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BBQ Pork Shoulder on my Weber

I am looking forward to the warm weather and grilling with my Weber Charcoal Grill. I can hold my own on the grill and in the kitchen. Recently I have been making slow roasted pork shoulder in my oven. I cook it for 8-10 hours and it is awesome. I want to do the same cut of pork on the grill and go low and slow. Any tips on how to go about this? Specifically I am concerned about controlling the temperature on my charcoal grill. I assume too, that I am going to have to replenish the charcoal at least 2-3 times if I intend to go for 8-10 hours. Any tips my fellow hounds?

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  1. Position coals on only one side of your Weber. Once your coals are ready, add a handful of wet hickory chips to smoke the meat as it cooks. Place the meat on the side of the grill away from the coals and cover the grill with the vents over the meat to draw the smoke. Keep the bottom vents only slightly open to keep the fire slow. You will occasionally need to add coals throughout the process. Do so by slightly lifting the lid and adding hot coals through the side vent of the grill, occasionally also adding wet hickory chips to keep the smoke going.

    5 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      Thanks for the tips. One other question. You said to keep the bottom vent slightly open. What about the top vents? Keep them closed?

      1. re: angelo04

        Keep the top vents WIDE OPEN. The best way to control the fire is by modulating the bottom vents, which controls the amount of oxygen reaching the fire. Closing the top vents will smother the fire, making it sooty and generate a lot of creosote - which makes meat taste bitter. The goal is to have a small, efficiently burning fire, not a large, smoldering fire.

      2. re: JungMann

        When you replace the charcoal(use hardwood from the start) theres no need to add more wood chips(use chunks if possible). The meat will only take smoke for the first couple or hours. About half way thru your cook, wrap your shoulder/butt in extra thick foil(can take off weber and cook in over @ 250, until the meat is 193 degrees) Also, theres no need to soak your chips, i have been to many many bbq comps and have never once see guys winning Memphis and May soaking their flavoring wood.

        1. re: JungMann

          I add charcoal about every 30 minutes but it's not "hot" coals. How do you get them hot? Do you have a second grill or something going?

          1. re: c oliver

            You keep them lit in a chimney starter, or alternatively you light them in a fireproof container. I use an aluminum pan.

        2. I used to do a lot of indirect-heat cooking with the meat resting on a cake rack in an iron skillet. This keeps the food from contact with any direct heat from below while also keeping it out of its fat puddle. I think I used about fifteen briquets per side to start with, and kept the vents about three-quarters open, both top and bottom. You might want to invest in a remote-read meat thermometer, if you don't have one already, and kinda ride herd on it to watch the heat and moderate it as necessary, at least the first time you do this. The Weber manual was a big help to me. I found the rack-in-pan setup to be a lot easier to deal with than the usual grill-top/drip pan method.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Will Owen

            That reminds, you will want to put a tin pan with some water in the half of the grill that is not covered coals. The pan will catch the drippings without allowing them to smoulder.

          2. Please don't use briquets. If you need to replenish the charcoal, briquets must be started separately from the grill or they'll stink up the fire. Use hardwood chunk charcoal. It can be added at any time. And don't use wood chips, use chunks. You'll find that the hardwood lump charcoal only leaves about 10% of the ashes that briquets leave, which is mostly binders and fillers.

            3 Replies
            1. re: 1stmakearoux

              I've never found that to be the case and I've been using this technique for more than 20 years.

              1. re: c oliver

                i recall seeing or reading something that suggested that kingsford briquettes have an essentially negligible amount of "binders and fillers". it's essentially charcoal, and like c oliver i've never found that they produce an off flavor or too much ash to handle.

                1. re: tommy

                  I agree...I like lump charcoal best but will use Kingsford's or similar stuff in a pinch. All they add is cornstarch to bind the briquettes when moulding them. Never got any off flavors from them at all.

            2. Personally, I think Hickory is too powerful a fuel and prefer fruit woods. . .

              In other words, everybody is going to offer you advice and opinions. Pay attention to what suggestions you elect to, but your future barbecuing success will primarily be shaped by practice. Outside is not an oven. For example, weather factors impact upon your cooking - for me at the Shore, high humidity can add significant time. Winds, too.

              Ultimately, practicing, especially if there is a cooler of beer close by, is the fun. Just don't invite guests the first time you try!

              1. the thing is, you really don't have to cook the pork on the grill the whole time. as others have observed, the meat will only take so much smoke. after 3 hrs or so of smoke at 220, you're mostly just cooking. now if you can keep your weber burning at a really low temp, hats off.

                following the advice of cooks' illustrated, i bring my shoulder inside to the oven after three hrs, cover it and a roasting pan with foil and cook it 2 more hrs at 300 or so. next, put the covered roaster in a big paper bag, crimp it shut and let it cook "ultra low" outside the oven for another hour. when uncovered the meat will still be very hot and will need to rest before you can pull it.

                this method doesn't have the romantic pizzaz of an all-day smoke fest. however, it is based on cooking logic and turns out uniformly good--and smokey--shoulder.

                4 Replies
                1. re: silverhawk

                  I'll second this. I followed the Cooks Illustrated method described above and it came out fantastic. I used soaked Hickory chips and Kingsford coals for the grill.

                  1. re: silverhawk

                    ill second this as well. even some winning competition bbq-ers prefer this method. wrapping in tin foil also gives you an effective braise so that you are efficiantly turning all that collagen into beautiful delicious gelatin.

                    i always smoke a pork butt with a thermometer in it, so i can observe its internal temperature. at some point, it will get stuck around 140-150, and it wont move much for a couple hours. when i reach that temperature, thats when i wrap in foil.

                    1. re: charles_sills

                      It is not necessary to foil the pork for all the collagen to render. However, foiling will mitigate the stall. If I'm doing pulled pork with higher heat, I will foil at the stall, so that the outer meat does not dry out while it is forging ahead internally. If I'm doing a true low-and-slow, I'll just leave it cook until it's done.

                      1. re: bagofwater

                        i didnt mean to imply that the foil method is the ONLY way that works, rather that it is an efficient way.

                  2. There seem to be quite a few opinions here, but I'll add my two cents. I started doing this last summer, so I've only got a few pork shoulders to my name, but I follow Steven Raichlen's recipe. It can be found here:


                    My first recommendation is to get the spice rub on and let it sit over night. It has made a difference when I was able to do that.

                    Much to the chagrin of certain people here, I have used regular charcoal. I know it is stupid, but I don't have a good source for hardwood charcoal. One of my goals this summer is to find one so I can start using it. Anyway, I use charcoal baskets and put the coals on either side of the grill, leaving the center open. I put the pork in the middle of the grill with a disposable foil tray that serves as a drip pan (I add about a quart of apple cider to the pan), and add soaked wood chunks to the charcoal. For those who say you don't need to soak them, I think you absolutely do. Even with soaking mine, I still have them catch on fire almost every time. With briquets, I have to add new ones every 60-90 minutes and unfortunately, they do have to be lit when you add them.

                    Still, I've been happy with the results. Good luck. Once you do it, you'll be hooked.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: BigE

                      Where do you live, BigE? You must not be in the USA.
                      I can buy hardwood charcoal at my local grocery and Lowes Home Improvement, as well as other stores. I think Lowes stores are almost everywhere in the US,
                      I generally buy Cowboy (brand). Visit www.cowboycharcoal.com and see if it is distributed in your area.

                      1. re: Tee

                        i think you're right that cowboy brand lump charcoal is the most readily available. it is, i think, far from the best, though. it seems to be mostly charred pieces of pretty thin scrap lumber. these break easily in shipping and the bags are often filled with tiny bits of charcoal and a bunch of dust. i think green egg lump is a step up among brands with broad exposure in common retail outlets--like ace hardware.

                        1. re: silverhawk

                          The OP said they had no lump source, so I was just trying to help, as no one had offered a retail source. Maybe they have an Ace nearby.
                          What does that BGE cost you a bag? I bet they take a "lump" themselves, as they do for their pottery!

                          1. re: Tee

                            a 20# bag of big green egg lump is about $18, i think. it does burn longer than cowboy lump--and i'll pay a bit of a premium to limit adding fuel. (I'm a dinnertime guy and not a process guy when it comes to bbq. some folks really like the smoking process and truly enjoy managing it and refining it. i'm careful about meat selection, rub composition, smoke source, and duration. other than that, anything i can do to make my life easier is up for grabs.

                            all sorts of lump charcoal is available thru net sources--tho big chains that sell grills often have a few lump choices in stock

                      2. re: BigE

                        Instead of the overnight rub, I've started putting the rub on before we freeze the roasts. It means it is ready when thawed in the refrig. We get 2 roasts per pkg in Sams Club, and usually only cook one immediately, after an overnight rub. I love knowing that there is a piggy roast in the freezer ready to go on a 2 day whim, to thaw. Tried that with the pkg of 3 racks of ribs this time. There are 2 ready to go in the amount of time it takes to thaw.

                      3. This happens to be a specialty... like, hundreds of pork butts over the years, on the 4 weber kettles I keep on the porch. I will say a couple things contrary to other posts, but I'm telling you, this is an autopilot no-brainer. The key is the fuse. BBQ competitors will see this as a modified Minion Method. Create a "fuse" of briquettes, like dominoes that have fallen over, around 3/4 of the fire grate. Do another set next to them. Do another set on top of the first two. Now you have a fuse, with all briquettes touching, in a triangle (viewed from the side). Add wood chunks to the first half of the burn (see pic). Use a drip tray in the middle. You can put two butts in the middle, not over the fire (but not yet). Use fluid -- yes, fluid -- and light the first 8 or so briquettes. Let the fluid burn off and wait for the affected briquettes to turn white. Leave the top and bottom vents open. Put on the pork and close the lid. You should run a 250 dome temp for 5-6 hours. A thing of beauty. Adjust temp if needed from the bottom. After 6 hrs, butts will be about 160-170 internal, and you can foil and finish in the oven, or add more coals and keep going. It will take about 10-12 hrs, as you know. IMHO, after burning thousands of pounds of Kingsford, the new briquettes that catch slowly as the fuse burns around the circle will not stink up the food. That only happens when people try to cook before fluid has burned off. You good wityh your rub and sauce, or want more opinions?

                        67 Replies
                        1. re: woodburner

                          oops... finished product (no shots on the grill, though...)

                          1. re: woodburner

                            Maybe I should just come to your place! That looks amazing. THanks for the all the advice. I'll take more too, regarding your sauce and rub.

                            1. re: angelo04

                              sure... the rub and the sauce are basically similar to the Piedmont (western NC) style, as I understand it.

                              Rub (for 2 butts, 12-14 lbs total)
                              2 tbs paprika
                              1 tbs each brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, granulated sugar
                              2 tsp kosher salt
                              1.5 tsp black pepper
                              pinch cayenne

                              I put this on just before hitting the smoker... if you did it 24 hrs in advance, it would penetrate a little, but just a little... not a big difference IMO.

                              Sauce (1 batch per tray -- 2 butts)
                              1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
                              1/2 cup brown sugar
                              1 tablespoon kosher salt
                              1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (crushed)
                              2 1/2 cups water
                              3/4 cup ketchup

                              Bring to simmer for a few minutes and stir. I do not mop or sauce the butts during cooking... I believe they form a bark early on and it will not penetrate... plus the butts have plenty of fat and will not dry out under low and slow cooking. After the butts come off, let cool a bit, then pull/shred to your preferred level of shred size (I like some big chunks rather than finely shred). You can sprinkle a little of that rub on the meat if you like, then pour on the sauce -- not to drowning, but to add enough so that when you turn the pork over it stays very moist. Serve it. Fridge it. Or freeze it. It will nuke up great.
                              The pic is actually a picnic section of the shoulder, just off the pit.

