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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

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. 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 AmazingRibs.com imprimatur. Click for more info.

tailgater monthly

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Click Search to see all our Reviews and Ratings. Use the filters below to refine your search.

*Based on 4" raw burger with 1/2" space on all sides

Thermometers. The thermometer on your grill is lying to you.

Best BBQ accessories & gadgets. Tools and toys that make you a better outdoor cook.

Louisiana Grills Country Smokers TG-300

By Max Good

Manufacturer: Louisiana Grills

Louisiana Grills is headquartered in Alberta, Canada. Along with Traeger, they were one of the early entrants to the pellet smoker market.  Among pellet cooking enthusiasts, Louisiana is an established name with some history to it. Their Country Smokers are standard, horizontal smokers made of black, powder coated steel. They also make Colonial smokers available in black or stainless steel. Colonials look like gas grills on enclosed carts with doors and side shelves. Lastly they offer the Estate line which consists of three drop-in smoker heads for permanent installations. Colonial and Estate are in process of being upgraded.

Parent company, Dansons, also owns Kentucky Komfort animal bedding and IBT Industrial Bulk Lubricants. Louisiana Grills are available in the USA online and at a limited selection of independent hearth and patio stores.

Country Smokers Grills Series

For years Louisiana-Grills has experimented with different designs and manufacturing sources to improve their products and bring a wide selection of quality, feature rich pellet smokers to market. Progress was slow, and the path often bumpy, but it appears they've turned the corner with their Country Smokers in 2014 and they have plans to upgrade their Colonial and Estate lines as well. Many older models may still be floating around in warehouses and showrooms. We do not recomend buying these older versions. Be sure to get the new CS smokers that come standard with a flame broiler sliding diffuser plate, and a factory installed digital thermostatic touch pad controller with a built in meat thermometer, (pictured below).

new louisiana grills country smoker digital controller

Louisiana Grills Country Smokers TG-300

TG-300 is the smallest smoker in Louisiana Grill's Country Smokers line. The tabletop body has short legs and no wheels. At 26.5" H x 36.5" W x 19.5" D weighing 94 pounds it is big enough to smoke a turkey and small enough to transport in a truck or van. Keep in mind; wherever you go with the TG you need access to electric power. In 2014 it underwent significant upgrades. The new controller, (shown above), is a huge improvement from the previous dial controller which had no thermostat, hence no way of easily setting and holding temps steady. BE SURE TO GET THE 2014 MODEL. We do not recommend older Country Smokers that have no thermostat.

The new Country Smoker controller toggles between set temp and meat probe temp. Set it and forget it, the thermostat will maintain cooking temperature just like your indoor kitchen stove. As a safety feature the meat probe can be set for your desired target temp. When internal meat temp rises within 10⁰ of the target, the controller automatically drops the smoker down to 170⁰ to avoid overcooking. So if you're cooking at 225⁰ and looking for an internal meat temp of 200⁰, when the meat hits 190⁰ the controller switches to the holding temp of 170⁰.

louisiana grills arched flavor guard

The Arched Flavor Guard, (above) is unique to LGs. Unlike flat diffuser/drip plates found under the grates of most pellet smokers, the Flavor Guard with sliding broiler plate is a 14 gauge curved metal sheet that conforms loosely to the shape of the hood, cresting in the middle of the cook surface and dropping off in the front and back of the cook box. LG feels this design presents a larger surface for meat drippings to sizzle and enhance flavor. The Flavor Guard has a section over the fire pot which can slide out of the way to expose large, slotted openings that allow meats to sear over open flame. This feature, previously optional, is now standard for all Louisiana CS smokers. Some other pellet manufacturers have their own versions of this "sear zone". They kinda-sorta work, but fire pots are small and don't crank enough intense radiant heat over a large enough area to do serious searing. They will, however heat up griddles, cast iron pans, or cast aluminum GrillGrates for conductive searing. You can do a nice reverse sear using the flat side of a GrillGrate on this system.

Instead of a chimney, Louisiana Grills uses a row of holes at the back located several inches above the cook surface. The Grease bucket hooks underneath the smoker rather than off to the side like most other brands. Options include a hopper extension and side shelf. All Louisiana Grills have porcelain coated steel grates.

Price: 

$699 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

Primary Function: 

Smoker

Tailgater

Fuel: 

Wood Pellets

Primary Capacity: 

300 square inches ( about 14 burgers )

Main Burners: 

1

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

No

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.


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

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