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Digital Thermometers:
Stop Guessing!

thermopop bbq thermometer

Gold BBQ AwardA good digital thermometer keeps me from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. You can get a professional grade, fast and precise splashproof thermometer like the Thermopop (above) for about $24. The Thermapen (below), the Ferrari of instant reads, is about $96. It's the one you see all the TV chefs and all the top competition pitmasters using. Click here to read more about types of thermometer and our ratings and reviews.

bbq thermapen

GrillGrates Take You To
The Infrared Zone

BBQ_grill_grates

Gold BBQ AwardGrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, produce great grill marks, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, smolder wood right below the meat, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips or pellets or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill and pellet smoker needs them.

Click here to read more about what makes these grates so special and how they compare to other cooking surfaces.

The Smokenator:
A Necessity For All Weber Kettles

smokenator bbq system

Gold BBQ Award If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the amazing Smokenator and Hovergrill. The Smokenator turns your grill into a first class smoker, and the Hovergrill can add capacity or be used to create steakhouse steaks.

Click here to read more.

The Pit Barrel Cooker

pit barrel c ooker bbqAbsolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world.

This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier (and that's because smoke and heat go up, not sideways).

Gold BBQ AwardBest of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them.

scissor tongs

Best. Tongs. Ever.

Gold BBQ AwardMade of rugged 1/8" thick aluminum, 20" long, with four serious rivets, mine show zero signs of weakness after years of abuse. I use them on meats, hot charcoal, burning logs, and with the mechanical advantage that the scissor design creates, I can easily pick up a whole packer brisket. Click here to read more.

Amp Up The Smoke

mo's smoking pouch

Gold BBQ AwardMo's Smoking Pouch is essential for gas grills. It is an envelope of mesh 304 stainless steel that holds wood chips or pellets. The airspaces in the mesh are small enough that they limit the amount of oxygen that gets in so the wood smokes and never bursts into flame. Put it on top of the cooking grate, on the burners, on the coals, or stand it on edge at the back of your grill. It holds enough wood for about 15 minutes for short cooks, so you need to refill it or buy a second pouch for long cooks like pork shoulder and brisket. Mine has survived more than 50 cooks. Click for more info.

steak knives for bbq

The Best Steakhouse Knives

Gold BBQ AwardThe same knives used at Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, and Morton's. Machine washable, high-carbon stainless steel, hardwood handle. And now they have the AmazingRibs.com imprimatur. Click for more info.

tailgater magazine
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Parts To Repair, Modify, And Upgrade Your Grill Or Smoker

By Meathead Goldwyn

It can occasionally be a lot cheaper to modify, patch up,or upgrade your current smoker. Here are some tools to help you. Then again, sometimes you just need to haul the old clunker into the alley and get a new one.

Convert a drum to a smoker/grill. BigPoppaSmokers.com sells a kit that you can use to convert a drum into one heckuva nice smoker for under $200, and assembly is easy. You can even say "I built it myself.

BGE gaskets

Seal doors. If you have a cheap offset smoker (COS), or a gas smoker, chances are they leak badly around the doors. You might be able to mitigate the problem by making a gasket. One option, suggested by reader Davidhag1 is to buy a replacement gasket designed for a Big Green Egg. It is a feltlike material and has an adhesive on the back. You can get it from one of their dealers, or from the website.

Rutland Gasket Kits and Gore-Tex Gasket Tape are good for making gaskets for doors and lids. Pay attention to thickness and max temp. Another option is Rutland High Temp Silicone Sealant or use a high temp auto silicone that is rated for 500°F or more. You can make a really thin bead around the door rim or the smoker body where the door contacts it. Lay a thin strip of kitchen wax paper or kitchen parchment paper (which is actually silicon impregnated) on top of the bead. Gently close the doors until the goo spreads out and the paper makes contact with the opposite surface all around. Lift the door and let it set. Peel off the paper. The sealant can be trimmed with a knife. Rutland Products are in hardware stores, furnace and wood stove stores, and online.

Another good spource is BBQgaskets.com. They carry a wide range of gaskets and sealants.

Convert to gas. Turkey fryers online sells parts that you can use to convert a charcoal cooker to gas, or install a gas igniter for charcoal.

Fix leaks. J-B WELD, readily available at hardware stores, is pretty good at filling gaps and leaks, but it is not rated as food safe, so keep it away from cooking surfaces. A new product, Master Bond EP21NDFG is FDA approved and looks like a good choice. Other products that might work, but I haven't used, are Victor Exhaust System Sealer, or other muffler cements, or high temperature silicone sealants. Just steer away from anything that might melt and drip on the food.

Retain heat. Cheapo smokers are made of thin metal. That means the heat escapes quickly. If you put bricks in the bottom and cover them with foil, the cooking chamber will take more time to heat up, but it will hold heat longer and distribute it more evenly. This will also help dampen temperature spikes. You can also cut down on the heat loss by draping the cooking chamber (not the firebox) with a welding blanket or a foil insulation blanketbarbecue.

You can put bricks inside a cheap offset smoker to hold heat and even temp spikes. You'll need fire bricks for things like pizza ovens. H.C. Muddox sells special high temp fire bricks and tubes.

Replacement parts

Occasionally you may need to replace grates, burners, knobs, or other parts. The first place to start is with your manual. Get the part number and then look on the manufacturer's website. If you can't find the manual, it may be available in downloadable form on the website.

If the producer doesn't have the parts you need, there are companies that supply replacement parts, even for older cookers:

Amazon.com Grill Parts

AllPartsGrills.com

ApplianceFactoryParts.com

BBQParts.com

ereplacementparts.com

HomeDepot.com

GrillParts.com

Grill-Parts.com

GrillStuff.com

This page was updated 2/26/2013


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grouchy?1) Please use the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help, then please post your question on the appropriate page.

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About this website. AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, spareribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best buying guide to barbecue smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, edited by Meathead.

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