New space-saving Char-Broil infrared Patio Bistro® gas and electric grills

Patio Bistro® Infrared GrillThe folks at Char-Broil have introduced a great-looking, space-saving, yet powerful infrared grill to the marketplace. The grill is part of Char-Broil’s Patio Bistro® line and can cook up to 12 hamburgers at once — speeding up cooking time for those middle-of-the-week meals or if your hosting a weekend party. You can even choose your preference of a gas or electric model.

If you are short on space, in which these days it seems many families are down-sizing their living spaces, Char-Broil has you covered with the Patio Bistro®. With its compact design, you can enjoy your cookout favorites on your balcony, deck and patio. And while it’s smaller in stature, it doesn’t skimp on taste. How so? Char-Broil’s exclusive infrared cooking system produces searing temperatures, sealing in your food’s natural, juicy flavors. Plus, the 240-square-inch cooking surface can cook up to 12 hamburgers at once — so no guests leave hungry. Throw in the easy-to-clean porcelain-coated exterior and you have a beautiful outdoor centerpiece too.

There are 12 different Patio Bistro® models available according to Char-Broil’s website. Model numbers include: Gas Infrared Patio Bistro® grills – 08601558, 11601558; Electric Infrared Patio Bistro® grills – 465498005, 10601514, 10601578-16, 08601559, 10601514-16, 10601578-A1, 08601559-16, 10601578, 11601578 and 11601559. Manuals are available on the Char-Broil website — Gas Infrared Patio Bistro® manuals, Electric Infrared Patio Bistro® manuals.

Patio Bistro® Infrared Grill


Here are the specs on model# 08601558 Gas Infrared Patio Bistro® grill:
Weight (in Pounds) 54
Dimensions Assembled (in inches) 25.2 x 24.4 x 38.2
Primary Burner BTU’s 13,000
Primary Cooking Surface (sq. in.) 240
Secondary Cooking Surface (sq. in.) 80
Natural Gas Convertible No
Fuel Source Propane
Carton Size (in inches) 27 x 21.8 x 14.6

Char-Broil’s electric infrared Patio Bistro® grill had the same specs except for the fuel source. Electric infrared Patio Bistro® grill model# 465498005 has a food prep/holding table attached to the grill, weighs 74 pounds and has a primary cooking surface area of 300 sq. in.

In the coming weeks hopefully our quality team here at can get their hands on a Patio Bistro® grill, test it and we’ll post our review and results. Stay tuned…

Where to buy:
, Gas Patio Bistro® GrillElectric Patio Bistro® Grill

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Weathering the storms; Safely barbecuing while it’s cold outside

It seems like every winter there are these tragic barbecuing stories. I came across an article this week reporting that carbon monoxide leached into a family’s home while barbecuing in their garage. Luckily the folks that were barbecuing in their garage had a carbon monoxide alarm in their home and were alerted, some of us may not be so equipped.

Hearing about the above story has prompted me to write this safety reminder article for my readers. I have come up with a few tips that may sound very common sense-like, however it seems like in the winter months more of these frightening barbecuing stories crop up. Another article reports a man suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns from an accelerant doused barbecue. While not a true “winter” hazard, this recent news story was worth mentioning.

There are simple ways to avoid accidents like the two I just described and I am hoping many will read them and stay safe.

Let’s tackle the first example I listed; Barbecuing in your garage. I know it’s cold outside but that is no excuse for putting yourself and your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Solutions: 1.) Roll your outdoor grill at least 10 feet away from your home or building structure. 2.) If there is snow outside, shovel a path to your destination then roll your outdoor grill at least 10 feet away from your home or building structure. 3.) Purchase an indoor grill and stay warm and safe barbecuing indoors!

Remember. Never, ever, ever… Ever. Burn charcoal indoors, in vehicles or tents. Be sure to always have a well ventilated area when burning charcoal briquettes!

How about the second example? Dousing your barbecue briquettes with starter fluid. I have fond memories of my uncle Ray with a bag of Kingsford briquettes and his gallon of BBQ starter fluid. After putting the briquettes in the hibachi and puts a quart or so of starter fluid he would say, “Stand back!” Lights the match and throws it into the what would be an inferno. This might have been okay in the 1970’s, but this is the 21st century now and there are other options. Solution: 1.) For under $20 bucks, buy yourself a barbecue chimney starter. It is much safer and your grilled food won’t taste like a petroleum based product! 2.) If you don’t feel like splurging $20 bucks for a chimney starter and you absolutely have to use charcoal briquettes, put a sheet or two of crumpled up newspaper under the bottom grate. Then put around 5 briquettes on top of the bottom grate. Light the newspaper and after the few briquettes heat up and are glowing red, put a nice mound atop of the now hot briquettes. 3.) Purchase a gas or electric grill. I know it isn’t the same as that “charcoal taste”, but at least you won’t burn your face off!

I don’t condone using BBQ starter fluid, but if you must… Do not ever spray your starter fluid directly onto hot coals!

