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Quick Start Guide: The Meathead Method

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!

The Thermodynamics of Cooking and How Different Cooking Methods Work

By:

Meathead

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.

2 Zone Grilling Setup: How Best To Control Temperatures On A Grill

By:

Meathead

Improve your recipes and make the best BBQ possible with this one essential concept: temperature control. The secret? 2 zone grilling setup, a.k.a. an indirect grilling setup!

How to Calibrate Your Grill or Smoker with Dry Runs

By:

Meathead

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.

Using the Vents to Control Temperature on Charcoal and Wood Burning Grills and Smokers

By:

Meathead

Here's how to use the two vents to control temperature in a charcoal or wood grill or smoker.

What You Need to Know About Wood, Smoke, And Combustion

By:

Meathead

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.
types of fat in a steak

Basic Meat Science For Cooks

By:

Meathead

What is meat and how does cooking alter it? Discover the science of what meat is made of, including water, fat, protein, connective tissue, salt, and other minerals. And find out what happens when meat meets heat.
termometer comparisons

Thermometers: How They Work, How To Select Them, and How To Use Them

By:

Meathead

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.
food temperature guide magnet

Award Winning Food Temperature Guide And What You Need To Know About Food Safety

By:

Meathead

We all strive to create tender, juicy, and flavorful meat, but we also want it safe. Monitoring the internal temperature is the best way to have the best of both worlds. Here's the ultimate guide to understanding proper cooking temperatures and food safety to ensure that your meat is cooked perfectly every time.
Grilled steak

Recipe Secrets Revealed For Grilled Steaks That Put The Best Restaurants To Shame

By:

Meathead

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!
Smoked pork butt on the grill

The Easiest Authentic BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe Ever

By:

Meathead

This easy BBQ 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.
bookshelf

Cooking And Barbecue Glossary

By:

Meathead

Here is an A to Z glossary of barbecue and cooking terms. Some might call it "jargon," which is the specialized language that people of like mind use to communicate. Either way, get to know these terms, use them, and you'll be on your way to becoming a barbecue insider.
our newsletters

Subscribe To Our Free Email Newsletters

By:

Meathead

Our free 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.

Published On: 7/1/2019 Last Modified: 4/23/2021


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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.

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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


Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners

3 burner gas grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review


Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


The Undisputed Champion!

Thermapen One Instant Read Thermometer

ThermoWorks’ Thermapen ONE provides an accurate reading in one second or less. The ONE also includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight, rotating display, and water resistant seals. Don’t accept cheap substitutes.
Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review


The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One


The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

Click here to read our complete review


The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy


The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

 

Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

Click here to order.

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