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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 is 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


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. 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 $269 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.

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 imprimatur. Click for more info.

trophyBest Value Grills & Smokers of 2014

sear burner

bbq checkbox 2014 Top 10 Best Value Charcoal Grills

bbq checkbox 2014 Top 10 Best Value Gas Grills

bbq checkbox 2014 Top 10 Best Value Backyard Smokers

As we awaken from the worst winter hangover in memory, our thoughts turn to flower blossoms, chirping birds, and replacing that rusty old grill and smoker.

To help you find your next pride and joy, has named its Top 10 Best Value Charcoal Grills, Gas Grills, and Smokers. is, according to all the rating services, the most popular barbecue and grilling website in the world, by far. The site's Equipment Reviews section contains more than 300 grill and smoker reviews and ratings from more than 140 manufacturers. There is nothing close anywhere.

This year, of the 30 selections, 17 were made substantially in the US, China produced seven, four hail from Canada, and one each come from Denmark and Indonesia.

Weber dominated the list as it usually does with six selections because their machines are so well engineered, built to last, and carry reliable warranties. Several newcomers have cracked the lineup, among them the amazing Pit Barrel Cooker, a fine smoker for only $269 including delivery to your door from the plant in Colorado.

Of the 30 selections, 12 are under $500, and several are under $300, but in each of the three categories we have selected one luxury model in case your idea of a great value is "money is no object".

Some categories, like kamados and pellet smokers are growing rapidly. Kamados are usually egg shaped and well insulated, with many made from ceramics. They excel at smoking and winter cooking. Pellet smokers are another hot item. They burn wood pellets made from compressed hardwood sawdust from saw mills and most have thermostat controls, just like your kitchen oven.

Each year the gas grill manufacturers up the ante with new features. More and more are adding special high heat sear burners in order to create the high temps needed to properly crisp steaks as well as side burners for cooking your side dishes or keeping sauces warm, and rotisserie burners in the rear.

Max Good,'s Director of Equipment Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, laments that most manufacturers continue to include cheap bimetal dial thermometers mounted in the top of the lid. "The temp in the lid is often much different from the temp on the cooking surface, so mounting temperature indicators there, I hesitate to call them thermometers, doesn't do you much good unless you plan to eat the lid. We think it is time for them to start installing digital thermometers on the cooking surface". He recommends that you budget for a good digital oven thermometer and a separate digital food thermometer. also rates and reviews thermometers.

Good says "We rate and review as objectively as possible, measuring temperatures, slamming lids, turning dials, studying warranties, and kicking casters, but inevitably intangibles such as look and feel have to be considered. All the selections have won an Best Value Award, and we consider them among the best of breed in their price category."

This page was revised on 4/8/2014


Please read this before posting a comment or question

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. Please tell us everything we need to know to answer your question such as the type of cooker and thermometer you are using. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we can't help you. Please read this article about thermometers.

MISSING COMMENTS. On March 16, 2014 the company that supplied the software for our comments section went out of business. The company that bought them was not up to our standards, so on April 17, 2014 we moved to a new service and and thousands of previous comments were lost. So we must begin again. Sigh. Click here to learn more about our comment system.

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About this website. 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, rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best buying guide to barbecue smokers, grills, and accessories, edited by Meathead.

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© Copyright 2014 by AmazingRibs, Inc. is published by AmazingRibs, Inc., a Florida Corporation. Unless otherwise noted, all text, recipes, photos, and computer code are owned by AmazingRibs, Inc. and fully protected by US copyright law. This means that you need written permission to publish or distribute anything on this website. But we're easy. To get reprint rights, just click here. You do not need permission to link to this website. Note. Some photos of commercial products such as grills were provided by the manufacturers and are under their copyright.