Time To Choose A BBQ
Yes indeed, it has been some time since I last posted. No excuses, but that bright and shining orb in the sky has lit my fire again. Today we’re going to talk BBQ’S because it’s the time of year to go out there and buy a new one. I hope you enjoy!
Since the weather is FINALLY turning, you need to find which BBQ grill is right for you. There are so, so many different types of grills for all different needs and desires when it comes to outdoor cooking. There’s the dreaded gas grill, which I will pretend doesn’t exist for the purposes of this list. Gas is for convenience, I get that, but with the right equipment, a good wood burning grill can do the same thing in virtually the same amount of time and with so much more flavor. I will also stay away from the pellet-fueled grills like the Traeger and all of the recent facsimiles that have come to market lately. I started on a Traeger, I’ve owned two of them and tied for 3rd place in pulled pork at a 26 team BBQ competition using one, so I’m kind of a Traeger trader, but I had an epiphany and became a BBQ purest and therefore will only use real wood to cook with.
Everyone is looking for a good product at a good price and I think a great starter grill is the CharGriller. This is the grill I use at home for the majority of what I cook. She ain’t pretty but she gets the job done:
I’ve seen the main grill part on sale for as low as $75, although usually you’ll find it for between $100-$125. The smoker box attachment, which you see on the right, is sold separately and comes in at about $60. The grill has cast iron cooking grates that are fantastic for cooking on once they’re seasoned and a dampering system that allows great control of heat for any type of cooking style, be it slow smoking or cranked up to grill a juicy ribeye. For the price, it’s really hard to beat the CharGriller for someone looking to grill and delve into the realm of slow smoked foods.
Another great BBQ, albeit more expensive at $429 at Lowe’s, is the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn. This bad boy is built with much thinker steel than the CharGriller and has over 1000 sq. in. of cooking space allowing you to put on one heck of a BBQ. This will actually be my next BBQ.
I’m also a big fan of the Big Green Egg. I’ve cooked the best chicken I’ve ever made on one of these ceramic bad boys and can’t say enough good things about them. The only downfalls are space and price, I believe the smaller version clocks in at around $700, spendy for sure. I’ve looked at the Green Eggs and a couple of other off brands and simply know that for the amount of cooking I do, space is a premium. Now in a perfect world, which someday I’ll live in, I’ll have numerous grills for whatever application is needed.
Last but not least, you can’t forget the classic Weber. I love these grills, I’ve got the smaller version that I travel with, and for the $89 price tag, they’re pretty hard to beat. The one thing I always caution folks on the Weber is if you want to get into smoking meats, pork butts, briskets, ribs, etc, you need to remember that the Weber will require you to offset all of your coals therefore cutting down on your cooking area significantly. But, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done and that you shouldn’t try it, because you should.
Once you’ve chosen which grill is right for you, remember this: JUST SAY NO TO LIGHTER FLUID. You will never, ever ever ever, use lighter fluid when stating your grill. Go to the store, get yourself a charcoal starter that looks like this:
And never look at the lighter fluid again. Yes, yes, I get it, it’s fun to shoot the fluid on the open flame like a gleeful redneck and watch the WOOSH as a glowing fireball of beauty erupts. BUT, you wouldn’t drink lighter fluid so why would you eat food that’s been cooked in it? A couple pieces of newspaper and you’ll have a roaring fire in about 10-12 minutes in a charcoal starter.
Now to the fuel you’ll use in your BBQ. I’m a big fan of real wood and my wood dealer in Portland is Wiley’s Cooking Woods. He’s got a small place off of Powell, but his woods are available in numerous locations, just check out his website for all of the details. You can also purchase bags of kiln dried smoking wood at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver.
I start my BBQ with real wood charcoal, no Kingsford or any of that other pressed charcoal. Whenever possible, use real wood charcoal to start the grill and then add your wood of choice for cooking.
I hope this has been a little help in your quest for BBQ supremacy and as always, if you have any other questions, please feel free to fire away and I’ll be happy to help. I know I’ve got to get to part 2 of the 10 dinner ideas, it’ll be up soon!!! Happy grilling and have a great week.