The Secrets Of Hot And Fast Cooking On Your Weber Smokey Mountain

Grilling and smoking are excellent ways of cooking meat. And what could be better than combining these two methods?

If you’re reading this, you've mostly likely already got a Weber Smokey Mountain

It's an exceptional choice of grill.

It’s great for both smoking and grilling, and it’s a good choice if you want to do both at the same time.

When we use our Smokey Mountains like this, though, it can sometimes take hours to get the meat smoked, tenderized and ready to eat.

But is there a way to cook that brisket before lunchtime without sacrificing flavor?

The good news is that there are numerous methods for smoking and grilling a brisket hot and fast on a Smokey Mountain grill.

To help you do this without sacrificing quality or flavor I've put together a little guide to let you in on some secrets.

But before we get stuck in, let’s take a look at why the Weber Smokey Mountain is such a great grill.

Why the Weber Smokey Mountain?

Weber Smokey Mountain

Weber is a prize-winning grill manufacturer.

For decades, this company has been blessing us grill enthusiasts with affordable grills in all shapes and sizes. Weber consistently promise and deliver quality, these are some of the best grills out there.

Their Smokey Mountain grill is primarily designed for low and slow cooking. Nevertheless, it's not impossible to cook hot and fast on it. The oval design is perfect for reaching scorching-hot temperatures. Plus with the adjustable air vents, it's easy to maintain this heat as well.

On the inside you'll find a place for the charcoal at the bottom. Above that you'll be able to fit a water tray in. This will help regulate the temperature as well as providing some much needed moisture.

The grill itself is easy to take apart. It comes in three pieces; you can even remove the middle section and transform it into a kettle grill.

Take out the center section, place the grates directly above the hot charcoal and, hey presto, you’ve got a hot and fast grill.

However, this is not always as convenient as it sounds. It might be perfect for cooking a medium-rare steak, but it's a different story when it comes to something like chicken.

You'll have to keep watch, as the direct heat can quickly become too much. So unless you know your temperatures and how to regulate them well, it's better to keep the Smokey Mountain in its assembled shape.

Best of Both Worlds

As I mentioned earlier, the Weber Smokey Mountain does bring the best of both worlds together.

Of course, it's not the ideal smoker, as the temperature can be challenging to keep low. But for the price, it will easily beat the competition.

The Smokey Mountain's design creates a good environment for smoking. The lofty shape and adjustable air vents allow for more vapor to build up inside. This will also aid in preserving the burning charcoal and help the coals stay alive for longer.

Usually, when you cook hot and fast on a grill, you're sort of cheating yourself from gaining that smokey flavor. But, due to its design, you don't have to compromise that crispy chicken skin to get the flavor you're craving.

Do a Dry Run

Weber Smokey Mountain Dry Run

I did agree to let you in on some secrets, and here is one: do a dry run and "season" your grill.

Many of my fellow grill aficionados will state that this step is unnecessary for today's new grills. But I beg to differ.

By "seasoning," I mean creating a layer of grease and soot on the inside of the grill. 

Most of us, when buying a new kettle for example, do a few runs before using the water for our coffee. By boiling some water a few times, we're rinsing out most of the dust and substances coming from the manufacturer. So why wouldn't we do the same with our grill?

New grills look shiny and, well, new. This is good when you want to impress your nosy neighbor, but not so much for your cooking, especially if you're planning on doing it hot and fast.

When a grill comes from the factory, it's almost too clean.

Ideally, you'd want to build up a layer of grease on the inside, i.e., season it.

This will enable you to keep a regulated temperature to avoid excessively charing your meats while cooking hot and fast.

Dry runs have two phases. If your Smokey Mountain is new, I'd recommend following these two steps to ensure your cooking is successful.

Phase One

Foiled Water Pan

Begin by covering the water pan with some foil, but hold the water for now.

Then start loading your grill with charcoal briquettes and let the temperature rise as high as possible. Leave the charcoal to burn out and then remove them to begin phase two.

Phase Two

Putting Charcoal In Smoker

For phase two, fill half of the charcoal basket with unlit briquettes and add half a chimney filled with lit charcoal. Get your grill to about 275 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it for three to five hours.

Get some of the leftover fatty meat cuts (which you're not planning on eating) and throw them on the grill. Add some smoky wood, repeat this step a few times, and your grill should be seasoned nicely.

Which Meats to Cook Hot and Fast

Cooking is, in many ways, a process which allows you to be creative and try new methods and tricks.

But when it comes to products such as meat and poultry, you should follow a specific protocol to ensure it's safe to eat.

Chicken is the best meat to cook hot and fast and still get a great flavor and crispy skin. As opposed to pork or beef, chicken is from a much smaller animal, which means the meat is easier to tenderize.

Due to its size, it will also cook a lot quicker.

But when grilling a chicken hot and fast, you should watch the temperature of the meat. One drawback of fast cooking is that, sometimes, you've burnt the outside, while the inside remains uncooked.

