Monday, May 30, 2011


Uh oh ...

I was supposed to cook BBQ spare ribs long and slow, the kids are coming, and  ... my old smoker grill is rusted out.

How did I miss that?

I pondered the issue.

Maybe I could get away with putting all the charcoal in the little attached smoker box. I was going to use indirect heat most of the cooking time anyway.

Well, that ain't happenin'.
The little firebox has a sound bottom, but the sides are shot.

I couldn't BBQ with hot coals falling down around me and the house.

I had hinted about a new smoker grill for Father's Day, but this was Memorial Day and the BBQ meal was only a few hours away ... at least, according to the eatin' plan.

Dilemma time.

And then ... inspiration.

I hopped in the JEEP and headed to town.

In a little while I was back with a piece of 2' by 2' ungalvanized sheet metal.

First, I took the metal to the forge and shaped it.

Then, I installed it like a skin graft over the gaping iron oxide infected areas.

In no time, the coals were tossing greenhouse gases into the air while
orange flames danced in celebration of  another "adapt and overcome" victory.

After the fire died down, the ribs spent a few minutes over the coals for some surface searing.
Then it was off to the side for about 3 hours of slow cooking.

The end product was verification enough that my MeatGuyvering of the grill's wounds had worked.  The ribs were tender, but not mushy, and so moist ... nothing like your chainBBQ place ribs.

I should have photographed my plate, but use your imagination ... green beans, corn on the cob, and all you could eat ribs.

Yes, of course, there was desert, but honestly, I could have just had another rib and been happy.

Since you asked, desert was a sheet cake of pineapple, homegrown blueberries, yellow cake, pecans, and walnuts.

It all blended together into this warm, mushy, cobblery thing that was just outstanding.

Somehow, I had room for it ... right between my ribs.


Caroline said...

Was a Swiss Army knife involved? That usually comes into the picture at this house.
I have a gingerbread boy cutter fashioned out of the same raw materials as your "skin graft".
Ribs sound delish.

Prem Subrahmanyam said...

Do I detect some sort of wood in there with the charcoals? BTW, I have found a few logs of live oak wood laid over the charcoals to impart a deliciously smokey flavor to my grilled/smoked meats. Much better than hickory or mesquite.

Miz S said...

Way to MeatGuyver! I applaud your thrifty adaptation.

Anonymous said...

Hey MeatGuyver,

Do you have my phone number??? The 4th is coming up soon!



PS WV-commin
As in...Ima commin whether yer invite me or not! Ha ha

lisa said...

My mouth is watering as I read!

robin andrea said...

Well done! I always love a good solution like that.

WPgirl said...

Everything sounds delicious. Could you post the cake recipe?

amarkonmywall said...

Great fix, although I'm surprised you let your grill rust out in the first place FC. The ribs look great and as usual, I'm taking some tips from PF when we do ours this coming weekend- Rich is in Florida on business and missed Memorial Day here. Two datil plants sprouted, survived a bit of a cold snap, survived transplant and are thriving in the garden, so I"m excited.

LaDivaCucina said...

FC, I can always count on you to live truly green! But I have to say, I'm surprised you haven't built your own bbq, FC, you are so handy! Never saw so many innovative ones as I did while living and traveling in Australia. Best one was my friend's brother: just dug a hole in the ground and used an old stove rack over the top!

Floridacracker said...

Neat! If only I could weld.
I'd really be dangerous then.

Yes, oak from my property. could be any of 4 species, but it is probably laurel oak.

Miz S,
We teachers be thrifty.

We will save a seat for ya.

That gums up keyboard you know.

At least it should get me to Father's Day!

It was essentially a dump cake style. Let me see about getting that.

Now you know I am an evil government teacher with multiple kids in college.
Are you really surprised that I might eak out the maximum use from an old grill?
I am so glad your datils are thriving.
Mine are blossoming!

La Diva,
Too many kids in college to create my dream outdoor kitchen and a moveable grill allows me the flexibility I need around here.
I like that simple pit plan you mentioned!
Hey, I thought of you yesterday. An NPR story about a theatrical dining experience called "Sensoria" was the focus and they said it was coming to Miami.
Sounded like a LaDiva must see.

Shelllady said...

I got a notice on my blog (I'm a follower) that you posted "Beats a Zero" but it didn't show up!! :(

edifice rex said...

CRAP!! your posts like this always make me hungry!!!! agh!
Now, if you were closer I'd teach you how to weld! I bet you'd pick it up quickly and it is SO cool to know how! :D

Floridacracker said...

I know, it had technical issues, but now it is up!

NOW THAT would be cool!!!