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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.

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. 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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Charcoal grills
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Smokers

Charcoal, wood smokers
Egg, ceramic, kamado grill/smokers
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Gas smokers
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Other stuff

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Best BBQ accessories

Camp Chef Pellet Grill & Smoker DLX

By Max Good

Manufacturer: Camp Chef

Camp Chef's tag line is "The way to cook outdoors".  They began in 1990 to address the needs of campers, sportspeople and nature lovers who aren't content lounging around the patio. The Camp Chef catalog is impressive and comprehensive. Grills, ovens and smokers are often integrally designed with add ons such as lidded grill boxes, griddles and their new pizza oven. They offer a vast array of cookware, tools and utensils, lanterns, firepits and other cooking items designed or adaptable to outdoor applications.

Camp Chef Pellet Grill & Smoker DLX

Top Ten Charcoal Grill 2014This mid-sized pellet smoker is comparable in capacity to Traeger's popular Lil' Tex Elite, but much more sophisticated and easy to find for well below list price. It's one of the few pellet smokers we've seen with an ash removal system. Although pellets don't create much ash, they need regular cleaning, which is always a pain because the greasy grates and drip pan must be removed to get at the burn pot. Camp Chef's solution is a "trap door" bottom under the fire pot: the bottom slides back letting ash drop into a removable cup underneath. You still have to clean out the bottom of the smoke box periodically, but don't have to worry about a gunked up firepot that could impair the smokers performance.

photo of camp chef controllerThe souped up Ortech style, notched dial controller not only provides thermostatic, set it and forget it cooking, but also has a Dual LED read out that toggles between your set cooking temp and internal meat temp monitored by a stainless steel meat probe included with the unit. In addition to notched temp settings of 175 to 400 degrees, the controller has shutdown, feed, High, lo smoke and hi smoke options. Lo smoke temp is said to be about 175 and hi smoke about 225. So what's the difference between 175 and lo smoke, and 225 and hi smoke. Camp Chef responds, "There are slight differences in the settings, mostly in the auger timing. Lo smoke is set to hang around 160 degrees while hi smoke is set to hold around 225. In the 2 'smoke' settings the auger runs a little less, allowing pellets to smolder more than burn. The smoker temperatures can vary a little in 'smoke' settings but will still stay pretty consistent. In the 175 and 225 modes, there is plenty of smoke but the auger will be quicker, therefore the pellets will burn more then they smolder and temperature is more stabile."

The main cooking grate is rolled steel coated with enamel. The upper rack, drip pan and heat deflector are made of long lasting stainless steel. 20 pound capacity hopper. It comes almost fully assembled. All you need to do is attach the legs, side shelf, chimney and lid handle - no wiring required. MSRP is $834, but it's being offered by a variety of merchants for under $700 which makes this a best buy for folks thinking about taking the plunge into pellet smoking. Check out our Where to Buy section below.

Price: 

$834 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

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

Amazon: Free Shipping

Sportsman's Warehouse

Bass Pro Shops

Primary Function: 

Smoker

Fuel: 

Wood Pellets

Primary Capacity: 

429 square inches ( about 21 burgers )

Secondary Capacity: 

144 square inches

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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