Help And Frequently Asked Questions For The Pitmaster Club

The hub of the Pitmaster Club is The Pit, a forum exclusively for members. You can share cooking tips and techniques, recipes, pictures, news, your favorite BBQ joints, butchers, talk about your grills and smokers, compare competition notes, and share your favorite drinks for BBQ. This is your place to connect with us and fellow Pitmaster Club members, and your 24 hour hotline to expertise.

You should have gotten a welcome email from us with some tips and highlights on your membership. Please make sure your email software is set to allow email from to come in. Put it on the "safe domains" list. You need to do this for prize notification, renewal notification, and our newsletter "Hot From The Pit."

Also, please read our Member Guidelines and our Terms of Service before you dive in.

Log in to and The Pit simultaneously by locating the Sigin or Signup link located in the top right corner of the page. When you log in the ads for the Pitmaster Club should go away. Log off by locating your name in the top right corner of the page, then click it. A drop down menu will appear. Select Log Out. Note: The comments system used at the bottom of each article, requires a separate login.

Pitmaster login

Finding The Pit

There are three quick ways.

  1. Click here and bookmark this page:
  2. From any other page, when you login the upper right will say Go to The Pit. Click it.
  3. On the navigation bar (the tabs near the top of the page) click on Pitmaster Club. scroll down, and click on The Pit.

"Hot From The Pit" newsletter

Hot From The Pit is an email newsletter that we send occasionally to members to let you know about Pitmaster Seminars, other events, maintenance outages, and new features. Make sure you tell your email program that email from is not spam. Usually there is a setting for domains that are allowed called the white list.

Your personal information and settings

You can visit your information by clicking on your name in the upper right corner and selecting User Settings from the drop down menu.

user settings option

Account. This tab contains the settings for your account and allows you some control over how things are presented to you on the system.

Avatar pictures. To add a custom picture of yourself or an avatar picture to your account, please click My Profile. Once on your profile, hover your mouse over the blank avatar. You will be shown a link to upload your avatar. Click on it and follow the instructions on the screen. If you're avatar is too large, you will be able to crop the image to fit.

Notifications. This tab controls how you are notified of new content you are interested in. You may manage your notification settings at User Settings. On that page, select the Notifications tab. On this page, you may select your Email Notifications (turn it on, make it daily or weekly, or choose to get it through the message center only). You may also set what type of Notifications you would like to receive.

Password. To change your password, select Account.

Privacy. This allows you to control who has access to your information. You may manage your privacy settings by going to your username in the upper right corner > click to get the drop down > select User Settings. On that page, select the Privacy tab. On that page you may customize who can see and comment on things you started, replied, followed and following under your profile. You may select to show these things to Everyone (default), your Followers, or all Members.

Profile. This is the public information that is shown to everyone.

Signature. You can set and change your signature by going to User Settings. On that page, select the Account tab and then go down to the area that says Conversation Detail Options. On the right side, you will see the option Edit Post Signature. If you click that link, you will get a popup editor that will allow you to enter/edit your signature. You can use images in my signature. Use the Upload Attachments button while editing your signature in the signature editor popup. Please keep our guidelines in mind.

Topics I Am Following. If subscriptions are available for purchase, they will be managed here. You can purchase new subscriptions or cancel existing ones. Topics I Am Following can provide additional permissions, enhanced posting rights or simply be a way of supporting the site.

User Name. You cannot change your User Name. This is to prevent a troll from insulting someone and changing his name. Thankfully we have zero problems of this sort.

Email address. At this time you cannot change your email address because it is linked to Stripe, the credit card processor. If you need to change your email address, you must contact us by clicking here.

Renewing or cancelling your membership

Easy renewal. You will be sent an email three weeks before we charge your credit card and there is a link in that email to cancel. Ignore it and you will be renewed automatically. We are just not equipped to manage renewals any other way and you don't want us emailing you repeatedly begging you to renew. If you are renewed and decide you want out, we will make a full refund if you cancel within 30 days. BTW, we don't have your credit card info. We never see it. It is stored at the bank. The security risk is MUCH lower than handing your card to a cashier or waiter.

To cancel. Please click here.

No gift subscriptions yet

At the moment, our software is not sophisticated enough to handle gift subscriptions and the complexities of who gets charged for renewals, etc. There is an aggravating workaround: Subscribe with your email and credit card and create a user name and password. Give this info to the recipient tell them that once they have logged in, they can easily change their password in the "User Settings". They may want to personalize their user name and they will want to get our email newsletter and prize notifications so they will need to send email to the Pitmaster Club Director, "Huskee" and tell him your email and the recipient's email so they can make the switch. Also the user name if they want to change it. At the moment members cannot change their emails because they are linked to the banking records. You must decide if you want to pay for their renewal. If so, then you will be charged at renewal time. If not, then ask the recipient to change the credit card number in "User Settings."

