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Forum topic by chrisstef posted 06-12-2015 01:50 PM 1428 views 1 time favorited 62 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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chrisstef

15671 posts in 2471 days


06-12-2015 01:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bbq charcoal grilling

Its summer time and I know there’s a good lot of people out there that are probably pretty good at the summer past time of grilling meats and veggies, both on gas and charcoal. Last year I bought myself a 22” charcoal grill but I still don’t have much experience with it so I thought this might be a good spot to gain some knowledge in the meat and charcoal department.

Ill kick us off with some basic questions ….

Lump or briquettes? Specific brands?
How do you start your charcoal?
When do you add more charcoal?
Recipes? Rubs? Sauces?
Specific wood chips/chunks for specific meats/poultry/pork?
Basic tips and tricks?

Lets talk meat, charcoal and accessories!

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk


62 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1835 days


#1 posted 06-12-2015 02:00 PM

I prefer all natural lump charcoal. Briquettes have oils and binders (not necessarily harmful ones) in them to make them hold their shape. I also feel like lump charcoal lights easier as it has more surface area.

Do you have a charcoal starter? One of the cylindrical canisters? Those are pretty checp and work well. Cram some newspaper in the bottom and the charcoal on top, light the paper and leave it for a bit. Dump it into the grill/pit after its heated up. You can top it off with a layer of unheated charcoal to help keep the direct heat off the meat.

As for tips and tricks, I would just recommend establishing a portion of the grill with direct heat, and a portion with indirect heat. Direct to sear, indirect for the remainder. For things like chicken and pork, I will remove it when its 10deg from being done, wrap it in some tin foil, and set it aside for 10 minutes or so. For steaks I will omit the tin foil and just let them sit for 5 minutes.

I will admit that, unless its a real cookout, I almost always use propane. On weekdays I get home from work at 5 and the young ones get grouchy if they don’t eat before 530-600.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#2 posted 06-12-2015 02:36 PM

Dad does the grilling. We use a lot of pecan. Mainly on a fire pit with attached grill. Will even throw some in when cooking on the pit to get a lil bit of that smokey goodness. Shrimp, sausage, boudin and steaks taste the best on the fire pit. hell, it can make just about anything taste better.

I just eat and fetch anything needed.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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chrisstef

15671 posts in 2471 days


#3 posted 06-12-2015 03:15 PM

Solid tips there Ed. Ive got a chimney starter and its the cats ass for sure. Ive tried starting with veggie oil soaked paper towels but I was less than impressed.

Im also with ya on the propane. If its got to be done quick, its to the gas grill but when I wanna hang out and tend meat, its charcoal all the way.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Mauricio

7115 posts in 2617 days


#4 posted 06-12-2015 03:32 PM

Lump charcoal, a little lighter fluid flowed by blasting it with the harbirfreight heat gun. It’s hot as shiit in no time. Lol

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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CharlesA

3022 posts in 1263 days


#5 posted 06-12-2015 03:41 PM

Weber grill, Chimney, hardwood charcoal, never lighter fluid, Burns hot, no ashes to speak of. Spread if evenly for grilling. off to one side with a couple of pans of water on the other side for smoking (and some damp hardwood for the smoke).

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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JayT

4783 posts in 1676 days


#6 posted 06-12-2015 03:45 PM

I generally grill on gas and use lump charcoal in the smoker. The only advantage of briquettes is that they tend to burn at a more consistent temperature. Lump will burn hotter but with more variation depending on the wood used. That’s why you have to actually be a cook and monitor what is going on.

Chimney starter all the way. 2nd choice would be the wax cubes, but only if absolutely necessary. The neighbor to the south uses lighter fluid and you can always smell it when he lights up the grill—that taste also gets in the food. I don’t like eating petroleum products, maybe others do.

Another tip—Never add unlit charcoal, it causes too much fluctuation in the temperatures and you want to burn off the charcoal dust instead of adding it to your food. Use the chimney starter to get it going before adding to the grill/smoker. You’ll get better results.

