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***Official Grilling and Smoking Thread***


bryhamm

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1 hour ago, matttyl said:

No decent Webers in that price range?

Weber changed their Genesis design at the end of last year, so you may still be able to find the previous model with a decent discount, but that would probably push you a little over the $500 range. I got mine last August and I think it was $650 after discounts for the Weber Genesis EP-330 - has side burner and sear burner to go with the regular 3 burners, the higher quality stainless steel. More than enough grill for most of what I do, though I can dream of winning the lottery and getting some of the real high end stuff.

Edited by acarey50
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1 hour ago, Megla said:

Typically for adults I project 8 ounces (1/2 LB) Pulled Pork and 3 bones per person for spares, 4 bones for Baby Backs.

A typical bone in Boston But is going to yield about 1/2 its weight in finished product.  Spares typically have 10-12 usable bones per slab, Baby Backs around 12

 

HTH

I've got a large BGE, never cooked on an XL. Any idea how many racks of St Louis spares I can fit? Will have a rib rack (or two if they both fit). Same question for average sized butts, thanks.

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1 minute ago, Nigel said:

I've got a large BGE, never cooked on an XL. Any idea how many racks of St Louis spares I can fit? Will have a rib rack (or two if they both fit). Same question for average sized butts, thanks.

I'm not sure as I don' cook on a BGE, I would assume with 2 rib racks you should be able to get 6-8 slabs on one level and at least 4 8-10 LB butts (Costco usually sells them in a pack of 2 at 8-10 LBs each)  on the other level

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1 hour ago, acarey50 said:

Weber changed their Genesis design at the end of last year, so you may still be able to find the previous model with a decent discount, but that would probably push you a little over the $500 range. I got mine last August and I think it was $650 after discounts for the Weber Genesis EP-330 - has side burner and sear burner to go with the regular 3 burners, the higher quality stainless steel. More than enough grill for most of what I do, though I can dream of winning the lottery and getting some of the real high end stuff.

I have that exact same model. Fantastic grill and I won't (can't?) go back to the cheap, poorly constructed ones in the $200-$300 range. I got mine two years ago for the same price you did but that was only because my brother's client was Weber and I was able to piggy back on a large group purchase.

Anyone on the fence for taking the jump to the next level stop thinking about it. Sometimes the next level up doesn't justify the cost but I'm a convert that with grills it's well worth it.

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4 hours ago, Buzzbait said:

I have that exact same model. Fantastic grill and I won't (can't?) go back to the cheap, poorly constructed ones in the $200-$300 range. I got mine two years ago for the same price you did but that was only because my brother's client was Weber and I was able to piggy back on a large group purchase.

Anyone on the fence for taking the jump to the next level stop thinking about it. Sometimes the next level up doesn't justify the cost but I'm a convert that with grills it's well worth it.

I have a really cheap grill in addition to my smoker.  Got it as a housewarming gift.   And its awful.  I have to clean it every cook or it catches fire.  It wont seer either.  I rarely use it as i mostly use my smoker but when it dies i will definitely get a much better one.  But for now, i use it because i dont want my uncle to feel bad.   :shrug:

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7 hours ago, Brony said:

I have Weber Spirit E-310 (propane; 3 burners; $499).  It's on its 8th year and no signs of rust at all.  But I'm not a grill salesman, so what would I know. 

This

I have a 4 burner charbroil that I bought at Walmart 3-4 yrs ago. On sale for like 300.

I grill year rd in PA,  it doesn't have a cover (it is under a roof). Pork chops last night, boneless breasts tonight , flatiron Mon night :lol:

I have never had a problem with it :shrug:

Eta: only time I ever have to clean it is after cooking bone in skin on chicken. I just take the racks out and scrape the bottom with an old metal spatula. Takes about 2 mins

Edited by Cowboysfan8
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7 hours ago, matttyl said:

Yeah, no real high end stuff for me.  I got one of the "$249" grills at Home Depot, but I have to say it's lasted me around 5 years now.  Uneven cooking, though, and rust and such are starting to get to me. 

I'm no grill expert like several posters here. But in my experience the grills that have burners that run front to back are much better at preventing "hot/cool" spots

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12 hours ago, Cowboysfan8 said:

I'm no grill expert like several posters here. But in my experience the grills that have burners that run front to back are much better at preventing "hot/cool" spots

That's how my current one is.  It's (unfortunately) a "Charmglow", and it's nearly impossible to find parts for. 

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Hey Guys. Wanted to get your advice on a ceramic grill. 

