How to Smoke Food on a Kettle-Style Grill

How to Smoke Food on a Kettle-Style Grill

Using a Traditional Style Kettle Grill for Smoking Food

Kettle-style grills are great because of their affordability and flexibility.

tips to use kettle for smoking
Using the indirect method you can turn your $60 kettle grill into a lean, mean smoking machine that will rival smokers that cost 10 times as much.

Many people don’t know that these traditional style kettle grills can be used to make delicious smoked meat. In fact, they are so effective, that if done correctly, you can produce a smoked brisket that taste like it was smoked on a $1,000 Traeger smoker (or any other high-end smoker for that matter).

What is the Indirect Cooking Method?

Kettle-style grills smoke meat using the “indirect heat” method, which you might be familiar with if you’re something of a smoker or barbecue aficionado. Indirect heat basically exposes meat to lower-temperature air for a longer period of time, and is generally thought to cook the meat more evenly than “direct” heat, which uses hotter temperatures for a shorter period of time. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to learn how to get comfortable using a kettle-style smoker, even for newbies! Practice makes perfect, and following directions and learning from your mistakes is a great way to learn.

How to Setup a Kettle Grill to Smoke with the Indirect Method

Use a Chimney to Light the Coals

Start by filling the chimney of the grill no more than one third or one half of the way full with your favorite brand of fire briquettes. Once those are lit and burning, you’re going to set up a water pan and a charcoal basket.chimney to start coals

If you don’t have an actual basket, just carefully pour all of your charcoals localized to one side of the cooking grate – don’t spread them out evenly over the grate (this is why using a basket can help, especially for beginners).

Use a Water Pan

The water pan doesn’t have to be fancy. Most smokers employ simple disposable foil pans, like you would see at a catered buffet. Place the water pan on the other side of the grate and add about two full cups to the pan, three if you’re paranoid about evaporation. Using a water pan helps control the cooking temperature and prevent it from getting too high, as well as preventing your meat from drying out by exposing it to water vapor to keep it nice and juicy.

If you have the space, some people like to put a second water pan right on top of the burning coals, but if your kettle-style smoker doesn’t have the room, don’t worry about it.

infographic smoking on kettle

Some people even like to place bacon, a hamburger, or meat trimmings on top of the coals, which will add an even more savory flavor to your meat as the drippings melt and stay contained within the covered smoker. Doing this might result in temperature swings, so keep an eye on it.

Kettle Style Grill
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There is an old smoking method called the Weber Kettle that spreads the charcoals in one even layer and places a water pan right in the middle, sitting on top of the coals, and some people still swear it works wonders. You can experiment with what smoking methods work best for you, but these days, most people like the indirect, side-by-side method for tougher cuts of meet including thicker steaks and beef brisket.

Don’t be overzealous! Let the coals burn on their own while the water in the pan heats up, creating a nice low-to-intermediate temperature. This will probably take between half an hour and an hour, so be patient. Once you’ve reached your desired temperature, simply drop chunks of wood right on top of the coals, and place your food on the grate over the pan of water. Cover up your grill and set a timer for about 45 minutes so you can monitor the heat and add more coals as needed. Note: this is less time than typical smokers, which usually require more coals to be added only after three to four hours.

You can also add some fresh cold water to the pan and prop up the cover to let cooler air in if the temperature gets too high. Don’t panic if this happens! The meat (probably) isn’t burning, and the temperature can be brought back down. Please share some of your photos or tips in the comment section below to help others.

Try out these great cooking tips today

Try out these great cooking tips today

Cooking is an art that not every can master. However, we all cook on regular basis. Even though it might be a time consuming task, most people enjoy cooking food. The enjoyment amplifies if the results are fruitful.

However, there are some useful tips that can be used in the kitchen every day. Such tips make the fundamental tasks easier and helps to achieve optimal results. It enhances the effectiveness of every ingredient being used. Here are some great cooking tips that every chef must be using from now onwards.

Turning pan into a nonstick surface

Turning pan into a nonstick surface
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This is an obvious tip that most chef tends to follow. Many people heat up the stove after putting oil into the pans. It is recommendable to add oil into the stove after heating the pan to medium. Once the oil has been heated, add whatever food you want to fry to hot oil. One of the reasons behind food sticking to the surface is a great difference between the temperatures. Consider this tip to turn pan into a nonstick surface for better results.

Using extra oil

cooking oil
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Extra virgin oil is used by many chefs for high heat frying. However, virgin oil is an expensive option in most countries compared to using pure olive oil. Using extra virgin olive oil means destroying the fruit flavor. Sometimes the sugar in the fruits are burnt and a bitter taste is created. On the other hand, pure olive oil provides the same benefits and is better for high-heat cooking.

Pair fatty things with crunchy stuff

Most chefs compliment fatty things with fresh, bright and crunchy stuff. For instance, a cornucopia of meats and potatoes are usually offered along with cabbage salad to make the combination more interesting. Different textures of protein can be tried as well along with different sauces and seasonings. It is imperative to maintain a balance on the plate and pair different items together in order to make it appear innovative and taste delicious.

Bring the plate together with a third thing

In order to make your food give a fancier feel, consider adding a third thing. Something like scrambled eggs, bacon or mashed potatoes can be used bring the plate together. This concept is used widely by all the popular chefs all around the world. It bridges the gap between primary and secondary item placed on the plate. For instance a chutney would be ideal to connect quail and goat on the plate.

Slicing and chopping garlic

Garlic plays an important role in the field of cooking. Preparation of garlic counts a lot when it comes to cooking a number of things. However, in order to make the most out of benefits of garlic, garlic cloves must be chopped or crushed.

The bottom line

There is a lot about cooking that chefs need to learn. Even if you are not a professional cook, learning several tips might help you to make the best meal of your life.

Converting My Own Muffin Recipe To A Cake Recipe (for the very special person in my life)

Converting My Own Muffin Recipe To A Cake Recipe (for the very special person in my life)

It was Manish’s birthday on 25th of January. Those of you who stay in Delhi must be aware that birthdays can get really boring in this chilling weather of Delhi. This year I wanted to make it exciting for my dear hubby and thankfully his birthday was on a saturday that made it even more helpful to plan a good happy surprise with friends and family.

The exciting part was to keep it a surprise for him. Me and my mom-in-law cooked almost everything at home, except for the deserts (sis-in-law cooked some yummy Carrot halwa at home to help out), and still managed to keep it a surprise. It was so heart warming to see those expressions on Manish’s face when he saw Sharmila and Sanju on the door. He still could not make out that it was all planned and as friends and family kept pouring in, slowly he realized that it was all planned and he was the only one who was not aware of this. Thanks to our loving friends and family because of whom this party could happen!

For the cake, I wanted to bake something that is healthy and not the usual creamy birthday cakes.I knew that Manish is really fond of the muffins I baked sometime back and thought of converting that to a cake. I was scared because it was the birthday cake and if it didn’t turn out well, I had no time to bake another one but still tried my luck.

I kept the ingredients the same and just added 10 mins to the baking time. (Refer my Choco Orange Muffin Recipe to get rest of the details).Yes, the cake turned out well and my hubby who was with me when I was baking the cake could not resist eating it. He told me that it is his birthday and he wants to have the cake right now! This is reason, you will notice a broken piece from the cake before the cake was cut on the birthday :).

My sweet heart Sarah enjoyed eating the cake but more than that was excited to have all the stars and flowers I used for some simple decoration on the cake! Love you my family and friends for making our special days even more special…