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Derrick Riches

Barbecues & Grilling


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First Look: Myron Mixon Pitmaster Q3

Thursday April 17, 2014

Myron Mixon Pitmaster Q3Bright and red with Myron Mixon's logo on the hood, this $550USD (buy it at Sears for this price) pellet grill is one of the least expensive on the market. While it is advertised as loaded with features, the reality is that this is a simple pellet grill with a simple pellet feeder. For those of you who don't know anything about pellet grills, there is a motor that feeds pellets into a small combustion chamber where those pellets burn, producing heat and smoke. This process is controlled mechanically. On a pellet grill like this one there is a knob that is turned to adjust the heat. On my sophisticated pellet grills there is a computer controller that regulates the temperature inside the grill.

My point is that there are moving parts, a motor, an auger (which moves the pellets), plus all that typical grill stuff like grates (porcelain coated cast iron on this grill) and a lid and such. This little pellet grill has all these parts and yet weighs in at a little over 100 pounds, making it one of the lightest pellet grills on the market. The truth is, this isn't a great grill. It is inexpensive and inexpensively made. Myron Mixon's name on the top is simply a licensing deal and shouldn't be seen as any kind of implication of performance or quality.

It is my belief that this pellet grill is built for the person who doesn't know a lot about them but has heard that they are good. Pellet grills can be very good, producing a good smoke supply while being able to grill or smoke, but for a pellet grill to be good, it needs solid construction, the ability to hold in heat, and quality engineering. This model comes with a one year warranty and that only covers it for defects of manufacturing. Think about what that means. And for the claim that you too can cook like Myron Mixon, he doesn't cook on pellet grills.

More information at Pitmaster Q3

Image: MoJack

What is your favorite steak?

Wednesday April 16, 2014

There are few things I love more than a good steak. I eat more than my share of them and almost always order a steak in restaurants. Now I am rather particular about my steaks and certainly have my favorites. This means that I have to force myself once in a while to try some different cuts, but I can suffer through. Anyway, this week's question is about steaks. From Filet Mignon to Hanger steaks, which is your favorite steak?

POLL: What is your favorite steak?
1) Filet Mignon
2) Flank Steak
3) Hanger Steak
4) New York Strip
5) Porterhouse
6) Rib Eye
7) T bone
8) Tenderloin
9) Tri-Tip Steak
10) Something Else (please specify in the comments)

Photo 2011 Regarding BBQ Inc., Licensed to About.com

New Recipe: Raspberry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Raspberry-Chipotle Barbecue SauceThis is a quick and easy way to prepare a nice, fruit-based barbecue sauce. This sauce works well on pork and chicken.

Try Raspberry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Photo 2014 Regarding BBQ Inc., licensed to About.com, Inc.

Grilling Ham - Step by Step

Monday April 14, 2014

Spiral Cut HamMany people seem challenged by cooking their Holiday Ham (or Easter, or whenever) which is ironic since Hams don't need to be cooked. What this means is that Ham is about the easiest meat to cook. I don't really need to worry about the internal temperature other than getting it warm and you can cook it by most any means. What you do need to be careful with is overcooking. Ham is great out of the package and pretty much useless if its dried out.


Learn how to Grilling Ham - Step by Step

Photo 2013 Regarding BBQ Inc., licensed to About.com, Inc.

Top 10 Smokers under $400

Sunday April 13, 2014

The 10 best smokers under $400 for making true, low and slow barbecue. These smokers offer a wide variety of options from electric to charcoal with many great features. If you are in the market for a smoker these are the units you should be looking at. This list includes smokers that run off of a variety of fuels and offer everything from true pitmaster smoking to the best "lazy-Q" smokers around.

See all of the Top 10 Smokers under $400.

