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School Days - My time at Steven Raichlen's BBQ University

School Days - My time at Steven Raichlen's BBQ University
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  • School Days - My time at Steven Raichlen's BBQ University

    Post #1 - July 1st, 2010, 2:29 pm
    Post #1 - July 1st, 2010, 2:29 pm Post #1 - July 1st, 2010, 2:29 pm
    Last month I had the chance to attend Steven Raichlen's BBQ University, which was held at the breathtakingly beautiful Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs. My friend Dave's wife wanted to give him the course as a (milestone) birthday gift but had no interest in attending it with him. So, she asked me if I had any interest in joining him. In addition to loving barbecue, I have friends in CO, my wife has family there and I'd always wanted to experience the Broadmoor, so I signed on for the journey. It didn't matter to me that I'd never seen an entire episode of any of Raichlen's shows. I suspected we'd have a great time, regardless.

    The 3-day course, which was held at the Broadmoor's Cheyenne Lodge in the mountains above the main resort, loosely followed Raichlen's latest book, Planet Barbecue.

    Image
    Cheyenne Lodge at The Broadmoor


    Image
    View from the Cheyenne Lodge on Day 1
    On Day 1, the weather was crappy but the view into the mountains was cool. The Cheyenne Lodge has a terrace with a 270-degree view.


    Image
    View from the Cheyenne Lodge on Day 2
    By Day 2, the view had cleared considerably and was impressive.

    Each day we learned about and prepared a set of recipes from the book. On the first day, we covered North, South and Central America. On Day 2, it was Europe and the Middle East. On the final day, dishes from Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim were covered.

    Class began each morning with a semi-detailed, 60-minute discussion about each of the dishes on the day's schedule. Raichlen would go through the mise en place for each of the dishes, discuss their backgrounds and choose a few volunteers to execute each of the dishes from start to finish. For the next 90 minutes or so, we'd take the dishes from their initial preparation through cooking to final presentation, where the finished dishes were laid out on a table and Raichlen would lead a brief discussion about each of them. Over the 3 days, each person in the class (55 of us in all) prepared at least one of the dishes.

    Image
    Raichlen preps the class on the day's recipes


    Image
    Here, Raichlen shows the class where baby back ribs are located

    Lunch followed the final dish presentation discussion each day but we didn't eat the exact food we'd prepared. Instead, Broadmoor chefs, using the same recipes and methods we'd learned, prepared the lunch (while our class was taking place). I'm not entirely sure why we didn't eat the food we'd made but I'm guessing it had to do with the fact that there were so many of us in the class that cooking for such a large number would have been unwieldy. Also, at least a few of the dishes we learned needed to cook for many hours, so they wouldn't have been done in time for lunch. Still, the Broadmoor chefs did a good job and, I'm sure, a better job than I or some of my classmates would have done. :wink:

    Image
    Raichlen and one of my classmates plate up at the presentation table


    Image
    One of the Broadmoor chefs cooking pizzas on the offset


    Image
    Another Broadmoor chef helps prep the lunch on Day 2


    Image
    A whole mess of Turkish Adana Kababs on Day 2

    I had a great time overall and the setting was majestic but I didn't learn very much. There were times when the class felt like nothing more than review. There were other times when we learned methods or recipe variations that I didn't necessarily agree with (soaking wood chips, foiling certain larger cuts).

    Image
    Wood chips and chunks soaking on the prep table :(

    Some of the recipes we cooked were not successful at all. Grilled baby artichokes, which I volunteered to cook on Day 2, turned out terribly. I dare say that my batch was slightly more palatable than those turned out by the Broadmoor chefs but both batches were essentially inedible, as the artichokes were too mature to cook on the grill. Oh well.

