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Discussion Starter #1
Picked up a half decent kettle grill at Home Depot today. Was on clearance for $49. Not the greatest build quality out there, but I'm confident I will get many years of use if cared for.

Got hooked on charcoal cooking earlier this year when I bought a small 14" table top grill for camping. Since hunting seasons will be opening soon, I figured its time to upgrade to something a little bigger not only to cook larger items, but more importantly, so I can start smoking meat.

2 Beers and a number of small cuts on my hands got it assembled.





Along with the grill I picked up a 10LB bag of lump charcoal and a small bag of apple wood chips. Will be making my first attempt at smoking chicken quarters tomorrow night.

Im really looking forward to it. No doubt it will take time to master the art of smoking, but the only way to learn is to do.


If anyone else here has experience with smoking on a charcoal grill, please chime in. I've done a fair bit of reading on the topic, but some personal tips and tricks could be quite usefull.
 

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Just keep the temperature low. A small ring of coals around the outer edge, with the food more towards the middle, to keep the direct heat off of it. Make sure to soak the chips for a while, and keep extras on hand.

As far as the chips go, if you have a box for them, that works pretty well, but you can just as easily wrap them loosely in foil, and poke some holes through the package. You can also put them directly on the coals, but they'll burn up more quickly. That works well if you're making some burgers or sausages and you want to add smoke to them, without waiting for hours and drying them out.

OtHer than that, just experiment. Each grill is going to be a little different. Play with the dampers until you get the airflow you want. And most importantly, have fun, eat good food, and drink beer!
 

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MuthaFuckaUppa
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Hose it down it cooking oil every once in a while. It will help prevent rust.
Keep the grates clean and well lubed and you'll get some bitchin grill marks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
First time smoking was a complete success. Either I had luck on my side, Im a natural, or I have even better food to look forward to.

Prep of the chicken was minimal, a very light coating of cooking oil, then a generous coating of poultry seasoning rubbed all over.

First I installed a universal fit temp gauge I bought today. The grill diddnt come with one. Got my coal lit and pilled to one side of the grill, filled my drip pan with a .75 L of boiling apple juice, got the wood chips over the coals, and got the dampeners set to hold a steady temp of 350'F. Seemed it was all ready to smoke after 30 mins or so. Put the chicken quarters on the cold side over the pan. Time for another beer.



After 1 Hour, I decided it was time to add a bit more charcoal, so I pre-lit it in the chimney, and lifted the lid to add the coals and first inspection of my progress. By now it was smelling great. Temp still holding in the 325 to 350 ' F range.



An hour and 45 mins, and 3 beers later, I thought I ought to check the temp. 172"F internal temp. Almost there. Tossed on a few more loose chips and put the lid back on while I had another beer. Was aiming for 185'F internal.

20 more mins and it was ready to eat. I must say, the process in rather enjoyable, but the end result is even better.



I read a number of times during my research that a higher temp was ideal for chicken. Would seem they were right. The skin was nice and crisp, and the meat was tender and juicy.

Looking forward to my next meal.
 

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Brokedick Millionaire
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You might be able to get a Weber SS grate that allows you to add charcoal without removing the grate, part of it flips open.

Weber wins, ALWAYS :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thats something to look into for sure, but Im cheap. That was one of the features I really liked about the Weber grills, but they were 3x the price of this one. I'll most likely modify the grate I have to do the same. Couple of small eye hooks and a few tack welds will be easy enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ribs tonight :). Marinated with 3 parts Clubhouse hickory Marinate to 1 part apple juice for 10 hours. I lifted the lid after 1 hour to mop on some more marinate and toss on another 15 chunks of prelit charcoal and some more applewood chips. Used the same mix as before for the mop, only this time, 1:1 hickory marinate and apple juice.

To hell with the chicken from last night. These ribs were the best I've ever had. Tender, juicy, and the bones were completely clean when I was done with them. 3.5 hrs @ 225'F. Smoked to perfection!

 

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Brokedick Millionaire
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Well, time to get back into the smoking game....huge grill with cast iron grates, can add a smoking box later. normally $139 on sale for $97 minus $20 mail in rebate.



With added smoker box or can be used as cooking area.....

 

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Retired From Hondas
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Funny I just stumbled on this thread..

I just made ribs last night with some friends..

ran 275-300 for almost 2 hours and were sticky with BBQ sauce.


Tonite I have some rib eyes where i stabbed them with a fork, slathered some olive oil on them and then Mcormick Montreal Steak seasoning. Let them sit for 2-3 hours to get to room temp. Then cook to your desired temp.

Bangin!
 

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I have the exact same grill as Jack Bauer (OP), getting ready to grill some dogs, hand smooshed hamburgers with Pappy's seasoning, and 3 different kinds of chicken, classic BBQ sauce, olive oil and Montreal Chicken seasoning, and olive oil and Tajin seasoning...add some potato salad, rabbit food salad, chips, corn on the cob, and we got some grub going on over here...not mention a fine international selection of beer, Fosters, Corona, and Sam Adams
 

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I have the exact same grill as Jack Bauer (OP), getting ready to grill some dogs, hand smooshed hamburgers with Pappy's seasoning, and 3 different kinds of chicken, classic BBQ sauce, olive oil and Montreal Chicken seasoning, and olive oil and Tajin seasoning...add some potato salad, rabbit food salad, chips, corn on the cob, and we got some grub going on over here...not mention a fine international selection of beer, Fosters, Corona, and Sam Adams
If I wasn't on the other side of the country, I'd hit you up for some of that. Sounds damn good.
 

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Brokedick Millionaire
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Tim the Stick is making his own pepper sauces.

I ate my first pork spare rib last night.....with one of his sauces just barely it on it....WOW it had flavor and just enough kick on the back end. Glad it wasn't slathered on!
 
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