Convenient yet functionally stylish, a Weber always adds something special to just about any outdoor space. While a festive braai and Weber go hand in hand, Weber’s functionality does not end there – it’s one of our top picks of appliances for surviving load-shedding blues because you can conveniently braai, roast, smoke or even bake in a Weber.
Before we take a look at these cooking methods in more detail, remember that no matter how you choose to use your Weber, preheating the grill is always the first and most important step.
Next, note that if you’ve ever eaten food that was burnt on the outside while still being raw on the inside, always note the difference between direct and indirect cooking, and when to use each method. Direct cooking is a high-heat method used to cook food fast, whereas indirect cooking uses heat much like a convection oven would, by circulating the heat throughout the space.
Now that we have those basics out of the way, let’s take a look at the different ways you can use your Weber.
Using indirect heat from the hot coals or gas grill, the Weber can function as an oven, which is perfect for roasting. As the heat rises from the hot coals or gas grill, it reflects off the lid and inside surfaces of the grill, allowing for a slow even cook that is perfect for larger cuts of meat.
Using direct heat from the hot coals or the gas grill, along with the lid of the Weber, you can get perfectly braaied food with just the right amount of charred flavour every time. To achieve a nice sear, try to avoid turning the meat too much. Turn the meat once halfway through the braai and ensure the lid is kept on. This will reduce the cooking time and ensure the food gets cooked throughout, banishing burnt and undercooked food for good.
Hot smoking on a Weber is easier than you think and the end product always goes down a treat. Smoking tenderises the meat and everything is left with a wonderfully smoky flavour.
3 tips for smoking in a Weber:
Smoking wood – Purchase smoking wood. If you’re new to smoking, it’s recommended to soak it in water and shake off any excess water before adding to the fire.
Add moisture – Add a foil tray topped with some water and aromatics between the coals. You can add any liquid, such as wine, beer or stock, but just be sure to add sufficient liquid (half a drip pan, at least) to keep the food flavoursome, juicy and tender.
The food – Place the food directly above the smoking attachment or prepared water tray. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Remember smoking is a low and slow process.
Not even load-shedding can spoil any baked goods fun because, yes, you can successfully bake in a Weber. From desserts to bread and savoury bakes, baking in a Weber adds a beautifully unique depth of flavour to any baked goods.
4 Tips for baking in a Weber:
Control the temperature – Always use a low to medium indirect heat to avoid burning when baking in a Weber.
Preheat the grill – As with baking in an oven, you need to preheat the Weber first. Putting baked goods onto a cold grill will cause a variety of problems, from rising issues to the texture of the finished product being ruined.
Be mindful of the heat the grates hold – Webers come with a variety of different grates (the grid above the coals/gas elements). Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates hold more heat than stainless steel cooking grates, which may result in something baking faster than you might expect. If you notice your baked goods are baking too fast, you can prevent burning by placing a relatively flat oven-safe baking pan straight onto the cooking grate first, and then placing whatever you are baking on top of that to try transfer some of the heat.
Keep the lid closed as much as possible – As tempting as it might be to sneak a quick peek, it is not advised to do so frequently as the heat will escape. This will result in uneven bakes or a complete flop. Ensure the lid stays closed as much as possible to help maintain a stable temperature, giving the best results for all your baked goods. However, to prevent uneven browning, you can open the lid once to rotate your baking pan a quarter-turn about halfway through baking.