Election 2016

Here’s how to cook seriously good barbecue on a simple charcoal grill

washingtonpost.comYou don’t need a smoker to make top-notch brisket — once you know how to set up your kettle grill. (Deb Lindsey /For The Washington Post)

For many years, I owned an offset smoker, and as a hard-core barbecue enthusiast I insisted on it as an absolute necessity for low-and-slow cooking. Having a firebox to the side, not under, the meats means you can more easily keep the heat gentle — and replace coals and wood as needed.

Then a couple of years ago, I gave it to a neighbor. It was still usable, but I’d grown weary of its frailties, its leakiness and its creeping Soviet-like empire-building rust. I had intended to replace it with a much better one, but after a road trip to various custom smoker manufacturers, I returned home mired in indecision. Meanwhile, I found myself doing more and more of those big smokes, such as ribs, beef brisket and pork shoulder, on my simple 22-inch Weber kettle instead.

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