Grilling with Aluminum Foil – Texas Crutch and Beyond

I want to run down a few standard uses of aluminum foil in BBQ and also offer up a few, perhaps novel ideas to try out.

A lot of folks know the standard term “Texas Crutch,” the use of foil wrapping to speed cooking, stop color darkening & preserve cooking juices. mostly this is used for the larger cuts : brisket, pork butt, shoulder clod perhaps.

By containing the heat, the piece will move through the “stall period” more quickly, the zone where collagen converts to gelatin and delicious BBQ happens.

Wrapping in foil will soften your bark.  If a real crispy bark is what you desire, a short time back out on the cooker out of the foil can crisp it back up, but keep in mind, this makes for more moving around & fiddling with your goods.

Brisket, for instance, I’ll do one of two ways.

Foiled Brisket Method #1 – pan and foil up on one of the wife’s cookie racks:

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With foil over the top, adding in some beef broth & spices to the pan for a braising effect :

 OCT9brisket2012033

The cookie rack helps keep the lower half from getting mushy sitting in the juice & keeps the piece pretty moist from a bit of steaming action

Foiled Brisket Method #2 – just plain foil wrap @ about 2/3 or a little more through the cook :

10-8-13PTampBrisket034

Here’s an example of a brisket I cooked up.

These foiling methods will also basically stop the smoke flavor from continuing to add in and get stronger; a choice for those who like a milder smoke flavor…………………

I’ll refrain from being too precise as to when to foil, temperature, which method to use, if you should throw out the foil & use butcher paper, etc. as those topics get hashed out endlessly on BBQ forums everywhere……suffice to say, the stall happens at about 155f to 170f depending on product, cooker temp & size…usually the temp begins rising again above 170f +

See Here, for a bit more info on this :  Slow Cooking

The other reason I’ll not delve into that is I’m wingin’ it & a lot of the time I just don’t know !!!!

Looking at the piece, noticing the outside color, giving it a poke or two are clues as to when to wrap, if it needs to wrap at all.

Smoking Pork Butt – Wrapping with Aluminum Foil

Now, as for pork butt, the same basic stuff applies. Wrapping the butt with foil to move the stall along is certainly a choice – I choose not to. I like the bark cooked through – nice and dark :

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But, I will however wrap it to rest for a good length of time (1-1/2 to 2 hours) AFTER the cook, to allow for the internal juices to settle in & redistribute throughout the piece : Jan29Danaedad079

Ends up pretty moist :

Jan29Danaedad082 PPork5

Full Cookup What’s In Kettle #3

Wrapping ribs in Aluminum Foil

Ribs are another use for the humble foil….. the 3-2-1 method a lot of people talk about is originally for full spareribs cooked at 225f. Nowadays, with more people cooking at higher temps, the time wrapped in foil is often reduced ( the 2nd number, those are hours BTW……3 in the smoke, then 2 wrapped, then 1 back out to firm the bark & sauce if desired)

Perhaps 2-1/2, then 1 to 1-1/2, & 30 to 45 minutes at a bit higher heat is more like it – keep in mind the time in foil will soften & braise the meat, so take care as it can end in pulled pork if they go too long there.

Loin back ribs, or baby back ribs, will be a somewhat shorter cook, but may benefit more from wrapping in foil, as there’s less fat to tenderize the meat.

Originally 2-2-1 at the lower heats, perhaps 2-1-45+ minutes might be a sequence at a slightly higher cooking heat.

People add all kinds of liquids & powders like apple juice, cider vinegar, fruit jams / juices, honey, butter, squeeze butter, maple syrup, brown sugar to the foil wrap. It’s a nice way to get a running start on a finished glaze and introduce complimentary flavors to the pork.

 Now, let’s turn the corner into some novel ways to use foil……….

Foil Boats and “Baking” Meat or Vegetables

Instead of foiling at a middle point for ribs, one thing I’ve had some great success with is to start off foiled, then for the last 1/3 to 1/4 of the cookup, to set them out & layer glaze over the flat…… Here’s Satsuma sweet plums with cinnamon, kiwi vinegar & several other spices, foiled, then glazed with the juice FROM the packet after a time baking indirect in the foil….extra added, thickened glaze brushed on, too… MollysBdayJuly2012009 MollysBdayJuly2012Pt2012 MollysBdayJuly2012Pt2038

Full Cookup Plum Ribs

Another one is large full spare ribs, with BBQ sauce & pickle juice…. Pre-StuporBowl028 Pre-StuporBowl036

Full Cookup Ribs Two Ways-Wrapped & Unwrapped

Blueberry / chipotle babybacks, same basic way……………. StuporBowl2012039

Save the juice in the foil packet, set aside & it will thicken a bit from cooling, then pour over the ribs several times, baking more in between…..messy (foil drip pan’s not a bad idea) but extra good ………… StuporBowl2012032 StuporBowl2012040

Not a lot of snazzy smoke ring doing it this way, but boy, they sure taste good……the baking time drives the flavor into the meat somewhat, then the glazing on top of that makes these fly !!!!

