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  #1  
Old 04-24-2009, 11:03 PM
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Electriclime Electriclime is offline
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Default Charcoal BBQ Advice Needed

Hi guys,
Any charcoal BBQ grillers out there? I haven't used my Weber kettle grill in a couple of years and was looking into making some ribs and need a bit of advice on maintaining a low BBQ temperature. Yes, I know it's not the preferred method for BBQ, but I already have a perfectly good grill. Eventually I'll build a smoker.

Anybody have a formula for setting up their charcoal grill for BBQ? Number of briquettes, timing, etc.?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:18 PM
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You can smoke some ribs on a kettle. It takes some time to get good at it, but it can be done for sure.

Im not a technical griller, I dont count briquettes and all that jazz. But you dont need a lot of fuel, that kettle is e-fi-shunt. I would start with about 12-15 briquettes Im guessing, toss on some wood chips for the smoke.

You could either have your coals banked on two sides of the grill with the food in the middle, or coals all on one side with food opposite. Im not sure if it matters much to be honest with you.

As for timing, are you doing baby backs or spares? I would shoot for 250*F give or take, for about 5 hours for baby backs and 6 hours for spares.

Most important - dont slap on any sauce until the last 15-20 minutes. Any more than that and the sugars in the sauce will burn and that is not good eats.
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Last edited by Cubfan; 04-24-2009 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubfan View Post
he last 15-20 minutes. Any more than that and the sugars in the sauce will burn and that is not good eats.
Unless you wrap them in tin foil for a stretch. Yummy yum yum. I won't clutter your mind. Just do what you gotta do. Keep the temp low and cook for a long time. Use a good rub if you wish as well.
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:38 PM
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Thanks guys. I'll prolly go with the split indirect method with the coals. I'm wondering how well the initial set of coals will maintain temp and how much I'll have to add. Looks like I have some experimenting ahead of me.
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:04 PM
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With my grill and to a lesser extent Cubfan's, you can adjust the vents to precisely set the temperature to say 250F. Then you do nothing but drink until you change what your doing. If your grill has no thermometer, then invest in a remote one that goes in the grill and in the meat. Then you can track both without opening the grill. You may want to add a dish of water (tinfoil) or some apple cider vinagar or whatever. Beer, pee, water, juice....whatever you like. Make sure you soak your wood before using to to smoke. Enjoy.
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Old 04-26-2009, 05:17 PM
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You wont need to add much coals, but you might need to add them a few times thru-out a 5-hour smoke, maybe add 4-6 at a time or something like that. The key is keeping up and add the coals before the old ones burn out on ya. You want to add them new ones so that by the time the old ones are turning to dust, the new ones are burning nice and hot. You dont want to work at keeping your fire, keep it at a nice and level heat. Cooking with real fire is an artform and takes practice, but it is not difficult at all.

Here is something that might be helpful. I dont bother much with water pans though. If you want to impart some flavor like beer or apple juice, you are better off spraying it on the food with a squirt bottle than putting it in a water pan, imo.

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Last edited by Cubfan; 04-26-2009 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:41 PM
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That looks yummy CF. I'm doing some burgers this afternoon. Yummy.

EL..I use lump as I think CF does. I avoid Kingsford like the plague.
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:45 PM
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Check youtube, I can't remember the guys name but he had some good step by step videos on using charcoal to cook ribs, chicken, etc...
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:10 PM
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No, I dont use Lump charcoal per se. Ive really only used Cowboy brand lump charcoal and the stuff sucks, its horrible.

I use this stuff (the one at the top), its 100% lump charcoal, no additives, but it is in briquette form so it burns much more evenly and consistently. I dont like the fact that lump charcoal comes in different sized pieces. This stuff is THE BEST. But my stock of this stuff is almost gone and I cant find it anymore!

FWIW, when I run out of this stuff I will go back to Kingsford before I use lump charcoal. Most of the charcoal grilling I do is indirect, and IMO lump sucks for indirect grilling. It just burns too hot and fast.
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Last edited by Cubfan; 04-26-2009 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:15 PM
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The different sizes let you set up the charcoal accordingly for the cook you want. Larger stuf towards the outside and such. To each their own. LOL. I can't wait to make these burgers. Oh mama.

BTW...I've never had any problems with my lump. I used to use BGE lump, but now I don't have a supplier so I have to use this other stuff. Can't think of the brand off hand. I am enjoying a Michelob Amber Bock right now. Mmmm. Even have a few Bud Light Limes to enjoy on this 90 plus day.
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