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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 82254  
Subject: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/4/2012 12:08 PM
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Well, I was invited over here by NoIDAtAll. So you can blame him! :-)

Wondering what people thought of different smokers. NoID likes the Weber model, which looks very nice. But many sources I have read indicate that you want an "offset" smoker so that the meat gets very low heat (because the firebox is not in the smoking chamber with the meat) and plenty of smoke. Evidently you can smoke something for 8-12 hours that way, or more. The Weber unit has the heat in the same chamber. I already have a bit of trouble getting smoke to generate without high enough heat to cook the meat within two hours.

Presently I have a Weber Genesis Silver grill (over 10 years old now...), and I usually wrap my chips in foil and put them right on the flame. I also cook meat with indirect heat (meat in front, fire in back).

1poorguy (just did some ribs and corn last night)
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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77438 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/4/2012 2:32 PM
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many sources I have read indicate that you want an "offset" smoker so that the meat gets very low heat (because the firebox is not in the smoking chamber with the meat) and plenty of smoke. Evidently you can smoke something for 8-12 hours that way, or more. The Weber unit has the heat in the same chamber.

The Weber Smoky Mountain (See; http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/ ) is a refined and updated version of the old Brinkmann smoker. It has 3 vents at the bottom to control combustion air to the charcoal/wood, a water pan above the charcoal pan to control humidity and smooth out temperature fluctuations, two cooking grates above that and an air vent in the lid. By adding unlit charcoal to the charcoal pan and dumping lit coals on top of them as well as manipulating the vents, one can smoke-cook for 12 or 8 hours without adding more coals. The unit has a door that allows access to both the charcoal pan and water pan to add more hot coals, wood and/or water without axe-u-lee opening the unit. For a good mid-priced smoker, its easier to use, IMHO, than the “offset smokers”.
;-)

C.J.V. - but still using my ECB long wid da WSM & ‘Offset smoker”, me

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77441 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/4/2012 3:25 PM
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By adding unlit charcoal to the charcoal pan and dumping lit coals on top of them as well as manipulating the vents, one can smoke-cook for 12 or 8 hours without adding more coals.


This is commonly referred to as the "Minion Method". It was, accidentally, developed by a guy named Jim Minion. You can use it with either a bullet type or offset smoker.

http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/fireup2.html

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Author: JGBFool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77442 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/4/2012 4:43 PM
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Hi 1poorguy,
I learned how to make BBQ using an offset smoker (Charbroil Silver Smoker). It worked okay, and then I improved it a bit using some modifications
http://www.bbqinstitute.com/SmokerModifications.pdf
and it worked even better.
I bought a Weber Smokey Mountain a couple of years ago, along with a Pro-Q stacker that adds another grill level to it, and I haven't used my offset since.
Link for the WSM:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001I8ZTJ0/tvwb-20
Link for the Pro-Q:
http://www.stifflerssurplus.com/p-5313-pro-q-bbq-proq-wsm-18...
(You can also usually find the Pro-Q stacker at ebay.)
The WSM is SO much easier to use, and can keep much steadier temps (and has more consistent temperature throughout the smoking chamber than the offset, which gets really hot on the fire side and not nearly as hot on the chimney side).
Without the Pro-Q stacker, I have found it's easy to keep steady 225 degree temp in the WSM for a little over 12 hours usually. With the stacker in place, I usually need to rebuild the fire after about 8 1/2 hrs.
Any smoker can get good results if you know what you're doing, though. I recommend the "buy once, cry once" approach. Get the WSM.
JGBFool

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77446 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/4/2012 9:23 PM
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What makes a WSM such a great smoker is its charcoal ring that rests on top of a charcoal grate: http://www.bbqlodge.com/wsm/wsm_cgrate_03.jpg Plus the smoker is completely sealed, except for the vents, 3 under the charcoal grate and 1 in the lid, so the fuel can breath and can easily be very effectively controlled with the vents. It's really a great design.

A Brinkmann bullet smoker (commonly referred to as an ECB, or "El Cheapo Brinkmann"), by comparison has an open bottom and the charcoal or wood sits in a pan: http://www.hsn.com/kitchen-dining/brinkmann-smoke-n-grill-do... There are no holes in the pan - The fire can't breath properly. There are no vents in the bottom to control the temperature effectively. You pretty much have to modify the charcoal pan to keep the coals from burning out, and then you have to figure a way to control the temperature. It can be very frustrating. Here is a link to some of the mods that can be made to make it work somewhat better: http://www.smoking-meat.com/modify-brinkmann-ecb-smoker.html...

Bob

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77447 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/4/2012 9:37 PM
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BTW, welcome to the BBQ board, 1pg!! Glad you stopped by!

