Weber Smokey Joe: How Much Charcoal and How to Grill
The Weber Smokey Joe is one of the best small grills on the market. You can check my complete review here, but I can outline the features for you.
- It has a 14” diameter making it large enough to cookout food for 2-4 people easily.
- It’s made to the high standards with durable materials Weber is known for.
- It weighs just 9 and a half pounds, so it’s a breeze to carry and backpack with.
- It uses coals, so no fiddly gas connections or running out of fuel suddenly.
Here are some commonly asked questions about the Smokey Joe and additional tips to get the most out of this awesome grill:
How to Assemble the Weber Smokey Joe
There are only a few parts involved. You’ll need a cross-headed screwdriver, and a flat-headed screwdriver, but don’t worry, it’s really simple.
- The handle needs to be fixed on, just one screw and a couple of parts to clamp on
- The ash pan and legs have a screw and wingnut fitting to hold all the legs in place
- Each leg attaches to the bowl of the grill
- Then sit the charcoal grill in, add the cooking grate on the ledge above and you’re done
The grill is small and light enough to carry with you camping, there is no need to ever disassemble it. It’s too fiddly to start doing that.
If you want a grill that’s even more compact for traveling check out the Go-Anywhere, the legs swing around and tuck in when in transit.
If you prefer to watch a quick video showing you how to assemble the grill check this video:
How Much Charcoal Do You Need to Use?
If you have used charcoal grills before you’ll notice that the Weber requires less than a standard grill.
This is due to the two vents in the top and bottom, or on the side on some models. They let plenty of airflow through when open to keep the coals burning.
The dome shape design is also more than just for show. You can arrange the coals to burn longer and make the most of the heat.
Around 10-12 briquettes should be enough to grill some burgers and hot dogs no problem. If you’re using it for the first time start here.
An additional tip is to make sure you always clean the grill out of ash and grease after every use and pay particular attention to the vents.
How to Light Your Grill with a Chimney Starter
You may have seen Weber offering a chimney start as an add-on to their grills. Chimney starters are handy to speed up lighting your grill and makes it easy handling the coals.
Check out the short video below, or follow these basic steps:
- Add some coals to your chimney
- Place a couple of lighter cubes below the grill and light them
- Place the chimney on top of the lighter cubes until the coals light
- Lift the grate and pour the coals into your grill
- Replace the lid and give them a few minutes to warm up
How to Grill on the Smokey Joe
The Smokey Joe is about as versatile as a grill gets. You can grill just about anything you’d expect from a camping grill, and it couldn’t be any easier.
You have a good deal of control over the temperature. There is damper system, which means you can increase or decrease the ventilation to adjust the heat.
The vents are on the top and bottom of the standard model, and on the side of the Smokey Joe Premium. I find the side vents a little easier to use, but it’s just a preference thing.
Then it’s really as simple as placing the meats on your grill and keeping an eye on the temperature and how evenly they are cooking.
This video takes you through the steps, from loading up some coals to grilling some meats:
Using the Snake Method in a Weber Grill
The snake method, or the fuse method as it’s also called is a technique that allows you to smoke a brisket to the quality you’d expect from an expensive smoker.
You can get up to 8 hours too using this method. You place coals in a snake-like shape around the edge of the grill, they then slowly burn as the heat travels through.
The following video demonstrates how to place the coals in the snake method:
If u have any questions about your Smokey Joe, or any other grill for that matter, drop me a message below and I’ll do my best to help.
If I want to smoke a small 4 lb pork butt on a Smokey Joe, any advise on how much charcoal to start with? Am I burning like 2-3 coals to start? I was thinking of trying snake method with some wood chips sprinkled on the coals going around. How can I tell the temperature ?