Quality Grill Parts Heavy Duty Stainless GrateThe @WeberGrills Smokey Mountain Smoker and Weber Rib Rack Review

After purchasing the Quality Grill Parts Heavy Duty Stainless Charcoal Baskets I was so impressed with how well they were built and the quality of the material I wanted to upgrade the grates on my 18.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.

I planned to cook up four racks of pork ribs for yesterday’s Pats/Texans playoff game.

Only problem was that fitting four slabs of spare ribs on an 18 inch WSM I was going to need to use a rib rack. The Weber Rib Rack for $12.99 is a nice value, purchase here.   It’s well built and designed.  The slots are spaced enough apart that the ribs don’t lean up against each other.  When comparing them to the Char Broil ones they both had nice builds but the Char Broil one had six slots instead of five which would have placed the ribs closer together and if the ribs are leaning up against each other they won’t develop bark where they touch.

Trimmed the spare ribs into St Louis cuts which basically squares them up.

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The Quality Grill Parts  Heavy Duty Grate for 18.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain did not disappoint in terms of quality compared the the charcoal baskets I bought from the company.  Same over built, high quality 304 stainless construction.  Comparing the build to the grates that come with the WSM it’s night and day.  They cost $40 on Amazon- purchase here

Check out the short video review here-

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Here are some comparison photos between the Quality Grill Parts 18.5 Heavy Duty Grate and the Stock Weber Unit-

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Here are the ribs on the new grate and racks-

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STOK Cast Iron Grates On The Weber Performer

Last night it was brussel sprouts, mushroom and onion skewers and ribeyes on the 2009 Weber Performer Deluxe.

Decided to swap out the standard Weber grates for the cast iron ones on the STOK.  Worked out well using the STOK veggie basket insert to grill the brussell sprouts which were lightly coated in evoo , Atlantic Saltworks Salt and crushed black pepper.

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Grill accessory- plastic container to protect remote thermometer for outdoor cooks in the rain

imageimageYou can get these at the Dollar Store. They work very well to protect the unit on your remote thermometer sensor from the rain which will ruin your investment in a hurry.

I know it’s not some high tech revelation but sometimes there are simple solutions that we can pass on. I hear many stories of semi-expensive remote thermometers getting destroyed by rain.
Being transparent they allow you to see the temps without having to take the unit out if the container.

The cord on the probe goes right out the corner and the container can still be locked down to protect from the elements.

This one was $2 and I got it at Ocean State Job Lot in Peabody.

Charcoal Chimney Starter Face-Off Broil King 63980 vs @WeberGrills 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter

This is intended to show with tape ruler, digital scale and photographs some of the differences between the Broil King 63980 Charcoal Chimney Starter  and the Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter.

It should be noted that the Weber unit has been used at our lobster dock since last May and the Broil King Unit just arrived.

Firstly, the Broil King cost $26.99 at the time of purchase and here are the details as listed on Amazon-

broilKing

  • Heavy duty all stainless steel design
  • High density resin handle
  • Lights up to two pounds of charcoal without starter fluid
  • The venturi effect will light the charcoal within five to ten minutes

 

The Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter cost $14.99 and here are teh details as listed on Amazon-

Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter

  • Chimney starter system lights charcoal quickly and evenly
  • Made from aluminized steel with a stay-cool thermoplastic handle
  • Holds enough briquettes for a 22-1/2-inch kettle grill
  • Cone bottom ensures a fast start; eliminates need for lighter fluid
  • Measures 7-1/2 by 7-1/2 by 12 inches

Opening and using a new bag of Kingsford briquettes for uniformity.

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Physical characteristics- The Broil King is shorter, it also has a slight taper to widen just a bit at the top.  The Weber seems like it would have more air flow with the wire rings.  the Weber also has the hinged handle which when extended will keep your steadying hand further away from the hot coals.  They both are well built and sturdy.

