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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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Introduction and request for help and advice

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  • jfv2000
    Club Member
    • Aug 2019
    • 1

    Introduction and request for help and advice

    Hi all,


    My name is John. No, really, it is!

    I am retired and now live in a small town near Traverse City in northern Michigan. I grew up in the BBQ capital of the world - Kansas City - home to Arthur Bryant's, (Oklahoma) Joe's, Jack Stacks, Heywards, and Gates and more than a hundred more. (Apologies to Memphis, Texas, and the Carolinas). During my working life, I lived in Naperville, a large suburb of Chciago, which has a huge, juried Ribfest every year that invites 20-30 select BBQ enterprises from around the country to come and vie for various prizes (Best Ribs, Best Sauce, and so on.) But some of the best 'Que I ever had from an amateur was from the Hank, a man who owned a hand-washed car and detailing shop. Hank was from Clarksdale, MS, home of Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Juke Joint and birthplace of the Delta Blues. Hank's creations came off a 55 gal. barrel cooker out back and his secret rub was so good, you didn't want or need to put sauce it. Like everyone else, he loved my wife's chocolate chip cookies and so there were many even trades.

    Alas, I never learned to do much more than cook steaks, burgers, chicken, and the occasional slab of babybacks. The boss wants me to RE-EARN my manhood and pick up more of the load. My policy WAS "never do something that someone else does better." She's an excellent cook, despite having a father whose idea of BBQ was chicken slathered in Open Pit (which should be on the EPA's list of banned substances). Hence, I have come here to learn and observe from the finest pit masters.

    I could only invest in one cooker for now, and because we like to grill and eat, I studied the advice here and settled on a Broil King Regal S490 Pro gasser about three years ago. It's stainless steel and it came with thick stainless grates and burners, and a ten year warranty.. Eventually I might want to get a smoker as well.


    The specific advice I am looking for now concerns cleaning and a possible change in grates. The Broil King cost about $1,000 or so. I seasoned it when I first got it, but not since. I have kept it covered with a Broil King cover, kept the grates clean, done regular burn-offs, and emptied the grease tray. I keep the grill outside all winter and am now doing first-of-the-season cleaning. Alas, the grates and burners are covered with a hard, reddish-brown coating that I can't scrub off. I have soakedovernight in them in Simple Green, tried Dawn, a commercial degreaser, and Barkeeper's friend. Regular grease splatter on the outside is easy to remove, but the inside of the cookbox is another matter. Citrus cleaner seems to have to have some effect on the aluminum and other parts of the cookbox, but doesn't totally remove the black burned on spots and has little to no effect on the grates and burners. Despite the those parts being stainless, I began to suspect rust and contacted the manufacturer - Onward Mfg. (who apparently have taken over a bunch of the name brands). I sent them pictures and - surprise! - they honored the warranty and new grates and burners are on their way! THE BURNING QUESTIONS: How clean should I get the cook box? Should it be restored to "like new" and what happens if I don't (besides saving lots of hours and elbow grease) and if I can ignore my OCD tendencies? How do I keep the new grates and burners from ending up looking like the old ones? Should I make a warranty claim on other parts? I am also thinking of investing in the aluminum grill grates. Are they that much better? I've included a some pictures to illustrate what I am facing.

    I appreciate any and all help and advice from any and all. Thanks.

    John Volk

    ​ ​​​​​​​
  • HawkerXP
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 5943
    • Virginia
    • 2 Weber Performers, 1 kettle, 1 Smoky Joe and a PBC
      Dot and Chef Alarm with probes
      Slo n Sear
      Cold beer

    Wow. Welcome to the Pit! Not sure I can help but someone will be along......


    • FireMan
      Charter Member
      • Jul 2015
      • 7838
      • Bottom of Winnebago

      No really John, nice to have ya aboard. It’s really cool the “they” replaced Yer grates & stuff. As far as the box goes, I get mine (I have a similar Napoleon) as clean as I can get it without bein nerdy about it. There are some on this site, bless em, that will sterilize it. I think mebbee there is no correct answer. The important things are covered with yer replacements. Travers City, beautiful area, love it. Think about gettin a smoker like a PBC. You’ll never regret it & it’s cheap! Eat good and have fun!


