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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 more 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

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Best BBQ accessories

Napoleon Apollo AS200K

By Meathead Goldwyn

Manufacturer: Napoleon

Napoleon is a Canadian company that manufactures a wide variety of grills, smokers, accessories and books.  Napoleon is not well known in the USA and has limited distribution there. They started in 1976 as a small steel fabrication company in Ontario, Canada, and then branched out into making fireplaces and grills. Although Napoleon sightings are rare south of the Canadian border, they produce quality products and are essentially Canada's answer to Weber. In fact it's hard not to draw comparisons between Napoleon and Weber, even their logo and website are similar. But Napoleon comes up with just enough distinctive ideas to make them a viable contender.

Napoleon Apollo AS200K

If this promising newcomer looks familiar, there is a reason. It is a Canadian knockoff of the venerable Weber Smokey Mountain. It comes in two sizes, the Napoleon Apollo AS200K being the smallest. Like the WSM, it is a bullet water smoker, and like the WSM, it is black porcelain coated. One wonders if Weber has plans to sue them or surpass them. Unlike most knockoffs, this unit has a couple of clever design innovations and improvements over the original. But like all the rest, it has the mandatory inaccurate, built-in heat indicator.

At the bottom is a bowl with a steel basket for the charcoal. The basket design seems to be an improvement over the WSM because it is a single integrated piece. On the WSM there is a grate and a ring that sits on top. The bowl has three adjustable air intakes, just like the WSM. In this configuration, insert a grate, and it can work as a simple grill. The lid can fit on it so it looks like a Weber Kettle. The lid design is also better than the WSM in that it is harder for rain to get into the body. It also latches on so the whole unit can be lifted by the handle. There is also a bar in the lid with five hooks so you can hang rib slabs or fish. That's another nice feature because the 16" diameter grate is just long enough to squeeze on one slab of ribs, but if you want to put two or three on the grate, you will need to roll them or cut them in half. Read more about setups for Bullet Shaped Charcoal Smokers.

On top of the base you can add two rings to raise the lid and insert a water bowl and a second grate. The WSM has only one ring in the center, but I'm not sure there is much need for the second ring. There is a nice improvement in that the rings can also be latched on to make it easier to move. Each ring has an eyelet predrilled to allow users to insert a thermometer probe at grate level (probe not included). We also like the fact that the two access doors in the center sections are hinged. On the WSM the single door slides in and out awkwardly.

Another nice feature: It is a little less expensive than the WSM. What is unknown is how they will last. Weber is legendary for making solid, well-built, long lasting cookers. Time will tell if this one will equal or surpass the original.

Price: 

$309 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

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

Amazon

Primary Function: 

Grill

Smoker

Combination Grill & Smoker

Fuel: 

Charcoal

Primary Capacity: 

248 square inches ( about 12 burgers )

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.


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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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