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Thread: Maiden Brisket Voyage

  1. #1
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    Question Maiden Brisket Voyage

    I have cooked a brisket previously on my kettle previously on my kettle so understand the absolute basics of cooking a brisket. This will be the first time that I cook 2 briskets at the same time and on my new WSM. Only of my biggest concerns is around fuel/refueling the cooker. I have noticed just from some test runs that KBB burns a lot quicker than the Weber briquettes that I have. Was thinking of possibly using lump charcoal for the cook since I heard that it tends to cook longer. I could not find any hard evidence of this online. I might be throwing too many new variables by adding lump charcoal to the mix. My questions are:

    - What is your charcoal of choice for long cooks?
    - Any tips on mid cook refueling? This use to be painful on my Kettle.
    - Any other fuel source/brand I should be considering?

    Thanks!
    Black Weber Performer , 22.5" WSM
    Instagram: chapinbbq

  2. #2
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    Well, for what it’s worth, I just stick to good old fashioned Kingsford Blue. Here is a good thread with some testing that shows the premium brands aren’t really all that “premium”. The Weber Hardwood briquettes lasted a heck of a long time, but are pricey. If you are willing to pay the fare, they are your choice.

    But me, I’d just light a new chimney once I see the temps dropping and add it. Just make sure you open your lid so any ash that gets stirred up doesn’t end up on your briskets. I’d recommend picking up the whole upper section and setting it aside when you do it, but with 2 briskets that will be dang heavy.

    Here is the link:
    https://www.virtualweberbullet.com/k...urn-test-2017/
    WSM 18.5, Inkbird IRF-4S, Kizen Instant Thermometer

  3. #3
    TVWBB All-Star BFletcher's Avatar
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    Hi Josh. I'm no expert, so I'm counting on others to chime-in on the subject of refueling. On my 14" and 18" WSM's I use the "hot squat" method of refueling; this involves lifting the midsection and setting it aside to give access to the fuel bowl. But I use that non-approved method because I run with a dry water bowl and possibly would not do so if I were using water. I don't think I've utilized that method on the 22 due to its size but my experience with the 22 is that a) there is plenty of real estate for ash to drop down below the fuel grate without impacting the burn (I simply kick the legs gently a few times throughout the cook to sift ash below the grate) and b) there is sufficient room where I can add handfuls of fuel through the water pan access door. I have never had to fully replenish fuel in the 22; I've just added handfuls of unlit as needed. I do this by wearing a welding glove or long tongs. If you wanted to add lit coals I suppose I'd recommend the same method either with the tongs or an oversized spatula, or I may try my ice scoop.

    I only have experience with KBB, so I cannot offer input on a charcoal of choice but I see KT has provided an excellent link.

    Congrats on your WSM, and good luck!

  4. #4
    TVWBB All-Star Lew Newby's Avatar
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    I also use KBB and it gives me long cooks. Lump burns hotter and probably faster. I've refueled using the hot squat but wouldn't try that with the 22.5 WSM at my age. I use a section of round ducting as a chute. You open the door, push your chute down into the charcoal ring, and pour charcoal in. I then pull the chute out, spread the new stuff and then add more. A chute, fireplace shovel, or any Rube Goldberg device will get the job done without the hot squat. Hope that helps.
    Old dog, learning new tricks - one cook at a time :-). -14.5" and 18.5" WSM, SS Performer, CB Rotisserie, Camp Chef Smokepro DLX (Modified) Pellet Grill

  5. #5
    TVWBB Guru Bob Bass's Avatar
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    If you fully fill the charcoal ring to the very top (and a little beyond), use the Minion method, run no water in your foiled pan... You should not need to refill at all !!!
    KCBS, SCA, Operation BBQ Relief

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone for the feedback. I guess I was just over thinking a lot of it. How squat sounds like a good way to refuel, but I may not even need it if I fill up the WSM to the brim with fuel.
    Black Weber Performer , 22.5" WSM
    Instagram: chapinbbq

  7. #7
    TVWBB Pro Chris W.'s Avatar
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    I've never been brave enough to try the hot squat method, and I don't even use a water pan anymore (eventually went to a clay saucer, and now use a firedial in my 18.5 and plan on getting one for my 14.5; not sure about the 22.5 yet, but I've only got 1 cook on it so far so I'm still testing it with the water pan before making any final decisions). I agree with others that you might not need to refuel at all if you totally fill the ring with KBB. When I do need to refuel, I'll lite what I need in a chimney and then use the access door itself as a funnel and simply pour the lit charcoal in directly from the chimney. I do wear gloves when doing this to make sure I don't burn my hands, and have learned from experience I need to also not do it barefoot or in sandals. (Of course, I still tend to do it barefoot or in sandals because I'm almost always barefoot at home and I don't learn).

    I tend to use the Kingsford Competition briquettes because that's what Costco sells; before I joined Costco I solely used standard KBB with good results.
    14.5" WSM, 18.5" WSM, 22.5" WSM, 18.5" OTS, 22.5" OTG, SJS, Spirit E-210

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