Lost passwords

If you've forgotten you password you can click on the Forgot password or user name link. It also appears in the Login or Signup box. You will be taken to a new page where you can enter your registered email. An email will be sent shortly to that email address with instructions on how to reset your password. Since passwords are saved in an encrypted format in the database there is no way to retrieve your actual password, it will be replaced with a new password. You must be able to receive emails to your registered email address for this to work. Again, it is important to tell your email program that emails from the domain should be on the white list and not go to spam. Please check your spam folder if you do not see this email in a few minutes.

How is The Pit structured?

The Pit has channels such as General Discussion, Recipes and Techniques, Grills and Smokers, etc. These channels can contain sub channels (more specific subject areas) which contain topics (conversations or discussions) which are made up of individual posts (where a user writes something). Each topic starts out as a single post and grows as replies and comments are added by different users called threads. But you can easily change the order of viewing threads, for example to have the topic with the most posts at the top. Simply click on Filter menu at the top right of the topic list. The Filter menu will provide you with the options you need to sort the current page.

Sticky topics are topics determined to be important by moderators or administrators. They are listed at the top of the topic list and remain stuck to the top of the listing, even if they haven't had any posts recently. Their purpose is to keep important information visible and accessible at all times.

Multi-page views

When there are more topics to display than will fit on a single page, you may see the 'Page' box, which contains page numbers. This indicates that the list of topics has been split over two or more pages. This method of splitting lists of items over many pages is used throughout the community.

Finding new content

Most members login and click on the tab Today's Posts. That shows you the latest conversations. The Today's Posts tab is an excellent means by which members can discover the latest content regardless of the channel or content type (text, posts, photos, links etc). For many, this can be the most convenient way of exploring The Pit, as it aggregates all recent activity in one place. While viewing topics in The Pit members will see a small icon immediately to the left of the title in the case of unread topics. Clicking this icon will take you to the first unread item in the topic. Clicking the title itself will open the topic at the first item. Each entry in the list also shows the following information:

  • The topic title
  • A read / unread icon that indicates whether the topic contains content you have read or not
  • A small icon that links directly to the first unread item in the topic (if the topic contains unread content)
  • Name of person who started the topic
  • Date and time the topic was started
  • Any prefix associated with the topic. Clicking on the prefix will show you other topics with this prefix
  • Total number of posts in the topic
  • Total number of likes within the topic
  • Name and avatar of the last person to post to the topic
  • Date and time of the last post to the topic.

Additionally, at the top of the list of topics, there are two filters that enable the viewer to sort the results according to their requirements.


You can perform a basic search of The Pit by entering keywords into the search box located at the top right corner of the page. This will return any results matching your keywords up to the maximum value allowed by the site administrator. The site also has an Advanced Search. You can access the Advanced Search by clicking on the down arrow in the search box and selecting it from the resulting menu. Advanced Search allows you to fine tune your search to include only specific content types, specific forums, blogs or groups or even to search by a specific user.

This site uses a keyword-based boolean search. This means that you can search for multiple keywords but not specific phrases. The default search uses "and". This means that if all of your keywords appear in the content, it can be returned in the search results. You can also "or", "not", and "-" (minus sign) for "not". Short, common, and bad words are omitted from the search criteria. Here are some search examples:

Using the default search ("and")

What it does: Finds results containing both words

Example: Memphis ribs

What you'll get: Results about ribs with the word Memphis

Using "not" or "-"

What it does: Excludes search results with a particular word or phrase

Example: Bass -fishing

What you'll get: Results about bass that do not include the word fishing

Using "or"

What it does: Searches for pages that include either word

Example: Vacation London or Paris

What you'll get: Results with the word vacation and either London or Paris

Creating new topics

A topic in a forum or group can hold one or more posts of various content types such traditional text based posts, shared pictures, links or videos, or polls. To create a new topic click on the +New Topic button when browsing a forum or group. You will be presented with a screen where you must give a title (or subject) of the topic and optionally choose a topic prefix if available. A topic prefix will appear before the title and will contain a list of one or more prefixes chosen by the site administrator to better categorize your topic. Clicking on a thread prefix in forum view will show a list of topics with the same prefix. You can edit your post with a variety of options.

Advanced Editor. This will open the Advanced Editing toolbar directly over your post. This allows you to easily apply formatting and other BBCode.

Camera. Choosing the camera will open an interface where you can upload one or more photos and create a Gallery topic. Note: We think pictures look best when you upload them using the technique in this thread. Sharing videos is very similar to posting photos, except you'll click the Advanced Editor icon (look like an underlined A) then from the Advanced Editor's options you'll use the Film Strip icon to post a video.

Link. Choosing the chain Link icon will allow you to share a Link from external site in order to discuss this item. Only one link is allow per post.

Graph. This allows you to start a new poll on the site. Unlike all the other options a poll can only be inserted as the first post in a topic. Choosing to insert poll will allow you to ask a poll question and provide 2 or more options for users to vote on.

Smiley. Opens the smile manager under your post. Clicking on individual smilies will insert them into the post at the cursor location.

File (with paperclip). Opens up the attachment interface. This will allow you to attach allowed file formats to your post in order to share them with others.

