It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Woo hoo, let’s barbecue!
Things cooked on our trusty Weber are delicious and the timing always reliable. When we purchased our first one, we went out on a limb and barbecued a whole chicken, using the indirect method and a drip pan under the chicken, fabulous! We were so in love with how things turned out; we decided to cook our Thanksgiving turkey on it. What can I say, delicious, juicy, with crispy, brown skin. We did a 14 lb. bird and discovered that it cooked really fast, a maximum of 11 minutes per lb! LOVE IT, LOVE IT!
A few years ago we switched from briquettes to all natural charcoal and were puzzled, OK frustrated, as to why we couldn’t keep the coals hot for cooking foods that required longer periods of time rather than just a quick grilling. It really, really bugged me that we seemed unable to fix the problem. I mean, it’s not like we have not been barbecuing since, like forever. The last straw was a whole chicken. The coals gave it up and the chicken was still uncooked after 1 hour! Not good, not good at all. I had to finish it in the oven. I even phoned the place where we buy the charcoal to see if they might have any ideas.
One afternoon a Weber chimney appeared on our outdoor table, a gift from our neighbours; fellow Weber junkies. This thing works like a charm. First, you don’t use starter fuel. Just place tightly twisted up newspaper in the bottom, the charcoal on top and light from the bottom. In a very short time, voila, the charcoal is ready to use. We discovered that if we dumped all the charcoal into the barbecue on one side only, the heat was retained. Success!
We even cooked porchetta following Dario Cecchini’s of Macelleria Cecchini method, (lots of salt & pepper, rosemary, his seasoned salt and fennel pollen,) slow cooked pork and beef ribs, pulled pork, corn on the cob, all succulent, beautifully cooked and yummy!
The majority of people like their gas barbecues because they are so convenient and quick. I’m telling you this chimney speeds up the process so much that if I had a gas barbecue; it would be sent to barbecue heaven! We really think the taste of food cooked on our trusty Weber doesn’t compare to a gas barbecue. However we do drool/dream about the Big Green Egg and building a wood burning outdoor oven. Can you just imagine the pizza’s from a wood burning oven?
Tip: The Weber chimney works great for roasting peppers! Just wait until the charcoal is glowing, toss in the peppers and turn until blistered and blackened, remove to a paper bag for 15 – 20 minutes; peel, remove seeds and membrane; easy, easy.