Category Archives: Tips n’ Tricks

Willinghams “Surprise Burgers” Recipe

Willingham's "Surprise Burgers"

You Will Love... Willingham's "Surprise Burgers"

I know that we can’t get enough of Willingham’s Cajun Hot seasoning? Well here is a fantastic cheese burger recipe to spice things up a bit.  This is a twist on burgers that comes from the Willingham’s suggestions sheet that is inserted into all of our shipments.


3 LB of Ground Chuck or Sirloin

1 Egg

2 Tablespoons of Willingham’s Original Mild Seasoning

  1. Pull out of 1/2# or 1/3# hunks of the meat mixture,
  2. Form each burger around a cube or chunk of your favorite cheese.
    In center of each burger, cut a hole the size of your finger for even cooking.
  3. Place on Grill over medium/high direct heat and cook to your desired temperature.

Grilling Tip: Use the Grill Friends Steakhouse Burger Press and lay in some meat, place some cheese slices or shredded cheese in the middle of the meat and put more meat on top. Press down on the Grill Friends Steakhouse Burger Press and it will create the steakhouse signature “thumbprint” that helps cook the burger evenly.

Primo Grill 101: Starting Fire and Holding Temperature

Someone asked us recently:
What is the best method for getting my new Primo grill to hold the 200F – sub 200F range?
This was an issue I struggled with and I found there are a lot of options. Best way to manage temp on a Primo grill is to buy a BBQ Guru. I love my Digi Q, but I started with a Pit Master and both are just the best.  Best bet is to use the nice little configurator to find the right unit for you and that makes your Primo grill a full on smoker. I have been able to hold temps for over 16 hours and do some major cooks.

Assuming you want to go low and slow and stay below say 250F, here is how I do it with my Primo grill. The biggest difference with smoking on a Weber kettle is that you do not want to use lighter fluid with it as the fluid could season the Primo in a negative way. Always clean out the charcoal box before each use. I use a Shop Vac after removing unused coals in a steel bucket and reusing them for my next fire. I use hardwood charcoal and stack big pieces on the bottom for best air flow and then put smaller pieces on top after you clean out the grill from all previous cooks. Throw on some wood chunk around the spot where you are going to light the charcoal. The coals will burn out and then fire up the smoke as it comes up to temperature.

To start the actual fire,  you can use Weber fire starters or a propane torch and start a small part of the coals and once that gets going, load up the grill with the drip pan racks, your D plates, grill grates and put the food on. Then close the vent at the bottom down to about 50%to start to ramp up the temp until it holds steady at 200F or so. You need to make sure that the top and bottom vents are controlled so you ease into the temp. Go over by too much and it is hard to cool it down, but not impossible, just takes some time.

This is why I love the BBQ Guru. Life is too short to worry about temperature control when you have technology like that! With the BBQ Guru, I do all of the above accept for the temperature venting, I just install the fan, open the top vent to the half moon, set the temperature on the BBQ Guru and check back in 10 minutes to make sure the temp is ramping up properly.

For all Primo Grill Users I highly recommend that you register for the Primo Grill Forum and look through the postings. The users of the Primo Grill Forum are amazing cooks and have incredible wisdom that they share freely.  Many are true Pit masters who love Primo grills and will guide you through any issue you are having. There is already tons of info on how to learn quickly and answer almost any question you have! Primo is an awesome ceramic smoker and grill so please contact us if you have any questions. We always love to help out a fellow Primo owner!

Eatocracy: Lick the screen – BBQ sauce fountain

Eatocracy is a great new food blog that I hope you will find the time to check out! Here is a link to the article below and this particular article holds a special place in my heart. It is Amy Mills brandchild in which she fills a “chocolate fountain” with BBQ sauce and uses it to allow people to put Mike Mills 17th Street BBQ sauce on their ribs, no dipping, just a pure BBQ Sauce shower! Gretchen and I experienced this first hand at the Big Apple Block Party in 2009 and BBQ Sauce will never be the same!

You know it’s a party when the BBQ sauce fountain starts flowing. Or, more specifically, that it’s a 17th Street Bar & Grill party – in which case you’re in for a rib-munching, lip-smacking good time.

Champion pitmaster Mike Mills and his daughter Amy make a yearly trek from their home base in Murphysboro, Illinois to New York’s Big Apple BBQ Block Party to dish out thousands of their signature ribs to barbecue fans from up and down the East coast. Amy’s fountain has become a staple at the event; when the sauce starts flowing, so does the fun.

