Sampler Sundays. Ribs, Chicken and Black Bean Burgers.

Sampler Sundays. Ribs, Chicken and Black Bean Burgers.

Twas a generous sunrise. One of those early morns that alerts your senses to the fact that it’s going to be a glorious day. Glorious indeed, for a pit jockey to think about smoking and grilling a good sampling of tasty bites. And folks, that’s exactly what happened. I sparked that smoker up like a boy with his first firecracker, anticipating a relaxing afternoon of low and slow. And in this case, a  slab of pork spare ribs would fit the bill nicely, complete with a goodly amount of rolling applewood smoke. And who knows. With just a hint of fall weather in the air, it seems a better than time than not to break out a little apple pie whiskey to smooth out the edges.

Moonshine on the smoker

But if the truth be told, in the back of my mind I’m thinking about firing up the grill too. “Why not?”, I asked myself. And I’ll be darned if I could come up with a reason that I shouldn’t.  So was born a sampler Sunday, if you will. Tasty bites to pick up, eat, chew, or do some bone suckin’ with, all to allow you to go to bed with a satisfied belly. Now that’s a day that makes me smile. So let’s get after it.

Ribs & Wings

The ribs and wings were laid out to season and air dry for a bit while the smoker reached temp and the grill was set up to perform its indirect magic. Black bean burgers were formed and set aside to wait for their cue. With some spare parts that were lingering around our refrigerator, a few bacon wrapped poppers were assembled as well. Hey, while the grill is rolling, let’s keep feeding it, haha. Ribs on the smoker, wings and poppers on the grill, indirect side for a good while. Long enough for a generous, two-finger pour of the above-mentioned griller lubrication while sitting back and keeping tabs on the sounds of nature, the sights of a beautiful day, and the local  football scores. After a generous rest, and oddly enough coinciding with another slice of liquid apple pie, the reason to be out here is addressed, namely checking on the food. And what I saw was equal to what I could now smell whipping around in my backyard. The chicken wings crisping on the grill, the poppers melting together in their jalapeno shell,

Wings and Poppers

Plus those ribs, ready for a good saucing.

Ribs on smoker

Dang, I’m getting hungry. And so were the others. So it was time to put finishing touches on these beauties, get the black bean burgers fired up, and get this Sampler Sunday underway.

Black Bean Burgers

The black bean burgers only need a few minutes of hot grillin’, no lollygagging allowed. No more, I should say. They grilled up nicely over hot coals and GrillMats, to make sure they didn’t stick. After they were finished, our mini buffet was assembled and enjoyed, down to the last pile of rib bones,


chicken bones, and burger burps.

Wings & Black Bean Burgers

It was a good day.

Table Set

But then those spent with family around a grill and smoker usually are, because…

Life Is Better Wood Fired