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Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.
Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners
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.
The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One
The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. 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.
The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.
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 in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!
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.
The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted
Their NK22CK-C 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 NK22CK-C a viable alternative.
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.
GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and 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 to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.
The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof
Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.
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.
With 33 square feet of cooking capacity, the Myron Mixon G33 Gravity Feed Smoker is a large BBQ smoker meant for commercial, catering and competition use. "We didn't invent gravity style smoking, but we damn sure perfected it!", boasts their website with characteristic Mixonian flourish. "The first gravity feed I ever saw was made by Tom Dominey in Orlando, Florida in the 1990s, "says Mixon, "He called it The Dominizer". Dominey had a competition team named Junkyard Dogs and ran a metal shop where he was always fiddling with new smoker designs. Fine as The Dominizer may have been, it's a good bet that the advanced engineering and construction provided by Mixon's manufacturer, SenConn offers significant improvements. Fit and finish is impeccable and attention to detail evident 360 degrees around.
Gravity Feed Smokers employ a charcoal chute or hopper that is filled with fuel to provide a steady supply to the fire below, aiming to eliminate the babysitting required with stick burners and some other designs. Unfortunately, charcoal and wood sometime get jammed in the chute, relegating the cook back to babysitting duty. Mixon's round chute design is said to mitigate this issue and work equally well with lump or briquettes. We prefer briquettes for consistency. Click here to read about charcoal.Below is the heavily insulated open chute door where you pour in the charcoal.
The round chute terminates at the slide out fire grate where the fuel burns.
Some like to add wood chunks to the charcoal. Experienced cooks can make this work, but wood can easily just burn up in the red hot fire without producing much smoke. To avoid this issue add wood chunks separately in the firebox ash tray where falling embers will make them smolder and create more smoke flavor. Below is the open firebox with the slide out fire grate (upper left) and slide out ash tray (lower left). Note the two braided gaskets on the door. If you look inside the firebox, there are two separate areas, the box containing the fire grate and ash tray is sealed by the inside gasket, the outside of the firebox and frame of the door is sealed by the larger gasket.
Although the G33 will operate as is, Mixon strongly recommends using a temperature controller like the popular BBQ Guru, which can be attached to the air intake valve. Temp controllers are very popular for charcoal and wood smokers. They regulate the amount of air, hence oxygen that enters the firebox. By controlling oxygen, they control temperature. A thermocouple probe is placed in the smoke box and plugged into the controller to turn a fan on and off as needed to maintain your set temp. Mixon currently offers an optional BBQ Guru and is looking into adding a branded controller as a standard feature. For more about temperature controllers Click Here.
Most gravity feed smokers incorporate the charcoal chute into their rectangular box designs. Mixon has a separate structure for the charcoal chute, (see comparison below, Stump's left - Mixon's right). We asked Sales Manager, David Mixon, why is yours different? "Mainly esthetics, most of the others do just look like a box, so this differentiates us a little bit", he explained, "We also don’t have an internal framework like most of the others. Our cook chamber and charcoal chute are essentially two individual pieces instead of components inside a framework, which helps with heat transfer efficiency".
The G33 overall dimensions are 61.18" H x 30.40" D x 63.01" W. Cook chamber dimensions are 32.37" H x 25.36" D x 27.76" W. Cook box, firebox and charcoal chute are double walled and filled with "military grade insulation". What is military grade insulation? Seconn Fabrication responds, "The insulation we use meets a MIL spec or military specification. These are known for being pretty stringent standards. The main benefit for us is that we know the insulation is manufactured to a tight standard and we will get a consistent product". The cookbox interior is stainless steel. The cookbox, firebox and charcoal chute doors are all sealed with braided gaskets and clamps. The cookbox door has a neat Slam Latch that provides hand free closing. If both hands are occupied pulling a pan off a rack, just give the door a bump and it slams firmly shut.
Seven 24.75" D x 27" W nickel chrome plated steel rod cooking racks are included. Each rack holds two standard hotel pans. Capacity is 30 Butts, 14 Whole Briskets, 28 Baby Back Slabs, 21 St. Louis Slabs, or 42 Chicken Halves. There are additional slots to adjust rack spacing or add extra racks which are optional. This 880 pound smoker rests on two large locking swivel casters and two pneumatic wheels. D-Rings on top of the cookbox come standard to aid in strapping this baby down for transport.
