Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pictures from Murphysboro "Praise the Lard" Cookoff

In honor of tonight's 2nd episode of The Pitmasters (10:oopm est on TLC. This episode was filmed at the Murphysboro cookoff and we were there! Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite so to speak.

Susan and I attended this event (i.e. we did not vend or demo GrillGrates) so we really got to enjoy the atmosphere the entire weekend straight through to the award ceremony. Competition Barbecue is truly an interactive spectator sport. I learned a lot about "The Pits", careful preparation, and holy rituals. It also happened to be our 27th wedding anniversary- and a great weekend! I look forward to seeing how TLC spins it tonight.

Want a bit more? Here is a link to a YouTube video and a sneak peek of the Murphysboro Contest.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Greatest Gift of All (Part 2)

Now that I look back on it, I gave and received the same gift last year! Peace Love and Barbecue by Mike Mills and his daughter Amy. I met Mike and Amy at a Barbecue Competition just over a year ago. Mike, a legendary barbecue champion and restaurant owner comes by our stand and takes an interest in GrillGrates. He was anxious to try it and I gladly gave him a set. Next thing I know Rocky Danner (another colorful Barbecue Ambassador) is in our booth asking me for several more sets for he and Mike!

It turns out that Mike and Rocky were doing a series of demonstrations. Rocky was grilling bacon wrapped pork tenderloins and Mike was explaining how to do his championship ribs and had a stack of his books. He signed one for me and gave it to me in exchange for the Grates. Amy handed me a card and told me where to send more GrillGrates for Mike to “play with”. We received the gift of Peace, Love and Barbecue, last October and we gave the book as a gift this past Christmas to all our grilling friends.

Our friends loved Mike and Amy’s book! The 5-bean side has become a staple in our circle, as have Mike’s ribs. Peace, Love and Barbecue is a fabulous gift and really conveys the spirit of the industry, the people in it, along with some fabulous recipes. The book also provides a history of the American BBQ tradition alongside colorful encounters with local barbecue haunts. It was a great gift last year, now what to give this year?

  1. Instant Read Thermometer- This has got to be tops on my stocking stuffer list. I need to upgrade my cooking by temperature skills as evidenced by my half-cocked turkey on Thanksgiving! Glow in the Dark from $6.99
  2. BBQr’s Delight Gift Pack- This just might be the ticket for this Christmas. Craig Meathead Goldwyn of called BBQr’s Delight and GrillGrates- "Peanut butter and jelly because we go so well together." These all natural wood pellets impart just enough smoky flavor- and work fabulously on gas grills—especially with GrillGrates; just lay a few in the valleys of the GrillGrates and they smoke and smolder in natural wood flavors. The gift pack comes with a cast iron smoker box too. $19.99 with free shipping thru 12/19.
  3. KCBS Membership- The Kansas City Barbecue Society delivers a lot of bang for the buck. Contest and cook-off updates, product reviews and discounts and monthly Bull Sheet is packed with information and team competition updates. The Bull Sheet is up there with Salt Water Sportsman for me! $35 per year.

  4. GrillGrate Gift Bag- Our best value and a Grate Gift in its own right. Use the KCBS discount code and save 25% on all GrillGrate products through December 18th. $75 with KCBS discount.
Keep your grill and your griller warm this holiday season!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Gratest Gift for an Egger! Thanks EggHead Paul!

As we were packing several gift orders of custom GrillGrates for the Big Green Egg and I reminded myself to thank EggHead Paul for helping me get GrillGrates into the wonderful green world of the BGE. This is a great lesson in product development:
  1. A customer sends you a picture of how they took a hack saw to your product and modified it to fit their needs.
  2. You show that picture to a BGE owner - in this case my buddie EggHead Paul
  3. Paul says I'd like one like that too and gets out his saw.
  4. Brad watches as Paul cuts GrillGrates. I take a few pictures...
  5. We get invited to the Annual Eggfest in Altanta and I take EggHead Paul as Wingman (and borrow his Egg to practice)
  6. Now I've been told that "We have the best gift you could give an Egger." That just came from an BGE owner who ordered two sets for each of his sons as Christmas Gifts.
And now as Paul Harvey says you know the rest of the story!

Thank You EggHead Paul!
and Thank You to all the loyal Big Green Egg customers out there who are grilling grate!

Oh, it didn't take a genius to figure out we needed to do this for rabid Weber customers too!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Pitmasters Debuts on TLC Tonight At 10:00PM

After playing groupie on the BBQ circuit for the past year I really look forward to seeing this show. Susan and I have met several of the fine folks featured in The Pitmasters. Barbecue is the next NASCAR and I really enjoy wandering around the pits at BBQ competitions. I also enjoy vending and demonstrating GrillGrates at these events... I would attend them all if I could! Susan has gotten into it too. You know you are a BBQ groupie when you spend your 27th wedding anniverary at a BBQ competition! We'll both be watching tomorrow night.

Santa- All I want for Christmas is a cool GrillGrate trailer to drag around of my own!