Three weekends ago I smoked a chicken on our ECB. I used Kroger lump charcoal and a whole bird rubbed with olive oil, then salt, pepper, garlic, onion and paprika. Stuffed an onion quarter and some celery in the bird, lit it and did yard work for 5 hours. The ECB gauge went to 'hot' and stayed there for a while, then dropped down to 'low' as the coals became smothered in ash. The bird came out great, the skin was nice and crispy with a light color, and the meat was super moist, juicy even. Best chicken ever.
I decided to see if it could be improved.
Picked up a Weber Smokey Mountain and some Stubbs charcoal. Got two slabs of baby back ribs and two chickens which I had the butcher spatchcock. Was expecting to feed 6. Rubbed both with salt, garlic, onion, pepper and paprika. I did not put olive oil on the birds this time.
Used the Minion method, which I discovered here. Put almost a full ring of briquets and then lit lump charcoal in the middle. Three chunks of apple wood. Water and a bit of white wine in the bowl. Placed the ribs on the lower grate and the chickens above.
All I used for monitoring was the stock thermometer on the Weber. It came up to temperature quickly and at about 225 I put the meat on. It held steady at 265. After a bit, when it began to rise, I shut off two of the bottom vents, closed the third about half way, and kept the top vent open.
For the first 45 minutes, the smoke was a bit white, then it was clear. More yard work, while checking the thermometer from time to time. It was very stable, a big difference from the ECB.
After 4.5 hours the chicken was about 160 by an instant read thermometer. So I glazed one chicken and the ribs with some store bought sauce. I like Stubbs, so used that. Too lazy to make my own!
A half hour later the chicken was 170. So everything came off. The unglazed chicken had a dark skin and looked good. The ribs, which had not been foiled, but just set on the grate and forgotten, also looked really good.
The ribs were fantastic. I wish the Old Man was around, he would have been impressed. They were just as good as anything he made, and his were the best. The bones were completely clean. The meat just fell off. So good!
The chicken was good, but not as good as the ECB chicken. A bit dryer, and the skin was not crispy, but sort of chewy. I probably over cooked them a tad. The leftovers did taste good in a salad the next night.
I shut off all the vents after pulling the meat. There was charcoal left over.
Sorry, no pictures! Five people with smart phones, and I couldn't get anyone to take a picture!
So, for the next time:
I'm going to leave the chicken whole, no butterflying, and try the olive oil again. I'm going to monitor it all with a thermometer. The Weber has a port for a remote thermometer.
Wouldn't do anything different with the ribs, they were superb. Maybe it was all luck.
The Weber worked really well on it's first time out. Steady temperature and easy to control.
Many thanks to all the posters here. Reading this forum really helped a lot with my successful barbeque. Can't wait to do it all again.