Category: Cool Stuff

GI BBQ Delivery #2

GI BBQ Delivery #2

GI BBQ Delivery #2

We delivered our second load of bbq supplies to the 3-238 in Grand Ledge, Michigan.  The Michigan Army National Guard’s NCO organization responsible for entertaining the troops is the new owner of this beautiful ABS (American BBQ System) Judge competition smoker.

The troops are thrilled and so are we.  Thank you to all of our listeners and supporters that helped make this happen.

Grilla Silverback Review

Grilla Silverback Review

Grilla Silverback Pellet Smoker/Grill

The craze continues so manufacturers keep improving the pellet smoker/grill category and Grilla is no exception.  I cooked on the original Grilla about seven years ago at their factory in Holland, Michigan and very much enjoyed the uniqueness and durability.

The Silverback is a newer entry for Grilla and is built along the lines of several top manufacturers in the barrel-bodied style to resemble the old traditional home-built smokers of long ago.  In this review I will set out to try to break down the pros and cons of this product as best I can.  As a mea culpa, I must admit that the acting manager of Grilla, Mark Graham is an old friend from my former life as a grill and smoker manufacturers rep.

To be fair, I have started to get down on the whole pellet grill thing as a true bbq snob should… so I thought.  After testing this unit for a month and a half, I have fallen in love with pellets all over again and who doesn’t want to be in love?  My biggest take-away is that if this style of smoking gets more folks into bbq, why knock it.  As it turns out, the product I made on the Silverback was nothing short of total tastiness and I might be hard pressed to say it wasn’t done on charcoal.  This doesn’t mean that I am not still a snob, I am.

The Packaging and Assembly

This thing comes packaged in a very scientific configuration which would appear to alleviate most chances of shipping damage which is good as Grilla pretty much LTL’s all of the product.  I did find all of the parts in perfect shape with no damage.

I must say that the assembly instructions were very easy to follow and unintimidating.  The only thing that I might add is to wear light gloves as the stainless lid is very well wrapped, but I did get metal slivers.  The entire assembly took just under one hour and it was a process that anybody can complete.

I should add the aid of a Schmohz Bonecrusher Stout.  I highly recommend you follow ALL of my steps.

Next I filled the hopper, plugged it into my trusty extension cord and powered it up.  Hit the start button and then let it burn for an hour to cure the paint and burn off any residual oils from manufacturing.  Time for another beer and for this, I elected to go with an M43 by Old Nation Brewing Co. and actually even finished the cook with the coveted ME-MI.

The First Cook

For my first cook, I did a Tri-Tip from Sobie Meats and I have to say it came out perfectly.  I set the temperature at 250 and let it go for a a half hour.  I then threw in a few beets (Jop’s head is now exploding)  and continued the smoking session for another half hour.  Then I placed a pan of asparagus coated with garlic evoo from Old World Olive Co. and some secret spices.  I left this all in for another twenty minutes and checked the temp on the meat which was at a perfect 132 so I pulled it all.

The Second Cook

The next cook just had to be ribs even though I rarely eat them anymore.  Back to Sobies to pick up some nice babybacks.  After my typical prep, I fired up the Silverback and put several styles of seasoned babybacks in.  The green bag is a Chimichurri style.

I would add that the unit is top-heavy because of the thick stainless lid.  I would highly recommend storing a few bags of pellets in the cabinet to add ballast.  Mine now has a dented front as it tipped over while pulling it out of the garage.

After about three hours the ribs were ready to sauce.

Now they are done so lets pull.

I have to say that the smoke ring was perfect, the ribs were moist, and most importantly, the temperature control was flawless.  I did not use the meat probe yet as I simply don’t ever feel the need (snob).  It did seem to use less fuel than my last pellet smoker which also worked well and resides in Jop’s garage now (along-side several other grills that use to populate my deck).

Don’t you just want to chomp on this?

With the success that I have had falling back in love with pellets, I can’t wait to do a brisket which is still my all-time favorite protein to smoke.  This thing might have to stay at my house because it fills a gap in my repertoire plus makes it easy to do a pop-up que.  Anyway, honestly, the thing is better than I thought and now I’m gonna have to eat crow.  Hey, I wonder how that would smoke?

