Counting Briquettes

How to get the right temperature in your Smoker or Grill

I am using briquettes only for the reason that we can’t get hold of good post oak in Torshälla but also... because it is the easiest way to get the right temperature and keeping it.

First imagine the knob you turn on your stove/cooker, you know from 1 to 9, to get the right heat when cooking in your kitchen. Now imagine that the Number of Briquettes is the same thing as the dial on the knob. The exact number of briquettes will determine the temperature you get in your Smoker/Grill!

In my WSM for getting temperature of 120c (240F) I use 34 Weber Briquettes + 20 ”Minion”. Ok so what’s Minion? Minion comes from Jim Minion who came up with the idea of having lit briquettes lighting unlit ones. This way prolonging the fire. So what I do is fill my Chimney Starter with 34 unlit Weber Briquettes. Light them up in the bottom of my WSM. Then when lit and time for pouring in I scatter 20 unlit briquettes around the Chimney Starter, then pour in the lit ones, trying to have both kinds touching each other. This way I get 120c (240F) for over four hours.

In my Weber 57cm Grill I use 20 Weber Briquettes to achieve 175c (350F) and use 25 Weber Br. to achieve 200c (400F) for two hours.

When running my Offset Smoker I first put 20 unlit Weber Briquettes in the firebox, then pour an absolute Full Chimney Starter with lit briquettes over those. After 2 hours another Full Chimney Starter with lit briquettes etc.

So remember! Dial in your favourite temperature by Counting Briquettes!

Meat Thermometers

Meat Thermometers. Your path to success!!!

The most important rule when Barbecuing, Smoking or Grilling is to achieve the exact right Innertemperature in the Meat, Fish or Vegetable you are cooking.

The meat obviously have to be adequately cooked for health reasons but also the perfect Innertemperature makes the perfect cook. There is only one way to achieve that and that is using a Meat Thermometer. I have several and get a new one every year.

Actually got a Weber iGrill for my 60th birthday which is great as I can use it with my iPhone to keep track of progress. But there are many cheap ones that are ok.

Just pay attention to how you stick it in the Meat. Make sure it is in the thickest part so as to get the best reading.

For Chicken for instance I always put it in the Breast. I know a lot of people say it should go in the Thigh but I feel I get the best reading from the thickest part of the Breast.

I use it for Salmon, Flanksteak and just about everything else. Just remember to always have some spare batteries at hand and make sure you straighten out the cable before switching it on!

Rib-Rack

Rib-Rack for the Best Tasting Ribs

Yeah I know a lot of people just slap the whole Ribs on the Smoker. Some even have Smokers the size of my house and have room for many. I have done that as well but have found that cut up Ribs are not only easier to handle but also taste much better as there are more Meat exposed to the Smoker.

When preparing your Ribs, one important thing is to remove the membrane on the backside. Why, because the membrane will otherwise prevent flavoring to penetrate. Now this can be bit tricky with a whole rack somtimes, but it is much easier if the rack is cut up into pieces. I cut mine into 3 or 4 pieces. Then remove the membrane. Much easier!

For the classic 3-2-1 Ribs I put them in my Smoker and set them in a Broil-King Ribrack and put the rack in a Weber 6416 aluminum pan. The Broil-King rack fits perfectly in that pan.

Then after 3 hours I just lift out the whole thing. Take out the Ribs from the rack and place them in the foil pan. Cover with foil and put back in the Smoker.

After 2 hours I take out the foil pan, brush Ribs with Glaze. Put them in the Rib-rack again and place it back on the Smoker for that last hour.

Comes out perfect everytime and boy those sides from the cutting tastes just awesome!

Timekeeping

Timer or like me use a Stop Watch

Yes yes I know there is a clock in my smartphone, I just never use it!

”Timing is everything” ! That I know as an old Trader and that is important in Barbecue and Grilling. If you have no control over timing you have no control of when the cooking is done.

I use a couple of Stopwatches and when grilling they are imperative.

My Jerk Chicken Breast Pieces need exactly 8 minutes each side and my Pulled Pork usually take around 4 hours. Totally different amount of time but essential to know when the food is finished so the Family can eat.

If you are smart, get a couple of Stopwatches and use them.

After a while you will remember and know exactly how long until dinner!

Cheers!!!

How about a Cold One?

Course y’all have to have a beer opener and I put in a small plastic bowl on the backside of my BBQ Table for the caps.

Cheers!!!

Salmon Smoking Tip

When I started smoking Salmon I had some problems transporting my big parts of brined Salmon from the house to the Smoker. The pieces were slippery and hard to handle.

