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Grill Recommendations


helenas
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<snip> I've also smoked a beef tongue for three hours without any problems<snip>

Klink;

I LOVE beef tongue but the only way I've ever cooked it is a braise with spices. I have a Cookshack electric smoker that I really enjoy (set it and forget it) and would like to try my hand at smoking a tongue. Google and other resources didn't turn up anything that would help. Since you've smoked a tongue, did you peel it before smoking or after? I was concerned that the smoke wouldn't penetrate that leathery outer layer. And because the thickness varies so dramatically I assume you might end up with a full range of "doneness". But, since tongue is an inherently tough piece of meat, it should be slow cooked. Won't the tip end dry out by the time the "root" is finished? I'll use my Polder probe to monitor the thick part. Set to what alarm temp? Smoke at about 225 to 250-degrees F? I plan on using Pecan as my smoke wood.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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  • 2 months later...

Pretty much the standard Weber 22 1/2 inch charcoal grill.

I have one & I enjoy it immensely but I'd really like the Ranch Kettle grill. Someday.

You do realize that you can purchase the Platinum Plus (the one I have) for half the price? Same grill but no stainless-steel shelving, etc. & no propane starter.

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I've had the 22½" Platinum charcoal grill for three years now (similar to yours except less stainless steel and no propane ignition system). Weber grills are well made. Protected only by a vinyl cover, mine sits on a deck exposed year-round to the rigours of a northern climate and is hardly worse for the wear. Fit and finish are first rate.

However nice a frill, the ignition system is just that, a frill; for briquettes, Weber's optional starter chimney works as well. The ash catcher works exactly as advertised, a Good Thing. Although the lid holder is a fine idea, the lid still gets in the way; I often just remove it. The rotisserie set should be on your to-buy list.

My issues with Weber grills are twofold. First, they're designed to be used with briquettes, and I strongly prefer charcoal or wood. This means, among other things, that the side baskets for indirect cooking are nearly useless. Second, and by far the bigger problem, the grill height is fixed. If you have too hot a fire going or are grillng a particularly flammable piece of meat (duck, say), you can't raise the grill. If your coals are dying and your meat has another ten minutes to go, you can't move the grill closer to the heat source. There are work-arounds, of course: in the first case, move the coals to the side and/or spray them with water from a plant mister (a great way to tame flare-ups); in the second case, finish the cooking in the oven.

By the way, Weber claims the fixed-height grill is a feature, not a bug, and prescribes adopting the unorthhodox approach of always keeping the lid on except when turning or basting: "Keep a lid on it! Your Weber grill was designed to cook foods with the lid down. Keeping the lid on allows heat to circulate, cooking food evenly and without flare-ups" (www.weber.com). I beg to differ. The Weber approach works fine for a thick steak. But I like to fuss over what's grilling, to see what's happening, to deal with flare-ups as soon as they occur. Also, I often grill things that require constant attention (bread, vegetables, seafood), and for those the Weber approach is impractical.

So, the next time around I probably won't buy a Weber. However, given the quality of construction of my current kettle, I don't expect the next time around to roll around for another decade or so...

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I also like the built-in table; it's handy to have someplace to set things.

That was my reason to go for it.

I will have a Tandoor as well. So I am not all that worried about heat and temperature. The Tandoor will give me plenty of that.

I was swayed by the built-in-table.

I also have bought their barbecue tools and mitts. They look very reliable and good. But time and practice will have to prove that.

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This is my second season with my Performer and I love it. I refuse to drink the gas grill Kool-aid like most of my neighbors. It's all about charcoal and smoke isn't it? Anything you use (NG, propane, charcoal) requires about the same 15 min preheat time anyway, so why not go for some flavor, but I digress. The SS table is a nice feature, as well as the charcoal storage underneath ( holds about 35 lbs of lump). I agree with the fact that the baskets for indirect heating are not ideally suited to anything but briquettes, but nothing says you have to use them, and I just mound up lump charcoal on either side of a drip pan for the same result.

I say go for it, you won't be disappointed. Oh, make sure you get the cast iron grill insert as well. Requires seasoning, of course and don't leave it in the grill when you are done as you can get moisture buildup in there which will be the death of it, but you can't beat it for grilling on.

Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!!!

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Oh, make sure you get the cast iron grill insert as well.  Requires seasoning, of course and don't leave it in the grill when you are done as you can get moisture buildup in there which will be the death of it, but you can't beat it for grilling on.

Does Weber make the insert?

Where does one get it?

PS: I have the grill already. Just not opened yet. :smile:

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Sorry Suvir, I just did a small search and although I bought my cast iron grill insert from Weber, for some reason they don't offer it on their website any longer. I wasn't aware that it was discontinued, but I know I have seen it in several shops (even HD I think)

Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!!!

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I got a Weber charcoal platinum grill a few weeks ago and have been thrilled with it. I have used it about 3 times a week, including 2 dinner parties and it still looks brand new. I had good results with turkey, brisket, whole fish, chicken, tri-tips as well as grilling a nice rib-eye.

The only challenge is that it is not well suited for smoking. I can maintain an even 325-350 for extended periods of time, but have not been able to maintain a lower even temperature in the 225 – 250 range.

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The only challenge is that it is not well suited for smoking.  I can maintain an even 325-350 for extended periods of time, but have not been able to maintain a lower even temperature in the 225 � 250 range.

What have you tried? I assume you went with smaller amounts of charcoal when you attempted this. Did the temp vacillate wildly or were you unable to maintain the temp?