See the fountain in action after the jump.

Each weekday, Lick the Screen will showcase one food photo that sets our stomach rumbling. If you’d like your work to be featured, submit your pictures to the Eatocracy Flickr pool or leave a link in the comments. We’ll get in touch if what we see makes us weak at the knees.

Martha Stewart Living Radio Grilling Hotline: Monday May 24th!

Elizabeth Karmel of Grill Friends and author of Soak Slathered & Seasoned

Featuring Elizabeth Karmel, Author of Soak Slathered & Seasoned

We are so pleased that Elizabeth Karmel and Mike Mills have been chosen to share some of their tips and tricks with you on the first annual Martha Stewart Living Radio Grilling Hotline This will be a 10-hour marathon radio event on Sirius(112)/XM(157) featuring some of tour favorites in the BBQ business, including Mike Mills and Elizabeth Karmel as well as Tim Love and Steven Raichlen.  The coolest thing is that you can call in and talk directly with these people who will all be live in the studio with the Martha Stewart Living Radio hosts.  You can ask them questions and I am sure that they will be sharing tips, tricks, recipes and help you plan out your grilling for the summer.

You can also download a series of FREE Cookbooks at the page describing it on the XM site, make sure to set your alarm clocks, cause this gets going early.

The date is Monday, May 24th and the call in number is 866-675-6675 and you will need to get up early to catch the kick off with the one and only Mike Mills, of 17th Street Barbecue! Here is the official line-up:

Monday, May 24
7am ET
Mike Mills, “The Legend”
Champion Pitmaster, Restaurateur, Author, Peace, Love, and Barbecue
8am ET
Frank Stitt
Award-winning Chef, Restaurateur and Author, Frank Stitt’s Bottega Favorita: A Southern Chef’s Love Affair with Italian Food and Frank Stitt’s Southern Table
9am ET
Chris Lilly
Vice President, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, AL and Author, Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint

Julie Reiner (9:15am)
Beverage Director and Co-Owner Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club; Co-Owner Pegu Club, who discusses punches and pitcher drinks for the summer entertaining season.

10am ET
Elizabeth Karmel
Executive Chef, New York City’s Hill Country, Founder of Girls at the Grill and Author, Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot-and-Quick Grilling and Low-and-Slow BBQ, Pizza on the Grill: 100 Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza and More and Soaked, Slathered, and Seasoned: A Complete Guide to Flavoring Food for the Grill.
11am ET
John Stage
Owner, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Author, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse.
12pm ET
Tim Love
Chef/Owner of The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro and The Love Shack in Fort Worth, TX
1pm ET
Kenny Callaghan
Executive Chef, Pitmaster and Partner, New York City’s Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard
2pm ET
Adam Perry Lang
Chef and Restaurateur, Daisy May’s BBQ USA and author, Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste & Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking and BBQ 25: The World’s Most Flavorful Recipes — Now Made Foolproof
3pm ET
Steven Raichlen
Multi-Award-Winning Author, Cooking Teacher and TV Host. His latest is Planet Barbecue: 309 Recipes! 60 Countries! Celebrate the World’s Best Barbecue!
4pm ET
John Markus
Barbecue Aficionado, Founder of his competitive barbecue team, Central Pork West, and Executive Producer of TLC’S BBQ Pitmasters

Samuel Merritt
Founder, Civilization of Beer

Grilled Burgers, Gretchen and Big Butz on Celebrity Grill Podcast

Celebrity Grill Podcast

Subscribe to the Celebrity Grill Podcast and Learn to Grill from the Masters

BBQ Pro Shop is really excited to announce that Gretchen recently participated in a Celebrity Grill Round Table with Tom from Big Butz BBQ @BigButzBBQ and they talk burgers, seasoning, setting up the grill, the type of meat and how to cook burgers. JM of Celebrity Grill Podcast is really a great resource for people who want to learn more about grilling and find out some ideas, techniques and secrets of people who grill. Creativity is what it is all about when it comes to the grill and this is a great way to learn how to grill.
Here is the MP3 link: Podcast #17 – Burger Round Table

Check out the links on the BBQ Pro Shop Blog Home page to see what Podcasts we recommend and listen to ourselves!