Tag Archives: bbq az

Weber 8835 Hinged Cooking Grate – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Weber 8835 Hinged Cooking Grate.  I did a great deal of research and thought about finding the most cost effective upgrade for the Weber Kettle when it came to a better grill top.  This was my choice for quite a few reasons.

Cost – This was a big consideration here.  Most of the higher quality cast iron upgrades available would cost close to or over 100 dollars which is 2/3rds the cost of a Weber Premium Kettle Grill itself.

Material Quality – At first I thought this was just a stock weber grill grate with a hole in the middle that you could remove an insert from.  Upon reading reviews though I found it was almost twice the weight of a standard grate.  Coming in at 8.2 vs. 4.5 lbs.  Heavier material equals more thermal mass for more even cooking and heat retention and stability.

Flexibility – To be blunt I wanted a grate that had a center panel you could remove, this had that but it also retained the side hinged panels so you could use it with a hot zone center or on both sides or on one side.  You can also cook something like a beer can chicken in the center on the bottom grate so you can close the lid, you can run a Vortex with it, you can cook something like potatoes under a low and slow pork shoulder.  The flexibility is almost unending.

Additional Accessories – In addition to the base flexibility above this grate is designed to work with a variety of additional accessories including a cast iron center searing grate, a plancha/griddle, a pizza stone,  a Wok, along with some other items and Weber seems committed to expanding these options.  This has me thinking of really seeing just how much this simple grill can do.  Not to mention the cast iron insert gives you a cast iron surface at 1/3rd the price of most other options!

Personally I find this to be the most cost effective upgrade you can give your Weber Kettle, so check out the Weber 8835 Hinged Cooking Grate today.  At only 35 bucks with free same day shipping for Prime Members, in most markets it is a hell of a deal!

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Check out the short video below of this new grate installed on my Weber Premium Kettle Grill.

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Camp Chef Ranger II Table Top Stove – Item of the Day

stove

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Camp Chef Ranger II Table Top Stove.  I break down the value of this stove into four distinct areas.

First if you are on electric for your stove and the power goes out you do not want to try to run your range with your generator, unless you have a huge one.  Running a coffee maker puts a hit on a small gen set let alone a stove.  So it is back up cooking for those of you with electric.

Second is for the camper that “truck camps”.  I mean this is no back packing stove but mostly when I camp now I have my truck with me.  So between this stove and my Steven Harris battery system in my truck box, I feel like I am on grid.

Third is for you folks with electric stoves even when you do have power.  Look cooking on gas is just a hell of a lot more fun then electric.  This little thing has as much power as my gas range in my kitchen.  Many home cooks would love to have a gas range but just don’t have gas service and a big propane pig is not practical.  This is the next best thing.

Fourth is what I consider life style enhancement for all of us.  Let’s say it is a beautiful morning on a non work day.  You and your family want a nice breakfast.  Well go out on the porch or the deck and cook outside.  Just set this guy up on a table and get to work.  Get yourself a nice French Press and boil some water and make coffee or hot tea to go with it.

adapterA quick note, this stove comes with a hose and is designed to run on 20 gallon grill sized propane tanks.  If you want to run small one pound cans (which is really convenient for this stove) you need to add the small bottle adapter to your order.

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the value of the Camp Chef Ranger II Table Top Stove.  It really blows me away that you can get a portable two burner stove that cooks as nice as my 1200 dollar range in my kitchen does for under 100 bucks.  And like everything I recommend it is very highly rated on Amazon with 4.5 star with over 130 reviews.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer – Item of the Day

perfcook

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer.  This isn’t a hard item to figure out but there is a big misconception about the most valuable thing it does for you.

Many people feel that a meat thermometer is so you don’t under cook meat.  I refer to these people as “the people who ruin meat and are not worthy of a cows sacrifice to create a steak”.

Now don’t get me wrong there are minimum temps different meats should be cooked to, but very few people would actually eat and under cooked piece of chicken.  The problem tehre is you take the poor bird out before it is done, cut into it and ruin that wonderful roasting you had going as now it must go back in cut open.