I have the big BBQ rig to cook my big stuff on but thinking I want a ceramic grill for both grilling but also doing BBQ like a single Boston Butt. 

You have opinions there? Any reason not to get the Big Green Egg?  And for size, any thought there? I'm ok paying for the XL. Just didn't know what people thought. Thanks. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Hey Guys. Wanted to get your advice on a ceramic grill. 

I have the big BBQ rig to cook my big stuff on but thinking I want a ceramic grill for both grilling but also doing BBQ like a single Boston Butt. 

You have opinions there? Any reason not to get the Big Green Egg?  And for size, any thought there? I'm ok paying for the XL. Just didn't know what people thought. Thanks. 

 

Nope no reason not to get the BGE, Serious Eats has a nice article about the different Kamados out there.

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Or maybe the better way to put it is this: I'm thinking of a ceramic grill and I think I can swing a budget of what the Big Green Egg XL costs which is about $1200. For that budget, what would you get and why in the way of a ceramic cooker? Thanks.

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8 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Hi Ron. Hickory logs. It's like a fireplace. 

I thought that might be the case.  I typically burn Oak logs in my smoker and also have a Kamado.  The Kamado makes great food and is a very useful tool for things like pizza or grilling as an example. But there is a different flavor with traditionally smoked foods like a butt cooked on a Kamado over lump charcoal (even with chips or chunks of wood for flavor) than you get with a stick burner. It is subtle and it isn't bad or terribly off-putting but it is different. And no, I don't use lighter fluid or anything crazy like that.  I light my Kamado with a torch just like my stick burner.

I don't think it's just a Kamado thing; I get the same flavor from any cooker using charcoal.  My point is Kamados are great for grilling and are super efficient for long cooks but for cooking traditional low and slow que you may want to make sure you're good with charcoal if you are used to burning sticks.  It's subtle and I believe I'm in the minority.  I don't even mention this to people buying one as a first cooker but I thought you might be a stick guy so it could. be worth considering

 

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4 minutes ago, Ron Swanson said:

If I were to buy another Kamado I would buy this. Saw it in a store a couple weeks ago and it is remarkable.  It's expensive but after seeing it in person the price seems cheap.

https://www.amazon.com/Blaze-20-inch-Aluminum-Kamado-Grill/dp/B01M3S635B

 

You're killing me Ron. That's $500 over what I was thinking. Sell me on this thing. What makes it worth it?

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Thanks Guys. Question on the Blaze aluminum. 

Is durability / fragility a legit concern with the ceramic? I get it that's what Blaze is exploiting there but wondering how big a "problem" that really is?

Second, how does the aluminum compare for heat retention to the ceramic? Thanks.

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10 hours ago, Ron Swanson said:

I thought that might be the case.  I typically burn Oak logs in my smoker and also have a Kamado.  The Kamado makes great food and is a very useful tool for things like pizza or grilling as an example. But there is a different flavor with traditionally smoked foods like a butt cooked on a Kamado over lump charcoal (even with chips or chunks of wood for flavor) than you get with a stick burner. It is subtle and it isn't bad or terribly off-putting but it is different. And no, I don't use lighter fluid or anything crazy like that.  I light my Kamado with a torch just like my stick burner.

I don't think it's just a Kamado thing; I get the same flavor from any cooker using charcoal.  My point is Kamados are great for grilling and are super efficient for long cooks but for cooking traditional low and slow que you may want to make sure you're good with charcoal if you are used to burning sticks.  It's subtle and I believe I'm in the minority.  I don't even mention this to people buying one as a first cooker but I thought you might be a stick guy so it could. be worth considering

 

Thanks Ron. I'm ok with this I think. 

I think for me, my "gold standard" will always be cooking BBQ over a live hickory fire. But that also means tending a fire every 90 minutes for 15 hours. I love it and I do it at least a couple times a month but I also I find myself not cooking BBQ sometimes as it's a lot of work / commitment. I want a solution that's 1) works for a couple of Boston Butts or 1 whole shoulder and 2) is way less labor intensive and 3) doesn't involve gas. Seems like a ceramic style might be my best option.

Am I thinking right?

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Just now, proninja said:

Sounds like you want a pellet smoker to me. I mean, if you're going to go the easy route why not make it the easiest? Do you have 110 available? 

Thanks Pro but no. Nothing with pellet and nothing electric. I want easier but still with live fire or charcoal.

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1 hour ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks Ron. I'm ok with this I think. 

