The big cook! This all turned out somewhat backwards. Originally I was going to just grill a ribeye. It was my new grill tradition. When that didn’t work, I decided to cook a Boston Butt. In theory a good idea. However, with a new grill design I was unfamiliar with and wind chill in the teens, I picked a less than ideal day and menu.
I should have taken better note of the fact that when the water soaking your wood chips freezes, it means it is cold outside. Secondly, although my alma mater is known as an engineer school (Go Boilers!) I am most certainly not an engineer, a chemist, a physicist, or even a guy who wears a white jacket on TV pretending to be an engineer, chemist, or physicist. My point is, I know the grill is bigger, but I have yet to figure out the right mix of fuel and time to maintain my usual spot on low and slow grilling.
I used the minion method and I started off by adding too many unlit coals. On the 22 I use about 3/4 of a chimney. I doubled that on the 26, which was a mistake. The temperature started out too high and even with all of the vents closed, I couldn’t bring it down. After about 2 hours in (and the removal of some coals) I pegged in around 220.
The new hood thermometer is nice. Unfortunately, I had a homebrew wort accident with my temperature probe, so the hood temp was all I had.
With the temp sliding around the 5-6 hour mark, I attempted to add some unlit coals hoping to stay in the ballpark. When those didn’t take in time, I added some lit coals around 7 hours. By the time things wrapped up around the 10 hour mark the temp was too high again, but the meat was right at the finish mark of 190.
It did not help that I had divided attention all day between not dying in the cold, home improvements, and the grill. The pulled pork was good, but not great.
Closing thoughts: I like this grill. Although, doing one Boston Butt is a little excessive for a grill this size. Fortunately, by still having the 22s in the arsenal I can diversify depending on what I want to make. Also, for some reason I think I will use the 26 for a lot more direct grilling. As I eluded to before, the large surface area will mean a larger area to spread out the temperature zones. I can pack more on one grill. Especially when balancing steaks, vegetables, potatoes, etc.
One more thing, I wish Weber would have included was a hook to hang the grate from. I hate not having a place to put the grate when I am prepping the charcoal.
So far so good. I have a lot more to experiment with, but so far I like what I see…and what I am hopefully going to eat!
Thanks again to my wife for this much cherished gift!