"Praise is cheap, but criticism is priceless." Jerome Goldwyn, Meathead's Dad
All the articles, recipes, and tips on technique, on AmazingRibs.com are written by Meathead but I stand on the shoulders of some very helpful people, listed below alphabetically.
Brigit Binns is my culinary consultant, occasional editor, advisor, and confidant. She is also is the esteemed author of more than two dozen cookbooks (many for Williams-Sonoma).
She has taught me much, corrected my stupidities, and sent me recipes to test for her books that always bowl me over. She teaches bread and pizza baking outdoors at her wood burning oven in Paso Robles. Follow her at TheCrispyBit.com.
Prof. Greg Blonder is an amazing polymath and the AmazingRibs.com resident science advisor and mythbuster. A Professor of Product Design and Engineering at Boston University, he has a physics BS from MIT and a physics PhD from Harvard. He has served as the Chief Technical Advisor at AT&T's legendary Bell Labs and he holds more than 80 patents.
As an entrepreneur, he has been a partner at the Morgenthaler Ventures, a technology centric venture capital firm that has supplied funds to Apple among others. He has lectured at numerous universities and written a number of articles for Business Week.
His love of food, especially barbecue, has brought him to food science where he conducts original research for this website, and patiently answers our dumb questions.
Jerod Broussard is a maestro of the drum smoker and Texas barbecue in general. Born and raised in Southwest Louisiana on a rice farm, Jerod earned a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science and moved to Texas where he has been a food inspector since 2002. Don't be shy with your questions regarding chicken, Jerod inspects about 15,000 a day prior to them being chilled and processed. He's an enthusiast who can't stop smokin'.
John "Spinaker" Bowlsby, Comments Moderator
Spinaker grew up in the BBQ starved state of Minnesota. People here are more likely to be eating hot dish or lutefisk than brisket and ribs. But he has always been drawn to outdoor cooking.
"My BBQ journey probably started where many others' did; on the deck with my father. He loved to cook burgers and steaks on the grill for me and my three brothers, but we never really did any low and slow. As we grew up, I started cooking more and more and I fell in love with BBQ. I love how BBQ has that unique way of pulling people together. I love making BBQ, but nothing beats seeing the looks on peoples' faces when they are enjoying every bite, together. I still reside in Minnesota and I work for a chemical trading firm based out of Minnetonka, MN."
Rick Browne is a renowned TV cooking show host, photojournalist, and author with 15 cookbooks under his belt. He is the creator, host, and executive producer of public television's popular Barbecue America TV series, a cooking and travelogue series highlighting the world's outdoor culinary landscape. It has aired on more than 230 stations. Browne has appeared on "Good Morning America," the "TODAY" show, "Live with Regis & Kelly," and has been featured in People Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Consumer's Digest, Better Homes & Gardens, and USA Today. Browne holds an honorary Ph.B. (Doctor of Barbecue Philosophy) bestowed upon him by the Kansas City Barbecue Society for his expertise and commitment to barbecue.
Clint Cantwell is the AmazingRibs.com lead writer creating recipes, writing articles, and wielding his cameras for us.
With a passion for all things barbecue and grilling, Cantwell was was named one of the "10 Faces of Memphis Barbecue" by Memphis Magazine in May 2015 and was the winner of the Travel Channel's "American Grilled" nationwide cooking competition series. He is the Editor of his own blog, Grillocracy.com and comes to us from Kingsford.com where he served as editor for several years. He is also a special contributor to TheDailyMeal.com, and has recurring segments on both CNN's HLN, and WREG-TV. He is also the pitmaster of Smoke in da Eye competition barbecue and grilling team.
From his childhood in Texas to several years spent in Kansas City, Wisconsin, New Orleans, and New York, Cantwell's passion for barbecue and grilling runs deep as he travels the country in search of the people, places, and tastes that define our shared grilling culture.
He lives just outside of Memphis along with his wife, three children, and Charcoal the dog, sharing his grilling ideas, experiences, recipes, tips, techniques and more. You can follow him here:
Max is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max loves barbecue so much that he took his barbecue sauce recipes, had them bottled, and now sells Black Swan Premium, All-Natural Sauces around the world.
Barbecue was not his first career. He earned a BA from Columbia College in Chicago and studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Dana School of Music. He has been involved in every aspect of film, video and music production. He edited the 1991 Academy Award nominated documentary, "The Mark of the Maker" and "Universal Hotel", which is part of a permanent exhibit at the Dachau Memorial Museum.
One of the fringe benefits of having a retired school teacher for a Mom is she will gladly underline all my spelling and grammar errors in bright red ink. Mom stays active editing, going to the theatre, and guides art museum tours as a volunteer. She says she's thrilled with her son's success, but still wishes he had become a doctor and really really wishes he would use the name she gave him not the nickname, Meathead.
George Hensler is the founder and pitmaster for the competition BBQ team named "Who Are Those Guys?" They have been competing on the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) circuit since 2007. He is a columnist for the KCBS Bullsheet and the National BBQ News and he has written two books, Totally Q, an insider's look at the crazy world of barbecue and Startin' the Fire , a "how to" book on starting your own competition BBQ team. He resides with his family in Street, MD.
Kinger loves to cook and shoot videos. A while ago he started sending me short vids he made of my recipes and I loved them. Now many of them now appear on these pages to help you visualize the process. You can also see them on BBQFOOD4U. Kinger lives in Toronto and says "My Mother told me 'If you wanna eat you better learn to cook.' So I did. Cooking, filming, editing, and cleaning up the mess is a lot of work, but I just love to show everyone how easy it is to make delicious food."
