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Author Topic: Planning Kettle Use  (Read 15062 times)


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 669
Planning Kettle Use
« on: March 08, 2024, 12:20:17 PM »

Trying to get beyond latest scores, trades and what’s on the grill tonight…..

Anyone out there watch the weather for upcoming cooks to determine if they will be brisket focused or burger night? 

How about watching weather for ‘bigger events’ to show your skills on the precious kettles you have?

What’s the biggest kettle cook you’ve done and how was the result?  Did you feel rewarded based on the time and effort you put in?

Some pics to encourage the conversation!

Just seeing what others have done and how club members feel about entertaining and cooking for family and others.

B aka Gringo

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  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3968
Re: Planning Kettle Use
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2024, 04:48:19 PM »
Grate questions.   I cook in all sorts of weather and all year in Indiana.   I don’t have a covered area so only a heavy rain will prevent me from cooking.    I do keep a kettle in my garage to wheel out to the opening of it’s raining too hard.   

As for big cooks, I’ve done catering with my ranch kettle.  I’ve done 6 pork butts at once.  I’ve done three pork butts and a brisket on the ranch for my family reunion.   We host friends for cookouts and a 26 is usually sufficient, but again, the ranch is tough to beat.   I’m a “cook everything, including the sides, on the kettle” kind of guy.   

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  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 315
Re: Planning Kettle Use
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2024, 01:55:51 PM »
I typically look at weather more so to adjust time and what I wear. It’s all year long here in Wyoming, and if the weather is less ideal for one grill I’ve got one to cover (say, windy and cold affects a standard kettle more than my Summit charcoal).

Largest cook, my Ranch. It turned out well and remains the only cook I’ve done on it.

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  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5939
Re: Planning Kettle Use
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2024, 07:50:43 AM »
Great questions Bobby!  While I love scores and cooking posts, I also love thought provoking posts we can have in forum style that just don’t work on platforms like Facebook or Instagram.  Thanks for starting this one……

We definitely watch the weather for upcoming cooking plans.  Kellee is our in-house meteorologist and always keeps me informed of what’s coming for the weekend.  Like Mopar and Michael – I don’t let bad weather prevent me from a cook if I have it in my plans to do so, but rather adjust which cooker to use and where to place it.  Most of my cooks are on the deck (you’ve seen the pictures I’m sure) and it can be quite windy on the ridge where we live.  I’ll roll a grill to the back side of the house if needed or under the covered area if the rains begin.  I had to fashion a makeshift wind break for the last brisket I did which worked well.

I really don’t do many large cooks.  I guess we cook large mostly at the beach when the whole family is there or at family reunions we have once a year.  I love cooking pork shoulders, ribs and beans – briskets are pretty fun as well.  I think the most rewarding cook is a large batch of prime marinated outside skirt steaks for Mexican Street Tacos.  As long as the family is happy with a large cook then it’s totally worth it to me.  Often when I find something on sale I’ll do a large cook and distribute it to my neighbors just for the fun of it.  Love seeing those smiling faces……Oh and I love cooking corn on the cob and baking potatoes on the grill.  Watching the carbs over the last couple of years keeps me from making those but I sure do love them! 
Bottom line – the fun for me is selecting the grill / cooker to use, electronic assistants like thermometers / fans, whether or not to incorporate cast iron, type of charcoal and wood chunks if any, discovering new recipes and documenting recipes that worked.  I love a sunny warm day with low wind, but I have just as much fun cooking during a storm.  Did that once while the family was over and enjoyed the challenge.

I’ll share a few beach and reunion cooks from the past few years which seem to have the most crowded grill shots………


  • Moderator
  • Posts: 3640
Re: Planning Kettle Use
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2024, 08:48:14 AM »

I occasionally will do large cooks for family birthdays and neighborhood block parties.  Sometimes multiple 22" kettles are used and sometimes the Ranch Kettle. Below are photos from a ranch kettle cook.  Six tri-tips for 40 people.  No left overs. 

"Chasing Classic Kettles"


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 669
Re: Planning Kettle Use
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2024, 10:26:35 AM »
@michaelmilitello, I can relate in some areas of weather (but not your pristine kettles)and appreciate your input. We’re in suburbs and a townhouse so no covered cooking area. Years ago I bought a 10X10 sports canopy and I used it as my emergency plan b if it rained heavily; that’s when I cooked heavily with 4 kids and 8 nieces/nephews within 5 miles. Don’t cook tons at a time now since we’re almost empty nesters.

@moparproud, the ranch feast looks grate! Getting all that on one grate level and timing for success takes some skill!  Thanks for sharing on your conditions and I like the others cook year around. I have only kettles these days (22, 26, 18, SJ and JJ). I’ve been through some offsets and large pellet over last 15 yrs.

@bamakettles, don’t you have a grill for each day of the year????[emoji23]. I couldn’t do that as I have found I’ve gotten lazy the last 2 years and found a few grills turning their eye at me since I haven’t spread the love across my family as you do!  You and others encourage me to try “more than meat” on the kettles. I used to be protein only and couldn’t slice a tomato if it was in the kitchen. I’ve learned a lot here for grilling more than meat for sure and have done some cast iron dishes, soups, and pizza. (Claudia did help me with making dough once or twice). You pics are always spectacular and your grills spotless! Thanks for the encouragement.

@cellar2ful, that pic with 3 chimneys should be in the calendar next year!  I guess the theme these days is “RANCH”!!  How does the timing and juggling kettles go for you when multiple in use?  I did one cook for my sister’s school where I had 3 22” kettles going. Luckily one was with pork butt and chicken smoking and then the other two were hot n fast for burgers and steaks. It worked and was fun.

Thanks gentlemen for replying to a thread that was a little longer in nature!

I too cook all year around, I’m usually not proactive though to see what the surroundings will be 2or more days in advance so I have dealt with some bad weather when I had the grilling adrenaline going and “just had to cook” something!

Thanks again for the input and others welcome to add!

Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club