Before you use your outdoor gas grill, be sure to spray soapy water on the connections and supply lines. If you see bubbles turn off the tank, tighten connections and test again. If you still have leaks, you may need to replace a part or two of your equipment.  It’s also a good idea to inspect the lava rocks and clean the grease and soot that has accumulated around the area.

There you have it. I think we gave our best shot at a couple real safety issues. The number one winter BBQ safety issue [in my opinion] being carbon monoxide poisoning. Be safe, keep warm and happy barbecuing!

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How would you like your smartphone grilled?

Ever wonder which smartphone will withstand the heat of a top-of-the-line EZ-Grill? Yeah, us too. Guess there is no need to wonder anymore.

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The legendary McDonald’s McRib returns … For now!

Looking for your annual McRib fix? Well, look no further! McDonald’s is serving up the flavorful McRib sandwiches for a limited time. For those who are not familiar with this wonderful McConcoction, you don’t know what you’re missing!

The McDonald’s McRib consists of a meaty slice of pork (in the shape of ribs), tangy barbecue sauce served on a hoagie roll with pickles and slivered onions. Surprisingly, the McRib sandwich only boasts 500 calories (vs. 750 calories for the Angus Deluxe). Take off the bun of the McRib and you’re down to just 330 calories. But why would you want to do that since the McRib is only around for a limited time?

I searched McDonald’s website but unfortunately couldn’t find when the McRib will be available until. I’ve read on one blog that it will be available until December 5, and another mentioned they’d be available until November 22. So, I took this very important matter into my own hands and looked to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. I called McDonald’s corporate offices and got a hold of Ashley. Ashley was very pleasant and told me that there is no definite date of when the McRib will not be available. Each individual McDonald’s franchise can serve them going into December but can choose not to. So there you have it. You’ll have to call your individual McDonald’s store to find out a round-about time frame when they will have the McRib until.

McDonald’s is also holding a Legend of McRib Contest. Submit a video of your McRib Legend story by November 22, 2010 (ding! – that’s where the blogger I mentioned above got the date of when the McRib will be available until — not true!). After you submit your video, McRib lovers from all over will vote on the best video/McRib legend. The winner will win a trip to Germany where the McRib is served 12 months a year, plus $10,000 in pocket change! The winning author will have their story animated — possibly for all the world to see. Here are the official rules.

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A closer look at Famous Dave’s BBQ restaurants

With almost 200 locations in 36 states, Famous Dave’s BBQ restaurant is one of our nation’s largest BBQ franchises. Famous Dave’s offers everything from their award winning BBQ ribs to sandwiches, seafood, chicken, burgers, wings, soups, sides, desserts and more. I’ll dive into Dave’s menu in more detail later in this article.

Who is Famous Dave?

Dave Anderson, founder of Famous Dave’s, grew up in Chicago where his passion for BBQ began as a young boy. His dad would get the best tasting slow-smoked spareribs from street corner vendors who used 55 gallon smokers filled with charcoal and smoldering green hickory wood. Realizing his dream of one day opening his own barbecue restaurant, Dave traveled around the United States in search of great BBQ at every barbecue joint he could find. Literally thousands over a 25 year period.

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Crispy, spicy and savory grilled pizza recipe

Looking to spice things up on the grilling front? You may want to tap into your inner Italian and grill yourself a rustic homemade pizza. Besides tasting great, there is no need to crank up your oven and heat up your house!

Last night I watched Alton Brown on the Food Network (I can’t believe Good Eats is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary!). Alton had an episode of grilling pizza which inspired me to pass along a grilled pizza recipe and possibly inspire my readers as well. Alton’s grilled pizza recipe was nowhere to be found probably because the episode was so new, however I did find Bobby Flay’s Grilled Pizza with Hot Sausage, Grilled Peppers and Onions and Oregano Ricotta recipe which sounds fantastic. Crispy, spicy, savory. I have no doubt you and your guests will love this recipe!
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Posted in BBQ Recipes | 1 Comment

Time & temperature charts to assist with smoking & grilling meats

As the summer continues to heat up, us grilling, barbecuing and smoking fanatics are cooking strong in our backyards, campgrounds, picnics, parties and wherever else we can haul our BBQ equipment. This is why I am posting easy to understand charts that will assist you in knowing when your smoked and grilled meats are done (or at least close to the time you should take your meat off your grill or smoker).

Below is a helpful meat smoking chart. Smoking times and temperatures are approximate due to the weight and thickness of your meat and temperature of your smoker. I always advise to probe meat from time to time before the approximate time has elapsed. Click here to download our Meat Doneness and Temperature Chart for your grilled items (PDF).

