Most BBQ freaks are of the view that a charcoal grill or a kettle is not the best option for smoking. But you don’t have to spend on a smoker just to get that delectable flavor that you crave for. The best thing is that we are going to use that good old Weber kettle grill.
This grill is literally your all-in-one chef. You don’t have to hack apart or splurge your kettle grill to turn it into a smoker. You just have to explore a trick that we are going to show you in this post.
So let’s get on with it!
The snake technique
Innovations continue to happen in BBQ and among the recent ones is this snake technique which is going mainstream. In this technique, you will have to build a stack-wall of briquettes and make them lean on each other in a semicircle just like dominoes.
Now, it’s time to light the coals from one side. Allow them to burn like fuse from one end to another over a period of 12 hours. The good thing about this technique is that it can work with any circular coal grill. Most of the people own these at their homes or they might take one on their camping trips. Doing this for half a day will enable the grill to maintain a steady temperature for the entire day.
It will easily slow cook brisket, ribs, chicken, fish, pulled meat and a whole turkey. When the time for your dinner arrives you will be able to enjoy that tender, juicy, falling-off-the-bone BBQ.
Construct the snake
Take your charcoal briquettes to form the body of your snake. Just lay two layers right around the perimeter on half of the grate. One of the rows needs to be inside the other and these should be neatly packed.
After that stack, make another couple of briquette layers on top. You will end up with a semicircle of briquettes that is two-layer high and two-layer wide. As this construction will burn like a fuse so the length of time that it will burn directly depends upon the length of the snake.
Light it up
Now it’s time to light the snake up. Make sure that you don’t use lighter fluid for this purpose. Go for a chimney starter and don’t forget to use your insulated gloves because it is going to get hot. You can fill the space that is under the rack with lighter cubes.
Now put about nine or ten briquettes on top of that and light those wax cubes. When they ash over and turn their color to light gray place them on the head of the snake close to where you have placed the wood chunks using tongs. You will get your fire which might be slow but it is surely there.
Set the water pan up
Fill a disposable foil pan with water (three-quarters) and place it inside the snake on the grate. This water will steady the temperatures and there will be a moist environment for your meat cooking. Now set your cooking grate over the coal grate, snake and pan and close the lid. The lower and upper vents will automatically control the flow of air along with the temperature. You can fully open the lower vent but let the upper vent half-open. Just keep an eye on it until the temperature reaches 250F to 300F.
Add the meat
Make sure to place your meat right in the middle of the cooking grate. None of it should be right above the snake unless you want to do direct grilling of thin cuts or hamburgers. You should slowly smoke the thick cuts but keeping them away from the charcoal. Keep in mind that if you try to cook a turkey or ribs the way you cook your steak, it will burn from the outside but will remain raw on the inside.
Maintain the fire
One of the best things about the snake technique is that you don’t have to do any adjusting. Make sure that you check the temperature on an hourly basis and keep it within 250F and 300F. You can manage the fire by opening and closing the vents.
Don’t close the vents entirely and leave the lid on as much as it is possible. If you open the lid, all the properly heater air will go out. You can extend the life of your fire by adding some briquettes to the snake’s tale in a similar stacked-domino fashion.
How to smoke on a Weber gas grill?
It is easy to set up a gas grill for smoking if your grill comes with a smoker box. You need to start by soaking some wood chips in water for half an hour. This is important because you want more smoke than heat.
Now start the grill by preheating it for about 10 to 15 minutes. Brush the cooking grates for cleaning with a stainless steel brush for grills. After that, add the chips into your smoker box with the help of tongs. Now grab the soaked chips and let the excess water drain off. Place them in the smoker box and spread them out.
Close the lid until the smoke starts to pour out of your grill. Reduce the heat of the burner to medium to allow the wood to smolder slowly. It’s time to start smoking your food. Make sure that you arrange your food right in the idle of the grate and not on the burning burner.
How to use a smoker box on a charcoal grill?
If you want to use a smoker box on your charcoal grill then the process is similar as above mentioned. However, when using a charcoal grill you don’t need a smoker box at all. You can directly add the wood chips to the coals. Just make sure that they are soaked well. Make sure to spread them around the edges of the grill. Don’t spread them in the center then they will burn your food.
How to smoke meat on a charcoal grill with wood chips?
You can easily smoke your meat with wood chips on a charcoal grill. As you are going to place your meat right in the middle of the grate, ensure that you keep all the wood chips close to the walls of the grill. You need your meat to slowly gain the flavor of the wood.
Placing them right on the wood chips will burn it from the outside while the inside remains raw. Also make sure to keep the lid closed and don’t open it or you will allow the smoke as well as the heated air to escape. If you are working with a thick cut then don’t place it directly over the woods. You can do so if you are cooking thin cuts.
Converting your Weber grill into a smoker won’t take any additional resources. You have to know the basics of BBQ for this. Always make sure that you keep the lid closed as much as possible. You can control the temperature with the help of the vents, not with the lid. Soaking has to be for at least half an hour if you want a good flavor.
When you are dealing with thick cuts make sure that you keep it away from the direct fire underneath or it will burn from outside without cooking from the inside.