Hey guys, a while back I mentioned I finally bought a Weber One-Touch Platinum grill; and finally last night, I did my first barbecue!! I've been very busy lately and doing some well earned vacationing, so it took me a week just to build the kettle. Anyway, fired up the grill last night and had such a blast (no pun intended) doing it! I have some notes for you guys and would love some input.
To start... I bought lump charcoal and a chimney starter... immediately, I found that there sure were a lot of small pieces of charcoal in the bag -- in fact, when I poured the hot charcoal into the kettle, many pieces slipped right through the grate. Anyhow, I've seen it written that one chimney starter full of charcoal is good for a 22 1/2 inch grill (which is what I have). Although, when I poured that in, it definitely did not look like enough. I could have maybe just barely made a single layer of coals on the grate. It didn't seem right, so before spreading out the coals, I put more lump on top (maybe 2/3rd's of a chimney's worth). Waited for that to burn well, and then as a result, I had 2 layers worth of coals covering 2/3rds of the grate, and left 1/3rd empty for a cool zone. I could have maybe spread it out more, but as I said, smaller peices were slipping through the grate.
Once the coals had matured, I checked the heat with my hand -- wow, it was HOT!! I could only hold my hand over for 2 seconds, so I figured it's too hot - 3 second rule, right? Now here's where I goofed a little -- once I was ready to grill, I decided to throw on some hickory wood chips (soaked) -- well I swear the temp dropped a 100 degrees or so. Hmmm, that wasn't too good - now I thought I might be below my desired grilling temp. Plus, because I was not going to be closing the lid (doing steaks), the chips just dried up and went a blaze with flames very quickly. I closed the lid, the flames choked and went out and then started up again once I removed the lid. So I'm guessing I should just use the chips if I'm doing something where I will be keeping the lid closed?
Finally to the good part.... I put on 2 rib eye and 2 t-bone steaks, and grilled 4 halves of zuckinni. I did the steaks 6 minutes per side (didn't want to do too rare on my first grill) and when I took them off and checked them under outdoor light, I was disappointed to see they looked well done. I prefer medium rare to medium. But... big BUT... when we sat down to dinner in the kitchen and started eating, we all noticed each steak had that PERFECT pink center... WOW, the steaks were so amazing and juicy and evenly grilled.
I think that's the 2 things I noticed most about using my charcoal grill for the first time... the grilling was the most even I've ever encountered... and I swear the steaks were the most juicy I'd ever had! What an awesome experience -- so much fun doing charcoal -- I can't wait to get home after work tonight and fired up the grill again!!
I know this is a long post, but if any of you experienced ones out there could give me any critical remarks, I'd appreciate it.