Bob

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Author: jamesmw Three stars, 500 posts 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77448 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/4/2012 11:46 PM
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http://www.macsbbqforum.com/t1050-the-fuse-or-ring-method

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Author: riprock45 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77449 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/5/2012 12:01 AM
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Hey 1poorguy!

Glad to see that you found us!

Welcome!

Rip

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77450 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/5/2012 1:20 AM
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Many thanks for the welcome! I plan to lurk, and ask the occasional question (or ten).

Interesting how nobody likes the offset, even though it's supposedly the primo way to do it. I even recall reading some folks smoking with that, and then finishing with a regular grill (showing later photos of the meat with a red line several millimeters into the thickness of the meat, where the smoke had penetrated).

The "fuse" thing was interesting. I never had much luck with coals like that. If I didn't start them in a pyramid, and then spread them out when they were all clearly ignited, I'd end up with a lot of unburned coals. (Yet another reason I switched to gas.) But I do see the advantage of smoking in this way, with the chips sprinkled in the coals. Interesting.

1poorguy

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77451 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/5/2012 7:41 AM
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Interesting how nobody likes the offset, even though it's supposedly the primo way to do it. I even recall reading some folks smoking with that, and then finishing with a regular grill (showing later photos of the meat with a red line several millimeters into the thickness of the meat, where the smoke had penetrated).

Axe-u-lee, its not that nobody likes the offset, its that the WSM is much easier to use, store and produce smaller quantities of Q. I bought my first Brinkmann back in 1982 or 81 while living on the third floor in an apartment just outside of N’Orleans, LA. I could store it on my balcony, carry it down to the swimming pool and make fairly decent Q with it. I still use a ECB-type smoker for small jobs like last night’s baby back ribs. It is stainless steel, has a hinged lid, has a smaller cooking area than the WSM and uses less charcoal. I added a charcoal grate, which is about 2-inches above the bottom of the charcoal pan which helps and, since I have been cookin with it fur over 20 years (DW gave it to me as a wedding present in 1989), I know how it cooks.
;-)

I also have the WSM and use it for long smokes, briskets & pig butts for pulled pig. Its larger than the ECB, costs more and uses more charcoal but is easier to control its temperature. The only modification that I made to mine was to drill holes just under the cookin grates to mount thermometers (Something like http://www.taylorusa.com/kitchen/thermometers/5-commercial-c... ).

Besides that, I also have an offset smoker made by New Braunfels (See; http://www.appliancefactoryparts.com/gasgrillparts/brands/ne... ) that I use for cold smoking. I put an electric hotplate in the fire box and heat a cast iron skillet filled with hardwood sawdust and/or wood chips to produce the smoke. I have never used it to hot smoke foods as the ECB and WSM are adequate for my needs and are easier to use.

Axe-u-lee, da original Brinkmann smoker had a 1-inch hole in the charcoal pan, Bob. There was a recall in the mid or late 80s because people were using them on wooden decks and causing fires when hot coals dropped through that hole.

C.J.V. - might hafta build one of dem mini WSM smokers out of stainless steel, me

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77452 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/5/2012 7:54 AM
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Interesting how nobody likes the offset, even though it's supposedly the primo way to do it.


Premium offset smokers are available, but they cost a bundle. Out of the box, the inexpensive ones exhibit the traits JGB noted - High temp next to the fire box and low temp on the opposite side of the cooking chamber, plus they tend to be made of thin gauge metal and they are prone to leaking, so they don't tend to hold heat (and smoke) very well, and they, generally, don't incorporate a reverse flow system that causes heat and smoke to flow much more evenly throughout the cooking chamber in more expensive units. There are some modifications that you can make to improve their performance quite a bit: http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/offset_smokers...

Bob

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Author: jamesmw Three stars, 500 posts 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77453 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/5/2012 12:37 PM
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http://www.macsbbqforum.com/t1050-the-fuse-or-ring-method
This method was designed for the weber kettle but works well with the WSM.I'm going to smoke a butt this weekend using this method in my WSM.Going to make a few changes to get the tempt. up quicker and finish hotter to crisp up the bark

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77455 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/6/2012 9:36 AM
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C.J.V. - might hafta build one of dem mini WSM smokers out of stainless steel, me

Yep, that does look pretty interesting and a worthwhile addition. I already have a Smokey Joe that I use for grilling 1 or 2 steaks, chicken and pork steaks, so mostly need to check the dimensions of a 32qt SS steamer pot, to make sure it will fit - pretty good instructions... Thanks, ez3!!

Bob * IF it turns out well, I might make one for Blue, in exchange for one of her pies and a copy of her top secret recipes, me.

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77456 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/6/2012 10:01 AM
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Axe-u-lee, da original Brinkmann smoker had a 1-inch hole in the charcoal pan, Bob. There was a recall in the mid or late 80s because people were using them on wooden decks and causing fires when hot coals dropped through that hole.


