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The Smoking and BBQ thread


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Did a quick and dirty burgers & sausages yesterday evening although I struggle with getting the temps up on the Weber.  I was using a chimney full of lump wood charcoal over to one side, and both top & bottom vents half open.  I put the probe on the grill at the furthest point from the coals and it was only just hitting 170C.  I opened both vents up fully to get more air in and boost the temps and it got a bit hotter but still only to about 180C.  In the end I closed the top vent completely and had the bottom one fully open and managed to get the temp up over 200C to get the sausages browning.  Am I doing something obviously wrong here? 

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Rubbish charcoal?

 

I find lump wood burns very hot and tend to use it for direct grilling for steaks and things. Briquettes for everything else. 

 

I cooked some sausages over the weekend and they ran the risk of burning very quickly over lump wood. I tend to do sausages over indirect heat. 

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It could well be rubbish charcoal yes.  I bought a bag of B&Q lump wood to try out but much prefer briquettes, annoyingly the Weber came with 2 bags of Big-K lump wood which I haven't even opened yet.  I did the sausages indirect but after they'd been on for 35 odd minutes and were only just starting to colour up I took the lid off and did them direct to get some colour on them.

 

If you have the coals over to one side of the BBQ and the food on the other should you put the lid on with the vent over the coals or over the food?  I went with over the food as it seemed like having it over the coals would just let the heat straight out.

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Also never adjust the top vent is what I was taught. Leave that fully open to allow for the exhaust to get out and not get any horrible build up inside the barbecue. Bottom vent is where all adjustment is.

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Well you want the top vent holes away from the leading leg of the Webber with the Webber facing into the wind.

 

On that basis the coals should probably also be at the front so the air is drawn in through the coals up through the food and out. 

 

But I use two coal baskets so the coals are either at either side or in the middle. 

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Any suggestions for decent veggie recipes I can cook as a side dish while the meat is on? As much as I love a protein fest, I need something to go with it and my last two attempts at side dishes (potatoes, mushrooms, peppers, onions) have been the same so could do with a bit of variety.

 

What about green veg like sugar snap peas, broccoli, asparagus etc? How are they on a charcoal barbecue?

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10 hours ago, cubik said:

Any suggestions for decent veggie recipes I can cook as a side dish while the meat is on? As much as I love a protein fest, I need something to go with it and my last two attempts at side dishes (potatoes, mushrooms, peppers, onions) have been the same so could do with a bit of variety.

 

What about green veg like sugar snap peas, broccoli, asparagus etc? How are they on a charcoal barbecue?

 

Grilled asparagus - great just takes a few moments.  Spray a little oil or butter over them first.

 

Corn on the cob - microwave for 2-3mins first (optional) and place directly over a medium heat.  (cover in foil for a while if you don't want to micro).

 

 

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@Jonny5 I would defi say crap charcoal, I have done loads of roasting on my Weber and usually hit 250+ when I dump a load of charcoal on one side for indirect (thats the probe on the indirect side) and if I put a sausage over it it would be charcoal in under a min. To hold 200 for a few hours I'm generally half open on top and bottom vent - you should have no issues hitting far higher temps so can only assume crap charcoal - I use Big K, Weber and even Aldi stuff and never had an issue.

 

When I am doing just burgers and sausages I do a whole chimney but empty it on the charcoal grill 1 layer deep if that makes sense, perfect heat to cook sausages and burgers with no danger of burning and some lid on action to add a bit of smoke - people offend ask why burgers go a bit red when I do them that way! 

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I bought a shoulder of lamb and some pork belly and BBQ'd them on Saturday. About three and half hours of indirect cooking. 

 

They were phenomenal. 

 

The lamb I have done a number of times with home made tzatziki and was wonderful as usual. 

 

The pork belly was a revelation though. It was obviously quite fatty (should have taken a photo of it raw) and all the fat had rendered down leaving really tender meat. 

 

IMG_2633.thumb.JPG.e9258106cfecaafd900dc4b53de20b6d.JPGIMG_2634.thumb.JPG.99cfc63217dc8a50452ad9b4dc4310a1.JPGIMG_2635.thumb.JPG.a4007fe43cca06259a3138d672c4e427.JPG

 

Decent smoke ring on both. 

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We've got friends over on sat for a BBQ. I've ordered some big apple hot dogs and 4kg of Boston butt pork shoulder from that bluefields@home place somebody linked earlier in the thread. Looking forward to see what the hot dogs come out like. 

 

I've also got some big-k briquettes now rather than the crappy lump wood I used last time so fingers crossed it works better. 

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4 hours ago, The Hierophant said:

Bought this the other day:

 

Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling

 

Full of techniques as well as recipes. 

