Blackstone 22 Inch Griddle: Spotted in the Wild!

I have been researching griddles for a few months and have been looking at options from Camp Chef, Blue Rhino and Blackstone.  Cooking breakfast on a griddle has made me pretty happy the few times I have tried it and I am ready to graduate to the big leagues! I have decided that Blackstone is the brand I am going to go with and now I need to figure out which size.

Blackstone 22 inch Griddle

There are a lot of reviews for the Blackstone 36, 28 and 17 inch models but not much information about the 22 inch version.  From what I can tell this model isn’t promoted very much and is sold primarily through the Home Shopping Network and Walmart.

I was finally able to put my hands on a 22 incher down at the Wal Mart in the next town over and came away with mixed feelings.

Things I Loved About the 22 Incher

The 22 incher sold by Wal Mart comes with a lid!  I know this doesn’t seem like a big deal but none of the other models have lids and you have to buy a cover or else the flat top will rust FAST.

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I would probably go ahead and get a cover for this one too but the lid is a nice extra layer of protection.

I appreciate that the griddle is detachable from the stand so it can be more portable if you want to take it with you to use for tailgating, etc.  It also has dual H burners rated for 21,000 BTU/hr.

 

This griddle has a rear drainage system which is a major improvement over the front/side drainage on the 36 incher that has a tendency to drip grease down the leg

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Things I Don’t Like About the 22 Incher

Space:  The 22 incher only has 330 square inches of griddle space which is about 40% smaller than the 470 square inches you get with the 28 inch model.  My buddy just bought a 28 inch model and says he wouldn’t want anything smaller.

Price: The 22 incher costs about $150 if you get it from Wal Mart.  It costs about the same if you buy it directly from Blackstone or the HSN but those versions do not have a lid or cart.  While the price isn’t outrageous, you can get the 28 inch model from Amazon or Wal Mart for about $10 more.  As far as “bang for your buck” is concerned it seems like the 28 incher is a better buy.

Overall

The 22 inch Blackstone griddle is a nice looking product.  If I was going to buy this I would stalk my local Wal Mart and wait to get it on clearance.  As is, I will probably try out my buddy’s 28 incher a few times and, if it is as good as I think, end up getting that one.

Peace!

 

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Burnt But Happy Grilling!

One of the reasons I keep this blog is so I will have a place to store the pictures on my phone that I just cant stand to delete 🙂 These pictures aren’t even that great but they still made me happy enough that I wanted to keep them!

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I was working on my grilled chicken wing technique.  I had coated the wings in peanut oil to help with getting a crispy skin and was using a Slow N Sear to get some serious high heat.

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After about 40 minutes the skin hot gotten crispy and bubbly..just the way I wanted!  I bathed the wings in a hot wing sauce that I threw together and then closed the lid for 10 minutes to let the sauce set.

And then….

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Oops 🙂

I had made up a Sriracha, Ginger and Honey Sauce and sort of forgot about the ultra high heat I was using.  And yes…honey will scorch pretty easy!

That’s alright though…the wings were crispy and delicious and I had a fine time playing with my grill.  You really can’t ask for more than that.

Peace.

Weber Spirit II S 210: A Great Grill But Weber Lied

I spend a lot of time wandering around the Big Box stores looking at the latest and greatest grills.  Looking at grills makes me happy.

The grill that has caught my eye recently is the Weber Spirit II S 210.

Spirit II S 210

This is a sweet little two burner grill and the side table folds down if you are a little tight on space.

Spirit II Side Table

The Spirit II S 210 has full stainless construction and a porcelain enameled cast iron grate.

Spirit II grate

There was a time when you bought a Spirit because it was cheap and you couldn’t afford a Genesis.  That is no longer the case with the Weber Spirit II grills.  They have the same ten year warranty as a Genesis, cost less and are only about 20% smaller.

My beef with this grill is that Weber is selling it with a lie.  That lie is the GS4 badge.

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Weber made a big deal out of the GS4 High Performance Grilling System when they launched the redesigned Weber Genesis II in 2017.

