North by Northeast

Saturday Morning Tea
16 December, 2006, 8:16 am
Filed under: around the house, photos

Saturday Morning Tea, originally uploaded by bwc.

Tasty. If you click through to the Flickr version, I’ve supplied notes as to what each component is in the still life.

[note to Flickr: accounts cannot have inline css, and thus I had to strip your tags out of your default template.]


20 July, 2006, 10:40 pm
Filed under: around the house, General

The other weekend when my parents met Greta, they brought us a present. We had noted our need for a grill, and they happen to be authorized Weber dealers. They surprised us by bringing a brand new Weber model, the “Q”

We had just begun to look at the options for a grill. The only things we knew were that it would be a) A Weber [not just because my parents sell them, but honestly they’re the best, and they’re a good company] and b) it would mostly be used to just feed us on occasion.

I thought we’d wind up getting a Genesis Silver A which is a two-burner model, a slightly smaller version of their best-selling Silver B, which is what my parents sell the most of to fuller families, or people who cook-out socially more than we would. (Those people probably also have grass in their backyard, as opposed to dirt and woodchips, which reside in ours). Then I noticed (on the online stores, I think my parents may be selling theirs for less) that the Silver A was clocking in at $399. A little rich for our blood. Worth every cent, and of course, we wouldn’t be paying retail.

Then comes the “Q.” Introduced just recently, it is a Gas-Hybrid grill. That doesn’t mean its better for the environment, rather it means it can be a high-class hibachi-style portable grill, or a regular height household grill that hooks up to a full-sized LP gas tank.

The concept is really cool. If you have season tickets to the New England Patriots, then this is the grill for you (Or, if you’re a New England Revolution fan). It’s also the grill for us, since that what my parents gave us. Hard to quibble with free.

The Weber folks set up a cool site to sell the Q. It’s not really great at the usability, but it sure is pretty. The specs are only available in a 1.7MB PDF file! Weber, that’s called breaking the interweb! We got the Q 200, with the stationary cart, and the 20-lb adapter hose, which we have attached to a (surprise!) 20-lb LP tank. The grill is plenty big for our grilling needs. If we wanted to go portable, we can lift the grill off of the cart (heavy!) and bring it with us. Weber makes a clever, rolling duffle bag for this purpose.

We had the opportunity to cook on it last night, and it works really well. Classic Weber in every sense, so far as quality of the heat and cooking-wise. However, it is not without its drawbacks.

First off, I wish we had the 220’s built in thermometer. Second, the Q has an attribute that’s hard to find in Weber grills, and one they’ve advertised against over the years. Cast iron cooking grates. This is one contributing factor to the great heft of the grill. You better have help if you’re going to carry this thing across a beach. On the flip side, it’ll take quite a gale to topple this thing, in its cart or not. But, the biggest problem with the grill is the grates. Your food will stick to it. The grate claims to be Porcelain coated. All other Weber cooking grates are porcelain over cast-aluminum or stainless steel. Both of which are less sticky. I most disclose, however, that whereas my well-olive-oiled yellow squash did stick like crazy to the grate last night, I’m only guessing the other bad things will happen over time based on the fact that it happens to other cast-iron grates and I will be bad at maintaining it. They do back it with a 5-year rust-through warranty, though.

Weber, hear my plea! Porcelain-grate upgrades!! Make them less sticky! I need to get a brass-bristle grill brush now…

Other downsides: one burner control. The “Q”‘s burners are Q-shaped, and thus the front and back are one continuous pipe, and they have but one control. There will be times when I just want to cook two burgers, and won’t be cooking the rest of our two-person dinner on the grill, and I will be using a lot more propane than necessary. This disappoints me, as a tree hugger. It would be cool if I could switch to a lead from my house’s natural gas line, then I wouldn’t have to maintain and fill the LP tank, nor pay for a separate fossil fuel than what is already piped into my home.

Overall, the grill is a winner. Aside from what I mentioned above, the Q is certainly all Weber. That’s a good thing. It’s a good size for just the two of us. We’re not that keen on the space-aged look of the grill, appreciating the more classy look of the Genesis series more, but it does fit the “on-the-go” marketing they’re trying to use. I wish we were the type of campers or heavy-duty picnickers who would take it on the road, but alas we’re backpackers and day hikers and cyclists… and a 70lb grill doesn’t fit those requirements. If you consider “camping” to involve a megolith SUV, or a Winnebago, then I’ve got a grill for you. Or, once again, calling all tail-gaters! If we ever get tickets to UConn football, this will certainly be called into action.

Conclusion: if you fit the profile, this grill won’t be beat.