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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

Search Our Reviews and Ratings

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.

Modern Home Products WNK4 Gas Grill

By Max Good

Manufacturer: Modern Home Products

Modern Home Products introduced the first gas grills to Amercia in 1960. Made with cast aluminum, Modern Home Products grills withstand harsh outdoor conditions and won't rust. Some MHP owners love to brag about how old their grill is, how they never clean it and especially how they never cover it. In the 60s this cast aluminum design was the rule rather than exception. In recent years MHP introduced stainless steel grills bowing to changes in consumer tastes. Aluminum grills are still made by a few other companies like PGS right here in the USA. But you won't find these at any big box store where almost every grill is steel and, more often than not, made in China.

Modern Home Products WNK4 Gas Grill

Top Ten Charcoal Grill 2014Although MHP makes a large, newer styled stainless grill, the WNK4 is the largest model that retains their classic design. Made with cast aluminum, it is practically indestructible. It will withstand harsh weather, abuse, and never rust. MHP owners love to brag about how old their grill is, how they never clean it, and especially how they never cover it. I remember these big black boxes on ground posts when I was growing up. Not having seen one up close since my childhood, I was struck by the old fashioned appearance. Whether they're dated or classic is in the eye of the beholder. In the 60s this cast aluminum design was the rule rather than exception. It is still made by a few other companies like PGS right here in the USA. But you won't find these at any big box store where almost every grill is steel and, more often than not, made in China.

The WNK4 passes a lift the lid and shake test with ease. The cast aluminum housing of the cooking chamber is thick and solid. The novel "Stay Kool" handle is a perforated stainless steel tube. It rolls freely within its side mountings as you lift.

Remove the grate and you'll see notches on the front and back of the grill body which are built-in shish kabob skewer holders. Instead of metal flavor bars over the top of the burners, MHP uses "Flavor Master" porcelain briquettes which rest on a porcelain coated grate just above the burners. In the beginning, lava rocks were employed, but the smooth uniform shape of ceramic briquettes promotes even heat and allows gunk to burn off more effectively. MHP goes a step further by using kiln fired, porcelain coated briquettes. They believe this system provides more even heat, vaporizes drippings better than most flavor bars and, of course, will not rust as do most flavor bars. The bottom aluminum casting tapers toward the back to divert grease into a small stainless steel cup. However, MHP claims not much grease escapes.

All MHP grills present a variety of options. The WNK4 may be ordered with stainless steel rod cooking grates and warming racks, or "Sear Magic" grates. Sear Magic consists of two sided, reversible aluminum cooking grates. One side is ribbed for grill marks and the other is smooth. As the name indicates, they intensify heat from standard gas burners and work in tandem with IR burners to sear while reducing moisture loss. They are similar to the popular GrillGrates, but not quite the same, and of course MHP came first. Our posted price is based on a basic WNK4 grill head mounted on a two wheel cart. Heat Flux rating is also based on this configuration.

It has one large, 40,000 BTU stainless steel "H" burner that is effectively two burners fused together with two controls for zone cooking. Temperature range is 300°F to 550°F. The WNK4 has two NuStone (faux stone) shelves or two stainless steel fold down shelves. Many options are available that can drive up the price significantly. You may add a side burner and/or a rotisserie kit and 12,000 BTU backburner. The "H" burner may be replaced by three Infrared burners, or two cast stainless burners and one IR burner to create a "Hybrid" model.  These IR and Hybrid models have three controls and come with Sear Magic grates. Available in natural or propane gas, it can also be retro-converted. Electronic ignition is battery powered. Most MHPs come with built in "heat indicators". We do not like "heat indicators" and prefer you purchase a digital thermometer. They actually removed them for a period of time but then, bowing to public demand, brought them back with a higher quality device they claim to be accurate within 15 to 25°F.

MHP grill heads can be built into permanent installations or mounting on a variety of posts, columns, and carts. You can chose a 48" aluminum post for in-ground installation or various columns and carts offered in aluminum, coated steel and stainless on wheels. Some have enclosures for a propane tank, some do not, but none have doors, shelves, condiment trays, etcetera, and none of these features are offered as extras. A stainless steel masonry enclosure for built-ins with a matching set of double doors is also available. All stainless steel carts, burners and grates are high grade 304 stainless steel.

For built-in installations, MHP offers some drawers, doors and a pull out trash compartment. Tools, shish kabob skewers, a smoke box, and other accessories are available. As for parts, these guys have been around since the beginning of gas grilling and many older models are still working in the field. They got parts. They even have a "Restore a Grill" section at their website.

The warranty is exceptional and testifies to stories of indestructability MHP owners are keen to share about their grills. Limited Lifetime Warranty on housings, control panel, stainless steel burners, cooking racks and Sear Magic Grids. 5 Year Warranty on IR burners and porcelain briquettes. 1 Year Warranty on igniter, gas valves, knobs, NuStone shelves and briquette grates.

If you like both low maintenance and durability, take a look at MHP, particularly the cast aluminum models. There are reasons the MHP warranty is so good and campgrounds and parks use them. Since the "H" burners max out at about 550°F, consider getting at least one IR burner. They don't come with a lot of goodies, they aren't cheap and some may feel they lack curb appeal. But these cookers are time-tested, rock solid, versatile, and unique.

Price: 

$1,022 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

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

Amazon

Backyard Barbecue Store

Primary Function: 

Grill

Drop-Ins

Fuel: 

Propane Gas

Natural Gas Capable

Primary Capacity: 

433 square inches ( about 21 burgers )

Secondary Capacity: 

209 square inches

Main Burners: 

1

Additional Burners: 

Side

Sear

Rotisserie

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

Yes

BTU: 

40,000

Heat Flux: 

92. Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.

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.

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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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