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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 01-17-2013, 10:02 PM   #1
wmrrock
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Default A competition using only Weber Kettle

I am contemplating entering a KOSHER BBQ competition in Long Island. All grills, supplies, meats, charcoal, knives, injectors, etc. are supplied by the organization sponsoring the event. This is done to maintain Kashrut (Kosher laws) throughout the competition. The grills provided are Weber Kettles with the charcoal side basket. I have never used anything but my BGE and I wont be allowed to bring my pit viper and DIGIQ. How hard is it to smoke on a Weber Kettle and without a platesetter and how easy is it to maintain temperature? Am I better off with Kingsford charcoal or should I use the tried and true Wicked Good Lump? Here is the link to competition www.likosherbbq.org

Any input would be appreciated.
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Unread 01-17-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
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I would do it in a heartbeat! A kettle is a great smoker, if you can nail the fire/heat management. Just treat it like a leaky BGE with the fire closer to the meat. A lot of your knowledge will translate, but you'll still have a bit of a learning curve.

Get this... I was talking to Harry Soo at the Kingsford Invitational and he said that his goal this year is to cook entire KCBS comps on A SINGLE WSM MINI! For the past couple of years he's been cooking his comps on a single 18" WSM and a single bag of Kingsford blue. He said that this year he wants to be able to fly with his cooker in his luggage. Is that crazy town or what?! He was very confident that he could pull it off, and I have no doubt that he will.

First the Tang chicken, and now this... I apologize for the digression.

John
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Unread 01-17-2013, 10:13 PM   #3
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I started smoking on a kettle. I still use it for small smokes, like a rack of ribs.

I use Kingsford blue, because it is the fuel that I know best. I use the Minion method, with one half of the kettle full of lit and unlit coals, and the other side "cold." I add wood chunks a couple at a time for smoke. Do some practice cooks, and use what works best for you.

You will have to monitor your temperatures, and make adjustments. But don't "chase" your ideal temperature -- you will drive yourself nuts. Just plan for your temp to fluctuate, and deal with it.

If you chose to accept this challenge, I think you will become a better cook, because it will NOT be a set-it-and-forget-it cook. You will have to pay attention. You will have to think on your feet.

But, I know from about 15 years of kettle experience, that you can cook some righteous Q on a Weber Kettle, and many brethren can back me up on that. I'm sure I'm not the only one willing to help you out in any way we can.

CD
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Unread 01-17-2013, 10:14 PM   #4
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I smoked on a Weber kettle for years before getting my WSM last spring (never competed on it though). Never had any trouble maintaining temps, although it will require a lot more tending to than your BGE (you'll need to add charcoal about every hour or so). I've done ribs, chicken, and butts on it with no problems; brisket was MUCH trickier, as you have to worry about the placement of such a large piece of meat in relation to your coals, but it can be done (Bigabyte has a couple of kettle briskie cooks that he's documented in threads here). I always used KBB...but again, I never comped on it. Wish we had something like this around here; I think this sounds like a really fun comp. Good luck!
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Unread 01-17-2013, 10:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
I started smoking on a kettle. I still use it for small smokes, like a rack of ribs.

I use Kingsford blue, because it is the fuel that I know best. I use the Minion method, with one half of the kettle full of lit and unlit coals, and the other side "cold." I add wood chunks a couple at a time for smoke. Do some practice cooks, and use what works best for you.

You will have to monitor your temperatures, and make adjustments. But don't "chase" your ideal temperature -- you will drive yourself nuts. Just plan for your temp to fluctuate, and deal with it.

If you chose to accept this challenge, I think you will become a better cook, because it will NOT be a set-it-and-forget-it cook. You will have to pay attention. You will have to think on your feet.

But, I know from about 15 years of kettle experience, that you can cook some righteous Q on a Weber Kettle, and many brethren can back me up on that. I'm sure I'm not the only one willing to help you out in any way we can.

CD
Amen!

John
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Unread 01-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
I started smoking on a kettle. I still use it for small smokes, like a rack of ribs.

I use Kingsford blue, because it is the fuel that I know best. I use the Minion method, with one half of the kettle full of lit and unlit coals, and the other side "cold." I add wood chunks a couple at a time for smoke. Do some practice cooks, and use what works best for you.

You will have to monitor your temperatures, and make adjustments. But don't "chase" your ideal temperature -- you will drive yourself nuts. Just plan for your temp to fluctuate, and deal with it.

If you chose to accept this challenge, I think you will become a better cook, because it will NOT be a set-it-and-forget-it cook. You will have to pay attention. You will have to think on your feet.

But, I know from about 15 years of kettle experience, that you can cook some righteous Q on a Weber Kettle, and many brethren can back me up on that. I'm sure I'm not the only one willing to help you out in any way we can.

CD
OK, so Casey basically said what I was trying to say, but as usual, he said it far better than I ever could have. Thanks, Casey!
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Unread 01-17-2013, 10:22 PM   #7
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I use a smokenator 1000 on my kettle all the time -it's pretty easy. I imagine the basket setup wouldn't be too different. Can you put a water pan above the coals? If so, that will help regulate temp since you are not familiar with the setup.

Regardless, set up for a minion burn, about 15 lit coals over 45 unlit. Start with vents 1/2 open and try to adjust from there. Good luck!
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Unread 01-17-2013, 10:54 PM   #8
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Easy Peasy! You can do it one of two ways charcoal fuse, or indirect, fire on one side and food on the other, cover the open area with fol for better control. bottom vent open 1/8i" top vent open 3/4 will gve you 250-275.
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Unread 01-17-2013, 11:02 PM   #9
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You can definitely smoke on the kettle. I use the minion method and can have a several hour cook without adding coals. You can also google the snake method of lighting charcoal for low and slow. You will have to watch the temps though.
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Unread 01-17-2013, 11:07 PM   #10
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On my grills (which are the gold versions) I have marked positions for the bottom vent lever for 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full open. That all happens in about the first 15% of travel. The rest of the travel is just to push ash around. Knowing where your vent is will help to control temperature.

Good luck!
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Unread 01-17-2013, 11:10 PM   #11
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Personally, I'm not a comp guy but this idea is awesome. Me likey!




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Unread 01-17-2013, 11:11 PM   #12
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Well you're not going to cooking butt and your not cooking spares, that's a given. So, I'm guessing brisket or chicken. For your sake I hope it's chicken.
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Unread 01-17-2013, 11:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HankB View Post
On my grills (which are the gold versions) I have marked positions for the bottom vent lever for 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full open. That all happens in about the first 15% of travel. The rest of the travel is just to push ash around. Knowing where your vent is will help to control temperature.

Good luck!
Good point, I have my kettles marked as well.
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Unread 01-17-2013, 11:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
Well you're not going to cooking butt and your not cooking spares, that's a given. So, I'm guessing brisket or chicken. For your sake I hope it's chicken.
What makes you say that? I've cooked butts on an OTS with great success. Spares? No problem at all!

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Unread 01-17-2013, 11:42 PM   #15
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@ PatioDaddio - Pork is not Kosher
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