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low and slow on a kettle?

 
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deersteak
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Joined: 24 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 1:45 am    Post subject: low and slow on a kettle? Reply with quote

Is an older (20 years?) kettle style charcoal grill any good for low temp smoking at 225--250?

I have my eyes on a WSM, but don't have the cash right now, but my parents have an old kettle that hasn't been used in forever that I could grab.

If memory serves, I saw Steven Raichlin (sp?) cook some ribs on a similar grill. He had a specialty item that hemmed up the charcoal on two sides, and put ribs on a rack in the middle. I'm not sure what temp he was running at, but I could rig up some sheet metal to pull this off.

Could you hold a lower temp long term to do a pork butt on this style cooker?

If this wouldn't work, I guess I could do ribs and chicken right now until I get the WSM or build myself a UDS.

Thanks.
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smoke51
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Joined: 02 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there are quite a few people on here that do exactly what you are wanting to do. hopefully they will chime in with their techniques since i havent done this but some of the guys claim 4 hours at a steady temp without touching it...which is pretty good if you ask me since neither one of my purpose built smokers can do much better.

as far as keeping the charcoal to one side it doesnt necessarily have to be sheet metal...i think a lot of guys are using expanded metal.
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Cranky Buzzard
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure you can!

If you have some fire brick, or some metal that you can place over to one side of the kettle to keep the coals on you're good to go.

If you don't have anything like above you can just be very careful and make your fire on one side and make sure it doesn't collapse over to underneath your ribs, or whatever you're cooking.

CB
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deersteak
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Deal!

Dad has some expanded metal laying around, we can engineer something.

Should I try to find a water pan to put in the bottom of it, or would this not work correctly due to the fire not being underneath the water?
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dearsteak, here is a post Hillbillysmoker did I remembered it and had to go dig it up. I believe the only thing that slowed him down on this cook was a lot of thunderstorms that day.
http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=174407&highlight=#174407

We low and slow on our kettle a lot I dont even use a divider and just turn your lid so the vent is opposite your fire for a cross draft.
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deersteak
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice. Thanks for that link K.A.M. This totally looks doable.

Do you use the minion method on the kettle? How big are the wood chunks that you use?
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

deersteak, I don't use the minion method on my Kettle I just use one chimmney and I use wood chunks about 2'' to 3'' not soaked just dry I start with no more than two and add as needed. You can monitor the coals and add as needed. to big a bed of coals will be hard to keep your temps down.
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Michael B
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I center a disposable roasting pan on the fire grate, and the coals around the outside of that. The meat goes over the roasting pan.
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deersteak
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this poking around the website.

http://www.thesmokering.com/HowTo/weberribs/default.jsp

I think that is what you are basically talking about cranky buzzard.

Michael B it seems like your method would give more even heat.

I think the one I'll be getting from my folks is the 22" model. Will I be able to get two pork butts centered over the appropriate sized pan and still have enough room for enough charcoal?

I guess that would be be dependent on the size of the butts.
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Hell Fire Grill
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is how I do lo-n-slo on a kettle.

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17750&highlight=weber+mods

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17941&highlight=weber+mods
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deersteak
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good American West.

This gives me plenty to mull over. Hopefully the old grill will still be in good shape.
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gpalasz
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love Qing on the kettle. I have cooked many briskets and butts on the kettle. As mentioned, the firebrick method works very well. W/ Rancher I have gotten 6-7+ hr burn times...love the kettles. Want to get the new 26, bet you can get some serious burn times w/ that beast
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USDA Monkey
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18 08 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to do butts on a cheap charcoal grill from walmart. A kettle style grill should be great.
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