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The Broil King weighs significantly less- 2.15 lbs  vs 3.5 lbs for The Weber

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Filling each starter with exactly 4.6 lbs of charcoal the Weber can hold slightly more than the Broil King (not very significantly more but there is a little more space at the top, probably an additional 6 briquettes.

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The extended hinged secondary handle on The Weber extends further than the Broil King- 7.25 inches vs 4.5 inches.

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Conclusion:

The  Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter  is a little over half the cost of the Broil King 63980 Charcoal Chimney Starter .  It is heavier, it holds slightly more charcoal, it has more space for air to flow upward to start the charcoal and it has the secondary hinged handle which help to control the chimney when its full of hot coals.

Some things I like about the Broil King is that it is stainless.  I’m not sure if it will hold up better than the Weber over time but at almost twice it’s cost I doubt you would get almost twice as long with it.  Maybe you could though.  I also like that the holes in the bottom which are shaped like flames are large enough that you could stick the end of a long lighter into completely whereas on the Weber you have to lift the chimney with one hand and light it from underneath.

For the money I’d purchase the Weber as you could almost afford two for the same price as the Broil King and I don’t see enough significant features that would make it worth almost double the price.  In fact The Weber is a little heavier and can hold slightly more charcoal.

Update 3/20/16:

Tested The Broil King

Lit two crumpled pieces of newspaper and one Weber Starter Cube in the bottom of the unit at 6:06PM

6:20PM All the briquettes were glowing except for the top row.  Ready for the cook.

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It was easy enough to handle and the extra handle of the Weber is actually a non-factor one way or another for my use.  Pouring the coals into the charcoal basket was easily controlled without the hinged extra handle on the Weber unit.  The handle on the Broil King 63980 was cool to the touch and the heat deflector did its job well.

As you can see after the first use it is obviously discolored.  This as we know does not effect performance but it’s worth noting that it will not be looking like the stainless out of the package unit that came shipped after it’s initial use.

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After having used the Broil King unit I would say it performs well but because of the much higher cost I would buy the Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter 

4/2/16 Update:

After one week outside the Broil King Chimney that is supposedly made out of stainless steel has significant rust on it.  Another problem I’m encountering is that with the slightest breeze it tips over because it is not very heavy and the weight of the handle topples it making it difficult to fill because you need to hold it with one hand while dumping the charcoal with the other arm.

I can’t under any circumstances recommend the Broil King Chimney, In fact I feel like it should be returned for the simple reason of rusting after only a week outdoors.

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Restoring The 2008 @WeberGrills Kettle That Matt Ring Gave Me Last Spring

Between this 2008 Weber One Touch Gold and the Smokey Joe Silver I cooked at least 6 times a week all spring/summer/fall of 2015.  They were both long overdue for a thorough cleaning and restoration.  The good thing about Weber kettles is that their finish is so durable, even the worst crud build up and nastiest looking grills can be restored with a little elbow grease and a few inexpensive supplies.

Following the guides from The Weber Kettle Club I picked up a cheap razor scraper that came with 10 extra razor blades and some extra fine #0000 steel wool.  A small flathead screwdriver helped get bits of gunk out of some tiny tough spots.

@WeberGrills Smokey Joe Lower Vent Mod

With inspiration and advice from far more mechanically inclined contributors @Bustin Butt and @addicted-to-smoke on the Weber Kettle Club Message board I successfully added a nice lower vent knob to my often used Smokey Joe Grill that I use for lunches at the dock.

First she needed some cleaning from a heavy year of use and neglect in the most brutal of saltwater dock conditions (our lobster company).

Before-

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After scraping with a razor blade handle to remove the heavy crud, I gave it a good scrubbing with some dish soap and fine steel wool.  This Smokey Joe is pretty banged up already so I didn’t get too crazy but the results are pretty remarkable with only about 40 minutes of elbow grease.