If you're having troubles maintaining 225, here's some advice. Make sure that you have enough air flow, for instance, open all of the vents underneath and then leave the lid cracked open about an inch, directly opposite of where the meat is on the grill. This way you get more air flow (keeping the coals alive) yet you retain the heat (again, keeping the coals alive) with smaller amounts of coals. I use this method when I'm grilling/smoking on a weber and then later when I'm trying to let coals burn to completion so I have less to clean up for the next time.

If you're having trouble getting the temp low enough, reduce coals.

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I'm also devoted to the old school Weber even with the fixed-height limitation. I typically bank the coals at one end so I have areas of higher, lower, and no direct heat.

Suvir...go to any True Value hardware store and get lump briquet for cooking (if they don't have it in stock they can order it...it's a TV inventory item). It's real hardwood charcoal and is my favorite for fire cooking. Mesquite, to me, burns too hot and fast, so I only use it for some foods that I want seared quickly.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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I'm also devoted to the old school Weber even with the fixed-height limitation. I typically bank the coals at one end so I have areas of higher, lower, and no direct heat.

Also old school Weber here. And since I started banking the coals as Jim describes, the control over grilling has improved by leaps and bounds. I'm using only lump charcoal, not briquets, and adding lump to the fire is pretty easy since it starts to burn quickly. Chicken pieces are a joy now with the banked method, no longer carbonized. :biggrin:

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I typically bank the coals at one end so I have areas of higher, lower, and no direct heat.

This is a fine workaround provided what you're grilling doesn't require more than half the grill. When cooking for four or more adults, I usually need the Weber's entire surface. Also, I often find it necessary to remove the entire grill to bank/rebank and add new fuel (and, yes, my top grill has those nifty flip-up wings). It'd be a lot easier if you could just raise or lower the thing.

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I typically bank the coals at one end so I have areas of higher, lower, and no direct heat.

This is a fine workaround provided what you're grilling doesn't require more than half the grill. When cooking for four or more adults, I usually need the Weber's entire surface. Also, I often find it necessary to remove the entire grill to bank/rebank and add new fuel (and, yes, my top grill has those nifty flip-up wings). It'd be a lot easier if you could just raise or lower the thing.

You're right about this issue.

But that's why I want one of these. :smile:

However, if I were to purchase that now, it would mean giving up a vacation in the fall. :sad:

So, I'll wait.

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The only challenge is that it is not well suited for smoking.  I can maintain an even 325-350 for extended periods of time, but have not been able to maintain a lower even temperature in the 225 � 250 range.

What have you tried? I assume you went with smaller amounts of charcoal when you attempted this. Did the temp vacillate wildly or were you unable to maintain the temp?

If you're having troubles maintaining 225, here's some advice. Make sure that you have enough air flow, for instance, open all of the vents underneath and then leave the lid cracked open about an inch, directly opposite of where the meat is on the grill. This way you get more air flow (keeping the coals alive) yet you retain the heat (again, keeping the coals alive) with smaller amounts of coals. I use this method when I'm grilling/smoking on a weber and then later when I'm trying to let coals burn to completion so I have less to clean up for the next time.

If you're having trouble getting the temp low enough, reduce coals.

For long and slow cooking, I put a modest amount of charcoal only on side, placing the vents on the cover opposite of the charcoal. This pulls the smoke across the meat and works well in creating nice pink rings in the food. At 325-350, I only have to add charcoal about every 1.5 hours. That is with the bottom vent all the way open and the top vent ¾ open. I add a single large lump of hardwood (been using hickory) in the beginning on top of the charcoal and then again at the 3 hour mark if I am cooking something big.

When I tried using less charcoal for a lower temperature, I can only maintain an even temperature for about 20 minutes, and then the temperature drops quickly to under 200. I have not tried adjusting the lower vent, so I need to try that. I probably also should try to place the cover so the vents are on top of the coals to increase the airflow at the lower temperatures.

I also heard that briquettes burn cooler than the lump charcoal I use. Any truth to that or is it another suburban legend?

Edited by NewYorkTexan (log)
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i'm down with old school weber, too (my daughter gets so embarrassed when i talk like that). the one thing i'd love to have is the one-touch ash-catcher. cleaning otherwise is a complete pain in the ass. initially, i resented the set-height grill, but i to have learned to bank my coals and move stuff around. it's just like cooking on an electric stove.

the one must-have accessory i'd add (beside an efficient charcoal chimney for starting), is the rotisserie. this is usually about $100: it's a metal collar that fits above the grill, a long skewer and an electric motor. you can make the most amazing chicken on it. i do one at least once a week. buy an extra set of prongs and you can easily to two at a time. i find 2 soaked hickory chunks add just the right amount of smoke.

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This is a fine workaround provided what you're grilling doesn't require more than half the grill. When cooking for four or more adults, I usually need the Weber's entire surface. Also, I often find it necessary to remove the entire grill to bank/rebank and add new fuel (and, yes, my top grill has those nifty flip-up wings). It'd be a lot easier if you could just raise or lower the thing. 

I agree it can be a pain, but I regularly cook for several good eaters on my Weber. Last night I did a mixed grill for 8 (sausages, chicken thighs, pork tenderloin) using the banked coals method. I started the fire with a chimney, then dumped the burning coals on a pile of unlit ones. the fire lasted through the 45 minutes or so of cooking. I did in stages, browning foods over the hot spot, them moving to the cold one and cooking covered. I've also cooked as many as four whole chickens at one time (indirect heat both sides, line them up down the middle).

If I need to add fuel, I use tongs and a glove to lift off the grill (important to male sure the food is balanced on it) and set in on top of the chimney. It would be a lot easier to have some way to crank it up, but I've been using a Weber for a long time and have learned to live with it.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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