Woods—for beef and ribs, I prefer nut woods, which tend to have stronger flavors. Oak frequently, sometimes hickory or pecan and occasionally mesquite. I use mesquite very sparingly as it’s potent stuff and not everyone likes the flavor, including my wife. For seafood, chicken and pork loin, I like fruit woods. Cherry, peach, pear, apricot, etc. Maple works for a lighter flavor, as well.

One advantage of being a woodworking barbecuer is that a lot of shop cut offs make their way into the smoker. I joked with the wife that she ended up eating the oak monitor stand I built her because the scraps were used on a roast that same weekend.

One thing to keep in mind is that meat only absorbs smoke up to a certain temp (can’t remember the exact number off the top of my head), so continuing to add smoke after a certain point is useless. Add the smoke at the beginning and call it good. Plus, oversmoked meat tastes like ashes.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

1670 posts in 790 days


#7 posted 06-12-2015 03:48 PM

Good info from this site: http://www.smoking-meat.com/barbecue-woods

Types of Barbecue Woods

Apple: Produces a sweet, fruity taste.Good mild wood which works well on poultry and ham.

Alder: What can I say about this barbecue wood… it is the wood that is greatly preferred for most any fish especially salmon.

Cherry: Similar to apple… sweet and usually very fruity depending on the age of the wood. Tends to be mild making it a good choice for poultry, fish, and ham.

Hickory: Probably the most well known woods and while lots of folk may disagree, it tends to be a bit to pungent for my own taste therefore great care must be taken so that it is not overused. Most feel it is excellent on ribs and most red meats. Can also be used very sparingly on cuts of poultry. (should be able to get this at the local hardware/department store)

Maple: Gives a light and sweet taste which best compliments poultry and ham.

Mesquite: My personal favorite barbecue wood however, great care must be taken or it can become overpowering. Best not used for larger cuts which require longer smoking times but I have been known to be quite successful at it by using it in tandem with another type of wood. (should be able to get this at the local hardware/department store)

Oak: Good choice for larger cuts which require longer smoking times. Produces a strong smoke flavor but usually not overpowering. Good wood for Brisket.

Pecan: Gives somewhat of a fruity flavor and burns cooler than most other barbecue woods. It is similar to Hickory and is best used on large cuts like brisket and pork roast but can also be used to compliment chops, fish and poultry.

Bottom line… you must experiment to find out what works for you and what does not. The woods that I like will most likely not be the ones you find most tasty and vice versa.

Another good site: http://pitbossbelt.com/wp/best-wood-for-smoking-meat-oak-hickory-maple-mesquite

Now, get cooking, I’m hungry.

Edit: Solid tips JayT, especially about over smoking.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

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chrisstef

15671 posts in 2471 days


#8 posted 06-12-2015 03:51 PM

That’s the info im talkin about JayT. Some insider stuff. The last time I did a charcoal session I had added some unlit lump into the mix and the whole batch of chicken came out tasting a bit too strong for my liking. Im guessing I didn’t let it burn off enough. Id really like to do a nice pork shoulder or something for fathers day but im always a bit scared of ruining a $40 chunk of meat. You guys are giving me a hope that I can pull it off. Im in mid season form on the propane grill but still in A ball on the charcoal.

What id also like is a good recipe for some Carolina bbq sauce. That real thin, vinegary stuff that almost makes ya twitch.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

View 7Footer's profile

7Footer

2542 posts in 1414 days


#9 posted 06-12-2015 03:58 PM

I’m kinda pumped you started this thread Stef… I am in desperate need for a new grill, I have a 4 burner propane one and only 2 the burners even work, surprisingly too, the little v shaped covers are all disintegrated and the actual burners are broken… idk if I should stick with a propane grill or if I want to go with charcoal. I’m also usually in a hurry as well, so maybe I’ll buy a smaller propane grill as well as a charcoal grill, did you get one of the round Weber’s Stef?

Great stuff ed.

What do you guys think of the infrared bbq’s? My pops has a traeger with the digital temp and the circulator thing, and he loves it… Still doesn’t cook as fast as propane, but man it cooks stuff well… Idk if I want to shell out the extra clams a Traeger costs but damn they do well.

