Hello from Knik, Alaska!

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by brazosbrian, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. brazosbrian

    brazosbrian Smoke Blower


      I'm working my way through Gary Wiviott's "Low & Slow - Master the Art of BBQ in 5 Easy Lessons" book and had a question or two ...thank God for Google, I found this forum and joined immediately!

      My wife and I live in Knik, AK, about 55 miles north and a little west of Anchorage, kinda out in the country.  It's 24 F today and warmer than usual ...and I'll be BBQ'ing all winter (like usual).  If you only BBQ when there's no snow around here, it cuts your season into less than half ...and we can't allow that, now, can we?

      I'm currently using a standard classic Weber 22" kettle grill, not the best choice, but will be upgrading after I do some more learning and practice.  I'm able to maintain about 275 F in the kettle, at grill height, but going lower than that almost shuts down the grill (bottom vents all the way closed)... so I'm doing the best I can with this setup for now.  But anyway, just wanted to say hi!

    Brian & Carol

    Knik, AK
  2. [​IMG]   Good morning and welcome to the forum, from another Cold and Rainy  day in East Texas. Lots of great people with tons of                    information on just about  everything 

  3. Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
    About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
    and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
    We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions
    Post it and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is
    because their are so many different ways to make great Q...
    Happy smoken.
  4. brazosbrian

    brazosbrian Smoke Blower

    Thanks!  Had to look up what a qview was, but I get it... and yes, will do.  

  5. Welcome! I grew up in Bethel. I was born in Alabama and ended up back down here. The wood you use and cooking you do needs lots of pics! The backdrop you have for smoking salmon alone should be fascinating!
  6. brazosbrian

    brazosbrian Smoke Blower

    My wife and I were strongly considering a move to Texas, where we have both family and friends, but we weren't getting a lot of interest on the applications that we sent, and at the same time, I got a really good promotion on the job where I am currently employed ...so between the two, we decided that we are supposed to stay where we are and be thankful right here ...so, Alaska it is.  

    I want to replace my Weber kettle, well ...add something to the arsenal that is, but have to decide what smoker/cooker to get.  I lean towards the Weber Smoky Mountain, but am a long way off from deciding ...so in the mean time, I enjoy the challenge of trying to produce good low & slow in a kettle grill that was not designed for it.  I do make a pretty mean steak and grilled chicken in that kettle though ...so say all my neighbors and friends, and in fact, is what inspired me to take it further in the first place.  One step at a time, and we do tend to be busy.  Gonna do another low and slow chicken this weekend, probably a buttermilk brine, and see if I can get that kettle to run cooler than the 275 F that I am able to achieve right now... I know about the "rubbery skin" on low and slow chicken, but it's really not too bad and it's easy to fix with a little fireside tending of the chicken while you finish it skin-side-down over the hot coals to crisp up the skin ...just make sure you have quality tongs that allow you to pick up and turn chicken without accidentally peeling the skin off because the tongs don't get a good grip ...don't ask me how I know!

  7. LoL Lets help a brother out. If you can find some old boiler plate and have a 15" circle cut, you can do what a reverse flow offset smoker does, if you understand you will also be doing what a vertical smoker does at the same time... The reverse flow is for large quantity. Its the big cookers, large masses of meat requiring slower hot air at a cooking temp. The kettle is famous for its diversity. Google Weber Gourmet and check out my Christmas wish list.
  8. brazosbrian

    brazosbrian Smoke Blower

    Uh oh... more homework!  "Reverse flow"?  What do do with a 15" circle cut and what's it look like?  I'll have to do some googling around ....later.  Got meetings and work to tend to at the moment... 


  9. So the beginning is thermal mass...then airflow around it. This is the concept we call an oven.

    I think a nice chunk of steel to be an indirect heating plate in my weber isnt a bad idea IF the sucker isnt too close to the food grate. At least an inch or so lower than the food grate ought to set up a weber nicely for long smokes.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  10. brazosbrian

    brazosbrian Smoke Blower

    OK ...I can finally maintain 250 F in my Weber Kettle:

    Gary Wiviott in his book 'Low & Slow' recommends using an aluminum bread pan above the fire, charcoal banked to one side, and a choked down bottom vent to get 250 F out of a Weber Kettle ...but that combo ran WAY too hot, even in our Alaskan winter.  The rig above, TWO bread pans full of water and a large drip pan (also full of water), succeeds quite nicely at keeping the temperature down to 250 F.  Rather than having to have the lower vent almost completely shut off, the setup above also lets me keep the vent about half open ...plenty of room for adjustment.  Yeah!!  (I'll be buying an 18-1/2" WSM next Spring...).  With the setup above, you have to top off the charcoal every hour with half a can of lit charcoal.  For long cooks, that'd be a hassle ...but I'll keep going for now and will get the aforementioned WSM ...in the Spring.  I'm getting outstanding results now... 


    PS: Yes, that's snow on the ground ...not much (it's been a dry winter so far), but it's cold.  7 degrees yesterday morning, and 10 degrees today..
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014

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