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1st smoke on the Weber

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Well, where to start. I guess from the top, right? Well about 8 months ago I found out that now in 24 days.... I will be a father. That being said, there was a baby shower at my father-in-laws house on saturday. I was in charge of feeding and entertaining all the wayward husbands. For quite some time now I have wanted to successfully smoke something, PERIOD. I have tried a few times and aside from poultry, any other flesh was, a disaster? With a little bit of reading, $14 in parts and about 30 minutes of cutting and measuring. I think I have it dialed in. Unfortunately for all of you I suffered from one small problem while going through this whole process.

 

I started out on Saturday morning with 3 decent sized racks, 3 racks that wouldn't fit. So I had to hack em a little bit get them on a rack and start this "3-2-1". Things got started quite nicely,

I had my dog,

IMG00083-20100619-0705.jpg

70 degree weather,

IMG00084-20100619-0705.jpg

a cooler full of beer and nothing to do but eat, drink, and be merry. Well this is where I end up at my first poster problem. No pictures. In the morning my hands were to gross to get ahold of the camera, then while cooking, I was to worried about upsetting the balance of life in the small world of temperature on a 22.5" weber. Naturally right when I found out that the ribs were a little over cooked. I began panicking that "Even though these ribs have been on the grill for 5 hours, the 30 seconds its going to take a picture will completely ruin the ribs". Looking back on that, I realize that is completely silly. SO the verdict....

 

They were very very tasty, used a good rub and made a sauce on the side, absolutely delicious and tender. However they just completely fell off the bone when I tried to cut them into nice little ribs. What did I learn??? Im not entirely sure, maybe I need a bigger smoker? maybe my thermometer was messed up? Maybe I need to change it to 2-1-1 when they are chopped and stacked on the weber? maybe I could juggle them as the smoke goes? I do know for sure it was awesome, tasty, and I have alot to learn. I have a feeling its going to be a tasty summer. 

 

-Evan

post #2 of 6

Maybe the story will be good enough for your wife to buy you a new bigger smoker. If you are in Florida I know of a killer deal on a Lang 48" for you. But now back to realty you will have to get you a rib rack and alot of folks here have them. I don't so I bought a bigger smoker and that's why I have 3 smokers now. But you just need to practice and learn from this mistake and remember it. You probably need to adjust the foiled time (I have, now 1 1/4 hours) so that your ribs will have a little tug to them. You might even try no foil one time too. Right now your new to this whole smoking thing so you have to read more and then live and learn and eat some sub pare smoked foods. I did but the next time you smoke anything and have a question we are here all day everyday and almost at anytime of the day or night. Just ask any questions that you may have and there is no "stupid" we were all there before. I learned the hard way too. I taught myself how to grill and smoke at a young age and I ate alot of black looking food. If I screwed up I had to eat it for that's what I have for dinner and I went hungry sometimes. 

post #3 of 6

Yo SmokeyBass, welcome to SMF, you at home here bro with a lot of crazy dudes who love smokin meat.

 

The Weber Kettle is a one of the most versatile bbq/grillin/smokin tools there is.  We all know it excels at charcoal grilling and even indirect grilling, smoking though is a challenge.  I tried a lot of things over the years using the weber kettle for smoking then finally my family took pity and bought me a nice MES smoker.  The biggest challenge with the kettle is heat control, which requires constant monitoring/baby sitting.  If your a busy fellow and your smoking is confined to an occasional Sat. cook then the kettle will manage fine.  But if you intend to really get into smoking meat on a weekly basis, then you should consider a dedicated smoker.  Most dedicated smokers require less monitoring because they are designed to hold temp, and usually have convenient ways to add both fuel and wood.

 

While I was using the Kettle for smoking I made a couple of accessories that you might consider. 

 

• Buy some corks that fit in the lid vent holes.  I would drill a hole in the cork and insert my thermometer.  I was using the analog thermometer from my Weber Genesis Gas Grill, the cork kept the base of the dial from resting on the hot metal and possibly damaging or affecting the bi-metal sensor inside.  Later I went to digital and still used the cork, it protected the cable going through the lid instead of having to use alum. foil. 

 

• Rib cooking Racks, they are cheap at Lowes, or Home Depot.  You will have to cut some of your ribs to fit due to the kettle being round.  The rib racks will make it easier to rotate meat since the fire is on one side.

 

• Heat shield, the idea is to have a little bit of a heat wall from the charcoal grate to slightly above the grill grate.  To add briquettes a hinged cooking grate is required.

Heat Shield

 

When I used the heat shield I also used Alum foil to block the sides.  The heat shield was cut out of an old stainless baking tray.  I did it after a bunch of beers and was in a hurry to get smoking but really wanted some way to keep the heat in check.  I was sloppy in my cuts, you can see at the top only one cross piece in the cooking grate and at the bottom charcoal two cross pieces.  I should have made a cardboard template first, then the bottom wide cut would only come up about 1.5" , and the cut would narrow to about 3/8" to pass thru the top grate.

 

heat sheld 2

 

If I was still using this for smoking, I would cut wings and secure with screws so that I don't have to use Alum foil for the side blocking.

 

Heat Shield 3

 

How I would cut the baking tray if doing it again:

template

 

After a couple of uses I knew about how many briquettes to start with for 225-250º and how many to add each hour to maintain that temp.  You will have to play with the air inlet damper and the lid vents, adjusting to get the right burn.

 

You could use the Smokenator which several SMF members swear by, it would be ok for occasional smoke.  However I would save the money and buy a real smoker with the money.  The smokenator uses a small water pan.  You can add metal loaf pan as a water pan on my setup.  I never tried it, but if I was using the kettle for smoking I would consider the water pan to hopefully stabilize temp better.

 

Just some ideas, enjoy your journey and we know you luv your Q

post #4 of 6

First of all, welcome to the SMF. Many a great Q has come from a Weber like yours. It's all good my friend.

post #5 of 6

I only like em when they completely fall off the bone. If I gotta chew em, I don't want em.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey DeltaDude,

Thanks for the post.....I uhhhh, I already sniped your Idea from your post awhile back actually! That same setup was what I used, cooky sheet etc etc. It worked much better than trying to go indirect like I have in the passed. Your engineering worked awesome! Ill post pics in the next few days of how my rendition of your idea turned out!

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