                              1. re: woodburner

                                Hey Woodburner - Finally getting around to this today. This wick method of setting up the coals rocks. I'll let you know how it comes out.

                                1. re: angelo04

                                  Glad it worked for you... how'd it taste?

                                  1. re: woodburner

                                    For a first try excellent. I plan on getting another 2-3 under my belt by Oct. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

                                2. re: woodburner

                                  And here it is. Cooling it now. Not bad for a first try....I hope.

                                  1. re: woodburner

                                    Hi WB-
                                    your pix look great and my question for you is whether I can smoke a brisket with the same charcoal setup. I've never smoked a brisket before and this really makes it look like a relative no-brainer. Thanks in advance.

                                    1. re: jnk

                                      Depends. You want to start with at least a 6-lb flat, if not a whole packer (12-18 lbs, flat and point). It will likey be too large to simply place on the grill without overhanging the coals below. So, if I light the fuse on the left side, I place the brisket (whole packer) on the right side of the grill, partly over the coals that will burn in the second half of the cook. After 3 hrs, slide the brisket to the left side, over the now-defunct coals, for the next three hours.

                                      At this point (6 hrs), internal temp may be 160-170 or so. It has picked up plenty of smoke. I foil and finish in the oven, running about 250 or so.

                                      MY BIGGEST TIP:
                                      How do you get the whole brisket to be tender (occurs around 200 internal), without the thin part going over temp and over-cooked, or the thick part under-cooked and tough? When the thin part gets to almost 200 internal, reduce the oven temp to 200. The thin part will not go higher than 200, but the thick part will continue to rise to 200. This will take some time... after the first 6 hrs, you want to plan for a few more for a flat or as much as 6 or even more for a full packer.

                                      Give that a try and report back!

                                      1. re: woodburner

                                        I like that tip about knocking the oven temp down to 200. The meat can't fake you out there!

                                        1. re: woodburner

                                          7a.m. on the smoker/weber, 10:45 pm out of the 200 degree oven @ 200 degrees. Letting it sit for 30 minutes and then i'm slicing this thing, vaccum packing it and ref refridgerating it until Sunday afternoon.

                                          1. re: jnk

                                            SLICED? Wait a minute -- you never said anything about slicing, did you??

                                            You take it to 200 for fall-apart pulling... I don't think it will stay togethr for slicing at that temp! You would want to take it off around 185 or so to have the firmness for slicing. Did it work out?

                                            1. re: woodburner

                                              This is the msg I left for you that ended up on the Homecooking board:
                                              It's July 5th now and the party is over. The raves for the brisket and pulled pork was worth all of the time and effort to get ithem done. The smoked pork should was a piece of cake..I cooked it on the gas grill and it was a no brainer as far as keeping the temperature constant. The brisket on the other hand I did on a 22 inch Weber Gold. Woodburner, your modified Minion worked great! I had the brisket on the grill for 1 1 hours (adding some briquets at the end) before moving it over to the oven. Both meats came out moist (mostly) with great flavor (yes I got the smoke ring on the brisket).

                                              I made the pork ahead of time. I pulled it and then vacuum sealed it and froze it for 5 days. When it came time for serving, I put the bag in a pot of hot water and it came out the same way it went in. Moist. Same thing with the brisket except in this case I did not freeze it but instead smoked it, sliced it, vacuum sealed it on the same day and 3 days later served it. Again, it tasted as if I had smoked it that day. Many thanks to all for their advice and support.

                                              1. re: jnk

                                                Congrats jnk. Remmber that the Foodsaver folks say to freeze stuff, but not to refrigerate for more thn a couple of days. I think there are anaerobic bacteria that can multiply at refrig temp but not at freezer temp. Glad it all worked!

                                                1. re: woodburner

                                                  Love the Foodsaver. I vacuum up ribs then simmer in crock pot on medium for several hours. No juices or gelatin lost. Can either freeze or refrigerate basically forever( probably could leave out in the hot sun since they're sterile) until ready for grill or smoker. Don't have to worry about bacteria or spoilage since they're still sealed after the boiling in the bag. Get nothing but raves so far & oh so easy.

                                                  1. re: kingrich

                                                    Hey! Want to make sure you realize that the "company line" on the Foodsaver (all home vac machines) is that the food needs to go into the freezer til you want to use it. They do not condone keeping even in the fridge for more than a couple of days (to defrost). Of course, no fridge is out too. The reason is anaerobic bacteria. The little guys who grow in the absence of air. Anyway, worth being aware of this.

                                          2. re: woodburner

                                            Do you have a suggestion on a rub for the brisket?

                                            1. re: theworkingstiff

                                              After driving around the Hill Country of Texas, outside Austin, where I thought the BBQ was the best in the world (Kreutz, Smitty's, Cooper's, etc), I have taken to copying what I thought they were using: My estimate is 2 parts kosher salt, 1 part rough cracked black pepper, 1/2 part granulated garlic, and a generous shake or two of cayenne. Let's the flavor of the beef shine. It takes a double recipe to cover a full brisket generously.

                                              1. re: woodburner

                                                I got the impression that the brisket rubs at some Hill Country places is nothing more than salt and pepper.

                                                1. re: tommy

                                                  That may be true, tommy. At Kreuz Market, they had some out in a clear shaker on the table, and I saw mostly salt, a good deal of pepper, and a little something sort of yellowish (which I think was garlic) and also a slight reddish tint (which I guessed cayenne, not paprika). So the ratios I use are 2 pts salt, 1 pt pepper, 1/2 pt garlic powder, and a little cayenne. Gives a good flavor. You could certainly go just S&P.

                                                  1. re: woodburner

                                                    I go 2:1 pepper to salt! But I love pepper. That's what I figure Louie Mueller is doing, and that was the best of what I had.

                                                    1. re: tommy

                                                      They had some nice pepper ribs... its all good!!!

                                          3. re: woodburner


                                            I used your fuse method as well as your rub and sauce for a smoked pork shoulder this past weekend. Absolute perfection! Thanks so much for information.

                                            1. re: mgnx

                                              That's great to hear! Onward to brisket!!!

                                        1. re: woodburner

                                          WOODBURNER---Q for you. I'm trying to understand your briquetter layout, but I must be dense. Can you elaborate as to how your laying them out.

                                          I use minion method forever, but intruiged by the no brainer aspect, as you know, folling with it on a Kettle can be a pain sometimes. TIA!!!

                                          1. re: mtomto

                                            If I may on woodburner's behalf, essentailly lay 2 briquets on the bottom grate 3/4's of the way around. Then lay one layer of briquets on top of the bottom 2 3/4's of the way around. Light up the first 4-8 with som elighter fluid. Burn the fluid off and get that pork on there.

                                            BTW - Had pork taco's last night and we still have leftovers. (I pull the whole pork but only add the mop sauce to what I intend to eat as BBQ.)

                                            1. re: angelo04

                                              That's right, it's like laying one row of "fallen dominoes" around the edge of the grate, then a second row right next to it, and a third row on top of and between the other two... the photo shows it pretty well, if you click on it and make it large. Here it is again, below.

                                              1. re: woodburner

                                                hey woodburner,amazing idea,do you soak your wood chunks+what kind do you use?

                                                1. re: woodburner

                                                  is that an 18"or 22" grill in your photo?

                                                  1. re: avguydan

                                                    22.5-in. kettle. I do not soak the wood... I use chunks from any store, typically hickory on pork, and mesquite, or a combo of the two, on beef. I find that on the Weber, when the lid is on and the top and bottom vents are open, there is still not enough airflow to allow the wood to burn in full-out flame... it will smoulder and give you the smoke. That's a key point. Same effect, by the way, and very fabulous, when you put, say, chicken pieces over a big direct charcoal fire: with lid off, you will have a grease fire burining in no time... but with lid on, vents open, your flame WILL go out in about 5-8 seconds, and the grease will sizzle and throw lots of smoke when it hits the chicken... but not incinerate it. Leave it for 10 min and get a nice char, flip for 10 more, then place it off the fire (indirect) to finish to proper internal temp.

                                                  2. re: woodburner

                                                    Thanks for that great tip, woodburner! Yesterday I tried slow cooking in my Weber for the first time and turned a perfectly good Tri-Tip into a beef flavored cinder. I couldn't keep the heat below 350 with a pile of coals on one side and the meat on the other.

                                                    Decided to get right back on the horse and try again, this time with a Pork Shoulder. Your ring / fuse layout gave me a nice slow burn with temps between 225 and 250 inside the Weber. Just about to pull the meat off to let it rest but it's sure looking good!

                                                    1. re: RedwoodGeorge

                                                      could be also that you may have used too many coals the first time out...

                                              2. re: woodburner

                                                I wanted you and everyone to know that I made pulled pork on my weber for the first time a few weeks ago. I used your method for the coals and it worked perfectly. It was really easy to control the temperature. My BBQ was fantastic. I'm making more for the holiday weekend. Thanks for your great advice!

                                                  1. re: srgoodcook

                                                    Me too! Just put it in the paperbag for it's final rest, and smoked some surplus habanero, oversized padron, and serrano peppers along side. I think I cut my time a bit though, and all three of my instant read thermomters have dead batteries.

                                                  2. re: woodburner

                                                    Glad to see this thread still active. I made Woodburner's pork shoulder today, after experimenting with the fire yesterday. It was absolutely fantastic. Never thought I could pull something like this off on a Weber.
                                                    Three tier fuse, yes. Never got to 270 even wide open, but it did burn for about 7-7.5 hours, the butt was finished in another 2.5 in the oven at 300. (9lb roast, 10 hours total cook plus one hour rest).
                                                    Soaked chunks, yes. With the trial run they were flaming out and adding a bunch of extra heat I didn't want. Soaked they smoked well. Had one small bit left after the cook.
                                                    For roasing I used an aluminum turkey pan, with a small drip pan inverted underneath with some holes in it to keep it from sitting in the renderings.
                                                    Excellent technique! Thank you!

                                                    1. re: tempeViking

                                                      Glad it worked out. One curious thing in your post: Dry wood chunks should not be flaming out on the kettle, even with the bottom and top vents wide open. There should not be enough air flow for open flame. It should simply smoulder the wood and generate smoke. It will flame if the lid is off...

                                                      Also, sounds like you placed the butt down low on the foil pans, rather than on the grill grate... why was that?

                                                      1. re: woodburner

                                                        This thread is still pinging my inbox, it's a great technique! For some reason I missed your question before.

                                                        I did it this way because the dome temperature is typically warmer than other places on the grill. It also keeps the roast closer to the water. I've done it both ways since then and I still like the inverted aluminum pan, inside a larger pan the best. Plus it's easy to get the roast to the table for pulling!

                                                        BTW, I still soak the wood chunks too. I may be paranoid now but the affect I described was what happened. With the dome in place, it would flame out and raise the dome temperature by a noticeable margin. Soaked no problem, just smolder and smoke.

                                                    2. re: woodburner

                                                      Woodburner - Great idea. I'll definitely be giving it a try.

