Earlier this spring when we were contemplating what to replace our old worn-out grill with, I found myself a little torn. While we grill pretty traditionally for the most part, I really wanted to be sure we could also smoke with whatever we ended up buying. We looked at Green Eggs, traditional barrel smokers and regular grills, and eventually chose a Weber grill. In my research I’d read in a few places that you can “smoke” meat on them and felt optimistic that I could make one of them work.
The challenge I repeatedly came across the first few times I tried smoking meat was that it was hard to keep temperatures consistent while continually adding or removing charcoal. So when I came across this method online while surfing some discussion boards, it seemed like the perfect solution to my problem. Simply circle the charcoal and wood around the grill for a slow burn. I tried it and it worked! The “fuse” of wood and charcoal slowly burned around the grill, maintaining an even, clean burn that lasts roughly 4 hours before you have to rebuild it.
- Kingsford charcoal briquettes
- Lighter fluid
- smoking chips
or smoking wood blocks
- drip pan
- …don’t forget your choice of meat!
Here is what I did:
- Create a row of charcoal that lines 3/4 of the outside edge of the grill.
- Next, a second row of charcoal right next to the first.
- Then a third that straddles both bottom rows and makes a small triangle like pyramid.
See picture below:
- Place wood chips about one-quarter or half way through the charcoal.
- Use lighter fluid on one end of the charcoal “fuse.”
- Light the end and wait for 3-4 of the briquettes to turn white
- Place a drip pan in the middle of the charcoal grill to catch the drippings
- Place your meat in the middle of the rack directly over your drip pan.
You can see my setup here and that I have lit one end of the “fuse”
- You still need to make sure that you monitor your temps however I found them to be more than adequate to smoke this 6 lb pork shoulder for around 4 hours.
- After 4-5 hours you will need to rebuild your fuse and light it again.
I often opt to oven-finish. I believe the smoke is deep enough into the meat, as deep as it will get, and that oven-finishing is simply just finishing the cooking.
Looks good doesn’t it?
By the way, this Martha Stewart meat thermometer with remote “pager” (it vibrates when the meat is getting close to your set temp) is awesome!
I’ve used this method on a variety of meats, and so far it’s worked perfectly every time. I love its versatility and how simply and uncomplicated it’s made smoking.
Paired with a colorful veggie salad, this made for some awesome weekend Paleo eats!
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