bbq grill and accessories ad
Amazing Ribs Logo
Meathead the Barbecue & Grilling Lover Cartoon

Read Smoke Signals, our free e-letter. No spam. Guaranteed. Enter your email here:

bbq ad

http://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon. Amazon and many other websites pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. It works on everything from grills to diapers, Amazon never tells us who bought what, it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site!

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.

Fast Eddy's by Cookshack PG500

By Max Good

Manufacturer: Fast Eddy's by Cookshack

The Fast Eddy's by Cookshack line is a collaborative design from Cookshack of Ponca City, OK and competition barbecue circuit pro, "Fast Eddy" Maurin. The FEC line, (Fast Eddy's by Cookshack) has been popular with competitive teams for years. The PG500 and PG1000 are their first residential smokers.

Cookshack is a second generation family owned business started in the early 1960's by Gene and Judy Ellis. Gene Ellis was an inventor and entrepreneur who loved barbecue. They began selling sauces and spice blends then branched out into hardware. Cookshack now manufactures a wide variety of pellet and electric smokers for restaurants, professional competitors, and back-yard barbecue enthusiasts. In 2004 Cookshack began a relationship with Fast Eddy Maurin, winner of numerous Grand Championships on the competitive BBQ circuit. Together they produced Fast Eddy's innovative pellet smoker designs which were greeted with enthusiasm and have become some of Cookshack's most popular smokers.

All their well-built machines are made in the USA and come with 2-year limited warranties. The company is universally respected for customer care and their online open forum is extremely informative and helpful. Owners absolutely positively love their Cookshacks.

Fast Eddy's by Cookshack PG500

In the beginning pellet cookers were used mostly as smokers because they didn't really have high temperature grilling ability. After more than a decade of design revisions, most of the pellet burners still cannot do both well. Introduced in 2010, the Fast Eddy's by Cookshack PG1000 took an innovative approach to being both a low and slow smoker and a fast cooking grill. Now Cookshack has introduced the PG500, which has the same primary cooking surface area and very similar cooking capability, but sells for several hundred dollars less. The main differences are the PG 500 has a smaller cart with no lower storage shelf and very little work space. The PG500 also does not have an insulated hood. In fact it has two doors that access the cookbox rather than the tradition flip up hood.

Although similar to other backyard pellet cookers in appearance, the PG500 differs most significantly from the competition by moving away from the standard design of a fire pot on the bottom, a diffuser plate in the middle, and a cooking grate above. This design makes most pellet cookers exclusively indirect convection cookers, so it is impossible to have a 2-zone system, the best configuration for grilling, or to get direct flame contact for a high temperature sear.

Fast Eddy's revolutionary design provides four distinct cooking zones:
-Zone one is a 10" wide x 18" deep direct cooking area with the firepot directly below so flames can directly contact the food for high temperature grilling.
–Zone two located to the right of the firepot is an 18" x 18" indirect zone for roasting with or without smoke.
-Zones three and four are spread across a 10" x 28" secondary cook surfaces above Zones one and two. Zone three above the firepot, is significantly hotter than Zone four above the indirect primary cook surface.

The direct zone has cast iron grates which produce superior conductive heat for searing but are prone to rust. The other two zones have nickel plated wire grates. Total cooking surface is 784 square inches.

The digital controller is simple and easy to use, but has some useful features that enhance performance for low and slow cooking and searing. When cooking at low temps like 225, one can modify the controller program to reduce temperature fluctuations over long cooking periods. It smokes meats beautifully creating a deep mahogany finish much like the big heavy offsets used in competitions. For searing, the controller can be recalibrated to run continuously and produce maximum heat. Results are not bad. We are still testing this feature.

The ash drawer is front-mounted making cleanout easy. The 25 pound capacity pellet hopper is mounted on the side. The body is stainless steel and the whole unit is covered by a 30-day money back guarantee and a 2-year limited warranty. When is the last time you saw a money back guarantee on a grill?

Although the combustion cup in the direct grilling zone puts out plenty of searing heat, the temp drops off rapidly as you move away from the center of the relatively small area. If you are grilling steaks with the doors open, you cannot control the heat output from the burn cup. As much as we recommend the 2-zone system, this is an awkward configuration. In addition, the fact that there is no cover over the flame allows ash to blow into the cooking chamber, often landing on your food. Interestingly, this configuration creates a convection flow of hot air cooking from the top on the indirect side rather than the bottom as do most other pellet smokers.

The PG500 comes with a side shelf and 40 pounds of pellets.

Price: 

$1,595 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

Primary Function: 

Grill

Smoker

Combination Grill & Smoker

Fuel: 

Wood Pellets

Primary Capacity: 

784 square inches ( about 38 burgers )

Main Burners: 

1

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.


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.

Moderators

LeaderDog.org Ad on BBQ site

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.

Advertising on this site. AmazingRibs.com is far the most popular barbecue website in the world and one of the 50 most popular food websites in the US according to comScore and Quantcast. Visitors and pageviews increase rapidly every year. Click here for analytics and advertising info.

© Copyright 2014 by AmazingRibs, Inc. AmazingRibs.com 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.