 

I really like him and the site they have - loads of interesting info backed by science, I got my Slow n Sear based on the recommendation of the site. I have to say I have been waiting for the price to drop before getting his book but I hear very good things about it.

 

While on books, mate just got this one and brought it into work today - some really good stuff in it but obv Webber biased.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Webers-American-Barbecue-Jamie-Purviance/dp/0600634132/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1496753194&sr=8-2&keywords=weber+book

 

He paid £8 last week for it!

 

Onto your pork belly, one of my fave things to do wither low and slow or hot and fast - fat is always great when rendered down!

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5 hours ago, The Hierophant said:

Bought this the other day:

 

Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling

 

Full of techniques as well as recipes. 

 

I've got that one, I really like the guy and it's a good read in general even if I'm not sure I entirely agree with everything, at least it explains the how's and why's of what he's recommending. That and Neil Rankin's Low and Slow: How to Cook Meat should be owned by anyone that wants to cook meats, indoor and out.

 

Did a last minute standard basic BBQ over the weekend, the stuff I got from the butcher was pretty disappointing overall though, just sausage that wasn't that tasty, burgers that were a little mushy and bland, pork loin kebabs where I didn't realise it was loin so overcooked and were a bit dry, with only the chicken wings being really good. Leaving the plastic handled BBQ cleaner on the warming rack in the hood of it when I closed it up to cook was a bit of a schoolboy error as well!

 

Have a lamb leg in the freezer that I got on the cheap that I might give a go when it brightens up again.

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Meat delivery arrived! IMG_9145.thumb.JPG.1f78fe2e1a24d0580c2bad6fe0a34574.JPG

 

4kg bone in Boston butt, 2 different hotdogs and some regular sausages. The pork looks great with very little fat needing to be removed before I can cook it.  Need to figure out how long it'll take to cook and how early I need to get up tomorrow. 

 

Oh, I also saw on Facebook that B&Q are selling Weber chimney starters for 50% off. Grabbed one this morning for £12 so well happy with that. 

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Did the pork.

 

IMG_9161.thumb.JPG.2407d486afc68ef0be3e19d5087cb982.JPG

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Took 7 hours to hit the right temp but it needed longer. When I came to shred it it was not at all falling apart and took some real muscle to get off the bone. People seemed to like it but there was loads left which is never the case when it's actually good. :(

 

 

 

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Had more success with the Weber with some decent charcoal (eventually). I used some heat beads charcoal in the end but needed to set three lighter cube fires to get it going so was running late. Temps were way higher so top vent fully open and bottom half was stable at around 200 on the grate. It's still hot now having been lit at half four so much happier with that. 

 

IMG_9169.thumb.JPG.efb79caec40c109b45c5fe3b76f36a34.JPG

 

I did the chicken indirect and then just as I put it over the coals to colour it up someone smashed a glass and I got called away to deal with that, by the time I got back the chicken was burnt. :(

 

The big apple hot dogs were great, the ones on the left were spicy and the ones on the right were more like German sausages.  Did some normal ones too and still got loads left as well. 

 

 

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As a comparison @Jonny5 I did a 4kg bone in butt from Turner & George the other week at 225f and it took 18h to hit the magic mark, bone pulled clean out and meat fell apart, I always think these cuts need the hours to get that fat to render and when you pull any that remains just dissolves into the meat.

 

Forgot to mention that Netflix in the UK recently added the US competition BBQ show, BBQ Pitmasters, featuring the always amusing 'winningest man in BBQ' Myron Mixon & Aaron Franklin.

 

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What's really frustrating is that it was done way early and I could have cooked it for another few hours. I don't know if the probe was in the wrong spot or touching the bone or something. 

 

On the plus side it stayed hot in our cool box for hours which was good to know. 

 

 

 

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I always target 195f and don't raise the temp above 225f, but they seem pretty small differences (and your temp would have risen in the cooler foil wrapped)

 

always disappointing when you put hours into a bit of meat and it isn't quite what you want - had that with a brisket last year and didn't enjoy it at all

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Looks like you are using a Slow n Sear in there @Jonny5 - direct over that will be touching 8-900 degrees so really its for steak when you want insane temp, I do use mine to roast or indirect but make sure no water in it as thats only for the low and slow method.

 

If I were doing bangers and chicken I would not use the Slow n Sear tbh and just dumped a chimney of charcoal/briquettes on the charcoal grate single briquette deep and cooked direct.

 

Anyone here use a rotisserie on their BBQ, I have borrowed my mates Webber one and have a leg of lamb to do - likely going to go traditional with garlic/rosemary and maybe anchovies but open to suggestions and technique ideas!?

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The chicken was supposed to be over the coals for a few seconds each side for some colour. I literally moved it all over and heard the smash of glass and with toddlers charging around had to go deal with it. Just another moment of frustration to add to everything else. 

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