Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by graybeard, Apr 13, 2009.
Will a Weber smoke a butt just as good as an offset smoker?
Can't beat a smoker no matter what kind IMHO
I would say a UDS does just as good of job as a chargriller...so I'd probably go for that.
The WSM does a great job on pork butts. I prefer to use it over the my cheap offset because of the fuel usage and temp. control. WSM uses far less fuel and is much easier to maintain a given temp. Now if you have a nice offset like a Lang or Klose, that's a different issue. Just built a drum and have yet to cook anything on it, but if the test burn is any indication, it's even easier to control than the WSM. Taste wise, they're all good.
I started smoking on a weber kettle and learning that technique got me hooked. You can smoke anything on a weber kettle. Give it a go!
If you mean a Weber kettle, I have smoked a few. The main thing is fire/temp. control. There are probably other ways but this is what works for me. I made a charcoal basket out of expanded metal, the thin stuff from lowes. It is "D" shaped with the curved portion of the "D" being the same circumference as the charcoal grate in the weber, it is around 8" wide at the widest part of the "D", and I think around 6" tall. I fill this with unlit lump and some chunks of hardwood. Then I light around 6 briquettes and put them on one end of the basket with the bottom vents closed and the lid vent open. My kettle is old and probably not real air tight so you will need to experiment with the number of briquettes to light and the bottom air vents. I think the top vent should always remain open. I usually get around 4-5 hours before the basket needs to be re-done. It would be handy to have 2 so you could have one ready to drop in with no down time.
if you can't fabricate one check these out, you can put them on each side and cook in the middle but I would arrange them in an L shape and cook on the otherside indirect style
BUMP! I need more feedback. Lets' hear from the smokers that have owned both.
Looks like you got a good line-up of smokers already graybeard.
Are you thinking about buying a Weber kettle?
For butts, seems like the WSM or UDS would be far better than a kettle.
Well, I have owned both -- but not at the same time. Owned a Weber kettle years ago but never tried to smoke on it. Just used it for grilling. Trapper sounds like he has the smoking on a Weber kettle down.
But . . . I did grill on the UDS. Set the charcoal basket on a shelf about halfway up the drum to get the coals closer to the rack . . .
Seemed to work pretty well.
My UDS has a Weber top but I could do the same thing with the flat top.
You could also grill on most of the offsets if that's what you are wanting to do. I think the offset is a better smoker than the Weber. But I like the UDS even better than my offset for most things, except jerky. With the Weber lid you can have two racks so the capacity would rival the offset as well.
Don't get me wrong, I am building a UDS because it will work better for smoking. I am just saying that the Weber kettle will work if you practice a little. No way can I cook on it for 10 hours nearly unattended like guys are doing on the UDS. From what I have read a properly tuned offset would be a better smoker as well but if I can only have one piece of equipment it would be pretty tough to talk me out of my old kettle.
I dont think a charcoal bbq can produce the same flavor as a wood fired bbq. When charcoal is pyrolized the oganic matter, cellulose and lignin, is converted into carbon which burns with virtually no smoke. The smoke is where most of the particulate matter and the flavor comes from. Charcoal fired bbqs use chunks of wood to try to replace that flavor. A wood fired cooker is also a dryer cooking environment because of the volume of air flowing through the cooker. Both have their benefits and drawbacks. I use a stick burner mostly and a kettle to bbq with depending on my schedule and motovation level.
Here are some mods I have made to a weber kettle so I can efficiently bbq with it using charcoal and wood chunks.
The damper blades got bent when I tryed to make it digest some lump and wouldnt choke the fire completly. I welded a ring to the damper blades so they would stay tite against the kettle.
The stock fire grate let to much charcoal fall through so I covered it with a piece of 3/4x9 expanded.
Made a ring to hold some charcoal for low-n-slo. Along with some 6" long pieces around the outside of the charcoal to allow more air under the charcoal and help let the ashes fall through. The inside ring is 4" high and about 15" wide. This set up will allow the kettle to bbq for 12+ hours, at 225*, with homemade oak lump charcoal. It will burn longer with briquetts but I havent tested it with them yet.
A new cooking grate.
A couple fattys I cooked while I was doing a test burn. The charcoal wouldnt burn consistantly without the pieces of expaned metal around the outside of the charcoal but it worked good enough to cook a couple fattys.
Heres a butt I cooked after I got the kettle tuned up and running nicely. If I remember correctly the butt had been cooking for around 7 hours in this picture.
I own a Weber 22" kettle. I've smoked on that thing for many years, with great results.
But last year for my Bday I couldn't think of anything. Then suddenly it hit me: There had been times where I could have used far more smoker capacity... and good tho the results may be, I was tired of the contortions required to maintain a good smoke on the Weber.
So I got a CharGriller Smokin' Pro offset.
The Weber kettle has been unused since that moment. Can't say my butts or other food are any better-tasting since then (actually, yes they are lol), but thery are certainly as good - and the cooking process is far smoother.
You can't really go wrong either way. I still love the Weber, and I'm glad it's there if I ever need it. But given my experience, if I started out today with neither I'd go with the offset.
The more I think about your question, the more this comes into mind:
What do you mean by "just as good" ? At its most basic level, the unit is merely a vehicle to hold your meat in a semi-closed environment while heat is applied.
I believe that the terms good, just as good, better, etcetera are relative depending on your needs, and vary from person to person. Because of this, it is the particular skill of the cook along with the heat source (gas, electric, wood, briquettes) marinade, rub, sauce and whatever else that will address your idea of "good" to your satisfaction.
It boils down to what works for you. Consider price, time and effort required to smoke the butt, and stuff like that.
Once you get a clearer idea, your answer will be right there. Don't mean to come across as being too casual- you have a valid question. In an effort to sort out a decent answer for you, this is what comes up.
Hope it helps.
Yardbird on my Kettle.
Small pork shoulder on the Kettle.
I can go about 1 hr 40 min without replenishing coals (13 briquettes per side gives me 245-250*). I start off with top vent fully open and bottom vents closed. As the temp drops to about 215*, I'll open the bottom vents and the temps goes back to about 245*. As the temp falls again to 220*, I'll put more briqs in the chimney and use those. Takes about 2 3/4 - 3 hrs for a whole bird.
Butts (when done on the kettle) I smoke until foil time, then finish in the oven (why waste fuel).