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.
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!
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 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.
Ingredients, 3 medium russet potatos, four thick cut strips of bacon, some shredded three cheese Mexican blend, canola oil, coarse salt, cracked black pepper, your favorite BBQ rub, sour cream and chopped scallions (optional).
First you select some medium sized russet potatos and pierce them with a fork about three times on opposing sides of the potato. Then toss ’em in the microwave for 3 and a half minutes to soften them up. Let them cool a bit so you can slice them into just under a quarter inch discs.
Coat with canola, peanut or olive oil, some coarse salt black pepper and if you have a little rub laying around give ’em a sprinkle of that too. If you use a cheap aluminum disposable pan you can use that to toss the potatos in the oil and seasonings and then put it aside for use after they crisp up on the grill.
Set up your charcoal in the middle of the kettle and get your coals glowing red before you arrange the potato discs on the outside perimeter of the grate so it is offset of the coals. I pretty much always use charcoal baskets so I can control where I want the charcoal. If cooking steaks I want high concentrated heat to sear so I’ll place my steaks directly over searing hot coals. But for this , we want the high heat to act as convection to crisp up the potato discs not burn them.
So after about 25-30 minutes offset along the perimeter of the grate they should be a golden crispy color like thick potato chips. You can also experiment with the thickness. I like a little beefier potato disc but you can make them thinner like chips.
Next take the pan that you tossed with the oil and seasonings and place the crisped up potato discs back in, it’s good if there’s a little residual oil in the bottom of the pan. Next cover with shredded Mexican cheese or really any kind of cheese you’d like, you can use cheddar or sprinkle some shaved Romano on there. Top with the bacon bits and close the lid for about five minutes to let that cheese melt in. After that you can serve with a side of sour cream, garnish with some chopped up scallions, the sky’s the limit. I cooked up some of Kate’s fantastic turkey burgers directly over the hot coals after spraying the grates with some non-stick spray while the potatos were in the aluminum pan offset the coals along side of the charcoal baskets.
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.
Dusted with some Lowry’s Chipolte Cinnamon Rub and then cooked indirect high heat on the Weber SS performer for about 40 minutes, coating with Sweet Baby ray’s BBQ Sauce ten minutes before pulling them off. They didn’t suck.