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Smoking on the bottom grate.

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    Smoking on the bottom grate.

    Hey y'all

    So I'm looking to smoke a butt, a couple racks of ribs, and some wings tonight. I'm thinking of putting the but on the bottom rack and letting it run overnight then putting the ribs on the top rack tomorrow am. Anyone here smoked on the bottom rack and if so did you put your pit temp probe on the bottom or top rack? Also, does the temp vary much between the top and bottom rack?

    What kind of smoker do you have?


      Weber 26" Kettle.


        I tried doing the same thing several years ago and found about a 40 degree difference at the bottom grate. Use a rib rack or a raised grate


        • bbqLuv
          bbqLuv commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep, getting to know your grill. Good advice.

        I did that once with my 22" kettle, and as others say, I saw the grate level temp down there was almost 50F lower than the main cooking grate. This was using the Slow 'N Sear. I had a butt there, and 2 on the main grate, and the butt down low took several hours longer. I also have two different brands of elevated cooking grate for the kettle, and see a similar difference of them being about 50F hotter than the main grate.

        What I would do would be to put it down there while you do your wings tonight, move it up to the main grate overnight, then use a cheap rib rack to hold the ribs on edge, or cut the slabs of ribs in half so that you can just place them around the butt, and keep things on the main level as much as possible. If you are really going to run the butt down there the entire time, I would put a temp probe on the lower cooking grate, and a second one on the main grate if you can. If you can get the lower grate to be 225F when the main grate is 275F, you could do the cook the way you plan. I don't see any appreciable difference in smoking at 275 versus 225, other than the time to get the meat done.


          Thanks for the info. I have the SnS setup with a Fireboard and Pit Viper also myself.

          I'm picking up a rib rack today so maybe I can fit the butt and the ribs all on the main grate and figure up something different for the wings. Hell I may air fry em and go from there.


            There's a bottom grate? .........lol


            • Donw
              Donw commented
              Editing a comment
              I really need to actually look at a kettle sometime. Had no idea they had two grates either.

            • Hawkce541
              Hawkce541 commented
              Editing a comment
              The bottom grate is for the coals as far as I know.

            • zinfella
              zinfella commented
              Editing a comment
              Sounds grate to ne.............

            Bottom grate is where the charcoal goes but I've heard of people using to cook with also. I suspected the temps would be substantially different between the two.


              I only use the coal grate to cook beans in a cast iron loaf pan when I’m indirect grilling a tritip. The coal grate is less efficient for cooking. If you want to level up use a couple of upside down char baskets to hold a 22.5 in cooking grate above it. Loading a kettle with too much meat increases the cook time quite a bit.
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                I would just smoke the butt on the normal rack tonight, then in the morning take it off. Then finish it in the oven and let the ribs and wings roll by themselves.

                For the Butt, you will already have all the smoke you need, so there really is no reason to keep it going past the morning. I would wrap it up, throw it in the oven at 300 F and wait until it hits 202 F or so. Then kill the oven and let it sit in there until you are ready to serve. It will stay hot for hours and hours.



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