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Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: Marcello Santos
Date: September 18, 2009 09:43AM
I have the standard Webber tripod grill. I don't want to use so much charcoal. However, the space between the cooking grill and the lower 'coal catcher' grill is quite large. Was thinking about putting rocks or broken-up pieces of cement block in first, then charcoal on top of that.
What do you think?
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: AAA
Date: September 18, 2009 09:46AM
I think lining with brick would be good. I'm sure somewhere they sell brick just for this. But likely any old brick would have sufficient heat retention (thermal mass) to help out.
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 18, 2009 09:51AM
I think that putting the heat too close to your meal may result in charring rather than a nice even cooking. Keep in mind that a BBQ is essentially an oven, and cooks best when closed.

Also blocking the lower vent will make it harder to start your charcoal and control the temperature of the burn.

But if you have to, just block up the charcoal 'catcher' on a couple of bricks and see how it works.
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: Lee3
Date: September 18, 2009 10:02AM
I would put another grate in and raise it up. You want good airflow and I think all that rock would be a heat sink. Thermal mass and all. Maybe lava rock.
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: motopsyco
Date: September 18, 2009 10:11AM
Fire brick should do the trick. I thought of lava rock right away too. The standard Weber grill does fine with just a couple of handfuls of charcoal. All you need to do is space them uniformly on the lower grill (after starting in a charcoal chimney or on the lower grill) and choke the air flow accordingly.

Cheers!
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: MacManMaz
Date: September 18, 2009 11:01AM
I wouldn't use just any old rock or brick. Anyone that has done any camping near a river will tell you that certain rocks with moisture in them will at least crack if not explode when the fire gets hot enough. Regular old brick will absorb moisture and grease and splinter into a mess.

I would probable try drilling three or four holes in the side of the grill and inserting some bolts to set the grill on. You'll have to try something temporary to get the height right, but then you can leave the charcoal grate at the bottom and move the cooking grill closer to the coals. I have used this technique on a smoker that I have.
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 18, 2009 11:43AM
I was under the impression that it was designed to cook properly with that "space". In fact, most charcoal bags tell you to spread the coals out into a single layer when they're ready, don't they?
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 18, 2009 11:48AM
"I have the standard Webber tripod grill. I don't want to use so much charcoal..."

buy a smaller one?
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: AAA
Date: September 18, 2009 12:10PM
buying brick and lining it will MAKE it smaller, and more heat consistent.

Get a 'big green egg' which can cook with as little as two or three charcoal briquettes. WHY? Because it is ceramic-lined.

Plus, the bricks might help stabilize the grill, imo.
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: JEBB
Date: September 18, 2009 05:33PM
With a charcoal grill I've had my best cooking success by putting vermiculite in it to create a flat surface closer to the grill and food. I'd place the charcoal briquets on that surface and ignite them. The vermiculite is insulating so the metal of the kettle (name?) is kept from getting super hot and lasts longer. When you're done cooking and the coals are cold you can just stir the ash into the vermiculite. Eventually you'll have to replace the ash-vermiculite mixture with new vermiculite.

I don't know what quality of vermiculite is available today but I recall that the vermiculite sold at Home Depot for insulation purposes had pieces that were too small. The vermiculite I used came as packing material around bottles of chemicals we got at the research lab where I worked.

A gas grill is a lot easier to deal with and gives cooking results that are indistinguishable from that achieved cooking over charcoal.
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: guitarist
Date: September 18, 2009 07:59PM
Quote
AAA
buying brick and lining it will MAKE it smaller, and more heat consistent.

Get a 'big green egg' which can cook with as little as two or three charcoal briquettes. WHY? Because it is ceramic-lined.

Plus, the bricks might help stabilize the grill, imo.

Big Green Egg is great, my wife and I JUST got one, we love it.

Note: Big Green Egg owners don't use briquettes. Real hardwood charcoal is preferred. Briquettes (composed of sawdust and wax and other fillers) are undesirable. Also, the BGE is extraordinarily fuel efficient. It gets more cooking hours out of a measure of charcoal than any other type of grill I've ever used. One bag of hardwood charcoal could last three months. And it leaves behind very little ash. The ceramic lining is a real plus. I can see why these things are so highly regarded.

Re: improvising and customizing the Weber--I'm among those who question the wisdom of altering the fire pan of a grill by adding foreign material like rocks or bricks. Weber made the size and shape of each compartment the way it is for a reason, re: air flow, volume, etc. Particularly the part where the fire is made.

It's more efficient and safer to use the fire chamber of the grill the way it was designed to be used. If you do decide to play Jr. Engineer change the way the grill works because you're dissatisfied with the size of the grill you purchased, I'd make sure and test it a few times before eating any food cooked in it. Since any changes you make can be changed back (bricks or rocks removed when you find it doesn't work well) it's probably low risk, no harm to try.
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Date: September 18, 2009 10:03PM
I did something similar to my Dad's Webber. I bought some ~20 gauge stainless steel wire and used it to hang the charcoal grate up about 2" higher. The only problem is the briquettes sometimes roll over the gap between the grate and the side when he spreads them out. He was really cheap and would turn the vents off after grilling and save the unburned for next time.



in tha 510.
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Re: Filler material for Webber Grill?
Posted by: M>B>
Date: September 18, 2009 11:36PM
Weber Smokey Joe...


[www.amazon.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/18/2009 11:38PM by M>B>.
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