Do I need to put the lid on when using the spit rotisserie on my kettle barbecue?
When using a rotisserie always keep the lid on. Light a Weber® Chimney Starter full of briquettes, then set the kettle up for roasting (in-direct method). The aim is to align the meat product with the central gap you have created by separating the coals. In that gap you could put a foil drip pan with new potatoes in. These will roast beautifully with the juice created by the meat.
How do you keep the temperature even on a Smokey Mountain Cooker?
There are many ways to control the temperature of the Weber® Smokey Mountain Cooker. The first point is to consider its positioning. If it is in an exposed area, then there will be too much oxygen fuelling the coals. You can either try restricting the bottom vents or moving the Smokey Mountain Cooker. Depending on the size use 1-1.5 Weber® Chimney Starters full for a 47cm and 1.5-2 for a 57cm Smokey Mountain Cooker. You can also use the water pan to reduce temperature. Try adding cold or more water.
What’s the best way to control heat on a charcoal barbecue?
The best way of controlling temperature is to start with the fuel. If you are grilling, fill the Weber® Chimney Starter to the top. This will create temperatures of approximately 230°C and above. For roasting, fill the Chimney Starter to three quarters full. This will create approximately 180-200°C. If you get the temperature from the fuel, then you can leave the vents open and only restrict them if the barbecue is burning too hot. Ambient weather conditions like wind, pressure and humidity can all affect how your barbecue behaves.
What is the proper setting for the air vents on my kettle?
Your charcoal fire needs adequate airflow to burn properly. Fully open the top and bottom vents on the barbecue while you are grilling. Close them only when you are finished grilling and ready to extinguish the flames. Remember to sift out the ashes and remove them from the ash catcher when they are cool.
Is there an easy way to get the coals started?
Actually there are a few tricks, and any one of them will help: using the right charcoal, using Weber®’s Lighter Cubes, and using a Weber® Chimney Starter. You can get the following accessories at your local Weber® dealer or by contacting Weber®’s local distributor.
Choosing the right charcoal:
Weber® Lump Charcoal
is fast lighting with a burn time of around 60 minutes. The coal is made of beech, hornbeam, birch and oak. Ideal for cooking a wide range of meat, fish and veg. Available in 5 and 10kg.
Made from carbonised wood, starch and water, the briquettes are easy to light (lit in 20 minutes with a Weber® Chimney Starter) once going they last up to three hours. They also burn at a consistent temperature making them perfect for grilling steaks or roasting joints.
To light briquettes safely and with minimum hassle, try Weber® lighter cubes. These solid fuel cubes light as easily as a birthday candle (even when wet!) and are odourless and non-toxic, leaving no residue to mar the flavour of your delicious grilled meal.
Weber® Chimney Starter:
By far the quickest and easiest method of lighting a barbecue and achieving a great even heat. The Weber® Chimney Starter holds the coals in a cylinder for fast, easy lighting. Fill the canister-shaped starter with the proper amount of charcoal, place on the charcoal grate over two or three fire lighter cubes, ignite the cubes and let the coals burn until you can see flames at the top of the Chimney Starter and the top layer of coals are just turning grey with ash underneath. Pour the hot coals onto the charcoal grate and arrange for Direct or In-direct cooking with long-handled tongs. For safety’s sake, wear Weber® barbecue mitts.
What’s the best way of smoking ribs so they don’t end up chewy?
For the best results when smoking ribs, ensure that the Weber® Smokey Mountain® Cooker™ is between 90-120°C and leave the ribs open in the Smokey Mountain® Cooker™ for the first 2 hours. Then baste in barbecue sauce and wrap in foil for a further one and a half hours. Finally, remove the foil and add more sticky barbecue sauce. Ribs usually take about 4-5 hours on a Weber® Smokey Mountain® Cooker™
For Charcoal and Gas barbecues apply the following instructions:
To achieve moist, succulent ribs cook them indirect, at a low heat for at least three hours. This will break down the tough connective tissue and make them melt in the mouth. Avoid putting a sticky marinade on at the beginning and this can cause it to burn. Start off with a dry rub, finishing with a sticky sauce towards the end.
How do I care for my cast iron cooking grates? They have rust on them.
To maintain the wonderful searing/grilling performance of your cast iron grates, as well as their longevity, some special care is required. As with any cast iron cooking tool, proper seasoning is most important.
First time use: Before using a cast iron grate, wash it thoroughly with a mild washing up liquid to remove the protective wax coating applied for shipping. Rinse with hot water and dry completely with a soft cloth or paper towel. NEVER ALLOW TO RINSE DRY, OR WASH IN A DISHWASHER.
