Tag Archives: barbecue

The New (Old) Barbecue

A couple of weeks ago someone stole my brand new barbecue.  Wendy had to work that Saturday so we had the Friday off together and decided to take a trip out to Gardiner Dam.  The boys had a good time seeing the dam with the spillways open and had a nice swim in Lake Diefenbaker.

I made the mistake of ordering a quick lunch at the cafe there and it tasted bad.  Within 45 minutes I was in pain and realized that something wasn’t right.  We got home and I laid down for a nap while Wendy went grocery shopping.  There was a city crew working in the area and I never thought much of it when I heard some noise outside the house.  Little did I realize it was someone cutting the lock on the barbecue and stealing it in the middle of the afternoon.

After getting mad and then filing my police report, I had a problem.  Mainly no barbecue.  

I had an old one in the backyard which I hadn’t taken to the dump yet (thanks to my brother and his truck being busy) It was nice back in the day but had been traded into Weber who donated about 100 of them to the Salvation Army.  I bought it for $20 about 8 years ago.  We had just gutted it to fix the barbecue at the cabin so it needed some work.  Two new grills, new briquettes, a new handle, nob, and tank.  About $100 worth of repairs but cheaper than the cheap barbecues that Wal-Mart was selling and with the deep bowl, it would do a better job.  As Wendy pointed out, we do cook some things that do need some space and that factored into my decision.

My first step was to empty out the barbecue of all of the dust, grease, and briquettes pieces that were left.  I took the scraper and wire brush to the barbecue and really cleaned it out.  I will paint it next summer (perhaps a colour) with heat resistant paint but for now, I just need to get the job done.

Onward Grill Pro 92375 rw 66822 79458

After looking around, I decided to purchase GrillPro Porcelain Coated Heat Plate which converts you from briquettes to a dispersed heat plate.  It took 5 minutes to assemble and works as well as my stolen barbecue did.  It was $23 at Home Depot and in the end saved me from having to replace the bottom grill and the brickettes.

You can drill some holes in the bottom your barbecue and mount this in permanently but mine set right in and we don’t move it at all so I decided against it.  I had originally bought two of them but then after taking one of them out, I only needed one of them.

For the upper grill, I also picked up a new universal replacement grill.  It took about 30 seconds to fit and insert but it holds the heat better then the stock grill. 

I fired up the barbecue and let any of the chemicals burn off.  We then cooked a couple of beer can chickens on them and the cooking experience was fantastic compared to the briquettes (it was as good as my stolen barbecue).  If you have not moved from briquettes to one of these heat plates, you really need to.  It really is a better cooking experience and for $25, it is so cheap to do and easy to install.  Not only did I save on the briquettes but also the replacement bottom grill.  

The total cost was $45 to refurbish the barbecue with the upgraded head plate and grill which wasn’t bad.  I still had to purchase the new tank but in the end, it’s nice to be able to cook outside again.  If you have a barbecue that you don’t love nearly as much as when you bought it, consider swapping out your briquettes for a new heat plate.

How to grill up the perfect steak

Over at the cabin blog, I put together a guide to grilling up the perfect steak.

Cuts of steak

I am ashamed to admit it but until an intervention at Le Beefteque in Toronto I used to order and cook my steaks until they were well done.  No marinade, no prep.  We just slapped them on the barbecue and overcooked them.  That meant that I wasn’t really a big steak fan as who likes to eat overcooked beef.  

A couple of years ago I finally got serious about how to prepare and cook a steak.  It starts with the right marinade, a Jaccard meat tenderizer, cooking it perfectly, letting it rest and so on and so on.  

This year I finally got my act together wrote it all up in one post.  Let me know in the comments if I have missed anything or have anything wrong.

Guest Post: Christmas Gift Ideas for the Brother In Law | 2009 Edition

This is Wendy and this is what happens when Jordon doesn’t log out of his weblog and leaves me unattended.  Since Jordon handles most of our Christmas shopping, I don’t have to spend as much time thinking about Christmas gifts as Jordon does.  By far the hardest person to shop for on our Christmas list is my brother in law Lee.  Since he is an important part of our family and our Christmas, a great uncle to the boys, and the only family we have, we don’t just go through the motions.  So in honor of Lee, here is a list of Christmas gifts for those that are hard to shop for and my contribution to this site’s Christmas Gift Ideas.

Here is Lee’s profile.

