Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

An Ode To Weber: Memphis Kettle Ribs

Just beyond the stately Spruce, the prickly bows of which conceal the flirtatious exploits IMG_02981of the Black Capped Chickadees,  and across a modest lawn sodden with snow melt, at a quiet patio tucked up to the back of a house, you will find a serene column of wood smoke curling from my old kettle grill. And there patron, you will find me also. It’s the weekend, and I haven’t a thing in the world I need to do, or would rather do, than this – to toke a small blaze amid a bandy of coals in the steely bosom of the old steed it’s self – the Weber Kettle Grill. We’ve traveled long and far, this grill and I, through the unknown passages of time. Through every season. And every inclement of weather. And this old kettle grill has been stalwart every step of the way. Faithfully waiting out on the patio for me, straddling it’s little ash pan, I swear I can see it’s top damper quivering like a puppy’s soft tail, every time I round the bend.

Yes, when you grill as often as this, I guess you might say a bond is forged between man IMG_0453and the entity of porcelain-enamel-coated steel. And it’s measure is one to last the ages. A good kettle grill will do that for you. And for the money, Weber probably makes the best there is. I guess I got to thinking about the old grill today, when my fellow patron rang me up and announced he had finally purchased a brand new 22.5 inch Weber kettle grill. I could hear his lips smile. He’s always ran other pits, you see, and has done very well that way his whole grilling career. And we ain’t saying you can’t. But finally, after many years, he has joined the Weber masses. I do not know what has took him so long. I guess every pit jockey at one time or another in his or her life, is destined for a Weber kettle. It’s sort of a right of passage. Many of today’s greatest pit masters cut their teeth on these old standbys. Some folks are so content with Weber kettle grills, like me, that they rarely venture anywhere else. Anyways,  I do hope he finds as much joy and excitement and satisfaction cooking with his new grill, as I have found using this old, beat up, patio work horse. If you’re faithful to just clean the ashes out from time to time, it will never let you down. And there are very few things you can’t cook with it, if properly inspired.


Today, for example, the kettle fare is a delicious rack of pork ribs. These grills are not just for hot dogs and hamburgers people. Nay, they are for what moves you. For what tickles your culinary aspiration. There is a reason the Weber Kettle is the in the back yard of so many people that you know. They work. Banking the coals to the far side of the kettle, and tossing on a few chunks of smoke wood, you create an indirect smoking environment. You could get fancier, but for this essay, we’ll just leave it at that. For ribs, you want to build your fire a little smaller than you normally would, to help keep the temperatures down to 225 or so. If you’re having trouble getting that low, try a water pan underneath your ribs, which will act as a heat sink. Also draw the vents on the bottom of the grill to thin slits, and maybe the top vent too. The less air you have moving through your kettle grill, the lower the temps. It’s as simple as that.

I suppose I ought to let you know what we used for seasoning this time. Well, the day A2015-Maynardsprior, 24 hours before these ribs hit the pit, we coated them thoroughly with Miners Mix Maynards Memphis BBQ Rub, wowwy,  wrapped them up, and left it alone in the refrigerator for a day or so to,  as they say,  “get happy”. I know we’ve been yapping a lot about these guys lately, but I’m sorry, when you happen upon the best of something, you just can’t help yourself but to tell people about it. These guys and kettle grills are a match made in BBQ heaven. And this was the only thing we seasoned the ribs with. Didn’t even sauce it, as I didn’t much want to spoil the flavor. *You can detect cocoa in the after taste. Yum!

We usually foil our ribs at about hour 3, but this time around, I don’t know,  I may have been feeling lazy, and just “let em go nekkid“. But with routine spritzing with some fruit juice, they turned out fine enough for this old pit boy’s standards. The wife approved too.


Hickory Pecan Smoked Memphis Kettle Ribs hot off the Weber. Patron to the Pit.  Man oh man! This is living, people! Belch!


15 responses

  1. Beautiful. Just beautiful. I know your Weber is gonna be happy with that 👌

    March 2, 2016 at 3:18 pm

  2. I think I’ll have ribs like this during summer!! The weather is so terrible right now!

    March 2, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    • Sounds like a good idea, Miss Dinie. Can’t beat a low and slow cook on a beautiful summer day. You got this!

      Great to hear from you!

      March 2, 2016 at 4:04 pm

  3. I spy some really fine “seasoning” on that grilling grate those ribs lay on. I’m sure David would devour these ribs. Glad you were able to catch a break in the weather to get out and grill.

    March 2, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    • Yup, capitalized on a nice weekend, just like you guys did. Feels great to tarry on the patio again with no jacket, I’ll tell you that. And yeah, those ribs sure didn’t last long. 4 hours to cook, 5 minutes to eat. Ain’t that how it goes.

      March 2, 2016 at 5:53 pm

  4. Oh Ya hungry now! The screen porch will be a bit smokey this weekend! However, the visiting grand kids (two very little men not quite ready for the Memphis BBQ ball park frank rub) will still insist on plain dogs thrown in there someplace. Saving the ribs for next weekend…sigh

    March 2, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    • Yup, gotta quench the little dudes. Someday they’ll appreciate the better meats. Looks like it’s gonna warm up again this weekend too, and I shall be pit side as well.

      Good to see you, Gary.


      March 2, 2016 at 5:45 pm

  5. Another great ode. I don’t remember if I’ve blogged poetic about my kettle grill. I think you would find it interesting. My kettle is a Kenmore brand. It looks like a Weber 22.5, but it has a unique feature: the fire basket can be raised or lowered several inches. It’s truly a wonderful machine. I inherited it from my dad. It’s probably 30 years old and still going strong.

    March 2, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    • Now there is the bond between man and grill I was talking about. That’s very cool. You don’t wanna get rid of that one I bet. The memories forged over that old kettle hath spanned the Baker generations. Kenmore must have built a good product back in the day. 30 years and still cookin is really good. Wow. Yeah, I’d love to read your take on it if you blogged about it. If not, there’s your next blog idea!

      Thanks Todd

      March 2, 2016 at 9:29 pm

  6. LoL, we run our Webers more than our oven. I’m impressed that you still have your lid handle and your ash pans. Our ash pans blew away in a storm years ago and the handles gave up the ghost about 3 years ago. With that said still hands down Webers are still the best grill known to man. Where else can you get YEARS of mental therapy for around $100?

    March 3, 2016 at 6:18 am

    • A true Weber Head you are, Mr Dodd! And like wise on the oven observation. I’d wager our Weber to oven usage ratio is about 10:1. Which translates in to one big gigantic pile of charcoal residing in the garage. Every spring one of our resident big box stores does a two bags for 10 dollar deal. It is then we stock up, and stack em high, as it were.

      I do not know how he handle and ash pan are still in place, tho. I expect any day to be joining your club there.

      March 3, 2016 at 9:51 am

  7. What a fine rack you have there (as the bishop said to the actress).

    March 3, 2016 at 2:59 pm

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