Eric Van De Vens Blog

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The Ducane 4400 and the Weber Q-200 get some new parts!

After two years of ownership, I am quite happy with the Ducane 4400 grill. As it appears the fire-box has some rust on it, I may have to address that at a later date. The cause of the rust is pictured below.

I finally found a place on the web, All Parts Grills,  that had the stainless steel versions of the stock porcelain flame tamers or “flavorizer bars” as Weber calls them. I knew these wouldn’t last since the first day I fired up the grill! While I was at it, I decided to clean out the inner box of the grill with a scraper and then just hose everything out. Now that that is done, time for the new parts.

If you look closely, you can see the rust under the far right flame tamer. Now that the rusty ones are gone, hopefully I can get a few more years out of the box. It is under warranty for five years, so, I have some time.

Meanwhile, the tried and true Weber Q, also needed a little service. The drip pan was all pitted when I got it and some pin holes developed in it. I decided, for 15 bucks, I might as well replace it and get some new tin liners.

Here is the new drip pan and liners.

I always like it where there are new shiny parts around! Now the grills should be good for another 2-3 years before I have to do anything major.

March 19, 2012 Posted by | The Ducane 4400, The Weber Q 200 | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Smoking a Boston Butt on the Weber Q 200

If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that the Ducane 4400 has been given some time off. Fortunately, the Ducane isn’t jealous as it knows, it will be used again! That having been said, since I purchased the Weber Q, I have cooked everything I can think of on it. Every meal came out perfect. The only thing I haven’t tried is to smoke something on this grill. Now is the time!

Some may ask, “Why try to smoke something on the portable grill when you have a perfectly good smoker?”

There are several reasons:

  1. Smoking something on any grill will add quite a bit of flavor to the grill itself, which will in-turn, impart some flavor to whatever you are cooking.
  2. Why not?
  3. I wanted to see if it could be done and what it would take to do it.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

The first thing that had to be done was to make accommodations for the charcoal and wood. I was sure that an hour and a half at Lowes would provide me with something that I could get to work. I almost bought a Weber grate that I would have had to cut up to get to fit, but decided against it.

When I got home, I looked around and as usual, there is a reason I keep many things that others would throw out. Some day you may want to use such and such part and wish you had it. This would have been the case if I had thrown out the old MasterForge grill! Since I didn’t, the partially rusted out flame-tamer fit right in the base of the Q!

The next task would be how to separate the coals/wood from the butt. I remember on the BBQSource message board making a drawing for someone using bricks in the middle of a Weber Kettle grill to section it off. I know I have at least one brick around this house! There was also the dilemma as to what grate I would use. The cast iron grate that goes with this grill would probably stay too hot. The stainless grate from the MasterForge doesn’t quite fit. I decided to use the two grates from our toaster oven!

Some may ask why use a grate over the coals and wood? The answer is, that to control the heat, you will most likely have to put something on top of the coals/wood to act as a damper. Which brings us to the following…..A long time ago, my Father gave me this pan that was aluminum and at one time, Teflon coated.  He put it in his grill and cooked all the Teflon off. This particular pan was used to fry fish with on a grill, specifically, grouper, cubed, with tempera batter. This pan would be perfect to hold water to A) Add moisture to the cooking process, and B) To help regulate the heat. Here is the pan:

And, here it is installed, ready for use:

As you can see, some aluminum foil had to be added in order to keep the smoke from escaping from one side of the grill. The same thing had to be done when I cooked the ribs. You will also notice that areas on either side of the tray holding the charcoal are filled in with foil as well. This was to keep any coals from wandering under the tray and into the catch tray.

After about an hour of figuring out how to do this, I was ready for the meat! One Boston Butt that has been in the refrigerator overnight with McKormicks “pork rub” liberally applied to it.

I also had the wood soaking overnight and although some say soaking the wood isn’t necessary, I prefer it!

And, at long last, the butt on the grill!

I closed the lid and let the smoking begin. As you can see, the smoke is exiting out of the right side  of the grill. When Weber designed this grill, there is a gap on either side where the side tables fold into. This worked out perfectly as if needed, I could add some aluminum foil to keep heat in to control the temperature. As it turned out, I didn’t need to control the heat with the exception of making sure there was water in the pan inside the grill.

