. Many have used the Weber Chimney Starter to good effect, achieving a much quicker and painless start to the whole cooking process.
In order to make the cleaning process a little bit easier afterwards, try placing foil, or 10-inch pie plates, on the drip pan. Also read this clever plan devised by an enthusiastic customer:
"After using my smoker a few times I began to notice that if I was not getting the smoke I wanted with some meats because the juices from the meat would fill up the tray and drown out the wood chips. Once that happened no more smoke. So I got a metal mixing bowl that was the right size to go down into the smoker and sit in the tray but not touch the sides of the unit. OMG...what a difference it makes. You get full smoke the entire time (use less wood chips) and your meat is smoked to the bone."
Because the Orion cooks so thoroughly, you may find that ribs are so moist and tender that they actually fall off the hooks provided, landing at the bottom of the cooker. It is thus advisable to put the lower grate in when cooking ribs.
If you love a crispy, brown finish to your meat, you may need to apply that finish on a grill, since there is no crisping effect in the moist cooking environment of the cylinder. Be careful not to overcook the meat, so start grilling just slightly before the meat is fully cooked in the Orion. Of course, this step is entirely optional.
IS IT DONE YET?
Food safety is always an overriding concern, not to mention the poor taste experience that will draw groans of disappointment from your hungry guests should the food be underdone, so it is important to pay good attention to the "Doneness" table in the manual for this smoker. The USDA's recommended temperature for meat safety is at least 145°F, which is equivalent to medium-rare in a cut of steak.
Veal, lamb and beef done medium-rare should be minimum 145°F, medium 160°F and well done 170°F.
Pork should never be done medium-rare. Medium should be 160°F and well done 170°F.
Poultry should always be cooked to at least 180°F.
The only way to be sure is to closely follow the recommended cooking times provided by the manufacturer, and then to confirm the internal temperature of the meat by means of a meat thermometer. Make sure you insert it into the thickest part of the meat, not touching either fat or bone.
WHAT THEY SAY
The Orion has consistently been receiving perfect review ratings for many years now. Its very few limitations, such as the amount of charcoal needed, and the difficulty in regulating the cooking temperature (it just cooks at a fair clip!), have not deterred scores of happy customers from expressing their satisfaction with this product. Here are a few choice snippets:
"Several people recommended the Orion, and, for the price, I figured I'd give it a shot. I could not be happier with it."
"The workmanship seems like it will last forever so this is worth even more than what I paid for sure."
"The results are amazing. Chickens are done in about an hour, vs 3 hours on my regular smoker. A 9lb Boston Butt... a quick 4 hours in the Orion and it's time to shred. Actually "shredding" would be a misnomer, as it completely falls apart when pulled from the Orion. Ribs are done in an hour and ten..."
"This is the BEST outdoor cooking product that I have ever owned in my life!"
"All of our family members were amazed by how flavorful and juicy the meat was and most of them said they would be getting one of these cookers as well. You can't go wrong with this cooker!"
"...a no nonsense way of cooking!"
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