Buddy's Blog

Special occasion, special food!

Recently a good friend had a birthday; so, I shoveled the snow off the deck and cranked up the Smoke E Z. We did some lobster tails, a true rarity around here, and they turned out particularly good. Basically, all I did was prepare a compound butter with roasted garlic and a dash of hot sauce. Then after cutting away the shell on the belly portion of each tail, I smeared the butter mixture over the top of the tails. I put them in a grilling basket,still in their shells,belly-side up, on the top level of the Smoke E Z for about 45 minutes at 250 degrees and they were great! These tails were relatively small; so, if you try this, you may need to leave them on slightly longer, say 1 hour or more, to get to the desired done-ness. When the meat becomes opaque, it’s done. You don’t want to overcook it or dry it out; so, be watchful. Lobster is expensive! But it’s well worth trying on your Smoke E Z .


Made In America

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Back last summer we met with a number of the staffers trying to work our how the smokers oughta’ be made. There were guys from the paint shop. the fabrication shop, the laser cutting room, just all sots of people, about fifteen of ‘em. You may remember our discussions of how it didn’t fit right the first time out. We had initially thought that a lower beveled edge might serve to sorta’ wedge the smoker into place, but that didn’t work at all; it only wobbled. So as we were sitting around the table worrying with one detail and then the next, I looked up and there was this guy peering through the slot shaped window in the conference room door, acting like he was looking for somebody or something. So, I called his presence to the attention of the plant manager. He said that he had seen him but didn’t want him coming in and confusing things; he was the company owner. We invited him in and he actually had some good ideas. He was instrumental in figuring out how the logo would be made and attached.

So the guys started talking about how the barrel portion of the smoker could be fabricated. Don said he had a gear box in his garage at home that would probably work and they all sorta’ left it there for the time being. After Hannah and I went back to Chicago, the crew got busy scrounging parts and pieces from everywhere. They were cutting stuff off of obsolete equipment, gears to run the rollers, drive chains to connect the various pieces. and my personal favorite_ four tires off of a fork lift! The tires turned our to be the right density to act as on of the principal rollers that shapes the barrel. Later on they told me that the first efforts were a train wreck, because the small rollers weren’t running in coordination with the big roller. They went looking around the shop and found a timing box gizmo that straightened out the problem.

They’re still working on the welded seam on the barrel to get it smoother. I know that it will be fine in the long run. And the problems that we’ve had with the paint were just part of the early growing pains that you have to expect. I think now with the advent of the sandblasting prior to painting, we’ll be slick. Anyway, it’s like that all the time. They come up with creative ways and solutions as problems arise. I’ve always been bent that way myself; so, I appreciate their work. And that’s the advantage of the made in America idea, as well. I couldn’t go to China and talk with the people on the floor of the plant to deal with issues. Not even remotely possible. Super guys.



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