I guess that is the major take-away from my time with Grilla’s Silverback.  Let’s recap:


  • Great Packaging
  • Easy assembly
  • Temerature control – simple and accurate
  • Pellet consumption – light to normal
  • Smoke control – very nice with a simple selection of temperature to control the level of smoke vs heat.
  • Overall product friendliness – very easy to use (smoking for dummies could apply)
  • Overal product quality and construction – seems pretty rugged and well engineered.


  • Top heavy – store something in the base and you are good
  • Metal Shavings upon assembly – gloves is an easy fix

I hope this helps in your quest for a pellet smoker and I will put The Grillin’s Guys stamp of approval on the Silverback.


Solo Stove Review

Solo Stove Review

One of the great things that I get to do is review new products.  After reading so many reviews from other sites and contributors, it is refreshing to get the opportunity to review products that are in my wheelhouse.

The Solo Stove popped up on Facebook a few years back during what I think was a “Go Fund Me” campaign and the minute I watched the first video, I knew this was going to be the answer to an age old problem.  In fact, I can see cavemen sitting around a fire trying to come up with a way to say “Rabbit Rabbit.”  That’s right, smoke in your face from simply trying to enjoy the warmth of an outdoor fire has been a nuisance to mankind forever.

After working in the Hearth, Patio, and BBQ field for so long and being involved in the wood stove business, you begin to learn a few things about combustion.  One of the prial facts of combustion is the 90+ % need for oxygen to have a complete combustion.  The smoke coming off of a campfire is not simply a necessary result, it is the result of incomplete combustion.  Modern wood stoves have a “re-burn” system of one sort or the other and are basically tubes that flow air into the smoke at the top of combustion where the temperatures are over 700 degrees.  At these temps and higher, smoke will reignite if infused with oxygen.

The Solo Stove takes this principle and applies it to an open burn.  This has never been accomplished before in my experience.  This…… is the beauty of this device.

Living in west Michigan, we get plenty of cool weather and our nights can be cool in the dead of summer so campfires or bonfires are very common.  Running from the smoke is very common as well and the burn that comes from this, I will say miracle, device is heavenly.  There, you get some gospel.

The stainless build makes the Solo Stove Bonfire  a safe, efficient, eco-friendly, long-term investment.  At a mere $349 dollars, this will far outlast any of the cheap patio fire pits that you see in the big box stores.

The most magically wonderful event that actually occurs, aside from no smoke tears, is the burn.  When a fire achieves “secondary burn” or “secondary combustion” it actually takes on a completely different aura from a basic flame.  This effect has always reminded me of an old Jimmie Hendrix video replicating and acid trip.  The flames are ghostly and labor in slow motion.  As if fire was not mesmerising enough, this “Jimmie Hendrix” flame screams of Purple Haze.

The one suggestion I would make is this, the Bonfire model is not so much a  portable unit like the other small ones.  That’s not to say nobody would haul it, but it is a serious patio unit and I would leave it on my back deck on on the dock for keeps.  I would value a cover for it over the travel bag so that I could 1) snuff it out at night, 2) keep the rain or snow out.

All in, I flat out love this thing and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait for the next bigger model and urge the smart folks at Solo Stove to start the wheels turning on the next bigger model.


All the Best

BBQ Bob,
“The Grillin’ Guys Radio Show”

Chris Lilly from Big Bob Gibson's

Chris Lilly from Big Bob Gibson’s

Show Clips from 3.18.17

Show Clips from 3.18.17

Vote for Joppie

Vote for Joppie


Although Randy’s Maple Tenderloin is a great choice, this round of voting has closed.  Randy did not advance.

Meat Madness in On. The competition is fierce and the recipes are amazing. Vote for our own Joppie to advance round after round. The last meat standing will be crowned Traeger BBQ Champion.   Click here to be directed to the Brackets Then select Randy’s photo in the East bracket.


Ted Nugent Comes on The Grillin' Guys Show

Ted Nugent Comes on The Grillin’ Guys Show



Here are some out-takes from our time with Uncle Ted.


May 14,2016 is the final push.  Here is what you could win.

May 14,2016 is the final push. Here is what you could win.

Chase Creek Smokehouse is the final stage to send off our 9 month effort to send bbq to our loyal soldiers, airmen, marines, and navy/coast guard seamen.