    Image
    Under Raichlen's (and everyone else's) watchful eye, I cook up the ill-fated chokes
    Here, even though I handled everything properly, Raichlen announced that he wished I hadn't so he could have corrected me. :shock: :D


    Image
    My cooking partner Bill gives the chokes a turn, which ended up being useless

    My friend Dave had a much better result with his volunteer stint. He took on the German spiessbraten, which starts with pork loin roast which is split down the middle lengthwise. It's then filled with onions and garlic, trussed and cooked on a Weber kettle rotisserie, using lump charcoal and wood chunks (we used oak but in Germany, beech is typically used). Dave schooled Raichlen when it came to tying up the roast. Being a butcher, he tied the thing up with surgical precision in what seemed like an instant. Raichlen immediately realized that he was dealing with a ringer, cut the strings off the spiessbraten and asked Dave to do it again, more slowly, so that everyone in the class could see the method. His second effort, better than the first, was met with a loud round of applause. The roast also turned out very well -- extremely moist, with a great smoky flavor.

    Image
    Raichlen realizes that Dave has skills


    Image
    Dave re-tying the spiessbraten


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    Ready for the rotisserie
    Per Raichlen, the roast went on the spit in this fashion, which didn't really make a whole lot of sense to me. Perhaps, if it had been tied by someone less skilled, that would have made more sense.


    Image
    Working it


    Image
    Dave and his cooking partner proudly show off their work
    This cooked for about 90 minutes.


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    The finished spiessbraten


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    Slicing up the spiessbraten
    From what I could tell, pretty much all the knives at BBQ U could have used a good sharpening (or outright replacing).


    Image
    Spiessbraten on the platter, with a radish-mayo slaw


    Image
    Smile, Dave!

    Since Raichlen is largely responsible for bringing Beer Can Chicken into the mainstream (though he didn't conceive it), it was only fitting that he demo'd it . . .

    Image
    Raichlen explains Beer Can Chicken, the dish that put him on the BBQ map


    Image
    Beer Can Chicken on the Weber kettle

    Over the 3 days, a few other interesting recipes were shared and demo'd . . .

    Image
    Moroccan Mechoui of Lamb rotating on the Weber kettle rotisserie


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    (soon-to-be) Barbecued Oysters (in a special, Raichlen-designed and marketed cooking device)


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    Stuffed, Bacon-wrapped Jalapenos (in a special, Raichlen-designed and marketed cooking device)

    Speaking of devices, Raichlen is a bit of a master when it comes to marketing. On display (but not for sale) were 3 tables full of his 'Best of Barbecue' line of products . . .

    Image
    Raichlen's 'Best of Barbecue' branded merchandise
    Many of these items were well-conceived and well-made. I especially liked his chimney starter, which can hold 7 pounds of lump and is much sturdier than the Weber model I regularly use. OTOH, a lot of the items were useless and I appreciated how self-deprecating Raichlen was about many of them. He admitted more than a few times that while a product was available, it was hardly necessary.

    Image
    Several 'Best of Barbecue' chimneys heat up on the Weber Ranch Kettle

    I don't intend to sound completely negative by repeating again that I didn't learn much. I definitely had a lot of fun and met some great people. In many respects, what it came down to was recipes. Raichlen shared many of his and that was certainly enlightening. I came away impressed by several aspects of the experience. First, there was very little attention paid to gas-grilling. While Raichlen made it clear at the outset that all religions were welcome under the tent of BBQ University, he only spent a small fraction of the 3 days actually demonstrating gas cooking. It was also very impressive getting to see such a huge variety of cookers, in action, all in one venue. It made understanding their distinctive nuances easier to understand.

    Image
    A terrace full of cookers


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    Chicago Brick Oven pizza oven -- I want one!


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    I'd also like one of these wood grills


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    Yes, one of these Horizon offset cookers would be nice, too :P


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    Raichlen and Dave work on the very familiar WSMs

    I came away from the BBQ U experience with a recharged enthusiasm for outdoor cooking. Yes, I do it all the time but still, I do tend to get into ruts. Since my 'graduation' I've spent a lot of time cooking on my less-used cookers and have made a concerted effort to break away from the cuts I normally cook and try different ones. It's been rewarding.

