Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Shades of Warmth: The Art of Grilling When Your Nose Falls Off

IMG_0057The cold is an interesting beast. On one hand we need it, to keep our foods from spoiling too fast. On the other hand, we run from it when ever it sinks its icy fingers into our own meat. Some people hate the cold so much that they leave the north altogether, and live in the south. My brother’s neighbor once lamented that he was done with winter in Minnesota, and that he was going to load up his snow blower into the back of his pick up truck, and drive south until some one asked him what it was. It was there, he figured, would be a good place to live.


It’s 6 Below Outside.. So What!

To my brethren of the brisket of whom’s pit dampers puff ever stalwart in this arctic blast, we salute thee. Our warmer days will come. They always do. But in the mean time we thus must embrace the wintry folds that which are upon us now. A pit jockey well seasoned takes no issue with inclement of weather. For good BBQ will always find a way. Besides, if we waited for the perfect weather to BBQ in, well, we Minnesota folk would only grill maybe twice a year! I was lucky this cook tho, for it was only a meager and sultry, 6 below. And mercifully the north winds were blocked by our humble abode. That helps one’s situation ten-fold right there. So grab yourself a hot cocoa or something, and get comfy and we’ll tell you all about it, and how it went and came to be, patron to the pit.


Firstly, I must digress for a bit. For it has been a couple of moons at least, since we’ve last posted here. As many of our readership know, we done birthed a little patron last summer, and she is by far the sweetest thing our eye’s hath ever seen. Oh we were warned by other parental types how little babies, can, with a flick of heart beat, melt your soul into a rather nice pile of unintelligible goo, and I guess I am here to report that these people were right. You all were right.  I’ve been a big pile of goo for the last 6 months, I’d say, in awe at the preciousness of a baby. Every time I hold her hand, I get weak in the knees, and mine heart fills with a gladness I’ve never known before. And for a while at least, and maybe even longer than that, it’s not so cold outside after all. For my heart burbles over with warmth of a different sort. The kind forged in unconditional love. And that is maybe the greatest warmth you can ever feel.

Stranger Things Below Zero


Life below zero is always interesting. Take for example my steaming patties. This is just something you don’t see at your classic summer BBQ. Raw meat spilling it’s vapors like curling plumes of hickory smoke. I’m not sure what principles of physics and science were at play here, but I thought it amusing if only for a while.


Once you have a lovely bed of coals glowing in the bosom of your grill, it’s pretty much business as usual, no matter how cold it is. A good kettle grill can keep up just fine. And so it was with a modicum of effort, I worked the burgers with my big steel spatula, enjoying the warmth of the fire, the sound of sizzling beef, and my eyes drawn to thin slits from the bright sun resplendent over crusty snow. Ah yes!


There is a joy to be had patron to the pit in the wintry months. Maybe it’s because the mass populous thinks it’s miserable, or just not worth it effort in the cold, that makes doing so all the more sweeter. I don’t know. I would offer you this thought, tho, – that it’s maybe not the ordeal you think it to be. For to bandy close to the coals when the mercury drops, is the coziest of affairs. The gift of heat always at hand. The thrill of contrast. And there is a certain but articulate satisfaction gleamed as well, enjoying grilled meat in the dead of winter. I cannot deny that. And neither would you!


Anyways, it’s good to log some time at the pit again. Good to scribe another entry for the POTP archives. We do hope you all have been well, and are enjoying your winter and new year to come. We’re slowly getting back in the groove again, here. Finding our footing in the new and intoxicating world of babies. We are blessed and highly favored at the pit these days, I don’t mind telling you. So I’m going to take this plate of burgers now and go enjoy some of the good life. Time spent in food and fellowship. And yeah, I got me a soft, little hand to hold afterwards, accompanied with a string of unending smiles, and enough BTU’s to warm mine heart for the next thousand years at least. Amen.

*BTU Baby Thermal units

14 responses

  1. Yes we plan on doing some grilling this weekend…any ideas where to find a great recipes for a nice juicy turkey breast, smoked or grilled?

    January 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

  2. Golden nuggets of words don’t need to come often, just so long as they come. I myself have been lacking in post. Sometimes life happens. Smoke on brother.

    January 19, 2018 at 11:02 am

    • Thanks Mr Dodd. Always a pleasure to hear from you. You always seem to articulate the right things! Hope you and your family are doing well, and many good cook outs to come this year.

      Smoke on!

      January 19, 2018 at 11:32 am

  3. Craig

    -6? We call that a January heat wave in Bemidji, MN. I grill/smoke year round with a Memphis Pro, it’s double-walled stainless steel construction maintains consistent heat even when it’s 30 degrees below zero.

    January 19, 2018 at 11:14 am

    • Ha! Indeed. Good to hear from a Bemidji Bloke! . I envy your place in the world. Always enjoy my trips afield up that way. Grill on brother!

      January 19, 2018 at 11:28 am

  4. I thought of you the other night while grilling up two Cowboy Steaks down here in Ecuador. It was about 29 degrees outside (Celcius that is) and I wondered about how it must be up there in my old homeland area. I even shivered a bit in sympathy…

    Anyway, tis good to hear from you, my friend and to know that life as a new daddy goes on well for you. God is good and His warmth glows even warmer than charcoal while holding one of his little lambs. Happy New Year!

    January 19, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    • Well put, John in Ecuador. Well put. Thank you!

      Well, I just checked, and 29 Celsius is really 84.2 degrees. Boy, you sure got it rough down their old boy! A single tear rolls down my cheek! I bet your neighbors don’t have a snowblower…

      Happy New year back at you, to you and Mary. I look forwards as always to your next installment of life in Ecuador.

      January 19, 2018 at 3:06 pm

  5. It seems that many of us have been away from our computers, enjoying life and not blogging 😉 Glad to see ya POTP, and huge that cutie for Auntie, willya? 🐱

    January 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    • Will do Auntiedoni! Yeah, nothing wrong with enjoying life sans computers!

      Happy New year! And aloha!

      January 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm

  6. BTUs – I like that. Welcome back, my absent friend. I’m glad you are enjoying the wee one and still firing up the grill this winter. I will be rooting for the Vikings tomorrow in your honor. Cheers!

    January 20, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    • Thanks Todd! I guess you didn’t root hard enough, cause the Vikes did what they always do in the playoffs – lose. Is OK tho, we’re used to it. It’s just that some how I thought this year would be different. When will we ever learn. Anyhow, yup, sure have been enjoying the pooper quite a bit. I’m getting pretty adept at the diaper changing thing too, something akin to an Indy pit crew. Well maybe not that fast.

      Happy New year Todd!

      January 23, 2018 at 10:27 am

  7. That little girl is literally wrapped around your finger. She’s one lucky little girl to grow up eating from POTP (as soon as more chompers come in though). You must have a way of entering the house without the temperature dropping ten degrees. It’s been cold on the mountain and David just couldn’t justify fanning the cold door. burr!

    January 23, 2018 at 7:22 am

    • Thanks Debbie! Yeah, she’s got me by the finger alright. An interesting experience, falling in love with a wee one. Anyways, yeah my technique for entering the house is as follows: go FAST! It’s all worth it tho. Something about fire and ice just go together.

      Take care, and hey to David!

      January 23, 2018 at 10:24 am

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