                                                      To those discussing wood chips -
                                                      I've never done it, but the other day I saw a "BBQ expert" on tv who said he likes to use unseasoned / "green" wood instead of dried or soaked.
                                                      His preference was apple that's been recently cut from the tree.

                                                      1. re: woodburner

                                                        I've used the 2 side pan method before but I'm anxious to try the fuse method. I have the Weber 22 Gold. Can you elaborate on the finish time? You say you foil & finish in the oven. Does that mean you cover in foil? How much longer do you cook in the oven & at what temp? If I want to finish on grill do I continue with another 3/4 fuse? Again how much longer? I plan on doing 2 pork butts. Is that okay for 1 grill or too much?

                                                        1. re: cak22

                                                          I buy 2 butts at Sam's or Restaurant Depot, about 12-16 lbs total, and they "just" fit on the 22-in Weber without overlapping the fuse directly (maybe just a smidge). I go about 6 hrs on the fuse, then finish for about 6 more hours in the oven, foiled shut, at maybe 225 or so, til they hit 200. I like to drop the oven to 200 then, and just hold for an hour or two. That allows ALL parts of the butt to hit 200, but not go higher. Point being: If my thermo reads 200 where I happened to insert it, it may be higher or lower at other points. You can stick it full of holes to find out, or just "hold" at 200 once it gets close. Then, the whole thing is at 200 even, and it pulls like buttah!

                                                          1. re: woodburner

                                                            All I can say is OMG!!! The fuse method, apple wood & foil and finish in the oven came out better than I've ever done. And don't even mention the NC sauce...HUGE hit. My 7 year old daughter who is a picky eater (eats hot dogs plain) LOVES it. Thanks for the info. Big success at the BBQ. All I need now is a great cole slaw recipe. Got some good store bought but homemade would be the icing on the pig. Thanks again.

                                                        2. re: woodburner

                                                          Woodburner, this is a great setup. I will be doing this tomorrow - but problem is i dont have any wood chips. I dont have time if the process will take 10-12 hours to get tender. I have a couple or so questions.

                                                          1. In the absence of wood chips can i do something else to get smokey flavor?
                                                          2. Is there something I could do using apple cider vinegar in the drip pan ?
                                                          3. How tender would you say the meat would be after 6 hours of grilling?
                                                          4. Of course having wood chips is preferred but can this be a good meal even if using typical grilling method with over the counter sauces?

                                                          Thanks alot for your good information from 2009.


                                                          1. re: tshayne

                                                            tshayne: You perplex me!

                                                            First, let's be clear about grilling and BBQ. Grilling is hot and directly over the fire, BBQ is low temp and indirect -- not over the fire. If you grill a pork butt, you will not have good eats. You'll have charcoal for dinner.

                                                            I use wood chunks, unsoaked. They sit atop charcoal and, when the Weber is covered with all vents open, they smolder nicely. Wood chips burn up too quickly. If you dont have chunks, get some. Fruitwood, hickory, oak, whatever you like.

                                                            People put all sorts of stuff in the drip pan... apple juce, wine, don't know about the cider vinegar. They use that for a mop during cooking. I use nothing during cooking, but add a cider-based sauce after pulling. Go ahead and experiment.

                                                            Now, the big issue: If you do a bone-in butt or two at 225, IMHE it will take 10-12 hours to get to 200 internal, which is good for pulling. If you smoke at a higher temp or use the over, at maybe 300, it will take several hours less. If you foil, it will go faster. But oven and/or foil will not give you smoke. If you use boneless butt, that would go faster, too. And if you want to get to a good slicing point, you only need to reach about 185 internal.

                                                            So if you have six hours, look for boneless butt, run a higher temp, foil after 4 hours, and be prepared to eat a sliced roast rather than pulled pork, if it doesn't get up to pulling temp.

                                                            1. re: woodburner

                                                              Woodburner, yeah, my use of terminology was poor. I certainly know the difference between direct and indirect methods. I use them all the time. It was the fuse that was really cool and I don't usually smoke.But the setup is in it's 2nd hour and the good news you gave me was that 6 hours should suffice for decent slicing pork. I purchased boneless country pork shoulder. Already slices that are about 8 inches long and about 3 to 4 inches thick. I put a nice rub on them for over 12 hours.

                                                              Problem is the space on my 20 inch weber is forced me to put some of the meet on the last 1/2 of the fuse towards from the start of burn point.

                                                              Can I stack the meat on top of each other? I imagine it would slow down the process a bit but for now I was planning to move the meat to other side once the fuse makes it 1/2 way.

                                                              Also, how often can I get away with pulling the lid off to inspect and move meat based on my lack of space? I guess I got about 12 to 14 lbs of meat on

                                                              But I did have some hardwood mesiquite which I'm using at the points you specified in the earl 1/2 of the fuse. Smelling quite nice.

                                                              Thanks alot on the 4th and Happy 4th Of July to you and the rest of us chow hounds.


                                                              1. re: tshayne

                                                                Stacking will slow it, and reduce smoke surface... just try to keep it closed, wait a few hours, then move the meat to the first half side of the burn. GL

                                                                1. re: woodburner


                                                                  I didn't remove the cover for about 4 hours cook time. The meat was blackened but not ruined at all and in some places the color was good and the level of doneness was of course cooked through and sliced nicely. I did wrap it in tinfoil and then let the remaining fuse cookf for another couple of hours. The rub I used went well with the sauce recipe you mentioned in a previous post that was apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, kosher salt, ketchup and crushed pepper flakes and water.

                                                                  I'm from Smithfield / Clayton NC area but raised in California. I always want to make the same sauce used at BBQ its with the cole slaw, hush puppies and sweet ice tea. Love it. Thanks again for the great technique for smoking meat on my weber. It was much easier than I previously thought.

                                                                  It was a successful Pork Shoulder / boneless / slice.


                                                                  1. re: tshayne

                                                                    Yes, you will get a blackened "bark" on your pork...delicious, huh? Glad it was a hit.

                                                          2. re: woodburner

                                                            This method is genius! Thanks! After some noodling around with the vents, it held my Weber at 210-225 for 8 hours! Previously I had been adding a few coals every 30 minutes. This was hands down the best method I've used in 25 years of BBQ. Thanks again!!!

                                                            1. re: woodburner

                                                              If you limit the amount of air coming into the smoker you can run a "minnion method" cook
                                                              Jim Minnon discovered he could pile the charcoal in the smoker and by adding just a few live coals he could make the fire last all night
                                                              We used this method back when we cooked on a Weber we now use precision pellet fired cookers on the competition bbq curcuit
                                                              Just add a few chunks of your favorite smoking wood and enjoy about 1.5 hours per pound later

                                                              1. re: woodburner

                                                                I'm planning on doing a 8-10lb butt. I have a 18" old smokey. Would the fuse still work? Do I still use the 3 layers or since it's smaller use 2? Thanks

                                                                1. re: Steelstring

                                                                  Wow... can you even FIT a 10-lb butt on an 18-in grill and still do indirect heat, either on one side or around the perimeter? That's your issue -- keeping the heat from hitting the underside of the butt directly. The fuse will probably take up too much real estate to fit the meat in the middle and not get singed. You could probably do a small pile of coals on one side, and replenish every hour or so. More time consuming. If you did try the fuse, I would go with the smaller volume of charcoal.

                                                                2. re: woodburner

                                                                  Thanks Woodburner... I used this method yesterday to cook up two racks of baby backs. I brined 'em for an hour the night before, then rubbed 'em and refrigerated overnight. I then set up my kettle with charcoal as you've shown and added a few chunks of hickory... got the first coals going, tossed on the ribs, and a few hours and only a couple of vent adjustments later, I had some amazing ribs! With a couple of outstanding exceptions, they were as good as anything I've gotten from a BBQ joint, which is a godsend in the Q black hole here in Salem. Oregon. Thanks!

                                                                  1. re: matth9

                                                                    I love it when a plan comes together! Happy 4th. all.

                                                                    1. re: matth9

                                                                      How long did you do the Ribs for? I've used this method on 4 racks for about 6-7 hours and they get rave reviews.

                                                                      1. re: angelo04

                                                                        I only had these on for a touch over 3 hours, temp average was probably 260, but rose as high as 275. I was going to keep it at about 225, but I was in a bit of a time crunch. They still came out amazing though, which I suspect was helped by the brining.

                                                                    2. re: woodburner

                                                                      Hi woodburner are the 3 pieces (of wood) in your picture all the wood you use for the entire cook?

                                                                      1. re: JackPine

                                                                        Hey. Yeah, I find for butts and briskets that between the charcoal and about three or four good sized chunks of wood, I get plenty of smoke. I like the hickory on pork and the mesquite on beef.

                                                                        1. re: woodburner

                                                                          Thank you I will keep that in mind! Your posts have been very helpful.

                                                                      2. re: woodburner

                                                                        Wonder if you're still watching this... I used your fuse method today to do two ~9lb shoulders on my 22" Weber. It worked really well - had a steady 225-240 burn for about five hours; after that I just kept adding charcoal (pre-lit in my chimney starter) to keep the heat up. I didn't allot enough time, though - I started the fire at 4:15 AM, put the pork on the grill at about 4:30. The larger was up to about 178 by 4:30 PM (!!); at that point I pulled the smaller off, pulled it as best I could, and we ate dinner. Don't get me wrong: it was _delicious_ and perfectly moist and tender, but could have been more broken-down for pulling. I left the larger shoulder on for another three hours or so, then took it off and broke it down as well. Next time I'll light the fuse at midnight, hit the hay and wake up at six to babysit.

                                                                        All in all, though, this is a great technique. I used your rub and sauce recipes as well, and everything was a huge hit. This is my first foray into smoking on the Weber, and I can't wait to try some other things. Visions of ribs, brisket, sausage.... *droool*


                                                                        1. re: spyguitar

                                                                          Forgot some photos: 4:30 AM (fire just lit), 10:15 AM, and 1:30 PM. Got a _beautiful_ bark and smoke ring.

                                                                          1. re: spyguitar

                                                                            Hi Spy- What you did was pull the butt of during the "stall" which can last for a couple of hours. Once it gets through the stall the cook goes pretty quickly. As woodburner said, you can take the butt off at that point, wrap it in aluminum fol and finish it in the oven. You get through the stall more quickly but you also tend to lose some or most of the crunchy bark due to the steam. I'm putting 2 butts on around 3:30 this afternoon and figure they'll be done (all on the smoker) around 7:00 a.m. tomorrow (it's pretty cold outside).

                                                                          2. re: spyguitar

                                                                            Glad it worked out. After the 5-6 hrs with smoke, I usually finish in the oven, wrapped in foil, at 250 to 300... will finish quicker then. Mine go about 12 hrs total.

                                                                        2. Lots of great advice here, reflecting pretty much the way I've done it for years in my Weber. I have to agree that hickory is a bit too intense for a good pork butt. I have had great luck with Apple or Cherry wood, Alder, and Pecan wood...individually or in any combo and sometimes with a touch of mesquite thrown in. But by and large, you cant go wrong with any of the fruit woods

                                                                          1. Hmm- not much to add, just that apple wood smoke + pork>>> hickory+ pork. Hickory is good for beef, or Chicken that isn't on as long.

                                                                            Weber also makes a grill with a hinged portion for adding more charcoal/wood chunks easily:


                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: wallyz

                                                                              Nothing against apple wood, but when you say that hickory isn't good for pork, you're running up against a century or so worth of BBQ chefs in NC who would say otherwise.

