National Cheeseburger Day!!

In honor of National Cheeseburger Day we wanted to share one of our favorite Cheeseburger recipes from Weber Grills with you! If you are not a fan of Mesquite or Chipotle Salsa, don’t worry, there are TONS of amazing Cheeseburger recipes on Weber’s Recipe Website.

Weber Grill’s Mesquite-Grilled Cheeseburgers with Warm Chipotle Salsa

Weber Grills Mesquite Grilled Cheese Burger Aqua Quip Blog

Serves: 4 // Prep time: 20 minutes | Grilling time: 20 to 22 minutes | Special equipment: 2 large handfuls mesquite wood chips


  • 1½ pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 plum tomatoes, each cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 large handfuls mesquite wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 canned chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 4 slices smoked cheddar or smoked Gouda cheese, each about 1 ounce
  • 4 hamburger buns, split


  1. In a large bowl gently combine the ground chuck, cumin, pepper, and 1½ teaspoons salt. Shape into four patties of equal size, each about ¾ inch thick. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation about 1 inch wide in the center of each patty. This will help the patties cook evenly and prevent them from puffing on the grill. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  2. Prepare a two-zone fire for high heat (450° to 550°F).
  3. In a medium skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a medium bowl. Brush the tomatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.
  4. Brush the cooking grate clean. Drain and add half of the wood chips to the charcoal and put the lid on the grill. When smoke appears, place the tomato halves, cut side up, over indirect high heat. Close the lid and cook until the tomato juices are bubbling and the skins split, about 12 minutes. Remove from the grill. Remove and discard the tomato skins and roughly chop the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, chile, and lime juice to the onion mixture. Season with salt. Set aside.
  5. Drain and add the remaining wood chips to the charcoal and put the lid on the grill. When the wood starts to smoke, cook the patties over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to medium doneness, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. During the last minute of cooking time, place a slice of cheese on each patty to melt and toast the rolls, cut side down. Remove from the grill and build each burger with the salsa. Serve warm.

Recipe from Weber Grills.

Grilled Banana Boat S’mores

Over Father’s Day weekend my family was spending some time together at our cabin. We had grand plans to make a cookie and strawberry dessert for our Father’s Day feast until we saw the latest ad from Weber Grills on tv. The ad showed how much fun you can have in your own backyard with your Weber Grill. One of the grills they showed on the commercial had these amazing looking Banana boats filled with marshmallows! Naturally my mom and I dashed for our phones to start looking up recipes on how to make these amazing looking treats. Here is what we found from our friends over at Allrecipes:

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Mini Marshmallows
Graham Cracker Crumbs (we added this!)

1. Slit each banana lengthwise through the peel, make sure not to cut all the way through as you want the banana to stay in the peel.
2. Stuff the banana with chocolate and marshmallows. We also added a couple chunks of graham crackers in for a real S’mores taste!
3. Wrap each banana boat in aluminum foil to help make sure the peels don’t burn too badly.

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4. Heat BBQ to 300 degrees and place banana boats directly on grill grates. (note: if you rest the banana on the grates they won’t fall over!)
5. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the marshmallows start to melt and brown. The ends of the banana will get dark but that’s OK.

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6. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs and dig in!
7. If you are looking to make these even more tasty try adding Nutella inside the banana instead of chocolate.

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A Feast for Father’s Day

For Father’s Day my dad wanted 1 thing…ribs! How can you say no when you have one of the best rib grilling machines out there. We love having our Big Green Egg at our cabin! To see what we ate for dessert check our Banana Boat S’mores!

IMG_1422 - Copy

We bought pork ribs at Costco (the best!) and rubbed them down with Butt Rub (Butt Rub is our company’s favorite BBQ rub, we use it on everything). We let them sit for a bit while heating up the grill and brought the ribs to room temperature.

– Set your Big Green Egg to 250 degrees and make sure it stays at that temperature
– Add ribs to grill with meat site up and monitor temperature to ensure that it stays around 250
– Grill ribs for 4 hours

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– Remove ribs from grill and cut into 3-4 bone sections
– Bring grill temperature up to 350 and return ribs to grill

Time to add your favorite BBQ sauce!
– Add sauce to one side, turn over and sauce the other side.
– Flip the ribs after 5 minutes and repeat this 3 times.

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Remove from grill and ENJOY!
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Our Supplies:



BGE-Large-with-Nest-and-Mates Butt-Rub


Every day, bacteria and other contaminants can find their way into your spa water. Care should be taken to enhance circulation – this will help prevent these contaminants from becoming problems.

