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First Time Smoker Here


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Hello. I have a Weber kettle charcoal grill now and love it. I grill on it several nights a week. I do all of my smoking on the kettle. If I am pushed for time I use the Weber gas. Only problem I have with the kettle is the size. I need something bigger and I am already at the biggest Weber kettle I can get. Who makes a grill as good as th

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Welcome, Chris, most of us have a Weber Kettle somewhere in our cooking background. Glad to have you.  Are you looking for just another charcoal grill or possibly a kamado? The XL kamados are pretty good sized. Also in the other grill category there are a number of Brazilian type charcoal grills as well as the Master Built gravity fed charcoal line. 

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My Kettle remains on the roster, but stays on the sidelines most of the times. At 22”, it’s larger than my KJ Classic III, which is 18”. However, when it comes to indirect cooks, the KJ remains 18” while the Kettle is cut roughly in half, so grate space is actually larger on an 18” Kamado vs. a 22” Kettle. That includes smoking with the SnS. 
 

The only time I’ve needed more space is when cooking multiple dishes at the same time. I tried using the elevated grate extender, but it’s inconvenient if you need to access food below it. I’ve gravitated to firing up the Kettle for additional dishes and will have the gasser back once our seemingly never ending kitchen build is finished. 
 

In terms of “as good as”, I absolutely love my KJ!  It’s incredibly versatile, from low and slow to super hot searing. Dialing in a temp and holding it steady for hours is a breeze, even without a temp controller. That was a challenge for me on the Kettle. And that’s coming from a huge Kettle fan. I’ve owned just about every type of grill/smoker out there and could have saved a lot of $ had I just started with a Kamado.

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6 minutes ago, jark87 said:

The only time I’ve needed more space is when cooking multiple dishes at the same time. I tried using the elevated grate extender, but it’s inconvenient if you need to access food below it. I’ve gravitated to firing up the Kettle for additional dishes and will have the gasser back once our seemingly never ending kitchen build is finished. 


I feel the same way about having two KJs. I got my second one purely by accident, but man, I'm glad I got it. I cook on both at once enough that I'm glad it's there.

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On 1/2/2022 at 7:02 PM, keeperovdeflame said:

Welcome, Chris, most of us have a Weber Kettle somewhere in our cooking background. Glad to have you.  Are you looking for just another charcoal grill or possibly a kamado? The XL kamados are pretty good sized. Also in the other grill category there are a number of Brazilian type charcoal grills as well as the Master Built gravity fed charcoal line. 

thank you for the suggestion.

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On 1/2/2022 at 7:27 PM, jark87 said:

My Kettle remains on the roster, but stays on the sidelines most of the times. At 22”, it’s larger than my KJ Classic III, which is 18”. However, when it comes to indirect cooks, the KJ remains 18” while the Kettle is cut roughly in half, so grate space is actually larger on an 18” Kamado vs. a 22” Kettle. That includes smoking with the SnS. 
 

The only time I’ve needed more space is when cooking multiple dishes at the same time. I tried using the elevated grate extender, but it’s inconvenient if you need to access food below it. I’ve gravitated to firing up the Kettle for additional dishes and will have the gasser back once our seemingly never ending kitchen build is finished. 
 

In terms of “as good as”, I absolutely love my KJ!  It’s incredibly versatile, from low and slow to super hot searing. Dialing in a temp and holding it steady for hours is a breeze, even without a temp controller. That was a challenge for me on the Kettle. And that’s coming from a huge Kettle fan. I’ve owned just about every type of grill/smoker out there and could have saved a lot of $ had I just started with a Kamado pots to boil water.

thank you so much for the response.

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HI.

I started Kamado cooking on an Akorn. 

Lots of KGers post and do fantastic cooks on theirs. I did too.

 

Maybe you know or heard this :

-Akorn is extremely sensitive/quick to temp change via vent changes compared to ceramics;

-if you have the means get a cover to protect it from all elements and rust

-did the mods early on that were mentioned on the Akorn section of the forum;

-used a pizza pan as a heat deflector

-the ash pan needs low key TLC. Not a big deal, just an extra thing keep track of;

-as John says, “get a temp controller”. I still use a Flame Boss……100 antique.

 

Switched to ceramic and KJ on a deal I could not pass up. 

 

Cheers

 

 

 

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FYI – I started by keeping my grill "under a cover" until I realized that moisture was being trapped by the cover.  I now try instead to be sure that water has no place to accumulate (by removing the bottom section and placing it upside-down, propped-up by a small piece of wood), and by religiously removing the charcoal, cleaning away all grease, wiping away inside dust and outside grime, next-morning after every cook.  Also, "seasoning" the grate as I do any other cast-iron cookware, maintaining it as necessary.  I put a steel pet-food bowl on top of the top vent, which is kept slightly open underneath it.  In many years I have never had any rust problems: the thing today looks just as good as new. The ritual takes less than five minutes.

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On 1/2/2022 at 5:06 AM, chrisjordan said:

I am already at the biggest Weber kettle I can get.

What size is that? If you're already at the 26 inch kettle (or especially if it's the 37 inch Rancher :-o) then many of these suggestions may not provide the bbq real estate that you're looking for. 

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