Can You Smoke on a Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Barbecue?

Smoking on a Weber Master Touch Charcoal BBQ

Yes, with a little set-up it’s quite simple to use any Weber Master-Touch BBQ as a barbecue smoker. Everyone loves the subtle smokiness that Barbecuing imparts to food, and experimenting with smoking can take those smouldering flavours to the next level, bringing a new perspective to BBQ food. As well as tasting delicious, smoked food is also tantalizingly tender. Thankfully it’s a simple technique that anyone can easily master. Each barbecue in our Weber Master-Touch Collection is unique, but they all work in broadly the same way. So, read on as we delve into Can You Smoke on a Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Barbecue?

What is smoking on a BBQ

Smoking describes cooking food at a low heat so that the smoke has plenty of time to encircle and penetrate food, reacting with meat to cook it “low and slow”.

To achieve the very best flavour and texture, BBQ smoking is typically done at a low temperature on a grill and smoker, with a long cooking time. This encourages the muscle fibre and fat in meat to render over time; basting the meat as it cooks. This results in supremely soft, tender flesh, in even the toughest and fattiest cuts such as beef brisket, pork shoulder or ribs. Think of barbecued pulled pork or beef, which falls apart as you cut into it and melts in the mouth.

What you will need

Weber Charcoal Briquettes are a 100% natural product, designed to burn at a lower temperature and for longer than lumpwood charcoal, making them perfect to use for BBQ smoking. Briquettes produce an even heat, useful in longer cooks when lumpwood might produce flare-ups or burn food. Weber Charcoal Briquettes are manufactured using compacted waste wood, and contain only carbonised wood. So for cooking food which requires longer than 30 minutes on the grate, you want to choose briquettes. Weber Charcoal Briquettes are also sourced from responsibly managed forests.

Weber Coconut Shell Briquettes are an ecological alternative, made from coconut husks, so no trees are felled in their production, and they perform in a similar way to the Weber Charcoal Briquettes, so are also perfect for extended cooks.

Weber Lighter Cubes are fast to light, and combust with a clean burn that’s odourless, smokeless and mess-free making them a great way to light your charcoal without imparting any flavour or odour to your cook. Plus for a sustainable alternative, Weber Natural Lighter Cubes also burn cleanly and do not impart any odours or flavour to food.

The fastest and easiest fuss free way to get charcoal lit with no mess, is with a Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter, (suitable for any charcoal barbecue). for more information on how to use this, see our blog on What’s the easiest way to light a charcoal barbecue? The Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter Set contains everything needed to get a barbecue started in one great value package, including a Weber Chimney Starter, a Bag of Weber Charcoal Briquettes and a some Weber Lighter Cubes.

Experiment with Weber Wood Chips and Wood Chunks to complement your food with the aroma of real natural wood smoke (see more detail below).

The Weber Lighter is the safest way to get your Weber Natural Lighter Cubes lit, as it is designed to keep a safe length away from the flame.

Offering your hands protection from heat, sparks and flames; branded Weber BBQ Leather Gloves provide a strong firm grip for handling barbecue tools and accessories and look the part too thanks to the smart Weber branding.

Control the heat

The first step is knowing how to control the heat on a Weber BBQ. To cook low and slow, you ideally need to keep the heat around 110-120 degrees Centigrade. To control the heat on the Master-Touch and allow the correct amount of air to circulate for the style of cooking you want to achieve, Weber recommend leaving the lower vent on the BBQ fully open, and controlling the temperature using the top vent, according to the following guide:

Recommended damper settings according to temperature:

High heat230-290 °CFully openPizza, potatoes, rotisserie food
Medium heat175-230 °C½ openPoultry, vegetables, cakes
Low heat120-175 °C¼ openSausages, smoked meat, fish
Low and slow/smoke zone95-150 °C¼ – ⅛ openPulled pork, spare ribs, brisket
OffN/AFully closedN/A

Three methods for low and slow smoking

To smoke low and slow, you will need to set up your Master-Touch for indirect cooking, so that your meat does not get seared from placing it directly over the hot coals. Three methods for indirect cooking which are perfect for smoking, are illustrated below:

Weber Master-Touch charcoal Barbecue parallel cooking method
Weber Master-Touch set up for smoking using charcoal snake method
Charcoal snake
Weber Master-Touch Charcoal BBQ set up for smoking with Weber Heat Controller
Weber Charcoal Heat Controller in use

1. Parallel

To smoke using the parallel method, carefully add smouldering charcoal to either of the barbecue. You can use Weber Char Baskets if you have them, to keep the briquettes together. In the middle, add a foil Weber Drip Pan Tray containing around two litres of hot water. Fit the cooking grate, and place your meat above the foil tray, to cook the meat using indirect heat.