Tags. You may also have the option to add Tags to the topic. Tags are optional keywords that describe the topic. Click on the Tags + link to add tags. Press enter after each tag you enter. You may also click on popular tags to add them. Press the X icon next to any tag to remove it. Press Save when done adding tags or cancel to discard the tags. When you have completed your post you may preview or post the new content. Upon pressing Post a new topic will be created.

Following a discussion

Above each discussion or topic, there is a Follow toggle. Clicking on this will enable you to follow the discussion easier. Each time someone replies to the discussion, you will get a notification that will show on your Messages page. You can follow these notifications to the new content or delete them from the Notifications area on your Messages Page. If you wish to no longer follow a discussion or topic, then clicking on the button again will turn off your subscription.

Inappropriate content

If you find inappropriate content on the site, you can flag it for review by the administration staff. To do this, look at the content or discussion container and you will see a Flag link. Click on this link and an overlay will open up to flag or report the content. You can enter in a reason why you think the content is inappropriate. What is inappropriate content? Attacks on other members are forbidden. Please read our Member Guidelines.


Followers are users that have subscribed to your profile. You will receive a Notification if someone subscribes to you (user settings -> notifications) and you may choose to Accept or Ignore their request to subscribe to your profile. You may also set it up so that you will automatically accept any subscriber's request in User Settings > Privacy > Follower Request > enter a checkmark next to Auto-accept subscriber requests. As a user, when you manage your Privacy, you may set things on your profile to only be viewable to Followers.

Find out more about members

To view information about a particular member, click on his or her user name. This will take you to their public profile page.

Ignoring a member

If there are particular members that are bothering you and you do not wish to see their posts or receive Private Messages from them, then you can add these members to your 'Ignore List'. In the top right of the forum, click your Username. A dropdown menu will appear and from here you need to select 'User Settings'. On the page that appears, click 'Account' and scroll to the bottom. In the text area next to 'Ignore List', enter the Usernames of users that you want to Ignore.

Private messages (PMs)

Private messages work a little like email, but are limited to registered members of this forum. You may send a private message to a member of this forum by clicking the Compose New button in the top left section of your Message Center, or by clicking the Private Message button that is visible on the User Profile of a member. Note the word Private is used because only the user(s) you send the message to will get notice and be able to read or respond to the message, however, the data itself is not encrypted so you should not consider PMs truly private. When you send a message, a copy of it is automatically saved to your Sent Items folder. You can create additional folders for your messages by clicking Add a Folder.

Once you have selected your messages, you can choose the following options from the toolbar:

  • Move to Folder
  • Delete
  • Mark as Read
  • Mark as Unread

You will need to periodically delete old messages, as the administrator has set a limit to the number of private messages you can have in your folders. If you exceed this number, you will not be able to send or receive new messages until you delete some old ones.

Whenever you read a message, you will have the option to reply or forward it to another member of the forum. You may also have the ability to forward that message to multiple members of your contact list.

If you are still seeing ads

There should be no paid third party ads for mortgages, cars, weight loss, etc. If there are, something is wrong and we need to know about it ASAP.
When you are a paid member of The Pitmaster Club you must login once for us to tell your web browser you are a member. To login go to (and check out The Pit, very cool stuff for members in there).
The only way we can tell your browser you are a member is with a snippet of code called a cookie. If you have told your browser to block cookies, we can't stop the ads, so you must allow cookies for Also, if you switch to a different browser, or a different computer, or a smartphone, that browser has no way of knowing you are a member, so you will need to login once to get the cookie.
Once we tell your browser that you are a member, when you visit any part of the cookie blocks third party ads from remote servers. It also removes the nagging reminders to join The Pitmaster Club. This significantly speeds up the display of the site.
The "Gold Medal Spotlight" on the right side of a desktop computer and at the end of an article on a smartphone is not a paid ad. It is a list of products we love, a reader service, and it comes from our server so it doesn't slow page loading. We make one exception, and that is the ad for our book, "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", but that also comes from our server and doesn't slow page loading at all.
You can tell your browser that cookies from are permitted. It's an easy fix. Here are some links to browser help docs:
Microsoft Edge: We are not sure how to do this
If you have logged in and you are not blocking cookies, and you continue to see third party ads, something is wrong. Let me know ASAP.

Contact us

Contact us if you have problems with joining, login, or if you have questions. This link is for technical and business issues only. If you have cooking or equipment questions or issues, please post them in The Pit or to the comments at the bottom of any page.

bbq support

Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon

If you love barbecue and grilling you should join our Pitmaster Club. We can up your game.

  • FREE 30 day trial membership.
  • We block ads on the entire site.
  • The Pit forum brims with recipes and info.
  • A real community with no politics or flame wars.
  • Monthly newsletter.
  • Video seminars with famous pitmasters.
  • Weekly podcasts with Greg Rempe.
  • Weekly BBQ cartoons by Jerry King.
  • Comprehensive Temperature Guide Magnet ($10 retail).
  • Monthly giveaways of Gold Medal grills and smokers worth up to $2000.
  • Discounts on products we love.
  • Support for!

 Click here to learn more and to join

Post comments and questions below


1) Please try the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.


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