About AmazingRibs.com And How We Operate

About AmazingRibs.com And How We Operate

By:

Meathead

I thought you might like a peek behind the curtain, a little “inside baseball” so you could see who we are and how we operate.

First of all, let’s get something straight about which we are a little sensitive: This is not a blog. A blog is usually arranged by date, like a diary, and most of them are the work of one or two people, part time, really a hobby. This is a professional website, organized by topic, the product of a team of full-time paid professionals. It is our job and it is a labor of love. We take it seriously. It is our mission to make you a better cook and have your family and friends worship you. If you spend any time on this site you can see that we work very hard to be factual, accurate, detailed, informative, and innovative.

Founded in 2005, there are now more than 3,000 pages on AmazingRibs.com at the time of this writing, equivalent to more than a dozen books! And it is very popular. It is by far the largest barbecue and grilling website in the world. By far. It ranks among the top 25 most popular food websites in the US. We have almost 1 million visitors a month. In addition we have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. We post a daily cooking tip on Twitter and Facebook, and send out notices of new content in our free email newsletter, Smoke Signals. No spam. AmazingRibs.com, has taught more people than anyone in history about the science of barbecue, barbecue history and culture, food safety, shared foolproof tested recipes, and steered them to the best tools.

AmazingRibs.com is a Subchapter S Corporation Incorporated in Florida. It is owned entirely by Meathead Goldwyn and operates from his home in Brookfield, IL. We have no big corporate owner or partner.

Why you can trust us

We adhere to the Blog With Integrity Code of Ethics. Our ratings and reviews are never influenced by advertising because we use third party services to sell ads on this site and we are not involved in the process. Click here to learn more about how to advertise on this website. We disclose our material relationships, policies, and business practices. Readers will always know the difference between editorial and advertising. We do not do sponsored articles, paid articles, paid endorsements, paid social media posts, or accept junkets. 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.

Expenses

You would be shocked if you knew how much this enterprise costs to run. Do the math in your head:

Content. I have a team of people smarter than me who help. It is worth noting that we are among only a few websites that actually pays its discussion moderators. Most other websites use volunteers. Click here to meet our team of great people.

Technical. On the tech side, we have a webmaster and two tech experts who keep us up and running and make the site safe and fend off Chinese attacks (yes, they have come after us). All our software is customized from the free part of the website to the Pitmaster Club. Nothing off the shelf.

Other expenses. We spend tens of thousands every year on grills, smokers, thermometers, tools, toys, books, food, and software. We have a big server, a backup server, and a development server. We underwrite real scientific research (we were the first to identify the cause of the dreaded BBQ “stall”). We have a full time grill and smoker tester, Max Good, who maintains a searchable database with more than 500 cookers rated and reviewed. We have an electrical engineer, Bill McGrath, with special lab testing equipment who tests digital thermometers and publishes his ratings in a searchable database of more than 150. Clint Cantwell, winner of the Travel Channel’s “American Grilled” nationwide cooking competition series, tests accessories, tools, and toys for us.

How we pay for it

We don’t sell ANYTHING except memberships in our Pitmaster Club. We don’t accept junkets. We don’t accept paid articles. We have a rigid wall between editorial and advertising, a rarity nowadays. This means our product reviews are completely unbiased.

We don’t have a big corporation backing us. No magazine, no TV network. We are self-sustaining. On the revenue side, 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) Memberships. In July 2014 we launched the Pitmaster Club, a membership program. At the time this was a novel concept. It is the future of the internet. I call it “friends with benefits”. We toyed with setting up a “paywall” like Cook’s Illustrated 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. Helping you eat better really is our mission. 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). Members love it and that’s why we enjoy an unheard of renewal rate of 83%. If you like this site we think you will love the Pitmaster Club. Click the link to learn of the benefits. Join the fun! Take our offer of 30 day free trial. We won’t ask for your credit card. Just dive in.

2) 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. I do not like placing ads in articles so I confine all ads to the top, sides, and bottom of the page so they are not intrusive. If you look on the right side on the desktop version of the site, a lot of what appears to be ads are really my recommendations of products I love that I know can help you become a better cook. Click on them and they take you to an article on this site, not to a manufacturer. Also, some of them are for charitable causes.

Neither do I sell ads. I use companies called “ad networks” to sell ads and we have a sales director who helps. Networks typically take about 40% right off the top. Lately ad rates have been declining rapidly. Websites and blogs who depend on ads are hurting.

One more important thing: We do not accept sponsored content. Sponsored content is the way many websites earn 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. Here’s an example: Click the link to see what happens when you search for Grilled Ribeye with Knob Creek Bourbon BBQ Sauce. All paid for.

3) 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 them the way we see them. Some companies like Amazon pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. These sites never tell 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! So before you buy, please click our links.

4) Books. “Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling” was a New York Times Best Seller and was called “One of the 100 Best Cookbooks of All Time” by Southern Living magazine, right up there with Julia, Jacques, et al. But we don’t sell it. We send all buyers to bookstores and Amazon. Read more about it here.

In addition we have produced several focused ebooks for only $3.99 on Chicken, Ribs, Sous Vide Que and more. Read about them here.

We’re here to help

Our team watches the comments on the bottom of every page and if you have a question, please ask. We’re here to help!

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Published On: 6/29/2012 Last Modified: 3/27/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try 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.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

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Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


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GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone


GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

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Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

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Click here for more about what makes this grill special

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Click here to read our detailed review and to order

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Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal

The Undisputed Champion!


 
The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is considered by the pros, and our team, to be the single best instant read thermometer. The MK4 includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight and rotating display. Don’t accept cheap substitutes.
Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review