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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 01-28-2014, 05:35 PM   #1
Nitsua
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Default First try at charcoal grilling

Been using propane for about 4 years, never used charcoal. Moved out of state a few years ago and had to surrender my dads old propane grill back to him. Got myself a Smokey Joe Silver. Here are some of my first attempts at grilling with charcoal and on such a small grill. Please feel free to correct anything i am doing wrong and offer any tips your willing to share to help make me a better griller for my wife.

First up - boneless pork chops. Marinaded in a bag for a few hours


You'll notice I went out and bought a cheap little oven thermometer hoping to use it to track the heat in that little kettle


They're all done in this picture. Wife had to snack on the one while she was finishing up some side dishes.


I'm about to post some steaks and chicken breast too. Let me know if y'all notice anything I'm doing wrong
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Unread 01-28-2014, 05:38 PM   #2
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Well, that looks good so far
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Unread 01-28-2014, 05:40 PM   #3
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Some boneless, skinless chicken breast. I tried something new here - I smashed the breasts flat so they were about 1/4" all around. Read somewhere that it makes it cook more evenly and juicy instead of having a large breast piece. Is this true or are there better ways? Just smeared some store bought BBQ sauce on them and grilled away on them.


I think they turned out okay. Wife liked them so that's all that matters i guess.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 05:40 PM   #4
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great start,keep it up!
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Unread 01-28-2014, 05:42 PM   #5
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Good lookin chops...

Wait till you get a pot to put on that grill.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 05:44 PM   #6
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And lastly to share, some ribeyes I grilled up. Minimum seasoning or flavoring or anything, just a little Worcestershire sauce.


I like mine pretty rare. I try to use the "touch" method to test for doneness. I hate the idea of poking any holes in the steaks.


Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the Smokey Joe. I was worried a tiny kettle grill would suffer vent issues or not cook right. This thing has done me good so far. I want to eventually move into maybe smoking some shortribs in it but I'm still a little nervous on that.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 05:48 PM   #7
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Looks like you nailed it there...everything looks good, nice job
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Unread 01-28-2014, 05:50 PM   #8
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Looks great to me!!! I loved my smokey joe
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Unread 01-28-2014, 05:54 PM   #9
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The Smoky Joe is a great little cooker, I have one and use it often. Those all look good.

The smashing the chicken breast is a matter of taste, it certainly works and leave the chicken to cook evenly. There is no one right way.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 05:55 PM   #10
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Looks Good. Have you considered adding a small piece of hickory or pecan wood to give it some smoke flavor? It does not take much. Also, just my .02 is that I don't add sauce until about 5 mins before they come off the grill. The sugar in the sause can burn.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 05:59 PM   #11
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Well the only problem I see is that the ribeye is in a picture on my computer and not in front of me where I can eat it. Nice looking cooks there. I'm guessing you're figuring out using the lid to control heat, leaving a side of the grill cooler than the other side, etc.?

If it was me, I'd fling the therm and just go by hand feel for the heat, but that's me. Everybody has their way of doing things which is what makes this stuff cool.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 06:03 PM   #12
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landarc, I used to cook the breast on the propane without smashing or anything. I notice sometimes by the time the thick middle part is done the thin edge is dry or overcooked. I think you're right though, all about taste.

Toast, all I could find we're chips and I'm afraid they would burn up way quicker than a chuck of wood. I'm on the lookout though.

Gtr, I have been using the lid and vents, but I've only done quick cooks like the steak, chops, brats, burgers. Eventually I'll want to do shortribs or a butt maybe. I still want more practice. And I've heard about the hand about 5 inches over the grate for however many seconds to tell temperature, but I don't think I'm that good yet.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 06:24 PM   #13
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If wood chips is all that's available you could try putting them in aluminum foil and poking holes in it. I've never done this myself but someone else may chime in that has.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 06:51 PM   #14
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Looks good to me. The real question is how did everything taste. If it tasted good to you then you done did good!

As for your chicken breast, I still struggle with mine a bit sometimes too. The trick for me is to just not over cook it, and don't cook at such a high heat that the outside dries up while the inside is still raw. Also, a short rest after the meat comes off the grill is a good idea too, just tent/cover with a piece of foil for 5-15 min or so normally does the trick.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 06:55 PM   #15
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First off that is some fine cooking. Second, have you tried the Home Depots in your area for chunks?
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