Axully, I had one of dose, until (I'm pretty sure) one of my neighbors stole it when she moved. It was better, but not great. I reported the theft to the local sheriff's department. When she called the day the sheriff's report hit the local newspaper, I dropped the matter - As she worked as a paralegal for a St Louis law firm, I didn't want to risk any possibility of being tagged for contributions to her support, if she lost her job for stealing an ECB. ~ ~

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Author: ez3 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77462 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/6/2012 2:30 PM
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so mostly need to check the dimensions of a 32qt SS steamer pot, to make sure it will fit - pretty good instructions... Thanks, ez3!!


You are welcome Bob.

Keep us posted if you do find a SS pot that fits.

ez3

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77463 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/6/2012 8:57 PM
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Besides that, I also have an offset smoker made by New Braunfels (See; http://www.appliancefactoryparts.com/gasgrillparts/brands/ne...... ) that I use for cold smoking. I put an electric hotplate in the fire box and heat a cast iron skillet filled with hardwood sawdust and/or wood chips to produce the smoke. I have never used it to hot smoke foods as the ECB and WSM are adequate for my needs and are easier to use.

I like your cold smoker, CJV - I don't, yet, feel completely comfortable about my cold smoking cheese and raw meats, but I would like to get there.

Bob

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77466 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/7/2012 8:17 AM
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“C.J.V. - might hafta build one of dem mini WSM smokers out of stainless steel, me”

Yep, that does look pretty interesting and a worthwhile addition. I already have a Smokey Joe that I use for grilling 1 or 2 steaks, chicken and pork steaks, so mostly need to check the dimensions of a 32qt SS steamer pot, to make sure it will fit - pretty good instructions... Thanks, ez3!!


I am thinking bout making it out of sheet stainless steal, Bob, the same stiff that da fabricate restaurant counters, exhaust hoods, etc. out of. Lets see now, da grate in da Smoky Joe bes 13 3/4-inch in diameter so I’d need a hunk of stainless steel dats at least 13.75*3.14159 = 43.20 inches long, call it 43.5 inches sos it’ll have a .3-inch overlap fur riveting & sliver soldering/brazing. Using sheet steel, I kin make it as high as I wants. A udder ting dat I likes bout mt ECB-type smoker is dat da lid bes hinged. Might eben think bout a door to add wood chips/charcoal.
;-)

C.J.V. - but I can’t find cookin grates fur da Smoky Joe locally, me

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77468 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/7/2012 9:34 AM
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udder ting dat I likes bout mt ECB-type smoker is dat da lid bes hinged.

That's a much better ECB than I ever had, quite frankly.

but I can’t find cookin grates fur da Smoky Joe locally, me

Ain't you got a Sears store down der, CJV?
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07142821000P?sid=ID...

I am thinking bout making it out of sheet stainless steal, Bob, the same stiff that da fabricate restaurant counters, exhaust hoods, etc. out of. Lets see now, da grate in da Smoky Joe bes 13 3/4-inch in diameter so I’d need a hunk of stainless steel dats at least 13.75*3.14159 = 43.20 inches long, call it 43.5 inches sos it’ll have a .3-inch overlap fur riveting & sliver soldering/brazing. Using sheet steel, I kin make it as high as I wants. A udder ting dat I likes bout mt ECB-type smoker is dat da lid bes hinged. Might eben think bout a door to add wood chips/charcoal.
;-)


Those are good thoughts, CJV, but I probably would go longer than using the grate diameter. I would want a tight seal with the base and lid and a little wiggle room to enable some manipulation of the grates inside.

Personally, I would prefer to MIG or TIG weld over silver soldering or brazing (though cooking temps probably won't get that high to require that), but if I can find a close fit SS pot, that might be a whole lot simpler, and maybe work very adequately.

Bob

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77470 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/7/2012 1:01 PM
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"udder ting dat I likes bout my ECB-type smoker is dat da lid bes hinged."

That's a much better ECB than I ever had, quite frankly.


Axe-u-lee, its a U.S.Stove Company stainless steel smoker dat we got from Gander Mountain back in 1989. The water pan, which is the same size as da Brinkmann hangs from 2 stainless steel rods dat snap into the walls. When da cover is down, dare be jest enough space fur one of dem dial-type candy thermometers to go into one of dem holes and measure da temperature jest below the top cookin grate. It also gots a door to add more water and/or charcoal to da pans, which da original ECB didn’t have (but da post 85 or 84 made ones did.)

“but I can’t find cookin grates fur da Smoky Joe locally, me”

Ain't you got a Sears store down der, CJV?
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07142821000P?sid=ID......