One May 14th we are all headed to Chase, MI for the Blessing of the Bikes weekend fund raiser to get our last push to win. Here are some of the items you could win while eating great food with us:

On display now at Henry dealer Al & Bob’s Sports on S. Division in Grand Rapids, MI.
.30/30 & a Brass with Octagon Barrel
Action Type Lever Action
Caliber .30-30
Capacity 5 rounds
Length 39″
Barrel Length 20″
Weight 7 lbs.
Stock Deluxe checkered American walnut with rubber buttpad
Sights Fully adjustable semi-buckhorn rear with brass beaded front
Features Swivel Studs
Model Number H009B
Weight 8.3 lbs.
Stock Straight-grip American Walnut with buttplate
M.S.R.P. $950.00

.45-70 Lever Action Octagon
Model Number H010B
Action Type Lever Action Repeater
Caliber .45-70
Capacity 4 rounds, Brass drilled and tapped for a Weaver 63B mount
Length 40.4″
Barrel Length 22″ Octagonal, 1:20″ Rate of Twist
Weight 8.10 lbs.
Stock Straight-grip American Walnut with brass buttplate
Sights Fully adjustable semi-buckhorn rear, and brass beaded front sight
Receiver Brass drilled and tapped for a Weaver 63B mount
M.S.R.P. $950.00



From Gerrit’s Appliance
The Timber Ridge Backyard Host

Rather than take up more precious counter space, the Timber Ridge Backyard Deep Fryer ($700) can provide you with golden brown deliciousness anytime you want on a massive scale, as long as you don’t mind cooking outside. Thanks to push-button electric ignition, it’s dead simple to use and there’s no need to have fire on hand. The company’s signature Clean Flow oil-filtration system also lets you reuse its restaurant grade 9 gallon cooking oil reservoir up to 50 times over, while a precision temp controls ensure your food fries perfectly.



Cycle Gear from Village Motorsports

The good folks at Village Motorsports are sending up a bunch of cool cycle gear to help out. General manager Brad Schroeder wants everyone involved to understand their commitment to our troops. Wait until you see this.



Bonefish Grill of Grand Rapids

Managing partner and chef, Mike Thorpe is sending up gift cards, golf shirts, golfers accesories, and dinner packages totaling over $1,200.00 to help in this last drive. Bonefish Grill loves grillin’ and our troops.



Stormy Kromer has donated a bunch of their classic hats with the GI BBQ logo. These fine Michigan Made hats will also be raffled off so this is your last chance to get one. Total value of this donation is near $4,000.00. Wow, you gotta love Stormy. We sure do.



Arcadia Ales is donating some very cool Beer Gear to the effort. Arcadia is originally from Battle Creek and now has a giant brewing production facility in Kalamazoo. If you have not tried a Whitsun, you’re missin’ out buddy.



There are going to be more folks adding things to auction. The point is, this is going to be a day to honor the men and women who selflessly dedicate themselves to protecting us all. Can you just give up a Saturday? We promise it to be fun and you may just be a winner.

Chase Creek is also donating a buck ($1) from every beer sold to the kitty. We can’t wait.

Let’s not forget the other major donors:

Original Juan, Kansas City, MO. $15,000 worth of American Stockyard BBQ sauce.

Fat Daddy BBQ Spice from Boise, Idaho

Parker Pure Mountain Charcoal. Four skids of America’s finest lump charcoal from Tennessee.

Perferated Tube, Dave Doezema, for providing warehousing for all this product. Ada, MI.

ABS, American BBQ Systems, Kansas City, MO for donating a portion of the cost for 3 Judge Smokers valued at over $18,000 and costing us lest than $13,000.

The Meritage Group of restaurants from Grand Rapis, MI donated $3,300.00 in cash. These folks run all the Wendy’s in west Michigan and own The Twisted Rooster, Freighters, and The Crooked Goose.

As well as Air Force Moms in Kansas City who collected a very large box of candy.

There are more and if we left you out, please forgive us. This task has been a bit overwhelming to bring together with just a few volunteers.

May 14th is the day we all celebrate.

May 14th is the day we all celebrate.

public invite blessing

This is our final push to get the last $8,000 or hopefully more.

Please come up and have a great day with us. We will have thousands of folks expected to attend and you will not regret it.

Operation G.I. BBQ, The final push !

Operation G.I. BBQ, The final push !

Check out our last effort to get over the top and if you can help, God bless you.

media kit blessing