-- http://www.youtube.com/nrk411

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CharlesA

3022 posts in 1263 days


#10 posted 06-12-2015 03:59 PM

This is a great resource on using a kettle grill as a smoker:

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_turn_your_kettle_grill_into_a_smoker/

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1835 days


#11 posted 06-12-2015 04:08 PM


I am in desperate need for a new grill, I have a 4 burner propane one and only 2 the burners even work, surprisingly too, the little v shaped covers are all disintegrated and the actual burners are broken.

I had a Char-Broil that lasted me about 4 years that the same thing happened to. It would’ve cost me as much to replace the burners and heat shields as I had paid for the grill. I sprung for the Weber 3-burner, part of what swayed me were all of the positive comments about warrantying the burners and heat shields. I used the 10% Lowes coupon at HD (Lowes was out of stock) and after tax it as just under $500. It has the cast-iron grates, which hold the heat much better. I’m on year 3 with my Weber, and no rust yet. I keep it outside on the uncovered deck and I grill year-round in NY, so it’s exposed to the elements. During the winter I’ll sometimes have to shovel it off to find it. Still looks great. So far I’ve been super-impressed with this grill, and I’d buy it again. My father-in-law has a higher-end Weber, approaching 10 years, and it still is going strong.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View JayT's profile (online now)

JayT

4783 posts in 1676 days


#12 posted 06-12-2015 04:09 PM

idk if I should stick with a propane grill or if I want to go with charcoal. I m also usually in a hurry as well, so maybe I ll buy a smaller propane grill as well as a charcoal grill

That’s the same lines my thinking has been going. When the big propane grill dies, I’m planning on getting a Weber Q2200 to replace it. Big enough to cook for up to 4 or so, yet small enough to stow away easily and be able to take on the road.

What do you guys think of the infrared bbq s? My pops has a traeger with the digital temp and the circulator thing, and he loves it… Still doesn t cook as fast as propane, but man it cooks stuff well… Idk if I want to shell out the extra clams a Traeger costs but damn they do well.

- 7Footer

Don’t have an infrared and only used a friend’s once and wasn’t impressed. Reaaaaallllly sllllooooooowwwwww.

Please don’t get me started on pellet grills. Let’s just say I can see where they may have a place, but it will never be on my patio.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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chrisstef

15671 posts in 2471 days


#13 posted 06-12-2015 04:09 PM

Ive got both 7. A weber genesis propane and a 22” weber kettle. I cant say enough about how solid my propane is. 5 new england winters and still looks pretty new. Even the igniter still works and you can buy all the parts separately. It costs up front but well worth the investment imo.

Great list duck and im gonna look into that link charles. Good stuff gang.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1835 days


#14 posted 06-12-2015 04:17 PM



It costs up front but well worth the investment imo.

- chrisstef

100% agreed. Be it Weber, or another quality grill brand, it’s worth paying more for something that will last longer and produce better results. I remember dragging the 4-year-old char-broil to the curb and having the top pull off the rusted mounts and the base collapsed on itself half across the lawn. 3 scrapper trucks passed it up before one finally took it.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View JayT's profile (online now)

JayT

4783 posts in 1676 days


#15 posted 06-12-2015 04:18 PM

Stef, I’ve done pork butt (shoulder) a couple times on the smoker and don’t think I would ever want to try it on a grill. Like brisket, there is a lot of connective tissue to break down and that takes time. At ~230 degrees, the last shoulder took 12 hours. Cooking at higher heat would just overcook the outside long before the rest is done. OTOH, I know people that have done OK with pork butt and brisket on kettle grills with indirect heat, so it can be done. You’ve got to know what you are doing and monitor it almost continuously, though.

On the smoker, I can set the heat, add some wood chunks and walk away. Come back an hour and a half later and add some more chunks. Come back at around 5 hours and add another load of charcoal. The babysitting doesn’t start until 8-9 hours in, when I’m doing mop sauce and checking temps. Then it’s an every 30minute process until its done. Luckily the smoker is right outside the door to my shop so I can be working on a project and just step outside to check without it being a big hassle.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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