Get Your Grill On

By Suzanne Ledbetter

The mercury is rising and it’s officially the season to get your grill on. While your friends and family may already consider you the King of the grill, every now and then, you need to brush up on your BBQ game. Lucky for you, we’ve put together all the tips, tricks, and supplies you’ll need to bring you’re “A” game to this year’s neighborhood barbeques.  From what type of grills to local rubs and sauces, read the rest to become a certified King of the Grill!

King of the Grills

Which Grill will ascend you to the Iron Throne?

Bull Grills

Officially known as Bull Outdoor Products, these grills are Know Bull. And the fact that they are headquartered in Lodi is a major bonus. Because who doesn’t like to support local business? And groundbreaking technology known as ReliaBULL was created to eliminate uneven heating on your grill. But what they really specialize in, is creating the backyard kitchen of your dreams. From grills and smokers to pizza ovens and islands, they can design the ultimate outdoor space that will make any hubby happy!

Green Egg

The Green Egg is undoubtedly the hottest seller on the market across the board. A superior ceramic cooker that is stronger and more durable, provides more heat insulations than anything on the market. Kamoda cookers. Highest quality ceramic cooking system. Seven sizes of the EGG. Ultimate Cooking Experience. A grill, and oven and a smoker. As an oven, use the indirect cooking method known as the ConvEGGtor to bake up your casseroles, pizzas and cobblers.


What makes Traeger so unique? It’s a pellet grill that has a 6-in-1 versatility—providing you with the choice to cook hot and fast or low and slow. Which also means you can use this grill for everything from baby back ribs to wood-fired pizza and even an apple pie. Traeger is a West Coast favorite among men for its digitally controlled convection heating system. It simplifies BBQ and allows for easy temperature settings and a no fuss approach to checking thermometers.


Many BBQ enthusiasts will tell you that anything short of a charcoal grill is blasphemy. And if that’s the case for you, look no further than Weber BBQ’s for the ultimate in affordability and performance. And the best part, they come in a variety of colors, so the wife might appreciate that the BBQ can match the outdoor patio set.

Rub it Your Own Way


  • ¾ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 TBSN. Smoked Paprika
  • ½ C. Kosher Salt
  • 2 TBSN. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 TSPN. Cumin
  • 1 TBSN Granulated Garlic
  • 1 TSPN. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 TBSN. Minced Onion
  • 2 TSPN. Ground Mustard
  • 2 TBSN. Chili Powder



Combine all ingredients into a medium size bowl. Mix well and transfer to an airtight container. Spice rub will last for up to one year. 


Smoke it Up -Tips to the Ultimate Baby Back Ribs (Sidebar Tips and Tricks)

Suzanne’s Smokin’ Baby Back Ribs

Remove the ribs from the packaging and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Generously apply rib rub, cover in foil and place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Turn on your Traeger smoker to 225 degrees. Place ribs on racks and smoke low and slow for 3 hours. You will then want to baste your ribs with a thin, Texas style BBq sauce like Bone Suckin Sauce and cook for 1 hour additional. Raise your smoker to 325 degrees, slather in your favorite BBQ sauce and cook for and additional hour to caramelize the BBQ sauce. The result is tender, pull off the bone baby back ribs that will become your signature summertime staple.  

Local Rubs, Sauces and Flavors

Must Have Local Items 

Mydingr’s-BBQ Shake

This Spice Rub is my go-to for all things pork. Made by a husband and wife duo, Don and Vickie Meidinger, this zesty blend of seasonings is the perfect blend for your baby back ribs or pork butt. With paprika, salt, pepper, sugar, dehydrated onion and garlic…you will grab this rub anytime you fire up the grill.

Waterloo BBQ Sauce

Another local staple in the San Joaquin BBQ scene. Made by the good folks over at Waterloo Restaurant, this is the same sweet and savory sauce they slather on their epic BBQ baby back ribs. And slather is your ribs is exactly what you should do at home. The sweetness in the sauce will give you just the right amount of caramelization you crave on BBQ meat.

Fiori’s Butcher Shoppe Deli Seasoning

This crowd-pleasing seasoning is perfect for filets, chicken, lamb or veggies. A combination of spices, salt, garlic, onion, celery and lemon oil make this an all-around winner! Available at the Butcher Shoppe or online at

Flamethrowers BBQ and Chili Co. Beef Rub

This rub is made by some serious BBQ aficionados. A retired firefighter and BBQ competition buff, Mike Harden and his wife Cynthia launched their own set of spice rubs after competing at national BBQ competitions. A perfect blend of spices and free of MSG or anti-caking agents, you will need this for the next time you fire up a prime rib or Rib Eye. Available online at

BBQ Tools of the Trade or BBQ Must Haves (Sidebar with stock picture of spatula or blue tooth thermometer)

Chimney for Charcoal Brochettes

Wood Chips, Pellets, Gas or Charcoal

Hooks for Smoking Meats

Long Spatulas


Grill Brush

Cedar Plank for Grilling Fish

Veggie Pan

Blue Tooth Thermometer

Rib Stand

BBQ Light

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