So yes, a meat thermometer can help you make sure meat is done, but that is its second greatest use.  Its higher use is to ensure meat is not over cooked.  And that is why you need one of these.  I have gotten pretty good at doing steaks by eye, no matter how, frying pan, broiler, gas grill, charcoal, you name it I can nail it by eye and touch.

Well that is until I am trying to make 4 steaks and they have been requested to be 1 rare, 2 medium rare and 1 medium well (which I call almost ruined).  With a thermometer you remove each steak at just the right time, every time.   What you want your steak “well done”, okay you will have to do it yourself, I don’t ruin meat.  Perhaps I can interest you in say a pot roast

Seriously though, every good cook should have a good instant read meat thermometer.   And the Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer is the best one I have found under 25 bucks, hell it is the best one I have found under 50 bucks but it is only 22 dollars.  There are two things you need in a tool like this, first speed and the second is accuracy.

This one gives you a reading within one degree of accuracy in about 5 seconds or less.  It will change the way you look at your grill because now you will know you can nail the internal temp you are looking for every time.  It will also please your guest and in spite of my humor above, even the ones that insist on a “well done steak” even if you and I never understand their thinking.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Weber Premium Charcoal Grill – Item of the Day

bronzegrillEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Weber Premium Charcoal Grill.  I have owned a lot of grills, both gas and charcoal and this is my all time all around favorite.  While I do appreciate the instant light and go of my gas grill if I have 30 minutes to wait for the coals to ash over I go to my Weber more times than not.

Consider the orginal Weber Kettle Grill was made from an old buoy in 1952 and in 1956 was redesigned to look much like today’s grill.  Since 56 it has had some changes here and there but it is still pretty much the same.  Folks that is 60 years!  When something is around 60 years, one must conclude it is because it works.

The grill I recommend is the mid level model, the Weber Premium Charcoal Grill and mainly due to the upgraded “one touch cleaning system”, which should be called the no touch system in my view.  No need to ever get covered with ash.  Just turn the vent handle back and forth and remove the catcher, dump and replace it, done.

I grill at both high and indirect temps with my Weber, I smoke with it, I have done skewers over strait coals, I have even cooked meat directly on the coals.  Honestly if I needed more space for grilling at 149 shipped free on prime, I would just buy a second Weber Premium Charcoal Grill and call it a day.

A word of advice, if you take care of a Weber Kettle it will last a very long time.  Meaning someday your grill may be coveted by something called a “Kettle Head”.  What is a Kettle Head?  A collector of these grills, they even have their own very active forum.  And when you see them find and restore older gills they always seem to crave anything besides black.

I am not saying your grill will become a collectable some day but if you want the ability to sell it you will find Kettle heads prefer colors like bronze and green.  Personally I got bronze because well, it just looks cool and I like to be different.

Grilling is my favorite way to cook and the simplicity of the Weber is a great way to go.  If you have been considering a charcoal grill I have to say nothing really stacks up to the Weber Premium Charcoal Grill from a value to cost ratio.  Best part is how easy to assemble it is, it is really just a one beer job.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – This is a special encore item, because Weber is for a limited time bringing back red in this grill.  This is one of the most sought after colors by Kettle Heads, personally I still prefer bronze, but given that the red is back (at a premium by the way) for a very short time, I decided to bring this item back around.  You can find the Red Kettle Here.

Currently you can pre order it and it will be released on Nov. 15th, Weber has not said yet how many will be released or for how long it will be available.  But it is the perfect Christmas gift for the griller in your life, I am sure the timing by Weber is to that end!

 

 

 

Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Charcoal Baskets from Quality Grill Parts – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Charcoal Baskets from Quality Grill Parts.  I recommend these over the stock Weber Charcoal Baskets due to simple quality.  Now the Weber Baskets work just fine for what they are and at about 15 bucks with free shipping, they are a reasonable value.  I just got rid of mine after about 3 years of use, but the truth is they were pretty useless at that point and I have been using my Slow ‘N Sear as a basket more often than not for the past year.

