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Old 06-05-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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My Smoking Experiment

I want to be able to smoke on my Weber kettle. I figured I should practice. So I thought I'd start on a small scale with a couple of thick cut pork sirloins (about 1.75 lbs.).

Earlier today I rubbed the two pieces with my dry rub mix and wrapped them to flavor up in the fridge.

I soaked some hickory chips in a SS smoker box and lighted a bunch of charcoal in a chimney for the grill. I piled the charcoal on one side and closed the lid to get the grill up to temp.

Then I added the smoker box and waited for the smoke. When I got smoke, I shut down the vents and added the to pieces of meat. I had two thermometers in there too.

I had a hard time regulating the temps. They fluctuated between 240º F and 350º F. There was plenty of smoke and while I was fiddling with the temps, the meat cooked. When I was almost at final temp, I removed the smoker box and moved the meats to direct heat over the coals for a final sear. I brushed on some BBQ sauce near the end to finish it off and away we went.

It tasted great. There was good smoke and the meat was juicy and delicious. SO liked it with and without BBQ suace. I liked it better without.

Just to prove it really did happen, some pics.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:33 PM   #2
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Just to prove it really did happen, some pics.
How do we know that's your Weber?



Very nice. The pork steaks look great. I don't see much smoke ring, but that's probably because they cooked so quickly with the temps getting up to 350, or maybe you should have left the chips in for the duration. I'm sure you will dial it in.

Where's my plate?
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:38 PM   #3
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Looks great!
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:40 PM   #4
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How do we know that's your Weber?



Very nice. The pork steaks look great. I don't see much smoke ring, but that's probably because they cooked so quickly with the temps getting up to 350, or maybe you should have left the chips in for the duration. I'm sure you will dial it in.

Where's my plate?
I first had to get the fire hot enough to start the chips burning then get it to cool down to a reasonable temp. before adding the meats. I agree there wasn't a smoke ring but the smoke flavor was there. I think it will help if I use less charcoal next time. I used about 3/4 of a large chimney.

BTW, I ate your portion, I knew you were tied up with ham and cheese.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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Why you..... eat my portion will you...
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:25 PM   #6
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Great job Andy!! The Pork Steaks look great and I know y'all enjoyed them!! I have an idea what's coming next....A couple of things you may want to look into....The grate with flip sides..Great for adding lit charcoal for longer cooking times without removing everything...adding wood chunks etc. Second the rib rack...These can usually be found at Home Depot type stores..Don't let the SS grate price scare you..the steel ones are much cheaper...Less than $20,00 I think...Anyway, Again...Good looking pork steaks...

Grate
Rib Rack

PS. Don't sweat the "Smoke Ring" thing....It's not a *Smoke Ring* at all... just a chemical reaction that's really not that important...it's basically tasteless and does not adversely affect the quality of the BBQ meat one way or the other....

Have Fun!
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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Uncle Bob, I am truly a lucky guy. My sweetheart believes in getting me gifts that are things I really want even though they aren't practical. You know, fun stuff.

Last year's Father's day gift was the Weber, a charcoal chimney, grilling gloves, etc. Even though I already had a gas grill.

Over the winter I got the grate with the hinged flaps as you described because I mentioned it once.

This year my early Father's Day gift was a jalapeno smoking rack and a few other doodads. (More to come but I don't have a clue).

I was actually thinking about doing a fatty next because it looks fairly forgiving.

I have to really pin down temperature control before I can "Q" with the big boys.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:16 PM   #8
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My old eyes fail me...I could not see the hinges on the grate...Thus my suggestion to get one...It will prove invaluable in the future ~~ Temperature Control...Really Fire Control is a constant nemesis for most BBQ folks...It takes time, practice, patience, and a close personal relationship with your cooker of choice... Even then.. at times it seems the Fire gods like to play tricks on you...Beware the West Wind!
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:34 PM   #9
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My old eyes fail me...I could not see the hinges on the grate...Thus my suggestion to get one...It will prove invaluable in the future ~~ Temperature Control...Really Fire Control is a constant nemesis for most BBQ folks...It takes time, practice, patience, and a close personal relationship with your cooker of choice... Even then.. at times it seems the Fire gods like to play tricks on you...Beware the West Wind!

Your eyes are fine Bob. I didn't have the hinged grate on the grill. didn't think I'd need it.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:08 PM   #10
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Andy,

Looking good.

I do find I can have trouble regulating temps if I get too much fuel in. I find it is very easy for me to over fuel the box (I do use a side box style, not the Weber though).

Also you might not need the chip box, just try sprinkling those chips straight on the charcoal. Mind you they don't last as long, but they also don't need as much fuel to get em going.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:15 AM   #11
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Good job mate well done, I have been practicing hard and yesterday I did a dry rubbed boned pork butt that we pulled.I will post pics.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:49 AM   #12
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Andy,

Looking good.