Jerry King draws barbecue and grilling cartoons exclusively for members of The Pitmaster Club. He is one of the most published cartoonists in the world, with a client list of Disney, American Greetings, and many other companies, worldwide. After serving in the Army, Jerry went on to graduate from The Ohio State University. When Jerry isn't drawing cartoons, he's probably on a golf course… losing.
How lucky can I get? My neighbor is an accomplished artist and she has replaced my crude drawings with polished professional illustrations that explain complex concepts.
Lisa is a technical illustrator who studied illustration and graphic design at the American Academy of Art, Chicago, and scientific and botanical illustration at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. A senior designer at the Brookfield Zoo, Lisa's animal and plant illustrations have appeared in publications and zoo exhibits. Other projects have included anatomical illustrations for physical therapy manuals and corporate graphics. She has also exhibited drawings in groups shows in Chicago.
Huskee is the manager of our Pitmaster Club. Born and raised in central Michigan, so he calls it "pop" not soda. His dad loved making burgers and chicken on the gas grill, and thus began his love of all things barbecue. A KCBS Certified Barbeque Judge (CBJ), he experimented for a few years with a cheap Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker and graduated to a loaded Yoder Wichita offset smoker in early 2012. His arsenal has since expanded to 7 cookers and counting, and he uses them year round since "grilling and smoking knows no off season!" Cooking with wood is in his blood, and his current wood collection is over 15 varieties. When he's not cooking he works full time night shift in a hospital as a licensed and registered respiratory therapist (RRT). He worked as a blown insulation, drywall, and painting crew leader prior to his healthcare and barbecue careers.
Dr. Antonio Mata, PhD, is a meat scientist known around the world as "The Meat Geek". He has been a Consulting Technical Coordinator to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the discoverer of the Petite Tender steak and the Las Vegas Strip Steak. He was also involved in the discovery of the flatiron steak. He answers my meat questions and makes me laugh. In 2013 he was #44 on the Fast Company magazine list of the 100 Most Creative People. Here's a link to an interview with him on CBS News. Also, Meatingplace Magazine did a cover story and posted videos about him and the LVSS.
Jim is head of Desktop Design in Skokie. He is an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) and Adobe Certified Instructor (ACI) with over 20 years of experience working with graphic design and office productivity software. He has written six books for Adobe Press and hundreds of articles on graphic design and electronic publishing. His video training series can be found on Lynda.com and TotalTraining.com. He is a nationally known speaker and presenter who represents Adobe Systems at industry events and seminars nationwide. We also benefit greatly from the consultations and expertise of303software and Alex Hambrick of CloudSixteen.
Bill McGrath is our Thermometer Maven. He has sophisticated equipment, an electrical engineering degree from Cornell University, and an MBA (almost) from UC Berkley. Despite being mostly retired, he is still the person responsible for developing and updating all of ExxonMobil's training modules for their refinery and chemical plant electricians worldwide. He is an avid cook, oenophile, photographer, pilot, scuba diver, and motorcycle buff. He lives in a motor home and he and his significant other follow the sun. His ratings and reviews can be found in a searchable database here.
Parrish has so much steel on his North Carolina deck it is in danger of collapsing (six cookers and counting). He is the inventor of the Slow 'N Sear, an attachment for Weber Kettles that makes it into a superb smoker and searing maching. Dave is a nine year veteran of the US Air Force where he flew C-130 cargo/transport aircraft in the navigator crew position. He also had a life as an Information Systems Auditor. Parris was the manager of the Pitmaster Club from the first day for 2 1/2 years and helped make it the vital community it is today.
When he was born his parents owned a restaurant on a major highway (no interstates back then) just outside of Nashville and his Dad was the cook. He smoked pork shoulders over hickory coals on an outdoor pit that his Father-in-law probably built since he once owned the restaurant and trained my Dad. It was memories of his Dad smoking the pork shoulders and the crusty delicious fatty bark that caused him to want to learn how to smoke butts, and that led him to AmazingRibs.com. "The smell of meat smoking and seeing the smiles on family and friends faces when they eat my food reminds me that I made a good decision when I decided to learn how to make a product similar to what Dad had made in his younger days." His granddaughter calls him FuzzyDaddy, hence his name in The Pit. He still lives in TN.
An classically trained chef from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, Chef Udvett has managed several restaurant kitchens and the kitchen at the AmazingRibs.com World Headquarters. He tests recipes, offers suggestions and modifications, helps develop new recipes.
Candy Sue Weaver is one of the best known and most respected people in the world of barbecue. She is President Emeritus of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the largest barbecue association in the world and sanctioning body to more than 500 competitions. She was elected to the Board of Directors in 2009, served as president from 2011 through 2013, and was re-elected to serve on the Board until 2016. Currently she is secretary and chairman of the education committee. She also is a member of International Barbeque Cookers Association's and competes under their rules also, the Fort Smith BBQ Society, the Oklahoma Barbecue Society, the Rocky Mountain Barbecue Association, and a lifetime member of KCBS!
Her day job is VP of sales & marketing for BBQr's Delight, maker of food grade wood pellets for fuel in pellet-fired cookers and pellets for smoke flavoring. She has been competing since 2003 and has a roomful of trophies including a first place for sauce in her first competition ever. I had the pleasure of hanging out with her through a competition once and wrote this article about the experience.