      • Texas Larry
        Club Member
        • May 2017
        • 1607
        • Wilson County, TX
        • Kamado Joe Big Joe 2
          Weber 22” Premium/SNS
          Weber Jumbo Joe/SNS
          Thermoworks Smoke
          Thermoworks 2K Thermocouple
          Thermoworks Dash
          Too many gadgets, accessories, and tools
          Favorite beer: Alaskan Amber

        Great intro! Welcome from south Texas! Some here have posted on cleaning a gasser. Help is on the way I’m sure.

        heres a start https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...s-steel-gasser
        Last edited by Texas Larry; May 19, 2020, 05:01 PM.


        • LA Pork Butt
          Charter Member
          • Dec 2014
          • 5527
          • Grew up in New Orleans, lived in Texas for 20 years, lived in Mandeville, LA for 22 years. I now liv

          Welcome to the Pit from Dallas!


          • Mr. Bones
            Charter Member
            • Sep 2016
            • 9745
            • Kansas Territory
            • Grills / Smokers

              Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
              Brinkmann Smoke n Grill
              Oklahoma Joe Highland, gaskets, LavaLock baffle / tuning plate. 'Big Joe'
              Weber 18" Kettle ($30 CL) 'Lil' Feller'
              Weber Smokey Joe ($25 CL) 'Lil' Brother'
              Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
              Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
              Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
              Weber 22.5 OTS DO Code Black ($15 CL)
              Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
              Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

              Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
              Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
              Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

              Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
              Weber SJS AH 'Lil' Brother'
              Weber SJS AT 'Lil' Sister'
              Weber SJS DE Code (FREE) 'Lil' Helper'
              Weber SJG M Code 'Lil Traveller'
              Weber SJS AH Code 'Kermit'
              (Lime Green)
              Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
              Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!

              Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
              Maverick ET-732, (Black)
              Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
              ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
              Blue ThermaPen Mk4
              Orange Thermapen Mk4
              Pink Thermapen Mk4
              ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S
              ThermoWorks Smoke
              ThermoWorks Open Box Smoke
              4 Pro Series cable extensions
              Smoke Gateway

              2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
              BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
              Warming shelf
              MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scale
              Backyard Grill marinade injector
              Acoustic Guitars/Electric Guitars/Basses/1928 National Duolian/Harmonicas/Banjo Washboard, Spoons, kazoos, pocket comb with wax paper, egg shakers ;-)
              Bear Paws
              Meat Rakes
              BBQ Dragon/Chimley of Insanity, Dragon Wing Shelves (x2 ea.)

              Probably a ton of cast iron, mostly very old...still cookin'
              G'Ma's Piqua skillet, :-)( They went out of business in 1934~)
              '60's Revere Ware (Mom's), + others found elsewhere
              60's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (Mom's) Daily driver
              50's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (G'Ma's), for a backup! ;-)
              Carpy Wally World stock pots, in approx 2 gal/3gal sizes, blue speckledty-porcelain enameled
              Tramontina 6.5 qt Dutch Oven

              Cutlery, etc.:
              Shi*-ton of kitchen/chef knives, most sharper than my straight-razors are. (Better steel!) Chicago Cutlery, Old Hickory, various, including some nice German stuff ;-)
              Dexter 12" slicing knife, 6" Sani-Safe boning knife
              Smith's Tri-Hone Natural Arkansas Knife Sharpening System
              Multiple steels, from all over the planet
              Crock sticks
              Diamond stones, various
              Lansky Sharpening System

              Daily driver:Washington Forge Mardi Gras, Navy / Cobalt Blue
              Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
              Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

            Howdy from Kansas Territory, Welcome to Th Pit!
            Lookin forward to learnin along with, an from ya!

            My cookers live outside all winter too, most of em...

            Pro Tip: Th grates don't haveta live out there, as well ...
            I tuck, or hang mine in my motour garage.