  • He has a PSP Go, PlayStation 3, and a Wii which in some ways gives one some variety in shopping for him for Christmas.
  • He has an apartment that looks like it should be in Apartment Therapy.  It’s almost intimidating buying anything for his apartment.  It’s actually intimidating to hang out in his apartment.  Of course living in an apartment means that he doesn’t have a lot of storage.
  • He drives an Acura sports car that is worth 20 times more than my car.
  • He works hard at Case New Holland in the city which means that he doesn’t have a lot of time for hobbies.

He is Jordon’s brother and an uncle to the boys which means that Lee is an expert shopper himself.  He is also a single male so he does things like single males do, when Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare came out, he bought it that day so I guess it means that we aren’t getting that for him.

Star Wars The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One :: The Clone Wars movie was horrible but the series is actually pretty good.  Like a lot of animated movies, the series seems to be getting better with the second season but Season One of the Clone Wars is pretty good all by itself.

Air Hogs Dualing Helicopters :: Okay let’s do the math.  Remote control + Helicopters + a rather competitive family + the ability to shoot each other down + a big open field at the cabin = a pretty good Christmas gift.

Survive! by Les Stroud :: Since he a) often forgets his cell phone b) often has Mark and Oliver with him, knowledge of some basic survival skills would be quite useful.  If he wasn’t over watching the DVDs here, you could give him all three seasons of Survivorman on DVD.  You can order them from the Les Stroud Productions store.  Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3.  We have all three DVDs and they are a lot of fun to watch.  You can also order them from Amazon as well.  Season 1 |Season 2 | Season 3.  In case you just want to see how Les Stroud survives in the American wilderness, you can order this DVD as well.

Bushnell BackTrack GPS :: Lee will never get lost again with the easiest to use personal location finder for around $50. Just mark the location and BackTrack will help him get back. He can use it at the mall and stadium parking lots, at the festival, the park, for travel or your next outdoor adventure.  Wired has a quick real world review and it looks like Cabela’s is one of the few places you can get it in Canada.

The War: An Intimate History by Ken Burns.  Jordon read this book this summer and thought it was amazing.  He spend hours reading the book but then went back and just soaked in the photos.  I don’t think there is such a thing as a good war. There are sometimes necessary wars. And I think one might say, “just” wars. I never questioned the necessity of that war. And I still do not question it. It was something that had to be done.  You can also give your favorite in-law the mini series on DVD as well

I can’t see Lee joining the competitive BBQ sub culture but in case he does, here are secrets for success as a professional griller.  Whether it’s chicken, ribs, butts or brisket, this cookbook has recipes, directives, insights and guidance on how to slow cook competition-quality meats. Better than any restaurant, these competition and backyard secrets will have beginning barbeque aficionados slow-cooking masterpieces in no time at all.  Even if he doesn’t turn pro, he will make life better for everyone this summer at the cabin.  There is also Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint.   Winners of the World Championship BBQ Cook-Off for six years in a row and with hundreds of other contest ribbons as well, nobody does barbecue better than Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama. Chris Lilly, executive chef of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q and great-grandson-in-law of Big Bob himself, now passes on the family secrets in this quintessential guide to barbecue.

Apple iPod Touch :: I have been pining for one since I started to play around with Jordon’s and it would make a great gift for Lee as well.  While Mr. Rider fan is at it, the first thing he can do is go and download the new Rider App for the iPod Touch.

MEC Camo Shoulder Bag :: Since Lee spends some time with us at the cabin, some cool luggage to toss in the back of the car with his gear and clothes are in order.  While he is travelling, some custom Saskatchewan Roughriders luggage tags might be a cool stocking stuffer.  If you are shopping for someone who does some hiking, don’t overlook the Maxpedition Vulture II backpack.

GPS :: While Jordon is always looking for a trail GPS, I was shocked to see how inexpensive car GPSs have become.

Well the truth is that we are done our Christmas shopping for Lee so my list is all speculation but I thought I would post it to contribute to Jordon’s Christmas Gift Guides and also to help some of you find a fun gift for the hard to shop for in your life.  If you have any thoughts, leave a comment below, e-mail me at wendycooper@gmail.com or check out my weblog.

Christmas Gift Ideas and Gift GuidesIf I missed anything or if my suggestions made you think I was absolutely crazy, let me know in the comments. You can access the current edition and previous years list of Christmas gift guides here.