I think for me, my "gold standard" will always be cooking BBQ over a live hickory fire. But that also means tending a fire every 90 minutes for 15 hours. I love it and I do it at least a couple times a month but I also I find myself not cooking BBQ sometimes as it's a lot of work / commitment. I want a solution that's 1) works for a couple of Boston Butts or 1 whole shoulder and 2) is way less labor intensive and 3) doesn't involve gas. Seems like a ceramic style might be my best option.

Am I thinking right?

You're forgetting Cast Iron.

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1 hour ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks Ron. I'm ok with this I think. 

I think for me, my "gold standard" will always be cooking BBQ over a live hickory fire. But that also means tending a fire every 90 minutes for 15 hours. I love it and I do it at least a couple times a month but I also I find myself not cooking BBQ sometimes as it's a lot of work / commitment. I want a solution that's 1) works for a couple of Boston Butts or 1 whole shoulder and 2) is way less labor intensive and 3) doesn't involve gas. Seems like a ceramic style might be my best option.

Am I thinking right?

I am not finding anything out there that really does a good job comparing the Blaze and Ceramic style. Just that it's more durable...but has to be kept under a roof as rain will cause it issues, or so I have read.

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2 minutes ago, proninja said:

 

16 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks Pro but no. Nothing with pellet and nothing electric. I want easier but still with live fire or charcoal.

If you want to make it even easier, this is expensive but works well. I bought it for overnight/all day cooks when I couldn't attend for hours. Works great. 

 

I have something similar for my WSM, it's great and helps stabilize temp swings tremendously.

Edited by Hawks64
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1 minute ago, proninja said:

If you want to make it even easier, this is expensive but works well. I bought it for overnight/all day cooks when I couldn't attend for hours. Works great. 

Sorry Buddy. Can't do it.

I don't want to offend anyone but I'm hyper passionate (borderline crazy) about keeping BBQ old school. Old school meaning no gas, no electric computer type stuff. A themopen is about as tech as I'll allow myself to get. Pellet smokers are of the devil... ;)

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6 minutes ago, Hawks64 said:

You're forgetting Cast Iron.

That was my first thought on the Blaze. I'm no physicist but I always think of Aluminum as inferior for heat retention. Obviously I'm wrong as Blaze shows. But my instinct would say a cast iron style would be far superior. What's the word from the experts?

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1 minute ago, proninja said:

No need to apologize. You do you. :thumbup:

I felt similar, but I've got a two and a half year old and a six month old, and dammit if just being able to turn something on and go doesn't seem a bit more appealing than it used to. :lol:

As far as durability goes, I would only look at durability as a problem if I were planning on moving it. Since one of my life goals is to never move again, I'd much rather the heat retention of ceramic. My egg sits in a table that I'm due to refinish with another coat of stain sometime soon after a few years. 

Thanks. That's me too as I hope I never move again. The video shooting it with a gun struck me as "are they going all in a feature that's not really solving a current problem?"

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I do wonder a little too about the "group safety" of a BGE. I can't imagine needing lots of parts or repair stuff but I'd have to think if something broke, I'd have a much easier time finding a replacement vent for it than I would a smaller company. Does that factor?

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Just now, Joe Bryant said:

The truest words in BBQ pinky I believe are "It's the cook not the grill".

Indeed!  i've only been smoking for a year but i love this thing.  I think if it ever dies ill probably go the BGE or treager route(or both).  Interesting to see the many variations on it.  Curious to see what you go with.

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43 minutes ago, PinkydaPimp said:

One day i too will have a fancy smoker.  Until them my WSM will have to make due. :shrug:

Got this 8lb butt going today

Smoking it hot and fast at ~310 today. 

There is a reason WSM are used in competitions GB, nothing wrong with them at all. I love mine and can cook very well on it so it works for me. I'd love a Kamado style but I don't really have the space for it with the WSM and my Weber gas grill.

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51 minutes ago, PinkydaPimp said:

Indeed!  i've only been smoking for a year but i love this thing.  I think if it ever dies ill probably go the BGE or treager route(or both).  Interesting to see the many variations on it.  Curious to see what you go with.

I've had my WSM for just over a year as well and like you I love mine. I will probably buy another one if something happens to this one . Hopefully that won't be for a while. I keep it covered when not in use. I also love the portability factor. 

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I'm honestly not sure.  That thick aluminum has got to be one heck of a heat sink.  If you're looking for durability and great insulating properties maybe look at one of the Kamados that is dual wall powder coat steel with oven insulation in the walls.  I have one of the old "Bubba Keg" style Kamados and it is super efficient and even when it has been running all day you can put a hand on the outside and barely feel any warmth.

