The Smokenator comes with complete instructions for setting it up in your Weber kettle. In fact, we're pretty sure you will be pleased at the detail provided to show you how to cook low and slow at 230 °F dome temperature and 210 °F to 220 °F on the food support grill. Actual procedures are given to show you how to set up the Weber correctly. Customers who buy the Smokenator and smoke food for the first time are able to regulate the temperature and produce quality results using only the control vents on the Weber with no expensive mechanical temperature controls. Secondly, we will describe how to set up the Smokenator to run up to six hours on one filling of the firebox cavity (Minion Method). These instructions are the result of over 60+ hours of tests with Kingsford charcoal. You should know that the settings work well for lump charcoal and offer an excellent starting point for lump charcoal. In addition to having a Smokenator and Weber kettle, you will need a thermometer. Taylor makes a bi-metal dial candy thermometer for about $9.00 that you can purchase with your Smokenator or you can use a more elaborate temperature measuring system if you wish.
Unpacking your Smokenator
As you unpack your Smokenator, remove the skewer from the underside of the Smokenator baffle. Refer to your instruction manual and the video below as you begin to install your Smokenator.
Installing your Smokenator
Starting with a clean kettle, arrange the coal supporting grill (bottom grill) so that the base of the baffle fits in between the main rods of the coal supporting grill, with the outside of the baffle leaning against one of the rods.
The top rim edge of the baffle is supported by two of the upper cooking grill support tabs.
Arrange the baffle so that the bent tabs of the baffle are positioned directly over the kettle tabs used to support the cooking grill. This allows the baffle to be lightly secured to the kettle.
Once the Smokenator is installed in your kettle, add the unlit charcoal and wood chunks. (Refer to your manual for the number of coals to use with your Smokenator. The amount of charcoal to use varies with the size of Smokenator that you are using.) Place 12 to 15 lit briquettes on top, making sure that you save room to put the water pan in place. Put the water pan in the rectangular hole and add water. Follow the instructions in the manual that comes with your Smokenator to set the kettle vents properly. We recommend that you do a test run with your kettle and Smokenator before you begin smoking meat.
We also recommend that you use a Weber hinged cooking grate in your kettle. This allows you to quickly refill the Smokenator cavity with briquettes and wood chunks without removing the food support grill. We do not sell this cooking grate, but you can use the links below to purchase the correct size Weber hinged cooking grate for your kettle from Weber on Amazon.com.
For the Weber 18 inch kettle hinged cooking grate, click here.
For the Weber 22 inch kettle hinged cooking grate, click here.
The Weber 26 inch kettle includes the hinged cooking grate.