This blog all sounds great, Jack, but …. what do I need to do exactly the same as you do?
Well, to answer that fantastic question, you need the same weather, of course, but since I live in Holland, and not all of you do, I guess this kind of grilling can only be done in Scotland, since they have similar weather to ours….
Just kidding, of course, but I do imagine that talking about OTP, DO, WSM and other strangely familiar terms, it might be helpful to explain a bit more about the hardware I myself use.
OTP (One Touch Premium) is a Weber Kettle grill as seen on the picture below, that allows for a 57cm diameter grilling space. It has the ability to do some direct and indirect grilling, although the lower the temperature needs to be, the easier it is to do this on a more serious smoker, but we’ll get to that next. This grill is very well operable between roughly 120 up to 250-300 degrees Celcius. Temperature is controlled by the air intake on the bottom.
Rotisserie (rotating device for OTP) is the ring that can be applied to the OTP by lifting the lid of and placing it in between. It allows for some fantastic chicken or meat, and even ribs can be done by using this rotating device. It saves a lot of moist in between and makes ruining your food a little harder. Just my kind of thing. Oh, and don’t forget it has a 220V engine and can rotate 10kg of meat at once! Men hungry!
WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain) is a smoker that has a diameter of 47cm, in my case, and has 2 racks of space inside. Twice the space is twice the amount of food in there, and that should be good, shouldn’t it? It has a coal rack in the bottom, and a big water bowl in the middle to allow for easy temperature control and keep the food moist (although I don’t think that’s the main reason). I love this thing to do ribs, pulled pork, brisket, or actually anything that requires a long smoke session with a lower temperature. Temperature range can be held between 85 to 120-140 degrees Celcius easily.
WGA (Weber Go Anywhere) is the smallest of the lot and is a very handy and portable Weber Grill. It’s one of the only grills made by Weber that isn’t round, but rectangular. It’s legs can be folded and secured over the lid to keep it closed during transportation. It acts like a suitcase. I is small, but not too small to allow for indirect grilling, although it requires some aluminium foil and some ‘mac guyver’ techniques. I mainly use this one during holidays, although it’s a very handy grill to use for some burgers or burger buns and satay, for example. Besides that, it’s just an adorable little grill.
DO (Dutch Oven) is a traditional cast iron pan, that has legs on the underside, allowing for some room to put coals under and a ledge on the lid that allows for some coals on top as well. It acts like an oven, and you can cook virtually anything in there, from bread, cake, stews, chicken, beef and even ribs or pulled pork. It definitely doesn’t give you the coal / grill taste that one of the others would, or give you the smokey flavour, but it’s a fantastic thing to complement the outdoor cooking center I pretend to have.
Burger Press (The magic thingy where meat goes in and burgers come out) is the simple press that I use to create either 1/4 pounders of 1/2 pounders, depending on my personal hunger and amount of minced meat I have, of course. Just a matter of putting the minced meat in and press it firmly to remove as much air as you can from the mixture inside. When done, wrap the burger in plastic (per burger!) and cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to make them more firmly. Grill to your liking!
Maverick ET-732 (the thermometer) is the thermometer of my choice, although I’ve used multiple of them over time. There are some newer versions out right now, but this one still does it for me. It’s a wireless, 2 zones, thermometer with configurable alarms for dome or core temperatures. You can configure it to use either Celsius or Fahrenheit. I love this thing. Put it in the meat and place 1 sensor on the grill itself, and monitor the process from inside without being bothered by the cold or rain outside.
GrillEye Pro (temperature meter) is my current thermometer, with the possibility of 8 probes for meat or grill temperatures. It supports Bluetooth and WiFi connections, and has an app for Android and iPhone that (fortunately) also support (albeit very light) the Apple Watch. Remote connections and temperature statistics / graphs are visible in the app. Awesome device.
PartyQ (the temperature control blower)To spoil things up, and to feed my hunger into electronics and all things powerful, I’ve decided to buy myself a sweet and little PartyQ. As you might as well know now, temperature in a grill is controlled by altering the airflow on the intake on the bottom. In this case, we add an electronic device that monitors the temperature on the grate and activates a blower on the air intake of the grill. If the temperature drops, it blows more air in, lighting up the coals a bit more until the temperature is right again. Also, if the temperature rises, it closes the intake, bringing down the temperature a little more. Fantastic thingy for long smoker sessions on the WSM. Especially during nightly runs with some pulled pork or brisket.
Firepit (great for looking it it, when operational) is the place to center everything around and to sit next to drinking a nice little beverage while ‘keeping an eye out on the temperatures’. It’s mostly for fun, but you can also use it to do some marshmallows, though. Recently purchased it, and didn’t use it a lot yet, but I plan to change that!
Flame Boss 500 keeps my grill amazingly on temp, even low temperatures. It has WiFi connection, and I can use the app, so wherever I am, I’m in control of my notifications and pit temp!