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Looking for improved two-zone technique on Weber II LX

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    Looking for improved two-zone technique on Weber II LX

    Hello, long time reader, first time poster. Lots of questions here - all your advice and insights appreciated. (Made a guess as to which was the proper forum for this technique question, but it seems specific to Weber, so putting it here)

    = = = =

    Have been using a Weber II LX for a few years, no issues so far. For two-zone, I usually set the far left (and sometimes middle) burners on, and cook over on the far right. (I've been known to pre-heat with the far right burner active, then turn it off when I put the food on.) Once the protein reaches the desired temperature, then I'll sear over an active burner to finish and serve.

    For Large Meats (like a cowboy ribeye, pork butt, or a rack of ribs), I'll generally only use the far left burner set at about med-low. That tends to keep the grill at about 225, more or less. I use a Thermoworks Smoke for ambient monitoring and adjust the burner to keep it in the 220-235 range as much as possible.

    If I feel like it, I'll also place a water pan under the meat (on purpose, to catch drippings that can then be used for making ramen broth!!!). For smoke-flavor, I have a 6-8" A-MAZ-ING tube with Traeger pellets, a cast-iron chip box for wood chips, and I''ve also made foil packets with either wood source. I usually place the foil or cast iron directly over the left-hand burner. The smoke tube would go closer to the meat, not over the flame.

    QUESTION: for the Smoke ambient sensor, where should it be placed? I've been placing it in the far back right and monitoring temp from there (expecting it to be hotter there than if I placed it in the far front right). I figured if I monitor at the hottest area where the food is near, that'd be better than monitoring where it might be cooler. Is this the right place for the sensor?

    QUESTION: should I be putting the water pan over the far left active burner and not under the meat? Could I / should I do both, as that subsequent ramen broth is mighty tasty?

    QUESTION: Because the Weber Genesis is a gas grill, it's designed to have a bit more air flow vs a charcoal grill or smoker. Am I mistaken in thinking I need to use more smoke-generation (and for a longer period of time) vs if I were using a different grill type? Some of the advice has said things like "4 oz of chips for the first hour, then no more after that", but I believe because of the Weber airflow, I've not gotten any real hint of smoke unless I'm throwing much more fuel/time than that onto the cook.


    #2
    I'm not a gasser. Well not in this sense. Welcome to the Pit!

    Comment


      #3
      I’ve never tried to do low and slow smokes on my Weber gasser but I almost always add wood to it for short cooks. Due to all the airflow I’ve found it pretty much impossible to add too much wood. As far as ambient probe placement…it’s the same as any cooker, close to the meat but at least a couple inches away from it. You could try back, middle, and front to get an idea of the difference.

      Comment


        #4
        My first thoughts are if you do a lot of butts, ribs, etc. you’d really enjoy a more dedicated smoker of about any kind. A pellet grill, an electric vertical smoker, even a kettle with a Slow N Sear. Second, Traeger pellets are 80% oak or alder, so you’d get more flavor using CookinPellets, Kingsford, or Lumberjack 100% hickory. Don’t worry that hickory could be too strong, that doesn’t apply to gassers and pellet grills.

        If you’re happy smoking on your gasser and really only smoke larger cuts occasionally, don’t overthink your process. If it’s working well and the results are satisfying to you, just keep going. You are going to get limited smoke because it’s so open and after the meat gets so far along, it’s going to stop taking more smoke. Watch some Harry Soo videos, I’ve seen him move briskets to the oven after a few hours. I’ve done it myself if a storm is rolling in and never noticed a difference, especially if you’re moving it at wrapping stage.

        As far as specifics to the gasser, I’ll let some others that do more smoking on one chime in. I’ll occasionally throw a tube or pouch on for a little smoke on steaks, but that’s all I smoke on mine. If there’s concern you have with your results, you might want to mention that as that might be easier to get a clear answer vs just comparing tiny details on which burner to use, probe location, etc.

        AND Welcome to the Pit!