    Even though I didn't always agree with him, I was impressed by Raichlen, who was very passionate and knowledgeable not only about BBQ but about food in general. On Day 2, when we were making an Israeli-style salad that included tahini, he elaborated about sesame. He mentioned that he'd been to an Ethiopian restaurant in Colorado Springs the night before that served the best halvah he'd ever tasted (we subsequently tried the place and enjoyed it). This and other stories he told made it clear to me that he was always out on the trail, looking for new tastes. He beamed with pride when discussing how his son, who lives in Singapore and runs a restaurant there, had won the honor of Best Beef Sate in Singapore from The Straits Times; a recipe he shared with us. I appreciated that even in the wake of great success and fame, food was still very much a fundamental love for Raichlen -- and one that he clearly shared with his family.

    But what may have impressed me most of all was the Broadmoor staff, who were nothing short of amazing. This was true at every juncture across the entire resort but especially within the confines of BBQ U, where they worked amazingly hard to bring all the moving parts together. This includes everything from the shuttles that ran us from the resort to the Cheyenne Lodge each morning, to the breakfast and lunch set-ups in the lodge, to prepping all the mise en place for nearly 3 dozen dishes we made over the 3 days, to the cooking of the lunches, cooker set-up, clean-up, etc. They were spectacular -- arguably the best staff I've ever experienced at any resort and without them, BBQ U simply could not have happened. Raichlen thanked them all with signed copies of Planet Barbecue . . .

    Image
    Raichlen signing books for the Broadmoor crew


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    Broadmoor Chefs, posing by request

    After 3 mornings of learning recipes, cooking them and eating them, we were given an oral final exam. Of course, this was really a series of softballs more than anything else but as Raichlen went around and asked each person in the class one question, I realized that we really had covered a lot of ground. I found it a bit surprising that some of the questions actually stumped a few of my classmates. But, the rules of the exam allowed for other students to 'help out' if the initial recipient of a question couldn't field it. In the end, all 55 of us, including 2 who were taking the class for a second time, graduated.

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    "Professor" Raichlen gives the class our final exam


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    Dave, Raichlen and me


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    Woo Hoo! :D

    One last thought . . . over the entire course we'd spent 3 days discussing all sorts of regional BBQ but Chicago had never been mentioned. At the end of the course, I asked Raichlen to share his outsider's take on Chicago BBQ. He prefaced his comments by saying that he hoped he wasn't offending anyone but that he essentially considered Chicago BBQ to be meat cooked in an oven, sauced heavily with a sweet sauce, usually containing liquid smoke. I assured him that I wasn't offended and told him that if one knew the right places, Chicago had some wonderfully distinctive BBQ to offer. I handed him my card and told him that if he was ever in town, I'd be more than happy to take him around. I doubt he'll contact me but I have every expectation that the next time he's in Chicago he'll make a more conscious effort to find some of the good stuff . . . just like any of us would.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #2 - July 1st, 2010, 2:39 pm
    Post #2 - July 1st, 2010, 2:39 pm Post #2 - July 1st, 2010, 2:39 pm
    great write-up and pics as always Ronnie,

    thanks alot for sharing them.
  • Post #3 - July 1st, 2010, 2:52 pm
    Post #3 - July 1st, 2010, 2:52 pm Post #3 - July 1st, 2010, 2:52 pm
    Nice post, Ronnie - I've watched a few minutes of the show once or twice, and came away with an awareness that Steve Raichlen is not at the cooking-with-fire level of many LTHers. I was more surprised that you went at all than that you found it to be part review, and part anathema. :D
  • Post #4 - July 1st, 2010, 3:20 pm
    Post #4 - July 1st, 2010, 3:20 pm Post #4 - July 1st, 2010, 3:20 pm
    Great post and pics. I was wondering if the Chicago style aquarium pit came up at all, from the sounds of it no.
    I wonder how many people really think of BBQ from the Chicago area like he does. Prob. lots?
  • Post #5 - July 1st, 2010, 3:57 pm
    Post #5 - July 1st, 2010, 3:57 pm Post #5 - July 1st, 2010, 3:57 pm
    Wow - great write up! I've always liked Steven Raichlen for exactly the reasons you mentioned - he is very passionate and has a wide ranging knowledge of live fire cooking. Many BBQ books (and some chefs) can be very narrow minded and/or provincial, I've always loved his world-spanning view of live fire cooking. Some of his products are very well designed - the tongs, grill brushes and spatulas sold under his name are solid and well designed.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #6 - July 1st, 2010, 4:05 pm
    Post #6 - July 1st, 2010, 4:05 pm Post #6 - July 1st, 2010, 4:05 pm
    Great post, Ronnie.
    ImageImage

    Mhays wrote:Raichlen is not at the cooking-with-fire level of many LTHers.

