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Meathead the Barbecue & Grilling Lover Cartoon

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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


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 imprimatur. Click for more info.

Meathead's Ruminations:Thought for Food

barbecue"The Internet is full of old growlers, of course, and if you opine on public issues, you'll get anonymous mail calling you a baby killer, torturer, tool of Satan, cat strangler and babbling idiot, which you accept as your due, like the static electricity you collect walking across a carpet. A slight shock, but it doesn't turn on any light bulbs." Garrison Keillor

By Meathead Goldwyn

Food is like sex, only you can talk about it in polite company. My ruminations, I call them "Thought for Food", appear irregularly and covers a wide range of topics, from food, cooking, drink, and barbecue, and occasionally, politics. Don't get me started.


2013-12-22 The Electronic Crybaby. A desperate man's search for something that goes beep in the night.

2013-11-27 Let's Fight Back Against The War On Thanksgiving, A Holiday More All-American Than July 4 Or Christmas.

2013-4-4 New Meat Labeling Standards. Help Or Hindrance?

2011-6-6 What's Risker Than Raw Hamburger? Raw Sprouts!

2011-5-25 New USDA Recommended Temps Change Little and are Still Mindboggling. The USDA has just revised its recommended cooking temps for safety and pay no attention to flavor, texture, and juiciness.

2011-3-10 Google's New Recipe Search Creates a Pain. Here's how Google is trying to help make recipes easier to find, the unintended consequences, and how food bloggers can get in.

2010-2-10 Remembering Stuart Miller, the definition of bon vivant.

2009-10-16 Who Killed Gourmet Magazine? The beloved 68 year old grande dame of culinaria, died on October 5, 2009. And the obits say I killed her. Here's a thorough autopsy.

2009-03-24 Thirty years after Three Mile Island, a lesson for today's economists. I remember March 28, 1979 and its lessons vividly. 30 years after the near melt down of a fail-safe nuclear power plant, there are lessons for economists and regulators at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

2009-02-17 Best Hot Dog Gone (from the Huffington Post). The best hot dog in the town famous for hot dogs, perhaps the best hot dog in the nation, Best's Kosher Franks, has been chewed up and spit out by the conglomerate that swallowed it whole.

2009-02-15 Save Mr. Beef (from the Huffington Post). Another Chicago icon in danger.

2008-12-28 Lessons From Marley. There are two powerful teaching opportunities in the new movie "Marley & Me" and the film gets a PhD in one and flunks the other. Read this if you want to bring kids or if you have an incorrigible dog.

2008-11-30 An Open Letter to Charities (as published in the Chicago Tribune). I give money and time to charities. And I'm fairly generous with both. But when I give money it is on my terms. Click here to read my rant from the Chicago Tribune, "An open letter to charities."

2008-10-30 Italian Culinary Trends (as published in Restaurant Hospitality). I have just returned from two weeks in northern Italy. Since Italian culinary concepts have touched practically every cook in North America, I looked for what was new that might find its way into our repertoires. I was also interested in what is changing in the way Italians dine.

2008-07-22 Just Stay Home if You're That Persnickety (as published in the Chicago Tribune). So the City of Chicago has demanded that the actors in the hit musical Jersey Boys stop smoking on stage, no doubt to remind the world of the time we busted Lenny Bruce for using naughty words and when we fined chefs for serving foie gras.

2008-05-16 Robert Mondavi, The Art Lover. The thing that always impressed me about Bob was that you could talk to him about anything, art, music, politics. So many winemakers know only winespeak. And, in fact, on the numerous occasions we met, we rarely talked wine.

2008-05-12 The Future for Foodies. Some things you might find at the National Restaurant Association Show. Or not.

2007-12-11 Food and the Flicks. Give your Netflix account a workout. Here's a compendium of movies with food in a leading role.

2007-07-20 Funny food at Moto. I have just had some of the most amazing smoked pork I have ever tasted. And it was not at Memphis in May or served on butcher paper south of the Mason Dixon Line. It was at a cutting edge restaurant with a Japanese name in Chicago.

2007-05-01 Meathead makes the College Football Hall of Fame. Meathead has been named the chief judge of the Kickoff Riboff and he reminisces about his brief career as a linebacker at the University of Florida.

2007-03-12 Fie on Foie Gras Bans. State Representative Robert Molaro (D-21st) has proposed a ban on foie gras in Illinois. Apparently he has not paid attention to the the fallout from a similar ban in Chicago or the facts that have been revealed in the debate surrounding it. He is either gullible or just publicity hungry, in which case, he should not force feed his silliness on the citizens of Illinois.

2007-03-09 Ernest Gallo: A Conundrum. Ernest Gallo died March 6 at age 97, but when I had dinner with him in 1978 he was at the height of his powers, running the largest wine selling machine in the world, and, after a long dinner, in one telling sentence, he demonstrated why he was such a conundrum, why he was both hallowed and hated.

...more to come (to be notified when new recipes and other articles come online, be sure to subscribe to my free, spam free, email newsletter).

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.

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About this website. 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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