                                                                              1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                When I smoke butts or ham, I use2x as much apple as I use hickory. Hickory has a very strong flavor and the apple not so much. I find it's a good combination.

                                                                            2. going to try this out this weekend - anyone with more recent experiences?

                                                                              i am going to try using the "fuse" method, hope i can pull it off!

                                                                              edit: also, would this work using Trader Joe's lump charcoal??

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: wahoooob

                                                                                I posted the fuse approach above, but I would not try it with lump. In order to stay lit, there has to be good contact between coals. Lump would work if you had a really big, thick fuse, but you don't want that to maintain the low temp. The lump is too irregular to ensure a smooth burn. The briquettes, when set up like fallen dominoes, provides the contact you need. Also the briquettes burn cooler and longer, IMO. Lump is great for steaks and burgers -- high heat -- but not BBQ on a Weber kettle. good luck.

                                                                                1. re: wahoooob

                                                                                  The fuse method won't work with lump, but other variations of the Minion Method (Google it) will. Get yourself a couple of fire bricks, and put them on their sides to cordon off about 1/3 of your charcoal grate (they don't have to go end-to-end -- stagger them). Fill that 1/3 with your UNLIT coals. Then add 6-8 lit coals across the top of the pile. You will want to fill this thing up pretty high with unlit coals if you're going to do a butt.

                                                                                  1. re: wahoooob

                                                                                    any good quality charcoal works
                                                                                    I found Traders a lil hard to light

                                                                                  2. I've scanned most of the replies here and I THINK that these comments will add to the discussion (apologies if I repeat).

                                                                                    About briquets versus lump, I find that lump can burn a long time with the proper air regulation, but it is playing to the strength of briquets to use them in longer cooking (I look for certain brands of USA produced briquets; have not generally used Kingford, but rather Royal Oak).

                                                                                    About temperature: I strongly encourage you to use (buy, if necessary) a remote probe thermometer, which I stick through an upper vent in my grill to let me eyeball the temp easily without opening the kettle. You can use the alarm function to tell you if the temp goes to high (over 260, say) and it allows you to keep that space contained and controlled.

                                                                                    About wood: I advocate using a larger chunk of wood at least the size of a golfball (I cut from a cherry log). I don't soak it at all. I just put one in with the hot coals and lay another into some adjacent unfired charcoal that will eventually be ignited by the initial hot pile. I've kept a grill at pretty constant 250 this way for 4-5 hours, at which time I generally transfer everything to the oven to finish in foil.

                                                                                    Good luck!

                                                                                    16 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                      Not sure what youre trying to say, but lump burns faster than charcoal no matter what you do--unless youve discovered a secret the rest of the world doesnt know.

                                                                                      Faster and hotter matter of fact.

                                                                                      1. re: mtomto

                                                                                        I didn't burn lump for 4-5 hours, just to clarify: that was briquets. Lump charcoal does burn faster, sure, but its tempo is slower when the air is restricted.

                                                                                        1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                          i use a big steel keg - a kamado style cooker - and i have gone long with lump - and have heard of people dong full day + burns using lump

                                                                                          1. re: thew

                                                                                            I'm not surprised. That style of cooker is supposed to be much better than a kettle for exact regulation of airflow, which is where it's at for long burning.

                                                                                      2. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                        Good comments, Bada. I agree with all of it. I also use chunks, not chips. And I have a couple of old kettles with the thermometers in the dome handle... have drilled replacement thermos into the newer lids, as well.

                                                                                        1. re: woodburner

                                                                                          Woodburner- I just tried "the fuse" for the first time on an 18" Weber with a 8.5 lb shoulder. The fuse burned through in 7 hours and then the shoulder went in the oven at 250 degrees until I achieved an internal temp of about 195 degrees. The results are astounding. Great method! Thanks!

                                                                                          1. re: yevrap

                                                                                            Woodburner - I also tried the fuse for the first time, but did spareribs instead. They came out great! Thanks from me too.

                                                                                            Yevrap - About how long was your shoulder in the oven?

                                                                                              1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                Woodburner- I've done two butts now with great results. Any advise on how to utilize the fuse to do a couple of slabs of baby back ribs? My typical technique has been to put the coals and hickory on one side of the grill (as Weber recommends) and the ribs on the other for two or so hours. While these ribs have always been good, they are not as moist and "fall off the bone" as I would like them to be. Thanks for any insight you may be able to provide.

                                                                                                1. re: yevrap

                                                                                                  I love babybacks. I make 2 small fires on either side, then use a rack in between, so the ribs are totally indirect (ribs would overhang the fuse). For me, they take 2.5 to 3 hours, never more, so I think you may be taking them off too early. They will not fall off the bone (like steamed ribs), but "tug" off the bone. Remove the membrane, go dry rub, and sauce for the last 15 minutes to glaze, but not burn. the small fires should keep a 250 dome temp. Use wood chunks, unsoaked, better than chips, and cover with top and bottom vents open. You'll have to replenish about 6 coals per side every 45 min. or so, but only for 3 hrs.

                                                                                                  1. re: yevrap

                                                                                                    you want "fall off the bone" ribs just over cook them
                                                                                                    Thats why the fall off the bone

                                                                                                    1. re: Thom E

                                                                                                      Or conversely, if you want chewy ribs that _don't _fall off the bone, just undercook them. That's why they're chewy.
                                                                                                      Different strokes... ;-)

                                                                                              2. re: yevrap

                                                                                                For timing purposes, what was its temperature when you took it out, and how long did you have it in the oven? Many thanks!

                                                                                                1. re: Spot

                                                                                                  For pork butts, run the fuse for about 6 hrs at 225 in the weber, then foil closed and run in the ovn at 225 for another 6 or so, until the internal meat temp is 200. THEN, reduce oven to 200 and hold for an hour or two... this will ensue that all the meat comes up to the 200, wthout exceeding. Sometimes you need to wrap in a towel and hold for hours more in a cooler... the temp will fall slowly.

                                                                                              3. re: woodburner

                                                                                                You actually drill a hole through the handle and the dome? I guess that would be a way to keep the probe tip from going too deep into the kettle itself, which sounds good. Cooks Illustrated recently rated some bbq thermometers and liked a Polder model. Hmmmm.

                                                                                                1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                                  Not like the factory installation. I just drill a hole through the dome, not far from the handle, and use a gas grill replacement thermo... a simple dial gauge with threading and a probe that sticks out about an inch.

                                                                                            1. This is my favorite thread. I am now hankering for some Yankee made bbq!

                                                                                              1. Fantastic! Your method worked great, burned for 10 hours or so and added a little more charcoal to get me through 12 hrs.. The brisket is well wrapped and in the oven @ 215 degrees. Current interior temp is 185. Oh so close.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: jnk

                                                                                                  Woodburner im smoking my first pork shoulder tommorow and will be using your method thanks for all the help and Happy 4th to everyone.

                                                                                                  1. re: TheMattShuffle

                                                                                                    Followed Woodburner's directions and had a great Boston Butt for the World Cup. I lit the ring at 0330 and went to bed. Got up at 0930 and my temp inside the kettle vent was 340 degrees and the Butt temped at 180 degrees. Wrapped the butt in foil and sent it to the oven for 3 hours at 250 degrees. Butt temped at 205 degrees. Let rest for an hour, pulled and sauced and it was a GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL for my pork. Thank you all for this great thread.

                                                                                                2. Looking for some guidance here. All I have is a gas grill. Can I still pull this off? I realize this is pulled pork blasphemy, but I have to use what I have...

                                                                                                  1. See this post = http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6086...

                                                                                                    Woodburner is THE expert. Page down for his tips.

                                                                                                    Good luck!!

                                                                                                    1. woodburner,

                                                                                                      I would like to attempt your method this weekend for a couple Boston butts, but I have a 27" Weber Kettle. Any issues you see or modifications I should make?

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: thronus

                                                                                                        Good question. I got one a couple of months ago, and I've noticed two things.

                                                                                                        First, the same amount of charcoal in the fuse burns cooler in the larger cooking chamber. Think of adding a fourth row of charcoal to the original three (I add mine against the wall of the cooker, if that makes sense).

                                                                                                        Second, you can build a longer fuse and get a longer burn. I got usually about 5-6 hours in the 22-in., and I think I can get about 8 hours or so in the 27-in.

                                                                                                        Also, you can squeeze a full foil pan, or two halfs, within the fuse on the big cooker, which is ideal. Very little room for fat to drip outside the pans.

                                                                                                        Life is good.

                                                                                                        1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                          Awesome! - thanks for the advice. Can't wait to try it out this weekend!


                                                                                                          1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                            Hi Woodburner-I too owe you my thanks, because of you I started on my Weber 22 last year and now I've gotten myself a WSM 22! The fun never stops. Thanks again for all of you advice and info.

                                                                                                        2. Hey Woodburner. This is one of my favorite threads. I know it is years old. I am fairly competent know with a pork butt thanks to the info you gave me. Wanted to let you know that I did three racks of baby backs using this Wick method. They were a huge hit. I would say I went about 5 hours. Both Kids and adults couldn't get enough.

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: angelo04

                                                                                                            HaHa Angelo! Always fun to see the same people from links over the years. I'm really glad that you get good results on the kettle. It's a great contraption. On the 22-in, I don't use the fuse because it tends to burn the ends of the racks. I do two small fires on the sides and use a weber rack in the middle, and just add a handful of coals every hour or so. I go about 3 hrs on baby backs and 4-5 on spares. The larger 27 in is awesome... you can do a lot with the fuse around the edge.

                                                                                                            Every do a WHOLE RIB ROAST? 7-rib, bone out, from Sam's. About 14-17 lbs. Hit it hard with K salt, coarse black pepper, some cayenne and rosemary. Right in the middle of the 22-in weber, over the drip tray, with medium-large fires in the baskets on the sides. Run the cooker around 325 to 350 at the dome. About 3 to 3.5 hrs til you get to 125 in the center. You can foil and hold for quite a while and it will come up to med on the ends and med rare in the center. Nothing better. Actually, one thing better. This HORSERADISH SAUCE. Do it exactly. It will blow you mind... I promise.

                                                                                                            16 oz sour cream
                                                                                                            Jar of Gold's prepared horseradish (drained well)
                                                                                                            2 T mayo
                                                                                                            Small jar whole grain mustard
                                                                                                            lemon zest and juice of half lemon
                                                                                                            a few shakes of worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                            a few shakes of Tabasco

                                                                                                            Let me know how that goes!!

                                                                                                            1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                              SO funny you should mention a rib roast. It is on my short list. Made my first rib roast this past Christmas inside and it rocked. I said to myself this would be even better on the weber slow smoked. I will give it a go and let you know.

                                                                                                              1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                And I relaize we are talking slow and low cooking here but I have to pay you back for the knowledge you shared. And while I didn't come up with this recipe, next time you are looking for a great thing to grill, checkout this recipe. We served these yesterday and the crowd was quite pleased.


                                                                                                                1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                  Here is a pic. Not sure if it does the result justice but there was a good pink smoke ring!

                                                                                                                  1. re: angelo04

                                                                                                                    Good lookin rib. Thanks for the kabob link. Nice combo with the bread and bacon. Best croutons ever lol...

                                                                                                              2. Woodburner...question for you. I am cooking a 10-12 pound brisket on my 22" Weber this weekend, and because of a hectic schedule, I only have time to do this at night! So I am lighting my fuse around 8:30pm, putting the brisket on around 9:30 or 10 (depending on the temp being ready), planning to check on it a couple times in the night, and pulling it off when I wake up around 8ish.

