Weber kettle help

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by thenegativeone, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. So my wife has been nagging at me to get a new BBQ, (for some reason she thinks half a beer barrel on the floor is "ugly")
    I figure I might as well go with a Weber kettle so I can smoke on it too. The question is, which one? I figure the biggest they do is a good start, so it'll be the 57cm one. But in terms of model, is it worth the difference in price between the classic, premium and master touch models? I don't see that there's a huge amount of new features to justify the extra spend but I'm hoping maybe someone who has one will be able to tell me more.

    Im currently smoking on an ECB clone that was £15 off eBay but I've had some good results once I modded it, I'm guessing the weber will be superior for smoking, but how different is it smoking on a kettle to a bullet smoker?

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  2. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Smoking in a kettle is "direct" where the food is in the same chamber as the fire. You can apply tricks like having the coals all on one side, or in a ring, but in general it tends to be hotter and faster than indirect smoking methods.

    That said, you can get great smoking results with a kettle or a bullet. And, you can grill.
  3. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wade will be able to give you all the advice you need on Webers
    thenegativeone likes this.
  4. Cheers mate, I'll shoot him a PM :)
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Paul

    The main two Weber kettles are the 47cm and 57cm. They do go bigger (67cm) but these are fairly unusual and also smaller as in the Smokey Joes. The most versatile one is the 57cm and is the one that you will see most people on here talking about. I have a couple of 57cm Webers and a 67cm - but it is the 57cm ones that I use the most.

    Of the 57cm models there are two main types, the "Original Kettle" and the "Original Kettle Premium". The price of the Standard 57cm is around £135 online and the Premium is around £165 and although they look different from the outside the actual workings of both are pretty much identical. The bit on the bottom of the Premium is really just an enclosed ash collector where as on the standard model the ash falls through onto the tray that is mounted between the legs below. 

    To be honest when it comes to temperature control and smoking you will not notice any real difference. The main advantage of the Premium model (for me anyway) is that the cooking grate that is supplied with it has hinged edges that can be lifted up to add more charcoal/wood without having to lift the whole cooking grate off. This is something i use pretty much with every long smoke.

    You could buy the cheaper Original at £135 and then buy the hinged grate separately at around £30, but if I were you I would probably just go for the less hassle option from the outset and buy the Premium at £165.

    I hope this helps
  6. That is hugely helpful, many thanks :)
    I've managed to find the original 57cm on offer for £99 at Homebase so I think I'll go for that and buy the grate separately, as it still works out cheaper. That's if they still have it in stock on my day off!

    Cheers for the great advice :)
  7. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The xtra expense for the ash catcher and the hinged grate is defiantly worth it.
    Adding coals or wood during a cook requires lifting off the grate if you don't have a hinged one. And cleaning the gril with the ash catcher is simple and neat. You are going to have a kettle at least 10-15 years so divide the extra money by 10 and you will see that it is really not that much....
  8. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is good. It is also much easier to attach an automatic temperature controller on the standard model in future if you ever decide to go down that route.
  9. So I manage to get the 57cm weber original for £89, I'm going to purchase the flappy grate separately and I'm looking forward to trying it out on Thursday!
    Cheers for all the advice guys.
  10. wrbasher

    wrbasher Fire Starter

    I made the switch from propane to charcoal this summer and haven't looked back. I picked up the premium Weber and as was already stated the hinged grates and ash collector work very well. You won't be disappointed, the flavor is awesome! Plus that Weber ceramic finish will look a lot nicer than an empty keg!
  11. The grate model with the flaps is definitely worth it. Weber also makes what I call "charcol baskets". I got them from a friend and they work great for keeping the heat off to one side.
  12. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    The hinged grates are the cats meow.  The kettle it self will last for 10-15 years (make sure you empty the ashes quite often as water mixed with ash is quite corrosive)  Depending on use ( I use mine at least twice a week) you will need to replace both the Charcoal Grate (the lower one) and the cooking great every 3-4 years.  To extend the life, use clean the grate and oil after each use.  The charcoal baskets as mentioned above are perfect for placing below the hinged sides of the grate.  Or you can move them to the center for direct heating.  You will also want to buy a charcoal Chimney to start your charcoal (stay away from lighter fluid).  To smoke you should be able to buy smoking chips/chunks and mix them in or place on top of the coals.

    Good Luck with your new Purchase and Smoke ON!

  13. Here's my 18.5" Weber One-Touch Silver. Got it on sale at my local Target for US$52. I use it 3-4 times a month and only do indirect smokes on it. I bank my coals (via the minion method) and wood chunk behind two (slightly overlapped) firebricks wrapped in aluminum foil so they stay together (which gives me a much larger fuel load than those little baskets that Weber sells), and lay down an aluminum pan under the protein to catch the drippings. It works beautifully. I get 5-6 hour run times @ 275F and only need to add a total of 15-20 additional briquets during the cook to maintain temp.

    I drilled a hole in the side just above the grate height and inserted a silicon grommet so I can run my remote thermo cable through without kinking it. I also drilled and added an analog lid thermo at grate height as well. Easy peasy.

    Some pics:

    Pork Country ribs

    Brinkmann Thermo installed

    Brisket flat (and view of the Al-wrapped firebrick barrier)

    Pork butt (see thermo hole/grommet)

    Another pork butt

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  14. Cheers for all the advice guys! Looks great Remmy, I'm hoping to fire mine up today after work and try it out with a few bits and pieces. Can't wait!
  15. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Omg love cooking on my weber... Going to do wings tonight.. Why doesn't everyone have a weber!

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