BBQ And Grilling Quick Start Guide: The Meathead Method

Quick Start Guide: The Meathead Method

By:

Dave Joachim

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: The Perfect Way To Control Temperatures On Charcoal And Gas Grills

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

Secrets Revealed For Creating 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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If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow ‘N’ Sear


The Slow ‘N’ Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.
Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool

Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker


Green Mountain’s portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker

Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here’s A Great Buy!

A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!
Click here to read our complete review

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

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

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

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review

Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

If you’re using oven mitts at the grill, it’s time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder’s gloves. They’re heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

Click here to read our detailed review

Click here to order from Amazon