View Full Version : Weber Kettle questions

01-09-2012, 12:26 PM
Do you use lump or briquettes in your Weber Kettle?

For ceramic owners, does the kettle use way more than a ceramic?

Do the kettles burn much more in cold weather?

Are kettles less accurate holding temps


01-09-2012, 12:38 PM
I have both and enjoy cooking on both. I use lump exclusively in my Egg and have used both briquettes and lump in my Weber kettle. I like lump for grilling on the kettle, but prefer briquettes for smoking. I like to manually arrange the briquettes for a better burn via minion method. As for temp control and burn rate in any season the Egg is really hard to beat. Once you get your temp set the air tightness and ceramics of the Egg makes temp control rock solid. However if you get your ceramic too hot it is a real pain to bring it back down. The kettle is still pretty good, but with the amount of air leakage and metal construction it takes a wee bit more tending and I have to keep a close eye on it. Wind is more of an issue with the kettle as well. Either system will serve you well.

01-09-2012, 01:07 PM
I use lump in my egg and either lump or briq. in my kettles depending on what I have. Yes the egg will outperform the kettles in terms of control, operating in cold weather, etc. in a straight up comparison. That's the difference between 3/4" ceramic and thin sheet steel. Kettles have given me more capacity (I have a large BGE). That being said I have used them both in what I would consider less then desirable circumstances with some degree of success. The kettle just took a little more watching.

01-09-2012, 01:53 PM
I use standard Kingford in my kettle. Have you heard of a smokenator for the kettle? the Smokenator works well for controlling temperatures for a low and slow cook on the kettle. I built my own version out of sheet metal and can control my temps down to 225-250 with a waterpan. Before cooking on it though, did a long burn to fine tune the vent settings. I have to add five briquettes on each side every hour. You loose heat every time you remove the lid but it reestablishes pretty quick. The kettles are very suceptible to cold weather and wind. Hope this helps!

Midnight Smoke
01-09-2012, 02:39 PM
I have several Kettles and a couple Ceramics. Lump all the time in the Ceramics, both Lump and Briquettes in the Kettle. I usually use the left over Lump from the Egg sometimes mixed with Kingsford Briquettes in the Kettle when grilling depending on whats cooking. If I was Smoking in the Kettle I would use Briquettes.

01-10-2012, 12:10 AM
I had planned to smoke a prime rib in my kettle one day last week. I was concerned because it turned out to be very windy & cold. But the kettle performed better than my UDS on a good day. I just set it, added a handful of charcoal every hour, and it never varied more than 20 degrees the 4 hours I ran it.

01-10-2012, 12:53 AM
Do you use lump or briquettes in your Weber Kettle?
I switched to lump a few years back on my kettle. Mostly for higher burn temps, less ash to dispose of and that little bit of flavor they put off compared to most briquettes.

My wife recently brought home a twin pack of Kingsford because she knew I needed some charcoal.:doh: While the ash output is higher, I was surprised at the amount of heat coming off of the same amount of K-briqs that I normally use of lump. Interestingly enough, my cook times did not change much at all on the kettle for direct and offset grilling (not low and slow but grilling). I had about the same amount of coals left over between cooks, and was able to reuse the old briqs even lighting them up in my chimney with some new briqs on bottom.

What I took away from this brief experience going through a couple bags of Kingsford for kettle grilling, was that outside of the amount of ash and less of a smokey flavor, I couldn't tell much difference between it and the lump. K-briqs are cheap too, so I'm almost debating whether or not to pick up some more.

All that said however, when I recently bought charcoal, I bought lump.

For ceramic owners, does the kettle use way more than a ceramic?
I do not own a ceramic, but I know the answer is a definitive yes.

Do the kettles burn much more in cold weather?I only use my kettles for higher heat cooking, both direct grilling and non-direct roasting. Lower temp cooking happens in my WSM's. For grilling, yes, I have noticed a difference, but since I can usually finish all of my grilling or roasting needs with one, maybe two loads of charcoal, it's not much of a factor I pay a great deal of attention to.

Are kettles less accurate holding temps
Less accurate than what? I am not sure what to say. I find they are really accurate for what they are designed to do, which in my opinion is high heat cooking, either direct or indirect. I haven't actually used a thermo to read cooker temp in my kettles in years, I just put the intakes where they need to be. That to me says steady and accurate. However, if I were to try and do a low and slow smoke in one, well, I would say it is less steady and accurate than many other cookers, but that is because I do low and slow in WSM's which are basically "set it and forget it". Some folks who regularly smoke in their kettles say it is very solid, but it does require a keen eye and attention. To me, that basically means less steady and accurate on its own without you there.

Hope that helped. If you are wanting one cooker that does smoking and grilling, and can afford ceramic.....GO CERAMIC!:thumb::wink: If a ceramic is out of your budget, you will never regret owning a Weber Kettle. You may wish to get a more "set it and forget it" smoker someday though.:wink:

If you are looking for something else, just let me know.