About This Site, Our Privacy Promise, Terms Of Service, Code Of Ethics, And Legal Disclosures
AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, unbiased equipment reviews, and a thriving community called the Pitmaster Club. Here is info about the way we run this site.
Our mission statement
Our purpose is to make the world better by teaching people to cook and to enjoy dining with friends and family to the fullest. If we put readers first, money will follow and we can support our team with fair pay and make a profit.
Our philosophy about food
First of all our recipes must taste great. Then it must be easy to make and feature fresh products with a minimum of processed ingredients. We think that people need to know why as well as how, so we spend a lot of time explaining concepts, busting myths, and we believe that there are no rules in the bedroom or dining room.
How AmazingRibs.com works
This is not a blog. A blog, short for "web log", tends to be like a diary, arranged by date, usually the work of one person, part time, really a hobby. This is a professional website, the product of a team of paid professionals, and it is organized by topic. Founded in 2005, there are now more than 1,000 pages on AmazingRibs.com at the time of this writing, some of them are almost book length. The site ranks among the top 25 most popular food websites in the US. This is our job. We take it seriously. Click here to read more about these great people.
You would be shocked if you knew how much this enterprise costs to run. Do the math in your head: We have writers, editors, photographers, and videographers. Some full time some part time. It is worth noting that we are among only a few websites that actually pays its discussion moderators. Most other websites use volunteers. On the tech side, we have a a team of experts who keep us up and running and make the site secure and fend off hacker attacks (yes, they have come after us). We have two big servers, a backup server, and a development server. We also spend tens of thousands of dollars every year on grills, smokers, thermometers, tools, toys, books, food, and software. We underwrite real scientific research, and we own lab testing equipment.
How we pay our bills
We are a four legged stool. Together they make a unique business model that allows us to pay people fairly and deliver great content.
1) Advertising. We're old school. I actually went to journalism school and came up in an era when there was a wall between advertising and editorial. We use third party services called "ad networks" to sell ads and our writers and editors are never involved in the ad sales process. They are purchased on an auction site.
We have strict standards for ads: They are confined to the top and botom of the page, and the right column on computers and most tablets. If you look on the right side, a lot of what appear to be ads are really our recommendations of products we love that we know can help you become a better cook. Also, some of them are for charitable causes. Because smartphones are so small, some ads appear within content but they are clearly labeled and confined to boxes. Ads are not allowed to take over the screen or play audio unless you OK it. If you see an ad violate our rules please take a screen shot and post it to the comments section on each page and we will ban it. Alas, we cannot monitor all ads because many are served to you based on your previous browsing activities on other websites. If you hate all ads, we block them for members of our Pitmaster Club.
We do not accept sponsored content. Sponsored content is the way many websites earn money. Big money. A sponsor, let's say "Big Grill Manufacturer", pays the site to write an article about them. Or perhaps to write about an event they sponsored. Or sometimes they have their own writers produce an article on, say, cooking a steak, and the photos are all of their grills and the article drops their name prominently. Search for Grilled Ribeye with Knob Creek Bourbon BBQ Sauce. All those hits are paid for. Readers will always know the difference between editorial and advertising. Click here to learn more about advertising on this website.
2) Affiliations. A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling 'em the way we see 'em. Some companies, most notably Amazon, pay a finder's fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product from Amazon. When we find something we like we link to them as a reader service whether there is a finder's fee or not. These finders fees are an important source of income. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link http://tinyurl.com/amazingribs and use it every time you go to Amazon. It works on everything from grills to diapers, Amazon never tells us what you bought, it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And before you buy, click our links. If the price is competitive, use our link. It helps a lot. If the local hardware store is cheaper, then don't waste money on our links.
3) Our book. "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling" was a New York Times Best Seller, it was named "22 Essential Cookbooks for Every Kitchen" By SeriousEats.com and "25 Favorite Cookbooks of All Time" By Christopher Kimball's Milk Street, and "Best Cookbooks Of 2016" By Chicago Tribune, BBC, Wired, Epicurious, Leite's Culinaria. But we don't sell it. We send all buyers to bookstores and Amazon. Read more about our bookhere.
4) Memberships in the Pitmaster Club. In July 2014 we launched the Pitmaster Club, a membership program. We call it "friends with benefits". We toyed with setting up a "paywall" like Cook's Illustrated. You must pay to get access to their pages. But we didn't want to lock away our helpful info where you have to pay to see it. We all get huge pleasure from the many comments we get telling us how much we have improved your lives. That said, members of the Pitmaster Club get numerous added benefits and the list of benefits keeps growing (not the least of which is they don't see ads on the site).
We do not see or store your credit card info. The subscription page is a pass-through directly to a bank or PayPal that uses state of the art security. A transaction this way is far more secure than handing your credit card to a stranger in a restaurant or store. You may request a full refund anytime within the first 90 days after payment for any reason. Membership in the Pitmaster Club renews automatically after 365 days but you may also request a refund any time within the first 90 days after renewal. If you like this site we think you will love the Pitmaster Club. Click the link to learn of the benefits. Join the fun!
Code of ethics
We adhere to the Blog With Integrity Code of Ethics. We treat others respectfully, and when we disagree, we attack ideas and not people. We also welcome respectful disagreement with our ideas. We expect the same from our readers. We believe in intellectual property rights, providing links, citing sources, and crediting inspiration where appropriate. We disclose our material relationships, policies, and business practices. We always present our honest opinions to the best of our ability. We own our words. Even if we occasionally have to eat them. No ketchup allowed.
