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Hello from the Western Burbs of Chicago!

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  • Smokin'Rick
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 41
    • Winfield, IL
    • "If you're going to do it well, do it with passion!"
      Small Weber arsenal: 22.5 WSM, Genesis Gold B Gas Grill & Performer 22.5 Charcoal Grill.
      Therms: Maverick ET-732, ThermoWorks RT301WA & Thermapen.
      Favorite beer: Sam Adams/Sam Adams Seasonal Octoberfest
      Favorite Single Malt Scotch Whisky: Clynelish 14 yr. old.
      Favorite Wine: Red

    Hello from the Western Burbs of Chicago!


    Rich here. (aka Smokin’Rick, aka SmokeDog).

    Joined the Pitmaster Club two weeks ago, but just now getting around to making my introduction.

    I grew up in a Bohemian-Italian-American family where both parents cooked wonderful meals of their respective family’s heritage. In the early ‘60s, our family moved from Chicago’s “Little Italy” neighborhood at Taylor & Halsted Sts. to the SW-side of Chicago where I spent my formative years. I have fond memories of family get-togethers grilling on an inexpensive charcoal grill. Most memorable was digging a pit in the backyard for a whole pig roast and helping my father and maternal-grandfather, man the turning of the spit over hot coals.

    After marrying in ’82, my bride and I became suburbanites.
    I did some not so serious grilling of burgers, steaks, and chicken over the years, first using a Weber charcoal Kettle (circa ’83) then picked up a cheap gas grill. When we moved our family to our present home I decided to up my game by acquiring my present Weber Genesis Gold B LP-gasser (circa ’03) and ditched the old Weber Kettle (I know, I too cringe when I think of it.). I got into BBQ as a hobby in ‘11. I was surfing the web for reviews on the “best smokers” when I came upon the amazingribs.com site (AR). That was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I purchased my 22.5 Weber Smokey Mountain cooker and first learned to use it by reading Gary Wiviott’s “Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons“, both based upon recommendations by Meathead on AR. I gained even more confidence and insight and became more adept in cooking good BBQ from the knowledge and guidance made available on this site (AR). I recommend AR to everyone when the topic of BBQ comes up. My wife chuckles every time she hears me say, “My guy Meathead says …”

    After experiencing cooking with charcoal again, I acquired my Weber Performer in Dec. ’12. It’s a blast cooking year-round (except in last year’s brutal winter) using my small but effective Weber arsenal. Speaking of charcoal, I first started using Royal Oak’s natural lump charcoal, but now I prefer using their Chef’s Select all natural briquettes.

    I enjoy cooking spare ribs, pork butt, brisket, salmon, turkey and making my own bacon (a super hit with my family and the friends I’ve shared it with - they can’t get enough). All learned well from AR. I received rave reviews from family and friends on my last brisket cook. I attribute that to the wealth of knowledge gained here. I still have a lot to learn. This site with its live interaction with quick-responsive mentors is better than any book. That is why I’m happy to support the new Pitmaster Club by my membership and to be a part of the greatest group of BBQ enthusiasts and mentors on the planet!
  • Huskee
    Pit Boss/Manager
    • May 2014
    • 14318
    • central MI, USA
    • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

      Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

      Smokers / Grills
      • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
      • PBC
      • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
      • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
      • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
      • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
      • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
      • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
      • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
      • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

      Thermometers
      • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
      • (7) Maverick ET-732s
      • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
      • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
      • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
      • Thermapen MkII, orange
      • ThermoPop, yellow
      • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
      • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
      • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
      • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

      Accessories
      • Instant Pot 6qt
      • Anova Bluetooth SV
      • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
      • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
      • BBQ Dragon
      • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
      • Weber grill topper
      • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
      • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
      • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

      Beverages
      • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
      • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
      • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
      • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
      • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
      • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
      • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

      About me
      Real name: Aaron
      Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

      Occupation:
      • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

    #2
    Welcome Rich, awesome story! nice lineup of cookers you have there. Great job on your sig, I too am a Sam Adams fan, even thought it's becoming mass-produced it's still GREAT beer.