Then I came up with the solution: Use a Baking Paper Sheet

So I cut a piece of Baking Paper Sheet the same width as the Salmon piece but longer in the ends to have something to hold it from.

Then move the piece by holding the paper in each end then lifting it in and out of the Smoker.

The Salmon piece will get the same amount of smoke as without the paper but is much easier to handle and you wont drop it!

Handles

When I had my Offset Smoker assembled I realised that the Handles were made of cheap wood with just a couple of screws.

Hmmm... not best quality I’m afraid.

So I had a look around for fixing this and making them a little more ”handleable”, (sorry couldn’t resist).

Found an adhesive Rubber Tape for Tennis Racket or Squash Rackets.

Self adhesive. Black. and much more pleasant to hold when opening and closing!!!

Chicken Leg Grill Rack

My Grandkids all love Chicken Legs straight off the Grill.

They are real easy to make and appreciated by all ages. Perfect party food.

Anyway, my Grill Rack is just a bent flat metal piece with holes in but makes these Chicken Legs so easy to make.

Just brine/season/spice up your Chicken Legs.

Then put them in the Rack and place the Grill Rack in your Smoker.

The Chicken Legs will be great, and so easy to handle them all at one time!

Injection Syringe

I brine my Meats and Fish quite often. They come out juicier like that.

Sometimes I give the brine a head start by injecting it with an Injection Syringe for cooking. I promise your Pulled Pork will taste so much more if you try this.

Look at my Pulled Pork recipe, then both inject and put the Meat in the brine and leave for a few days in the fridge.

What happens is ”Osmosis” (naah won’t tell, google it) which makes the flavours literally flow through the Meat for maximum flavor.

Try it! Y’all won’t regret it!!!

Make Your Own Spice Mix

I know! I am giving serious secrets away here.

You should know that BBQDude is famous for my Spice Mixes. Here I will give away the secret of how I do them.

I start with deciding which mix I want to do. Jerk Spice? Fajita Spice? Taco Spice? BBQ Spice?

Then what I do is Google and collect and write down at least six different recipes for the Spice Mix I wanna make.

Then I take each single spice in the recipes and mix in a bowl and make an average of all recipes as a start. When I have the average of all the spices included in the recipe mixed then I start tasting.

Just a small amount at the edge of a teaspoon. Taste! Think! Now you add.

Remember you can’t take away so add slowly by teaspoons or half teaspoons and write down every ounce so you know what you put in.

Keep adding untill you are happy with the mix. I promise it will taste much much better than anything you can buy.

Also I mix my spices without salt. Salt can always be added when you’re cooking.

Best of all, these are only spices. No MSG, E-numbers or Additives as there is in the bought stuff which is mostly salt anyway.

Smoking in Your Grill

Smoking in your Grill is easier than you think but to get a really good smoked result there are a few things to remember.

This is how I play my Weber 57cm Grill (See picture)

Place lit briquettes on one side of the Grill.

Place a Smokebox with Woodchips on top of lit briquettes.

Place Meat on the opposite side of the Grill from the briquettes.

Put on lid with Vents right over the Meat with Vents fully opened.

This way the heat and smoke will go straight over the Meat on its way out of the Vents and you get a Good Smoke!

Juiciest Chicken Ever! Guess how?

Use a Balti Dish!

This is a cooking utensil used in Indian cooking but is perfect for the recipe of Chicken in a Steel Bowl made popular by Myron Mixon. Check out the recipe under BBQ Recipes.

The cooking process that gives this fantastic Chicken relies on a Steel Bowl and some Apple Juice and I assure you it is delicious!

Best Steel Bowl to use is an Indian Stainless Steel Balti dish.

Just right for a whole Chicken and with two very good handles for easy transfer.

I got mine on Amazon and I am not trading it for anything!

Pigtail Flipper

This is a great Tool that I bought from www.americanstuff.se

For small pieces of Meat it is really unbeatable. Just grab and flip!

With small Meat pieces you really are in control much better than with big tongs!

Visit www.americanstuff.se and search for Pigtail!

It’s Great!!!

Meathooks

For Smoking Bacon you really need some Meathooks to have the Meat hanging freely in your Smoker to collect as much smoke as possible.

I got my hooks on Amazon. Then got a good steel mount from Weber for my WSM to hang them in.

Makes Great Bacon everytime!!!

Thermometers again!