Vegetable Wrapping and Packets

Corn, taters, zucchini & other vegetables can benefit from a baking in foil StuporBowl2012035 OCT9brisket2012049

( Corn variously 1/2 hour @ 300…..add in flavored butter & some spices)

Zucchini boats, from large one hollowed out…. Grilling8-13-2014079

Just cook ’till the meat of the squash softens up….45 min. ~ 1:15 @ 275 approx.

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(If you don’t have large ones, just thick slice regular size & add in other vegetables or rice / taters to the packet)

Taters in the basement

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Full Cookup Just One 18-1/2″ Kettle

Diced tater packet with onion, sweet pepper….could add broccoli, zukes or other small diced pieces in….butter, oil, spices…….do what you like for your’s……45 min. ~ 1:15 @ 275 approximately

Grilling8-13-2014041

 

And………..

Heat Deflectors and Airflow Management

I enlisted the help of my buddy MacEggs (Mark C. from Canada) to show some other creative ways to “foil up” ~~~>>

As a center drip guard and air flow diverter with the snake method : IMG_3324_2

Full Cookup Fuse-Snake Lasted 11+ Hours

As a large diverter for cold smoking : IMG_2684

Full Cookup Smoked Cheese Attempt 

Foil makes a great protective flashing while cooking ribs : There’s plenty of room on a 22 for what you’re doing.

I use the snake method and I like to use foil to cover the center, as well as the areas where the meat is over the charcoal. The intakes are open just a smidge … walk away … check on them after 4-5 hours. Usually close to  done

IMG_1795 IMG_1814 IMG_1822

Foil can serve as a burn guard for your turkey : IMG_2938

Full Cookup Kettle Cooked Turkey

In various positions setting up the Kettle Pizza :

When I got my black MBH, the charcoal grate was not in the best shape. However, I didn’t want to toss it.

So I decided to modify it and use it exclusively for the KP. Works great. I also use another grate on the upper part – some HD aluminum foil, and fire brick.

Also, works great! A much more cost effective way than buying the add-ons that the KP people offer. :) :)

 

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(Links to further information on most cooks are in red )

Click on photos to enlarge for detail, back button to return to post

 

So, don your foil hats & get to it !!!!!!

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First ever WKC eCook a huge success!

Weber Shish Ring in action
Weber Shish Ring in action

Marty broke out his vintage Weber Shishkabob Ring and recreated a classic photo from the Weber book

What started out as a simple idea to cook some food and share pictures and ideas with friends somehow transformed into an online BBQ event of mass proportions! This past Sunday the WKC community stepped up huge and produced 48 separate cooks across the globe! The focus of the event was to celebrate this amazing club and it’s members, as well as showcase some weber history by firing up some old kettles!

The grilling magicians of the WKC showed up in full force unleashing some of the most amazing cooks the forum has seen. Honorable mention goes out to coldkettle, Idahawk, MartyG, Mark Schnell, BBQmiller, Jeff, Craig, dazzo, MrHoss, Winz, mike.stavlund, einrej, etc etc… you get the idea! Please be sure to have a look for some truly inspirational cooking all performed on Weber kettles here: http://weberkettleclub.com/forums/meetups-events/ecook-(day-of)-discussion-thread-sunday-september-7th-2014-(photo-heavy)/

Big congrats also go out to our prize winners!

1st Prize: @coldkettle – Copper OTG!
2nd Prize: @dazzo – Crimson SJG
3rd Prize: @MartyG – Crimson SJG

Thank you all so much for participating, I had an excellent day and hope you all did as well!

Stay tuned for future WKC eCooks!

Matt
(SixZeroFour)

Grilled Nachos. Glorious

Grilled Nachos. Glorious

Idahawk shows off his planked salmon and bacon wrapped asparagus

Idahawk shows off his planked salmon and bacon wrapped asparagus

ColdKettle grilled EGGS on his Weber. EGGS!! GRILLED EGGS!