So last week I decided to break down and buy a new set.  One of the reasons I had yet to do so was that I just wasn’t happy of the quality with the Weber baskets for the volume of grilling I do, we are talking 3-6 nights a week in Spring – Fall.  Then I stumbled on these.  What an upgrade, I would say they are three times the quality for only double the cost.  For me that is a winning cost/value ratio.

They are made from heavy duty 304 stainless steel and the product gets a Fake Spot Grade of an A with 72 reviews with 95% being 5 stars.  They are perfect as to dimensions with perfect coverage of the 12 inch center panel of my Weber 8835 Hinged Cooking Grate.

I personally see charcoal baskets for the Weber Kettle as being something you don’t really appreciate until you use them.  Sure you can just pile the coals in the center or on the side but you don’t get the uniform control.  As the pile burns it collapses unto itself, and if you want to move a hot zone you stir the charcoal and it goes nuclear with heat.

With these baskets you get superior control and your hot zone is uniform, which to me is very important.  Because the coals are held at a specific height and a specific density the entire hot zone is very stable so when searing your three steaks or chicken cutlets sear uniformly until moved to indirect heat.  It is a small thing but a big efficiency and convenience enhancer.  So check out the Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Charcoal Baskets from Quality Grill Parts today. Together with the Weber 8835 Hinged Cooking Grate I think they are the two best upgrades you can make as a Weber Kettle Owner.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Check out the video below to see how you can set these up several ways and the quality of the material they are made from.  Also check out my recent episode on cooking with the Weber Kettle to learn more about the value of this set up.

King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack – Item of the Day

wingrackEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack.  Oh you out door cooking types are going to love this, though it works quite well in the oven too!  Since I first reviewed this item the price has gone up to 16 bucks but the good news is it is no longer an “add on item” so you can buy one alone if you want to.

There is so much I love about these things, first they hold either 12 wings or 12 legs and they do it in about 1/4th of the space that you’d normally need.  Next is that they end up with perfectly crisped and seasoned skin.  Since they never touch the grill rack and you never have to turn them.

I generally cook my chicken on a low temperature on indirect or very low direct heat until almost done.  Then bring up the temp at the end to crisp up the skin.  It also makes sense to set these in a small pan or toss away aluminum pan to minimize flare ups when cooking over direct coals or flame.

Again they work great in the oven as well, cook until almost done at say 350 then pop up to 425 for a bit to crisp up the skin, want a recipe, tune into today’s show for one!  You cans see in the above photo how the wings are hung from the rack by the tips and in the photo below how the legs hang and are held by the knuckle.

Let me tell you try the King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack and you will never loose that crispy skin off a drum stick ever again.

legrack

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – My latest cook with these was indoors and let me give you the skinny.  I coated the wings in my famous “chili garlic pepper oil” and then dusted them with a mix of chili powder, smoked salt, garlic, cumin, paprika, onion and black pepper, all about equal amounts ground in a Mr. Coffee Grinder. (FYI this is my everything seasoning mix)

I used the “convection roast” setting in my oven, ran them at 425 for 45 minutes, they were beyond fantastic.

To do this without creating a grease fire or lots of smoke take a large aluminum foil ban like for baking a turkey, put this rack inside it and put about 3 inches of water in it.  This will catch dripping fat and the water won’t let it scorch on the pan when it gets caught.  The extra humidity will be good for keeping them juicy.

On this latest run I got 15 wings on the rack with a bit of fiddling, which is 30 pieces.  The only down side is you can only fit one of these in a standard oven.

The Bradley Smokers Original Smoker – TSP Item of the Day

bradleysmokerEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Bradley Smokers Original Smoker.  I first learned about this smoker from Kevin Kegan one of my partners at PermaEthos.  He recommended the digital version, but after a lot of research I decided the original version was good enough for my needs.  So I could not justify the extra expense and I always cook with a two probe thermometer anyway.

The four rack system give a lot more cooking area then you would think.  I recently removed one of the racks and with a bit of creativity in how I slid in the other three was able to do six pork shoulders in a single smoke.