As the water circulates it:

  • passes through the filter and the suspended particles are trapped
  • thoroughly distributes chemicals there to that kill bacteria, eliminate undesirable compounds, and help prevent problems.

1. Run your spa’s circulation system every day. Check your spa owner’s manual to determine how long your spa’s circulation system should run or ask any of our trained professionals in any of our Puget Sound stores.

2. If your spa has a separate circulation pump that runs continuously, simply make sure that your system is always in good working order.
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There are 2 primary components that affect spa water quality.

1. Sanitizer
2. pH

When both are within their recommended ranges:

• Your water is comfortable, protected and clear.
• Your sanitizers and “shock products” work efficiently.
• Your spa surfaces and equipment are protected.

1. Maintain sanitizer within the recommended levels:

Bromine residual = 2 – 6 ppm
Brominating Concentrate = 3-6 ppm
Brominating Tablets = 2-4 ppm

Chlorine residual = 3 – 5 ppm

(If your spa is equipped with an ozone generator, you may choose to maintain the chlorine or bromine at the lower end of their ranges.)

2. Maintain the pH between 7.4 – 7.6. In this range bathers are comfortable, the spa surface and equipment are protected, and the sanitizers perform efficiently.

Add SpaGuard® Spa Sentry™ to hold the pH in it’s optimum range. pH is THE most important aspect of spa water quality. However, maintaining the proper pH can be a challenge in a spa. The heated, aerated water, combined with heavy bather loads can cause the pH to change quickly, unless a means for buffering these changes is present. That’s where SpaGuard Spa Sentry comes in. Spa Sentry is formulated to “watch over” the pH and protect the water from pH changes. So all you have to worry about is enjoying your spa.

3. Test sanitizer and pH level several times a week with the test strips. These strips provide quick, easy and accurate readings. The test process is easy. Follow the label instructions. Simply dip and read.

4. Bring in a water sample regularly (every 4-6 weeks) for a complete water analysis from one of our trained professionals. In addition to testing the pH and sanitizer, this analysis will measure the water’s total alkalinity, calcium hardness, iron, copper, manganese and total dissolved solids. Based on this analysis, we can recommend the spa care products you need in order to keep the spa looking and feeling great!

[Back to top]


Many spa care mistakes are caused by poor filtration. A filter that’s operating properly helps keep the water clear by capturing the hair, oils, and cosmetics that wash off when people use the spa. When the filter is dirty or clogged, all this debris remains in the water. Most spas have a cartridge filter. Check your owner’s manual for detailed information on how to remove the filter for cleaning. Typically you should clean the filter every 4-6 weeks.

1. Remove the cartridge.

2. Rinse with a garden hose to remove loose debris. A hose-end nozzle is best. A pressure washer has too much pressure. (NOTE: this will not eliminate the accumulated oils.)

3. Every time you clean your filter, use SpaGuard Filter Cleaner and Degreaser according to label instructions. This will dissolve and loosen the built-up oil and dirt. If you are on the BaquaSpa system, use BaquaSpa Filter Cleaner. A concentrated liquid cleaner that removes deposits from filter cartridges. Provides powerful citrus cleaning action and a pleasant lemon scent.

4. Thoroughly rinse the cartridge again. (Ideally the cartridge should be allowed to dry before being returned to service.)

5. Return the cleaned cartridge to the filter housing.

6. Replace the filter element as often as the manufacturer or your SpaGuard Dealer recommends.

7. Use SpaGuard Water Clarifier weekly. Some particles of debris are microscopic and too small for the filter to catch. Water Clarifier will help join these tiny particles together and allow the filter to remove them, keeping the water clear. If you are on the BaquaSpa system, use BaquaSpa Water Clarifier with Bioplex NMF. A liquid that restores water clarity by assisting the filter in removing tiny particles that can cause clouding. Contains aqua enhancer Bioplex NMF with moisturizers to condition and soften spa water for a relaxing spa experience.

[Back to top]

Draining & Filling

Regular draining and refilling is a normal part of spa care. Over time, the water absorbs and dissolves minerals, chemicals and other soluble material. We can perform a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) test to help determine if it’s time to replace your water. High TDS can make the water look dull, become foamy and develop an odor.

How often you drain and refill your spa depends on how often you use it.
This simple formula can help.

