Bubba Ho-Keg Gets a Brother

by zydecopaws on January 18, 2011

The Amazon stork (disguised as a UPS driver in a big brown truck) came last week and left Bubba Ho-Keg a brother. It took a week for it to hatch (mainly because I wasn’t home) and get prepped for cooking duties at our primary residence. For those who haven’t had the pleasure (or are looking forward to having it in the future), the Big Steel Keg (yet to be named) arrived in a big cardboard box. My wife swears that although the UPS driver wasn’t happy (when is he ever?) he at least had the decency to lower the box to the ground gently rather than just shoving it off the back of the truck.

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Assembling this critter took a bit longer than the 15-20 minutes the assembly instructions claimed. It took about 15 minutes just to get it unpacked and all the packing materials removed. I won’t bore you with assembly details and pictures, other than to say you really should have two people available to slide the keg onto the leg assembly. But I did prevail, and even managed to complete the task without any parts left over. Here’s proof…

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Take a close look at these pictures as you will likely never see it this clean again. It already has shortening stains on it from the seasoning process (currently underway).

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Some of the changes are readily apparent and are a direct result of feedback from owners. That and field modifications many of us made to the original Bubba Ho-Kegs. The first thing you notice is that the top vents now have a triangular groove at the big end rather than an even triangular opening. According to the theory (and what I have read from other people’s experience) this allows better control for lower temperature cooks.

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The other noticeable change (also related to lower temperature cooks) is in the lower vents. The top vent now has a triangular end (rather than rectangular) that extends beyond the bottom vent. Now when the vent is closed down to setting #1 only the top lower vent is exposed, and you have better control of the airflow in the bottom of the keg. This is very similar to the modification I made to Bubba Ho-Keg using the metal duct tape.

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One of the items I wished they had changed (and haven’t gotten around to modifying on Bubba Ho-Keg) is the tool holders on the removable tables. The only purpose these seem to serve is to catch on your pants and jab you in the leg. You can hang utensils on them, but don’t try to move the cooker with them hanging on them (unless you like picking them up and rewashing them every time you do this).

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Other than that, the only other noticeable changes are the color (Younger Daughter has already stated that she prefers Bubba Ho-Keg’s skin tone over this one) and the lack of extra stuff in the box. The hitch attachment is a separate purchase, but they did include a cover. Which will likely never get used around here since the grill will get used so much and I can’t be bothered fooling around with covering and uncovering it all the time. Maybe I can sell it on e-bay to one of those fair-weather grillers…

At any rate, time will tell if the improvements make a difference in low-and-slow cooking. Maybe Older Daughter will see this post and decide she wants something smoked for her birthday dinner this weekend. Hopefully by then we will come up with a proper name for this critter. BS Keg seems a bit disrespectful (not that something like that matters around here) and Big Steel makes me think of failed corporations.

All suggestions will be considered, feel free to make them in the comments…

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