Different Methods of Grilling: Smoking with a Charcoal Grill

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 @ 09:06 AM

So,we’ve come to the actually cooking with smoke. I think we should start with charcoal here, because I believe it to be, by far, simpler than smoking with a gas grill.

Set up your Brinkmann charcoal grill just as you would for regular indirect grilling. After your chips or chunks of wood have been soaked, and your charcoal is ready, toss a nice handful of wood on each charcoal mound. A bit less than a cup.  (I know of a woman that throws chunks of onion right in with the wood and charcoal for extra flavor.) Adjust your vents to get a desired temperature. For smoking you want to be in a 225-250 degree range. For foods that need to smoke for long periods, like brisket, you will need to replenish your charcoal & wood chips or chunks periodically. Roughly about every hour. (Real barbecue smoking can take anywhere from 1-2 hours up to 16-20 hours.)

To be safe, most meats need to be cooked to a proper internal temperature. Most meats should be cooked to at least 145 degrees & poultry to at least 165 degrees. To get real tender bbq you want a higher final temperature, say 180 degrees. Brisket is a good example here, because of the toughness of this particular cut of meat. You want it cooked long and slow, to let the smoke sink in, but also to tenderize the meat. This is not a piece of beef that should still be pink on the inside. You want a higher final temperature. Then you know your brisket is cooked & will be nice & flavorful & tender.

Tomorrow, we will discuss different ways to smoke with a gas grill. This comes in handy if you do not have a grill that has a smoker box attached.

And as always, remember to have extra fuel. Extra wood chips & extra charcoal are a must! You don’t want to run out of fuel one hour into a brisket! Oh and a fire extinguisher or a hose near by should be a must as well!

Here is a great brisket recipe.

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