    Looking forward to more posts from you, especially of your cooks. wee need more smoked salmon posts, we're lacking those now. I hope to do a batch myself in the coming weeks just to get that thread started.

    Comment

    • David Parrish
      Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
      • May 2014
      • 5039
      • Charlotte, NC
        • Slow 'N Sear Kamado (SnSK)
        • Lots of grills that work with Slow 'N Sear
        • LOTS of digital thermometers (my fav)
        • LOTS of accessories
        • Favorite Beer - Fat Tire
        • Favorite Bourbon - Woodford Reserve
        • Favorite White Wine - Cakebread Chardonnay
        • Favorite Red Wine - Yes, Please
        • President/Owner - SnS Grills

      #3
      Welcome to The Pit Rick! I think you're going to like it here.

      Comment

      • BBQLipscken
        Founding Member
        • Aug 2014
        • 38
        • HotLanta
        • Equipment
          Weber Kettle
          MasterForge Gas Grill
          Masterbuilt 40" electric Smoker

          Thermometers
          Maverick ET-732
          Maverick Instaread

          Favorite Drink
          Beer- Any Chocolate Stout, especially the one I brew!
          Don Julio Tequila
          Flor de Cana 18yr Rum

        #4
        Welcome SmokeDog!

        Comment

        • Jerod Broussard
          Moderator
          • Jun 2014
          • 9302
          • East Texas
          • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
            Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
            Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
            Weber One Touch Premium Black 26" Kettle (gift)
            Slow 'n Sear XL for 26" Kettle (gift)
            Weber Smokey Joe Gold
            Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
            Vortex
            Maverick ET-732 White
            Maverick ET-732 Copper
            2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
            Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
            Thermoworks Timestick
            Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
            B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
            B & B Pellets

          #5
          Welcome and great write up...except for the ditching the Weber kettle part.

          Feel free to send some of that bacon south

          Comment

          • Jon Solberg
            Former Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 4872

            #6
            Hey man, good to meet ya! WELCOME!

            Comment

            Announcement

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            Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

            Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Space is limited to 400, secure your spot by booking early! Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
            See more
            See less
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            Meat-Up in Memphis

            T-Shirts & More T-Shirts & More
            Order men's and women's T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Aprons, Mugs, Caps, Tote Bags, Flasks, and more, all imprinted with the Pitmaster Club logo. There's even a spiral bound journal where you can make notes on your cooks.

            Cool Embroidered Shirt Cool Embroidered Shirt
            This beautifully embroidered shirt is the same one Meathead wears in public and on TV. It's wash and wear and doesn't need ironing (really!), but it is a soft cottonlike feel. Choice of four colors and both men's and women's.

            Click here for more info.

            Support ARC

            Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon.

            https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

            BBQ Stars

            Spotlight

            These are not ads or paid placements. These Are Some Of Our Favorite Tools And Toys.

            These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

            Use our links when you buy things

            Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon

            https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

             


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            Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

            Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


            Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

            maverick PT55 thermometer

            A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

            Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there


            If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

            slow n sear

            The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

            Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool


            Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

            the good one grill

            The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

            Click here to read our complete review


            The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

            the good one grill

            The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

            Click here to read our complete review


            Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

            Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

            The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.

            Click here to read our detailed review and to order


            Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

            The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

            The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!

            Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them


            The Undisputed Champion!

            thermapen

            The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is considered by the pros, and our team, to be the single best instant read thermometer. Don't accept cheap substitutes.  Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal .


            Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

            Placeholder

            Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

            Click here to read our detailed review and to order


            The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

            NK-22-Ck Grill

            Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

            Click here for more about what makes this grill special


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            G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

            Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

            If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

            Click here to read our detailed review

            Click here to order from Amazon


            GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

            grill grates

            GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

            Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


            PK 360 grill

            Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

            The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

            Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

            Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only


            kareubequ bbq smoker

            Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

            The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

            Click here for our review of this superb smoker


            Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

            masterbuilt gas smoker

            The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

            Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

            Click here to read our detailed review


            Professional Steakhouse Knife Set

            masterbuilt gas smoker

            Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

            Click here to read our detailed review and to order


            Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

            fireboard bbq thermometer

            With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

            Click here to read our detailed review


            Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

            Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

            Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

            Click here to read our detailed review and to order