Smoking on a Weber 22.5" - Tips

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by nysmokes, May 25, 2009.

  1. nysmokes

    nysmokes Fire Starter

    OK - I have now had a few normal grills on my weber - the standard stuff...burgers, dogs, steak etc...

    I want to start smoking on it - any tips on the best methods for heat control, etc... I am pretty new to charcoal, so any tips will be helpful.

    I want to start with a pork butt for pulled pork sandwiches. Then on to ribs. I did buy the charcoal holders to make indirect grilling easier. I also have seen the minion method talked about here - what materials do you use to set that up on a weber.

    Any help is appreciated - pictures too!!!

  2. gaga

    gaga Fire Starter

    Smoking a butt on a Weber is easy. No tricks needed. You get great bark cause the indirect heat is more direct than with a smoker.

    Go to town!
  3. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All you need is the grate that has the flip up portion on the side to allow you to add charcoal/wood with out removeing the entire grate and meat to stook the fire.
  4. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That is a real help when smoking on the kettles.I can minion method my webber smoky mountain for 12 plus hours or just add fuel to kettle when i didnt have a smoker.Ribs being shorter cook are easier for me then butts when i have used kettles for smoking.I always use indirect method with drip pan under meat and honestly practiced and practiced my fuel loads.
  5. nysmokes

    nysmokes Fire Starter

    Thanks for the responses. I do have the lift grates on my kettle, so that is a plus according to you guys. I guess my more specific questions would be :

    1. When you add coals & wood chips - how long do you wait to put the meat on? Usually those coals are really hot - do you need to let them cool?

    2. I read that adding charcoal to the fire produces acrid smoke which leaves a bad flavor. Do you add unlit charcoal, or do you start another batch in the chimney and then add it?

    3. How hard is it to maintain a steady heat of 225 - 250 on a Weber.

    I am going to try a butt or Ribs this Sunday (weather permitting). Hoping it comes out good!

  6. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good Questions, NY Smokes- think your plan through and prepare. You're gonna be fine!

    I started smoking on a weber and you can put out some real good food with it.

    1) Not sure exactly what you mean there; once your coals are ready slap that meat on the grates and cover it up. You're "indirecting" - is that a verb? [​IMG]- so it doesn't matter.

    2) I've always just added briquettes to the existing fire. Caution though- DO NOT use the instant-light kind, 'cause they will give off a bad oily odor. Regular briquettes will be fine.

    3) Actually, not as hard as on an Un-Modified SnP! [​IMG] Just be careful about not opening the lid unless you have to, don't add a whole lot of charcoal everytime. Once you are good and humming along, a briquette or two is fine. Now, if your temps are dropping, or plummeting even, then yes you have to add a bunch. Monitor your thermo and go from there.

    Word of advice- it is a lot easier to "dump heat" than to "get heat". This means that if your unit is too hot, then just crack the lid open for a moment or two. However, if it is too cold, it takes a long time to get the fuel lit and the airspace (and meat) back up to cooking temps.

    Good idea on the butt. A great piece of meat to practice your skill and gain confidence with. Plus, it tastes so dang good!

    Hang in there and good luck to you. You're on the right track. Don't be afraid to post more questions and ask for help, we are happy to do that!

    May the TBS follow you around......[​IMG]
  7. Hey Eric, I am not sure if it is kosher to give you a link to another bbq site, but here it is. SMF is a great site as a forum, and this link is a great site for reference. This link shows you exactly how to use the Weber kettle as a smoker, but ou will have tons to read about by going back to the home page and navigating around from, techniques, product reviews, newsletters, etc. Serioiusly, spend a few hours looking all around the site and you will learn a TON! I frequent several bbq sites and get as much input as I can.

    I have used the methods and recipes on that site with AMAZING results.

    By the way, I AM NOT associated with any website in any way......just a fan of good bbq who has spent a lot of time on the web and in books learning about smoking food. I am reading threads on SMF almost daily.

