So I just upgraded my 18" Weber to the big fancy 22" model. That extra 4" is a HUGE amount of real estate to work with. I put it together Tuesday, and put in a chimney of charcoal to season it up a bit (always seems to me there’s some greasy residue on machined metal - anyone else notice that?), and was amazed at how small my coal pile looked. Am I going to have to use more charcoal going forward?
Also, what’s a good meal to do for my first outing on this? I’m thinking something big, since it’ll finally fit. I got some charcoal baskets for doing some indirect grilling and smoking - maybe a bird? Brisket?
You should be able to use a moderate amount of charcoal on half the grill for the amount of cooking you’re used to. But yes, big grills take big loads if you want a hot cook on a full spread of steaks, etc. The manual might give you some idea of standard amounts.
Your cooking area just went up about 50%, so yeah, it will need more fuel. Personally, I’d resist the urge to go big right away and just do steaks, chops and the like until you get an idea of how the new grill heats up and what its peculiarities are. Then you can do the brisket.
If I could make a recommendation for the future, purchase the rotisserie ring attachment for your Weber. Slap a couple of birds on there, or a prime rib, or a loin, and you’ll be in heaven. I used to turn chicken on my propane grill because it has the rotisserie burner, until my wife got the attachment for me and I did it on my charcoal grill. It’s the only way I do 'em now, and whole chickens are…cheep (heh, heh, heh).
I use my (Ducane gas) rotisserie about four times a week in grilling weather (learned the hard way I have to stop when the temp drops… used it all year around in California). But whole chickens are almost never worth the cost and effort. A whole bird of decent size can run $10, rarely less than about $6, and they’re messy to prepare, spike, cook, carve up and clean up after.
Honestly, a $7 bird from the local grocery grill or a couple of $5 ones from Sam’s Club rotisserie are a better meal deal all around. I grab one for a lunch item if my Sam’s run coincides with that time of day, and it’s one of the cheapest, best lunches I can find.
But boneless pork chops (or tri-tip when I can get it here) in the rotis is heaven, I agree, and one of the easiest ways to cook a big item.
Yup - Runs With Scissors is definitely right. I used a full chimney, as well as a handful of other chunks, and the grill was PLENTY hot. I’ll reduce down to a regular chimney next time, which should be fine. There’s a lot more ventilation in the 22" (adjustable, of course), accounting for a lot more heat.