ColdKettle grilled EGGS on his Weber. EGGS!! GRILLED EGGS!

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October is “Mod Month” at the WKC!

MOD MONTH

We all love to cook on our Weber grills. Many of us like to collect Weber grills. And of course we all love to eat the great food that comes off our Weber grills.

BUT, from time to time, we can’t resist the temptation to improve on what Weber began. Making our kettles just a little more special. Resolving a nagging issue that we can’t believe Weber didn’t figure out. Combining old with new. Swapping out parts. Adding functionality. Adding flair. Tinkering around with the kettles we love. Reminds me of a great quote by author Kenneth Grahame: “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

So, in recognition of our endless desire to improve what has changed so little in the past 60+ years, WKC is happy to announce our first annual “Mod Month” – a celebration of the many ways we fix-up, tune-up, change-up and otherwise spend time simply messing about with our Weber charcoal grills. From full-on Steam Punk to subtle little tweaks, we want to see what you do to make your Weber kettle grill just that much more special.

The fun starts October 1st, and runs through October 31st. “Peoples Choice” and “Statesmen Choice” prizes and recognition will be awarded. All modified grills will be featured in the Weber Grill Modifications and Custom Grills section of the gallery.

Now, just a few rules to get started:

  • You must be a registered member of the club by October 31st to submit an entry.
  • Previously modified grills posted to the forums that are not in the current mod gallery are allowed.
  • Member “teams” are allowed, but only a single entry can be posted for each mod.
  • Mods must include a Weber charcoal kettle, GA, WSM, Ranch, or SJ in some way.
  • Action shots showing your modified grill fired up and cooking are encouraged.
  • A Mod Month Q&A Thread will be posted on September 12th, where you can ask questions, trash-talk, flip your lid, vent, kick some ash, grate on other members or otherwise give yourself a leg up.
  • All mods must be posted to the Mod Month Master Thread beginning October 1st in the Weber Kettles and Accessories section of the Forums.
  • No pre-posts allowed. Mods posted to the Q&A Thread prior to October 1st will be deleted and must be re-submitted to the Master Thread during October.
  • Pics and description of your modified grill(s) must be submitted by October 31st by 5:00pm PST.
  • Members may submit as many modified grill entries as they like.

Grab your tools, wade into your Weber grill boneyard, pop open a cold beverage. Do whatever it takes to inspire you to come up with the next big grilling thing.

This is going to be fun!

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New Statesmen Announcement!

Hey Everyone..

Ken, the turd king

Ken, the ABT (‘Turd) King

I have been given the privilege; no scratch that, “The Honor” of introducing our newest Statesman.

I am quite sure that this person doesn’t think that he is extra special, but he has become an integral part of the WKC. While some people take the easy road and some constantly fight the uphill battle, this guy blazes his own trail. At first glance of his vast array of kettles and cookers you may think, just another guy with a few old bbq’s. But you would be wrong. So far wrong, that when it finally hits, you realize you are in the midst of pure genius. An Albert Einstein of everything we strive for. A master at this craft we humbly call bbq.  A skill set that is so strong, others can only dream of acquiring.  I seem to always ask myself, “I don’t know what makes him tick, but if I could bottle it, I’d make a mint”

He’s the got the perfect mix, of experience, skill and unique banter that screams “BBQ Guru”

If you haven’t figured out by now, I am referring to the one, the only 1Buckie. I just call him Buckie. (There’s a story behind the name he has chosen,. just ask him to tell you about it.)
His real name is Ken and he has made his mark on our humble place.  (And many others I might ad.).

I am glad he chooses to hang with us. So I formally introduce out latest Statesman. “1Buckie” (Insert huge applause here)
Check him out; he has so much to offer, even if it’s just a bit of camaraderie amongst friends, but I think you will like what he brings to the field.

Read more about Ken and look for his upcoming Blogs about, well everything! Blog on Buckie, Blog on.

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Sept 7, 2014 WKC eCook!


On behalf of the WKC please join us in an experimental eCook this Sunday Sept 7th!

With all the fantastic local events taking place (mostly thanks to connections made on this site!) I figured it would be a fun idea to dedicate a day to celebrating this hobby and cooking some good food!

Extremely simple really, just have a regular BBQ at your house this Sunday but keep an iPad, laptop or other annoying form of communications device close by and join in on some live discussion. Share new kettle scores, stories, pictures of your cook… whatever! No strict rules other than have a good time!

