The WSM Water Pan Replacement

I know  a lot of WSM enthusiasts still go for putting water in the extremely lightweight, flimsy water pans from Weber. I’ve always preferred to run dry and have tried everything from the Piedmont pan to sand or clay saucers. The problems for me are lack of thermal mass and durabilty. The Piedmont pan is durable but lacks thermal mass and is hard to duplicate for the Weber 26 with Smoke EZ ring. The clay saucers work nice but crack every other contest (even when I put them in the car with me).

Enter Southwest Disk – the solution. I placed an order and asked them to custom bend the handles vertically for their 24″ disc. They promptly replied via email on Saturday! (How many companies do you know that do that?). With a few emails to make sure he knew what I wanted, it was at my door in 3 days. After receiving the discada and loving how solid it was, I called to see if it would be possible to have some cut to custom size to fit my WSMs. Southwest checked with the machine shop they worked with but ultimately made the cuts with a plasma cutter by hand. I think they turned out perfect and you will have to look close on the pictures to notice they were cut by hand.

If you are looking for a heat deflector for your WSM OR just want a great griddle/wok/paella pan for your large grill or Big Green Egg, be sure to check these guys out.

Till next time…

  

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Spring Break, BBQ and Good Luck

This past week was my son’s first official spring break, but since I had to work there were not any elaborate vacation plans. Instead, my wife and sons went to visit my in-laws. They had a blast but listening to them talk about it is funny. My eldest broke down at one point during the week telling my wife that he missed me – this resulted in my son having a teary eyed FaceTime chat with me. But after a week with grandma, it only took 30 seconds on the road to miss her. 

At the end of Spring Break, I rolled into  Miami, OK for a Two Day BBQ Shootout contest. It was my first time at this contest, but is on my list of don’t miss contests already. Meals provided, great KCBS reps, well organized and a rediculously talented field of competitors. Was lucky enough to be parked next to a great crew Hunka Hunka Burnin Rub. They were friendly, not too rowdy and got a call in Pork on the second day. 

Day one left me pleasantly surprised with a 3rd place finish in Chicken; which was a complete shock because I was sure it was way too spicy! The second day seemed to run a little smoother from a prep and cook standpoint but overall left me feeling underwhelmed by the product I made. I felt like my chicken wasn’t quite as neat/appealing but had an almost identical flavor profile. My ribs were not quite there on flavor or tenderness. My brisket felt spot on for cook but the flavor was lacking. And then pork shoulder (aka The Nemesis) … I don’t even know where to begin on that one. I cannot ever seem to get it quite right.  In the end, I missed the top 10 in ribs by less than 3/4 of a point.

On a side note, I have placed well both times my father-in-law has come to help me wrap, finish up cooks, make boxes and turn-in. I told him he is Good Luck and needs to come to more contests

Till next time…

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1st Contest of 2015

The first contest of the year was one for the books!

It all started with the drive down to Huntsville. If you Google a trip from Edmond, OK to Huntsville, TX, you will find an estimated drive time of 5 1/2 to 6 hours. With bad weather rolling in, Dallas was a complete nightmare to drive through; the trip from Denton to Hutchins took 6 hours. My departure time from Edmond was 0730 and we rolled into the Huntsville Fair Grounds a little after 8 pm with my entire family stuck in the car with me. Hats off to the organizers and KCBS reps that waited for Clark Crew BBQ and myself to arrive late for check-in and inspections. Kristi’s aunt and uncle met us at the fairgrounds and they all went to Houston while I got squared away. 

Other than setting up and starting my process about 5 hours late, the cook went fairly smoothly. I was very pleased with my decision to switch from Kingsford to Duraflame charcoal. It takes a little longer to light but cruised and maintained temperature much better (Not to mention it was only 34-38 degrees out while I was cooking). It did make less ash than the blue bag, but only modestly less rather than significantly less as suggested by multiple reviews. To my palate, I was pleased with my brisket and chicken but not my ribs or pork shoulder. As usual, the judges disagreed with me. 

