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Old 07-20-2013, 08:27 AM   #1
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Nothin' Fancy, Just Plain Good

Ready for a little early morning salivating? I Q'd up two 14lb. Boston Butts last night for today's church picnic. After smoking them on the Webber Kettle, I put them whole into my giant lasagna pan at 190' F, and left them in the oven all night. This morning, I pulled them.

For all of you who have a place where you can set up a barbecue grill, but you don't want to spend big bucks on a fancy rig, this will show you what you can do with a 22" Webber Kettle. Ya don't have to be rich to eat well. The first picture is of the pork roast. The others are just examples of good things cooked over charcoal. Enjoy.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

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Old 07-20-2013, 11:55 AM   #2
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Gorgeous food porn, Chief! I too have a 22" Weber charcoal, very high tech.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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I've now lost two Weber grills...the second one I had chained to the decorative brick.

Fantastic food porn, Chief!
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Old 07-21-2013, 05:35 AM   #4
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Lovely looking food
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:17 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone. I wonder how different the food tastes if made on a Traiger (sp), or a $3000 custom rig. It'd be fun to be able to attend a function, just to taste if it's the expensive rigs are really worth the money.
I know that the auto-feed/auto temp features make barbecuing easy. But I don't really care about easy. I mean, I build my fire configuration for what I'm cooking. I light her up, put the food on, cover, set the vents, and walk away. I don't touch anything again until I start checking the meat temperature. The only time I've ever had to add more charcoal was when I was cooking a 22 lb. or above turkey. Other than that, the initial charcoal load has been enough to cook the meal.

Yesterday, at the picnic, there were old park grills on site. I put charcoal in one and lit it off so that I could keep the pulled pork hot. I worked perfectly, though the charcoal plate was badly rusted out. It served its purpose. That allowed me to use the Webber to grill foil-wrapped corn that someone had brought, and grill hot dogs to perfection, lightly browned and not burnt. I just put the dogs to one side, not directly over the coals. And by keeping the lid on, with vents half closed, it kept everything at just the right temperature with no fuss.

I'm beginning to think that I should have been a Webber Kettle salesman.

i do love my little $90 barbecue/grill.

Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:06 AM   #6
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The 22 weber will do the trick if you know your fire. However, I don't think it would hold up to using wood as fuel. I like offset pits for that reason. You get what you pay for and after dealing with cheap long enough, you start to want quality. There aren't any American made, quality pits that start under $1,000.00 that I am aware of.

I like the fact that with a pit you test the skill of the pit master's fire control and knowledge. Just because you own a well built cooker doesn't mean you will be successful. I do believe that you can tell the difference between something cooked on a charcoal grill and wood chips vs being cooked on a wood burning pit.

Folks that use these fancy new cookers with probes and temperature controllers are not really BBQing, they are programming the food. Not much skill required for that.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
...Folks that use these fancy new cookers with probes and temperature controllers are not really BBQing, they are programming the food. Not much skill required for that.

The means you use to help you control temperature in a smoker shouldn't be the determining factor of whether or not you are BBQing. There's nothing wrong with using tools to make a job easier. If that opens up Q'ing to less skilled folks, I don't see that as something to be scoffed at.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:26 AM   #8
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The means you use to help you control temperature in a smoker shouldn't be the determining factor of whether or not you are BBQing. There's nothing wrong with using tools to make a job easier. If that opens up Q'ing to less skilled folks, I don't see that as something to be scoffed at.
Everybody has their opinion. If you think programming food is BBQ, good on ya.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:35 AM   #9
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Everybody has their opinion. If you think programming food is BBQ, good on ya.
Sometimes the hard way isn't the best way. Sometimes it's just hard. The goal is to have a delicious end result.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:47 AM   #10
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Sometimes the hard way isn't the best way. Sometimes it's just hard. The goal is to have a delicious end result.
+1

My point is that the majority of us can't justify a $1000 BBQ rig. My $90 Webber would be a stretch for me right now. Though the price of living has continued to climb, I haven't had a pay raise, not even a c.o.l. raise in about 6 years, and don't see one coming any time soon. I can build a wood fire in the Webber, if I so choose. Charcoal is just easier to come by. The smoke still comes from local hardwood that has been laid over the charcoal. The charcoal is merely the heat source. And lets face it, whether it comes from the embers of a fire pit, charcoal, gas, or electricity, heat is heat. Flavor, texture, and moisture content, in other words, end-result, comes from the correct application of the correct amount of heat, and proper preparation of the food. I truly believe that if newspaper were my only fuel source, I could make some pretty decent food from it. It is after all, made from the same material as wood. I would simply need to control the burn rate, and ash movement.

Any kind of fire cooks by two methods, radiation, and convection. Cooking directly over hot coals, be they from charcoal, or wood, creates intense thermal radiation, and is the primary mechanism for transferring heat energy into the food. Typically, any fat drips onto the heat source, burns rapidly while creating smoke, and that smoke adds flavor to the food.

If I cover the coals with wood, I block the radiant heat and create an enclosed space of hot, moving air. The heat is transferred into the food by absorbing heat from the hot air, convection cooking. And as the wood smolders, it creates wood smoke, which has a completely different flavor than does fat-smoke. With either method, the smoke particulate deposits on the food, and flavors it.

I agree that mastering a fire pit is an art. You have to know what kind of wood to use for the flavor you want, and maintain temperature control as well. You also need to know how to prep the food, and what to do with it as it's cooking.

But if you think about it, using a Webber kettle involves those same challenges, but on a smaller scale. The trick is in knowing your tools. The Traeger grills, and electric smokers take some of the art out of the cooking process, but not all. They simply maintain a precise temperature for you. You still have to understand the cooking concepts to make them work, and give you the results you want.

I like my Webber because it is so versatile. I can use it in many different ways, to cook many different foods. I can't do that with a smoker, an expensive fire-pit rig, or a gas grill. And I know how to use it to get the results I want. I can make everthing from pizza, to kababs, to baked pies or smoked fish. And It's a durable tool that needs very little upkeep, and even works in sub-zero temperatures. For me, it just works. And if you get reviews from your friends and family like I do, why would I spend thousands of dollars on a offset pit smoker rig, when I can use that money to help my kids, or grandkids, or pay for a trip to visit them. The food that I prepare is very good, but is just another thing I can do to make life more enjoyable for those that I love.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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