Using a Grill to Barbecue / Smoke Food
A good friend shared this recipe with me.
And I really wanted to share this recipe with you.
You can use your barbecue grill to slow cook, barbecue, or smoke your favorite foods. All too often barbecue grills are only used for grilling food. This requires that you use the “indirect heat/smoke method” in your barbecue grill. The indirect method requires that you keep the heat and smoke source, i.e. charcoal and wood chips, off to the sides of the barbecue grill so the heat does not directly cook your food. Instead you use low heat to slowly cook your food.
To start, mound the charcoal off to one side, and place a pan of water on the opposite side. Light the charcoal and let it burn until the outside of the charcoal turns white. Add your desired woodchunks that have been soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes. With the lid on, the heat and smoke will rise up one side of your barbecue, cool slightly, and come down the other side where your food is – a simple sort of convection oven.
It is important that you put a pan of water in the bottom of your barbecue grill and put the coals and wood chips off to one side, or around the water pan. A water pan will help keep the temperature constant and keep your foods from completely drying out. The water pan does not need to be big or deep, a foil pie pan that holds an inch or so of water will do just fine. Position the food over the water pan, not the charcoal. During the cooking process you may need to add water to your pan, so check it when you check your food.
Keep the barbecue grill temperature down between 125F and 220F, otherwise you’ll cook your food, rather than smoke, or slow cook it. Keep the bottom vents about 1/2 open and the top 1/4 open. Monitor your temperature constantly and if you start to run out of heat, add more charcoal which you have already preburned outside of the grill. i.e. Don’t put new charcoal directly on the fire you are cooking with, as your food will take on that nasty charcoal smoke flavor. As the walls of these grills are thin and the internal cooking space is small, every time you open the lid you lose your temperature very rapidly – so try to resist lifting the lid to just look.
BBQ Ribs on a Weber Kettle Grill
2 Racks of ribs (St. Louis Style cut)
Your favorite BBQ Rub
Your favorite BBQ Sauce
Coat the ribs lightly with olive oil using your hands or a brush. Sprinkle lot of rub on both sides and ends, patting and slapping it firmly into place. The surface of the meat should be completely covered with a layer of rub. Wrap each rib in 2 layers of plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.
Bank a small amount of coals on one side of the grill and let grill warm up for 20 – 30 minutes. Place a drip pan filled with water on the opposite side of the coals. Try to stabilize the temperature to about 225 – 250 degrees. Soak hickory, mesquite, cherry, apple or other wood chips in a bowl of water for 20 minutes or more.
Unwrap the racks of ribs and cut the racks so that they will fit onto the area of the grill where there are no coals underneath. Remember that the end pieces of any rack of ribs normally dry out during the cooking process, so the less cuts you have to make, the less dry ribs you will have. Put the ribs onto a rib rack, with the thick side up and bone end down. This will allow the small ends to stay moist as the juices and fat that render out of the thick ends will run down each of the rib bones, basting them as they do. Place on the grill over the drip pan. Sprinkle small amounts of the chips over the coals and close the lid. At this point you should keep your vents on the bottom half open and the top vent a quarter open. (You may need to change this around a little, If your fire is too cold open the bottom vents more, and if it is too hot close them off a little. Add more chips every 20 to 30 minutes or as often as desired. You can also soak whole chunks of wood in water, and use these instead of the chips. They will give off smoke for a much longer period, which means that you don’t have to open the lid.
Sit back for 4 to 6 hours, watch the smoke rise and drink lots of whatever turns you on. Don’t drink so much, that you forget to add wood chips or chunks to the fire, keep the temperature around 225 to 250 degrees (you may need to add preburned charcoal to achieve this), and keep the water pan half full. It is also a good idea to rotate the racks of ribs from time to time so that each rack will have an equal time nearest to the heat source. The ribs are cooked when:
a) You cut one off and taste it and the meat is tender, tasty, smoky, and pulls off the bone (This is undoubtedly the preferred method)
b) You pick a rack of ribs up using tongs to hold it at one end. Then shake the rack and of the rack breaks apart where the skin joins the individual bones together
c) The internal temperature of the meat is around 195 degrees
d) You cannot take it any more and have to eat immediately !!
Before serving or for the last 10 minutes of cooking, lightly brush each rack with your favorite (preferably homemade) BBQ sauce. Take the ribs off the grill and cut between each bone, brush again with BBQ sauce if desired and serve. Life is good !