Has anyone ever built a smoker out of their charcoal grill? Any advice?
What type of grill do you have? Just a plain ole' Weber kettle? Use real lump charcoal and indirect heat. And also, what would you be smoking?
Well I have used my Weber kettle as a smoker plenty of times you just need to make an indirect fire and some good fruit wood. I have a peach tree I use for wood and I start it with briquettes. My go to technique is to pile the briquettes on one side of the grill, light them, pile on some wood, then let that smoke for about 10 minutes. Then I will place the food I want smoked on the opposite side of the heat and close the dome, Opening the vents partially, about 25% open. I will leave the whole thing alone for at least an hour before taking the temperature, sometimes it can take up to five hours, and multiple refillings of wood to finish the cooking. I have smoked turkeys, ribs, briskets, and even burgers this way without fail.
Thanks! We are thinking of smoking our turkey for thanksgiving and we have a standard weber- do you just keep refilling the charcoal? Is there a way to calculate the time?
I have a barrel grill and I simply pile coals on either side and put the meat in the middle. If you're going to need to add coals, depending on how big the piece of protein is that you're smoking, it helps to start them separately and shovel them in on either side when they're already down to the white ash/glowing stage. With smaller cuts of meat and long-burning charcoal, this isn't always necessary; I've smoked a four-pound butt and not had to replenish.
We're all on the same page here so far. Be sure to place a drip pan under the turkey partially filled with water, with your coals banked up to the side. The problem with Weber kettles (which are perfectly functional) is replenishing the fuel. On my own grill there's a bottom door through which I can add more lump charcoal without taking everything off the top. Give yourself at least four to five hours. Smoking is a slow process. But you'll need an instant read thermometer to tell you when it's done at 160. And don't forget to baste it periodically.
I posted a recipe for smoked turkey on the grill. It was really simple and took about 3 1/2 hrs to grill a 16 lb turkey. Step by step here: http://coconutlime.blogspot.com/2010/10/spicy-smoked-turkey.html
Also: no basting was needed. It was insanely juicy with really crisp skin.