A key component of the GS4 system on the Genesis are the redesigned tapered rectangular burners which are meant to even out the flame pattern across the entire burner.  Before 2017 all Weber as grills had the standard cylindrical burners.

What pisses me off is that the Spirit II grills carry the GS4 badge but come equipped with the old cylindrical burners with the cross over ignition system.

Spirit II burner tubes

These burners work just fine.  They are a tried and true design.  But they are NOT the burners that are advertised as being part of the GS4 High Performance grilling system.  Here is Weber’s promo video for the GS4 system.

Look, I know that Weber came up with the term “GS4” and that they can use it any way they want to but this looks like a blatant bait and switch to me.  They will stick the GS4 badge on the front but wont put the upgraded burners in the grill.

I guess they are claiming that “GS4” can mean different things based upon the grill series.  It looks like they have one set of GS4 specs for the Genesis an another for the Spirit.  I am guessing that in 2019 they will come out with a different set of specs for a GS4 system in the Summit.

I suspect that a LOT of people are going to buy the new Spirit grills thinking that they will be getting the upgrades that are present on the Genesis.  Unfortunately, due to some shady marketing, they will be disappointed.

It makes me a little sad that such a great little grill is tainted by a dishonest badge.

Spirit II Badge

Peace.

Not Quite Right Pastrami

I tried my hand at making a pastrami a while back and got close to getting it right but was bit in the bum by my impatience.  That’s alright, it still tasted just fine and that made me happy 🙂

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I started out with a five pound brisket flat and cured it with some Morton Tenderquick and a bottle of McCormick’s pickling spices.

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I let the brisket soak for five days in the refrigerator and then rinsed it off and smoked it on my kettle.  I rubbed the brisket with a little extra black pepper before it hit the pit.

The kettle set up was pretty standard (indirect low heat) and the brisket got smoked for about six hours.  I didn’t smoke this brisket as long as usual but I wanted it knew I was going to be slicing it thin so getting it completely tender wasn’t that important.

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The bark developed a lot differently then I was used to seeing.  Parts of the brisket took on that dark smokey look but most of it didn’t.  I am not sure of that was due to the curing soak or if I was just dealing with a funky brisket.

When I took the brisket off of my kettle and sliced it up I saw that I had been a little too quick to pull it out of the cure.

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You can see exactly how far the cure penetrated by the steak of gray in the middle of the pastrami.  It looks like I should have left it in the cure for a full week instead of five days.

Other than looking a little funny the pastrami came out tasting great.  It made for some killer sandwiches and honestly, once it inside some bread and topped with some pickles you couldn’t even see the gray bits 🙂

If you want to take a shot at making your own pastrami then check out these other links because they do it a lot better than me!

Katz’s Pastrami by Serious Eats

Smoked Pastrami from Extraordinary BBQ

How to Make Beef Brisket Pastrami at Home by Ruhlman

Peace.

Best Dang Bacon Wrapped Meatballs Ever

Meatballs are fun to make and are easy to cook on a grill.

Wrapping them in bacon and coating them with Tabasco Pepper Jelly just makes them ridiculous.  Ridiculous makes me happy.

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Meatballs

There are thousands of recipes for meatballs out there and you probably already have your favorite.  Making meatballs is a great reason to break out your meat grinder.

If you don’t have a “go to” meatball recipe yet then check out these Killer Meatballs from The Mountain Kitchen.

Pile of meatballs

Start with a pile of meatballs.

Lay each one out on a strip of bacon.

Yeah…you already knew how to do this.  I just wanted to post this picture 🙂

Meatball with bacon

Wrap the bacon around the meatball and secure it with a toothpick.

I will usually dust the bacon with a little chili powder and brown sugar.

Place the bacon wrapped meatballs on a grill with indirect heat.  I bank the coals on the left side of my grill and cook the meatballs on the right side.  You wont get any flare ups from dripping bacon grease using indirect heat.

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Meatballs

Let the meatballs grill for about 30 minutes and then start basting them with some Tabasco Pepper Jelly that has been melted in the microwave.

Pepper Jelly

Give the meatballs another five minutes or so and pull them off the grill once they hit an internal temperature of 160F.

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Meatballs

These were gooooood!

Peace.