The temperature stayed right around 250-275 degrees throughout both cooking cycles.

Meanwhile, it was time for lunch! All this cooking and I still hadn’t eaten anything. The Ducane was called in to cook a few burgers for the wife, Marshall, and myself.

Now, after four hours, it was time to restock everything. Having the Ducane nearby was a lucky break. I transferred all of the bricks, grates, and meat, right onto the Ducanes grates and closed the lid. Everything stayed warm while I reloaded the Weber Q! Back to round two!

After another four hours, the Butt was done. The internal temperature was 160 degrees. I let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing into it.

The meat was, as you can see, very tender and juicy and full of flavor.

All in all, a very successful experiment.

I probably won’t do this again as it was time-consuming, but then again, I now have some other materials that will make it much easier and for just the family, one butt is plenty. Speaking of which, the remainder of the butt is currently residing in the crock-pot and tonight, we will have pulled pork!

Now that it is the next day, someone has to clean the grill! The charcoal dust is everywhere inside the grill, but, a simple wash-down with the hose, and all is as it was prior to this event. The grill now has a distinct odor to it, that of smoked wood, which was exactly what I was hoping would happen.

I can’t wait to cook something else on this grill to see how much flavor was imparted to it!

Now that this task is complete, I will be writing my official review of the Q as well as an updated review of the Ducane shortly.

In a few words, the Weber Q can do almost anything any other grill can do and being a Weber, it will last. I would highly recommend this grill to anyone looking for either a portable grill or, just something for 2-4 people.

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Home, Pork, The Weber Q 200 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Porterhouse Steak on the Q

Tonight, for dinner, it was a porterhouse steak. Publix finally got someone who doesn’t cut these things 1/2 inch thick, so I grabbed this one.

Medium rare:

After a five minute rest:

Marshall eating the best part:

And, Sophia gets some “scraps”!

Another perfectly cooked piece of meat on the Q! Tomorrow, I am going to see how it works as a tanning bed, as everything else that gets cooked on this grill comes out perfect! 🙂

February 8, 2011 Posted by | Beef, Food, The Weber Q 200 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken breasts on the Q

Today, the Q got a workout. Breakfast, lunch, and now dinner. Tonight’s dinner is barbecue  chicken breasts. First the breasts, with a little bit of McKoricks steak seasoning on them. I know, steak seasoning? The chicken breasts don’t know the difference..I asked! 🙂

After heating up the grill, I turned the burner control down to low, which produced a temperature of about 325 degrees in the grill.

After flipping the breasts every 10 minutes, it was time to check the internal temperature. Luckily, my assistant had the required thermometer!

The internal temperature was 155 degrees so it was time to add the sauce. I prefer Bullseye as it is a sweet sauce and also gluten-free. Again, my assistant was very helpful!

All of the cooking was expertly supervised by the ever-present Samantha, seen here, dipping her toes in the pool.

Almost done:

And, plated up almost ready to eat:

The dinner was served with creamer potatoes with garlic, butter, and parsley.

Everything was quite good! The “Q” does it again!

Off to bed for a good nights sleep, then pancakes on the “Q” followed by the “Tour de Bar”!

February 6, 2011 Posted by | Chicken, The Weber Q 200 | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cheeseburger in Paradise..or at least the back patio!

For lunch today, it is just a simple cheeseburger. Of course, there is more to it than just slapping a pattie on the grill, but, that will be detailed elsewhere on the blog. (;

The first thing you need is some burger meat. I prefer ground chuck. I get four or five pounds of it and mix in some ingredients, make the patties, place them in zip lock bags, and freeze them. After that, you can just plop them on the grill!

Since I made bacon and eggs on the Q this morning, instead of replacing the griddle with the regular grate, I decided to just cook this burger on the griddle. I mean, why waste that bacon fat? 🙂

I heated up the grill and placed the burger on it once the temperature reached 500 degrees.

Now, what kind of “hamburger” would it be, without the ham? 🙂

Time to add the cheese:

And, finally, plated up! Excuse the paper plate!

As with everything else cooked on the Q so far,…Perfect!

I hope everybody else enjoyed their lunch!

