Once your fire is lit and the coals are ready, fill the water pan about ¾ of the way up with water and place it into a stacker, and put a grill on top, then place the stacker on the base, being careful not to drop the waterpan on the fire (that doesn’t end well, I can assure you). The purpose of the waterpan is to keep the temperature stable and cook using indirect heat, this means that the food will not burn as it will never reach a temperature at which burning is possible, provided you make sure the waterpan has water in it.
The rub on the outside of the meat may turn black and LOOK like it’s burnt, but the meat inside is fine. If you have wireless probes, now is the time to thread the cables through the eyelets in the side of the stacker and clip it to the handle or place it on a table. Place the food on the grill and insert the probe into the largest mass of meat, for example, on chicken it would be the breast*.
If you need more space than you have, add the 2nd stacker and grill and repeat the process, if you still don't have enough space, consider getting another stacker or upgrading to an Excel20. Put the lid on and cook until you hit the target internal temperature. You can find the chart for internal temperatures based on what you’re cooking by clicking here.
Up to this point in the process, if you do no more, you will be roasting the the food.
Now for the smoke.
If you’re unsure of what wood flavours go well with what you’re cooking, have a look here, use it as a rough guide as tastes vary, and these are the most common combinations.
If you are using chunks, add 2 straight to the coals at the beginning of the cook, and add 2 more when they burn out.
For chips place 2 generous handfuls in the centre of a sheet of heavy duty kitchen foil, fold over the edges to form an envelope and seal by folding the edges over. Poke a few holes in the top of the envelope and place this on top of the coals in your BBQ, and shut the lid to allow the smoke flavours to penetrate the meat. Some smoke will escape the BBQ, this is absolutely fine. Alternatively you can add 2 large handfuls of chips directly onto the coals through the bottom access door, once near the beginning and once about 30 mins before you take it off for a real good smoke flavour.
If at some point during the cook, you get higher temperature readings than expected*, check that the water pan still has water in it, you can top it up using a jug from the top access door, or take the top stacker off (don’t forget the mitts), whichever you find easier.
*Please note, if the probe is touching bone, you will get extremely high readings, so make sure it’s only in the meat.
If you're planning on grilling, follow the image guide below, putting the fire in the charcoal basket. You can also add a stacker to move the meat away from the fire.