I wanted to smoke leg quarters but I was in a time crunch so instead of firing up the offset I ran the Weber for a quick and hot smoke.
Our family has run this Weber since the 1980s. It's old enough that the wood handles have rotted off, and the front leg weld is getting loose, so it doesn't sit quite straight. But the kettle itself is sound, the vents all still work, and the rack and grate are only about two years old.
So, let's start with briquettes (I'm currently out of lump) kindled with retired oak tomato stake pieces
This turned out to be more charcoal than I needed, but better than too little. Once the coals were just gray, I tossed on a few chunks of apple.
The chicken waits in brine. No other seasonings at all this time, only a brine with kosher salt.
I haven't read much of the Weber sections of the board, but it looks like the WSM people control heat by the intake(s) and leave the exhaust open, as the offset people do. I grew up using the exhaust to control the flow. This fire was getting hot so I needed to choke it a bit more than I expected.
I want to cut some honeysuckle trunk to make a new handle. Note the corrosion developing at the welds.
With the meat on and a nice aroma and a lively sizzle in the kettle, it hit a plateau around 320F - a breeze could knock it down a bit. This was hotter than I expected, but my time was short so I let it roll.
So, what's under the lid?
Internal temp of 172 in the thickest part of the biggest piece, time to take them off and rest them under foil. When i removed the probe I got a little Juice Volcano.
(edited to add the pic)
They worked out well. The smoke flavor was stronger than I expected for a modest amount of apple, but no loss. The skin was not crisp. They remained bone-side down and those sides didn't scorch - there's enough heat under a Weber lid to cook the tops without having to turn the pieces. The juices were all clear. The meat was very moist.
I snarfed one and then used the bones to make a smoky chicken and vegetable soup.
Edited by BlueWhisper - 6/13/14 at 3:16pm