If there is a downside to Bradley it is you have to use their “bisquettes” which are compressed little pucks of wood shavings.  To me though it isn’t a big issue, if you smoke with a tool like this you are not making a single meal, rather you are making a significant amount of food. When you pro rate the cost across the per pound of yield it is insignificant.

The fact that you can keep many different woods on hand in a small space is nice too.  Alder for salmon, hickory for that home cured bacon and cheese (using the cold smoke adapter of course), oak for pork, pecan for brisket.  (crap giving away more of my secrets here)

Frankly I never let any extra space go to waste.  Lets say I am doing a single pork shoulder for a small family get together.  Okay great, so I will toss in a few rib racks and say a chuck roast, smoke it all.  I then let the extra stuff cool, vacuum seal and freeze it.  All you do is take it out and re heat it and rock on.  This means you can have low and slow smoked wonderful meats ready to go.

When you do a brisket you have to cut it in half, it just won’t fit whole, but two fit cut in half.  Half a brisket is still a lot of meat, so one smoke, 4 half briskets, for a family thing two halves go in the freezer, but if it is just for Dorothy and I, one half gets used and three go in the freezer.

How does that effect quality?  It doesn’t, at all, I could put fresh and frozen and re heated in front of you, you’d never know.

I am a guy that loves my grills and smokers.  I love that I can smoke on a kettle grill, I have a huge side box old school smoker, but once I got this it is just too easy to not use most of the time.  The results are dead simple consistent.

There is one caution, one time I ran 2 briskets and got distracted and ended up with a grease fire.  It was easy to put out and didn’t get out of hand but it could have.  This is because you have so much fat dripping into one area.

What I suggest is the smoker comes with a small pan which you fill with water, replace it with a aluminum throw away oven pan, so it has more capacity.  Empty and refill it say every two hours.  This pan isn’t just for moisture the finished pucks are pushed into it and extinguished.

Next is if you are only using one to three of the racks, put one of the aluminum pans on the lowest rack and let it catch your fat drippings.  This helps keep your smoker a lot cleaner anyway.  With three racks I can still do two shoulders, 3 rib racks and  couple rings of sausage.

If you love smoked meat but don’t relish the constant tweaking for old school smoking check this thing out.  And as always don’t be a purist.  Smoke up to about 160 for your meat.  Then wrap in foil and finish in the oven at about 225.  This is called the Texas Cheat, and as a good friend of mine says, if you are not cheating you are not trying.  The oven finish is the way to go, and let me tell you a secret, a real secret.

This is exactly how I pull off freezing roasts and heating them up and them tasting so great.  I don’t finish them!  I smoke up to 160 (it is called “the stall”) and I wrap in foil, then vac seal and freeze what we are not going to use right away.  When we want to use it, we defrost it, pop it in the oven and finish it the day we eat it.  Now guys, that is a real Spirko hack and until I published this review, it was a closely guarded secret.

Oh and hey, want to blow it up for Thanksgiving?  Get one of these, quarter your bird, smoke it, then wrap and oven finish.  Don’t try to cook it heavy in the smoker, go lite, about 2.5 hours, just to season it with smoke, then cook in wrapped foil until it is perfectly tender.

Do this and you will never have a dry turkey again!  Sure it won’t be a big giant browned bird on the table but how long do they stay that way anyway, in the end it is what is on the plate that matter.  So for all these reasons and more check out the Bradley Smokers Original Smoker today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Of course I hate one trick pony type things, like a smoker that only smokes.  So check this out, when I have big gatherings one of my favorite thing to provide is brats and sausages.  It is finger food, help yourself type stuff.  So I cook them on my grill and then put them in the smoker, I put in no wood pucks and simply set the Bradley to about 120 degrees.

It is then a hot box to keep them warm, I can now have a beer and socialize and people just help themselves.  Just make sure after about an hour to clean it out or you may find something very unappetizing next week when you go to cook again!

 

Famili Wireless Dual Probe Meat Thermometer – Item of the Day

thermEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Famili Wireless Dual Probe Meat Thermometer.  If you BBQ, cook low and slow or even make a lot of slow cooked meats in your oven (like that Thanksgiving Turkey or Tuesday Night Chicken, you want one of these.  For the serious BBQ person though this is a must.

