Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Fire and Ice: The Rise of the Snow Weber

Over a steaming cup of tea, I glance out the window at the pit, watching spindrift swirl off the house in a fashion suitable maybe, for the weathered,  icy,  flanks of Everest. The mercury gauge read a sporty 5 degrees F, but the weather man said it felt more like minus 15, and I guess believed him. You kind of have to believe him I concluded, when it feels like your parking brake is engaged when you back down the driveway in the morning, only it isn’t  Yeah, it was cold out there alright. A vintage January day in Minnesota. The kind of day where you put on two or three shirts in the morning, and then you go about the business of getting dressed. I curled my toes in my warm socks, fingers cradling the hot, porcelain cup , and after a dash of consideration, I decided to do the only sensible thing I could think of – to go outside naturally, and ignite the Snow Weber!

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The Snow Weber, that’s what I’m calling it at least, is the tactile end result of our latest BBQ brain thrust. A frozen monument if you will, erected in a semi-stately homage, symbolic to all the keepers of the grill out there, who do not, and will not, save for a trip somewhere with a blue tag on their big toe,  take the winter off.  The faithful remnant possessing the macaroni to lay meat to flame whence the jaws of winter hath conspired against them. Carry the flame proudly brethren, for this is our story. A tale of fire and ice.
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Robert Frost postulates in his poem the virtues of world destruction either by the fire or by ice, figuring either, if we had to, would be pretty nice.  I wonder tho if he ever grilled in winter, or knew that the two forces could harmonize together for the betterment of his tummy. Because they can. And so it was, with pork chops in hand, I stepped out onto the wind-swept patio, and at once my left eye lid seared tight from the keen northern wind. I love it! Tenderly I placed the two chops on the hot grate, and admired them there for a spell.  The previous owners of which I’m sure knew each other back on their farm. Perhaps routinely getting together for morning slop, to discuss their lives, their hopes, and their dreams. Maybe they even aspired to make it on to this blog one day. Hmm. I shook off the thought, and dusted the chops with some Louisiana Fish Fry Cajun Seasoning instead.

After a while, and maybe even longer than that, I felt the compulsion to put the lid on, and go think about my life. Nothing quite so fine as repairing out in the yard with a 15 below cross-wind, whilst two pork chops sizzle on the snow grill. Glory! The art of winter grilling, if your wondering, is not to fight it. But to embrace it. To make the proverbial glass of lemon aid out of it. To meet it on it’s terms and not your own. That, and a degree of lunacy doesn’t hurt none either.

And supper is served, courtesy of, and inspired by:

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

-Robert Frost

140 responses

  1. Oh My Gravy All Over My Two Scoops Rice (OMG in my world), I LOVE it! I thought that I was the only lunatic to set a gril to flame in the dead of winter. Grant our winters here in the middle of the desert are not as bad as in the Mid-West, but, well you get the jist. Happy Grillin’, ALOHA!

    February 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    • Indeed, it is well to see other folks suffering from the same, in-curable condition. Well done! I wish you well on your grilling forays.

      February 2, 2013 at 6:44 pm

  2. Awesome post!

    February 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  3. I lived my teenage years in Reno, NV, at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains – you could see the ski slops from the front window (and with binoculars, you could see the little people skiing down the slopes, but I digress). One winter day, with the snow piled up about 4′, my mom was craving ribs. Dad told her if she shoveled the path to the BBQ, he’d make them for her. darned if she didn’t get out there and shovel. When you gotta have ribs, you gotta have ribs…

    February 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    • Cool grill story! Thanks for sharing that. You’re lucky to have lived in such a beautiful area, I would have loved it there I think.

      February 2, 2013 at 11:23 pm

  4. Legendary!

    February 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm

  5. Loved this post.

    February 3, 2013 at 3:13 am

  6. Wow, winter BBQ-ing… Insane. In a good way. Love the Robert Frost poem too. Thanks for liking my post on my best ever chicken salad! Keep grilling you guys!

    February 3, 2013 at 7:15 am

  7. Pingback: News from around the BBQ Blogsphere | The Arrogant Swine

  8. I love your BBQ snow sculpture – grill! Innovative and mighty fun. And thank you for stopping by my blog.

    February 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm

  9. So cool. I went snow camping in Mammoth once when I was much younger – we had to dig out the the picnic tables, fire pits, etc… just to have a place to cook/eat while we stayed over the long weekend. Good times.

    February 3, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    • Awesome, we love winter camping, and aspire often towards it. It’s a beauty all it’s own.

      February 5, 2013 at 5:36 am

  10. I love the concept. I hope you finished off with ice cream!

    February 3, 2013 at 11:28 pm

  11. Angie K Walker

    what a life you live. Excellent blog post & excellent pictures!

    February 5, 2013 at 2:30 am

    • Wow thanks! Winter is long up here,so best take it with a good attitude they say, less you go nutty. Hmm.

      February 5, 2013 at 5:33 am

  12. Hello, this is genius. I actually think you might be a genius. Thank you, Freshly Pressed judges in your lofty thrones, for bestowing the honor on this fine blog and those who will read it.

