Grill Advice

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 you can afford it? A whole prime rib.

What is a charcoal basket? For indirect cooking I’ve just put a pan under the meat and the charcoal on the outside of the pan.

In most cases it’s literally just a wire basket that you put coals in so they’re all piled in one place.

That’s probably a good idea. I’ve been on the 18" for 5 years now - burgers and brats are probably a good trial run.

Weber Char-Baskets.

They’re perfect for the 22", because the grill for it has hinges on the sides to add more coal or wood for smoking - and you can just situate the baskets underneath.

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.

I agree with Shark Sandwich. I really like the Weber rotisserie attachment for my 22 inch grill. It makes great turkey for Thanksgiving. It is good for duck and chicken as well.

For more flame but less coals (e.g. for steak) you could do the Test Kitchen trick of bringing the coals up with a combination of bricks or cinder block and aluminum pan. Put the coals in the pan.

ps- Thirded on the rotisserie attachment. I’ve done turkey, chicken, ribs, shoulder, prime rib and leg of lamb… pure awesomeness.

I have a friend with the big 22" stand up Weber; I have the short 18"Weber.

He uses LESS charcoal than I do. It’s not about the amount of charcoal. It’s the amount of heat. He knows how to “work” it.

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.

If we’re talking accessories for the 22" Weber I can’t recommend the smokenator enough. I have hot smoked ribs, salmon, brisket, pork belly and yardbirds on this bastard that are just phenomenal.

If you want to turn out something showstopping on your new grill, this will help you.

Next best thing to a dedicated smoker.

Mooch, my brother just recommended that to me yesterday! I have a smoker, but it’s in rough shape, and I’d rather stick to one piece of equipment.


A real man would get theWeber Ranch Kettle.

Real men start with a 55-gallon drum and a welder.

Real men’s men start with a B-52 wing tank and a welder.