    I've talked to Raichlen a few times, and come away impressed at the breadth of his knowledge of international cuisine. I haven't seen the show, but I imagine he's aiming more at accessibility to a broad audience than fire for fire's sake.

    My favorites of his books have nothing much to do with barbecue at all. High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking taught me that "low-fat" and "flavorful" didn't have to be contradictions in terms, while Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine highlighted an interesting collection of flavors.

    Cbot wrote:I wonder how many people really think of BBQ from the Chicago area like he does. Prob. lots?

    My guess is that a lot of people think of Chicago "barbecue" as unsmoked ribs in sweet, tomatoey sauce because, well, a lot of it is. It's hard to deny that a lot of Chicagoans really like those fall-off-the-bone tavern ribs.

    D4v3 wrote about the distinction between "barbecue" as a method and "barbecue" as a flavor (e.g. barbecue potato chips). I thought that very cogent, and agree that it may be time for classic barbecue fans to suck it up and use a retronym like "smoked barbecue" or "pit barbecue" to set apart their favorite, and try not to be too miffed when somebody invites you over for "a barbecue" and you get grilled hot dogs and hamburgers or, as has happened to me a few times, a sandwich of ground beef simmered in tomatoey sauce.
  • Post #7 - July 1st, 2010, 5:39 pm
    Post #7 - July 1st, 2010, 5:39 pm Post #7 - July 1st, 2010, 5:39 pm
    Cbot wrote:Great post and pics. I was wondering if the Chicago style aquarium pit came up at all, from the sounds of it no.
    I wonder how many people really think of BBQ from the Chicago area like he does. Prob. lots?

    Thanks. Nary of a mention of the aquarium smoker whatsoever. This was one of those things I really wanted to talk about -- especially when I asked about the outside world's perception of Chicago-style barbecue -- but the class wasn't structured in a way that really encouraged this type of discussion. Somehow, I didn't think the other 54 students who paid their money to go to the Broadmoor wanted to listen to me babble on about barbecue. :D

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #8 - July 1st, 2010, 8:16 pm
    Post #8 - July 1st, 2010, 8:16 pm Post #8 - July 1st, 2010, 8:16 pm
    Wonderful report - have you considered forwarding to the session organizers? You capture the peaks perfectly and provide constructive suggestions and opportunities that they just might consider. Thanks for sharing with us; I'd go in a heartbeat.

    Also - did Steve strike you in person as what would happen if you dropped Rick Bayless into backcountry Yukon Territory and he had to fight his way back to civilization, or is that just me?
  • Post #9 - July 1st, 2010, 9:42 pm
    Post #9 - July 1st, 2010, 9:42 pm Post #9 - July 1st, 2010, 9:42 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    I had a great time overall and the setting was majestic but I didn't learn very much. There were times when the class felt like nothing more than review. There were other times when we learned methods or recipe variations that I didn't necessarily agree with (soaking wood chips, foiling certain larger cuts).

    I don't intend to sound completely negative by repeating again that I didn't learn much. I definitely had a lot of fun and met some great people.

    One last thought . . . over the entire course we'd spent 3 days discussing all sorts of regional BBQ but Chicago had never been mentioned. At the end of the course, I asked Raichlen to share his outsider's take on Chicago BBQ. He prefaced his comments by saying that he hoped he wasn't offending anyone but that he essentially considered Chicago BBQ to be meat cooked in an oven, sauced heavily with a sweet sauce, usually containing liquid smoke. I assured him that I wasn't offended and told him that if one knew the right places, Chicago had some wonderfully distinctive BBQ to offer. I handed him my card and told him that if he was ever in town, I'd be more than happy to take him around. I doubt he'll contact me but I have every expectation that the next time he's in Chicago he'll make a more conscious effort to find some of the good stuff . . . just like any of us would.

