This was a good day! And by this, I mean last Friday when I took possession of my brand new Weber Smokey Mountain 57cm.
This smoker really is a thing of beauty - with Webers' quality black porcelain-enameled styling - this is a gorgeous piece of kit!
Arriving for pickup, what really grabbed my attention was the overall size of the unit. It's size became even more evident when I was unable to get it into the back of the car and had to unpack it from the box and squeeze pieces in to various footwells. In fact, it almost came down to having to leave one of the kids behind.
Once me and Nico started assembly (you would be surprised how little help a 3 year old is at assembling a smoker) I started to see the huge amount of grilling real estate that was about to be at my disposal - at 124cm in height and 57cm in diameter, I actually lost Nico inside for a good 35 minutes.
With 2 smoking racks and a huge water pan, there is room for a stupid amount of meat inside, relative to the footprint it takes up on the grill deck.
For it's initial burn it, using the chimney, I added around 25 Weber briquettes and got that going. I filled the bottom with the remainder of the 4kg bag of Weber Briquettes. tossed in some applewood chunks and let her go for 4 hours just to see how it performed.
While I left her to crank, I prepped some American imported St. Louis cut pork ribs by removing the membrane, then dusting them in a 50:50 mix of Barbecue Mafia Enforcer and La Famila rubs. I prefer this mix up for smaller cuts, as the Enforcer helps to mellow out the vinegar hit you get with the La Famila.
After a trip to Reubens to grab some wings, and a visit to the local park in the rain ("I'm wearing a jumper and a hat, I wont get wet" - Nico) we got home, checked how the temp had been performing, then put the ribs in.
I prefer to use a slightly modified 3-2-1 method on ribs which tends to give a good smoke hit, whilst providing a juicy tender meat that leaves a good bite mark. I adjust the times around depending on how the meat looks and feels across the cook. Barbecue to me is more about how the meat feels and looks rather than what the clock is doing.
- 3 hours of smoking
- 2 hours wrapped
- 15 minutes unwrapped
For this cook I chose to use applewood for the smoking, which tends to be the go-to for pork.
When wrapping, I added a drizzle of barbecue sauce, a dusting of Amplify and some chunks of butter for extra flavour and moisture.
Once I unwrapped them, I gave them a light coat of Heavenly hell championship glaze before putting them back on for the final stint - it's important to leave any sugar-heavy or thick glazes until the final minutes, as if added too early they can burn and take on a bitter taste.
The ribs were outstanding - probably the best ribs I've manged to do - which has to be a good omen for this new barbecue kit.
I also threw together some Mafia BBQ Chicken Wings which I added for the last hour. These came out incredibly juicy with a perfect crunchy bite.
One of my favorite things about this grill (besides the size, appearance and cooking space) is the thermometer. It consistently read pretty well within the same temperature range as the iGrill probe that I had sitting at grill level.
The only area of possible improvement I noted has been well written about the place by others, is that the door design just doesn't make sense when compared to the quality exhibited throughout the rest of the unit.
All in all, I'm pretty excited to put this beast through its paces in the coming months. Next weekend (if the weather permits) I will be trying out some Wakanui Beef Ribs and maybe another round of wings.