View Full Version : gettin started...

05-15-2012, 07:15 PM
Ok.. from the start. I have been cooking on my one touch grill for many years with great success and plenty of family compliments. Two weeks ago (when i joined this forum) I decided that its time for me to step up my game and learn more about what I have always been crazy about.... smokin and grillin. I've always cooked over direct heat and never have used any wood,lump charcoal or any thing of the sort. Its always been Kingsford for me. Im ready for a change!
I wanna use some different fruit woods and start to grill with indirect heat. Today I went out and purchased some rub (yardbird) along with some cherry wood chunks. My plan is to start with some baby backs (3 racks) on my weber kettle, over indirect heat for 2.5 hours then foil for 30 min, and then finish over direct for a short time, while maintaining a 250 temp. I plan to use Kingsford again but add cherry wood to go with. Could someone please give me some ideas on how much charcoal? Do i need to soak the wood chunks? When I foil the ribs do I put them meat side down? Should I use some different than Kingsford? Any ideas or comments to make this go smooth would be greatly appreciated.. thanks in advance!

05-15-2012, 07:27 PM
Welcome to the obsession. Soon you'll find you can't walk by a computer without logging in and seeing who's saying what. As far as your questions: I don't ever foil but I know alot of folks here do. I really feel that the simpler you can keep it, especially at this point, the better. I wouldn't mess with anything to make the cook more complicated your first go around. Just put 'em on, enjoy the smells, learn how it cooks low and slow, and enjoy the ride. When I made the shift from briq's to lump, the change was so dramatic that I never went back, so my guess is once you try it you'll never go back.

As far as soaking, again, alot of different views in here. I don't soak because I don't think it makes any difference. Just bring the weber to temp, put on some wood and let 'em smoke. Take pictures, though, cause we like to watch. Good smokin'!

Pyle's BBQ
05-15-2012, 07:35 PM
Go with what you know first. Use the Kingsford for this smoke. You will not need to soak the chunks, add them to the pile of briquettes. Be sure you bank the coals on one side of the grill and do not light too many coals at the beginning. Maybe light about 10 and put them on one side of the pile. Watch your temps as you are warming the grill. You will want to catch the temp on the way up and close the vents down to get the temp you want. Are you using a rib rack? Otherwise you will need to rotate the ribs during the cook to get them cooked evenly. I don't foil my ribs, so I can't give you advise on that.

El Ropo
05-15-2012, 08:02 PM
I bank the coals on one side of kettle, and bury my un-soaked wood chunks within the pile of unlit coals, as opposed to dropping them on top.

My reasoning for this is the chunks will slowly pre-heat, and burn cleanly and gradually making for a nice clean smoke. Thin blue to invisible smoke is what you are looking for. I figure dropping wood on top of the lit coals will cause them to burn up too fast. On a rib cook, you shouldn't have to add more coals/chunks for the entire cook.

I don't foil either. Rotating the ribs halfway through the cook will help with a more even cook for all of the racks.

I only drop about 8-10 fully lit briqs (you do have a chimney starter right?) on top of the pile of unlit coals/chunks. I also use half fist sized chunks, and only about 3 or 4 of them.

Don't peek, spritz, mop or open to take pics. Start checking for "done" at about the 3 hour mark, depending on what temp the cooker is running at.

Definitely keep it simple for first couple of tries, till you figure out fire control. Oh, and always control temps with the bottom intakes, and leave the exhaust wide open.

Porky Joes
05-15-2012, 08:11 PM
I have found success with one piece of wood on top of the grill with the charcoal underneath. The last time I tried muffin chicken the one pieces last the 2.5hr smoke at 250F. I am using this method with St Louis Spare ribs right now at 300F. Check out the posting I just created, their will be pron soon.

05-15-2012, 08:50 PM
Thank you for the helpful tip and advice. Will 250 degrees be ok or what does everyone recommend? I plan to use a chimney starter also my rib rack. I thought
most of the grill masters here always foiled ribs.

05-15-2012, 09:44 PM
250 is good. But don't worry if temps get up around 290. 300 for ribs is pushing it. Wrap or not wrap its your choice. Wrapping will speed up the cook but it's not necessary. Good luck.

05-15-2012, 11:18 PM
There was a good thread here a little while back tat had lots of pics of peoples coal arrangement on a kettle. You could try searching at the bottom of the page. "Kettle set up" or something to that effect. If I wasn't on tapatalk i'd find it for you. A visual is always nice.

05-16-2012, 10:15 AM
Run your smoker a few times with nothing in it, or maybe just some cheap pork shoulders in it so to get a feel for controlling your smoker low and slow. Shoulders are easy enough that they'll cook anywhere from 200-300*+ and taste good.

05-16-2012, 11:30 AM
Here you go, I found that thread I was talking about.