Basically if you are serious about your Barbecue and Grilling you can not get enough thermometers. The thermometers that are mounted on you Smoker or Grill when you by it seldom is very efficient and mostly installed in the wrong place.

So what do you do? You get a new, better thermometer and put it in the correct place.

In my Weber 57cm I have a small thermometer placed in one of the Vents. This one gives me a truer reading than the original in the Grill.

In my WSM and Offset Smoker I have a really great ManLaw glow in the dark thermometer from www.americanstuff.se

These are great and I have placed them exactly on the same level as the Meat.

All you need to do is drill a hole!!!!

Smokebox

This an essential for really good taste.

When I make Jerk Chicken, Fajita Chicken, Flanksteak and a lot of other stuff on my Weber 57cm I always put a Smokebox on top of the lit briquettes.

Sometimes with Pecan for making Red Jalapenos into Chipotle, sometimes with Hickory Woodchips for a Smokier Burger.

So easy to use but gives so much flavor!

But forget that ”soaking” of the Woodchips that you hear about.

It is not needed and it actually gives a bad smoke compared to the dry smoke fron Non-Soaked Woodchips!

Major difference! Please! Never soak Woodchips again!

Muffinmold

Y’all just gotta get a Muffinmold for Smoking Chicken Thighs in.

These are just so great (see recipe in BBQ recipes English)

Baked like this in the Smoker the Chicken thighs come out so juicy and flavorful!

Ge ahold of a Muffinmold but remember the holes must be big enough for a Chicken thigh on the bone.

So get a Big Size Muffinmold for the Best Chicken Thighs Ever!!!

BBQ Wall in My Happy Place

Yeah For me this is essential in My Happy Place.

All BBQ joints I have been to all have a lot of cool signs or licence plates on their wall to make the BBQ feeling perfect.

So I have started building my own BBQ Wall.

As a Swede I can put anything I want and right now collecting signs from US College Football Teams in the Barbecue Belt.

Yeah still some missing but still collecting! Give me some tips if you can!

Cold Smoking Cabinet

Well when you’ve been Smoking and Cue’ing stuff for a while you wanna try something else and I have started learning Cold Smoking.

This is Smoking at temperatures such as 60c - 80c (120F-160F)

The idea is to get the stuff smoked but not cooked

For this I got a Landmann Smoking Cabinet which really is a stainless steel cube with a firebox at the bottom. Real easy to use.

What I do is light up 9 Weber briquettes and place in the firebox. Then on top of the briquettes I pour Pecan Woodchips. A fistful chips last about 40 minutes.

Then pour on another fistful etc. This smokes the stuff real well.

Mostly I have smoked sausages like this and they come out Great!

Take some Bratwurst. Prick with a fork. Smoke like this for two hours and you’ve got some great Andouille!!!

The Blessed Toothpick!!!

Thanks Jeff Phillips for the tip!

Jeff is a Guru I have learnt so much from through his uTube films and his Cookbook. Someone BBQDude would like to have as a Neighbour.

Anyway, Jeff taught me the Blessed Toothpick.

When preparing Meat like Brisket or Flanksteak it is very important to know in which direction the fibers of the Meat go.

Why? Because you definitely want to slice the Meat across the grain/fibers otherwise it will be tough.

The problem is that after cooking it is sometimes hard to see which way the fibers go. So Jeff came up with the Toothpick trick!

All you do is stick the Toothpick in the Meat before cooking and put it in the direction you want to slice the Meat when finished (across fibers).

That way when done just slice the Toothpick and keep slicing and the Meat will be perfectly sliced!!!

PS Google and buy Jeff’s cookbook. It is full with great recipes!!!

Working Gloves

Probably the Best Tool in my armory.

Definitely the most important.

I don’t know how many times I have had to handle glowing materia, be it briquettes or metal and being saved by my Gloves.

The point here is not to get just any BBQ Gloves even if it is a good brand.

I have tried some made by the big BBQ companies, some are better and some are worse and no company really have any good ones but I have finally found the perfect gloves and they have saved me a lot of burnmarks.

I buy Leather, insulated (for winter) Work/Garden Gloves.

These are so insulated and so real Leather covered that they protect my hands exceptionally.

I will never go back to the regular stuff.

Rotisserie

Yeah I know. This is not an essential, but I have to recommend it anyway.

You brine and season a whole Chicken. Then put it on the Rotisserie for a couple of hours at 150c (300F)

The Grill and Motor does all the work while you drink Marguaritas and smell the amazing flavors.

Then let it rest and enjoy.

There is something special with roasting on a spit!!!