Anyone who is able to participate day of will be entered in draw #1 to win first choice of the prizes below:
– Brand New 22.5″ OTG in either Crimson OR Copper
– NIB “Corona Extra” 18.5″ OTS kettle
– NIB Crimson Smokey Joe

Winner of draw #1 chooses from all prizes.

Prize #2 – Will be awarded to the best overall event and participation for the day – they then get choice of the two remaining prizes

Prize #3 – Remaining prize will be awarded to the best voted single dish cooked this Sunday. Shoot for creativity and take some sharp photos!
Most of you are going to be grillin’ anyways so come and join in the fun and DRAG OUT THOSE KETTLE COLLECTIONS PEOPLE!

Hope to see you there!
Join the discussion and get more info in the forums!

Matt
(SixZeroFour)

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NFL Edition Weber Master Touch – Bears Logo Grill

Logo view

Back in 1995, the NFL sponsored a Bar-B-Q competition, with the prize being a very limited Weber Master Touch (MT) NFL Edition grill. Here’s what Weber had to say about these rare grills:

“This is an extremely rare 22″ kettle. These special editions were never sold at retail, they were only for the official NFL Tailgate party. There were only probably 8-10 made for each team. The person you bought it from would have won it during the tailgate cook off.”

We’ve seen a few over the years, including matching Smokey Joe grills, but it’s always fun to see another one. Have you seen your favorite team yet? (Sorry Ravens, Panthers, Texans and Jaguars fans, these grills predated your team!)

Let us know if you see another one – they are just begging to be used on opening day! (And when you own a vintage Weber grill, every day is opening day!)

 

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Restoring a Cast Iron Dutch Oven Using Electrolysis

I’ve been wanting to restore this old Dutch Oven (somethings referred to as a Camp Dutch Oven because it has feet and a raised-lip lid) for some time. I found it at an antique store in Railroad PA years ago, and it sat in my barn gathering dust and more rust since then. I had heard about this thing called electrolysis a while back, but figured this was too far gone to save. Almost trashed it a couple times during our annual clean-out.  IMG_5991IMG_5993IMG_5994

Now we all know how well cast iron and Weber kettles go together – a perfect match for many dishes, and anyone with a kettle should own at least one oven and a skillet made of iron. I’ve been using my “indoor” dutch oven (a Le Creuset 5 qt) for some time, but the cleanup takes forever – especially if I’m using smoke wood. I really needed an “outdoor” oven; one that I could set directly on the coals without worry. This old rusty 12″ camp dutch oven might just do the trick, but I would have to figure out how to do this thing called electrolysis first. Thanks to the internet, and the hundreds of videos of people using this process to clean up all kinds of rusty old stuff, I thought I would give it a try. I had a plastic tub, a battery charger, and some scrap metal. (Don’t we all?) All I needed to buy was a box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda – set me back $3.50.  IMG_6449 Charger

Setting up the tank couldn’t have been easier. 10 gallons of water from the hose, and 10 tablespoons of washing soda mixed in. An old Smokey Joe grate I had laying around (don’t we all?) served as the anode – it would attract the rust from the oven once I hooked it up to the charger. (I hope…) Submerged the bowl in the tub, hooked the negative clip from the charger to it, (note that the clip is actually under water at this point – seems to work fine like that) and hooked the positive clip to the SJ grate. (keep this one above water if you know what I mean) Plugged it in and waited…  IMG_6471

And waited…

Went to bed…

In the morning, I was anxious to see what happened. I was expecting little progress. After all, this thing was RUSTY! To my amazement, when I lifted it out of the tank, it was nearly rust free! A few minutes with a wire brush and it started to look like new. I was amazed – my wife was amazed. It was amazing!  IMG_6477

The lid went in next – same solution.  IMG_6478 IMG_6481

No need to start with clean water – the process works just the same regardless how grungy the water looks. Fast forward another 12 hours and the lid came out just as clean!  IMG_6510

Started thinking about how to season the oven, and again hit the web for advice. Well, let me tell you there are a thousand opinions about what to do or not to do. After drying it out in a 200 degree oven for 15 minutes or so, I ended up using course salt and a little solid shortening for the first stage – to clean out any remaining grunge and rust. IMG_6485

Wiped it down good and put it in the oven for 20 minutes or so at 350.  IMG_6486

Again another wipe down – this time with Canola oil and salt again, a thorough wipe down and some time on the Genesis grill. (Just to Weberize it a bit.)  IMG_6512

Mission accomplished! I’ll be using the oven often now, and will be on the lookout for more rusty treasures to add to the “outdoor kitchen”.  IMG_6513

Try it yourself. It’s easy, It’s cheap. It’s fun. And it works!

