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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 04-06-2010, 08:17 PM   #1
regionalceleb
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Post Raised on the Pane, jusy got my first charcoal grill

Little background info to start, I'm a newbie here, Love the site and the conversations between everyone. Cant get enough of every ones input and ideas from cooking to types of grills. So onto the topic at hand.... Growing up my father always had propane grills, he always let me help cook, my first job was a cook at Fuddruckers, so naturally my first grill was a propane grill. Last 3 years Ive been using a Charbroil Infra-red Commercial Series grill. For my 28th b-day last weekend my wife got me a charcoal grill (webber 22.5 one touch silver) at my request. Got a chimney starter and all the goodies to accompany it, but got a few question for the season vets due to being a newbie..... I know how to lite the coals and heat the grill, my questions are.......

Once lit how often if any do you add more 'coal to the lit ones? ie: first thing I tried was ribs with indirect since Im good cooking them on the 'pane. but I kept thinking the temp wasnt hot enough after 45 mins of 'low and slow'

Second and last to keep it short, best foods to learn with 'coal other than burgers and dogs? I can get down on the 'pane with quiet a bit but the 'coal has me nervous about ruining dinner....

Thanks for the time and responses guys/girls ! ps I bought lump charcoal instead of briquettes...
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Unread 04-06-2010, 08:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regionalceleb View Post
Once lit how often if any do you add more 'coal to the lit ones? ie: first thing I tried was ribs with indirect since Im good cooking them on the 'pane. but I kept thinking the temp wasnt hot enough after 45 mins of 'low and slow'
Hopefully you have the hinged cooking grate on your OTS. If you do, adding coals is no big deal. If you don't, I recommend you invest in one. I don't usually use the kettles for low and slow, but if I were, I would have an oven thermo sitting on the cooking grate so I could see what kind of temps I have, or better yet a probe for a digital thermo stuck through a potato sitting on the grate. Hard to know when to add coal if you don't know what the temp is. Once you know temps, add a little when temps start to drop, using 225 - 250 as a desired temp (YMMV)

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Second and last to keep it short, best foods to learn with 'coal other than burgers and dogs? I can get down on the 'pane with quiet a bit but the 'coal has me nervous about ruining dinner....
Try indirect cooking a spatchcocked chicken, or a dozen thighs. I used to indirect cook any manner of beef roast on my kettles, try that. (A sirloin tip cooked to an internal temp of 125 - 130 and then thinly sliced makes heavenly sammies.) Meatloaf, fatties, whatever your imagination can come up with.
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Unread 04-06-2010, 09:07 PM   #3
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Sounds like you have a good start to the charcoal world. I don't use my kettle for low and slow either but there are alot of people on the forum do use theirs for it though and can give you great advice.
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Unread 04-06-2010, 09:12 PM   #4
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Regional Celeb, welcome to the Brethren and to the world of charcoal. It is a great place to be.

When I do low and slow on the OTS, I find that using basic techniques and a simple side banked charcoal process, I need to add charcoal about every 3 to 4 hours. Note that I have the hinged grates and they are a real nice thing to have. For ribs, I load in a lot of briquettes or lump, and can get 5 to 6 hours out of the load which means no added charcoal for a rib cook. I recommend you get the hinged grate and a couple of fore bricks or clay brickes, wrap them in foil, and use them for holding your charcoal in place for side cooking. They add valuable heat mass and make baking coals easier.

There are many other ways to load a kettle that you will see and learn here, all work great, the longest I have gotten without adding coals is about 6 hours, there are a couple of more advanced setups that I can get more, but, that is more than I would get into for starting up. By the way, if you look at my signature, there is a link to my blog, which is all smoking done on a OTS kettle. There will be some useful information there.
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Unread 04-06-2010, 09:36 PM   #5
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Welcome to the Brethern and the world of charcoal.
The previous posts already offer some good advice and if you do some more looking around the site you will find more info than you can shake a charcoal chimney at.

BTW, if you do get a hinged grate, get the stainless steel one from Weber.
http://store.weber.com/items/?pid=1117
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Unread 04-07-2010, 12:41 AM   #6
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Thanks for the reply's everyone ! Def. gonna have to look into the hinged grate
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Unread 04-07-2010, 01:05 AM   #7
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http://www.lowslowbbq.com/

Gary wrote the Book (really, I have a copy) of cooking low and slow on the Weber. 5 leasons designed to teach every thing you need to know.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 04:40 AM   #8
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RC hope ya don't mind if I shorten your handle? You don't have to go low and slow if you don't want to. I get my coals going good on one side the throw the ribs on over direct heat to kinda sear them on both sides for a few minutes then indirect heat for about forty to forty five minutes and they will come out so tender and juicy.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 06:26 AM   #9
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Congrats on the new Weber, you will enjoy it. Everybody pretty much hit the nail on the head, low and slow, hot sear, you can do it all with your kettle. If you want to try something big and good and a long low and slow do a butt. It is the most forgiving piece of meat. I do them indirect with a fire of 15 to 20 coals on each side and add 4 or 5 coals each hours (that's where the hinged grate helps) and a few more hickory or cherry chips, I like to use chips because it doesn't increase the heat much. Once you get your kettle "dialed" into the temp you can keep it there for as long as you want. I've done butts on my kettles for 12 hours. Enjoy............
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Unread 04-07-2010, 07:16 AM   #10
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Everyone nailed it and landarc said what I would have said. You're gonna really enjoy that new kettle and just start cooking and you'll learn quickly how easy and versatle Weber Kettles are. Welcome and don't forget to post pictures of your cooks.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 11:42 AM   #11
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Thanks for the info Aquablue22 on the butt, as well as everyone else who chimed in. So far I love it, just a world of difference then using propane, going tonight to see if Lowes has the hinged grate,

Last ? if anyone see this, when you re-add more coals over time, do you need to pre-light them in a chimney starter or just simply put them right on the ones already lit?
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Unread 04-07-2010, 12:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regionalceleb View Post
Thanks for the info Aquablue22 on the butt, as well as everyone else who chimed in. So far I love it, just a world of difference then using propane, going tonight to see if Lowes has the hinged grate,

Last ? if anyone see this, when you re-add more coals over time, do you need to pre-light them in a chimney starter or just simply put them right on the ones already lit?
No, just add them to the hot coals.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 01:09 PM   #13
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If you want extended burn times look up "minion method". It's a way of getting good long burns out of a load of coals. Another option is to bank the coals from the chimney when about half the chimney is lit, don't wait until the whole thing is ablaze. That way you can start with a lower temp and close down your bottom vents as you reach your desired temp. Learn direct, indirect, two zone, three zone, and what the three second hand test is and you'll be off to a good start.

And if you don't want to ruin dinner when learning to cook on the kettle then my advice is to not walk away from it at any time while grilling or you will burn everything and keep an eye on your temps. Drop a thermo down one of the top vents like I do. There is an art to cooking with live fire that you'll get the hang of with enough practice. Good luck and congrats on the Weber!

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Unread 04-07-2010, 08:11 PM   #14
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Thanks Jim, and Jive
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