Now season the grates to prevent rust and sticking.
Seasoning: A solid vegetable oil is recommended for the initial seasoning. Spread a thin coating of solid vegetable shortening over the entire surface, including all corners, with a paper towel. Do not use salted fats such as butter or margarine. Proceed as follows:
Gas barbecues: Preheat barbecue for 15 minutes; place grates in barbecue. Turn burners to Medium-Off-Medium with lid closed. Allow barbecue to heat grates for 1 to 1.5 hours. Turn all burners to OFF, and leave cooking grates in barbecue until they are cool.
Charcoal: Arrange prepared coals for In-direct Method. Place cooking grate in barbecue; place lid on barbecue. Allow barbecue to heat grate for 1 to 1.5 hours. Close vents to extinguish coals, leaving grate in barbecue until it is cool.
Your cast iron cooking grates are now ready to use. To prevent rusting, they should be re-seasoned frequently, particularly when new. If rust occurs, clean with a steel brush. Reapply vegetable shortening and heat as indicated above.
Maintenance (every time you grill): Don’t do a burn-off after you grill, but rather leave the cooking residues on the grates to keep a protective coating on the cast iron. Then do a burn-off just before you grill. Brush off charred residues with a steel brush rather than a brass brush.
Notes: The more you use your cast iron grates, the easier the maintenance will be. If you store your grates for extended periods of time, grease very lightly with vegetable shortening, then wipe dry with a paper towel. Store in a dry place. If rust appears, it is an indication that the grates have not been seasoned properly or enough. Or, if the burn-off method has been used after grilling, the seasoning has also been burned off. You must begin the seasoning process again, after brushing all rust away with a steel wire brush.
How do I get the Charcoal to stay hot enough to cook for more than 20 minutes on my Weber® kettle?
In order to ensure that you are getting the best performance out of your barbecue and your charcoal we would suggest the following method…
Ensure that the bowl and lid vents are both fully open. Next fill a Weber® Chimney Starter with charcoal briquettes, light 2-3 lighter cubes on the charcoal grate and place the charcoal filled Weber® Chimney starter over these. Once the top layer of charcoal is just turning white with ash, pour the contents of the Weber® Chimney Starter out in the desired layout, i.e. for in-direct/roasting or direct/grilling, then place the cooking grate back on the barbecue and put the lid on. Please be aware that we would always recommend wearing protective gloves whilst handling any part of a hot barbecue or equipment.
Make sure that the top and bottom air vents are open at all times during cooking. The only time you need to touch the air vents is to extinguish the briquettes after you’ve finished barbecuing. With a Weber® barbecue fresh air needs to flow constantly through the closed barbecue. For this reason, you should never raise the lid to lower the temperature.
To regulate the temperature of the barbecue do not touch the lid or the air vents – simply use fewer briquettes. This is the only method that works. And part of the charm of using briquettes is learning how to control the temperature and master the perfect barbecuing technique.
I see what I think is peeling paint inside the lid of my barbecue! What should I do?
Don’t worry, it is not paint; the inside surfaces of our barbecue lids are not painted, they are coated with baked-on porcelain-enamel, a glass finish which cannot peel. What you are noticing is a deposit of grease and smoke that collects during normal use. During use, the grease and smoke vapours slowly oxidise into carbon and collect on the inside of your lid.
This deposit will eventually peel, and looks very similar to paint. The peeling grease normally starts in the centre of the lid and spreads outward. It may come off in sheets or flakes, and is shiny on one side and dull on the other. These carbon deposits are non-toxic, but you might want to regularly remove the build-up. Fortunately, the peeling is easy to remove. Simply brush off all loose particles with a brass brush or crumpled aluminium foil before you start grilling. To prevent future build-up, after every grilling session, while the barbecue lid is warm-not hot-wipe it with paper towels or a mild soap-and-water solution.
What’s the best way to cook my Christmas Turkey on a charcoal Weber®?
Cooking your Christmas turkey on the barbecue is so simple and gives such juicy, delicious results!
Have a look at our recipes for inspiration, it’s really straightforward and very tasty! Just cook your turkey on the barbecue for the same time as you would do in a fan-assisted oven, if it’s a large bird (takes over 4 hours) then we’d suggest adding a few more Weber® Briquettes at around the 2 hour mark in order to keep the temperature even. We’d also recommend investing in a meat thermometer to ensure your food is cooked through!