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Author Topic: Looking to get started in North Texas  (Read 970 times)

yippee

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 32
Looking to get started in North Texas
« on: July 02, 2018, 07:55:15 PM »
Hello all. I'm excited to join your wonderful forum. I am in North Texas and looking to get a new Weber charcoal grill. Growing up, my family always had charcoal grills, and that's all I ever knew. Over the years they slowly all turned to gas converts. Now that I'm on my own, I want to get back to the basics, and get back to a charcoal grill. I'm looking at buying something to get started with again. I don't necessarily need anything fancy, I just want to be able to cook for 2, maybe 3, people and I want something fueled by charcoal. Originally I was thinking about a Smokey Joe just for something small and cheap to get my feet wet. Plus it's portable and would be good to take camping and stuff. Then I started thinking about a Jumbo Joe. That led to thinking about an Original Kettle 18", then to an Original Kettle 22". I easily talk myself into more than I need. Now I just need some input of where on the spectrum I should land. I'm excited to learn from those who have knowledge to share, and learn everything I can.

Thanks, Matt

JEBIV

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 10483
Re: Looking to get started in North Texas
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2018, 07:19:36 AM »
Welcome from Doraville,Ga. I would start with a 22 efficient enough for 2 room for more. Get a charcoal chimney starter and start cooking. All kinds off available accessories for the 22 to add on as you go!
Seeking a Black Sequoia I know I know, I'd settle for just the tabbed no leg grill

dbhost

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 243
    • Daves Workshop Youtube page.
Re: Looking to get started in North Texas
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2018, 08:08:47 AM »
Matt,

Howdy from down along the coast here in Texas! Good to see another Texan in here!

Gas cookers are all well and good, but you can sure taste the difference in charcoal / wood cooked food! Here is the voice of a lot of years of BBQing on various equipment...

I started off with a Smokey Joe, 14" mini Kettle, whcih is great for apartment living etc... But pretty cramped cooking space, accessories wise. At a minimum I would go with a Jumbo Joe Premium. Which is bottom of the 22" barrel as far as Weber Kettles are concerned.  The Original 22" kettle gives you a deeper lower bowl, and the ash sweeper which is nice, but not really super necesary.

I definately recommend for any beyond the Original Premium, adding the hinged cooking grate. That makes adding coals for long cooks so much easier!

Don't write off a Smokey Joe though. You can do an awful lot with them, and they are fantastic for camping grills. (Public park / campground grills are disgusting at best).

I have both a Smokey Joe Silver ($29.00 at Walmart) and a Jumbo Joe Premium ($69.00 Wlalmart Exclusive). 

One item that I hightly recommend is that you add a thermometer either a digital probe that feeds out or a mounted regular one, but make sure you get temps just above the cooking grate to know what the food is being exposed to. This allows you to better control the temps. Don't be afraid to drill a hole in the lid to mount a thermometer either!

Once you pass from 2 to 3 people, or if you want to do a batch cook say for a party with friends, or just cooking up a mess of BBQ / Grilling on Sunday to microwave for meals through the week, you will hate the space liminations of the 14 and 18" grills... The 22 really becomes your friend fast!

The shutters both on both on bottom, and on top should be used in conjunction with each other to regulate air flow, thus regulating temps.

Use a Charcoal chimney starter. Lighter fluid is for amateurs that want their food to taste like an oil well. As of late, almost everywhere I have seen that sells charcoal sells a chimney. My local HEB grocery store has them in the grilling aisle right with the lighters. They aren't expensive. I think I paid $6.00 for mine. And expect it to get rusty looking fast. They don't stay pretty... Several MFGs sell them. The one I got is labelled Kingsford, and I like it better than the weber one. THe holes make it easier to get a lighter to the paper on bottom...

Lastly, trial and error. Experiment with various charcoals to see what works best for you. Most people seem to prefer Royal Oak, or Kingsford in the Blue bag. I like Kingsford Mesquite, but will sometimes use blue bag and toss in some chunks of pecan for the smoke.  Find out what works best for you, and what you prefer...

Welcome to the world of barbecuing on coals! The way it should be!

3 Kettles. 1998 Daisy Wheel 22.5, 2010 Smokey Joe Silver 14, 2018 Jumbo Joe Premium 22.5.

james1787

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1015
Re: Looking to get started in North Texas
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2018, 10:20:44 AM »
Hi Matt, I would start with a 22" and a Chimney Starter. I find the 22 is the most versatile.. they are great for just about anything... grilling, smoking, etc. You have enough space to grill for several people. As others said.. Chimney starter all the way. Put the charcoal in.. a piece or two of newspaper or a paper grocery bag and you're on your way. Eventually if you get into smoking a second grill (maybe an 18?) is nice to have... you can then leave your 22" smoking / keep it's temps stable and then you can use the second grill for the other stuff (veggies, corn, burgers/dogs, whatever). Welcome back to charcoal!
Seeking either 56-58 anything or Westerner

yippee

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 32
Re: Looking to get started in North Texas
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2018, 07:04:39 PM »
Thank you all for the excellent replies. I'm getting even more pumped up about getting back into the world of charcoal now, and feel like I should adapt well to the forum life here. Definitely have a chimney starter on my list for sure, sounds like a great way to get things going.

I was planning to add a thermometer to the grill, good to know where to place it though. I didn't really think of placement since you normally see them mounted up top, but it makes perfect sense. Are there any regularly mounted thermometers that stand out of the crowd, or are they all pretty much created equal? I'd like something accurate that I can expect to last a good while.

What about charcoal? What's everybody using these days? I do hear a lot about the Royal Oak coals. Is there a certain type they make that everyone prefers? Or is pretty much everything they make good to go?

SmokenJoe

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2734
Re: Looking to get started in North Texas
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2018, 09:13:35 PM »
Matt, hello and welcome to the WKC from Eugene, Oregon.   Many kettleHeads in TX, give them a shout-out.

SJ
"Too Beef, or Not too Beef" ...

Looking for Dark Blue MBH 22", Dark Green MBH 22", Yellow MBH 22", Glen Blue MBH 22", Avocado MBH 22".