            • DavidNorcross
              Club Member
              • Nov 2017
              • 1835
              • Virginia
              • SNS Kamado
                Weber Summit S-670
                Camp Chef FTG 600
                Camp Chef Escape

                Old Hickory Knives
                More Cast Iron than I care to admit

              Welcome from Virginia!


              • RonB
                Club Member
                • Apr 2016
                • 13128
                • Near Richmond VA
                • Weber Performer Deluxe
                  Pizza insert
                  Smokenator 1000
                  Cookshack Smokette Elite
                  2 Thermapens
                  lots of probes.

                Welcome to The Pit John.


                • smokin fool
                  Club Member
                  • Apr 2019
                  • 2014
                  • Mississauga, Ont

                  For your old grates, get them hot then go at them with balled up aluminum foil.
                  Depending on condition they will never be pristine but do this prior to and after cooking it will help little by little they will clean up.
                  As for the fire box, agree with FireMan, smoking isn't an OCD sport.
                  Sometimes ya gotta live with a bitta dirt.
                  Don't get me wrong from time to time I do take a wire brush to the fire box.
                  When you smoke something do you want the residue from all those chemicals on your food.


                  • Polarbear777
                    Club Member
                    • Sep 2016
                    • 1789

                    If the grates are stained black that’s fine. You don’t want any grease or residue on them. If you burn hot after your cooks and clean well before your cooks you should be okay.

                    It is critical that the firebox doesn’t have any chunks in it or anything that could break off into your food or block grease drainage. Scrape until nothing more will come off. Wire brush occasionally.


                    • jgreen
                      Charter Member
                      • Oct 2014
                      • 2722
                      • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
                      • Cookers:
                        Broil King XL
                        Broil King Smoke
                        Weber Kettle 26
                        Grilla Pellet smoker
                        Capital 40 natural gas
                        Napoleon Pro 22 kettle

                        Maverick 733
                        Thermapen (ok..4 thermapens)
                        Thermo works DOT (or two)
                        Fireboard (probably my favourite)
                        Thermworks Smoke (or two)

                        SnS (original, plus and XL)
                        DnG pans, 6 or 7 of these
                        and, maybe some other toys as well

                      Agree with most of the comments. I like the grates pretty clean but don’t fuss too much with the firebox as long as nothing is dropping off.


                      • Oakgrovebacon
                        Club Member
                        • Apr 2016
                        • 1960
                        • South central Illinois

                        Welcome to the pit from Southern Illinois!


                        • Skip
                          Founding Member
                          • Jul 2014
                          • 3525
                          • Blue Earth, Minnesota
                          • MAK Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates, Mostly Thermoworks Thermometers

                          Welcome from Minnesota. Enjoy the Pit!


                          • Spinaker
                            • Nov 2014
                            • 10759
                            • Land of Tonka
                            • John "J R"
                              Instagram: JRBowlsby
                              Smokin' Hound Que
                              Minnesota/ United States of America

                              Dexter (Beagle mix)
                              Kinnick (American Foxhound)

                              Big Green Egg (Large) X3
                              Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

                              Karubeque C-60
                              Kamado Joe Jr. (Black)
                              Lodge L410 Hibachi
                              Pit Barrel Cooker
                              Pit Barrel Cooker 2.0
                              R&V Works FF2-R-ST 4-Gallon Fryer

                              Weber Spirit Gasser
                              FireBoard (Base Package)
                              Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
                              Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)

                              Big Green Egg Plate Setter
                              Benzomatic TS4000 Torch X 2
                              Benzomatic TS800 High Temp Torch X 2

                              Bayou Classic 44 qt Stainless Stock Pot
                              Bayou Classic 35K BTU Burner

                              Digi Q DX2 (Medium Pit Viper Fan)
                              Dragon VT 2-23 C Torch
                              Eggspander Kit X2
                              Field Skillet No. 8,10,12

                              Finex Cat Iron Line
                              FireBoard Drive
                              Lots and Lots of Griswold Cast Iron
                              Grill Grates
                              Joule Water Circulator
                              KBQ Fire Grate

