Saturday, April 19, 2008

Get Stoked! When technolgy meets art in the backyard...

Anyone who has visited this site before knows my fondness for authentic BBQ! While my GrillDome does an amazing job of maintaining a steady temperature on its own, there can be many variables that can turn an overnight cook into a disaster.

  • The quality or moisture content of your wood or charcoal

  • Weather conditions(nothing like a strong wind to turn your low 'n slow into a blast furnace)

  • How well you assembled your wood or charcoal

  • The fickleness and whims of the BBQ Gods

BUT, there is hope and that hope can be found in technology. I'm sure the legendary Pit masters of yore are rolling in their hickory smoked caskets but for the average backyard enthusiast like myself (who might wear an occasional python boot) and can't afford to take a chance with 30 lbs of meat there is the Stoker from Rock's Bar-B-Que.

"The Stoker is a temperature control device for any wood or charcoal burning cooker."

That's right. This little gizmo either feeds the pit with a fan or shuts off the air completely to maintain a preset temperature. It also has connections for food probes so you can monitor the internal temperature of your food and set an alarm to let you know when it's done!

I put said 30 lbs of pork shoulders in the Dome last night around 7:00, set the pit temperature for 225 and let it go. When I got up this morning 12 hours later the pit temp was 227 degrees and the shoulders were just coming out of the "plateau" where all the magic happens. A couple hours later I had four roasts wrapped in foil and resting in a cooler.

It may seem pricey to some but what would you pay for peace of mind and a good night's sleep? No worrying about flameouts, no bad meat, no getting up every couple hours to "check on the fire."

All I did was get my family hooked on my Que and they chipped in and got me the Stoker. Thanks guys! It worked like a champ and did everything it was supposed to do!

For you Geeks out there, it also comes with an Ethernet connection so you can monitor and control it through a web browser! I know of at least two third party programs that allow graphing or even having the unit call your cell phone with a text message to let you know your food is done!

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