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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.

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GrillGrates Take You To
The Infrared Zone

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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

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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 $289 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 mor than 50 cooks. Click for more info.

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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.


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Best BBQ accessories

Memphis Elite Pellet Smoker

By Max Good

Manufacturer: Memphis Grills

Memphis Grills offers four models of very high quality, pellet smokers with technically advanced digital controllers. Memphis calls them 3-in-1 Cooking Centers that are grills, smokers, and wood fired convection ovens. Memphis is a division of Heathland Products which also makes stoves, pellets, BBQ sauce and rubs. Hearthland is wholly owned by Dalsin Industries, a leading precision sheet metal fabrication company producing hearth products in their 135,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Bloomington, Minnesota.

In addition to The AmazingRibs.com Best Value Gold Medal, Memphis also won the 2010 VESTA Award for Charcoal, Wood Barbecues and Smokers, the 2010 VESTA Award for Best in Show Outdoor Room Products and First Place in the 2011 International Barbecue Awards.

Memphis Elite Pellet Smoker

The Memphis Elite, launched in March 2012, is the largest cooker in their impressive line of luxury pellet smokers. Memphis Pellet Smokers are extremely well built and designed.  We tested the Memphis Pro and Meathead himself proclaimed it, "one of the best cookers I've ever had the pleasure to use". They may be ordered as drop-ins for installation or on a cart. Our posted price includes the cart.

The cooking chamber has two layers of metal with an air gap between and an oven gasket on the lid to provide better heat retention. Just like your indoor oven. It is designed and built like a high end indoor appliance. This allows it to cook hotter and retain more heat and maintain steady lower temperatures. It has two twelve pound pellet hoppers for twenty four pound capacity.

The top grade 304 stainless is thick and extraordinarily well machined. The fit and finish are impeccable. The grates are some of the heaviest stainless rods we've ever seen. There is room for upper grates that allow you to almost double the capacity. The fire pot is in the center below a large stainless "flavor bar" bent in the center to allow grease runoff. There is a gap between the flavor bar and the interior walls to allow hot air to circulate. If you place food up to the edges of the grate, the ends that are over the gaps can overcook or burn, effectively reducing the cooking area.

The "Intelligent Temperature Control" digital control panel is a sophisticated, touchpad PID controller. Simple to operate, much easier than the MAK, it has a meat probe and a few programming options. For example you can set it to cook your brisket up to 190°F and then drop back to a lower temp.

The Elite has a panel on the plate that separates the fire pot from the cooking chamber. Remove the plate and insert a perforated plate called the "Direct Flame Insert" and it exposes the food to the flame. When turned on high it can produce a respectable if not perfect sear on steaks and burgers. The cooking temp range is said to be 180°F to 700°F. Once it reached set temp on our Memphis Pro test model, temperature fluctuation was within 5°F, tighter than most indoor ovens (check yours, it can fluctuate 25°F or more). The controller handled the frigid Chicago winter without a hiccup. This baby is truly set-and-forget ease.

There is a grease and ash tray below the cooking chamber that can hold disposable aluminum pans. They can get hot so you must remember to wear gloves when handling them and don't forget to empty them or you run a risk of a grease fire. In 2012 they added some prongs behind the Intelligent Temperature Control to wrap the power cord up and out of the way when not in use. Previously it just laid on the ground.

In addition to The AmazingRibs.com Best Value Gold Medal, Memphis also won the 2010 VESTA Award for Charcoal, Wood Barbecues and Smokers, the 2010 VESTA Award for Best in Show Outdoor Room Products and First Place in the 2011 International Barbecue Awards.

Price: 

$4,149 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

Where To Buy (Buying from these suppliers supports this website): 

Amazon

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Cabela's

Primary Function: 

Grill

Smoker

Combination Grill & Smoker

Drop-Ins

Fuel: 

Wood Pellets

Primary Capacity: 

844 square inches ( about 41 burgers )

Secondary Capacity: 

408 square inches

Main Burners: 

1

Manufacturer claims that all or practically all of this device is made in the USA

Yes

Review Method: 

Looked Closely At It

We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer,  owners, and other reliable sources.


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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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