(# of Spa Gallons / # of Daily Bathers) / 3 = Days Between Draining
* Example: (300 gallons / 2 daily bathers) / 3 = 50 days

1. Drain the water. Check your owner’s manual for information.

2. Clean the spa surfaces with SpaGuard Surface Cleaner or SpaGuard Spa Mitts. If you are on the BaquaSpa program, use BaquaSpa Surface Cleaner.

3. Refill the spa with fresh water.

4. Take a sample of the water used to refill the spa to andy of our stores for a complete analysis.

5. Add the recommended SpaGuard products in the order and amount determined by the water analysis.

[Back to top]


If left unchecked, contaminants such as dirt, oil, and even bacteria can accumulate at the waterline, much like a bathtub ring. Good spa care involves regular cleaning of surfaces. This will not only preserve the surfaces, but will also make the whole spa environment look and feel better.

1. Use a skimmer net to remove floating debris.

2. Brush and vacuum the spa.

3. If you have a skimmer basket, empty it once or twice a week.

4. Clean the oily ring that forms at the waterline using SpaGuard®

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Surface Cleaner or SpaGuard Spa Mitts. Unlike most common household cleaners, SpaGuard Surface Cleaner is totally compatible with your spa’s water chemistry. If you are on the BaquaSpa system use the BaquaSpa Surface Cleaner. This highly concentrated gel removes dirt, oils, stains, etc at the waterline. Effectively removes “bathtub ring” from spa shells. Safely cleans all types of spa shells.

GMG’s Pellet Baked Blackberry Crisp

In honor of National BBQ Month we wanted to

take an opportunity to share with some wise words of wisdom from our friends at Green Mountain Grills.

Did you know, that “you can cook anything in your pellet grill that you can cook in your oven”?

Here is GMG’s take on a Seattle Summer Classic!

Pellet Baked Blackberry Crisp


Topping: Combine 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder in a small bowl. Beat an egg in a separate bowl. Make a depression in the center of the dry mix and pour the egg into it. Fold gently until the topping mixture is crumbly.

Filling: Mix ¾ cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons of corn starch in a small bowl. Put 6 cups of fresh or frozen blackberries (or boysenberries) in a large bowl and sprinkle with the sugar/corn starch mix. Toss gently

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to evenly coat the berries.

Grease a square 8″ or 9″ pan with butter. Put the berries in it and sprinkle the topping over evenly. Melt a stick of butter and drizzle it evenly over the topping.

Bake this at 375° for 45 minutes. I predict that unless you utterly disdain dessert, you will have a second helping of this, especially if you serve it with vanilla ice cream . . .

Recipe courtesy of Green Mountain Grills.

Weber’s Beer-Marinated Chicken Tacos

Happy Cinco de Mayo! In honor of today’s holiday we wanted to share our favorite Weber Grills recipe. This is an oldie but goodie. These Beer-Marinated Chicken Tacos will become a family favorite for fiestas large and small!

Serves: 4 to 6 // Prep time: 20 minutes | Marinating time: 2 to 4 hours | Grilling time: 8 to 10 minutes



  • 1 cup dark Mexican beer
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each 3 to 4 ounces


  • 2 Hass avocados
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 6 flour or corn tortillas (6 to 8 inches)


  1. In a small bowl whisk the marinade ingredients. Place the thighs in a large, plastic resealable bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place the bag in a bowl, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, turning the bag occasionally.
  2. Scoop the avocado flesh into a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and salt. Using a fork, mash the ingredients together. Cover with plastic wrap, placing it directly on the surface to prevent browning, and refrigerate until about 1 hour before serving.
  3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  4. Remove the thighs from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the meat is firm and the juices run clear, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the chicken into thin strips.
  5. Warm the tortillas over direct medium heat for about 1 minute, turning once. Pile the sliced chicken inside the tortillas. Top each with a spoonful of guacamole. Serve warm.

Original recipe available from Weber Grills

Barbecuing Best Practices


Barbecue Tips and Tricks



How To Drain, Clean And Fill Your Hot Tub

Every 4 months it is recommended to drain, clean and fill your hot tub. Of course it depends how frequently you use your hot tub – but you should be able to tell when cleaning the filter is not enough to get the water in your tub looking clear and sparkly again.

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You can follow these easy steps to change the water in your tub yourself:*


  1. Turn the hot tub off. Disconnect the power to the hot tub at the breaker.
  2. Drain the hot tub
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    by unscrewing the drain valve cap*.

  3. Attach your garden hose to the drain fitting and pull on the garden hose to open the valve and release the water from the tub.
  4. Once drained close the drain valve again by pushing inward on the hose. Remove hose and replace the cap before refilling your hot tub.



