Yes, Better BBQ!
I promised a while back that I would write a review as soon as we got the new infrared BBQ rolling and I got some steaks under my belt. (By the look of it, there’s a lot more than one there, already!)
As you can see, the Master Chef snapped this after he took steaks off, but before he came back with the Windex. But, you get the idea.
Pros: Yes – it is a decidedly better steak. The small holes let the exhaust gases through, but the me doesn’t “flame” so that bitter edge to the steaks is gone. With a greasier cut – 1.5″ thick choice rib steak – there was no flaming at all (lots more smoke, though!).
Also cooked quicker: 4-1/2 minutes on a side for the old BBQ (conventional heating style) was more like 3-1/2 minutes. More even searing (and really good grill marks!)
Cons: Takes two people to put it together. Single-handing it up the stairs (76 pounds, or so) is not as much fun. Use hand truck to move box and then kinda “roll it up” the stairs..
Takes a full 10-minutes of pre-heating to get the infrared part up to temp. 600F on the thermometer included means something completely different than on old style grill. (Still working out the details…)
And it was $310 bucks.
Our Bottom Line? Since we were going to buy a replacement grill anyway going to the “tru infrared” made sense. If I had a good (adequately fired) not used 3-4 times a week like ours (like a Weber) I would wait until change-out time.
At least part of the better steak comes from the long warmup and also strongly suggesting that meat have at least a spritz of cooking oil (we use spray olive oil). Which is fine – the heavy dose of fresh cracked-pepper sticks better. It comes art…like a high tea. Not so much “burn and run…”
The $50 Saw Project
I promised to write up the $50 saw project one of these days. Unfortunately, more pressing items kept me from taking the time to assemble it. But, it’s now in what manufacturing managers call WIP (work in progress).
The reason I wanted to get this out this weekend is there are so many other cool things going on around here that this was in the “Yeah…need to clear that item from the todo list…”
Here’s the parts list:
- $25 class jig saw (new from Amazon)
- $15 foot switch (new from Amazon)
- One tie-wrap to wire the saw switch to the “ON” position.
- Four screws to attach the saw to the plywood.
- Plywood. Whatever is handy in the wood pile. Up to 1-inch thick.
- Junk 2-by-4s (or in my case, old 2-by-4 shelf stands used to hold radio gear.
The assembled multitude looks like:
The highly detailed plans (LOL) came out like this:
This particular (cheap jig saw) had two screw holes in the plate, so only 2 would need to be mounted on the back of the plate. A couple of passes of 3/8ths drill holes in a line should give you the blade sticker-upper hole.
Basic, flip on side to change blades.
Now you CAN of course go crazy with design features. This is a 15-minute project as it sits. Drill two holes on the back of the saw plate, use the existing front holes which previously were used for an edge guide. Three jabs with a 3/8ths for the blad hole. And 2-minutes for measuring while drinking coffee.
With the saw mounted *upside down under the top* position those shelf boxes or whatever and screw into position. Total project time? 15-minutes.
For Runaway Engineer Types
Let’s work on:
- Build fully enclosing sides and bottom with 3/4 MDF or plywood.
- Add a dust port.
- Add hinges so the table lifts up for machine access.
- Design something to hold the table up when opened…
- Add hinges to everything so it can all be folded up.
- While you’re at it, make a dovetailed box to keep it in, and then add wing nuts for all fasteners.
- Powder coat the wing nuts…
Well, except for the powder coating because the old BBQ the infra replaced may turn into a powder coating oven… Why not?
Thing is, once you get a hand drill and a jig saw on a table like this, you can get one of those “40-tools you can make at home” and actually make a master-blaster-crafter shop.
Oh my God! I had so much fun this week launching antennas into trees, it was incredible. Elaine came out to help me spot the sinkers after flight, but Wow!~ Let there be compressed air and off we go – to the SKY!
That fence rail (for scaling) is about 43 inches from dirt to top of the top rail. The far end is so high (*and lost in limbs) I couldn’t tell you where it is…likely around 60-65 feet.
The neat thing with the antenna launcher (used on a warm afternoon with undried air from the small compressor) is you get a 3-4 foot long burst of “fog” from the decompression of 75 pounds. A guy could get to enjoy this kind of “weapon.”
The good compressor has a moisture trap so the plasma cutter runs in the summer when needed…
When You Get Prescriptions…
There’s an upside to getting OLD. (Oh?) Let me tell you a story.
I don’t take that many pills. Total scrips? Three a day. One for the eyes, one for the gout, and one to keep blood pressure down. (Or I couldn’t cover news…) Still, over a million years of living, you can collect a lot of pill bottles.
So when you collect them for a while (say >7 years) you can end up with a dandy collection of small -parts containers.
Don’t remember if I ever showed off Ure’s discrete components locker, but there are plenty of discretes (components) and -unlike many “ham radio junk boxes” I can actually find something if it every “got in my system...”
It almost makes remembering to take your pills enjoyable. Also makes the label printing crowd happy. Why, it’s a whole economic miracle, right there! Now I can buy more parts and find them. Yee-haw! Mouser.com here I come again!
(If you don’t have a hobby which requires a LOT of small parts, if your doc gets to the point of saying “You need to permanently go on this (for me it was alopurinol for the gout), that means you have matured and it’s time to look for “small parts hobbies.”)
If making small electronic projects isn’t your cuppa tea, N-scale or HO model railroading is fun. (O-27 or O gauge if you want to put rails on brackets on the wall and run drinks around the room on your railroad!) Model ship building if fun, too. Something really big, square-rigged, and Luddite…yeah, that’s what we like to do!
Back to the Drawing Board
Because the shop bench looked like this, during the week in many-projects frenzy, the drawing board is the only space where a horizontal surface can be found:
(I included this self-deprecating picture so you can tell your spouse “Shit! Look at this dear! Look what a mess Ure’s shop is…stop complaining about mine!”)
Pray she doesn’t see how our “tool of the week” was finding 1.5 mill clear plastic bags to cover our machines with. They do much better than canvas covers when comes to keeping moisture out. Over to the big lathe…
Since I was seriously into sales and marketing (a zillion years back), why hasn’t someone looked at these plastic bags and sold them as “Machine Lingerie?”
Here’s a centerfold for you:
Dust blows off the plastic better, too. I mentioned I’m lazy. Like to do things once. (Cleaning, for example, lol…)
Big machines are covered by Plasticplace 20-30 Gallon Trash Bags 30 X 36. Smaller machines fit Wowfit 100 CT 18×24 inches 1 Mil Clear.
Yessir… Machine Lingerie...and just like the other type, nearly as much fun to unwrap.
Well…OK…..not even, lol….. But when comes down to it, Life’s all about marketing, ain’t it?
Write when you get rich,