Weber Grill Review
There is a single word that explains why you would want to buy the Weber
Platinum or Performer grill over the One Touch Gold; that word is ribs. Let me
explain by walking you through the details of how I make awesome ribs on my
Weber Platinum charcoal grill. My recipe is reflective of competition style barbecue
and makes ribs that are sweet with just a little bite.
The 22 inch Weber grills are large enough to handle two slabs of baby backs or St.
Louis spares when using indirect heat. If you are using baby backs you can get
them cooked in about five hours while the St. Louis spares will take about six.
Start by removing the membrane from the back of the ribs and then give the ribs a
thorough coating of your favorite rib rub. If possible let the rubbed ribs sit in the
refrigerator a few hours or preferably overnight. My rub is a modification of one
given by Alton Brown and consists of:
• 8 Tbls brown sugar
• 3 Tbls kosher salt
• 1 Tbls chili powder
• 1 Tbls lemon pepper seasoning
I prepare my grill by filling one charcoal basket to about 80-90% full with Kingsford
briquettes and placing this on the far right side of the grill. I will then use a
chimney to light about 20 briquettes. Once the charcoal in the starter chimney is
fully lit and covered in ash I will pour them on top of the briquettes in the charcoal
baskets. I leave the lid up and wait for about five minutes until some of the
underlying charcoal starts to get lit.
At this point I adjust the bottom air intake damper to about 90% closed. I close
the lid and adjust the top air outlet damper to about 90% closed. I then go inside
and get the ribs out of the refrigerator and let them sit on the counter while my
kettle comes to a temperature between 225 and 275F. Ideally I want to be as
close to 225 as possible but I don’t get too upset if I am closer to 275.
How do I know when my grill has reached the right temperature? Because I am
cooking on a Weber Platinum which has a built in lid thermometer! If you are using
a Silver or Gold all you can do is guess about your temperature. Sticking a
thermometer through the top vent won’t work because the vent is almost entirely
closed. Even if you have a skinny thermometer that will fit you will never be
consistent in how you place it from cook to cook. Even more annoying is that your
ability to cook ribs is directly tied to you being able to find that thermometer when
you need it.
Once my grill is at temperature I add the ribs to the opposite side of the grill from the
charcoal. The ribs go onto the grill with the bone side down and the meat side up. I
add a small chunk of wood to the top of the lit charcoal, close the lid and walk away.
As far as wood is concerned I prefer maple but apple is also good. Some people
prefer oak and hickory.
Over the course of the next three hours I check my kettle about every thirty minutes to
make sure the temperature is still in the 225 to 275 range. If I slip outside of this range
I will adjust the top air vent slightly (open the vent to get hotter, close the vent to cool
off). There is no need to lift the lid during this time.
After three hours the next step in cooking the ribs begins. I place four long sheets of
heavy duty aluminum foil onto a baking sheet and grab a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray
barbecue sauce and a bottle of either maple syrup or honey. I then grab my tongs and
carry everything out to the grill. I set up my foiling station on the side tables of my
Platinum. You need a side table to do this otherwise you are carrying everything back
and forth from the kitchen which is a major pain in the neck. The Platinum and
Performer have side tables while the Silver and Gold do not.
I squirt a few long lines of barbecue sauce onto one sheet of foil. I remove a slab of
ribs and place them meat side down onto the sauced covered foil. I pour some honey
or maple syrup along the bone side of the ribs. The ribs get tightly wrapped in the first
sheet of foil and then double wrapped with a second sheet. Once the slab is double
wrapped it goes back on the grill, meat side down. I repeat the process with the other
slab of ribs.
Now that the ribs are foiled you can refuel the grill. I grab the charcoal basket with my
tongs, give it a little lift and shake it back and forth. A lot of ash will fall out and the
remaining live coals will settle to the bottom of the basket. Don’t do this until after the
ribs are foiled otherwise you will get ashes all over the meat. Go ahead and fill the
charcoal basket back up with more charcoal and leave the lid off of the grill for another
five minutes to make sure the coals start to ignite. After five minutes close the lid and
make sure the grill settles into the 225 to 275 range.
Let the ribs cook in the foil for two hours if you are cooking spares or one hour if
working with baby backs. Again, check the grill every thirty minutes to make sure your
temperature is holding. After the ribs have cooked for two hours remove them from the
grill and very carefully open up the foil. The foil will have between a half and a full cup of
steaming liquid inside. Using your tongs, remove the ribs from the foil and place them
back on the grill bone side down. Carefully pour the liquid from the foil into a bowl and
discard the foil. Again, this process is so much easier if you have the side tables from
the Platinum or Performer.
Once both slabs of ribs are back on the grill I like to hit the meat side with a very light
dusting of the dry rub. I then close the lid of the grill and leave the ribs alone for half an
hour. During this half hour I degrease the liquids I poured off from the foil and add a
few tablespoons of honey to make my glaze. After the ribs have cooked out of the foil
for thirty minutes I brush them with the glaze and let them cook for another thirty
minutes. After one hour of cooking out of the foil I will brush them again with glaze and
start checking for doneness.
The ribs are done when they have pulled away from the bone by at least half an inch
and a toothpick will slide through the meat with little resistance. Take the ribs off the
grill and let them rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. The leftover glaze
can be used as a side of barbecue sauce.
Alright, that was a bit long winded but I hope I made my point. If you are serious about
cooking ribs then you definitely want to spend a little more and get a Platinum or
Performer instead of the Weber One Touch Gold. If your game is mostly vegetables,
bratwurst, burgers, chicken and steak then the One Touch Gold will meet your needs