Results (61 teams)

Chicken 22nd – 165.1428

Ribs 8th – 172.0000 (a personal best score)

Pork Shoulder 37th – 160.0116

Brisket 19th – 165.1772

Overall 19th – 662.3316

Shotgun Fred handed out some very cool ribbons


Congrats to some great Oklahoma teams: Kosmos Q RGC; Clark Crew BBQ 3rd; American Dream BBQ 6th; Buffalos BBQ 9th.

After a short night and a long day of BBQ, my wife’s aunt and uncle took me out to eat some crawfish and then went back to their house to chat over a few beers (which I admittedly started to fall asleep during).

Not to be outdone by the trip down, one of the tires on my Uhaul trailer decided to blow about an hour out from Houston.  To Uhaul’s credit, they had a guy out there with a new tire in under an hour.

I have updated the Oklahoma Jayhawk pages to include BBQ results.  Next stop is Miam-UH , OK (known to the rest of the world as Miami) for a doubleheader.

Till next time…

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BBQ Fridge Attempt #2

2015/01/img_0895.jpgLove my new BBQ Logo magnet! I also decided that, rather than posting every time I update my competition schedule, I would make a new page on my blog. Please check there if you want to follow me.

In the early weeks of January my wife decided that having a separate refrigerator in the garage was no longer a convenience but a necessity. 1st step was to clean and rearrange the garage and add a new power outlet/breaker. Next we looked around OKC for a unit that was affordable and a good size. We ended up purchasing a Frigidaire unit from Hahn.

2015/01/img_0886.jpgIt was plugged in on Thursday night and was incrementally changed over the weekend as suggested by the manufacturer. Despite having the freezer and refrigerator set to max cold, it would not maintain a temperature below 40 degrees on Monday with an ambient temperature below 60 degrees. Whether it was a lemon unit or not, I do not know, but when Hahn offered me a “garage kit” that Metro Appliance, Harry’s and Best Buy had never heard of, I decided it needed to be returned. In Hahn’s defense, they were pleasant and easy to work with; plus they had our credit return filed within 48 hours.

Lesson learned that, yet again, “you get what you pay for.” Having no problems with our Kenmore chest freezer unit, I decided to spend $200 more and get an all-refrigerator Kenmore unit.

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It was delivered today and is already hanging steady at 38 degrees. Now it just needs some meat!

Till next time…

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Revamped Schedule

A little change of venues for the season
schedule

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Winter Vacation and Projects

Around October I thought it would be fun to take the family with me on a trip. I was needing continuing education credits and there was a meeting at Disney World the first week of December; so, we decided to just do it. It was a great time and the boys really liked it. They were too short for lots of the rides. But the ones they were tall enough for, they enjoyed immensely. The Seven Dwarfs Mine ride was a favorite; we may have two little roller coaster lovers (which will make their mom happy). Although the rides were fun, they are young enough that meeting the characters and going to the shows was more entertaining for them.

Here is a quick photo of me and my sons on our last night of Disney at the Fantasmic show.

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My shoulder has been bothering me off and on for about 6 months; lifting kiddos on/off rides and holding them up so they could see the fireworks/shows was the last little push it needed to really hurt. I’ve had joint pain before – this was different with pain shooting down my scapula while lifting any amount of weight. Luckily, McBride clinic got me in the next day. I know everyone complains about how much medical care costs these days, but I would have paid triple the price for the steroid injection. In less than a week my shoulder had basically quit hurting.

Never one to sit still for long, I decided to tinker a little bit. I altered my Weber smoker cart, made a holder for all my grates and a cart for my cooler. I’ve also made a switch to Duraflame Harwood Charcoal Briquets because multiple reviews have reported consistent burn times similar to Kingsford blue bag with significantly less ash production. I was interested in Wicked Good Charcoal briquets but they are out of production due to a manufacturing problem.

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Till next time…

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Ambitious 2015 Schedule

2015

After a few emails and searches through the KCBS events calendar and comparing it to my work schedule, I’ve have preliminarily nailed down this ambitious schedule for my second year in competition BBQ.  My plan is to enter into all of the 14 highlighted events (Blue = 3 RMBBQA Cup Events; Yellow = 7 OKBS ToY Events; Green = 4 KCBS events).

I hope to avoid the Top Gear motto of Ambitious But Rubbish, but we will see.

Till next time…

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