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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 23, 2004 2:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Still my favorite blogger. The next post in this blog is Sacred ground. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, September 23, 2004


If Keats could write an ode to a Grecian urn, then surely a blog tribute to my Weber grill is appropriate.

In the driveway I've got an old black Weber grill that I love. And I do mean old -- I picked it up from my friend "T-Bone" the Mailman 20 years ago or more, and he and his wife Connie had used it for a year or two before he sold it to me. Moreover, I do mean love it. I'm not much of a cook -- my beautiful bride takes care of most of that -- but when I set my mind to it, I can make good things happen out there.

I started in the very early '80s with a mini-Weber -- the "smoky Joe." It fit right in with my mindset at the time. Go small. Stay portable. Save the earth. But when I got a great deal on T's larger model, I said yes, and the rest is barbecue history.

After a while, you get to know this appliance's ways, and if you're not too busy fixing drinks, watering plants, playing with kids, or programming the backyard boombox while you're grilling, you can pull some mighty fine eatin' out of it. Whole chickens. Even turkeys. Big slabs of fish. Baskets of grilled vegetables. Corn on the cob wrapped in tin foil with a little butter. Occasionally burgers, pork chops, or even steaks. Oh yeah.

Guys my age have gas grills. They also play golf.

Hell, no. Not me.

You get the coals to red, load up the grill, put that lid on top, leave the air holes open just a little, and dang, it gets hot in there. What a fantastic design. Bravo to the wonderful inventor -- a Midwest American, I hope -- who came up with something so elegant. They ought to have one of these babies in the Museum of Modern Art.

My old soldier's gone through some replacement surgery over the years. I think I'm on the third upper grill (where the food sits), and second lower grill (on which rests the charcoal). The little rails that keep the coals to the sides when I'm using the "indirect method" (which is most of the time) are not original. And I think I replaced the ash-catcher pan down by the wheels once. But the basic kettle is original, including the wooden handle, which is one tough piece of wood. There's a funky little appliance repair place up on NE Columbia Boulevard that sells replacement parts; I managed to score an official Weber cover for the whole setup there a few years back, and it's probably extended its life a little.

There are a couple of rust spots on the side of the old Weber, and they're starting to open up to the point where there may be only a couple of years left. Then the temptation will be strong to switch to gas. When it's raining and I wish I could grill, that temptation is strong. But there's something about doing it with the wood, just like grandpa, dad and the uncles did, that's irresistible. I'll likely be a charcoal man until my dying day.

Hey, I'm getting hungry writing about this, people. Time to trek over to City Market and pick up some sturgeon or halibut. Maybe a couple of oysters to throw on and cook in the shell. Bon appetit.

Comments (9)

you are the 10th person i have heard praise this style of weber grill. everyone i know seems to have the new stainless steel $5000 gas grill on the back porch and uses it twice a year. the ones who have the weber use it daily. they are truly a work of art and i agree they should be in the MOMA. my neighbor a few years back would come over and pick through my tree trimmings for medium size sticks of Cherry (i had cherry trees) - he would then hang them to air dry and use them in the grill for flavor.


I'm a Weber man myself. Can't beat it.

A friend of mine has gone one step further - he owns A Big Green Egg. The stuff he churns out (it's a smoker as well as a grill) is simply amazing, but it's the same basic concept as the Weber, only on steroids...

One of my favorite pieces of art that I own is a silkscreen of the silhouette of a Weber grill on a large piece of light green fabric (essentially life-size). A friend of mine made it and gave it to me as a birthday gift, as I have a fascination with Weber grills. It's the first thing I hang on the wall when I move into a new place.

So far, I've only personally owned the Smokey Joe. I'm working up to the big version. And they now come in fun colors, like blue and green!

I can't get over the fact you actually knew someone nick-named "T-Bone".

At the moment, I'm having Seinfeld flashbacks. So much for a productive work day...

Jack, I never would have thought Tommy's weber grill would last 20+ years.

My Dad brought a Komodo Pot back from Japan in the early 60's. Its design and construction is like the big green egg...the best BBQ...I thought.

I have done charcoal, propane and natural gas BBQ....all OK but...I have discovered a BBQ that even squeaks past (barely) the old Komodo.

On August 29th this year I bought a Traeger - It is the best grill I have ever cooked on. It is fueled by pellets, every flavor you can imagine. The heat is controlled by a feeder that delivers pellets in an amount determined by the temp you set the grill at. It has a fan that distributes the heat in a convection manner. It smokes, slow cooks and grills. We have cooked steaks and chicken like none you have had (at least not yet).

I bought it from the hardware store in the old town part of West Linn. That by itself was a trip. That place is like a walk back into another era. The Traegers are spendy (abt $600)... But if you BBQ year 'round like we do, it is a reasonable price.

I haven't had it long enough to do any smoking of fish or beef--but the store swears it will be the best I've ever had.

Your Weber looks better than mine. On mine the things underneath that allow the ash to go out the bottom rusted away about a decade ago. To save the coals I have a piece of metal covering the opening, which I have to remove at the end of barbecuing season to let the ash out.

It's a lot more fun with gas. Also fun is my Southern California-style charcoal starter, which dispenses with the need for lighter fluid.

Hey Bojack, I know you love your Webber, but have you seen Alton Brown's conversion rig for Webber grills? A Wire article discusses it here:

"Not that there's anything wrong with charcoal. In one episode of Good Eats, Brown throws three skirt steaks right onto the hot coals - after casting aside the grill and doing some "ash management" with a blow dryer. The goal: Cook the steaks quickly with direct heat and prevent the soot-causing flare-ups that burn meat when dripping fat travels through air onto the coals. No oxygen, no flames."

and you can find the actual layout in his book, "I'm Just Here For the Food." You might like it.


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to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Dunham, Trautina 2012
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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