Quick Start Guide: The Meathead Method

"Science is a method to keep you from kidding yourself."Edwin Land, co-founder of Polaroid

If you are new to BBQ and grilling, start here. These articles and basic recipes give you a solid foundation on BBQ and grilling equipment, ingredients, and techniques. You'll learn about thermodynamics (how heat moves through your cooker and your food), how to turn your grill into a smoker with the 2-zone method, how to control temperature, why it is critical to use a digital thermometer (don't worry - they're cheap), the fascinating science of meat, how smoke ends up flavoring your food, and all sorts of tips and tricks to make sure your food is done exactly how you want it--and when you want it!  
dial thermometers are unreliable
How to use our comprehensive buying guide and reviews of thermometers for barbecue, for cooking, for food, for the oven, for the grill and for the smoker. read more
infrared burner grilling pork
Learn about thermodynamics: the basis of all cooking! Find out how heat transference works by conduction, convection, radiation, induction, and infrared heat in your grill, bbq, and smoker. read more
Thick ribeye steak on grill
Create grilled steaks as good or better than they do in the best expensive steakhouses with this comprehensive how-to and recipe. From selecting the right cut and beef grade to smoking and searing on the grill, you'll be grilling up mouthwatering steaks for your family and guests in no time! read more
2 zone setup on a gas grill
Improve your recipes and make the best BBQ possible with this one essential concept: temperature control. This article teaches you the ins and outs of controlling temperature by using a 2-zone setup for indirect cooking. read more
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Calibrate your cooker. There is often dust and grease under the hood from the factory on new grills and smokers. Here's how to prepare your cooker with a dry run so you can control its temperature when it's showtime. read more
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Here's how to use the two vents to control temperature in a charcoal or wood grill or smoker. read more
pulled pork sandwich
This easy pulled pork recipe skips the slow cooker to create authentic low and slow smoked pulled pork on a smoker or grill. With smoke woven through the moist meat, bits of seasoned crust, and a gentle splash of BBQ sauce, BBQ pulled pork is a foolproof low and slow smoked food, perfect for feeding large crowds. read more
different types of barbecue and grill smoke
Learn all about wood smoke and how it adds flavor to BBQ. Find out whether you should be using wood chunks, chips, pellets, logs, or sawdust in your cooker. Discover the truth behind the claim that different woods have different flavors. read more
newsletters
The Smoke Signals newsletter keeps you up to date on our latest new articles, recipes, and product reviews. We promise not to email you more than once or twice on average and never to sell or share your email address. read more

meathead goldwyn grilling steaks over lit charcoal chimneys

Dave Joachim

AmazingRibs.com Editor David Joachim has authored, edited, or collaborated on more than 45 cookbooks including four on barbecue and grilling, making him a perfect match for a website dedicated to the “Science of Barbecue and Grilling.” His Food Science column has appeared in "Fine Cooking" magazine since 2011. 

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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.

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