 

February 5, 2011 Posted by | The Weber Q 200 | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sausage on the Weber Q

As I had a hankering for some sausage, I took some out of the freezer after this mornings run. A couple, actually three, of the hot and a couple of mild. Heated up the Q and put the sausages on. I turned the burner down to low and let them cook for about 20 minutes, turning them every five minutes. I cooked them with the lid in the down position

As with everything else that has been prepared on this grill, these also came out perfect. 🙂

 

February 3, 2011 Posted by | The Weber Q 200 | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ribs on the Weber Q

As breakfast was such a raging success, I decided to further test the capabilities of the Weber Q by cooking ribs on it. Ribs, can be cooked in numerous ways and using different methods as far as marinating, seasoning, as well as cooking styles. I decided to use the tried and true method that will work for about anyone.

The first thing I did is to cut the ribs into three sections, then, place them in a pot of water. You may add any spices you wish at this point. For this particular recipe, I added no spices, barbecue sauce, or anything else. Next, turn the heat on high and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and then turn the heat down to medium or medium low. Contrary to popular belief, boiling ribs does not remove “all” of the flavor of the meat. Let the ribs simmer for a half an hour and then, shut the heat off. Let them soak for another half an hour.

Meanwhile, I had a few small pieces of wood soaking in water. There is much debate regarding soaking your wood. I prefer it. Next, I wrap the wood in foil and placed it on the left side of the burner element.

This was done to add some wood flavor to the meat as well as to add some coating to the grill itself. Over time, there will be a build up and that is when things cooked on the grill will begin to really become flavorful! I turned the burner on and waited for the “plume” of smoke to appear.

Now the grill is ready for the ribs. After soaking, the ribs are easier to cut, so, I cut them at the knuckles, which leaves you with the odd pieces and, the pieces you end up eating at restaurants. I placed the ribs on the grill and closed the lid. This should allow the smoke from the wood to penetrate the meat as well as the other flavors from the barbecue.

Should, was the operative word. It appears that in order to allow the end tables to fold into the Q, there is about a 3/4 inch gap on either side, which was allowing the smoke to escape. I had to add some aluminum foil to block the space on the left side so that the smoke would exit the right side. I may have to construct some sort of device to prevent heat loss in the future.

After an hour on low and checking the ribs frequently, it was time to add the sauce.

And finally, ready to eat! You will notice that the “odd” pieces are not present in the final presentation. They were used for taste testing!

The ribs were quite tasty. They didn’t get as much wood flavor as I had hoped, but that usually requires actual smoking and I didn’t want this to be an all day project!

All things considered, the ribs were very tender, had plenty of “natural” flavor as well as some enhanced flavors from the wood and sauce. Not quite perfect, but for the first time on a “portable” grill, not bad. I know I could never have done this on the MasterForge grill as everything would have been burnt in a 1/2 an hour.

This grill, like most Webers and Ducanes, does not have the flare ups and uneven cooking properties found in cheaper, lesser known grills. So far, the Q has performed better than expected!

One interesting thing, once the wood got hot enough to burn, it had to be moved to the center of the bowl. After it burned up, it fell directly into the catch tray! I couldn’t have planned that any better!

January 31, 2011 Posted by | The Weber Q 200 | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breakfast on the Weber Q!

As there was a thread regarding cooking breakfast on a barbecue grill on the BBQSource website, I decided to try this on the Weber Q. This is in part, to add to my upcoming review of the “Q”, which will be posted elsewhere on the blog in the coming weeks.

The first thing I did was to remove the regular grill and place the griddle, which was the only thing worth keeping from the old Charmglow grill, in the grill cavity. As you can see, it fit like a glove! I sprayed some Pam on the griddle just to make sure it was clean and still wouldn’t stick.

Now, to add the bacon. I cut the bacon in half and then freeze it. I eat bacon usually twice a week, and no matter where I put it in the refrigerator, it still goes bad if I store the whole package.

A quick check of the temperature, and we are off! The setting of the burner was “high”.

I closed the lid to add a little bit of flavor to the grill lid…which may come in handy for the ribs I’ll be cooking later on today! 🙂

And now, time to add the eggs!

Everything came out perfect…if I do say so myself!!

Marshalls plate:

And by all accounts, he seemed to enjoy everything!

Breakfast was a complete success. This grill is quite versatile and, it was a different way to cook breakfast. And, has the advantage of not having to clean a couple of pans!

January 30, 2011 Posted by | The Weber Q 200 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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