                              Kick Ash Basket (KAB) X4
                              Lots of Lodge Cast Iron
                              Husky 6 Drawer BBQ Equipment Cabinet
                              Large Vortex
                              Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum
                              Marquette Castings No. 13 (First Run)
                              Smithey No. 12
                              Smokeware Chimney Cap X 3
                              Stargazer No.10, 12
                              Tool Wizard BBQ Tongs
                              Univex Duro 10" Meat Slicer
                              FOGO Priemium Lump Charcoal
                              Kingsford Blue and White
                              Rockwood Lump Charcoal
                              Apple, Cherry & Oak Log splits for the C-60

                              Buck 119 Special
                              Cuda 7' Fillet Knife

                              Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
                              Next Major Purchase
                              Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

                            Welcome! Thanks for the support!

                            One great way to clean stainless is with oven cleaner. Make sure it is the Heavy-Duty version. You want caustic in the mix to eat the protein away from the metal when you are done cooking. Then you can rinse with water and the stainless should clean up like new.

                            As for the burners, you will have trouble getting those back to their original shine, the heat changes the chemistry and the stainless will blue after a cook or too. I would not worry to much about that. It really will not effect how the burners run.

                            If you want to go the Aluminum Grate route, I would replace the stock grates with them. The Aluminum grates are easy to clean, and you get a reversible fire griddle on the other side of the grates, a huge bonus! (Rail side and Griddle Side) I like them, but they will not blow your mind. Again the griddle side of the grates is what I really like. And the holes in the grates allow for drippings to hit the fire below, adding flavor to the meat that you would not normally get from a griddle. They also save you from flare ups, which I think is a major perk that is often over looked.


                            • fzxdoc
                              Founding Member
                              • Jul 2014
                              • 5252
                              • My toys:
                                Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
                                Pit Barrel Cooker (which rocks)
                                Weber Summit S650 Gas Grill
                                Weber Kettle Premium 22"
                                Weber Jumbo Joe Premium 22" (a weird little 22" kettle mutant on 22"-long legs) (donated to local battered women's shelter.)
                                Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range

                                Adrenaline BBQ Company's SnS, DnG and Large Charcoal Basket for WSCGC
                                Adrenaline BBQ Company's Elevated SS Rack for WSCGC
                                Adrenaline BBQ Company's SS Rack for DnG
                                Grill Grate for SnS
                                Grill Grates: five 17.375 sections (retired to storage)
                                Grill Grates: six 19.25 panels for exact fit for Summit S650 gasser
                                2 Grill Grate Griddles
                                Steelmade Griddle for Summit gas grill

                                Fireboard Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
                                Fireboard control unit in addition to that in the Extreme BBQ Package
                                Additional Fireboard probes: Competition Probes 1" (3) and 4" (1), 3 additional Ambient Probes. 1 additional Food Probe
                                2 Fireboard Driver Cables
                                Pit Viper Fan (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                                Pit Viper Fan new design (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                                Thermoworks Thermapen MK5 (pink)
                                Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 (pink too)
                                Thermoworks Temp Test 2 Smart Thermometer
                                Thermoworks Extra Big and Loud Timer
                                Thermoworks Timestick Trio
                                Maverick ET 73 a little workhorse with limited range
                                Maverick ET 733
                                Maverick (Ivation) ET 732

                                Grill Pinz
                                Vortex (two of them)

                                Two Joule Sous Vide devices
                                VacMaster Pro 350 Vacuum Sealer
                                Instant Pot 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
                                Instant Pot 10 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
                                Charcoal Companion TurboQue
                                A-Maze-N tube 12 inch tube smoker accessory for use with pellets

                                BBQ Dragon and Dragon Chimney

                                Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife
                                Shun Classic 6" Chef's Knife
                                Shun Classic Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
                                Shun Classic 3 1/2 inch Paring Knife

                              Could you re-post the photos? They're not showing.





                              Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

                              SOLD OUT! Secure your spot on our waitlist now. First-come, first-served!
                              Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis)
                              See more
                              See less
                              Meat-Up in Memphis


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