    Good luck and me know what you think!!!
  8. isutroutbum

    isutroutbum Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member


    I've been attempting (emphasis on "attempting" :) to smoke on a weber for a few years, and you can do most meats on it (in small quantities of course), but it does work well. I'll try to answer your questions, but there are others on here who have way more experience and will undoubtedly have better advise. That said, here goes:

    1) you want to start 20-30 coals in a chimney and make sure they heat until they are covered w/grey ash. At that point, I usually add 7-10 coals to one side of the grill to get the temp to 250ish (obviously, temp depends on what you are smoking). When temp is right, I add a handful of wood chips that I've soaked in water for at least 1/2 hour (they are wrapped in foil with a few holes poked in it to let the smoke out). I lay this right on top of the coals.

    2) I can usually get about an hour out of the original coals, and then I have to add a few more. I always add fresh ash covered ones, but I know others add them right out of the bag. I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes on flavor, or if it does. I just feel like I can control the temp better with them already hot. How many I add is usually contingent on outside air temp, how long I keep the lid off (I don't have the flip up grate so I have to take the entire grate off to add coals), etc. On average, I add 5 or 6 more. Late in the smoke I find I have to add more than that to keep the temp up.

    3) Hopefully the info above gives you a sense. I don't usually find it real difficult to maintain proper temps. Just experiment and have fun. You'll figure it out after a few attempts. I smoked hot dogs and brats the first few times I tried this so I didn't end up wasting money on more expensive cuts of meat. Once I felt somewhat OK about the temps I threw on some ribs.

    Here is a q-view of some chicken I did a few weeks ago. I put this up because you can kind of see the foil and coals in the weber:

    As I said, there are a lot of people w/years more experience who will chime in with better advise. But, I hope this is of some help to you.

    Best of luck w/the first smoke!!!!

    (Haha - by the time I got this posted you already had a few GREAT responses right before mine. Ditto what they said! :)

  9. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    Both are pretty newbi friendly. You'll do fine.
  10. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have smoked with kettles in past and found 250-275 a more realistic temp. and this just means it cooks quicker.I use lit coals,add wood at beggining and try to keep heat spikes down etc.When i dont have time for my smoker i can put a nice smoke ring and flavor on ribs using 2 hours smoked and 1 hour in foil at around 275...
  11. nysmokes

    nysmokes Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions and added links! I am going to try a pork butt on Sunday if the weather is good (Bone In of course[​IMG])

    You guys are so helpful here!!! My biggest issue was the temp control and adding Charcoal which I think you all have helped answer. I did buy the charcoal baskets to make indirect grilling a little easier on the Weber. I will let you all know how it goes - my last issue is deciding on a good thermometer. I have a post in the Meat Thermometer section - I want one that will give me grill and meat probes (looking at the Maverick ET-73), but the reviews are across the board - a little hesitant to spend the money. Wish there was a good accurate therm out there.

    Again - thank you all. I will post some qview this weekend if I get the chance to smoke on Sunday!!!

  12. isutroutbum

    isutroutbum Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Best of luck! Have fun!!!!!
  13. jakemark

    jakemark Newbie

  14. I have a Weber Performer and I smoke on it almost as much as grilling. You will figure it out. Watch the temp and have patience. I add unlit charcoal to mine and cant comment on the effect on the taste rather than lighting the coals before adding. I also have a smokenator but still haven't mastered it yet. I want to try the charcoal rails next, I have the baskets which came with the grill but believe the rails will give me more room for larger cuts of meat. I've used mine for a nine pound brisket. Took 14 hours but it was very good. Key word is patience. Have fun!
  15. hibobm

    hibobm Smoke Blower

    If you want to spend a couple of bucks, look into a Smokenator.  I use it all the time and it makes things even easier.
    nwosmoker likes this.
  16. Hey NYSMOKES, I smoke in my Weber Performer all the time when I don't want to bust out one of the other smokers.  I have some pictures in my profile off some ribs and a butt I did in the Performer... like many have said up above, it's fairly straight forward.  Just don't over do the charcoal... you're not grilling...and the Weber can get hot fast... but it's easy enough to dump heat (as also said above) by removing the lid.  I also add charcoal briquettes (Kingsford only)  which aren't pre-lit (is that a word?) and haven't noticed any foul tastes by doing so.. but I'm talking a few on each side maybe every hour or of luck... I'm sure it will turn out killer... and don't forget some pix!


    PS:  The Weber rotisserie is a killer add-on for a Weber kettle... I love mine!

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