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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

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 $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.

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.


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

Read before you buy

These articles give you important info about different cookers, things to look for, things to avoid, and checklists.

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Best BBQ accessories

Meadow Creek PR36

By Meathead Goldwyn

Manufacturer: Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply

It is a real treat in a disposable world to see products this well built. Especially at these prices.

All Meadow Creek grills, smokers, and grill/smoker combos are made by Amish craftsmen in New Holland, PA, as they have been since the company was founded in 1980. As you might expect, their designs are simple, well thought out, their build is solid and the products are long lasting.

Most metal is seriously heavy 13 gauge steel, In 2012 they switched from stainless steel expanded metal grates to heavy wire mesh grates which we commonly refer to as stainless steel rod grates. This change reduced waste because the expanded metal grates were stamped out of stainless steel sheets resulting in tons of small diamond shaped leftovers. Stamping also created sharp edges which nicked some fingers before they smoothed out from usage. Finally switching to metal rods decreased the volume of metal surface on the grates, reducing conduction cooking and exposing meat to more smoke. Handles are stainless steel coils that never get too hot and are easy on the hands. Meadow Creeks are favorites among the competition crowd for quality as well as price. That metal will stand up to nature's fury, and as long as you have them covered and keep them clean, you should be handing these down to your kids. If they've been good.

Meadow Creek PR36

Top Ten Charcoal Grill 2014Although it can handle a small hog, Meadow Creek's PR36 does much more. This is one versatile cooker. There is a deep trough and a tall lid with a solid strong hinge. A tray for charcoal hangs inside the trough 6" below the grate. Load it up and you can bring coal very close to the food for a quick hot sear. Or, if you wish, coals can be placed right on the bottom of the trough. You can then place the empty coal tray above coals for indirect cooking, or even fill the tray with water for steaming. Push the coals to one side and you have a fine 2-zone setup and put wood on the coals and you can smoke as well as any offset smoker. The coal tray lifts out easily so ash disposal is a snap.

There is an inverted V shape bar that runs the length of the bottom of the coal tray and it has large holes in it. It can be used to divide the charcoal bed and improve airflow to the embers. One can even lay unlit coals in a C or U shape and put hot coals on one end and it will burn slowly around the bend like a fuse, ideal for low and slow cooking.

The cooking grate is 15 x 35" for a whopping 525 square inches of primary cooking surface. It comes with a duplicate second grate that can be placed above the main grate, doubling you cooking capacity.

There are six simple flap covered vent holes, two on each side of the bottom, and one on each side of the lid. They don't seal perfectly nor does the lid, but a perfect seal is overrated. Temp control and airflow are more important. The large inflatable tires make it fairly easy to roll it on uneven surfaces such as grass, dirt, and even sand. It is painted with heat resistant black enamel. Powder coated would have been better. The seriously large dial thermometer in the hood is one of the few we've seen that actually works well.

Price: 

$725 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

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

Big Poppa Smokers

Primary Function: 

Grill

Smoker

Combination Grill & Smoker

Pig or Lamb Roaster

Fuel: 

Charcoal

Primary Capacity: 

525 square inches ( about 25 burgers )

Secondary Capacity: 

525 square inches

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

Yes

Review Method: 

Cooked On It

We have hands-on experience testing this product. 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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