Tips, Tricks and Techniques
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The Weber Bullet is one of the best values in a barbecue cooker in its price range ($170-$200).  It is very easy to use and you can get great results right away with a little knowledge and a little practice.  Follow the tips listed below and you'll be a Weber Bullet expert in no time!

Sun IconPreparation

  1. Make sure you have everything on hand that you'll need for cooking—meat, rub, charcoal, smoke wood, utensils, etc.

  2. Use a log book to record your entire preparation and cooking process.   This information can help you duplicate your successes and avoid your past failures.  (See "Cooking Log" on Tips Page #2.)

  3. Prep and rub your meat the night before cooking.  You'll have enough to do getting the cooker up and running without having to hassle with trimming briskets or cutting up whole chickens.  Remove meat from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking to take the chill off.

  4. Prep your smoke wood.  I like to do this the night before, too.   Most people use wood chunks for their smoke source, while others use small split logs, chips, or pellets.  I use four fist-sized chunks of oak and one of hickory, soaked overnight in water.  Some folks just throw dry chunks on the charcoal as it's firing up.

  5. Start with a clean unit.  Empty any ashes, clean the water pan, and brush any loose carbon from the inside of the lid and middle cooking section.  The cooking grills can be cleaned by burning them off once the charcoal is lit.

Fire IconOperating Instructions

My first piece of advice is to ignore the operating instructions in the owner's manual!  I've found that the following method works best for me:

  1. Set up the bottom section of the cooker with the charcoal grate in place and the charcoal ring removed.  Set aside the middle cooking section and the lid.

  2. Place a charcoal chimney on the grate and fire-up a batch of coals.   Fill the chimney all the way to the top with charcoal.  When the coals are going well, place the charcoal ring on the grate and dump the hot coals inside the ring.   Don't forget to replace the ring before dumping in the coals!   Believe me, it can be really hard to corral all those red-hot coals if you forget the ring.

  3. Spread the hot coals evenly on the grate, then add more charcoal to fill the ring to the top.  Wait patiently until all the coals have caught and are gray.   Depending on the type and brand of charcoal used, a full ring should give you 8-12 hours of cooking at 225*F.  If you require less cooking time, experiment with using less charcoal.

  4. When the charcoal is ready, place the water pan and lower cooking grill in the middle section and place it on the bottom section.  Pour about a gallon of cool tap water through the cooking grill into the water pan.  Since the cooker tends to run hot when first started, I like to use cool water to help bring the temperature down a bit.

  5. Go ahead and load your meat on the grill.  Place items on the bottom grill first, then put the top grill in place and load it up.

  6. Place the lid on the cooker.  Your thermometer may register as high as 300-350*F, but the temperature will drop quickly with the addition of the meat.   Open the top vent fully and leave it open throughout the entire cooking process.   Close all the bottom vents to help bring the temperature down to a target of 225*F.

  7. Open the access door and carefully place your wood chunks on the hot coals.  I find that a single application of smoke wood is enough for the entire cooking session.

  8. In the beginning, check the temperature every 15-30 minutes.  I try to maintain a temperature of 225*F for all meats, but being +/- 15*F at any given moment is OK.  Adjust the bottom vents as needed to achieve and maintain 225*F.  Note that the Weber Bullet will run hotter on hot days in the direct sun, and colder on cool, windy days in the shade.  Once the cooker settles in at 225*F, I check the temperature every hour.

  9. Replenish the water pan every 2-3 hours.  I use hot tap water so I don't bring the temperature down too much from that magic 225*F.

  10. Remove the cooker lid only when turning or removing meat.  The first time I remove the lid is to turn the meat at the halfway point of cooking.   Depending on what I'm cooking, I may or may not turn the meat again.

  11. A full ring of charcoal should give you plenty of cooking time for most meats, but if you're running out of hot coals, start another batch in your chimney and add them through the access door using tongs.

Alarm Clock IconCooking Times

I've found that the following cooking times work well as a general guideline for the Weber Bullet:

Chicken Halves 5 hrs
Baby Back Ribs 5 hrs
Spare Ribs 6 hrs
Pork Butt 8 hrs
Brisket 8-12 hrs depending on size

Scale IconCooking Capacity

To give you some ideas as to the capacity of the Weber Bullet, I have cooked the following quantities of meat at one time on my Weber Bullet (not the entire list at once, but each line!)

  • 4 chickens, cut in halves, flat on the grill
  • 5 chickens, cut in halves, using a rib rack*
  • 8 full racks of baby back ribs, cut in halves, using Weber Premium Rib Racks
  • 2 9-lb briskets
  • 1 10-lb brisket, 1 5-lb pork butt, 1 whole chicken, and 1 full rack of baby back ribs (chicken and ribs cut in half and cooked in rib rack)

While I haven't done it, you could cook four pork butts easily.

* I haven't had great success cooking chicken in rib racks.  They slide into the slots nice and easy when raw, but can be difficult to remove once the meat firms up.

Pail & Mop IconCleanup

It's best to clean your Weber Bullet as soon as you can after cooking.  Obviously, you'll have to wait for things to cool down, and this often means waiting until the next day.  (On a few occasions, I have let my cooker sit for days (or weeks!) before cleaning it.  I don't recommend this approach!  The longer you wait, the more effort it takes.)

My cleaning routine is as follows:

  1. Remove the cooking grills and set them aside.  I usually don't clean them until my next cooking session (while waiting for the last few coals to catch, I place each cooking grill over the charcoal ring to burn-off the crud, using a brass bristle brush to remove any residue).

  2. Remove the water pan.  Skim the bulk of the grease and solids and place in the trash.  Pour the remaining liquid down the sink, followed by lots of hot tap water.  Clean the water pan with hot, soapy water.  I use Soft Scrub cleanser to help remove the stubborn build-up on the bottom of the pan.

  3. Use a stiff bristle brush to remove any loose carbon from inside the lid.  Brush the insides of the middle section down into the bottom of the cooker.

  4. Remove the middle section.  Remove the charcoal ring and grate and brush them off.   Place the cooker bottom in a large plastic trashbag and dump the ashes.  Brush out any residue into the trashbag.

  5. Reassemble the cooker.  Wipe down the exterior with a soft, damp cloth and place the cover over the unit.

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