    =R=


    Spoken like a true LTHer and graduate of Professor Wiviott's WSM course. And when on, I'll put the tips and links from Honey One and Uncle John's, as equal if not the tops of the best commercial BBQ that can be had, anywhere in this country. Still, I'm jealous as all hell: lots of grills, meats, recipes, great people, the mountains, the Broadmoor and 2007 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon....I'd think I died and done gone to heaven!
  • Post #10 - July 2nd, 2010, 12:57 pm
    Post #10 - July 2nd, 2010, 12:57 pm Post #10 - July 2nd, 2010, 12:57 pm
    T Comp wrote:Spoken like a true LTHer and graduate of Professor Wiviott's WSM course. And when on, I'll put the tips and links from Honey One and Uncle John's, as equal if not the tops of the best commercial BBQ that can be had, anywhere in this country. Still, I'm jealous as all hell: lots of grills, meats, recipes, great people, the mountains, the Broadmoor and 2007 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon....I'd think I died and done gone to heaven!
    Yeah, it was a great, fun time in a beautiful setting. For those who missed it on the What are you drinking? thread, here's the bourbon moment T Comp is describing . . .

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    Old Forester Birthday Bourbon -- 1997 edition -- at The Broadmoor


    Santander wrote:Wonderful report - have you considered forwarding to the session organizers? You capture the peaks perfectly and provide constructive suggestions and opportunities that they just might consider. Thanks for sharing with us; I'd go in a heartbeat.
    Thanks, Matt. I really haven't. I think this was more a case of me not being the right student for the class rather than the class not being right for the students. I'm guessing that a lot of the attendees got a lot out of this class.

    Santander wrote:Also - did Steve strike you in person as what would happen if you dropped Rick Bayless into backcountry Yukon Territory and he had to fight his way back to civilization, or is that just me?
    LOL! He didn't before but he does now. :D

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #11 - July 2nd, 2010, 1:06 pm
    Post #11 - July 2nd, 2010, 1:06 pm Post #11 - July 2nd, 2010, 1:06 pm
    Thanks for the detailed report, Ronnie. I've always wondered what that program was like.

    My opinion of Raichlen has changed over the years. When I first noticed his show, I thought it was corny and that he was a bit of a hack, but time and being cable-free** has flipped that opinion over. I'm pretty impressed with the breadth of knowdledge that he shows on his show (even though it's HEAVILY scripted) and, more importantly, I like the fact that he's pretty much game for anything when it comes to outdoor cooking (as you pointed out, "all religions are welcome"). These days, my opinion is that TV could use a few more Steve Raichlens and a few less Food Network Stars.

    Best,
    Michael

    **Now that I am not a cable-tv subscriber, Raichlen represents a huge percentage of available cooking shows on my television.
  • Post #12 - July 2nd, 2010, 1:55 pm
    Post #12 - July 2nd, 2010, 1:55 pm Post #12 - July 2nd, 2010, 1:55 pm
    I really enjoyed the photo essay, Ronnie. Gave me some feel of what attending the course was like - with audio it would have been even better! :)

    The Broadmoor is a truly beautiful place. We were out in Colorado Springs for a conference a few years ago, at a different hotel, alas, but Sweet Baboo and I spent a lovely free day and evening at the Broadmoor.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #13 - July 4th, 2010, 9:25 am
    Post #13 - July 4th, 2010, 9:25 am Post #13 - July 4th, 2010, 9:25 am
    Ronnie-this looks very cool..raichlen does some nice stuff on the grill..looks like it is a very interesting and informative class. Cant beat that location either..
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #14 - July 4th, 2010, 9:48 am
    Post #14 - July 4th, 2010, 9:48 am Post #14 - July 4th, 2010, 9:48 am
    sounds fun ! It must have been a kick to have all your mise done for you in advance !

