He who said you can’t use a Weber kettle for low and slow cooking was most certainly wrong because this step-by-step tutorial outlines exactly how a great Pitmaster prepares their kettle for low and slow smoke of some mouth watering-ly delicious meat…
How To Set Up a Weber Kettle for Low And Slow Cooking
The two main things you want to keep in mind are:
- Protecting the food against direct heat during long cooks
- Improving heat distribution in the Kettle
Let’s go through those two points in more detail. Firstly, why is direct heat a bad thing? During low and slow cooking sessions, you want the food to cook evenly throughout. Even if the charcoal is not directly beneath the meat, radiant heat will cook the side that is closest to the source faster- you might end up with something that’s well done on one side, and raw on the other!
There are a few methods to work around this. One is a “stone wall”, which essentially divides the firebox into two compartments, separating fuel from food. Similarly, but with variations in effectiveness, you can use a metal wall or a tin foil wall.
Secondly, in a typical smoker setup, airflow from the bottom vent to the top vent means heat will distribute unevenly. This, again, means the food will cook unevenly. You can improve air distribution by placing a shield at the bottom of your kettle. This will separate hot air from cold air, and create more even heat distribution.
Here’s how Pitmaster X does it:
Using a standard Weber charcoal basket, compartmentalize the charcoal, and have the first vertical “wall” that deflects radiant heat. Then wrap 2 sheets of tinfoil around the exposed bottom grate to create the second, horizontal “wall” that improves airflow and heat distribution. Simply load up the charcoal basket with fuel, and you have a Weber kettle for low and slow cooking!
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