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Old 02-18-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
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Brisket on a Charcoal Grill?

I am sooo- oo ready for grilling season. I bought a new weber platinum late last summer. Pretty much like my old kettle, except the bottom air vents easily adjust, no more crawling on my belly underneath with a screw driver to push the air openings open/close, one control wheel missing entirely. Nothing wrong with the old one, except the legs were about rusted off where the couplings joined the kettle. A scary time every time you open or close or jiggle the cooker. Using it was like wearing an old pair sox with holes in the toes. Comfortable and impractical and too good to throw out.

The new one is so much nicer to use and adjusts heat temps more evenly. Almost like an oven. O, and the cover simply slides back, not an entire lift-off. No more making dried crop circles in the grass or alert aliens for easy landing sites.

I have never made a smoked brisket. I want to achieve a decent smoke ring and have terrific juicy flavor. I do not have a smoker. Do you think using my weber, indirect cooking, long and slow, I can successfully make a brisket using the char-coaler. I have a gasser too. I have looked at smokers, and have yet to decide If I should get one, or which. Thatís a story for another day. My weber is who I am in cahoots with right now.

I know Iím champing at the bit. Iíve got the bug early. Jr. would like some good brisket. He likes beef better than pork, and this is one thing local take out bbq joints donít do or rarely do well around here, so to speak.

Hereís my new toy.

http://www.amazon.com/Weber-1361001-Platinum-One-Touch-2-Inch/dp/B002PZ1FNO

Hereís a web site I was looking at earlier today. I havenít searched if there are recís in DC or any Qíing websites recently. As I recall, most suggestions are about using a smoker, not a grill.

Brisket Selection & Preparation - The Virtual Weber Bullet

Any thoughts or rambunctious tricks up your sleeve is appreciated.

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Old 02-19-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
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You should have no problem with you new grill, you can do most grilling (BBQing) & smoking with a Weber. A hinged grill helps because it makes adding coals much easier when your cooking for such a long time. You also have to rotate the meat so it cooks evenly. Good luck, let me know how it turns out.
Try not to over smoke. I would not wory about a smoke ring to much but time and temp is key, you want the fats in the meat to meld. Low & slow + long cooking times will yeild a tender brisket.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:19 AM   #3
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whisk, i can't answer about a charcoaled brisket, but have you used your platinum weber much? i'm interested in your review as i've been looking into either getting the 22 1/2" gold series at $145, or the platinum at $300. i'm not sure if double the price is twice as nice.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:13 AM   #4
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Doesn't Weber make a smoking attachment to make smoking more efficient? I seem to remember it looked like nothing more than a smoke diverter and a way to keep charcoal to one side easier. You could probably rig something up yourself, Whiskas, after taking a look at it.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:41 AM   #5
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Use either divided banks of chacoal (Webber makes charcoal holder for this purpose, or bank charcoal on one side. Don't everfill the charcoal baskets. Place a drip pan made from heavy duty aluminum foil between the beds of charcoal. Fill the drip pan half full of water. Light the charcoal, then prep the brisket. By the time the meat is ready to go on the grill, it should be hot. Spread your smoking wood over on top of the charcoal beds, place the meat on the grill, and cover. Close all vents 2/3rds closed.

Use a meat thermometer to tell you when the brisket is cooked to an intermal temp of about 190' F.

Tip: Check the grill every 45 minutes or so to make sure you still have enough fuel/smoking wood, to cook and smoke the meat. Remember, there is such a thing as too much smoke. I have, once or twice, ran into this. Too much smoke makes the meat look and taste terrible, as their is a soot layer on the meat. It's bitter, and not a good thing to eat. But you really have to produce a lot of smoke to get to that point. I had too much fat over the charcoal when I did it. Smoking a brisket over a drip pan should insure that your meat comes out perfectly.

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Old 02-19-2013, 09:13 AM   #6
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Come to think of it Whiska, you could use a brick inside the grill to help keep the charcoal to one side. I think I remember Roadfix doing that at one time. Then if you covered the grate above the charcoal with foil, that should help channel the smoke underneath the brisket.
And keep in mind, you don't have to light all the charcoal at once. If you spread some charcoal in the grill and get 1/3 of a chimney going on top, that will ignite the charcoal underneath when it burns down. That needs to be played with with your setup and the outside temps and winds. It may take less lit charcoal or it may take more to get your temps where you want them more quickly.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
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If you have the charcoal banked on one side of the grill for indirect cooking, just make sure the vent on the lid is on the opposite side of the grill and that will draw the smoke from the charcoal/wood chip area across the food to the vent.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:09 AM   #8
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S & P. Thanks for your thoughts. I have made countless whole turkeys over the years, some turkey breasts on a standard charcoal grill. Once, in the 25 # size, barely could fit the cover on, and had to set it down where the drip catcher is, coals surrounding. I think we used a grocery store disp aluminum roaster that time. After that, somewhat better sizes to fit the grill. LOL. I canít think I ever made a roast beast, thick steaks yes. Ribs, - require low and slow cooking. Mops or not, wrapping, rest, finishing sauce, the whole shíbang. I am familiar with low and slow, indirect techniques, as well as about how many briquettes at a time, adding more during the course of a cook. I know meats will only intake so much wood smoke, any more just perfumes the air for the chef ( and the neighbors). I so like having hinged cooking grate on the new one. Should have bought a replacement grate years ago. I thought I was in hog heaven the year I discovered using a probe thermometer. That little gizmo improves the quality of the cook tremendously . Again, thanks.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:11 AM   #9
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Pac, Weber makes a Weber Smokey Mountain, vertical smoker, the top/ bottom look like a standard kettle with lots of rising shelf space. I think I have seen an insert that fits a weber, raise the size of the kettle, and you can adjust the cooking grate to a higher level off the coals. Weber isnít going to make this so they can sell a whole different cooker.

