Special Day Trip

1 Dec

After a few hours at the office this morning, I headed to Decatur, Alabama to meet my brother and nephew for a special and long-awaited day-trip to Lynchburg, Tennessee. Although normally I would have been excited to go to Lynchburg to tour the Jack Daniels Distillery, that would have to wait. Today was much more special than that – after all – they give the tours almost every day!

No, today was a day I had been waiting for for a while: the day I went to purchase my Primo XL Oval Ceramic Cooker!

A little background here – the Jack Daniels Invitational BBQ Championship, held each October in Lynchburg, brings in a number of Primo XL Oval cookers for use by the contestants in the grilling contest on the Friday night of the contest, as well as for use by the international teams in the competition. After the competition is over and the dust has had a chance to settle and the employees recover, these once-used cookers are offered for sale at a substantial discount from the full retail price (and with factory warranty).

This was attractive to me on a couple of fronts. First, these are wonderful cookers. Kamado in style, but oval and larger than the standard large sized kamado cooker. The oval design allows for a divided firebox, useful for indirect cooking without a plate setter. Secondly, the cooker is Made in the U.S.A. – in Georgia to be exact, and this appeals to me. I already had decided back in the summer that I wanted a Primo and was willing to liquidate some other cookers to make room for the cooker in the grill garden and, as with my original Weber grills, the “Made in the U.S.A.” label meant something to me. When I learned I could get a “slightly experienced” Primo at a great price, I got fired up.

After “the Jack” was over in October, I generally made a pest of myself to the nice people responsible for the contest until I got a call from Judy at the Craig Street Jack Daniels warehouse that the cookers were available and I was free to come to Lynchburg and pick one up. Today was the day!

My observations so far – (1) these things are a BEAST (big and heavy – which is good; (2) the design and construction are exceptional; (3) I am going to want some accessories, such as the extended cooking grate, indirect set up so I can use the entire cooking grid for indirect cooking and the firebox divider; and (4) I need some help getting the grill and it’s cart to my patio so I can fire it up, and soon!

As for the trip to Lynchburg, we still had a few minutes to wander the town square and although Miss Mary Bobo’s was closed, we still had a great lunch at the BBQ Caboose, and decided that we would make a trip back very soon for the distillery tour.

One thing: being in the vicinity of all that fine sippin hootch will make a guy thirsty, which is tough in Lynchburg because the distillery – were the most popular whiskey in the world is made – is located in a dry county!


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