Our buddy Anthony Caturano At Tonno took the second SS Performer. Immediately I had a empty pit in my stomach, without a Performer to cook on at the dock. Truth be told I really enjoy the restoration process and needed another project so I searched out another Performer looking for some love.
So this beautiful gem fell into my lap look at the bottom of this post:)
It’s a second generation Weber Performer. Each of the Generations of the Performers have things I like about them.
The classic lines on the first generation Stainless Steel ones, the only performers to use stainless steel. (Here’s the performer Anthony took)
The Black Frame on the second generation.(This is the first Performer I ever acquired)
The Wheels on the third Generation.
The Black Metal table on the fourth generation. (This is actually my 3rd gen with a 4th gen table.
And here is the latest- The DR Code Green, should clean up nicely. When the light comes I’ll test the gas assist to see if it’s working. With or without the gas assist I love the functionality of the attached table and bin on the Performers.
The Before Pictures- DR Code Green Weber Performer
Set Up A Full chimney of blazing coals in the charcoal baskets in the center of the Performer with a handful of cherry wood chips. Opened teh vents wide and let ‘er rip for about 35 minutes.
Wings dusted with Paul Prudhome Blackened rub.
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–
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.
The ash catcher assembly had a bit of a droop in the back so one of my fishermen had some shark fishing stainless steel 175lb leader wire so we snugged it up tight.
I may invest in a dremel tool with a buffer attachment and hit the ash catcher with some polish. Anyone have a recommendation for a certain type brand? Sears had some sets for sale.
She’s pretty secure now.
What a nice surprise when I got to the dock this morning.
4:30AM and Joey Ciolino dropped off the frame, put together.
He used brackets and I think these are called sheet metal screws to firm it up and then he spray painted over them with black. I had to really look to even notice because it blended in. To A Weber Grillfella it would be obvious if you were focusing your attention at the base of the grill but I don’t think 99% of the population would think it was anything but standard. Its really solid with the threaded rod and the brackets.
Next to get cleaning, a combination of scotchbrite pads, steel wool, water, dishwashing detergent and elbow grease.
Lots of surface dirt and stains. Most came out.
I think I’ll pick up a bristled brush to scrub the grey plastic handles. The little grooves are tough to get into to clean.
Setting up to be able to work upright
First need to remove the rusted off bolts that secured the Performer’s horizontal cross brace square tubes. Sprayed them with WD-40, put a vice grip on the rusted bolt and another on the nut and with a little pressure they snapped right off, all four of them.
A photo to remember exactly where the Gas assist tank holder goes before I disassemble it.
For anyone that wold rather replace the bolts with more original starnuts and a bolt, the one that came on the Performer originally is 2 inches.
As I decided to run a threaded rod all the way through the square cross-brace tube and the holes where the bolts I removed was located and then cap the rod off with an acorn nut. Here was the hardware from Ace Hometown Hardware store, Gloucester MA.
4 acorn nuts, 8 nuts to secure the washers inside the square tube and 4 washers which were the diameter of the inside of the tube to hold it in place.
So I get to the last nut, 8th out of 8, 7 went on flawlessly and were all adjusted to right where I wanted them on the threaded rod. Wouldn’t you know that last nut wouldn’t go on. So I put the vice grips to it and it wasn’t til I got about an inch on that I realized that I stripped the thread and there would be no way the acorn nut would screw on. So back to the hardware store for a new rod and a three extra nuts (for insurance). the rod was only $2.39 at the Building Center Gloucester MA. I needed two nuts to finish securing the bottom of the frame. I could only get two of them on and I wasn’t about to strip another rod so I’ll have to wait til i get out of work to get a nut that fits. The nuts must be mixed with different threads. Driving me nuts.
So here it is, installed. I used one of the original washers from the Performer just before the acorn nut. On the other side I had to cut off about an inch from the rod but now the frame is much more stable. Hopefully I get out of work in time to grab another nut to finish off this part of the project. Next up having my buddy Joe Ciolino tack weld the top part of the frame to the vertical supports on the bottom of the frame.
So here she sits, uncleaned but with reattached horizontal cross tubes on the bottom of the frame (minus that one damn nut).
Everything works, I’m pretty sure all I need to do is tack the legs to the frame and it’s missing one of the casters. The bowl is in great shape. The charcoal bin is in great shape, the ash sweeps work well.