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Thursday, November 20, 2008

So you want to smoke but you don't have a smoker

I don't use my offset smoker to smoke meat all the time. If I'm smoking a couple of slabs or maybe a chicken or two or even a turkey breast I will use my Weber. How is that possible? It's not very hard.

Well the key to smoking meat is keep the temp low and constant for a long period of time and of course smoke. I use a remote thermometer to check the temp and a couple other little gadgets to keep the temp down and constant for a long period of time.

So how do you keep the heat low and constant? The first gadget you need are a couple of charcoal baskets.

They can be purchased just about anywhere that sell Weber accessories. These baskets will keep the meat from being cooked directly by the coals.

The next item that is not necessary but it sure helps which is a hinged grill grate

In order to keep the temp constant over a long period of time you will have to add more fuel to the fire. With the hinges up, it is easy to drop in more charcoal and more smoke wood as it burns up.

Here are the gadgets in action.

Put the charcoal baskets on either side of your Weber

Then place the hinged grill grate over the top with the hinged slats over the baskets.

Put the meat in the middle. In this case a Turkey Breast, drop in a couple chunks of smoke wood. I prefer chunks to chips but either can be used.

Instant smoker

Here is the Turkey Breast after a couple of hours

Can one smoke on a Weber without the charcoal baskets or the hinged grill grate? Of course. Without the baskets simply put all the coals to one side and put the meat on the other. Put the vents over the top of the meat so the smoke is drawn over the meat before exiting the grill.

Smoking without the hinged grill grate is tougher as it is harder to add fuel and more smoke wood. Picking up a hot grill grate is not easy and increases the risk of dumping the meat on the ground.

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