Copyright © by AmazingRibs.com and reprint rights
Unless otherwise noted, all text, recipes, photos, and computer code are owned by AmazingRibs.com and fully protected by US copyright law. This means that unless you have written permission to publish or distribute anything on this website you have committed a Federal crime. But we're easy. To get reprint rights, just click here and tell us what you want to use and what for. 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.
Our privacy promise
AmazingRibs.com promises to never sell or distribute any info about you individually without your express permission, and we promise not to, ahem, pepper you with email or make you eat spam. Please note that your information may be transferred if there is a sale, merger, transfer, exchange, or other disposition of AmazingRibs.com.
We don't sell anything except memberships in our Pitmaster Club. This means our product reviews are completely unbiased. We have expert reviewers that carefully review, rate, and recommend commercial products that are on the market in retail packaging that consumers can buy and that we have tested. We work hard to use testing methods that produce reliable data. We buy many products we review and some manufacturers ship us samples. We do not accept "familiarity" press trips or junkets although all these practices are common on other websites. If we have to travel to see products we pay our own way. Manufacturers often send us products to review but we never charge to review products. When we are done with them we never sell them. We donate many grills and smokers to nearby fire departments and other charities. For more about our product reviews, click here.
We have an official policy of not recommending or endorsing any unreleased products or crowdfunding campaigns like Kickstarter campaigns. That is because products don't always turn out as they were planned or advertised, because they often ship late, and they often ship at different prices.
We are serious about quality recipes and make every effort to be certain that they give excellent results on a variety of cookers. We actually test all recipes thoroughly. Not many websites can say that! Still, we cannot be responsible for recipes that don't turn out the way you expected, and we cannot be held liable for costs or harm done by any cooking you do. In other words, you can't sue us if you cut yourself, if you burn yourself, if the food doesn't taste like you want it to taste, or if somebody gets sick. If you follow our instructions, none of these should happen. You should follow USDA recommended minimum cooking temperatures at all times. For more info, visit FoodSafety.gov.
Likewise, we only recommend products we love, but we cannot be responsible for a manufacturer whose quality control is beyond us. In other words, if you buy a grill or something we recommend, chances are you will love it, but if the manufacturer built you a lemon, or changed the way it is made, we cannot be held responsible.
Cookies and how they are used
Third party services
Like most websites, we use third party services to help our site operate. We chose them carefully, and their businesses depend on their ability to adhere to the highest privacy and security standards, but we cannot be responsible for errors or negligence on the part of third party services.
Website hosting. AmazingRibs.com lives on a computer at a reputable website hosting service that uses industry-standard security safeguards. The host is not authorized to use any information you provide under any circumstances.
Newsletter. We publish a free email newsletter named Smoke Signals with the help of a well-regarded email service provider. They store your email address and are not authorized to use it for any purpose. They are an industry leader and are widely respected for their integrity. If they cheated and spammed people they would be out of business in a hurry. You may cancel your subscription at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of every newsletter.
AmazingRibs.com products. We offer some humorous aprons, T-shirts, and other fun tchotchkes available for sale through a service called CafePress. If you purchase a product or service from them, they request information on their order form such as name, email, shipping address, credit card info, etc. They use this information for billing purposes and to fill your orders. If they have trouble processing an order, they will use this information to contact you. That's all.
Surveys or Contests. From time-to-time we may offer contests or surveys. Participation is completely voluntary and you have a choice whether or not to disclose any information. Unless otherwise noted, this info is used strictly for the contest or survey. We may use a third party service to conduct these surveys or contests and that company is prohibited from using personally identifiable information for any other purpose.
Google Analytics Advertising Features
AmazingRibs.com has enabled Google Analytics Advertising Features to give us valuable information about our visitors as a group, not as individuals, so we can continue delivering pertinent information to you about grilling, smoking, and outdoor cooking. We understand that some visitors may not want to be part of these analytics so if you want to opt-out, click this link, download and install the add-on for your web browser. It will turn off Google Analytics Advertising Features for all websites, not just this one.
Links to other websites
Our philosophy about business
We send this to all new hires:
Be unbiased. Be credible. Authenticity makes it all possible. Keep editorial and advertising separate. Appearance of conflict of interest is just as bad as actual conflict of interest.
Be factual, accurate, detailed, informative, and innovative. Spelling and grammar matter, even in email.
Respect everyone. Respond to all calls and emails promptly, even if you can only say I'll get back to you later.
Repeat business is the best business.
Be the very best at what you do.
Solve problems with creativity. Challenge every accepted belief. Make decisions based on data. Plan. Take the long view but move one step at a time. Don't be in a hurry. Don't fear making mistakes but never make the same mistake twice. Quality brings quantity.
Hire people smarter than you. Reward quality people and keep them.
Money can buy happiness and freedom. Let's make money!
But time is more valuable than money. You will do your best work if you take time off and enjoy life. Let's make time. Let's make happiness.
Disclaimers and limitations
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. All material comes without warranties or guarantees of any kind. We are human, and capable of mistakes. Under no circumstances are we liable for any damages that result from use of the site.
We reserve the right to modify this page at any time. If you have any questions or comments, click here to contact us.