Weber Ranch: How Much Charcoal to hit 350?

NDekens

New member
Hello,

New to the forum this is my first post.

Im eyeballing the Weber Ranch kettle and was wondering about the quantity of initial lit charcoal needed to hit an initial cooking temp of say 350, 300, 275, and 250 degrees.

I would be wanting to use this kettle for either smoking brisket hot and fist to ribs, tritip and everything else for Church events and possibly to just use as my main kettle but Im usure how much charcoal im gonna burn through.

Thanks
 

Dustin Flavell

TVWBB Pro
Hello NDekens welcome to the site. Lots of good information here. I see your from Sacramento. I am just up the road from you in grass valley near Beale AFB. I have had a ranch kettle for a few years now and done both large and small cooks.

For the amount of charcoal and temperature for reaching 350 at least from my experience is 2 full Weber chimney of lit coals and that should maintain that temp for a little over an hour with two bottom vents wide open one closed. Of
Course it also depends on how much food you are cooking as well.

I’ve grilled two pork chops for the wife and I on the ranch and just used the mini Weber chimney for that cook. I have done a ton of tri tips on it for the guys at work. Typically I’ll do one chimney of lit on top of another chimney of unlit banked to one side with fire bricks. I can cook up to 12 no problem at 275 and have coals left after an hour and a half or so.

Ribs are nice on the ranch two. I have done up to six racks flat with no problem similar to the tri tip arrangement with a little tweak two chimney unlit, bank to one side held with fire bricks, pull 12-16 out of the center and return those lit. Maintain 275 for about 5 hours not problem for racks.

I have only smoked a 250 on the ranch once. Decided on the fuse method for that where I lined half the ranch edge with 3 stacked high briquettes and lit one end. Wasn’t real impressed and had a hard time holding 250. Went 9 hours but I didn’t really care for that method. Maybe it was my technique.

Anyway, you may be surprised how little or how much charcoal the big fella uses. It all really depends on how you use it. For me I think grilling direct like hamburgers and hot dogs burns up the most since you are using mote surface area. low and slow uses a lot less charcoal. Let’s know if you end up with a ranch. Again welcome to the site. Look forward to hearing about your cooks in the future

Dustin
 

NDekens

New member
Thanks Alot for the Info!

....im actually in yuba city...but figured sac was better because my goal is to mainly use the ranch for my church functions, which is in sac....and who knows where yuba city is?!

I usually use my 22” to do a combination of smoking and indirect. I mainly do ribs and tritip so the ranch kettle should translate well just to a bigger scale for church.

Im also interested in using it for hot n fast brisket and im wondering if i could shimmie 4 fill packers in there?

Ideally, should be using an offset and santa maria style grill but thats big and expensive and im not sure i would use it regularly like I could the ranch...anyways just trying to figure whats the best focus for my cash.



Hello NDekens welcome to the site. Lots of good information here. I see your from Sacramento. I am just up the road from you in grass valley near Beale AFB. I have had a ranch kettle for a few years now and done both large and small cooks.

For the amount of charcoal and temperature for reaching 350 at least from my experience is 2 full Weber chimney of lit coals and that should maintain that temp for a little over an hour with two bottom vents wide open one closed. Of
Course it also depends on how much food you are cooking as well.

I’ve grilled two pork chops for the wife and I on the ranch and just used the mini Weber chimney for that cook. I have done a ton of tri tips on it for the guys at work. Typically I’ll do one chimney of lit on top of another chimney of unlit banked to one side with fire bricks. I can cook up to 12 no problem at 275 and have coals left after an hour and a half or so.

Ribs are nice on the ranch two. I have done up to six racks flat with no problem similar to the tri tip arrangement with a little tweak two chimney unlit, bank to one side held with fire bricks, pull 12-16 out of the center and return those lit. Maintain 275 for about 5 hours not problem for racks.

I have only smoked a 250 on the ranch once. Decided on the fuse method for that where I lined half the ranch edge with 3 stacked high briquettes and lit one end. Wasn’t real impressed and had a hard time holding 250. Went 9 hours but I didn’t really care for that method. Maybe it was my technique.

