Brenda and I received a gift certificate for a local department store when we got married 28 years ago, and we used it, plus a few extra dollars, to buy a Weber kettle barbecue that I used extensively for seven or eight years.  Many, many wonderful meals were prepared on that kettle and it actually lasted for over ten years as it was taken to school and used for reward meals for my science students.  I’m on my second Weber Genesis gas grill and once you get the grill seasoned with a few BBQ sessions, the food is great – plus, I love the convenience of gas.  You can light the grill and be cooking in ten minutes.  Gas grills are also wonderful for the large pieces of meat I cook for holiday meals like turkeys, New York strips and prime rib.

Weber's Smokey Mountain Cooker

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

Lately though, I’ve been hearing the call of charcoal and wood chunks – and wonderful slow cooked and smoked meats.  For the last year or so, I’ve been casually checking out smokers, but now I feel the need to move forward on a purchase.  I saw a tweet today on Twitter from a gent in Washington (hi Normskibrewer!) who uses Weber’s Smokey Mountain Cooker for his BBQ endeavors.  He highly recommends the smoker, as do several hundred people who’ve posted reviews over at Amazon.  There seem to be some manufacturing issues with same of the individual pieces of the cooker, but everyone seems to get those ironed out either with Amazon, or Weber itself.  Norm recommended checking out Virtual Weber Bullet web site for more info and it is a wealth of information for the unit itself, as well as cooking/smoking procedures and recipes for various cuts of meat.  I’m sold!  I’ll be picking up a Weber Smokey Mountain Grill this week, either from Amazon, or a local vendor.  Amazingly, a small, independent BBQ shop opened in the last couple weeks less than a mile from my home.  I don’t mind spending a few extra bucks to support local businesses, but I don’t know if they carry the Weber Smokey Mountain Grill, and how much more it may be above Amazon’s very low price.

I want to break in the new smoker over the Labor Day weekend, so I need to get my ducks in a row tomorrow before I head out of town with Stephen on my Summer of Music Tour to see Dave Matthews at Raley Field, in Sacramento.  The show may be a bit of a somber event as one of DMB’s founding members died last week from complications from an ATV accident in late June.  Hopefully, before I have my first Hop Sauce at Rubicon Brewing Company about 4:30 tomorrow afternoon, I’ll have purchased the new smoker.

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