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For really great Weber Kettle cleaning instructions check out Weber Kettle Clubs guides-

So now that I got the Smokey Joe looking nice it was time to man-up and break out the tools.  I am probably the least mechanically inclined person I know.  Generally whenever I try to save some money by doing something mechanical it ends up costing me double after I end up having to hire someone that knows what they’re doing to fix my mistakes.

Because the Smokey Joe owed me nothing as I’ve cooked on it a ton and it was pretty beat up to begin with, I figure if I was going to try to drill into one of my grills to do a modification, that I’d start out on one that if I completely messed up it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

So using dimensions for the knob which @Bustin Butt from Weber Kettle Club

helped me figure out, I checked out Amazon and came up with this knob-

Davies Thermoset Tapered Knob, Smooth Rim, Threaded Hole, 1/4″-20 Thread Size X 3/8″ Thread Length, 7/8″ Diameter (Pack of 5)

daviesknob

Then headed to The Building Center where I found the stainless hardware that Weber Kettle Club member @addicted-to-smoke  advised me to get.  I bought two sets of the hardware which included these items-

5 inch stainless carriage bolts $2.29 each 1/4- 20 thread

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1/4 inch split lock washers .22 cents each

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stainless 1/4-20 nuts .43 cents each

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Next bend the bottom vent tab 90 degrees with a pair of pliers.  It bends pretty easily.  I doubled over a paper towel to not scratch up the vent tab.

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So now for the part where I am nervous that I’m going to royally screw up.  The drilling of the hole.  I used a 1/4 inch metal drill bit on a Dewalt cordless drill. Pressed down and applied steady but not too much pressure.  It skipped a teeny bit so it’s not perfectly centered but no one would notice if they weren’t looking for it as it under the Smokey Joe out of sight.  Next time when I do this to the brand new Lime Green Smokey Joe I have sitting in the box in the basement you can rest assured I’ll be getting it precisely in the middle.  Anyway  here are the parts-

I’be seen quite a few people choose long carriage bolts with big heads on the end and they simply put locking washers and bolts one either side of the vent tab and have the head of the carriage bolt extended out to use as the lever.  I liked the way @bustin butt’s mod came out in which the large head of the bolt is on the inside of the vent tab and then you just use the one lock washer and nut to tighten down on the vent tab and screw the threaded knob onto the end of the carriage bolt that is extruding toward you-

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Here it is in action-

I’m pretty happy it came out the way I wanted and I didn’t mess anything up!

Product Review- X-Chef Heat Resistant Silicone BBQ Grilling Gloves

I was looking for a set of grill gloves to handle the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet.  When opening up all the vents on the pit and getting that cast iron searing hot, the last thing you want to do is forget that it isn’t a stove top skillet that you can grab the handle.  Often times you want to lift the skillet to redistribute the butter or cooking oil in the bottom of the skillet to coat the bottom.  Or you may just want to move it off the direct heat and over the section of the grill that doesn’t have the coals under it.

After a little research I came across these X-Chef Silicon mitts for $9.99  There were similar mitts that looked exactly like these priced anywhere from $12.99-$54.00.  I decided for $9.99 I’d give them a shot.

xchef

Oven Mitts Gloves, Heat Resistant Silicone Gloves BBQ Grilling Gloves for Cooking Baking Barbecue Potholder

Yesterday when cooking the smash burgers with my daughters I needed to press down on the back side of the spatula to flatten the hamburger and get a good sear on the meat.  I first placed the loosely formed round mound of hamburger down on the cast iron pan and then put a piece of parchment paper down and then used my hand to press the spatula down to flatten the meat into a patty.  After about ten seconds I felt the heat on the tips of my fingers get very hot very quickly.  So I slipped the X-Chef silicon gloves on and had no problem whatsoever.  I also lifted the large super hot cast iron skillet up no problem without feeling any heat at all.

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For $9.99 I highly recommend them

Buy them on Amazon here-

Oven Mitts Gloves, Heat Resistant Silicone Gloves BBQ Grilling Gloves for Cooking Baking Barbecue Potholder