    February 7, 2013 at 10:46 am

  13. Reblogged this on ARZcreation.com.

    February 7, 2013 at 10:51 am

  14. What a nice ending! Love this!

    February 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

  15. Makes me so hungry for some BBQ! well done!!!

    February 7, 2013 at 11:21 am

  16. I wish I lived somewhere that snows just so I could build my own snow-barbecue. Nothing like contemplating the universe and life while roasting up some good BBQ.

    February 7, 2013 at 11:55 am

  17. I love this! I come from a BBQ eating nation…South Africa, where we ‘braai’ (grill) all year around. Of course, it rarely snows, but you will find the men ‘braaing’ in the rain and sunshine. A house without a BBQ, is a house without a soul in this country!
    Love some of the ideas in your blog!

    February 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    • That’s outstanding. I think I would fancy South Africa then, or at the very least the food there. Thanks for the comment. I enjoyed reading the latest post on your blog. Good stuff!

      February 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      • Thanks for the visit! We are indeed a steak loving nation and meat (and wine) are fairly inexpensive here… Have a good weekend!

        February 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm

  18. Congratulations on getting “Freshly Pressed”. Awesome.

    February 7, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    • Thanks TJ, good to see ya! Once in a while we get lucky I guess. Kinda like hooking a monster Crappie, it ain’t around for long!

      February 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm

  19. Love this beautiful and well written blog. We’re expecting 2 feet or more of snow, and my husband did the only sane thing, went out and bought more charcoal…so I will reblog to prove we found out people here

    February 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    • Thank you very much. Sounds like your husband and I would get along just fine 🙂

      February 8, 2013 at 8:49 am

  20. Pingback: Fire and Ice: The Rise of the Snow Weber | Brain4rent's Blog

  21. We did the whole cook a turkey outside in December this year. Wyoming. Cold as hell but the BBQ tasted all the more wonderful.

    February 7, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    • I know, the harder the toil, the sweeter the victory. Take care!

      February 8, 2013 at 8:48 am

  22. Nice grill story! haha From where I came from (where summer is sooo hot), would have loved to exchange one summer with you. :=) Congrats on the FP.

    February 8, 2013 at 4:28 am

  23. Loved how you included an excerpt of Robert Frost’s poem. Have always admired his symbolism. Keep it up!

    February 8, 2013 at 5:40 am

    • Thank you kindly. Yeah, quoting Robert Frost is usually a good idea. He’s amazing.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:44 am

      • Indeed. Looking forward to your future posts.

        February 13, 2013 at 7:27 am

  24. Pingback: Blue Tag on Their Big Toe :: Follow the Commas « English is my Thinglish ::

  25. Pretty eye-catching meal event –snow BBQ. It’ll probably work well in our area, very cold -25 degrees C or lower, enough snow and we’re in ranchland Canada: Alberta has the best beef because we’re Canada’s beef producer.

    Maybe you’ll end up doing a pizza –wouldn’t take much effort and very high heat.

    February 8, 2013 at 6:06 am

    • Ah pizza, good idea! That would be some extreme snow grilling, probably melt half the snow grill away. Unless I insulated it some how. Hmm.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      February 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm

  26. Awesome post! Being Argentine and growing up in the Northeast we were the only crazy family to grill in the winter. Glad to see we are not alone!

    February 8, 2013 at 6:40 am

    • Thank you much, it’s always nice to see other people share equal levels of lunacy. That helps.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:39 am

  27. That is awesome!

    February 8, 2013 at 8:11 am

  28. OyiaBrown

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm

  29. strawberryquicksand

    So you really, truly, went and cooked your pork chops on a SNOW bbq? I’m impressed! You failed to mention whether it melted any or not. When I lived in Germany, the people I lived with were so proud of their bbq and would “Grillen machen” all through the winter months, huddled over the meagre flame with their outdoor radiant heaters glowing a bright orange.

    Here in Australia, however, we treat bbqing as more of a summer sport….

    February 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    • Really truly. It happened. And yes, there was some melting going on, but not enough to stop the cook! If one were to do a very long cook, he would do well probably to insulate the cooking area a little perhaps. But not something you need to worry about in Australia I guess!

      February 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      • strawberryquicksand

        Well, I do live in the Snowy Mountains, but even then I doubt there would be many days on which I could rustle up a snowgrill! 😀

        February 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm

  30. I am sending this post to my husband … he seems to think we need a Weber – cause with the snow and wind here lately he can’t keep the damn gas light burning on the gas grill … maybe the Snow Weber would be the way to go here?? He might be right after all …

    February 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    • Any Weber charcoal grill is the way to go. They make a solid product, in the USA no less. We should support them. Give your husband the green light to go buy one, and then send him to our blog for some ideas on what to grill! Thanks for the comment, btw.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm

  31. Yeah, live in Australia too, love the BBQ, lived in England 20 years and got to it early in spring before the snow melted, and carried on well into the winter much to the neighbours amazement. Understand where you are coming from Bro. Tony

    February 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    • Thanks. BBQ is a way of life almost. For better or for worse. Thanks for reading!