I do find I can have trouble regulating temps if I get too much fuel in. I find it is very easy for me to over fuel the box (I do use a side box style, not the Weber though).

Also you might not need the chip box, just try sprinkling those chips straight on the charcoal. Mind you they don't last as long, but they also don't need as much fuel to get em going.

I did consider I had too much charcoal for this but if I cut back, I wouldn't have had enough heat to sear the surface at the end. I guess I could do the searing first then smoke.

I also thought about not using the smoker box. It was probably overkill for such a small job.

Hmmm, if I had used less charcoal and just tossed the chips on the coals they would have started smoking faster and there would be more coals left at the end for searing. Very interesting.

As Uncle Bob suggested, there was an intermittent wind. I wondered how much of an effect that had on the process. I didn't document the correlation of wind speed to grill temp.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:03 AM   #13
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Wind can definitely have a big effect on keeping a constant temp, or running to hot, or even not hot enough. Wind is squirrelly when it comes to smoking. That's why I have a drum I put around my WSM when it's windy, or only 5 degrees outside. It helps conserve charcoal, too, to have this insulator in place.
You've got the best of both worlds there, Andy. If it was me and I was wanting to sear the steaks, I'd fire up the Ducane towards the end of the smoke. Otherwise, if you really wanted to do it all on one grill, assuming you had the vents closed most of the way to maintain smoking temps, open them all up towards the end. It doesn't take much to get a temperature spike with all that oxygen.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:11 AM   #14
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I haven't seared with smoking, I have when I did some indirect grilling. I find the coals used for the process need to be augmented when it comes time to sear so I don't worry too much about the fuel load until I get to that part, then I add enough to get the job done.

I wonder what effect searing will have to the absorption of the smoke. Might make an interesting experiment.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:11 AM   #15
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...open them all up towards the end. It doesn't take much to get a temperature spike with all that oxygen.

That's what I did. Just about made it with the charcoal I had left.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:17 AM   #16
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How do we know that's your Weber?

...

Who said it was???
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:03 PM   #17
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Andy, I've been bragging about smoked turkeys on the Webber for years now. You have to try it. You will be amazed at how good they are. Also, no need to spatchcock a chicken, or any fowl. Simply divide the charcoal into two beds, on either side of the fire-grate, and place a disposable aliminum loaf pan between the charcoal piles (after the charcoal is hot). Fill the drip pan half full with water. Prepare your bird just after lighting the charcoal. Clean and truss your bird, rub with oil or butter, inject with turkey broth (made from the neck and giblets). Salt lightly all over the bird. Place your favorite smoking wood directly on the charcoal to both create smoke, and to protect the turkey from the direct infra-red heat of the charcoal. Insert a meat thermometer into the bird, and cover the lens with aluminum foil as the smoke will foul it badly. Place the lid on top and close vents, top and bottom half way. Figure about 12 minutes per pound. At the end of the time, check the internal temp. It won't be quite done yet, but will give you an idea of how close you are. Your final goal is 165' in the thickest breast meat.

When it's done, remove from the fire to a platter and let it rest 20 minutes. Cave by removing the thighs and wings, and cutting the whole breasts away from the carcass. Slice the breasts against the grain so as to give everyone a little of that yummy skin. And don't forget to share the "oysters" with someone special.

My smoking woods of choice for turkey are, maple, birch, apple, mesquite.

I've been smoking a lot of things on the Webber for a lot of years. Don't worry so much about temperature control. Worry more about internal meat temperature. That will determine the final quality of the meat. Cooking temperature control is important, but is much more variable than most people think it is.

Oh, and that little picture of a crown pork roast that I use for my avatar, that was done on the Webber. And it came out fantastic.

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Old 06-06-2011, 12:25 PM   #18
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Oh, and Andy, I forgot to mention that your pictures want to make me get on the next airplane to your house. Great job. I just get so excited with the things that can be done on a Webber.

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Old 06-06-2011, 12:30 PM   #19
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Thanks, GW. I'm working my way up to larger pieces that take longer.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:18 PM   #20
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I did consider I had too much charcoal for this but if I cut back, I wouldn't have had enough heat to sear the surface at the end. I guess I could do the searing first then smoke.
I think you had about the right amount of charcoal. But perhaps you lit too many or all of them initially. I usually dump a chimney worth of charcoal into the kettle but with only about the bottom third of the chimney lit. Many folks like to first bank a pile of unlit charcoal in the kettle and then place a few fully lit charcoals onto it and then slowly watch the kettle rise to desired smoking temp. You want to catch and stop the temperature as it is rising.
The undesirable white charcoal smoke will eventually disappear and if you threw in wood chunks you should see blue smoke venting out.

I typically get at least 3 hours of smoking temp with a single chimney worth of charcoal with plenty of fuel left for searing.
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