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Unread 05-19-2009, 12:28 PM   #1
blake
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Default Fatty on a kettle questions

Looking for tips for my first Fatty. This will be on a weber.

I am thinking of stuffing with onions, green peppers, and pepper jack cheese. Do I need to saute/soften the veggies some first?

I plan to bank the coals on each side, but how do I keep it going for the long cook time? I assume, having unlit briquets under or on top of my starter coals? I am looking for approximate number of unlit briquets to have on each side.
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Unread 05-19-2009, 12:41 PM   #2
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They will cook inside the fatty, but I'd saute them first. Couldn't tell you on the carcoal. But I imagine the air vents will need to be closed most of the way. Maybe someone else will chime in. But cook a plain rubbed fatty as well. It's what fatties were made for. Stuffed fatties are good, but there is something to be said about a plain one.
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Unread 05-19-2009, 12:42 PM   #3
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You can do your veggies either way..I put a drip pan on one side...half a chimney of lit coals on the other, throw a piece of wood on top and let her rip. You dont need many coals but if your cooking other foods you may use more. The fatty is pretty forgiving so...I wouldnt worry. Take till internal hits 165-170 and let it rest. Throw some rub on your fatty before you put it on..adds some flavor. A little brown sugar works nice too. Millions of ways to do..
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Unread 05-19-2009, 12:45 PM   #4
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You'll have a tough time maintaining anything BELOW 270* in the kettle, but I do fatties on it all the time.

Following is just my .02, which varies from what you plan on doing. I encourage you to try it your way, and see if you like the result, that is what's important!!

First off, I only put coals on 1 side of the kettle, unless beer can chickening. I find it too hard to control/maintain 2 seperate heat source.

Next, I don't put unlit coals in the kettle. Temp will get out of control too quickly.

I also have the hinged grate, making adding coals super easy.

That said,
1/3 or so of a Weber sized charcoal chimney gets lit, with a small piece of hickory thrown in.

Coals piled on one side, grate left open over coals, fatty (fattys!!) on the other side, farthest from heat.

One more small unlit piece hickory on the coals, cover (with open lid holes over fatties)

I have the bottom vent at 1/2 closed.

When it hits 275, if it goes too much past, I'll close bottom to 1/4 open. Always full open on top. If its not windy, you can peg 275 for over and hour this way.

when temp drops below 250* (maybe 2 hours in) I will light 6 or 8 more coals in the chimney.

When lit, lift lid of kettle 1" off grate, slide over exposing open access to coal pile, add lit coals with my charcoal tongs. add 3 or 4 quickly. close lid.

Total heat loss, about 20*, but much quicker recovery then taking off lid completely.

Wait 5 minutes, check temps again. Repeat adding the remaining 4-5 coals if you need to. Add piece hickory.

That should be it.

275*ish for 3 hours or so will cook the fatties. In fact, it will probably spike to 325* at the beginning, which will kinda seal it a little bit, leading to a smaller "ring" on it, but the smoke flavor will still be there.

Try your way, but my advice is to go with unlit coals under the lit coals, if you do not have hinged cooking grates.

Good luck!!
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Unread 05-19-2009, 12:46 PM   #5
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You should be fine no matter what, plenty of fat in those things which should save you from higher temps.

Saute/soften - up to you, I say go for it if you don't mind the extra prep.

Definitely put the unlit underneath, you want to always burn down. I would start with about 5-10 lit coals, less if it's hot outside and in direct sun more if it's cold without direct sun. You can even put the coals on just one side and have the top vent open above where the food is sitting.

If you have a gold kettle do yourself a favor and mark off the different vent opening positions prior to starting the cook. This will help you control your air intake with a lot less fuss.

Don't forget the drip pan underneath the food area. I smoked on my kettle (briskets, ribs) for about a year before getting my first WSM. It's completely do-able, just requires a little more attention + baby sitting, otherwise known as beer drinking.

Let us know how you make out!
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Unread 05-19-2009, 02:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willkat98 View Post
You'll have a tough time maintaining anything BELOW 270* in the kettle, but I do fatties on it all the time.