As well as stabilising the heat, the water bath will create a moist environment which helps to keep the meat tender on long, low cooks. Using this method, you can adjust the temperature using the lid vents, and may need to add some charcoal through the hinged cooking grate periodically, to keep the fire going for hours. Monitor the ambient temperature in the BBQ and use the top vents to adjust the heat up or down accordingly, you want to keep the heat between 110 and 120 degrees Centigrade according to your recipe.

2. The Charcoal Snake

Another method for smoking is to create a ring of unlit briquettes, around the outside of the barbecue, so that it forms the letter C and looks like a snake. The ring should be several briquettes wide. Then ignite 6 or 7 briquettes in a chimney starter and once they are hot, add them to one end of the snake. Alternatively, light one end of the snake with Weber Lighter Cubes. Place a hot water bath in the centre of the ring. As the briquettes burn, they will ignite the briquettes next to them, which in turn will burn and eventually light the next ones along and the process continues. This method is perfect for low and slow cooking that lasts over several hours. You can always add coals to the end of the snake if you need to, in order to extend the cook as needed.

3. The Weber Charcoal Heat Controller

If you’d like to smoke using the whole surface of the grill at once, a really simple method is to use a Weber Charcoal Heat Controller. This is a cone and plate which can help moderate the heat on a kettle barbecue. To use it for smoking, place a small hot water bath in the centre of the barbecue’s bowl, and fit the cone over it. Carefully add hot charcoal briquettes around the outside of the cone and fit the plate. The plate will help to tame the heat above the briquettes, so that the whole surface of the barbecue can now be used for cooking on.

Using Wood Chips or Wood Chunks

Experimenting with different wood smokes can surprise guests with exciting new flavours on a barbecue. To generate flavoured smoke which complements BBQ food, carefully add several whole Weber Wood Chunks in with your charcoal once it is lit. Alternatively, sprinkle your briquettes with Weber Wood Chips that have been soaked in water for up to an hour. When they ignite, the delicious flavour and aroma of wood smoke will penetrate your food.

Weber Wood Chips come in several different flavours. Apple is the mildest aroma, which is perfect to add a subtle sweet fruity hint of apple to meat, fish, cheese and vegetable dishes. Hickory Wood Chips will add a subtle sweet and spicy flavour to poultry or pork dishes. Whiskey Wood Chips will add a stronger smoked flavour to chicken, chops or tenderloin. To make chicken, turkey, fish or beef taste even more delicious on a barbecue, Beech Wood Chips can be a great flavour enhancer.

Weber also produces wood chip blends for barbecue smoking, which are specially mixed to match certain foods. Weber’s Smoking Blend Wood Chips -Seafood will delight guests with delicious fruit and mild smoke intensity for all fish and seafood dishes. Weber’s Smoking Blend Wood Chips for Barbecue Smoking – Pork is a careful balance of hardwoods and fruit woods to bring Pork dishes to life with sweet flavour and medium smoke intensity. For sweetly smoked BBQ chicken and poultry dishes, look for Weber Smoking Blend Wood Chips for barbecue smoking – Poultry, whilst the Weber Beef Blend will enhance beef dishes with spicy flavour and strong smoke intensity; from burgers or brisket to tomahawk and ternderloin steaks.

Several Weber wood chunks can also be added to the charcoal to add flavoured smoke, the advantage of these, is that they don’t need pre-soaking and they slowly smoulder along with your charcoal, flavouring the food with delicious smoky aromas and tastes. You can buy 1.5 kg bags of Weber Wood Chunks in two flavours: Apple which subtly complements chicken and fish, or Hickory which enhances beef, venison or pork with rich and spicy wood smoke.

Don’t lift the lid

Weber Igrill 2 with Digital Temperature Probes
Weber iGrill 2 with Digital Temperature Probes in use

It can be tempting to see what’s happening under the lid to check how the cook is progressing, but each time you lift the top up you lose heat, moisture and smoke. Opening the lid will encourage temperature fluctuations, which you don’t want, and you’ll also use more charcoal by doing this.

The best way to monitor how things are proceeding is with the Weber iGrill 2 with Digital Temperature Probes or Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub which monitors the internal temperature of meat to take the guesswork out of grilling, These can be used with any barbecue (or oven), however the iGrill 2 is specially designed to sit on the iGrill Bracket supplied on all the barbecues in our Weber Master-Touch Collection.

By using one of these smart meat thermometers, you’ll always know how the cook is getting on. What’s more, you don’t need to stand over the barbecue: they’ll send updates directly to your phone, giving you the freedom to do something else whilst you are cooking – like entertaining guests or playing with the kids.

You now know how you can smoke on a Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Barbecue – we hope that’s proved useful and informative. If you have any questions then don’t hesitate to contact our barbecue team in-store or call them on 01664 454309. Personally-trained by Weber, and with years of hands-on barbecue experience, they’ll be happy to answer any of your barbecue queries. Alternatively you can shop for barbecues, fuel and accessories online.

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