Did you know that you can use your old kettle grill as a smoker? We found a great link describing how to do it!
1. Prep your meat and wood.
Let your meat soak in your preferred marinade for a few hours. Get your smoking wood ready by soaking it in water for at least 2 hours. Anywhere from an hour to a day before you start cooking you can optionally apply a rub to your meat.
2. Place water pans in the grill.
Fill disposable tin pans halfway with water and place them beneath the meat you are barbecuing. You want the pan or pans to take about half the space at the bottom of the grill.
3. Get the coals hot and put water-soaked wood chips on the coals.
Once the coals are hot, add a couple handfuls of the soaked wood on the coals. Place the top grill grate on the grill. Position the grill grate in a way that if you are using a hinged grill grate, one of the hinged areas lifts up over the coals so you can easily get to them.
4. Put the meat on the grill away from the coals.
Lay the meat over the water pans as far away from the coals as possible. Under no circumstances should you let the meat rest directly over the coals. Cook in batches if you have to, and keep the finished meat in an oven set to “warm” while you do more.
Cover the grill, positioning the vent on the cover directly over the meat. This helps direct the smoke over the meat. Close all vents (bottom one, too!) to keep the temperature as low as you can go; if you have an especially tight lid, keep the vents open just a little.
5. Watch the temperature, check coals, and rotate meat.
Make sure the temperature of the grill lid never exceeds 325 F and that the meat generally stays in the 225-250 range.
If your temperatures get too high, open the lid and let the coals burn off, then add more soaked wood and close the lid again. If your temperature goes below 225, open the vents, and if that does not work open the lid and add more coals and soaked wood.
Every 60-90 minutes, rotate the meat and add more soaked wood.
Different meats will take different amount of cooking times. The key thing to look for is meat on the bones pulling away or falling off the bones or easily separating. Here are a few examples.
Fish: 45-90 minutes
Chicken: 1-2 hours
Baby back ribs: 1.5-2.25 hours
Boston butt, beef brisket or tri-tip: Up to 6 hours
Do not add barbecue sauce until the last 30-45 minutes of cooking (except fish, which you should not add until the last 15 minutes).
If your meat is charred but not completely cooked yet, you can finish it in a 225 degree oven.
Once your meat is done, remove it to a platter, add more sauce and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Let a big tri-tip or Boston butt rest for 20-25 minutes. Add even more sauce right at service and enjoy!