                                                                                                                What's the best way to handle it at that point? I assume pulling it off and foiling it, but what should I do to make sure it's ready to slice for dinner at 3pm?


                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Phunnyfarm

                                                                                                                  Fuse setup on a 22-in Weber will only last about 6 hrs max. 10-12 lb brisket sounds like a small, whole packer... gonna take about 12 hrs to cook. Dinner at 3 pm.

                                                                                                                  OK. I would do this: Put it in the smoker at 12 midnight. Do a good job of placing the "fuse" charcoal briquettes so they touch and burn all around, and then don't check it. Sleep from 12 to about 5 am. Get up and see that the fuse is almost finished, and the brisket is at about 160 internal. Then HD foil it up snug, put it on a pan, and into the oven at 250 til it reaches 200 internal temp. That will occur around 12 noon, I think. If it moves up quickly, lower the oven to 225. When it approaches 200 internal, lower the oven to 200! Then "hold" it at 200 for an hour or two -- this will help the point get up to 200, while the flat is already at 200. In any case, pull it out around 1:00. You might want to open it up and drain some liquid out, close up and place into a cooler for the last couple of hours. Slice at 3:00.

                                                                                                                  1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                    Maybe Minion would be preferable to a fuse setup in this case? I can get a good 6-8 hours of burn with a Minion setup in my kettle. Controlling temps is a little more difficult, but certainly not impossible, so long as the ash sweep/vent blocks enough air. While that's still not enough time, most likely, adding fuel would be much easier.

                                                                                                                    Only thing is, I'd be a little nervous doing an overnight on the kettle. I'll sleep like a baby while my WSM is cooking away, but I've had my kettle temps run away on me before (granted, that was because a newbie and couldn't stop myself from opening the damn lid every half hour).

                                                                                                                    1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                      Thanks woodburner!

                                                                                                                      So here's a contingency question...if I wake up, and there's still a few hours of coals left to burn (and temp is right where I want it), do I still take it off to foil and oven finish? Or do you think it's better to just leave it on the grill?

                                                                                                                      1. re: Phunnyfarm

                                                                                                                        I would stay with the coals til they are burning out. You should not get more than 5-6 hrs this way anyway.

                                                                                                                  2. I used the method woodburner posted about in this thread earlier this week to bbq a pork butt and it turned out great. I couldn't recall the exact temperature range to keep it at (forgot to write it down) and I wasnt' around internet access so I ended up cooking it a bit hotter than ideal but I was also amazed how the ring method kept consistent heat and how I didn't have to add fuel. I will definitely be trying to bbq/smoke other items with this method. Thanks!

                                                                                                                    1. 5lb butt is currently 4 hours in on woodburner's method, for my first ever pulled pork in the Weber... let's see how this turns out! Challenge has been keeping the temperature down... think next time I may try a two-briquette-layer fuse instead of the triangular three for a slower, lower burn. I'm using Trader Joes hardwoord briquettes - they do burn hot in my experience. With bottom vents fully closed I'm running a steady 250 now but even a hair open and it spikes to 300 in about 10 minutes. Thanks for the tips all, I'll follow up when this one's done,

                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: greysky73

                                                                                                                        OK, it turned out GREAT. 7 1/2 hours of cook time produced a stupidly tender, moist, flavorful beauty that everyone went crazy about. Also that wasn't even the end of the 'fuse' - reckon I could have pushed it another two hours which would not have hurt at all, maybe longer had I figured out the venting earlier to keep the temp consistently at or below 250. Here's one trick I added, a simple variation on tossing a foil pack of smoking chips on the coals: I used hickory chips rolled into two curved, aluminum foil 'sausages' with some holes poked in them, which I placed around the back side of the first half of the fuse. These produced a really good, consistent smoke for the first three hours with no flare-ups. Still, the fuse setup itself was the key to this roaring success. Thanks woodburner!

                                                                                                                        1. re: greysky73

                                                                                                                          cool. another happy customer. and a wood chip sausage, no less!

                                                                                                                          1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                            Hi Woodburner,
                                                                                                                            thank you very much for explaining this technique. I did a 6.5# pork butt on my Weber 22.5 kettle and the results were terrific. Great bark, moist, smoky meat. Dressed with sauce I bought from Wilber's Barbeque in Goldsboro, it was a real winner.

                                                                                                                            I was amazed at how stable the the temperature was. Maybe because outside temps were in the 70s, the kettle stayed at around 225 for 8 hours. Not surprisingly, I wanted to do it "old school" so I did all the cooking on the Weber. It took about 17 hours and I ended up preparing a little over two fuses or slightly over 100 Kingsford briquettes.

                                                                                                                            My question for you is why the fuse only goes 3/4 of the way around instead of all the way around. Is it because the kettle temp would end up too high?

                                                                                                                            thanks for your help.

                                                                                                                            1. re: OldSchool

                                                                                                                              Hey OldSchool. Sorry I just saw this now... hope you're still there! For me its a question of squeezing in the foil half pan to catch the drippings. Couldn't do that if I went all the way around. Nothing wrong with doing it, though. Sometimes, when I want to finish on the Weber, I just add coals every 45 min or so at the end of the fuse, under the right-hand grate hinge (rather than re-set a new fuse).

                                                                                                                              1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                Thank you for your response. What do you use the drippings for?

                                                                                                                                I subsequently did an 8# pork butt that took 23 hours. That was a little too old school, even for me!

                                                                                                                                1. re: OldSchool

                                                                                                                                  just dont want to scrape the fat out of the kettle and the ash catcher!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                    What, you don't use that to make soap??

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                      I like putting baked beans under the pork butt(s). Makes a delicious drip pan.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bagofwater

                                                                                                                                        True... to an extent. A couple of butts can throw off nice juice but also a ton of fat... more than I would want in a pan of beans.

                                                                                                                      2. I have a Big Green Egg so charcoal loads aren't a problem for me now since I can go 24 hours but I started doing Pulled Pork on a grill similar to a weber and I did the CI method of smoking the pork for 3-4 hours and than wrapping in foil and finishing in the oven since they said the pork takes all the smoke it can in 3-4 hours and the oven is easier to regulate temp now I don't have that problem and can do 24 hour if needed but low and slow is amazing either way oven or grill.

                                                                                                                        1. Sadly I did not do a pork butt or shoulder this summer. I have been on a Baby back Rib kick. I did 3 racks this weekend and dare I say that the leftovers reheated the next day were better than fresh off the grill? Not that they were bad off the grill, they were really really good, just even better the next day reheated. They went for about 6 hours using the good old wick that woodburner taught us.

                                                                                                                          1. This is just the thread I'm looking for! I did my first pork shoulder in an Old Smokey last week and was not happy. Yet another Old Smokey fail. Anyway, I wanted to do another one for the first friday of March Madness in a week on my Weber. I do have a couple of questions though...

                                                                                                                            1. If using a boneless shoulder and a digital probe for constantly monitoring, couldn't I just get the shoulder to 195, wrap it in foil and a towel, place it in a cooler for thirty minutes, and then shred it? I'm guessing the finishing in the oven is more necessary for bone-in?

                                                                                                                            2. With a boneless shoulder, I'm guessing about 5 hours if I can keep the temp around 250. Sound about right?

                                                                                                                            16 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                              You can keep it wrapped in a cooler for hours. In fact I'd wait more than 30 minutes. You'd be lucky to be able to time it down to 30 minutes anyway. Shoot to finish it 3 hours before you want to serve it. You can certainly finish in the oven.

                                                                                                                              1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                                I've heard your recommended storage being called a faux cambro ... I do the same thing with my brisket and after sitting it in until I'm ready to serve [1-2 hours], it slices better.

                                                                                                                                1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                                  I finish my boneless shoulders in the oven regardless. I smoke for four hours at about 200-225, then another four hours in the oven so I don't lose all the juice.

                                                                                                                                  I don't think 5 hours will be nearly enough. I'd go closer to 12 at that temp.

                                                                                                                                  If I want smoked pork butt for lunch, I start the night before.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                    Yeah, depending on the size, I've found that starting the night before, no matter how painful, is the only way to go. If you're doing a 3 pound boneless you can probably get away with starting at 6 am and finishing in the oven for a meal at noon. But it also depends on the temp. I have a stoker, so I feel confident going to bed at 11 and waking up at 8 knowing the butt will be finishing up.

                                                                                                                                    I've lost many nights of sleep. What we do for Q!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: tommy

                                                                                                                                      What's the weight of the shoulder? you'll still need about 8-10 hrs minimum. BTW, why did the other one fail? What was wrong?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                        I was planning on doing a boneless shoulder somewhere in the 3-4.5 lb range. I actually didn't manage to do it because I had too much work to do at the office that day to take it off. Alas...

                                                                                                                                        However, there's always the weekend of the Final Four! So, next weekend, weather permitting, I'll give it a shot. I'll start it in the morning with hopes of having it available for dinner.

                                                                                                                                        I had two issues with the Old Smokey. The first was my fault. I had it at 182 and thought I could manage a quick run to the grocery store. When I got back it was 205. Not sure that is too big a deal, but from what I've read on various BBQ forums, 195 is the magic temp at which it really needs to come off the heat. Maybe it was a result of this, but my pork was a little drier than I had hoped, though certainly still quite edible. My other issue was that it wasn't smokey enough. Maybe I just need to put more wood chips on the metal smoking pan, but I've read comments from a few folks on BBQ forums who have dabbled with the Old Smoey electric and have found it to produce a less desirable smoky flavor than a traditional smoker. Also, the lack of bark, no smoke ring, and the "washing off" of any rub due to the moist internal cooking environment of the Old Smokey.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                                          I understand your issues with the electric. You'll get what you want with charcoal and wood.

                                                                                                                                          Most butts/shoulder cuts are pretty forgiving. 205 internal should not have been a big issue... should not have dried out significantly. Try bone-in butts for better flavor and moisture. If you have boneless, keep it well tied together -- don't let it open up in the smoker... it could dry out more that way. 3-4 lbs is a small cut, also. Better results with a bigger hunk. Full butt around 6+ lbs. That smaller piece could get done in 5-8 hrs, as you initially suggested. Full butt, somewhere in 8-12.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                            Alright!! It's the big moment...just put a half picnic shoulder, bone-in, on the grill. Put the rub on last night, did a light mopping with Woodburner's sauce, and the the lid is now closed. Thermometers are in place, smoke is coming out, I'm guessing in eight hours, I'll see some results. Fingers are crossed :)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                                                  Remember, it's not the internal temp that tells you when the butt is done, rather it's how tender it is when you stick a probe into different spots. The probe should go in as if it were butter. Hope you enjoy.enjoyed the fruits of your labor.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jnk

                                                                                                                                                    Alright. I'm trying this again today. Currently I have an 8 lb, bone-in shoulder on the grill. It's been cooking since 9:45 this morning (a little over four hours now) and is right at 149 internal. I've been able to maintain a grill temp of between 225 and 250 for most of the afternoon, with the temp generally around 235. Hoping to have it done for a party tonight around 6:30. I feel much more confident this time around. Last time I had a major snag, and it's worth pointing out...