Following is just my .02, which varies from what you plan on doing. I encourage you to try it your way, and see if you like the result, that is what's important!!

First off, I only put coals on 1 side of the kettle, unless beer can chickening. I find it too hard to control/maintain 2 seperate heat source.

Next, I don't put unlit coals in the kettle. Temp will get out of control too quickly.

I also have the hinged grate, making adding coals super easy.

That said,
1/3 or so of a Weber sized charcoal chimney gets lit, with a small piece of hickory thrown in.

Coals piled on one side, grate left open over coals, fatty (fattys!!) on the other side, farthest from heat.

One more small unlit piece hickory on the coals, cover (with open lid holes over fatties)

I have the bottom vent at 1/2 closed.

When it hits 275, if it goes too much past, I'll close bottom to 1/4 open. Always full open on top. If its not windy, you can peg 275 for over and hour this way.

when temp drops below 250* (maybe 2 hours in) I will light 6 or 8 more coals in the chimney.

When lit, lift lid of kettle 1" off grate, slide over exposing open access to coal pile, add lit coals with my charcoal tongs. add 3 or 4 quickly. close lid.

Total heat loss, about 20*, but much quicker recovery then taking off lid completely.

Wait 5 minutes, check temps again. Repeat adding the remaining 4-5 coals if you need to. Add piece hickory.

That should be it.

275*ish for 3 hours or so will cook the fatties. In fact, it will probably spike to 325* at the beginning, which will kinda seal it a little bit, leading to a smaller "ring" on it, but the smoke flavor will still be there.

Try your way, but my advice is to go with unlit coals under the lit coals, if you do not have hinged cooking grates.

Good luck!!
Nice "How To" for "Weber Smoking" willkat... Thanks!
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Unread 05-19-2009, 02:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTHank View Post
Nice "How To" for "Weber Smoking" willkat... Thanks!
Thanks MTH,

I shoulda mentioned, this is the method for all my kettle smoking cept the beer can chicks.

I do loins, butts, tri-tip, etc. doing the same thing. Just hard to keep the temps lower than 275*

Enjoy!
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Unread 05-19-2009, 05:43 PM   #8
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I made a pork loin Sunday on the kettle, then used the left over coals to smoke some fatties. I have also smoked fatties at a higher temp, and they still come out great. Experiment and enjoy.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 12:43 PM   #9
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Thanks Willkat98 and others. I'll be given it a go in the next day or two.
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Unread 05-21-2009, 04:06 PM   #10
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Well it's on! I'll try and take a pic when it is done.
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Unread 05-21-2009, 10:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blake View Post
Well it's on! I'll try and take a pic when it is done.
It's Done!!!

Take it off!!!
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Unread 05-21-2009, 10:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willkat98 View Post
It's Done!!!

Take it off!!!
And where is the pic ,

Remember

"No Pic"... Didn't happen!
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Unread 05-24-2009, 02:06 PM   #13
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Okay it's late but I really did cook it. No clue on grill temps as the thermo is still packed away somewhere. Cooked about 2 hours and took temp 175, so quickly pulled it off (I was planning on 3 hr). Nice crust but a little tough, probably should have only cooked it 1.5 hr or so. I kept it simple being my first fatty and first cook in 20 years on a kettle. Also wanted it to be simple as I never tried this grocery store's house bulk sausage. About 1/4 cup finely diced red onions (raw), 2 oz of mozzarella, and some spicy montreal instead of rub. I ended up bank the coals on one side, plenty of heat (probably too much). Also had some roasted red peppers and baked potatoes (also cooked on the kettle).





I picked up some more sausage at the grocery store to give another go. This time it's 2 chubs of TN Pride hot (my favorite breakfast sausage), which was on sale.
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Unread 05-25-2009, 06:35 AM   #14
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Looks good, I'm surprised it dried out at 175 given the fat content of those things. Either way you're on track there, it's all trial and error. That's what they made beer for :)
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Unread 12-17-2009, 11:42 PM   #15
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I really want to try this.
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