  1. Clean the inside of your tub. There are many good cleaning appliances for cleaning your hot tub, but we recommend SpaGuard’s
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    Spa Cleaning Mitts and Gel-Gloss – both available at our stores.


  1. Place the end of your garden hose into the empty filter bucket. Always fill your hot tub through the filter bucket after draining. It prevents air to get trapped in the pump.
  2. Remove the hose and replace the filter cartridge.
  3. Turn on the power to the tub again and the heater and circulation pump will automatically activate.*
  4. Make sure to check your hot tub’s LCD screen for any messages or warnings – and be sure to call us if there are warnings you don’t understand.*

Balance the Water

  1. Bring a pint of water into your nearest store and we will give you instructions on how to balance your water.

*These tips are based on Jacuzzi and Sundance models and may differ according to your brand of hot tub. Please always refer to your hot tub’s user manual for further instruction.

It’s Time To Open Your Pool

2010-06-29 13.51.27

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coming fast and with the wonderful sunny weather we have been having in the Northwest – why not get a head start and get your pool ready for summer? Follow these 6 easy steps to ensure a smooth and easy pool opening:

  1. Take off your pool cover. Drain off water, remove and clean your cover with xxx
  2. Fill your
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    pool to the middle of the skimmer opening to allow for proper circulation.

  3. Check your pump, skimmer basket and filter. Make sure they are in perfect working condition. If not, make sure you contact your local store for replacements and we will be happy to help you out.
  4. Get your water tested. Bring a pint of water to your nearest store and we will test it for you for free.
  5. Test sanitizer and pH levels.
  6. Routine maintenance. Maintain your pool with routine maintenance – use BioGuard‘s 3-step pool care system or use Baquacil for a chlorine free option. You can also check out our blog post about automatic pool cleaners.

Now all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the

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Top 5 Reasons To Buy A Hot Tub

Just in time for the holidays, the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) has released a list of the top five reasons to buy a hot tub

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for that special person on your gift list. Post them in your store. Maybe you’ll snare an impulsive customer or two.

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tubs are affordable.
Portable hot tubs are more affordable than ever before, due to efficient manufacturing practices and competing brands. “We’ve managed to merge higher-end features into our hot tubs while lowering the price points, because that’s what customers are demanding,” said Maurizio Vozza, CEO and president of Nordic Hot Tubs.

2. Hot tubs fit anywhere.
The portable hot tub industry has adapted to consumers lifestyles. Hot tubs come in all different shapes and sizes, from two-person hot tubs to 10-person models. Hot tubs can be installed indoors or outdoors, in as little area as 64 square feet or less. Another emerging trend in hot tubs is swim spas, designed for those wanting the convenience of swimming, training or just relaxing. “Someone that is in the market for a portable hot tub/spa would be amazed that for a few thousand dollars more, they gain all the features of a lap pool and a therapy unit on top of all the spa features they were looking for,” said Jon Wilson, vice president, operations and new product development at Rio Swim/Spas. “Everyday folks to Olympic medalists are

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enjoying these models.”

3. You can use a hot tub year-round no matter where you live.
Hot tubs can be used year-round in any climate. Many owners use their hot tubs more in the winter, when bubbly heat remarkably offsets falling snow. But for those who don’t want their hot tub delivered until spring, Ken Janowicz, sales manager for Kasper’s Aqua Clear in Easton, Pa., recommends acting now. “You can leave a deposit securing the wintertime sale and be the first in line for delivery in the spring time,” he said. “It’s like beating rush hour and getting a great deal at the same time.”

4. Hot tubs

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are easy to maintain and are energy efficient.
Newer technology has allowed the hot tub owner to keep water clean and clear with a couple of minutes of weekly maintenance. Now models are being produced that will meet new APSP energy efficiency standards and to meet consumers’ demands for greener products.

5. Hot tubs provide “vacations/therapy” 365 days of the year.
Hot tubs provide the ideal venue to connect with family and friends. And they provide a multitude of health benefits ranging from stress reduction to muscle recovery. “We’ve really seen a push toward hot water therapy, especially for sufferers of fibromyalgia,” said Nordic’s Vozza. “Having a place to relax, connect and heal after a long day can really be the ultimate gift that keeps on giving.”

Written by Barrett Kilmer, has been on the editorial staff of AQUA magazine since 2000. He has a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and currently lives in Madison, Wisc. Read the article here.