The temperature inside the chicken should be at least 170 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit in the leg, and 161 to 162 degrees Fahrenheit in the breast. Not overstepping this temperature will also ensure that the meat isn't dry or overcooked.

Now, on to briskets.

Rushing the cooking procedure of this cut won't end well. The long, slow cooking time is ideal to let all the fat melt through the meat to give it a silky, melt-in-the-mouth texture.

Truthfully, the quickest way to rush this process is by boiling it, but that would ruin the taste.

But once again, as I promised some secrets, I will guide you through two bullet-proof ways of cooking butterfly chicken and brisket, hot and fast.

Please note that brisket can be tricky, so it could take some trial runs before getting the perfect texture. But don't fear, Rome wasn't built in a day, and the same goes for your cooking experience.

How to Cook Chicken Hot and Fast

Chicken On Weber Smoker


  • A whole chicken will take more time to cook. So, in order to do this fast, butterfly the chicken by halving it and cutting out the backbone
  • Season the skin with your desired rub. If you feel sure about your skills, you can add some sugar, but otherwise, leave it out, as it can burn and turn bitter rather quickly
  • Get your Smokey Mountain grill hot. Place a full chimney of burning charcoal in the bottom of your grill and add an additional half chimney of unlit briquettes on top
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    When a layer of ash is covering most of the charcoal, you're ready to cook. The temperature should stay at 310 to 312 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the water tray ou
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    Place your chicken, skin-side down, on the grates and cover with the lid. You could add a few lumps of wood to the charcoal to get a smoky flavor. They should be small pieces and have a mild scent, such as apple or cherry
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    Regulate the air vents. On your Smokey Mountain, there are three air vents. Two at the bottom and one on top. These should be fully open throughout the process
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    Cook the chicken for 30 minutes on one side and turn for an additional 15 minutes of cooking, making it 45 minutes of total cooking time
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    After you've flipped your chicken, turn the grates about 180 degrees to even out the hot spots. During the last five minutes, add your favorite grilling sauce on top. Take the chicken off the grill and let it rest a few minutes before serving

How to Cook Brisket Hot and Fast

Brisket On Weber Smoker


  • Prep the meat with a dry rub and let it rest while you heat the grill
  • Get your grill ready by following the steps explained above. However, for brisket, you'll want to add more pieces of smoking wood. This piece is going to take a little longer than the chicken, so more fuel is needed. The temperature should be around 325 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Place foil inside the water tray and place it back into the grill. You won't be adding any water. Instead, it'll work as a drip pan. Letting juices and fat reach the hot coals means you're compromising the taste
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    Once the temperature is ready, place your brisket fat-side down onto the grates. Open up all the air vents for the first half of the process. During the first hour, you should see a lot of smoke. But keep an eye on it because when it subsides, you'll have to regulate the temperature
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    Once the temperature is ready, place your brisket fat-side down onto the grates. Open up all the air vents for the first half of the process. During the first hour, you should see a lot of smoke. But keep an eye on it because when it subsides, you'll have to regulate the temperature
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    This is where you have to work fast. If you notice the temperature drop, close one or two air vents and shake up the coals a bit
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    After about two hours, check the temperature of the meat. When it reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit, take it off the grill and place it in a heavy-duty foil pan, fat-side up. Cover it with aluminum and put it back on the grill
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    This will enable the fat to melt through the meat, tenderizing it and ensuring a smooth texture. One problem when cooking brisket hot and fast is that the fat won't have time to melt properly. Without the melted fat through the meat, it will dry up as soon as you cut into it. Plus, you'll have a very unappealing layer of gooey fat under the crust
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    After another two hours, check the brisket temperature. It should be around 205 degrees Fahrenheit. But you should also check the tenderization. Try pulling a fork through it, if it goes through without resistance, you'll know it's good to eat
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    If it feels a little tough, you could leave it a bit longer. But do regular checkups to make sure it doesn't overcook. The advantage of wrapping it in foil is that you're able to cook at high temperatures for longer. However, it won't prevent drying out completely, so keep your eye on the meat
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    Once it feels ready, take it off the grill. Let it sit, covered, in the foil pan and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before you cut into it. After 30 minutes the brisket should be ready to eat. You can trim it down if you like, by removing the flat underside

This process will take about four hours, depending on the size of your meat. But it's a sure time-saver when compared to the usual five to ten hours.

Man Holding Weber Smoker Lid


Now you know some of the inside details on how to cook hot and fast on your Weber Smokey Mountain.

It's essential to get your grill ready by doing a dry run and make sure you choose the correct products to grill hot and fast.

We’ve gone over chicken and brisket, but you can try the hot and fast cooking methods with other meats on your Weber.

Take your time getting the hang of everything, experiment a little bit. After all, it's always good to do a few trials beforehand, to make sure that the grilled food you promised your guests is as delicious as they’re expecting.

About the Author William Clay

William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.