Sunday, April 20, 2008

Non-Smokers Beware

First, my apologies for being negligent in my blogging duties. Life got busy ... yada yada yada ... and today I found some time.

Weather here on the west coast has been nothing short of bizarre. Last weekend we were treated to almost summer-like temperatures. This weekend we had snow/hail/sleet on Friday and sunshine on Saturday. If this is Spring, I'm not a fan.

The net effect of all this has been a rush to do all the necessary yard work to prepare for the BBQ season ... and by BBQ I mean smoking ... and by smoking I don't mean inhaling. I am the proud owner of two Weber Smokey Mountain smokers (aka Bullets) and one Weber One-Touch 22" Gold grill (aka the Kettle). There's also the Jackson Grill on the back patio, but it works on natural gas and as such must NOT be included in the first group.

Charcoal grilling and smoking became a passion of mine about 5 years ago. The BC BBQ Championships at the Eat! show was a revelation, as was Rockin Ronnie's presentation on the joys of pork butt. I had grilled before, but low-and-slow smoking was something completely different and infinitely better. I wanted more, so I bought my first bullet, a couple books, and began experimenting.

This is the first incarnation of the BBQ Pit at our house. The major issue for smokers around here is weather. So the primary function of any structure around he Bullets has to be protection from the weather. The tent served its purpose nicely, but as it aged, and the winter storm season whipped through the back yards of Metro Vancouver, it proved quite inadequate.

Enter the Grill-Zebo. Home Depot may be the Evil Empire in the world of home improvement, but occaisionally they bring in some really cool items. When I first saw the Grill-Zebo I immediately started planning the landscaping to support it. We ordered lanscaping ties, lanscaping fabric, dirt, pavers ... and my son and I spent the sunny weekend digging, cutting, shovelling and levelling.

This is the end result.  No bad for an amateur if I do say so myself.

Stay tuned. Smoking season has started.

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