A perfect Labor Day, courtesy of Professor Wiviott

Despite the worry for my friends in New Orleans today — which it seems may escape the worst of Gustav’s wrath — Rachel and I had a pretty ideal Labor Day, thanks to Gary Wiviott’s Master the Weber Smokey Mountain in 5 Easy Dinners Course.

wiviottwsm by you.

Gary Wiviott’s Online WSM Course is a must for any prospective Smokey Mountain owner.

We’ve been messing around with our WSM for a few weeks now, and while we’ve made some very tasty stuff, it would be arrogant to say that we’ve mastered its use and gotten ideal results with it every time.

I was recently directed to Gary Wiviott’s web site and his five steps to excellent barbecue course. I met Wiviott a few years ago on a visit to Chicago, where both Ron Kaplan and I had a very meat-filled dinner with him at Fogo de Chao restaurant, a Brazilian Rodizo place. Until recently I had no idea that he was such a ‘Q fanatic, but I knew he was a food nut — he runs the food discussion site LTHForum.com, which specializes in Chicago restaurant talk.

Ready to make ‘Q on your WSM like a pro? Listen to the Professor. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

The great thing about Wiviott’s online course is that it totally de-mystifies the use of the WSM. Its easy to get confusing information about it, given the huge online community dedicated to it. This is not to say that the the Virtual Weber Bullet site is bad information — its good information, but unless you master the basics, you’ll be very unhappy.

Today we made the first dinner in Wiviott’s course, Chicken Mojo Criollo. This is a Puerto Rican/Dominican dish, flavored with sour orange marinade. We’ve made really good BBQ chicken in our WSM and our Brinkmann previously, but the key to this whole thing was building the fire properly so that the WSM would maintain a consistent 250 degree temperature. This in and of itself was worth the price of admission.

Chicken Mojo Crillolo by you.

Chicken Mojo Criollo, on the WSM grill.

Chicken Mojo Crillolo by you.

Juicy Chicken Perfection, cooked in 3 hours. The only thing we did that deviated from Wiviott’s instructions is we used Badia brand Mojo Criollo marinade instead of Goya, which doesn’t have added sugar in it. We also didn’t use any additional oil, we just used the marinade as-is. We also marinaded the chicken for about twelve hours, as opposed to only 6.

Baby Back Ribs by you.

While Baby Back Ribs aren’t supposed to be until Dinner #3, I couldn’t help myself from buying some on sale at Shop Rite over the weekend, and putting them on the lower cooking area of the WSM. I figured if Wivviot’s fire method is supposed to be foolproof, then the ribs should come out fine. They came out awesome. These were rubbed with mustard and a combination of a generic “Adobo con Pimiento” seasoning mix from Badia, some Paprika, and some Guajillo Chile.

Baby Back Ribs by you.

Baby Backs, Closeup.

Chicken Mojo Crillolo by you.

BBQ Chicken Mojo Crilollo with Tomato, Onion and Pepper Salad and Pesto dipping sauce.

10 Responses to A perfect Labor Day, courtesy of Professor Wiviott

  1. Jerry says:

    Everybody else got to grill on Labor day… boooooo!

  2. Randi says:

    I met Gary at the Heartland Gathering last month. I was pretty shocked when he brought Pigs in the Blanket( kosher hot dogs of course) to the event. I asked if he used puff pastry and he said ” no, believe it or not, its just good old crescent roll dough”. They were gobbled right up.

  3. Randi says:

    What do you think of those Badia spices? I sometimes pick them up with I’m in Florida, but my friend who lives there told me the qaulity sucks.

  4. Randi: I don’t have a problem with them, they are cheaper than the comparable Goya stuff and are about the same quality. The Mojo Crilollo marinade is better than Goya’s in my opinion.

  5. Gary Wiviott says:


    I feel ever so slightly guilty in light of your very nice post, beautiful pictures and how well everything turned out, but as you skipped up to Step-3 I am going to have to kick you out of the 5-Step program.

    Please reapply in 6-months with a letter from your spouse that she is willing to supervise, and make sure, you do all 5-steps sequentially.


  6. Rachel says:

    Gary, I warned him. I doubt that I will ever be able to write such a letter, he just can’t stop from tinkering. :)


  7. Robert says:


    which smoker do you prefer?

    Brinkman or WSM.

    Enquiring minds want to know.

  8. I really like the WSM but I think the Brinkmann is a very good smoker when used properly. There’s a lot less babysitting needed with a WSM, but I’ve produced excellent results with both. If you can afford the WSM, I’d say get the WSM.

  9. […] The last time I spoke of Gary Wiviott, founder of the Chicago foodie discussion board LTHForum, it was Labor Day of last year. Since then I have done quite a bit of my own BBQing, but because I never truly followed his lessons to his exact specifications, I was ejected from the online course, with extreme prejudice. I don’t blame Gary for this, he warned me in advance that if I didn’t listen, I would be toast. […]

  10. […] roasted. This got me thinking — what if we took Daisy’s recipe, de-boned it, and then smoked it on my Weber Bullet, so it would really taste like slow roasted turkey over charcoal? Then it would be BARBECUE! And […]

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