                                                                                                                                                    I laid out the coals incorrectly last time. I lad them out flat, end to end, in the same configuration as was on Woodburner's photo. That is NOT the eright way to do this. The analogy to dominoes is perfect. The coals need to be slumped against each other, otherwise they don't catch. I learned this the hard way. After about 90 minutes last week the fuse just wouldn't stay lit. The result was an afternoon of adding coals by guesswork with many large spikes in temp and a dome temp that frequently exceeded 300. The meat wasn't bad, but it was tougher than I wanted. This time, fuse laid out correctly and things seem to be going well. The vent controls on my ancient weber rusted off years ago, so I've been using pieces of aluminum foil inserted into the holes to control temp, which has worked fine. Like I said, so far, so good, and much better than two weeks ago. Here's hoping it keeps running smoothly.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                                                      Sorry if i am misunderstanding your post, but "Woodburner"s pictured lay out is not flat and works perfectly. The picture shows them clearly overlapping.
                                                                                                                                                      If you were just saying that you laid them out incorrectly then, never mind (- ;

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                                                        So Crunch you have an 8-lb butt and want to get it done in 8 hrs. If that's true, I think you're gonna have to speed it up with a little higher temp. At the 225-250, that sucker could take 10 or 12 hours. If you get the dome up to 275-300 (by adding another layer of coals across the top of the fuse, and by keeping the vent holes wide open), you might make it. In order for the pork to be tender, its gonna need to get to about 200 internal. If it only gets to 180, it will be sliceable but not pullable. If you get there early (dobutful), then just pull it off, foil it and wrap in towels in a cooler. It will hold for hours like that. But you must get to 200 degrees first.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                          chefj - I was just saying I laid them out incorrectly. In my excitement to smoke the pork, I probably should have consulted the photo one more time before laying them out. However, this time, I laid them out correctly and it worked like a charm.

                                                                                                                                                          woodburner - It wasn't a Boston butt, but instead a picnic cut. I kept the dome around 235-250 and it took around 6 hours to get to 165. I then took it off and finished it in the oven at 250 and had it at 195 in a couple more hours, at which point I pulled it out and let it rest in a cooler until ready to shred. All in all, it came out pretty damn terrific. I also smoked a chicken, which I shredded after putting out the platter of shredded pork. When I got done with the chicken and set it out on the table, the pork tray was nearly empty! It was like a feeding frenzy. I was very pleased with the tenderness, the moistness, and the smokiness and as I mentioned before, it drew raves from my guests. It even had a solid centimeter or so of nice red smoke ring. Thanks so much for your input in this thread. I plan on continuing to use this method in the future for turning out fairly hassle-free and quite tasty BBQ pork.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                                                            That was what I was not sure of, and having used "woodburners" post as my guide had awesome results and couldn't let it be disparaged . ( - :

                                                                                                                                      2. All,

                                                                                                                                        Though I am a dedicated BBQ eater, I have always been too intimidated to try low 'n' slow BBQ at home, not to mention I don't have the space for a dedicated smoker. So I purchased and tried the much-praised Smokenator, which is simply a piece of 18 gauge stainless steel bent at a 90 degree angle with two holes and space for a water pan, that goes inside your regular 22 inch Weber grill.

                                                                                                                                        All I can say is WOW! It worked exactly as advertised. Yesterday I tried it for the first time and did a rack of baby backs (though the directions recommend doing a "dry run" with no meat, the first time around). They came out beautifully moist, tender, flavorful with a deep smoke ring throughout, just like 'Q is supposed to taste.

                                                                                                                                        What amazes me is how scienced-out the whole thing is. It was so easy and fuss-free to maintain a constant 225 degree temperate for a bit more than 4 hours without having to add more fuel. I smoked the ribs with water in the pan for the first two hours, wrapped the ribs tightly for the third hour, and then unwrapped for the final hour, at which time I did NOT add water to the pan, to allow a bit more dry air to get the bark the way I wanted it.

                                                                                                                                        If you've got a Weber grill, get one of these things. This is now my religion. This is the Summer of the Smoke Ring at my place!

                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                          Great thread...just discovered and can't wait to experiment with the fuse method. Busy weekend so I'm thinking of trying it first on something I can do more quickly. Woodburner (or anyone else), have you ever done a beer can chicken with the fuse method? Curious how long it would take given the lower temps.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: lonetone

                                                                                                                                            I have not... I try to smoke the chicken at a higher temp, both to get the smoke but also to keep the skin from getting to rubbery, which I find is a problem at low temps.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                              Just curious, what temp/method do you tend to use on chicken? I was thinking about smoking a chicken using this method as well and now I'm not so sure I want to go that direction.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Big Crunch


                                                                                                                                                I've had decent results with standard indirect heat (lump hardwood positioned to one side, drip tray on the other) but thought the fuse idea might be useful given it would work its way around the bird. Perhaps adding a 3rd row to the fuse might bring the temp up enough to get the best of both (juicier meat but still crispy skin).

                                                                                                                                                Not sure I'll have time this weekend but soon I will experiment and post my pics/results here or in the separate thread I started.

                                                                                                                                                Enjoy the weekend...

                                                                                                                                              2. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                Woodburner, I'm with you. The smoked chicken I've had tends to have great color, flavor, juicyness, but flabby skin, which I can't do. I tend to grill them on high but indirect heat and throw some chips on the coals and you get everything you want out of a roast chicken including the crisp skin, but with some smoke, albeit not quite a truly "smoked" as a truly smoked bird.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                                  Yeah... you know, on the 22" kettle, if you make fires on the sides, and leave top and bottom vents open, and then also move the lid just slightly askew, so that it lets more air to circulate, then you can pump up the temp. So you have indirect fires on the two sides (I use the baskets), but at a higher temp (350-400), and you can get a nice roast without burning the bird, but still with some smoke. At that temp, it'll only take an hour or 1.5, depending on bird size, so the fuse is not even that important, since you're not looking for a five hour burn.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                    I usually cut the back out of the bird which reduces the cooking time by about 15 - 20 minutes. Thanks for your technique.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                              +1 on the Smokenator. I learned about it on another thread that asked if a smoker was a worthwhile investment and thought I would gamble on the gadget. It is amazing how well it works. I have smoked a pork shoulder, whole chicken and most recently a slab of ribs for July 4th. All cuts came out really great with excellent smoke flavor and retained moisture. I would recommend getting the thermometer package, because the one that I tried requires a larger opening in the top vent, which causes a higher than desired temp, but other than that, I am a believer. Smoke On!

                                                                                                                                            3. Sooo...Finally was able to test out the "Fuse" this week. Unbelievable results. Here's the skinny:

                                                                                                                                              Pork Babybacks (2 racks)...removed the membrane and put on a homemade rub for several hours. Set-up the fuse in my Weber Performer 22.5, removed the first 8 briquets and started them in the chimney starter. Once ready, I used tongs to put them in place at the front of the fuse. I added a couple of dry chunks of hickory near the front of the fuse (think I'll try apple wood next time), and a drip pan filled with a bit of hot water in the middle. Put on the ribs, closed her up and let it go. Two racks made for a bit of overhang, so I rotated and rearranged them a bit periodically to avoid any hot charcoal overhang and even out the cook...also basted the ribs with apple juice every hour or so and put on sauce for the last 20ish minutes.

                                                                                                                                              Total cook time was 4 and a half hours...adjusted the bottom vent just a hair a couple times but dome temp was right around 250 most of the cook.

                                                                                                                                              Thanks to Woodburner and to all of you for this great post. Next up is a pork butt...

                                                                                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: lonetone

                                                                                                                                                That's a durn purty-lookin fuse, lonetone! Makes my heart flutter. Ribs ain't bad, either...

                                                                                                                                                You brought up a good point: You can cook stuff bigger than the space inside the ring of charcoal. Sometimes I just start the burn with the meat shoved over to the unlit side of the grill, then after it has burned halfway, I push the meat over the area where the burn is over. You can get 2 oe 3 butts on that 22" sucker, no problem.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                  I just rotate the grate a half turn.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                    Hey woodburner,

                                                                                                                                                    Have you ever tried reversing the process for a pork butt - cooking a pork shoulder in the oven first halfway and then finishing with smoke on the kettle?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lonetone

                                                                                                                                                      What I've heard in the boards, and what makes sense to me, is that the meat really tends to absorb the smoke at the begining of the cook... once the cooking process moves along, the meat would be more "closed up" and take less smoke. Some have said that the meat takes smoke til it reaches 140 internal. Then again, others talk about leaving meat in the smoke and getting "oversmoked." I think it makes sense to take the smoke first, then finish any way you want.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                        Cool...thanks. Thinking of starting a new family tradition: "Holiday BBQ". One more question and my apologies if it has been covered here and I missed it. Why do folks talk of resting the meat (pork butts) in a cooler? Why a cooler? Wouldn't it be fine to just keep the foil on and rest on the stovetop or counter?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lonetone

                                                                                                                                                          The cooler is used widely in BBQ circles in order to hold the meat for service. The idea is to hold the meat with the slowest possible fall in temp... and keep in the moisture. You can hold finished ribs, brisket, butts, whatever, in a cooler for hours and hours... and it will drop in temp slowly. You would like it to stay above 140 (below that is the danger zone), so if you leave it on the counter it will go down to 70 degrees within an hour or two vs staying hot in the cooler for four or five hours or more.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                            Gotcha...thanks again woodburner. So much good info and I appreciate it.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: lonetone

                                                                                                                                                    Nice lonetone. I did 3 racks of baby backs yesterday, went about 5 hours. I use a rib rack as 3 racks can be tight. They always come out great. As always thanks to woodburner for his wisdom, this is my favorite thread, still going strong 3 years later

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lonetone

                                                                                                                                                      Did another batch of ribs for Memorial Day weekend...the fuse is unstoppable...dome temp was 250ish for the whole 5.5 hours. Used a rib rack this time so I could get 3 racks on and apple wood instead of hickory. Hot water in the drip pan. No basting, just added sauce near the end.

                                                                                                                                                      The results were awesome...great smoke flavor and perfect texture.

                                                                                                                                                      Happy Summer,


                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lonetone

                                                                                                                                                          Very nice. I did some too for our bbq last weekend. I will see if I can find a pic too. Was a little worried with the wind but they came great. If only it were hotter, it was unseasonably cool. So we drank more booze to warm up. Lol.

                                                                                                                                                          Found a pre smoke post rub pic.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: angelo04

                                                                                                                                                            Here is one more, hope you can see the bark and smoke ring.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: angelo04

                                                                                                                                                              Ribs look great! I too drink some liquid heat to stay warm when necessary :)

                                                                                                                                                    2. Used the wick method for the first time on the weekend - the pulled pork turned out awesome! The fire did die out on me a couple of times though. When the dampers were open more then a crack the temp went up above 250 so I had them shut down almost all the way, which I'm guessing is what gave me greif. I'm wondering if for next time, if I was to fill up the drip pan with water and had the damper open a little more if it would work better?

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks everyone for all the posts here - so informative!!

                                                                                                                                                      See pic of my setup below (I know chunks are better, but I used what I had on hand..)

