Grill And Smoker Setup And Firing Up

"The secret to getting ahead is getting started."Mark Twain

It all starts with how you set up your grill and smoker. The secret is to have temperature control, and for grills, that almost always means using a 2-zone setup. For smokers, the secret is to get a small hot fire that makes clean "blue" smoke rather that billowy white smoke. And yes, you use a plain old grill, gas or charcoal, as a smoker.
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
flank steak tailgate meal
Here's a handy checklist for your next tailgating, camping or other offsite, outdoor barbecue party. read more
A barbecue emitting smoke in the middle of winter
Getting ready to fire up for BBQ season? Check out our must-have checklist of tips to kick things off right. You'll find out how to get rid of built-up grease, clean the grill grates, and improve your cooker's overall performance so you're barbecued food will taste its best all season long. 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
weber smokey mountain in an igloo
Learn some nifty tricks for insulating and protecting your cooker so you can beat the cold, rain, snow, and wind. These handy tips will keep you grilling and smoking successfully on any cooker, at any time, in any weather. 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
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
illustration of how a gas valve works
Keep your barbecue grill clean. Greasy grill grates make food taste bad and gunk on the inside of a grill can reduce heat transference. Here's how to clean and maintain your grill. read more
mold on grill grates
Mold in your BBQ grill is a common problem. Learn how to quickly and safely remove mold that has built up on your grill grates or elsewhere in your grill or smoker. We also show you how to prevent mold from building up in your cooker in the first place. read more
reverse flow offset
Find out how to setup and modify inexpensive offset smokers such as the Brinkmann Pitmaster, Brinkmann Smoke'N Pit Professional (a.k.a. SNPP), and Char-Broil Silver Smoker to get the best possible BBQ with the least possible expense. read more
illustration of 2-zone heat setup on gas grill
You can set up a gas grill to get excellent smoke roasted barbecue if you know how. Here's how gas grills work, the best setups, and how to maintain them. read more
smoked chilean seabass
If we want to get some smoke on quick cooking fish we need to place the fish in close proximity to smoldering wood. Here is a technique that gives fish just the right kiss of smoke without overwhelming its natural beauty. read more
glowing hot charcoal briquets
Ever wonder how barbecue charcoal is made? Here's an inside look at the manufacturing process for pillow shaped charcoal briquets, hardwood lump charcoal, bone charcoal, and other forms of charcoal such as binchotan. We also explain which kind of charcoal is best and how to use it. read more
Pit Barrel Cooker open
Take a look at the Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC), an amazing smoker and grill. We give you all the tips, tricks, and techniques you need to get the best bbq out of it. read more

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2-zone setup

Meathead Goldwyn

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

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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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