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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 04-08-2014, 07:56 AM   #1
kevinc
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Default Efficiently Use of Charcoal on Kettle

I recently got rid of my defunct gasser and bought a 22" Weber kettle.

I haven't really cooked much on a kettle so I don't know the best way to efficiently use the charcoal. Here is what I've been doing thus far:

  • Open the bottom and top vents
  • Remove the top grate
  • Light a chimney full of coals on the bottom grate
  • When flames start licking out the top of the chimney, I pour the coals on the bottom grate in to whatever configuration I need
  • Replace the top grate
  • Wait 5ish more minutes until the coals are ashed over
  • Grill!
  • After I'm through cooking, I just leave the vents open and let everything burn out.

Thus far, I've spent more time getting the coals ready than the food does on the grate. I feel like the last step is a pretty big waste.

Any tips or tricks on how best to manage the grill?

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Unread 04-08-2014, 07:58 AM   #2
peeps
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Shut the bottom and top vents when the cook is done and save the remaining coals for the next cook by either putting them in the chimney or just dumping your hot coals on them.
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Unread 04-08-2014, 07:58 AM   #3
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Depends what you wanna cook.
If you use quality briqs it would be a waste to let the coals burn out.
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Unread 04-08-2014, 08:06 AM   #4
kevinc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phubar View Post
Depends what you wanna cook.
If you use quality briqs it would be a waste to let the coals burn out.
I'm mostly doing "weeknight" type grilling food that cooks fairly quick. Steaks, chicken breasts, salmon and turkey legs

I've been using Kingsford blue because thats whats on sale and its also what I use for my smoker.
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Unread 04-08-2014, 08:16 AM   #5
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when you are done, close it up

next fire, just pour your new lit stuff over it

as simple as that.

I never throw out unburned coal
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Unread 04-08-2014, 11:02 AM   #6
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What everyone else said. Close it down and use it next time. I just re-light it in place with a propane/map gas torch.
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Unread 04-08-2014, 11:07 AM   #7
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Excellent question. I'm considering a WSM and also wonder about this. Is it even worth it, for all the start and prep hassle just to grill standard BBQ meats. Stuff like that is only on my gasser from 10 to 20 minutes, what am I'm missing here?
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Unread 04-08-2014, 11:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raggdoll View Post
Excellent question. I'm considering a WSM and also wonder about this. Is it even worth it, for all the start and prep hassle just to grill standard BBQ meats. Stuff like that is only on my gasser from 10 to 20 minutes, what am I'm missing here?
I would not use a WSM for quick cooks

it takes 10- 15 mins to start my kettle with lump. I would much rather cook on that than gas.

any day
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Unread 04-08-2014, 11:11 AM   #9
peeps
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What start and prep hassle?

Loading and lighting a charcoal chimney takes just a few minutes more than walking out and preheating a gasser....if THAT depending on the condition of your gasser

Start the coals before you prep your food and the timing is the same, generally, and the results are better, IMO.
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Unread 04-08-2014, 11:18 AM   #10
kevinc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtBurner View Post
when you are done, close it up

next fire, just pour your new lit stuff over it

as simple as that.

I never throw out unburned coal
So do you start with la 3/4 to 1/2 chimney then, depending on how many unburnt coals are leftover?
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Unread 04-08-2014, 11:18 AM   #11
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Experience will tell you how much charcoal to light I have not lit more than a 1/2 a chimney full in years. When I am finished I close everything down next cook place the old stuff in the chimney put new on top & light it up.
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Unread 04-08-2014, 11:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinc View Post
So do you start with la 3/4 to 1/2 chimney then, depending on how many unburnt coals are leftover?
also depends on what I am cooking and how hot a fire I need

I dont really go by unburnt coals unless there is a lot which there usually isnt
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Unread 04-08-2014, 11:28 AM   #13
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I started out always lighting a full chimney of coals too. This is hardly necessary except for grilling a lot of burgers, as in more than one or two grill loadouts. Never throw away olf charcoal or burn it out. Just close it all up and put new lit coals on the old ones next time or relight the old. If you are only grilling a few things just bunch up all the charcoal to one side and cook directly over it. You won't need as much charcoal this way. For direct grilling all you care about is the heat right above the fire, who cares how hot the rest of the grill is and you only need a fire big enough to put your food over.
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Unread 04-08-2014, 11:30 AM   #14
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With a charcoal basket you can easily shake clean the ashes and re-use the coals. Pour new lit coals on top.

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Unread 04-13-2014, 10:24 AM   #15
jeremy hines
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Is that a homemade basket carbon?
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