    And how many times did he says "break up the rub with your fingers, that way you avoid any lumps" :)
  • Post #15 - July 7th, 2010, 10:02 pm
    Post #15 - July 7th, 2010, 10:02 pm Post #15 - July 7th, 2010, 10:02 pm
    Santander wrote:Also - did Steve strike you in person as what would happen if you dropped Rick Bayless into backcountry Yukon Territory and he had to fight his way back to civilization, or is that just me?

    "Shhh . . . listen. Do you hear a coyote?
    Let's throw it off the scent with some epazote!"

    [Followed by a five minute digression on the Nahuatl origins of each word as the famished beast circles in for the kill.]
  • Post #16 - July 8th, 2010, 8:46 am
    Post #16 - July 8th, 2010, 8:46 am Post #16 - July 8th, 2010, 8:46 am
    Great write up and beautiful pix, Ronnie.
    I always enjoy watching BBQ U , even if my kids so tease me, because SR is so the antithesis of TV talent.
    What a gorgeous setting.
    I would have been tempted to taste little nibbles as I was cooking- I'm really bad that way...
    !Cook's treat...!
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #17 - May 27th, 2013, 12:59 pm
    Post #17 - May 27th, 2013, 12:59 pm Post #17 - May 27th, 2013, 12:59 pm
    I'm not particularly thrilled with a couple of Raichlen-branded chimneys my wife bought me. I do appreciate their large capacity (larger than Weber's) but from a performance perspective, they are somewhat lacking . . .

    Image
    Raichlen Chimney
    I'm not sure whose idea it was to manufacture these with paint on the outside but clearly, it was a poor one.


    Image
    Raichlen Chimney, Weber Chimney
    Both of these sat out on my deck over the winter. The Weber seems to have survived it reasonably well. The Raichlen, its paint long since burned off, not so much.


    Image
    Raichlen Chimney
    Not particularly durable. In all fairness, the the coils on the bottom of the Weber chimneys don't last forever, either. Still, the Raichlen failed much earlier in its life and after far fewer uses.

    The Weber sells for $17.99 at their web site. The Raichlen sells $29.99 at their website.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #18 - May 27th, 2013, 4:37 pm
    Post #18 - May 27th, 2013, 4:37 pm Post #18 - May 27th, 2013, 4:37 pm
    In rereading Ronnie's post I am once again taken by the wonderfully picturesque Broadmoor Resort and Raichlen's ability to market/monetize. In a non ironic, and more than mildly envious fashion, I tip my toque to Mr. Raichlen.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #19 - May 27th, 2013, 6:54 pm
    Post #19 - May 27th, 2013, 6:54 pm Post #19 - May 27th, 2013, 6:54 pm
    G Wiv wrote:In rereading Ronnie's post I am once again taken by the wonderfully picturesque Broadmoor Resort and Raichlen's ability to market/monetize. In a non ironic, and more than mildly envious fashion, I tip my toque to Mr. Raichlen.

    Gary,

    I have no doubt that if you were ever to launch a line of bbq tools, they'd be more useful, practical and durable than anything currently available . . . and the world would be a better place for it, too. :)

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #20 - May 28th, 2013, 6:10 am
    Post #20 - May 28th, 2013, 6:10 am Post #20 - May 28th, 2013, 6:10 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote: The Weber seems to have survived it reasonably well. The Raichlen, its paint long since burned off, not so much.


    I recently needed to replace my Weber because the weld holding the handle to the body broke. It had been sitting outside continuously for 6 years .
  • Post #21 - May 28th, 2013, 9:42 am
    Post #21 - May 28th, 2013, 9:42 am Post #21 - May 28th, 2013, 9:42 am
    It's great to see this thread again - I'd forgotten all about it!

    Sorry to hear the chimney didn't hold up, it's a nice looking chimney that I've thought about buying. Thanks for the heads up. FWIW I've had very good luck with the Raichlen tongs, spatulas, and skewers.