        Comment


          #5
          I like to put chunks towards the front, between the flavorizer bars, and have found I get more smoke with the food on the upper warming rack. This is for hot and fast cooks though.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by glitchy View Post
            you’d really enjoy a more dedicated smoker of about any kind. A pellet grill, an electric vertical smoker, even a kettle with a Slow N Sear.
            Oh, I agree. I'll get a dedicated smoke thing eventually. Might be pellet, might be a Giant Avocado, might be an upright electric. Been contemplating options for years, but also slightly limited by deck space/storage at the present moment. I know the Weber gas isn't going to provide the same "smoked meat" quality as something more.... appropriate/dedicated. But from a "hint of smoke flavor" perspective, what I've been doing has been, uh, adequate(?).


            Originally posted by glitchy View Post
            Second, Traeger pellets are 80% oak or alder, so you’d get more flavor using CookinPellets, Kingsford, or Lumberjack 100% hickory. Don’t worry that hickory could be too strong, that doesn’t apply to gassers and pellet grills.
            I'm working my way through my first 25lb bag of Traeger pellets (almost done!). Since I'm not cooking with the pellets, and the smoke tube only holds so much, that bag has lasted a while. When it comes time to replace, I'll definitely be looking for some of the other pellet recommendations that have been posted and you just mentioned. What I didn't know then but I know now is that "100% real wood" doesn't mean the same as "100% real [insert type here] wood". Dang marketers.

            Originally posted by glitchy View Post
            If you’re happy smoking on your gasser and really only smoke larger cuts occasionally, don’t overthink your process. If it’s working well and the results are satisfying to you, just keep going. You are going to get limited smoke because it’s so open and after the meat gets so far along, it’s going to stop taking more smoke.

            If there’s concern you have with your results, you might want to mention that as that might be easier to get a clear answer vs just comparing tiny details on which burner to use, probe location, etc.
            I'm realistic enough to know that I'm not "smoking on the gasser" as much as "trying to put some add't flavor on the cook". So far, the results have been alright, but didn't know if I could be doing something more/different.




            Comment


            • glitchy
              glitchy commented
              Editing a comment
              I do think BBQ’Rs delight does 5lb bags of pellets and that just those smaller bags are 100% species wood. You’d need to check their site for more details, they could be 2lb, etc. I just know I checked them out because they did 100%, but found the 20 lb bags were all oak blends, only the little bags were 100% marketed just for the using in tubes.

            #7
            Originally posted by Red Man View Post
            I like to put chunks towards the front, between the flavorizer bars, and have found I get more smoke with the food on the upper warming rack. This is for hot and fast cooks though.
            I haven't tried anything with larger wood chunks yet; it's been mainly chips in the cast iron box or foil pouches.

            If I went with a chunk -- you're saying that it should be placed under the grate and set between the flavorizer bars over the heat? Let it heat up and smolder from there?

            I'm assuming that the chunks I'd find are big enough to not fall through from there -- but what to do if they're smaller than the gap between the flavorizer bars. Like, Giant Fist Size chunks

            And this gets back to my earlier question about placement of the water pan. I've been placing it under the grate (on top of the flavorizer bars) on the right-hand cool zone below the food. If I keep the water pan over here, then no problem with the wood being on the left side over the flame. But if I move the water pan over to the left over the heat.... I guess it goes on top of the grate, and I wouldn't need any add't foil packets or smoke tube because the wood chunks would be plenty of smoke enough?

            Would I need multiple chunks along the way, and replenish as needed? Or should just one (or two) be enough for an entire cook? (I'm talking a multi-hour cook for this question, something 3-6 hours)

            Comment


              #8
              I don’t use my gasser for low and slow, but here’s a pic of how I put wood chunks across the flavorizer bars when cooking hot and fast. I imagine you could leave the grates off of the left side and keep adding wood chunks throughout the cook.
              Click image for larger version

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              Comment


                #9
                Welcome from St. Cloud, FL.

                Looks like you are doing what you can, good job until you can get a pellet grill or something like that.

                Comment


                  #10
                  First time putting some hickory chunks on the flavorizer bars this weekend.

                  WHOA, that was a lot of smoke pouring out the back of the Weber. Which I hope equates to enough smoke inside the hood to flavor the ribs I had there.

                  haven’t had a chance to try the ribs beyond a sample nibble, but the results look promising

                  nobody mentioned the post-cook ash cleanup, however. Probably should have expected that.

                  Comment

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