While one probe keeps track of your grill temps, the other keeps track of your meat temps, so you can cook to your desired temperature.  The best part is you are not constantly opening your grill, smoker, oven, etc, with this set up.  So temps stay consistent, and you don’t get flare ups from too much air getting into your slow gentle coals.

Well really that is the second best thing!  The best part is sitting on the couch watching a game with the remote and not worrying one bit about over cooking that chicken.  Or sitting by the pool without a worry that you are going to obliterate that easily over done rack of ribs.

The other thing I love is how easy this thing is to use.  I am not big on the timers and alarms and all, though they are useful of course.  What I like is the simple set up, put your probes in the meat and on in the cooking chamber, take the remote turn it on, hold down the power button to sync the two, and you are off and cooking.

You can see me using this set up while cooking ribs on my new Slow ‘N Sear here.  Also note that while this is great thermometer it is for roasting, BBQ and things like that.  It does not replace a fast instant read thermometer for your steaks and chops, but that will be the subject of another review.

On a final note I chose the Famili Wireless Dual Probe Meat Thermometer because I wanted an accurate, easy to use, well built set up, without forking out close to 100 bucks.  This one has 80 reviews and 92% are 4 or 5 stars.  Why?  Like most stuff I recommend it just works and does so without a lot of headaches.  And for 50 bucks shipped free on prime, all I can say is in preventing one ruined brisket or pork shoulder, it pays for itself.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. –  This item, made by Thermopro is the EXACT SAME thermometer set up.  It is just marketed under two different names.  The only different is it is orange, same price and also free shipping on prime.  So if for some reason you prefer orange to blue, well, you can get this one instead.

 

The Slown ‘N Sear for the Weber Kettle – Item of the Day

snsEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Slown ‘N Sear for the Weber Kettle Grill.  After over two years of using the Smokenator,  I have definitely found a better solution.  Don’t get me wrong, the Smokenator is a fine product, the Slown ‘N Sear is simply a massive improvement.

One way is that you don’t have to cram charcoal into it and deal with it moving around.  Another is that is has a capacity of 4 cups (a full quart) of water in its integrated reservoir, so it can run for hours closed and without needing a refill, and thus spiking in temperature.

On top of all this rather than cheap stamped thin steel the Slown ‘N Sear is made of almost 6 pounds of heavy grade stainless steel.  I have decided that next week I am going to trying doing my first ever smoked chuck roast.

For full disclosure I was given this item in return for my review, but as you all know if something sucks, I say it sucks.  And my friends this thing far from sucks in a word it rocks.

I do want to note I did have some issues holding the temperature as low as I would have liked.  My take aways on this are as follows…

  1. The biggest issue was that I had to open the kettle more often and leave it open longer than I should of, due to wanting to explain the entire cook on film.  This let way too much air get the coals going a bit too fast.
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  2. The other issue is likely that I really did overload the charcoal well.  The instructions say to add one chimney of coals to the dozen you get ashed over.  I pretty much filled it all the way to the top, so much so that they grate was a bit elevated when the cook started.

Even with that the highest temp I hit was in the 260s and the cook stayed below 240 for most of the time.  I also do highly recommend the dual probe BBQ thermometer for all low and slow cooks, it is the, Famili Digital Remote Thermometer, but that will be a review for another day.

But if you are a Weber Kettlehead let me say the Slown ‘N Sear is one piece of kit you really want to add to your arsenal.  The best part unlike other such tools, this one can just stay in your grill, I really don’t like single use items.  The Slown ‘N Sear is just as at home grilling steaks and finishing them on indirect heat as it is at taking a pork shoulder for a 8 hour low and slow ride.  In fact I can’t wait to give that a try.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Here is a video of my first run with the Slown ‘N Sear I will add more cook videos to this page as I continue to perfect my technique with it.

P.S. if you want the Plus Model in this video with the grid bottom, it costs a bit more.  I chose the plus model because I was offered either, it may or may not be worth the extra money to you.  I leave that decision to you, if you want the plus model you can order from this link, Slow ‘N Sear Plus.