Anyway, you may be surprised how little or how much charcoal the big fella uses. It all really depends on how you use it. For me I think grilling direct like hamburgers and hot dogs burns up the most since you are using mote surface area. low and slow uses a lot less charcoal. Let’s know if you end up with a ranch. Again welcome to the site. Look forward to hearing about your cooks in the future

Dustin
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I think a lot of consumption concerns need to be addressed more individually. A big sausage or burger cook I’d doubt that if you use a two zone fire with a fair sized “holding” zone you won’t go through a LOT more than you might on a 26” kettle, I’m really just speculating as I have no first hand experience with the Ranch. I’d think three to four briskets might fit. I will be interested in seeing what you find with some experience.
Oh, and welcome aboard!
 

Dustin Flavell

TVWBB Pro
How do you get in there to manipulate your coals?
Small crane... just kidding. It has flip up grates just like the 26 and 22 kettles. For large direct cooks if you need to add coals I lift one edge up, as long as the food is all off, since the Ranch has a lip all the way around it for the grate to sit it. Balanced on the lip it is kind of like lifting the hood of a car. I try not to need to add coals once I get started.
 

Dustin Flavell

TVWBB Pro
Thanks Alot for the Info!

....im actually in yuba city...but figured sac was better because my goal is to mainly use the ranch for my church functions, which is in sac....and who knows where yuba city is?!

I usually use my 22” to do a combination of smoking and indirect. I mainly do ribs and tritip so the ranch kettle should translate well just to a bigger scale for church.

Im also interested in using it for hot n fast brisket and im wondering if i could shimmie 4 fill packers in there?

Ideally, should be using an offset and santa maria style grill but thats big and expensive and im not sure i would use it regularly like I could the ranch...anyways just trying to figure whats the best focus for my cash.
Makes sense not many people know where Yuba city is! I am in Browns Valley so I am pretty close by. Son goes to high School in Marysville.

You might be able to squeeze 4 full packers in the ranch. Stack them side by side and then back coals on the two sides. Likely would have to add coals at least once during the cook even using hot and fast method. I have done a bunch of tri tip and rib cooks on the ranch but never a brisket. One thing about the ranch especially with low and slow is temperature control. With the 3 daisy where vents on the bottom and the large daisy wheel right in the the center I have found low and slow cooks to be a bit of a challenge thus I typically will use the WSM for long haul meats.

The ranch is spendy but you can do a variety of different cooks on it. I have a 26” cast iron skillet I use for Philly Cheese steak sandwiches. There is enough room with skittle in there to even have the finished sandwiches wrapped in foil off to the side. I also like cooking ribs flat and it will easily take 6 racks with room for taters and other side. Since I usually bank coals to one side with fire bricks you can also put a large pan of beans or other side down below on the charcoal grate to keep things warm.

If you get one however be prepared for everyone to be in your way gawking at the ranch while you are cooking. I can’t keep people away from it. Huge question magnet about the size and if it really is a Weber and so on. Heck I did a friends birthday party at the Penn Valley park and had non-guests showing up hanging around wanting to know more about the ranch.

Keep us posted if you pull the trigger on the ranch. It’s a fun cooker, little challenging to learn at first, but you have a huge amount of real estate to cook with.

Dustin
 

DarylB

TVWBB Fan
Lot's of good info here but I'll add my experience. I've had the ranch for a little while and what I'd say is there are so many variables to be able to answer one way. For example, the first reply says two full chimneys. I have used one and got 350 for over an hour. But I only needed enough fire for maybe 8 chicken breasts and some burgers. I seared them and then moved them off the fire.

It just takes some experimenting. I find the Ranch really versatile. Like I said, I have cooked a few burgers or chicken and I have cooked 2 20lb turkeys or a couple pork butts with temps ranging from really hot to 225. For small cooks it's just like a small kettle but for longer cooks it is like an oven. I actually used it for warming pans for Christmas this year. The oven got too full so I lit a chimney and used it as a second oven.

I've cooked on kettles for a long time, most recently a 26. I didn't need the Ranch but decided it was ok to get myself something nice so I did. Partially for the versatility and partially because it is a conversation piece. I bought it instead of building an outdoor kitchen/counter with built in grill kind of thing. Saved a lot of money and still have a really cool grill. If you can swing it, do it.
 

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