Insane Kettle Grilling?
July 5, 2012 6:35 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for one crazy over the top Weber Kettle Grill recipe. If it exists.

The thing I'm looking for might quite possibly not exist but I keep thinking about it. I'm fantasizing that I could put a bunch of things on the Weber grill and several hours (or as much as a day) later end up with several different dishes...a good size piece of meat, some soup and some vegetables. A bit like the article I read about a woman in CA who makes barbacoa in a pit in her backyard, but on a much smaller scale.

I'm totally inexperienced with grilling but a pretty good cook otherwise. Just wondering if there is some kind of pyrotechnically amazing Weber grill recipe you could suggest. If not, anything else that's particularly amazing on a Weber grill?

Yes. I have searched the internet for this.
posted by sully75 to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You might have a better result with a smoker. I got a $35 one and I smoked a brisket, a leg of lamb and a turkey breast all at the same time.

A grill is primarily for fast cooking, a smoker is the all day long affair at slower, lower temperatures.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:38 AM on July 5, 2012

Weber Grill has an indirect cooking method which is a bit like smoking I think. We cook our turkey on the Weber Grill for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and My father did this for years, and I've adopted his method now that I do it on my own and the online weber gill site has directions. It's a bit of a pain because you have to add a certain number of coals every hour so you have to keep on top of it, or the heat doesn't stay constant. The other oddity is that we have some Weber addons that I can best describe as side grills - these keep the coals off to the side of the grill (this is why this method is called the indirect cooking method - the coals are never directly under the bird, but off to the side).

We also use a smokestack at the beginning stage we get an initial set of coals (25! I count them just like my dad!) very hot - this involves a small metal tube that is filled with coals where they are lit and stay until they are glowing.

The Weber website here has the whole turkey method. The website is a treasure trove of information, including the info about the smokestack, and addons for buying the side rails. I noticed that the whole turkey directions don't require the siderails, so you may not need them. It was always my father's method, so it's what I do too. My dad was a grilling god!
posted by bluesky43 at 7:22 AM on July 5, 2012

Things I have done on my Weber grill that have turned out well that will provide a whole meal:

-Whole chicken and vegetables. After the coals get hot, push them into two piles on either side of the grill and put the chicken in the middle. Vegetables (usually zucchini or something like that, sliced in half lengthwise) go directly over the coals for a few minutes right at the end of cooking. The chicken usually takes around an hour.

-Whole turkey. Basically the same method as described above.

-Whole fresh ham. Brine for several days, indirect heat on the grill (add some presoaked hardwood chunks for a nice smoky flavor). I did one for Christmas last year - it was about six pounds and took three or four hours. Get the heat way down low by almost completely closing up the air vents. Since you're around Boston, Savenor's sells some amazing (but equally amazingly expensive) fresh hams.

The key, I think, is properly controlling your airflow. Keep the lid on, keep the vents mostly closed, and keep your food on indirect heat - you should be able to achieve some impressive results with just about anything.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:32 AM on July 5, 2012

Webers are great for slow cooking. I got my husband one and he's having all sorts of fun experimenting with it this summer. Best thing he's done so far is a slow cooked marinated pork loin. I marinated the loin in a very simple honey teryaki glaze for 24 hours before hand and he slow cooked it for 4 hours on the grill, basically using indirect heat and adding coals as needed like bluesky43 mentioned. The inside was so juicy and the outside was all caramelized and delicious. When it was about an hour to go he threw some part boiled sweet potato sliced and veg skewers on with it and we had them over rice.

I can't see any reason except for space why if you are slow cooking something you couldn't throw soup ingredients on in a dutch oven or something to quietly simmer away while cooking something else next to it. If space is a problem you can cook easily in stages, my FIL made a rhubarb pie in a dutch oven we cooked on our Weber after we'd cooked ribs for the 4th and it cooked over while we digested the main course.

I have also seen pizza done on a Weber, you just place the dough base straight on the grill wire and it cooks before it all sags through, very yummy, I think Weber also make a pizza stone you can use.

If you aren't sure on cooking times when still experimenting I highly recommend a thermometer on a wire that you can put in the meat and so check the internal temps without taking the lid off all the time and loosing all the heat.

You can smoke things on a weber.

Last thing if you have a charcol grill and don't have a good quality chimney to help you get it started run out and grab one they are worth every penny and seriously speed up the time it takes to get the coals ready to go.
posted by wwax at 7:47 AM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the thoughts.

Don't want to threadsit, but I'm wondering (this is for my birthday party tomorrow) about doing this Mark Bittman Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder) recipe on the Weber Grill.

Any reason that would not translate? I could just do it in the oven, it was pretty amazing in there too.
posted by sully75 at 7:58 AM on July 5, 2012

I am not a grilling expert but I'd say that was absolutely perfect to cook on a Weber, if you are cooking low and slow you have to keep an eye on the coals and keep them topped up, remembering to add some cooking time every time you take the lid off. A thermometer would help you keep the temp constant, but if you just want to wing allow a little more time than you think just in case it takes longer to cook than you think. If it's done early it can just sit under tinfoil to rest. I'd push the coals to the sides and use a more indirect heat, and use the vents to control the temp. I like to add a little pan with water in when roasting to help keep things juicy, but that's just me and you'd be fine without it.

The best part is if you cook outside you won't heat up your house if it's summer where you are.
posted by wwax at 8:35 AM on July 5, 2012

Get yourself two good thermometers - one for monitoring the heat inside the grill, and one for monitoring the meat's internal temp. The grill temp will drop every time you lift the lid.

The recipe should be fine in the Weber, but it will take a fair bit of attention to keep an eye on the temperature, add coals, etc.

And, if you've never done a low-and-slow on a big piece of meat, be warned that the internal temp doesn't always tell the whole story! Meat with lots of connective tissue can take longer than you expect to get all tender and fall-apart-y, and it may not have reached that stage even if the thermometer tells you it's done. The only thing to do in that case is to keep cooking it, low and slow.

(Yesterday I smoked some chicken, some pork ribs, some zucchinis, and an eggplant. Now my house smells like a campfire. I have an electric smoker, which takes less attention.)
posted by rtha at 8:38 AM on July 5, 2012

I know that you asked about recipes, but since you are new to grilling, you should check out some grilling forums such as the BBQ Brethren to learn more about grilling.

Also, if you have a 22.5" Weber kettle, you might want to think about getting the Cajun Bandit attachment to turn it into a smoker.

Being able to monitor the temperature of the grill & meat with a Maverick ET 732 is one of the keys to great BBQ.
posted by toddst at 10:39 AM on July 5, 2012

These folks are very friendly and rabidly pro-Weber and you will spend hours on that site figuring out what delicious things to make next.
posted by karlos at 6:27 PM on July 5, 2012

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