                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TheMiller

                                                                                                                                                        Two thoughts on why the fire died out: One, the briquettes need to be hand placed cleanly, all touching each other... there could have been gaps. Two, that many wood chips could actually dampen out the briquette lighting process... remember, with little air, they smoulder but dont burn across the wood. Is that a 22-in kettle, or 18-in? Never had over 250 temps with the vents open on my 22...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                          I'm new to this forum and I love it. I just smoked 3 7 lbs porks and an 11 lb brisket this weekend on two 30+ grills. Everything came great but the pork took top prize. Everyone loves the "Barky" bits with some smoke ring. Since I was always a believer in allowing the top fat to baste the meat, I never remove it or the skin. But, seeing all that great bark go to waste makes me think I should remove it. Do any of you remove the skin and top fat layers?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Crappyice1

                                                                                                                                                            I always remove the fat cap. There's no need for it and, as you said, you end up throwing away a lot of the dry rub flavor and bark.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                            I did place them by hand, but perhaps not carefully enough, I will be sure to pay better attention to that next time.

                                                                                                                                                            The fire actually stopped burning after it went through the wood chips, so that's not the problem.

                                                                                                                                                            It is a 22-in kettle... Weber performer.


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TheMiller

                                                                                                                                                              Hmmmmm... it's like a bad episode of CSI...

                                                                                                                                                              Didn't mean to attack your briquette placement... but... it's the only thing I can think of that would make the fire die... along with too little airflow, of course. As my kids would say, "I'm just SAYING..." lol

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, might be a combination of the 2.. the dampers where pretty close to shut plus if there wasn't quite enough contact that could have caused the issue.

                                                                                                                                                                Lets assume that they were placed properly, and airflow was the problem. Filling the drip pan with water would decrease the temperature, right?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TheMiller

                                                                                                                                                                  Not sure... maybe. Thing is, the fuse shouldn't burn so hot that you need to choke off the air to keep it down. Is it possible that it burned too fast in the early stage, and too much charcoal got lit too quickly, causing higher temps, which you tried to compensate for by shutting down airflow to where the fire choked out? I would just try that three-strand fuse again, but start with the dampers maybe 2/3 closed, and see how it performs from there on. The temp should not go high like that.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                    unless too much charcoal is burning at once which take you back to the construction of the fuse.

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: TheMiller

                                                                                                                                                            An Update:

                                                                                                                                                            I did this again last weekend, the wick burned fine the whole time (I even expanded it once or twice as I had it going for ~12 hours). I had the vents at the bottom ~1/3 open and filled the pan with water. Temp stayed ~225-250 with almost no involvement from me.. awesome!

                                                                                                                                                          4. Thanks everyone for all this valuable info.! I am learning so much from this thread and, especially Woodburner, you are AWESOME! I have always wanted to do pulled pork but it seemed complicated and treacherous and the domino fuse, oven finish and paper bag wrap/towel wrap in cooler have given me the confidence to give it a go! He-e-e-e-re, Piggy, Piggy, Piggy!

                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tretower

                                                                                                                                                              It's funny... pulled pork -- good pulled pork -- is one of the easiest things to do, if you know what to do. The shoulder is soooooo forgiving. As long as you take it to 200 internal, its gonna fall apart. IMHO, you don't need to let the rub sit overnight... you don't need to mop it every hour... hit it with a nice paprika-based rub, smoke it, pull it (roughly for me... not too fine), then add some nice classic N. Carolina vinegar sauce. Cider vinegar, a little sugar, lots of CRP, some salt... you're in eastern NC. Add some ketchup, you're in western NC. Cut either one with some water, your a northerner (like me)!!!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                Again, I am indebted to you, Woodburner, for your sauce recommendations!
                                                                                                                                                                We go to Pinehurst almost every year and, every time, stop at this random solitary little side of the road diner on the way to Raleigh/Durham Airport & take away some pulled pork sandwiches, and now, we'll be able to do our own! Life is good!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                  Woodburner (and others), I'm wondering if I can call on your knowledge for a slightly off-thread, but related issue regarding pulled pork. What do y'all think is the best way to reheat a smoked and pulled pork shoulder?

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm going to a beach weekend with my GF's family. We leave early next Saturday morning and I told them I'd smoke a pork shoulder on Friday so that we can have a mess of pulled pork sandwiches for dinner on Saturday night. My plan was to cook and pull it on Friday, put it in one of those disposable aluminum foil roasting pans, cover and refrigerate overnight, then take it up in an iced cooler the next day. For the reheat I was going to toss in a liberal amount of my finishing sauce (basically a simple eastern NC vinegar sauce) and put it in the oven, covered with foil, for about 45 minutes at around 225.

                                                                                                                                                                  Any thoughts on that plan?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                                                                    NOOOOOOOO do not mix the sauce in!
                                                                                                                                                                    I would smoke and refrigerate and finish in the oven at the beach.
                                                                                                                                                                    Or you can finish it so that it comes out in the morning keep at room temp and just pop in the oven to warm a bit and then pull.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                                                                      Nothing wrong with your plan, but A. You won't need a lot of the finishing sauce, and B. Bump the oven temperature up to 300 degrees F and make sure you take it out of the oven when the pork is between 145 and 155 degrees F and no hotter.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                                                                        I think you would be better off by pulling the pork on Friday night, chilling it, and putting it in freezer bags. Instead of reheating in an aluminum pan, try boiling water. It will give you a more gentle heat, and the product will more closely resemble what you get when you cook it fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Interesting... different opinions on something like this. I do pulled pork in large quantites for catering gigs a lot. I like to break down the butts, put the pork into aluminum half pans, and add the vinegar sauce right then. I refrigerate. Then I reheat in the oven at about 300 for maybe an hour, til it reaches 160 or so. I feel that the sauce (remember, a very light cider vinegar and CRP sauce, not heavy tomato BBQ sauce) adds flavor and melds with the pork nicely. With the sauce in there, you wont dry out the pork. Only thing to watch is letting it get too hot, so that the pork continues to break down into mush.

                                                                                                                                                                    19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                      (nothing like a 3 year-old thread - but I see you were just responding about an hour ago) Your instructions are awesome, by the way. So now I need to ask... any suggestions for a cider-based sauce recipe/proportions?

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm also trying to find a mention of being able to use lump charcoal in your method (I understand your wick is w/briquettes) but all I have is a ton of lump right now... will it work? I know lump won't really catch unlit, so maybe I just need to stick w/my existing "keep adding ashed over lump from the chimney" method. Or, I'll just do that for 3+hrs and finish in the oven. Suggestions?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: keltrue

                                                                                                                                                                        couple cups cider vinegar, 1 cup water, tbs crushed red pepper, tbs salt, tbs brown sugar (option), 1/2 c ketchup (for a western NC flair).

                                                                                                                                                                        Lump is tricky for this. Either briquettes in a fuse or keep adding lump on the sides.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                          Has anyone rebuilt the fuse back to the original start to gain more cook time. I t should only take the time that it takes the new coals to light at the new beginning and stop smoking?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BillHunt

                                                                                                                                                                            hH Bill. The only issue for me is that when the fuse is wrapped fully around the kettle it leaves very little indirect space on the 22-in model... not enough for a half-pan to fit as a drip pan. And not enough for full rib racks or two pork butts to fit, without direct heat. So I go around about 2/3 of the way and can squeeze in the drip pan and more meat. If you do go around, you want to make sure the last coals aren't touching the starting coals, or it will be a "burn race" around both sides of the kettle!

                                                                                                                                                                            On the 27-in, you can either go all the way around -- the bigger bowl -- and get probably as much as 10 or 12 hours of burn... or go 2/3 around and fit TWO drip pans in there, and throw on 2 briskets or 4 butts, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                              I may have not made my idea clear.
                                                                                                                                                                              I ran a dry run test and had a regular 3/4 circle fuse run to the last 6 coals.
                                                                                                                                                                              when It got there I rebuilt part of a fuse back toward the original beginning using some small pieces of lump to make a lighting bridge to the new fuse.

                                                                                                                                                                              This caught and added an additional 2 hours to the burn.

                                                                                                                                                                              The time it took me to construct the short (reverse fuse if you will) allowed me to guess that a total fuse could be constructed in the time it took the new coals to stop releasing the starting smoke.

                                                                                                                                                                              Looking ahead this could make it easier to get my 22.5 inch performer to cook as long as needed with a lot less refueling time.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                I am confused about a 27 inch Weber kettle. The only big kettle I have seen is the 37 1/2 inch Weber ranch grill. Where did you find the other one?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BillHunt

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Bill. I understand your point and, yes, you could rebuild the fuse and send it back the way it came for double burns... or more. One thing: after a big burn, you my need to dump the ashes to accommodate the second round... and those ashes will be HOT, so be careful where they go.

                                                                                                                                                                                  There is the classic 22, the huge 37 Ranch, and there is a 27 kettle that's been out for a couple of years. I just wrote a scathing email to Mr. Stephen, Chairman of the Weber Stephen company. I did not get a reply of any kind. At the risk of sounding like the happy idiot I am, here it is:

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have been a die-hard Weber kettle cook for more than 30 years. About 20 years ago I went from grilling on the 22.5-in., to also focusing on BBQ (low and slow, briskets, shoulders, links, rib roasts, etc.) on the same unit. I do an awful lot of BBQ, and I know these units as well as anyone possibly can.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have always sang the praises of the kettle. Whether by design or accident (I prefer to think the former), the action of a closed kettle with open vents, allowing only enough air to maintain burning coals but not to support open flame, is brilliant. To place chicken over coals, and not suffer major flame flare ups with a closed lid, is unique to the kettle, as far as I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Now to the good stuff. People only write when they’re unhappy (usually). And I am deeply disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have issues with the 27-in., the 22.5-in Gold, and the Performa.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Let’s start with the 27-in. I feel that this unit was not properly engineered at all. The kettle body is fine. The ash catcher, as well. But many of the other components and specs seem to have simply been carried over from the 22, in the same size and structure. This is proving to be inadequate. I have had my 27 for about 2 years, I think. The leg structures are not adequate for the greater size and weights. The one-touch sweeper arm and blades are not adequate in size or “duty” to handle the bigger size and loading. The vent holes, top and bottom, are undersized for the unit, in my opinion. There is no question that the airflow dynamics of the 22 are not carried over to the 27. Too little airflow with all vents open. And the charcoal baskets are no bigger than the 22. They don’t even fit properly, like they do in the 22. The heating dynamics for smoking are just weaker in the 27. What prompted this letter, finally, is that I think my 27’s leg connections are about to snap, and this should not be happening on a Weber kettle of this age and good care.

                                                                                                                                                                                  While I’m writing, let me mention that I started down this unhappy path when you introduced the Performa. First, you removed features from the 22 One Touch Gold at that time – the thermo and the slide-away lid holder. It seems clear that those key features were removed from the 22 Gold to push buyers up to the Performa (where they were then found exclusively). This was poor form. Customer’s don’t like to see key features removed from a successful product. At that time, I spoke to a marketing director (don’t remember his name), and suggested that those two features be returned to the One-Touch, and marketed as the One Touch Platinum. That would be a line extension for XX dollars more than the Gold. I believe your heavy users would be happy about that, even today. Otherwise, that 22 is still a great workhorse. I just resented the marketing play that took place. (By the way, the aftermarket slide off lid holder is not nearly as smooth as the permanent structure.)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Finally, I must take a shot at the Performa. The table, charcoal holder and gas lighter are all well and good. Frankly, I think your heavy users prefer to place a small side table where convenient, and have separate pails for their charcoal and wood… and don’t care too much about the lighter system. The issue I have with the Performa is that the table is in a very bad position in relation to the lid holder. When you actually cook serious loads on the old 22 Gold grill (or the current 27), you’ll find yourself standing at the opposite point (180 degrees) from where the lid is “stashed” in the holder. Only in that position do you get full access and range of motion to work the grill. With the Performa, you are forced to stand “on the side” of the grill relative to the open lid (90 degrees), because the table is essentially sitting at the point opposite the lid where you should be standing. You get poor access to the full grill top from that position.