Our closest Sears store be in Slidell, bout 46 or 45 miles from da house. Dare bes one in Metairie, bout 50 miles, dat I might check iffen I go to da gunshow in Kenner on da 15th. Dare may be a Sears store in Hammond iffen I members right but I don’t usually go dat way, me.

I would prefer to MIG or TIG weld over silver soldering or brazing (though cooking temps probably won't get that high to require that),

True, but I ain’t got a MIG or TIG welder but I do have a torch & lots of silver solder . . .
;-)

C.J.V. - most of da grates I found be jest a bit smaller den 13.75 inches, me

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77683 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/29/2012 5:26 PM
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but I can’t find cookin grates fur da Smoky Joe locally, me

“Ain't you got a Sears store down der, CJV?
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07142821000P?sid=ID...

Our closest Sears store be in Slidell, bout 46 or 45 miles from da house. Dare bes one in Metairie, bout 50 miles, dat I might check iffen I go to da gunshow in Kenner on da 15th. Dare may be a Sears store in Hammond iffen I members right but I don’t usually go dat way, me.

I checked out dat Sears store in Metairie when I hit da Kenner gunshow on da 15th, Bob. No luck as da only cookin grate day had at dat store war da 18-inch one.
;-(

I did find however (See; http://www.amazon.com/Weber-7431-Cooking-Grate/dp/B000WEIKL0... ) so I jest might order it long wid (See; http://www.amazon.com/No-Easy-Day-Firsthand-Account/dp/05259... ) or maybe (See; http://www.amazon.com/FungusAmongUs-Mushrooms-Organic-Porcin... ) so I gets free shippin. I ain’t quite decided yet.
;-)

C.J.V. - axe-u-lee bought dat Smoky Joe fur $14.99 at a end-of-season sale at a A&P Supermarket in Ortley Beach, N.J. 8 or 7 years ago, me

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77684 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/29/2012 11:11 PM
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so I jest might order it long wid (See; http://www.amazon.com/No-Easy-Day-Firsthand-Account/dp/05259...... ) or maybe (See; http://www.amazon.com/FungusAmongUs-Mushrooms-Organic-Porcin...... ) so I gets free shippin.

The 'shooms look pretty good and the book looks interesting, if not controversial - Personally, I'd prolly go fer da 'shrooms, myownself, or I might give these a try: http://www.amazon.com/India-Tree-Morel-Mushrooms-Pack/dp/B00...

Bob

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77686 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/30/2012 6:03 AM
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The 'shooms look pretty good and the book looks interesting, if not controversial - Personally, I'd prolly go fer da 'shrooms, myownself, or I might give these a try: http://www.amazon.com/India-Tree-Morel-Mushrooms-Pack/dp/B00......

I war thinking of trying dis recipe (See; http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/detail.asp?docid=202... ) so I’d need porcini ‘shrooms.
;-)

C.J.V. - bought da flick “Act of Valor” fur Fadder’s Day but ain’t watched it yet, me

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Author: MikeInIndy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77691 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 9/30/2012 5:50 PM
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These are the only grates I use

http://www.cast-iron-grate.com/

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77698 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 10/1/2012 9:39 AM
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These are the only grates I use

http://www.cast-iron-grate.com/


Interesting but somehow I can’t see paying $45 plus S & H fur a grate to fit a Smoky Joe dat I bought fur something like $15 or maybe it was $14.99 8 or 7 years ago (See; http://www.cast-iron-grate.com/grates-for-weber-charcoal-gri... ).

Axe-u-lee, I never had much luck wid cast iron grates, me. Da problem, down here in da Loosiana humility, is dat an a few weeks da seasoning on dem burns off and day start to rust. You gots to constantly reseason dem or day start to flake hunks of rust off into whatever your grilling (ain’t no fun when DW bites into her burger and chomps down on a big flake of rust, no. Gives me h3!!, she do).
;-(

C.J.V. - got Spanish moss & green algae growing on my pickup, me

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Author: MikeInIndy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77700 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 10/1/2012 12:03 PM
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I understand, CJV. I started with these by replacing the grates on my old gasser. Liked them so much I also did my Performer and Smokey Joe. I brush them with bacon juice before/after most grillin's. They keep good and seasoned. They are heavy as heck, though. If you dropped one on your foot it'd be gone. Your foot, not the grate.

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77702 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 10/1/2012 1:03 PM
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They are heavy as heck, though. If you dropped one on your foot it'd be gone. Your foot, not the grate.

Be careful dat you don’t miss your foot and hit da concrete instead. Cast iron bes brittle.
;-)

C.J.V. - broke a cast iron stove grate once, me

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Author: MikeInIndy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77703 of 82254
Subject: Re: smokin' ;-) Date: 10/1/2012 1:17 PM
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At these prices, I'm aiming for my foot.

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