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Grill on a Smoker?

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Post Mon Mar 15, 2004 6:17 pm
Jerry K

I am looking to purchase a new charcoal grill (I own a Weber gas grill). I'm looking at the Weber 22.5" kettle, but am thinking about the Weber Smokey Mountain.

My question is, can I direct grill a steak, if I wanted to, on a WSM? My thought is that the coals would be too far away, or potentially the grill wouldn't get hot enough. I also don't know if it is awkward or possible to manage a steak or chicken breast on an open toppped WSM.

Or am I best off to stick with the kettle and smoke that way when I want?

Can anyone give insight?

Post Mon Mar 15, 2004 7:37 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Jerry K, welcome to the board. You can grill a steak on a WSM. Check out this link that discusses the process: http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/grilling.html .

You can use the WSM smoker to grill and alternatively, you can use the Kettle for indirect grilling (smoking). You’ll need to base your decision on what will be the primary usage for the new piece of equipment.

I hope this helps!

P.S. Consider registering and joining the obsession!
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Post Mon Mar 15, 2004 7:55 pm
Jerry K.

I see that with the alternate conversion on the WSM, using a 2nd grate, your top grate is approx 3.5" from the coals. How does that compare to a regular Weber kettle, as far as distance from grate to coals?

Thanks for the info and links!
-Jer

Post Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:35 pm
elmtx rare
rare

Posts: 14
Location: Grapevine, Texas
I believe the Kettle is about 5-6 inches from grate to grill. At 3.5" that will be pretty hot and good for steaks but not good for chicken, etc. You would need to use less coals for medium or low heat if you used that setting for the grate. Altenatativly it looks like you could just use the grate where it is normally and have plenty more distance for medium to low heat.
Good luck! - Erik

Post Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:41 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
You can drive a nail with a screwdriver. The question is, do you want to? Whenever possible, use the tool designed for the job. It makes life much easier. In this case, that means keep the grill and use it for grilling. Use the WSM for smoking.
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Thu Mar 18, 2004 3:54 pm
Jerry K

Well, my situation is that I have a Weber gas grill, and I'm trying to decide between purchasing a Weber 22.5" kettle and a WSM.

Any advice?

Post Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:53 pm

Posts: 11
Location: Toronto
The WSM is a versatile unit, but for grilling you might be limited by it's size (18"), one large chicken in pieces or 3 or 4 NY strips takes up most of the area. Another disadvantge is the lid, for high temp grilling usually the lid is removed. Unlike the 22 1/2'' One Touch, on the WSM there is NOT a hook welded inside the lid in order to hang it on the unit (it would topple over).Using a piece of cardboard or plywood can help prevent staining your deck or patio surface. Having said that, if ''Low and Slow '' is the life you want the WSM won't let you down.The fire door gives easy access to replenish coals and wood chips without lifting the lid (and letting out heat). Hope this helps, please feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

Post Sun Mar 21, 2004 2:46 am
Jerry K

I appreciate all the input. As I'm trying to decide what to purchase -- and it will be either the 22.5 Kettle or the WSM -- I'm trying to figure with which one will I get the best of both worlds (grilling and smoking). So I guess my question is, does the 22.5 Weber Kettle smoke better than the WSM grills?

Post Sun Mar 21, 2004 10:50 am
Reidmid rare
rare

Posts: 30
Location: Providence, RI
Last summer I went through the same process. In the end I bought a 22-1/2 kettle and have been very pleased. I usually grill things with some wood chips for flaver, but I've smoked a couple of things on it and they turned out great. I even smoked a prime rib that probably woudn't have fit in the bullet.

I guess that if I was going to do mostly smoking (i.e. 9 of 10 times), I would have gone with the WSM.

My advise, buy a platum kettle grill. That shelf looks really handy.

Post Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:28 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
Depends on what you will be doing most, smoking (low and slow), or grilling. If you plan to smoke at 220 or so for many hours (5 or 6 for ribs, 12 or more for a buttt or briskit,) get the WSM. That's what it's designed to do, that's what it excels at. If, OTOH, you plan to grill steaks at high temps, and cook chickens and roasts over indirect heat, get a grill. If you plan to do equzal amounts of both styles, you should have both a smoker and a grill. You could even use your existing gas grill.

You can grill on the WSM, but as noted by oother posters, it is not ideal. The cooking area is small, and you probably cannot really do indirect grilling because of the size of he grill and firebox. A Webwer charcoal grill can be used for smoking, but again, it's not ideal. It is not as tight as a WSM, which means a lot of work to maintain a consistent temp, which is vital to good low 'n slow. It also means you'll be adding charcoal more often, which means you'll be up all night when you're cooking a brisket.

If I were you, I would keep the gas grill, buy the WSM and learn to cook low 'n slow the easy way. Save up, and buy a Weber kettle later.
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Mon Mar 22, 2004 4:31 pm
elmtx rare
rare

Posts: 14
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Jerry,
Many people here have given you good information on the tradeoffs and they are on track. Having said that I think you have answered your own question. You have a grill already and you want to start smoking (or cooking low and slow) food. Buy a smoker, and the WSM is a great one.
If you buy the WSM you gain a whole group of food (brisket, Ribs, Pork Butt, etc) that the WSM is made for. If you buy a Webber Kettle all you are doing is buying an improved version of what you already have. There really isn't anything new you can do on the kettle that you couldn't do on your gas grill, it just done better on the Kettle IMHO.
- Erik


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