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.
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-
Here are some comparison photos between the Quality Grill Parts 18.5 Heavy Duty Grate and the Stock Weber Unit-
Here are the ribs on the new grate and racks-
We’re going to tape a podcast this morning and I’ve had venison steaks marinating in Spiedie sauce for two days. I figure since the deer meat is so lean we gotta add some fat in there somehow. Good friends Eric Lorden and Craig Kimberley home smoked some bacon earlier in the week so what the hell, let’s mash this shit up and see how it come out.
I made a little foil tray and sliced up some bacon which I’ll use a couple different ways.
First core out the top of an onion, make some slits inside and stuff some bacon in the top. Next slice up some more bacon and let it render some of that fat to put on the venison that Ian Fulford brought.
After cooking the onion bacon and smashed potatos using indirect high heat for about a half hour we take the lid off and cook the marinated venison steaks directly over the heat about 3 minutes per side leaving them a medium rare.
Using the melted bacon fat I drizzle that over the venison after it cooked and took it off the grill to rest for about 5 minutes. Closed the lid and then pulled everything off at the same time to eat.
I had never had a positive experience eating venison before this, but we all agreed it was absolutely outstanding. A huge part of the success was due to letting it marinade for two full days in the vinegar based Spiedie sauce which really broke the venison meat down and added a ton of flavor. That and the smokey flavor from the apple wood and charcoal- a total winner meal.
It’s hard to put into words how good Kate’s chicken pot pie is, especially after giving it the smoke for an hour and a half.
Teaser for my review- (I haven’t even taken it completely out of the box but initial impressions from the quick peek are how thick and sturdy the build quality is)
Found on Amazon Here-
As I said before the build quality is thick like Weber’s Gourmet Grate System.
Here is how I started out. A regular smoke set-up using the snake method. The Country Style Pork Ribs offset of the coals with apple chunk and cherry wood chips.
Next to add the Upper Deck. It fit right in place and there were no issues with clearance of the lid.
The Upper deck provides a whole lot of extra space. it is billed as a warmig rack but I think where it will shine is with that huge amount of extra space it affords you when smoking.
Next I dropped onto the Upper Deck a porcetta roast and set up the Maverick remote thermometer.
When the country style pork ribs had the color I wanted I slid a Weber disposable tin pan under with some Sweet Baby rays and coated the ribs, then covered with aluminum foil to let them braise for about 40 minutes. The tin pan fit perfectly under the Upper Deck unit allowing a continuation of indirect cooking while still having the porcetta roast unfazed on the “Upper Deck”
My Sister Topped The Smoked Porcetta with Her Carrot Cake Marmalade, Yum!
Find the recipe for that on her website www.sistafeliciaskitchen.com
Would not have been possible to cook both things at the same time on my kettle without the Upper Deck. Obviously with the incredible build quality and huge cook space increase, this is an absolute no brainer purchase.
Started the coals on the Performer, set up the smoker using the minion method with Apple wood chunks and cherry chips. Dumped 12 lit coals into the center of the charcoal basket and let smoker climb to 200 before closing all three bottom vents 75% shut and leaving the top vent wide open.
Pork Butt hit the smoker around 8:50PM.
The temps will be monitored by the Maverick 733 remote thermometer. At 9:17PM the Grate temp is 261.
Woke to check temps on the smoker and she was cruising along at 223 grill grate temp. The butt internal temp at 190 degrees.
4:45AM Pork button internal temp is 196 degrees, she will be taken off the smoker, double wrapped in foil and placed in a cooler til game time when the internal temps hit 200. I haven’t opened the lid on the Weber Smokey Mountain once.
5:23AM after being on the @webergrills Smokey Mountain Smoker since 9PM as the night and the #Porkbutt is ready to rest.
Started out with full charcoal baskets and let the charcoal get going pretty good. Put a sear on the pork on all sides and then covered the pork tenderloins with Chef G’s Bacon Marmalade. Let it firm up and then pulled the loins off, wrapped in foil for ten minutes to let the juices redistribute within the meat and then sliced them for some sheer heaven.
Thanks Chef G-
Check Out Chef G’s Facebook page for more info–
Obviously I love BBQ cooking. I love the versatility and ease of using two kettles but if I were only going to own one it would have to be a Performer. That cart just makes everything so simple and convenient. Being able to rest your tray of prepped food of hold your remote thermometer sensor makes things so simple. When you factor in the gas assist for starting your coals, to me, it’s a no-brainer to go with a Performer.
When you consider the fact that unlike gas grills , a Weber Kettle can easily last you over 20 years with the bare minimum of care and you divide out the cost of ownership over all those years, I’d recommend you buy a Performer every time. It’s only a couple hundred more and when you think that you probably only get 5 years on average out of a gas grill, the Weber Performer Charcoal grill with gas-assist will outlast a gasser by 4 times as long.
Anyway here was my set-up for some pork ribs that went on at 7:41 AM to be ready for lunch!
Snake method charcoal set-up with apple chunks and cherry chips. Ribs slathered with frenches yellow mustard and then rubbed with the Paul Prudhomme rub. Wait til pit temps hit 225 and then toss the ribs on offset the coals. Then let er rip. The top vent wide open bottom vent wide open. Because we are using the snake method, only a portion of the coals are hot at a time as it works it’s way around the bowl.
Pork Ribs Twice In One Week? When they’re that good, sometimes you gotta double up just to make sure you weren’t dreaming…
Rubbed The Pork Loin with Paul Prudhomme blackened seasoning and coarse black pepper. Set up the kettle using the snake method with briquettes, apple chunks and cherry chips.
When she hit 130 internal I basted her with some Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce.
145 internal and she got pulled off and rested for 10 minutes before thinly slicing it for sandwiches.
Topped with cole slaw and Franks hot sauce. So tender, juicy and flavorful!