I think though as long as you are good with charcoal you will be happy with any of the Kamado style cookers.

Two metal insulated options:

This is the one I have:

https://www.amazon.com/Broil-King-911470-Charcoal-Barbecue/dp/B00OMWWP1O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500224657&sr=8-1&keywords=broil+king+keg

I've heard good things but I think there are some mods required to make this one as good as the keg.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GJEPP92/ref=twister_B00IOG1T3Y?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

 

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I fed the my son's lax team down in MD this past Saturday as planned, ended up being around 50 people. 9 racks of ribs, four 9 lb butts, homemade slaw/potato salad/baked beans and corn bread. A little bit of everything left over and nobody left hungry. Butts went on at 6am, made all of the sides before first game at 1, pulled butts at 2 (had to finish in oven before wrapping), and put ribs on, pulled ribs at 7:30 and ran all of the food over to the team hotel. Nailed everything and didn't miss a minute of their three games (1,3 & 6). $10/head covered all food/beverages/paper products, etc. with some left over for cigars. 

It was an easy crowd to please, not a ton of great BBQ in the Boston area, but got lots of "best BBQ I've ever had" comments. I wouldn't go that far but it was really good. Working with my BIL's XL BGE was awesome, so much more space than my large.

We're new to a team (a very good one) this year that's been together for several, didn't really know many of the people before the weekend. Great icebreaker and had a blast doing it. 

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6 minutes ago, Nigel said:

I fed the my son's lax team down in MD this past Saturday as planned, ended up being around 50 people. 9 racks of ribs, four 9 lb butts, homemade slaw/potato salad/baked beans and corn bread. A little bit of everything left over and nobody left hungry. Butts went on at 6am, made all of the sides before first game at 1, pulled butts at 2 (had to finish in oven before wrapping), and put ribs on, pulled ribs at 7:30 and ran all of the food over to the team hotel. Nailed everything and didn't miss a minute of their three games (1,3 & 6). $10/head covered all food/beverages/paper products, etc. with some left over for cigars. 

It was an easy crowd to please, not a ton of great BBQ in the Boston area, but got lots of "best BBQ I've ever had" comments. I wouldn't go that far but it was really good. Working with my BIL's XL BGE was awesome, so much more space than my large.

We're new to a team (a very good one) this year that's been together for several, didn't really know many of the people before the weekend. Great icebreaker and had a blast doing it. 

Thanks nigel. Great job. 

I was doing an event one time and a guy came up to me and said, "That's the best BBQ I've ever had". I said, "Wow, thanks a lot. Where are you from?". He said, "Rhode Island". 

:(  

For the BGE, if you were going to buy one, I take it you'd say XL for sure?

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20 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks nigel. Great job. 

I was doing an event one time and a guy came up to me and said, "That's the best BBQ I've ever had". I said, "Wow, thanks a lot. Where are you from?". He said, "Rhode Island". 

:(  

For the BGE, if you were going to buy one, I take it you'd say XL for sure?

I have an XL BGE and love it.  I probably could've survived with the Large I originally had, but I had XL envy the entire time.  Now that I've had the XL for over a year, I have executed some cooks on it that I wouldn't have been able to do if I still had my large (like the 4 briskets at once I did a couple weeks ago).

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10 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks nigel. Great job. 

I was doing an event one time and a guy came up to me and said, "That's the best BBQ I've ever had". I said, "Wow, thanks a lot. Where are you from?". He said, "Rhode Island". 

:(  

For the BGE, if you were going to buy one, I take it you'd say XL for sure?

If I could do it again I would go XL. 

Actually if I did it myself the first time I would have gotten the XL but my wife got it for me for Christmas and made the decision for me. 

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KJ

I've got one of these.  Pretty much an exact replica of the egg, but with slightly thicker ceramic.  Great company with outstanding customer service.  I cracked the fire box getting it too hot on a clean burn and they sent me a new one with no hassle.

I did want to relay the story about my ex wife "accidentally" backing into it with her car.  Knocked it over onto a concrete slab.  It bent the side racks a little and broke the shelves, but the ceramic was fine.  I was shocked.  She always did hate anything that made me happy.  I think that speaks to their durability.  They are some heavy suckers though.  Not fun to transport.

They also come with a custom monogram if your name is Joe.