Mixon is a big advocate for water pans which he strongly believes will help maintain temperature, eliminate hot spots, reduce fuel consumption and produce moist, tender meats. Retaining moisture in meat also results in better yields for the commercial cook. However, we found the heavily insulated G33 cookbox maintained moisture very effectively and one may feel no need to use the included slide out the water pan, particularly on shorter cooks.
The transfer chute, (shown below), is a channel from the firebox that carries heat and smoke to the bottom center of the cook chamber. Many other gravity feed designs use a transfer chute that only extends a few inches from the firebox. By expelling heat and smoke at the bottom center of the cookbox, Mixon feels his elongated transfer chute creates more even heat throughout than traditional designs.
The slide-out water pan is right above the heat transfer chute. If you choose not to use water it should be removed. A V-shaped grease deflector is provided to prevent drippings from getting on the transfer chute when the pan is not in use. The transfer chute may also be removed for thorough cleaning. There is a one inch ball valve drain at the bottom, under the transfer chute.
Mixon invited us to attend the KCBS sanctioned Sun BBQ Fest and Competition and test his gear at the Myron Mixon Smokers headquarters located just a few miles away from the fest and right across the street from SenConn. We initially had some trepidation about the propriety of such a scenario. We've never tested products at a manufacturer's facility before, but the Mixon crew assured us they understood our concerns and would do their utmost to make the situation work. True to their word, they were ladies and gentlemen all, providing a no pressure environment for our objective tests. The one down side was we had limited time and so decided to test only ribs and chicken rather than big hunks like brisket that have long smoke times. Mixon doesn't recommend grilling on any of his smokers so no burgers or steaks were in the mix.
The G33 likes to run at around 250°F. Following David Mixon's advice, we set the BBQ Guru for 240°F, removed the water pan and did a couple slabs of ribs and a couple half chickens on two racks. Our temp tests indicted very little difference between the left and right upper rack and left lower rack with a drop off of about seven degrees cooler on the lower right rack. The cookbox environment was very humid even without the water pan. One has to turn away from the cloud of steam whenever opening the cookbox door. The results were very good and surprisingly, the chicken skin came out pretty crispy despite the low temp and humidity.
Myron Mixon's G33 is a very well made, well thought out gravity feed smoker with quality hardware and some unique features. The G33 is way too big for most residential cooks. Backyard Mixon fans can aspire to his throne with the smaller G20 and G9 versions.
We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.
Myron Mixon Smokers
Few faces in the world of barbecue are as familiar as Myron Mixon, the “Winningest Man” in competitive barbecue and often referred to simply as “The King”. Mixon and brother Tracey learned the craft from their father, Jack Mixon, and started his namesake competition team, Jack’s Old South. As Pitmaster of Jack's Old South, Mixon won over 180 grand championships, 30 state championships, 11 national championships, 4 world championships and represents the only team to win grand championships in the Memphis in May, Kansas City Barbecue Society, and Florida Barbecue Association contests in the same year. All totaled he has earned over 1800 trophies so far! In 2013 he was inducted into The Barbecue Hall Of Fame.
Mixon is the star of Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters Series and author of the New York Times bestselling cookbook, “Smokin’ with Myron Mixon”. He also made numerous television appearances on shows including: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Conan, ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s TODAY show and QVC.
The best advice on how to make great barbecue came from his old man. "Daddy said to cook it 'til it's done", relates Mixon, "Now that may seem obvious, but you have guys who got up early and get impatient if it's taking longer than expected. I don't care if you drank a damn twelve pack, or it's raining or whatever; you got friends and family waiting for some good barbecue. Cook it 'til it's done"!
All Myron Mixon Smokers are made in the USA in Waterford, CT where Mixon has partnered with Rob Marelli, founder and CEO of Seconn Fabrication, (below). Seconn is an award winning facility that specializes in sheet metal, robotics and automation industries. Seconn clients include health care and military suppliers who demand quality and consistency to meet required specs and certifications.
Mixon and Marelli have an interesting history, partnership and friendship that melds old school southern barbecue with high tech engineering and manufacturing.
As AmazingRibs.com's Vice President of Product Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, Max Good is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max loves barbecue so much that he took his barbecue sauce recipes, had them bottled, and now sells them around the country.
“The most respected and comprehensive reviewers of grills and smokers in the world”
- Larry Olmsted, Senior Contributor (Forbes)
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 AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazonhttps://tinyurl.com/amazingribs