Andy, thanks too. This one comes with charcoal separators, easy to use. Good tip on airflow placement. Chief, good tips. Yes, I too have had that too much bitter taste from too much smoke. A temp probe is my best friend.

I am so ready to do this. It might be a month away until the weather fully cooperates. I am going to start checking out neighborhood meat markets, just eyeball. I have never even looked at a brisket, even for oven cooking nor made cornbeef or anything to do with brisket. We are so lucky to have several good butcher shops to choose. I know many communities only have whatís available at the grocery meat dept. Time to start price comparisons too.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:16 AM   #10
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BT. I /we actually bought two grills last summer, the first for DxW BD. I used hers once to celebrate the day and promptly came home and fired off an order for me. Both our grills are over 30 years old. We had one at our lake place and one at home. Made one less ďthingĒ to reach agreement when we got divorced. Do you want this old sofa, no you can have it. I donít want it. Itís too good to Öcall goodwill. We did not cover the grills in inclement or winter weather. Rust buckets. The black kettles themselves were in fine condition. She had one leg on hers balance with a brick, one wheel missing. Fine, she seldom moves it. Mine was indeed on its last legs.

The things I like about the Platinum, is the table wings on either side, more sturdy and steady wheel/leg base. The ash catcher, the one touch adjustable air flow with a handle. As I said earlier, so much easier than trying to adjust 3 fly wheels underneath. It comes with a thermometer, which is surprisingly accurate comparing when an oven therm is hung inside. Like an oven temp, not the meat temp. Two things it has , a hinged cooking grate and charcoal separators. You can buy both as separate parts for an existing grill at your local home improvement store. I always used a disp aluminum pan in the bottom center for charcoal division when indirect cooking. I still use a disp drip pan as needed. I like having the attached tables/wings. Better than hauling over a small picnic bench or setting up a tv tray alongside the grill. Itís amazing how much ďstuffĒ you need to set beside your grill, bowl of sauce, oven mitts, platters, for cooked and raw foods, a cold drinking glass, etc etc. I think a better design would include sturdy drop leaf wings, This one takes up as much space as my gasser. Shuts down rapidly when done cooking. I can tell how much less charcoal I waste, fewer trips to the store for more coal with the new one.

The Gold looks, but I canít tell for sure, the top air flow wheel is standard metal piece. Need to wear an oven mit or tongs to adjust. The platininum has a cool touch adjuster. No biggie until you decide I can just move it quick- like with bare fingers. The Gold does not have a thermometer on the cover, an easy work around. I like being able to look-see and I think I keep the fire at a more even temp. The Platinum cover slides back and rests on a holder. The Gold cover lifts off and you need to find that hook to hang it on the kettle. I donít have time for hide and seek, so I set it on the grass. Hot, it turns the grass brown in seconds. You can be sure I heard about this Every Time when cooking at you-know Ėwhoís house. Whatís important, tasty grilled food done just right or your lawn. Iíd rather flip burgers. After 20 years, its time to start a new conversation. The gold has the one touch air inflow apparatus with an easy reach handle. Better ash catcher. What makes the Platinum worth the extra $ for me. It has a sturdier wheel base. I move my grill around the yard, depending on sun/shade/ wind. I donít need to move it at DxWís. and the side wings are very practical. A neighbor has the Gold. Works fine for their frequent family of 4 use. I think Weber does a fine design job. And better quality than some knock-offs. I bought fitted grill covers. And use it. $39. Thatís the only extra I thought I needed.

BT, you probably know this since it was invented by boy scouts using a coffee can. This is for anyone. Get a charcoal chimney starter I did not care for the Weber brand on this one, too large capacity for average use. I found one at a hardware store, @ $10 . I see the price is still about the same. No more lighter fluid, smell or taste. Starts the coals ready to cook in minutes. Safe. Portable. I totally recommend this piece of equipment for anyone who does charcoal grilling.
http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/chimney.html

My grill is the 22 Ĺ inch size. Bought mid July. I use it about the same as before, I like to think maybe more. About 3 times/ week in summer. Hard to say. Cooking mostly for one, if I make a steak, or extra chicken pieces et al, I cook with planned leftovers until itís time to make something new.

When Jr. and I were buying Mom a new grill we were looking in stores at the Gold. His idea to get one with wings. He said one of his friends has one with built in side tables. We were surprised how fast the price jumps from the Gold to Platinum series. Couldnít find a less expensive alternative. I paid $249 on sale at Amazon, free shipping . Maybe there will be sales for either model when it gets closer to prime grilling season.

I apologize for the length of this reply. Apparentally giving the Chief a run for the money today.
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