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2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

This summer's 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis IS OFFICIALLY RESCHEDULED FOR March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info here!
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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
    • May 2014
    • 15755
    • central MI, USA
    • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

      Smokers / Grills
      • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
      • PBC
      • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
      • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
      • Masterbuilt Gravity 560
      • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
      • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
      • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (light blue)
      • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
      • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
      • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

      • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
      • (7) Maverick ET-732s
      • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
      • (1) Smoke X4 by ThermoWorks
      • Thermapen MkII, orange
      • ThermoPop, yellow
      • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
      • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
      • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
      • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

      • 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

      • 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)

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

    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.


    • David Parrish
      Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
      • May 2014
      • 4906
      • Charlotte, NC

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


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

          Maverick ET-732
          Maverick Instaread

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

        Welcome SmokeDog!


        • Jerod Broussard
          • Jun 2014
          • 10073
          • 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
            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

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

          Feel free to send some of that bacon south


          • Jon Solberg
            Former Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 4729

            Hey man, good to meet ya! WELCOME!




            2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

            This summer's 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis IS OFFICIALLY RESCHEDULED FOR March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info here!
            See more
            See less
            Meat-Up in Memphis