 

Postscript: Here’s the SJ grate after 24 hours in service. Looks like it’s good for another few ovens!  IMG_6511

The oven had a pair of tags on it – likely the owner had used it in group cooks or competitions in the past.  Fun to think about the meals it has seen, and even more fun to think of the meals to come! IMG_6441

And a few tips I learned along the way:

  • DON’T let the thing you are cleaning touch the sides of the tub, or the anode.
  • DON’T hook the positive clip to the thing you are cleaning and the negative to the anode.
  • DO rotate the thing you are cleaning every few hours. The electrolysis action is highest close to the anode, so if you only have one anode, it’s best to expose it to as many sides of the thing you are cleaning for as long as possible.
  • DO set this up outdoors or in an open garage; it creates hydrogen gas as a result of the process, so…
  • DON’T smoke or light a grill close-by. (Oh! The Humanity!)
  • DO collect old rusty iron when you find it, once this is set up you’ll want to keep it running!
  • DON’T believe everything you see on the web about this process. Try it yourself and you’ll get the hang of it quickly.
  • DO post pics of your own restorations here at the WKC, and especially the cooks you do after you’re done.

MartyG – August 2014

 

 

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1969 Weber Custom Kettle – The Meat-Cut Grill

Top View of Lid

This is a rare sighting! A custom Weber kettle from the late 60s, and one that has never – until now – been photographed in the wild. Thanks to WKC member CSorvala, we’re able to share this amazing grill with the world of Weber kettle collectors and enthusiasts. Manufactured in 1969, this grill depicts five of our favorite grilling meats in a menagerie of illustrations boldly displayed against a Harvest Orange porcelain backdrop. Catch a glimpse while you can, extinct species like this may never be seen again!

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Vintage Weber Custom Kettle Grills – One is Never Enough

With the Supermoon in full effect, an amazing pair of Weber Custom kettles have risen from the distant horizon to dazzle us all. There’s much more to the stories – and we’ll have more to share soon – but we did not want to wait to share this incredible evidence of Weber Stephen’s history. First up is one we’ve seen before, but this one answers many more questions. No need to strip paint off this one, it’s a survivor all the way. Thanks to new member Charred for joining the club and documenting the rescue for us. 1950's Vintage Weber Custom - "Jackson Pollock Kettle" IMG_2024_zps90eea5deNeedless to say, this is an amazing find. You can read more about it here. With the Jackson Pollock spider paint to the triangle ash/storage-pan below, this grill has stories to tell. But please don’t tell the original owner he assembled it wrong! Caddywampus as they say, with the three legs inserted 120 degrees off kilter. No matter, it cooks the same – as evidenced by the new “first cook” shown in the thread. Kudos to the new owner for taking her out for a spin before a full restore gets underway. (Presuming of course that’s in the cards.) Like I said, we’ve seen these before – they have one at the Lombard Weber Grill restaurant in Illinois, and one or two other members have one – but each one is a treasure and this one is no exception.

Next up is a kettle no-one has ever seen! The legendary Custom “Meat-Cut” kettle from 1969. Who knows how many were ever made? Well, we now know at least one! Thanks for new member csorvala for the post! (Why do new members seem to have the Midas touch lately?) 1969 Weber Custom - The Meat-cut Kettle

The 1969 Weber catalog shows this one-of-a-kind kettle wearing the unique and distinctive “Harvest Orange” porcelain and depicting our favorite grilling companions: beef, pork, chicken, fish, and lamb. 1969 Weber Custom - The "Meat-Cut" kettle

Two collectible and cookable kettles in one day under the August Supermoon can only mean one thing: It’s the Summer of WKC! Thanks again to charred and csorvala for hooking us up with the pics and the stories. We look forward to more details, more photos, and more amazing kettle finds to come. They’re out there – and we’ll rescue them, restore them, and above all, respect them.

MartyG – August 2014

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End of an Era? Weber switching to bolt-on handles

This may be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s been reported by WKC member SixFourZero that Weber has indeed moved away from welding on the lid handle.
It has been replaced with a bolt on version.

This is the biggest design change we’ve EVER seen to the iconic Weber kettle grill.

Weber lid bolt on handle (no weld)

Just a bunch of holes.

I’m sure there is manufacturing advantages to this, as well as shipping advantages.

European kettles have been like this for a number of years. Has Weber done field and durability testing on this?
How do you feel about this significant change?

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