      February 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm

  32. This is great! Congrats on FP! I’m all about a BBQ… rain, snow fire, ice or shine!

    February 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm

  33. Leo

    Great blog, excellent subject. Brings back memories of being in the UK, my neighbours couldn`t understand cooking in the snow.

    February 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    • Yeah, snow grilling…Either you get it or you don’t. Most people don’t I suspect. Too bad. Thanks for the comment. Take care.

      February 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm

  34. This post makes winter look awesome!

    February 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm

  35. mdprincing

    Love this, I some how feel we are brothers from another mother or something. Living in Mid Michigan I understand the winter chill with snow in the air. I am a year round grilling fanantic (fool?) and wouldn’t even think twice about going out in the elements if a beautiful piece of meat needed to be caressed by flames. I keep a shovel at the back door so I can shovel my way to the grill in case of a storm. The snow is a nice back drop for grilling and I have to admit, makes a nice beer holder when you have to set it down to do some grill work

    February 9, 2013 at 9:20 am

    • Awesome reply man! Kindred smoking spirits we are for sure. Yup, you know your looking at a true winter grilling geek when you see a shovel sitting there. Thanks for the comment. Loved it!

      February 9, 2013 at 9:23 am

  36. A true ‘TROOPER’ Looks delicious!

    February 9, 2013 at 9:39 am

  37. This was a great post I really enjoyed it
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    February 9, 2013 at 10:27 am

  38. Mike Knoche

    That is bitchin’.

    February 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm

  39. Somehow this reminded me of the recent evil snowman episode of Dr. Who…

    February 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm

  40. Awesome.. Great post..

    February 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm

  41. I think you have more than a small degree of lunacy. Having said that, the meal looks delicious, even if it is being consumed in frigid weather.

    February 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm

  42. This is fantastic!

    February 10, 2013 at 4:39 am

  43. Makere Stewart-Harawira

    Reblogged this on Makere's Blog and commented:
    Barbequing in the snow? Its a Canadian thing for sure.

    February 10, 2013 at 8:37 am

  44. Good stuff!

    February 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm

  45. Wow. That’s all I can say.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm

  46. Pingback: Fire and Ice: The Rise of the Snow Weber – Grilling Montana

  47. A snow pit! How awesome is that?!? The poetic lilt brings a tear to my eye. I have a question for you guys. I shared in my latest post that we have copius amounts of wild pork in our freezer this year. I wanted to do something with the ribs but didn’t have time to get the grill going. I slow roasted the ribs in the oven for quite a while, liberally seasoned and then slathered with my new favorite bbq sauce out of New Braunfels, TX. The meat fell off the bone and I got thumbs-up all around. Because it was wild pork, though, it stayed pretty fatty through the cooking process. Will the pit drip out the extra fat and how long would it take if the ribs are already cooked? I’m just thinkin’ that the oven/pit method might be a wimpy yet tasty alternative to NO RIBS! Your thoughts?

    February 11, 2013 at 8:32 am

    • Ah yes, a lovely problem having vast quantities of wild game in your freezer. Well ribs, especially pork ribs have allot of fat, and that’s just how it is. You can’t get away from that. Nor would you want to really, because that fat is what keeps them moist. Pit smoking them tho, allot of the extra fat does drip away as it renders, and the ribs don’t wallow in it like they would in a pan in the oven. But ribs are so fatty anyways, it’s still going to seem like the fat is there, tho it should be less so than the oven method. I think you would love doing them on the grill, to get some real smokey flavor infused into them. That would bring them to the next level for sure. And sure you can re-heat the left over oven ribs on the grill, over in-direct heat, gently, probably take 30 -45 minutes, just until hot. And you can throw on some smoke wood then too, and try to get some smokey goodness going on, tho it probably won’t do a whole lot. Since the ribs are already cooked, you can forget about achieving the hallowed smoke ring, tho you should be able to absorb some smoke into the sauce and outer surface.

      Next time you should try it out on the grill, and give the ribs all the time they need there to reach their glorious ideal. Assuming you can get your grill down to 250 degrees, we have a how-to write-up somewhere on this site that will step you through it. I’ll find it, and paste it here for you.

      Here it is: https://patronsofthepit.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/bbq-pork-ribs/

      Good luck!

      February 11, 2013 at 8:53 am

  48. As a fan of grilling, your site has my attention. Snow grilling, however, has me very interested! Thank you for the like. Can’t wait to return.

    -Griz

    February 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    • Thanks for stopping by Grizz! Your blog is rather awesome, and we will be poking around there soon.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

  49. That’s pretty cool; you wouldn’t think it would stay lit with wind like that!

    February 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    • Well, the coals were down behind a snow-packed wind break, so they did OK. The meat however was up and exposed in the freezing cross wind, but that was easily thwarted too by putting the lid on. But then it heated up too much, and the lid began slowly sinking into the snow grill. Whups. Some modifications are required before the next cook on it, but that’s all part of the fun.

      February 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm

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