Category: Smokers

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.


Grillin Tip:   Choosing a Smoker

Grillin Tip: Choosing a Smoker

What wood do I smoke with?

What wood do I smoke with?


Operation G I BBQ

Operation G I BBQ

How would you like to be part of the coolest BBQ event in the world?  We want to bring BBQ to our troops and need your help.  We are trying to raise $28,000 to buy a Texas Gator Pit Smoker, a pallet of sauce, a pallet of bbq spices, several skids of great lump charcoal, and a full pallet of good old American Beef Brisket.

Operation G I BBQ is sanctioned by Operation Injured Soldier, a 501-3C that is involved with helping wounded soldiers returning home.  These good folks are parting with The Grillin’ Guys radio show to raise money to make sure some tired, lonely, and under duress troops of ours have a nice BBQ Christmas present.

Please  help us raise awareness by sharing this with friends.  Let’s overwhelm our troops with Peace, Love, and BBQ.

Here is where you can donate:


MOPAR Muscle Care Event - 2014

MOPAR Muscle Care Event – 2014

IMG_1172The guys are smoking live at the Mopar Muscle Car Classic at K&M Dodge on Plainfield Avenue in Grand Rapids.


What a bunch of butts!

Cajun Grills by Percy Guidry of Louisianna

Cajun Grills by Percy Guidry of Louisianna


Click here to go to Percy Guidry


Founded by Percy Guidry in 1945 as a small blacksmith’s shop, Percy Guidry Manufacturing has
played an integral part in the growth of the area known as Cajun Country. From horseshoes and
small iron tools for farmers, to metal structures for the Oil & Gas industry and on to today’s
magnificent ornamental ironwork seen in the finest homes and offices, the Percy Guidry name is
synonymous with the best in the industry. Percy believed in good service to his customers and in
his community. That commitment lives on today in his son’s and grandchildren’s dedication to
quality craftsmanship. Still family-owned and operated, with six generations of metal working
tradition behind it, the Percy Guidry name is a name you can trust!


Cajun Country is defined as an eight parish area first populated in the early 1600s by French-
speaking refugees of “le grand derangement” (or French Diaspora) of French farmers from the
Acadie province of Nova Scotia, Canada, by the then ruling British army. During this terrible time in
colonial history, whole families were driven from their homes and hurried onto boats bound for
unknown lands. Many families were separated in the expulsion and would later search desperately
for each other in their new homeland. Longfellow’s poem, “Evangeline”, documented the tragedy of
young Emmaline LeBiche who waited for her betrothed by the banks of the Bayou Teche in what is
now St. Martinville, Louisiana.
Drawn to French Louisiana by the common language, the Acadian people, or Cajuns, had finally found a home in the marshes and fertile plains of south-central
Louisiana where their descendants have flourished ever since.

The Guidry name is found among those who first arrived in this influx of early settlers. Their descendants have remained a vital part of the community and serve as
ambassadors of Cajun culture around the world.

How to video for building a bbq pit.

How to video for building a bbq pit.







Check out the YouTube Smoker Video

Check out the YouTube Smoker Video

Check out the Ace of Hearts, Chris Marks smoker video on YouTube.

Hot Smoked Salmon

Hot Smoked Salmon

 Big thanks to our friend, Rob Russell, Ace of Hearts, Barbecue Specialties LLC.  Their slogan is “Where delicious BBQ meets dependable outdoor cooking”.  This recipe is from his close friend Danny Skiff from Dallas, Texas.  Rob said, “I have not tried it yet, but he swears by it, can’t wait!!!”


  • 2-4lbs. Pacific Salmon Fillets, skinless


  • 1 quart Water
  • ¼ cup Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Celery, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, smashed
  • 2 stalks Lemon Grass, cut in 2″ lengths and smashed with back of knife


Cover Salmon with Brine, in glass or plastic container and refrigerate for 24 hrs.  Remove Salmon from Brine and rinse with cool water and pat dry.

Place fish on wire rack in cool (below 65 degrees) area; place a fan blowing across fillets and dry for 2-3 hours. This will form pellicle on outside of fillets.

Smoke with any fruit wood at 180 to 200 degrees for 3-5 hours, depending on thickness of fillets, until an internal temperature of 140 to 160 degrees is reached.


Ace of Hearts The "Chuckwagon ™"

Ace of Hearts The “Chuckwagon ™”


The “Chuckwagon ™”
Model 42/24-TC
Accessories & Products
Trailer mounted Rodeo & Lone Star

The Chuckwagon ™ features The Marshall ™ and the Lone Star Grill ™ Smoker/Grill mounted on a trailer for mobility. The unit is portable and provides plenty of cooking space for catering, competition cookers, hunt clubs, tailgating.  The Pit Boss ™ has the space to cook 24 slabs of ribs flat or 45 slabs in 15-rib racks (an accessory available from Ace of Hearts BBQ Specialties).   In addition, the Lone Star Grill ™ features a large grilling surface with complete heat control featuring an adjustable tray for raising and lowering coals. 

I like it because it is portable and provides plenty of cooking space for catering, competition cookers, hunt clubs, tailgating.  

The Marshall™ has the space to cook 24 slabs of ribs flat or 45 slabs in 15-rib racks (an accessory available from Ace of Hearts BBQ Specialties).   

In addition, the Lone Star Grill ™ features a large grilling surface with complete heat control featuring an adjustable tray for raising and lowering coals. I own a Chuckwagon™ and feel like a Million Bucks when I pull into a competition or tailgating area.