                                                                                                                                                                                  So… what’s the takeaway from all this? Well, no reason to be shy here. I still have respect for the Weber name and heritage. But I think things need to change to ensure your continued dominance at the top of the charcoal world. (Gas, I am not interested in…) Maybe you should hire me as a design consultant for a while. I seem to have a lot better feel for what it takes to build really good charcoal grills than the guys doing it now. And if not, ok. But I will not be going out to replace my 27. It is not engineered either to last, or to perform up to Weber standards. And if you don’t want to talk to me or hire me on a consulting basis… feel free to send me a new 27 for free. I won’t buy it, but I’d be happy to use a new one. I’ll just have to baby it more than usual.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Seriously, I hope all of this has been constructive and helpful to you. Seems to me you should act on all of this.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you for all of this great information. I have a performer with the propane lighter. I felt that it was a whistle that need not be on a Charcoal grill, being that we have a more efficient chimney lighter.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I feel like you the table is not as great as it looked when I bought it. The new lid holder negates the use of a rotisserie if you have no other place to put the lid when setting the fire or working with the cooking product.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Many of your other comments on the shortcut design of the 27 I won't experience because I hope to keep my present one for a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I am just at the beginning of the low and slow smoke cooking and am taking it slowly to get the feel for fire control. I don't have much problem working the direct grilling or indirect where the cook time is short.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I am glad to find this source of info and hope it stays a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you again
                                                                                                                                                                                    Bill H

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                      Are you on Facebook? You should post this to the Weber Grills Facebook page. Weber employees constantly monitor posts to respond to customer service issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm really thinking nothing is better than the One Touch Silver. The rest of their products seem to be slipping a bit. Unfortunately, they're still head and shoulders above the rest of the players in the market.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: woodburner


                                                                                                                                                                                        Should we take Bagofwater's post this part of our discussion idea and post our discussion to the Weber Facebook page?


                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BillHunt

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah... I've been thinking about putting the letter up there. Since I didn't get a bounceback on the original email, someone received it... and I think it is intellligent enough to at least deserve a response (besides the "hire me" stuff lol). I'll see about that.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                            I can add mine to yours I hope mine does not make sense if yours is not there

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BillHunt

                                                                                                                                                                                              OOPS I wanted to say mine does not make sense unless yours is there.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BillHunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi woodburner Did you post your feelings to Weber? It is looking like it will warm up here in Ohio. So I will be able to get my performer out of Winter storage and get busy with my Low and Slow in a short time. Hope to see you here often this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Plan to start small with a chicken now that I have mastered the fuse in dry testing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BillHunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey Brother. Yes, I did. Not a peep. My Weber 27 kettle is teetering on its flimsy legs. Would love to see soemone sell a more robust version......

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Foiled, Fooled again, Ohio Weather does it again. Snow today and tomorrow then rain rest of week. Grill will stay wrapped up for a while yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Looks like I need to modify my BBQ to low salt and possibly no brining. Wife has had a stroke and to protect her I have to not be as free with the salt, fat and sugar. She is on Warfarin aka Coumadin and we need to watch changes in eating vegatables that have high levels of Vitamin K.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Goodby spinach, Mustard greens, green onions, etc. we even need to limit canola oil. Thank goodness there are other oils that we can use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BillHunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds like a rough go, Bill. Best wishes to your wife and family for a speedy recovery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks. She is recovering nicely. Will let you know how I do with the modified BBQ.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the advice. In the end it didn't matter since they had full size Weber down there, so I just used the fuse method, which worked great as always :)

                                                                                                                                                                            3. I am so darn happy I found this thread early in my smoking adventures. I just started smoking on my 22in webber and doing it via webbers instructions. However this fuse method looks like a winner! I'm actually taking Friday off from work now becuase of this thread so I can BBQ up some baby backs in the afternoon. Got to try a new rub I been working on! I'll let you guys know how it goes! Also if anyone has a money baby back rub recipe, feel free to shout! I tend to use very complex rubs (10 or more ingredients) and really enjoy my little science behind it!

                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Traykor

                                                                                                                                                                                Almost forgot! Think it would be OK to open up my garage on rainy days and smoke with my webber sitting just on the inside edge of the garage?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Traykor

                                                                                                                                                                                  Just be very aware of how much smoke collects inside, and if you have any windows or doors in the garage, open them. Once you get the fire going properly you will get very thin blue smoke throughout the cook, which is barely visible, but it's there. You don't want to go down with smoke inhalation, even for great baby backs.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The heat/flame factor won't be an issue at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Good luck.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                                                                    WOOT! Woodburner you are the man. This method rocks! My ribs came out really good. Also smoking just inside my garage worked out just fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Couple things:

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The ribs were a little too smokey. Could that be that I used the same wood chunks (3) that you stated for your shoulder cooking? Maybe less smoke next time?

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The smoke that comes off of newly lit charcoal is a little blue and kind of smells different. I'm assuming that smell absorbed by the ribs is ok as it moves down the fuse? I use competition kingsford.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Could they have been cooked longer (I've been known to pull ribs early for fear of overcooking)? They were on for 3.5 hours with a dome temp of about 250.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks and I sure did have a blast!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Traykor

                                                                                                                                                                                        I like that enthusiasm, Traykor!!! The questions you ask above are really personal preference... less wood for less smoke... and doneness is also a preference. I like them to tug apart fairly cleanly. Can't tell by photos alone. I will say that I do baby backs for only 2.5 to 3 hrs... probably running higher at 250 to 300 dome temp. You just go until they're done. As for the new charcoal, I have never felt any bad effects or flavor from the coals lighting as they move around the ring. Others may prefer to pre-start coals and add them to a cook. The fuse works for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the input WB! I have A question about sugar in rubs. When cooking that long, should I use less sugar so as not to burn, or are the temps low enough where I need not worry? My wife and I love sweet rubs. Currently in a cup of rub, brown auger takes up 1/2 cup.


                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Traykor

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm no particular expert on that... I use a couple of Tbsp of brown sugar for a batch that rubs 3 racks. Still gets very dark. Other option is to baste with some sweeter sauce in the last 20-30 minutes of the cook, for a nice glaze.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Traykor

                                                                                                                                                                                              At typical rib smoking temperatures and lengths of time, you'll be perfectly fine with sugar in your rub.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks to the both of you :). I can't wait to do some more smoking!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. We charcoal grilled our turkey for Thanksgiving (we live in AZ). We didn't have any problems maintaining temp with the vent open and closing as needed. We checked temp frequently. I think over about a 4 hour period we added cold charcoal 3 times. Turned out great. Maybe we will tackle a pork shoulder next.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Funny that I am responding to a post that is 3 1/2 years old! Hope this info helps someone some where!

                                                                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                                                                                                    For some reason many of us are still here. "Low and Slow," I guess... ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ain't it, though!

                                                                                                                                                                                        And I could not be more proud of my 24-yr-old daughter, who I talked through a full load of pulled pork... outstanding bark

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                          After finding this thread late last year I asked for and received a Weber for Christmas. Hopefully the weather in Ohio will break soon so i can give the woodburners "fuse" method a try. Hope to try several times before the big family reunion on the North Carolina Coast in late June. I always try to cook up something special to feed the masses everytime we get together like this. woodburner...How many pounds of bone in pork butt would you start with to feed pulled pork to 25 people?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: krankitup

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ha! Depends how hungry they are! Seriously, it does depend on what the full menu looks like. If the pork is the only entre item for reasonably good eaters, then I would say about three butts should do it, or about 18 lbs. A two-pack from Sam's might cut it close. But if there are other items (dogs, burgers, other BBQ, etc), then the two butts (about 12 lbs) would work.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the help woodburner! I am gonna plan on the 12 lbs cause I also plan on including grilled chicken and shrimp as entres for those poor souls that think a little piggy is gonna kill them.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: krankitup

                                                                                                                                                                                                My favorite CH thread......BBQ Weather can't come soon enough!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: angelo04

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love this thread as well...thanks for starting it way back when Angelo! Looking forward to BBQ weather here in MI as well. I do, however, still fire up a chimney in my Weber at least once a week all winter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  A lot more fun when it is warm out though!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lonetone

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I tend to use my weber genesis gas grill in the winter. I never do slow q in the winter with my kettle grill, I find it is too hard to keep the temp at the week 225-250 degree mark.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't forget too, I love all of Woodburners advice on Butt's but his sound advice with the wick method also works for ribs, I have had a lot of success with my baby backs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I will probably try to do chicken too at some point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Keep smokin eveyone! BBQ season can't come soon enough, I am hankering for some!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/93

                                                                                                                                                                                      Fyi - Did you notice this thread got moved to a new bbq, smoking, and grilling board?
                                                                                                                                                                                      Hopefully we find some more great threads here.

                                                                                                                                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: angelo04

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yep. Nice to have that focus on outdoor cooking. How you been Angelo? I notice it's been 4 years since you started this post! I've supplmented my Webers with a Cajun Grill! Now I do one long fuse running side to side!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                          Things are great woodburner. Possibly the best thread on chow!. Nice cajun grill. I really don't need a third grill but I want a green egg. Charbroil has a much cheaper similar style that is reviewing well. Tomorrow I am slow smoking some lamb shanks, will let tou j now how it comes!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: angelo04

                                                                                                                                                                                            What do you mean by "slow smoking" lamb shanks? Could you elaborate please?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                              Read some of woodburners posts. I am basically going to follow the wick method and smoke slow lamb shanks, probably for about 3 hours since they are small at about 250 degrees. Hope it comes good!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: angelo04

                                                                                                                                                                                                I have a Bradley smoker and 250 isn't considered slow. I did an 8#+ pork shoulder at 225 for 16 hours!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm LOL-ing. Far as I'm concerned, 225 and 250 are the same thing. He's gonna smoke the shanks indirect and low. Which is the first thing I did on the Cajun, actually. They have some good rough fat, like a pork butt, and the longer cook lets it melt away without the meat burning to a crisp. Like a butt. They will come out good. I think I hit em with oil, garlic and lemon. Rosemary? Don't recall. Somewhere between 3-4 hrs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL also. I agree with you that they're the same but he calls it low whereas I don't. HAHAHA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                      So it's like limbo, in other words...?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "How low, can you go! How low, can you go!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also LoL at people who exclaim 250 to be a high temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can cook at 200 or even the magical 225, but I can also confidently cook at 275 and 300 (and higher).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Barbecue covers a large spectrum of heat levels, meats, seasonings, and cooking methods.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                              Woodburner, that is some of the finest looking 'Q I've seen. Beautiful. And it's hilarious that you've got that nice stainless steel grill, two Weber kettles and a Green Egg! That's hardcore!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                                                                                thanks... but no egg. A 27-in. Weber, and two 22s... one of them is modified with an aftermarket steel "drum" thingy that makes it more like a bullet. Just set the drum between the base and cover! Problem is getting to the fuel!! Don't use it much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: woodburner

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd love to learn more about the bullet modification. Can you share more information?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Check out the website for Smoke EZ... it's interesting, but like I said you can't get to the fire unless you grab the two handles and pull the whole thing off. A little awkward. But good to have :-)