Photo: Weber-Stephen Products Company

First look: Rib-O-Lator

Saturday April 12, 2014
Rib-O-LatorEvery once in a while I get asked why rotisserie? I guess there are some people out there who think that grilling is simply putting food over fire. Fine for many of the popular items to hit the grill, but when it comes to thick cuts, fish, ribs, and those foods that benefit from a lower and slower approach, the rotisserie is the perfect tool. The rotisserie keeps the food moving and that means more even cooking, reduced burning, and a slower approach to the heat. The standard rotisserie kit works fine for whole chickens and large roasts. It doesn't work well for a rack of ribs, or large fillets of fish. This is where the Rib-O-Lator comes in.

This is a carousel system with four trays that flat cuts of meat can be put on and spun around inside the cooking chamber. Found on some large smokers and commercial roasting equipment this method really works. Recently, thanks to the fine people at the company, I got the chance to do some serious cooking on a Rib-O-Lator on my 22 1/2-inch kettle grill (you need the rotisserie riser). I did a pair of racks of ribs and intentional did nothing to them while they slow cooked on the grill. No flipping, turning, or otherwise interference on my part. The racks cooked evenly and completely in a couple of hours at a nice low temperature. The ribs turned out great, and best part, I could just let them go without turning or rotating on a simple charcoal grill.

This is a popular product and people have used it to win serious barbecue competitions, or just do some great grilling and smoking. The Rib-O-Lator is available in two sizes and with a number of accessories. The basic unit, that fits most gas grills sells for $100USD, while the adjustable rack unit that fits my kettle and many other smaller grills is $130USD. Both of these require a the rotisserie kit that goes with the grill.

More information at RiboLator.Com

Image: The RiboLator

Best Gas Grills for 2014

Friday April 11, 2014
Before you run to the hardware store to buy a new gas grill you should know that there are a lot more products out there than you'll find in one store. I've broken down the best gas grills on the market by price so you can find the perfect grill for you. While many of these grills are easily found, try shopping at specialty grill stores for the best gas grills.

See all of the Best Gas Grills for 2014

Home Depot Gas Grills for 2014

Thursday April 10, 2014
The line up of Gas Grill at Home Depot for 2014 relies heavily on Weber for higher end products and Brinkmann for the lower priced grills with a collection of Char-Broil and Kitchenaid grills as well. Prices range from $99 to $950USD in most stores with a wide selection of sizes and features. Amongst these grills you will find gas/charcoal combination grills, a number of Char-Broil's infrared gas grills, a nearly complete selection of Weber Grills. Availability of products depends on location.

See the whole line up of Home Depot Gas Grills for 2014.

What is your BBQ fuel of choice?

Wednesday April 9, 2014

It is the age old question of outdoor cooking: Charcoal or Gas? Of course there is a lot more to this question. Do you prefer lump to briquette? Do you know what the difference between lump and briquette is? Do you care? Anyway, there are a lot of fuel options these days. So, this week's questions is:

POLL: What is your BBQ fuel of choice?

1) Propane (LP)
2) Natural Gas
3) Charcoal Briquette
4) Lump Charcoal
5) Hardwood
6) Pellets
7) Electricity
/8) Something Else (please specify in the comments)

First Look: Grill to Perfection

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Spiral Cut HamAndy Husbands, Chris Hart, and Andrea Pyenson follow up their now classic Wicked Good Barbecue and last years Wicked Good Burgers with a more general grilling cookbook. Organized around grilling methods (direct, indirect, high temperature, low temperature) this book serves as good instruction for the novice griller even if it can be a little difficult to find all the chicken recipes scattered throughout. As with their previous works, this book is very thorough including everything from tofu to spam, steak to whole turkey, and much more. I would venture to say that while the breadth is excellent, the depth is a little shallow. The instruction is good, as are many of the images. The recipes are well explained and while biased towards charcoal, the instructions for gas are present throughout.

The bottom line is that while this is a good book, in a year when so many barbecue and grilling books are being published, this one doesn't really stand out. The recipes are good and certainly the authors know what they are talking about, but this really comes off as just another grilling cookbook in a sea of outdoor cooking information. If you were a big fan of Wicked Good Barbecue and are interested in taking up some serious grilling, then consider picking this one up.

Compare Prices

Image: Page Street Publishing Co.

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