    I've always been happy with Weber chimneys after I make a couple modifications. I like to cut some expanded metal to drop in the bottom to keep small pieces of lump from falling through:

    Image

    I also put some masonry nails in the grate attachment holes - I've gotten chimneys so hot that they bend and fall out.

    Image

    I've had this chimney for almost 10 years without any problems. I don't think it's ever been inside.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #22 - May 28th, 2013, 10:07 am
    Post #22 - May 28th, 2013, 10:07 am Post #22 - May 28th, 2013, 10:07 am
    Hi,

    While the Raichlen chimney starter may be functionally and aesthetically well designed. They needed a consultant on metals or at least a primer on the practical aspects of using galvenized metal (a zinc coating over metal) to prevent rust. Weber understands metal far better.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #23 - May 28th, 2013, 10:26 am
    Post #23 - May 28th, 2013, 10:26 am Post #23 - May 28th, 2013, 10:26 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    While the Raichlen chimney starter may be functionally and aesthetically well designed. They needed a consultant on metals or at least a primer on the practical aspects of using galvenized metal (a zinc coating over metal) to prevent rust. Weber understands metal far better.

    Regards,

    Actually, galvanized is extremely dangerous to use in cooking situations. But Weber describes their chimney as aluminized steel.

    Here's a link: http://store.weber.com/accessories/cate ... tools/1349

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #24 - May 28th, 2013, 12:08 pm
    Post #24 - May 28th, 2013, 12:08 pm Post #24 - May 28th, 2013, 12:08 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    While the Raichlen chimney starter may be functionally and aesthetically well designed. They needed a consultant on metals or at least a primer on the practical aspects of using galvenized metal (a zinc coating over metal) to prevent rust. Weber understands metal far better.

    Regards,

    Actually, galvanized is extremely dangerous to use in cooking situations. But Weber describes their chimney as aluminized steel.

    Here's a link: http://store.weber.com/accessories/cate ... tools/1349

    =R=

    At least my last sentence remains true: Weber understands metal far better. :D

    This device heats the coals, would this be an issue in this situation? It's not be used as an impromptu grate, which I believe is where people get into trouble.

    Of course, I have plopped a grate on my chimney to use it as a mini grill.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #25 - May 28th, 2013, 12:29 pm
    Post #25 - May 28th, 2013, 12:29 pm Post #25 - May 28th, 2013, 12:29 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:This device heats the coals, would this be an issue in this situation? It's not be used as an impromptu grate, which I believe is where people get into trouble.

    Of course, I have plopped a grate on my chimney to use it as a mini grill.

    Regards,


    It may or may not be an issue for people eating the meal, but it certainly would be a threat to the cook. Heating galvinized metals releases zinc fumes, which are very nasty. I believe the fumes begin to come off of it around 500 degrees or so, so a chimney would be blasting out plenty of fumes. The galvinization also flakes off at high temps, so I'm sure some would end up in the coals when they get dumped in the grill.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #26 - May 28th, 2013, 12:31 pm
    Post #26 - May 28th, 2013, 12:31 pm Post #26 - May 28th, 2013, 12:31 pm
    Attrill wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:This device heats the coals, would this be an issue in this situation? It's not be used as an impromptu grate, which I believe is where people get into trouble.

    Of course, I have plopped a grate on my chimney to use it as a mini grill.

    Regards,


    It may or may not be an issue for people eating the meal, but it certainly would be a threat to the cook. Heating galvinized metals releases zinc fumes, which are very nasty. I believe the fumes begin to come off of it around 500 degrees or so, so a chimney would be blasting out plenty of fumes. The galvinization also flakes off at high temps, so I'm sure some would end up in the coals when they get dumped in the grill.

    Good to know, thanks!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #27 - May 28th, 2013, 3:17 pm
    Post #27 - May 28th, 2013, 3:17 pm Post #27 - May 28th, 2013, 3:17 pm
    Attrill wrote:. . . I've always been happy with Weber chimneys after I make a couple modifications. I like to cut some expanded metal to drop in the bottom to keep small pieces of lump from falling through: . . .

    Very nice rig, Chris!

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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