Old School Smoked Spare Ribs

I put my beautiful maroon kettle back into the grill rotation yesterday and broke her back in with a slab of spare ribs.  I love the color on this kettle and seeing her on my deck as I sit on my porch makes me happy.


I decided to go old school simple with this slab of spares.  The rub was simply salt, pepper, onion and garlic.  The kettle was burning some hickory hardwood lump with a split of cherry for smoke.


Since there wasn’t any sugar in the rub I let the kettle run hotter than I usually do when smoking meats.  I wasn’t measuring temps but I reckon it was running about 300F at the grate.

I didn’t do any foiling and didn’t mess around with sauces or glazes. I did spritz the ribs about every thirty minutes with a 5:1 mix of apple cider vinegar and Frank’s Red Hot.


After about two and a half hours the smoked ribs were beautiful, the meat had pulled back from the bone and my thermometer slid right through the meat.  Perfect.


I seriously loved the simplicity and SPEED of this cook.  The rub, smoke and spritz put plenty of great flavor into the meat and I am not going to complain about having ribs done in under three hours.

spare ribs

A simple kettle.

A simple recipe.

A beautiful day.


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How to Smoke Pork Ribs

Five Reasons Ribs Are The Perfect Meat to Smoke






Spatchcock Chicken on a Vintage PK Grill

I got a new grill!!!!

And by a “new grill” I mean a really freaking old grill 🙂

By sheer dumb luck I came into possession of a classic piece of Americana..the magnificent Presidential Model PK Grill!

Large PK Grill

This particular grill is about 60 years old.  This grill was made sometime between 1960 and 1975 and it looks like it has at least another 20-30 years of use left in it.  Like all PK grills it is made of thick cast aluminum that will never rust.

What makes this grill special is that it is the largest PK grill ever made with a grilling surface of about 416 square inches.  This is larger than the recently introduced PK 360.

I have been playing around and learning the air/temperature control on this beauty.  One of my favorite cooks was a simple roasted chicken.

I started with a whole chicken, cut out the backbone and crushed down the keel to flatten the feller out.  The bird was injected with a LOT of creole butter injectable marinade.


I salted the skin and let the bird dry out for a few hours.  It got hit with some black pepper and then thrown on the grill!


I had the PK set up with hardwood lump charcoal on both sides of the GrillGrate panels.  I ran the grill hot and fast for about 75 minutes until the bird hit 165F in the breast.

Grilled Chicken on a PK grill

The site of that beautiful bird made me happy!!

The chicken was juicy as can be and the skin was deliciously crispy.

What I loved the most was using such a classic grill that is older than me.  There are few things that are built to last in this world but a PK grill is one of them.


Grill On, My Friends!


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.


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


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.


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.



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!


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.


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….


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.


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.


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