Open invitation to Colorado Bloggernacklites

[Futher updates moved to the next post]

UPDATE (04/04/08; 1602 MDT): Three briskets down, two to go. I smoked the first three for about seven hours, wrapped them in foil, and put them in the oven; the other two just went into the smoker. The weather is gorgeous — sunny, mostly clear, and a bit cool. It’s supposed to be that way for the next few days, which will be just about perfect. I’m going to run out to buy some more soda — I’ve got a lot already, but then again, we’re going to have people here all day for two days.

UPDATE (04/04/08; 0910 MDT): The Conference cooking has commenced. I went out at about 7:30 am this morning, took the cover off of the smoker, dragged it into position on the deck, and started the coals a-burnin’. I’ve been marinating five (5) briskets — about 7 lbs each — since Wednesday, and I now have three of them in the smoker (all that I can fit). I will smoke them for several hours, then (as per this post) take them out, double-wrap them in heavy foil, and stick them in the oven at 180 deg F until tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ll stick the other two in the smoker and, once they’re smoked, I’ll do the same for them (but probably won’t serve them until Sunday).

I also have three bone-in turkey breasts marinating, as well as one leg of lamb. I’ll get up early tomorrow morning to start smoking them, with the goal of having them done around noon tomorrow. I’ve also got a number of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut in half lengthwise) marinating in Smoked Chipotle Tabasco Sauce; I’ll grill those tomorrow during lunch, along with hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sausages, and portobello mushrooms.

Sure hope we have a large turnout, because we’ll have a ton of food. On the other hand, the last few times we’ve done this, we’ve had 70+ people show up. Should be fun. Now I’ve got to go hook up the video projector downstairs….


Men like to barbecue. Men will cook if danger is involved.– Rita Rudner

I periodically do what my good friend Bruce Henderson refers to as VLSBs: Very Large Scale Barbecues. My wife and I started this tradition while living in Washington DC and have continued it here in Colorado. Here’s a photoblogging record of one from a few years ago. We typically get turnouts of 50-80 people at these events, and we eat food like this (note that these photos are from two years ago; see the link in the previous sentence):


Well, I’m doing one this weekend in connection with General Conference, and y’all are invited. I will probably smoke 30 lbs of beef brisket, as well as 2-3 turkey breasts, and at least one leg of lamb, as well as grilling several dozen hamburgers and hotdogs. And we’ll provide lots and lots of bottled soda:


We run this as a pot-luck, so feel free to bring appetizers, side dishes, salads, or desserts.

We’ll have Conference on both in the living room (large screen TV) and down in the rec room (projector against one wall). Kids are welcome (Sandra has a permanent play area set up for our grandkids in one corner of the downstairs area). The schedule is pretty much GC schedule (9:30 am to 4:30 pm, both Saturday and Sunday); you can come for just one session, for all sessions, or even just for the break between sessions (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm each day).

Anyway, we’re at 9805 E Tom Tom Drive, Parker, Colorado — about 25 miles SSW of downtown Denver. Phone is 303.840.1511. Really ambitious (or crazy) Bloggernacklites from nearby states (Kansas, Wyoming, Utah, etc.) are also invited. ..bruce..

11 thoughts on “Open invitation to Colorado Bloggernacklites

  1. Feel free to return to the DC area and do it again!

    We did this with the singles ward in College Park but now we do a priesthood potluck dinner right before the Priesthood broadcast.

    But nothing like what you do. Looks great.

  2. We did this in the DC Branch/Chevy Chase Ward and started it after moving into our house on Quebec Street. At one of our earlier BBQs, the BYU interns were still meeting with our branch (this was before the new building down in Georgetown was built) — I cooked 80 hamburgers (in addition to all the other food), and they were all eaten. Heh.

    Our favorite time, though, was after the BBQ was done. Two of the younger married couples in the ward (a shout out to Kenny & Lisney and Matt & Cassidy!) would stay and talk with us for quite some time. I was never quite sure why, since Sandra and I were twice their age — maybe they saw us as crazy parental surrogates (you know, in loco parentis :-)). But it was a wonderful time. ..bruce..

  3. Yum that looks awesome. Too bad I live in Alberta.

    Btw Bruce I love that night day switch on this blog that is awesome.

  4. I love that night day switch on this blog

    Hey, it’s working! It didn’t work when I first installed this WordPress theme; I even wrote the author, but he couldn’t figure out what was wrong, either. Cool.

    And, yeah, Alberta is a bit of a drive. 🙂 ..bruce..

  5. Bruce, what’s your grill and method? I’m warming up the Weber kettle for the year now and like to talk BBQ.

  6. Steve:

    I have both a smoker and a BBQ grill, which I use for, well, smoking and grilling, respectively. 🙂 You can see some pretty clear photos of the smoker over at this BBQ post on my other blog from a few years back. There isn’t a clear photo of the whole BBQ grill, but you can see the grilling surface in the very last photo (here’s the current version of the model I have).

    That BBQ post on my other blog pretty much describes the whole method that I use for the smoking, both for the brisket and for the other meats. Back in DC, I only had a grill (an earlier version of the same model I have now), so smoking was a bit trickier and more tedious; I used indirect heat (coals to either side, with the meat being smoked in the middle) and I pretty much had to constantly watch the process in order to keep the temperature even. With this smoker, I just check the temperature once an hour or so, while throwing a few more soaked pieces of wood into the firebox (and more charcoal if necessary).

    When we left DC, we gave our grill to our close friends Kenny & Linsey (who took with it them down to Peru); once we got out here to Colorado, I bought a newer version of the same model.

    I also bought a dedicated smoker (this model), which makes smoking meats sooooo much easier. I strongly recommend getting a dedicated smoker of some kind if you’re going to smoke meats.

    I grill and smoke both year around; in fact, one of our traditions is a large New Year’s Day BBQ. It can be tricky to keep the smoker hot enough when it’s at or below freezing outside, but finishing the brisket in the oven helps that (this last New Year’s Day, I had to finish the turkey breasts and the leg o’ lamb in the oven as well). I think that I may see if I can buy an insulating (and fireproof) blanket to drape over the smoker for next winter. ..bruce..

  7. Neat. I’ve always wanted to go to one of these things, but they were always too far away. Now that one is here in Colorado, I guess I don’t have an excuse.

  8. Alright then. With three young kids, I doubt my wife and I can marathon it. But Saturday Morning session sounds about right.

  9. This sounds like an event not to be missed. But I’ll have to miss it till I live a little closer. I enjoy your blog, so I’m sure the BBQ would be fun. Hope you get lots of great eaters to come out! My husband and I are attending one session of conference in the Conference Center. I’m looking forward to it, as we haven’t had the opportunity to do that yet. Our daughter is singing in the Sat. PM session. so it will be special. We’ll have to take our binoculars!

  10. Nancy:

    Sorry you can’t make it, but it’s hard to compete with (a) going to the Conference Center and (b) having your daughter sing in Conference. 🙂 Have a wonderful time! ..bruce..

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