Type of Meat Smoking Temp Time to Complete Finished Temp
Brisket (Sliced) 225°F 1.5 hours/pound 180 degrees
Brisket (Pulled) 225°F 1.5 hours/pound 195 degrees
Beef Ribs 225°F 3 hours 175 degrees
Pork Butt (Sliced) 225°F 1.5 hours/pound 175 degrees
Pork Butt (Pulled) 225°F 1.5 hours/pound 190-205
Whole Chicken 250°F 4 hours 167 degrees
Chicken Thighs 250°F 1.5 hours 167 degrees
Chicken Quarters 250°F 3 hours 167 degrees
Whole Turkey 12# 240°F 6.5 hours 170 degrees
Turkey Leg 250°F 4 hours 165 degrees
Turkey Wings 225°F 2.5 hours 165 degrees
Meat Loaf 250 -300°F 3 hours 160 degrees
Meatballs (2 inch) 225°F 1 hour 165 degrees
Spare Ribs 225-240°F 6 hours 172 degrees
Baby Back Ribs 225-240°F 5 hours 168 degrees
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Barbecuing tips from BBQ Pitmaster Harry Soo

If you haven’t seen TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters, you are missing one great barbecue competition show! These Pitmasters are part chef, part athlete, and part five-star general. They not only talk a big game, but walk it every step of the way: with grease on their hands, sweat on their brows, and meat on their minds from sun-up to sundown.

Harry Soo is head cook of team Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ in Diamond Bar, CA. Here are a few of his barbecuing tips:

  1. BBQ is ready when it’s ready (so don’t hurry)
  2. Less is more (less smoke, less rub, less add-ons)
  3. Opening your smoker is BAD!
  4. Too tender is GOOD!
  5. Foiling is GOOD!
  6. Grilling is NOT barbequing; BBQ is low-and-slow
  7. Always have FUN when you BBQ even if results are otherwise!

Harry Soo short bio:

Team Name: Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ
Location: Diamond Bar, CA
Name/style of pit: Weber Bullet Smoker aka Weber Smokey Mountain aka Weber Water Smoker aka WSM
Amount of money won in competition: $20K in 2009
Favorite dish to cook/most awarded dish?: Spareribs
Favorite Food (other than BBQ): Anything Thai or Japanese
Secret Tip: Cooking BBQ from the heart with love and intention. Practice, practice, practice

You can catch BBQ Pitmasters on TLC. Schedule of BBQ Pitmasters show was unavailable at the time this article was published.

Posted in BBQ Beef Brisket, BBQ Chicken, BBQ Competitions, BBQ Pork, BBQ Ribs, BBQ Rubs, BBQ Sauce, BBQ Television Shows, Homemade BBQ Sauce, Northern US BBQ, Regional BBQ, Smokers, Southern US BBQ, Tips on Barbecuing, Weber Smokers | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Barbecuing tips from BBQ Pitmaster Harry Soo

Pat’s BBQ on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives

Great inspiration for people in competition barbecuing and/or anyone who would love to open up a BBQ joint. You can find Pat’s BBQ on the web.

Posted in BBQ Beef Brisket, BBQ Chicken, BBQ Competitions, BBQ Pork, BBQ Restaurants, BBQ Ribs, BBQ Sauce, BBQ Television Shows, General BBQ | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Pat’s BBQ on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives

GAC’s Summer BBQ Sweepstakes with Blake Shelton!


One grand prize winner and 3 guests will receive a trip to Nashville for a private BBQ party hosted by GAC (Grand American Country) at the Warner Bros. Records building where you’ll meet Blake Shelton and see him perform. The winner will also receive an autographed Blake Shelton CD collection and guitar, passes to the Country Music Hall of Fame, a $500 gift cards from f.y.e. stores, and a $500 Food Network Store gift card to stock up on everything you need for your own summer BBQ.

You can enter daily through August 17, 2009 at 9 a.m. ET for your chance to win the grand prize trip for four to Nashville for a private BBQ party where you’ll meet Blake Shelton and also see him perform.


The Grand Prize Package

The Grand Prize package awarded to one (1) winner and three (3) guests to include:

  • Roundtrip airfare to Nashville, TN from the nearest major airport
  • 3 days/2 nights hotel accommodations at a luxury hotel in Nashville September 13th – 15th, 2009
  • Airport transfers
  • Ground transportation to and from the BBQ event and hotel
  • Passes to Nashville City attractions such as the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Autographed Blake Shelton CD Catalog Set
  • Autographed guitar
  • An exclusive GAC-hosted BBQ event featuring a performance by Blake Shelton along with a meet & greet opportunity
  • (1) one $500 f.y.e. gift card
  • (1) one $500 Food Network Store gift card

First Place Package

(10) Ten first place prize winners will each receive:

  • (1) one $50 f.y.e. gift card
  • (1) one Blake Shelton CD
  • (1) one autographed Blake Shelton photograph

The following collection of Food Network Store products:

  • (1) one deluxe BBQ tool set
  • (1) one set of two BBQ mitts
  • (1) one Food Network apron
  • (1) Paula Deen BBQ sauce
  • (1) Paula Deen Vidalia Onion Peach Grilling Marinade
  • (1) Paula Deen Butt Massage (Grilling Spices!)

Click here to enter!

Click here to view the rules of this sweepstakes

Sponsored by: Smithfield
Prizing provided by: Food Network, f.y.e. & Warner Bros.

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