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On 7/18/2017 at 11:45 AM, Nigel said:

I fed the my son's lax team down in MD this past Saturday as planned, ended up being around 50 people. 9 racks of ribs, four 9 lb butts, homemade slaw/potato salad/baked beans and corn bread. A little bit of everything left over and nobody left hungry. Butts went on at 6am, made all of the sides before first game at 1, pulled butts at 2 (had to finish in oven before wrapping), and put ribs on, pulled ribs at 7:30 and ran all of the food over to the team hotel. Nailed everything and didn't miss a minute of their three games (1,3 & 6). $10/head covered all food/beverages/paper products, etc. with some left over for cigars. 

It was an easy crowd to please, not a ton of great BBQ in the Boston area, but got lots of "best BBQ I've ever had" comments. I wouldn't go that far but it was really good. Working with my BIL's XL BGE was awesome, so much more space than my large.

We're new to a team (a very good one) this year that's been together for several, didn't really know many of the people before the weekend. Great icebreaker and had a blast doing it. 

I'm down here in Va, I expect an invite next time   :D

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15 hours ago, psychobillies said:

KJ

I've got one of these.  Pretty much an exact replica of the egg, but with slightly thicker ceramic.  Great company with outstanding customer service.  I cracked the fire box getting it too hot on a clean burn and they sent me a new one with no hassle.

I did want to relay the story about my ex wife "accidentally" backing into it with her car.  Knocked it over onto a concrete slab.  It bent the side racks a little and broke the shelves, but the ceramic was fine.  I was shocked.  She always did hate anything that made me happy.  I think that speaks to their durability.  They are some heavy suckers though.  Not fun to transport.

They also come with a custom monogram if your name is Joe.

Thanks @psychobillies   Do you feel they have any advantage / disadvantage over the Green Egg? Or is it just basically slightly thicker ceramic?

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2 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks @psychobillies   Do you feel they have any advantage / disadvantage over the Green Egg? Or is it just basically slightly thicker ceramic?

I don't think one is significantly better than the other.  I really don't even know if thicker ceramic makes any difference.  I've cooked with an egg and they really are the same thing.  I made my decision based on the KJ being a little less expensive, and don't regret it one bit.    I believe I heard that he Kamado Joe people were former employees at BGE.  

I will add that I was able to get a black one, which I slightly preferred over the red and green options.  I know at one point that they offered some in multi colors that matched up with local schools.  I could have gone with a purple and gold two tone.   

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4 minutes ago, psychobillies said:

I don't think one is significantly better than the other.  I really don't even know if thicker ceramic makes any difference.  I've cooked with an egg and they really are the same thing.  I made my decision based on the KJ being a little less expensive, and don't regret it one bit.    I believe I heard that he Kamado Joe people were former employees at BGE.  

I will add that I was able to get a black one, which I slightly preferred over the red and green options.  I know at one point that they offered some in multi colors that matched up with local schools.  I could have gone with a purple and gold two tone.   

Thanks.

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On 7/18/2017 at 10:45 AM, Nigel said:

I fed the my son's lax team down in MD this past Saturday as planned, ended up being around 50 people. 9 racks of ribs, four 9 lb butts, homemade slaw/potato salad/baked beans and corn bread. A little bit of everything left over and nobody left hungry. Butts went on at 6am, made all of the sides before first game at 1, pulled butts at 2 (had to finish in oven before wrapping), and put ribs on, pulled ribs at 7:30 and ran all of the food over to the team hotel. Nailed everything and didn't miss a minute of their three games (1,3 & 6). $10/head covered all food/beverages/paper products, etc. with some left over for cigars. 

It was an easy crowd to please, not a ton of great BBQ in the Boston area, but got lots of "best BBQ I've ever had" comments. I wouldn't go that far but it was really good. Working with my BIL's XL BGE was awesome, so much more space than my large.

We're new to a team (a very good one) this year that's been together for several, didn't really know many of the people before the weekend. Great icebreaker and had a blast doing it. 

@Nigel, it's not quite Boston proper, but if you're ever in the area check out https://www.smokinbettysbbq.com/.

I cooked with the pitmaster Todd down at Hogs for the Cause as he's on @tipsy mcstagger's team there. He's one of Tipsy's disciples having cooked under him at McClures... very nice guy who knows his stuff.

If you go up, tell him you know Neil (and to a lesser extent, me) and we said hi. I'm sure the guy would give a proper walk through of the place. Great dude. 

 

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Wanting to try something that I have not attempted yet: smoked salmon or trout

Can someone offer some suggestions or links?  I was thinking of using cedar planks on my Weber kettle with offset charcoal but beyond that I am not sure of tempo, cook time, etc

TIA

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