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Would this weber kettle mod be possible? - Page 2

post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbiesmoker1 View Post
 


Okay does brand of charcoal make a difference? I dont like using Royal Oak lump because the bits and pieces fall through the grate unless measures are taken to stop it. I normally use the Walmart brand briquettes because their cheaper than Kingsford.

when it comes to charcoal brand it is my opinion that it does make a difference and the only way to know is to experiment with the many different brands of briquettes and lump until you see what your preference will be. my go to brands are kingsford blue and cowboy lump,now i just got back from walmart and picked up a few bags of royal oak lump and stubs briquettes to try it out. one thing for sure with BBQ is you are always gonna try different brands and types of fuel.

post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbiesmoker1 View Post
 


Okay does brand of charcoal make a difference? I dont like using Royal Oak lump because the bits and pieces fall through the grate unless measures are taken to stop it. I normally use the Walmart brand briquettes because their cheaper than Kingsford.

 

Yes, the brand of charcoal does make a difference - especially when using it minion.

 

When using briquettes, generally the cheap briquettes you find in the supermarket are designed for quick grilling and the origin, mix and quality of the wood in the charcoal that is used to make them can be somewhat suspect. You really should be buying good quality kettle BBQ briquettes for long slow smokes. The difference between the two is that the kettle briquettes are pressed to a much higher density and are usually made with predominantly hardwood charcoal. When you open the bag of kettle briquettes you should not see any significant briquette dust in the bottom of the pack. Drop one of each type of briquette on concrete and the cheap briquette will normally shatter whereas the kettle briquette will normally bounce.

OK so there are physical differences - but what is the difference when cooking? The lower density of the cheap grilling briquettes means that they usually light quicker but they also burn a faster too. This does not help when you are trying to get a constant temperature over an extended period of time. The cheaper briquettes commonly produce significant black sweet (sickly) smelling smoke as they initially catch. This is usually due to the source and makeup of the wood that is used to produce them. When grilling this is not usually a problem as the smell goes as the briquettes reach temperature however when smoking using the minion method you are effectively continually lighting new briquettes over an extended period of time which will mean your meat is being continually exposed to the initial burn flavours of the briquettes.

 

Of course the cheaper briquettes do vary in quality and the Walmart brand may be fine. To see how good they are though, splash out on one bag of good quality kettle briquettes and a bag of your economy briquettes and light a chimney of each. Note the differences in smell and smoke density of each as each of the chimneys catch. I think you may be surprised at the difference.

post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade View Post
 

 

Yes, the brand of charcoal does make a difference - especially when using it minion.

 

When using briquettes, generally the cheap briquettes you find in the supermarket are designed for quick grilling and the origin, mix and quality of the wood in the charcoal that is used to make them can be somewhat suspect. You really should be buying good quality kettle BBQ briquettes for long slow smokes. The difference between the two is that the kettle briquettes are pressed to a much higher density and are usually made with predominantly hardwood charcoal. When you open the bag of kettle briquettes you should not see any significant briquette dust in the bottom of the pack. Drop one of each type of briquette on concrete and the cheap briquette will normally shatter whereas the kettle briquette will normally bounce.

OK so there are physical differences - but what is the difference when cooking? The lower density of the cheap grilling briquettes means that they usually light quicker but they also burn a faster too. This does not help when you are trying to get a constant temperature over an extended period of time. The cheaper briquettes commonly produce significant black sweet (sickly) smelling smoke as they initially catch. This is usually due to the source and makeup of the wood that is used to produce them. When grilling this is not usually a problem as the smell goes as the briquettes reach temperature however when smoking using the minion method you are effectively continually lighting new briquettes over an extended period of time which will mean your meat is being continually exposed to the initial burn flavours of the briquettes.

 

Of course the cheaper briquettes do vary in quality and the Walmart brand may be fine. To see how good they are though, splash out on one bag of good quality kettle briquettes and a bag of your economy briquettes and light a chimney of each. Note the differences in smell and smoke density of each as each of the chimneys catch. I think you may be surprised at the difference.


Recommend a brand of kettle briquettes?

post #24 of 31

In the UK I either use "Aussie Heat Beads" or Weber kettle briquettes.

post #25 of 31
what most of us do.. when the BBQ'n holidays (ie. memorial, July 4th ) roll around.. lowes and homedepot will have a sale on the 2-20lb pack of the Kingsford blue for like $10... STOCK UP... I usually pick up around 6-10 twin packs and store them in a cool dry place... I haven't bought charcoal for about a year now... but of coarse i use the Mini WSM.. so that thing is very fuel efficient ... just keep an eye out when the BBQ'n holidays roll around... plus everybody on here will mention it as well....
post #26 of 31

I vote Kingsford. I used to buy lump but found that it burns quite a bit faster and hotter. Now I still keep some around for doing poultry as you don't have to keep the heat quite so low. Weber sells these little half moon shaped coal baskets and I have them. I must say I use half as much charcoal these days with the chimney and the coal baskets.

post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbiesmoker1 View Post
 


Recommend a brand of kettle briquettes?

 

Stubbs is all I will use, no added "mineral carbon" AKA coal- as in Kingsford blue bag.

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffcarter View Post

Since we've begun making suggestions, here's mine and you don't have to shell out $s(the foil pan set me back 50 cents)
You can see the wood buried in the charcoal ring, the fully lit coal gets added to one end, as shown in the second photo.
I have had this fuel set up last for 11 hours plus at 250° and 8 hours plus at 300°. I use about half a bag of Stubbs briquettes in the ring and always have unlit coals
left at the end of the cook. BTW since I took these I have begun using about 1/2 chimney of fully lit lump charcoal, it burns hotter and the ring of briquettes starts more quickly.







Here's what it looks like with a butt in place-

LaborDay butt (8a).jpg




I know this is an old thread but I was just wondering if you put water in the pan or is it just a drip pan? Couldn't tell from the pics. Trying a butt on the kettle for the first time tomorrow. Used your posts for this set up with ribs and never used water in the pan and they came out great but just wanted to check.

Thanks,

Chris
post #29 of 31

On most smokers, the water is not really needed.  It largely acts as a temperature moderator.  The pan in the picture is to prevent hot coals from moving underneath the pork; Indirect heating is the goal on long slow smokes. 

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addertooth View Post
 

On most smokers, the water is not really needed.  It largely acts as a temperature moderator.  The pan in the picture is to prevent hot coals from moving underneath the pork; Indirect heating is the goal on long slow smokes. 

 

The water works well as temperature moderator and I always use a pan of water when I an cooking a slab of meat as in the photo. It also helps to stop the foil pan from melting and getting a hole - which can easily happen when hot coals rest directly against an empty foil pan. I also usually use the Weber clip in charcoal retainers to stop the coals from getting too close to the tray.

post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by worktogthr View Post


I know this is an old thread but I was just wondering if you put water in the pan or is it just a drip pan? Couldn't tell from the pics. Trying a butt on the kettle for the first time tomorrow. Used your posts for this set up with ribs and never used water in the pan and they came out great but just wanted to check.

Thanks,

Chris

 

I boil about a quart of water and pour it in the pan when I add the lit coals to start the fire, it keeps a bit of moisture in the kettle. Since I cook butts at 300°+, I think adding a bit of moisture at the start helps keep the bark from getting too crisp.

I don't use water when I cook ribs on the kettle, either.

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