12 October 2013

A Weber Grille makes a fine smoker, in a pinch

There are times when i'm away from home and wish I had my clunky old smoker with me. That's not possible but there are great ways to improvise when the real equipment isn't available. A Weber grille makes a great smoker for when your needs are small, the weather is great, and you just want an afternoon to show off your improvisational skills.

There's no real magic to this. You just put a dozen coals in one corner of the grille and light em up. Add the meat on the far side of the grille. Feed a few coals from time to time and keep the wet woodchips piled on. Turn the top vent so that it's about halfway open and on the opposite side of the coals and woodchips. That forces the smoke to travel over the meat and out the top.  Keep an eye on the temp for that magical 225 number.

We did this over two weekends at my brother's house in Charlotte. Last weekend it was a small pork shoulder and a chicken. This weekend it was two chickens and a pack of bacon. All of it came out great and my brother now thinks I'm the McGuyver of barbecue.

The bacon was a last minute thing. We bought a pack of the cheapest bacon and tossed it on for a few hours. After about three hours we started sampling and had eaten most of it by the six hour point. The chickens were smoked for about six hours. At the five hour point I stood them up on their legs to drain all the juices that had accumulated in the cavity. The little pack of tin foil that you see has the liver, gizzard, etc. They weren't that great and I wouldn't mess with them next time.

Two brothers, a makeshift smoker, perfect fall weather, cigars handcrafted by Onyx and Hoyo DeMonterey, an always-brewing pot of fresh coffee, and Cardinals baseball in the background. Top that off with a growing list of answered prayers and its hard to imagine a better weekend.

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