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These are not ads. These are products we love and highly recommend. Click here to read more about our medals and what they mean.

Gold Medal Gift Guide

Gold Medal Gift Guide

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 Pitmaster Award winners or Gold Medalist, listed by price.

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Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

masterbuilt gas smoker

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'.

Click here to read our detailed review

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

maverick PT55 thermometer

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 for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there

The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

fireboard bbq thermometer

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, this is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

Click here to read our detailed review

If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

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

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

the good one grill

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.

Click here to read our complete review

G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

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

PK 360 grill

Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

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.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for readers only

GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

grill grates

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.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special

Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

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 in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only 9 delivered to your door!

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

kareubequ bbq smoker

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

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.

Click here for our review of this superb smoker


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Best BBQ Joints in Colorado Springs

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  • Top | #1

    Best BBQ Joints in Colorado Springs

    I know Colorado isn't exactly BBQ central but I'm sad to see how dead this channel is, so I thought I'd contribute. I moved here from Alabama years ago, so I was pretty underwhelmed with the local BBQ when I first arrived. That's what pretty much kicked off my smoking obsession since I knew I figured I wouldn't be able to consistently buy it.

    That said, I'm a big fan of Front Range BBQ. Only go on a busy day, ie weekends, or you will get leftovers. But when it's fresh, it's good.

    There's a food truck called Barney's on the corner of Academy and Union that I really enjoy, but I've only been a couple times because of the variable hours. I think I like it better than Front Range BBQ because when they're open, it's guaranteed fresh.

    I was also surprised with the quality of Rudy's brisket the last couple times I went there, in spite of it being a Texas chain. Be sure to ask for a cut from the point.

    But I'd like to spend a minute complaining about Bird Dog BBQ. That BBQ is absolute, complete garbage and it saddens me to see it hit the top of the "Best BBQ" lists from the Gazette and CS Indy. I swear it's only because they have several locations, and the BBQ-illiterate folk around here vote for it because it's probably the only BBQ place they've even been to. Their BBQ is so dry and flavorless, it REQUIRES BBQ sauce. I know some people fall on different sides of whether BBQ should require sauce or not, but when it tastes like its texture before adding sauce, it just depresses me. Not only is that poor meat not living up to its potential, this disgusting chain is reducing supply to the rest of us who want to respectfully make the best BBQ possible. So yeah, don't go to Bird Shit BBQ

  • Top | #2
    I don't remember any good non-chain BBQ per se from when I lived there, but for Mexican I LOVED Monicas Taco Shop. There wasn't a single thing on the menu I didn't like. Edelwiess is another amazing place with the most authentic German food I ever ate outside of Germany. The only "BBQ" place of note I can think of was the Famous, but it was super pricey... I think I took a couple dates there, amazing food but hard to get out of there under 3 figures. I lived in CO for 6 years, some of my family still lives in Castle Rock. I love that area!


    • MattSayar
      MattSayar commented
      Editing a comment
      The Famous is still great, but if I'm going there I'm getting a steak. The other places you mentioned are also ace, but man I wish a decent BBQ place with a pig statue out front existed here

  • Top | #3
    BBQ should be good enough that it doesn't need any sauce, and if you decide to add sauce, that should take it up a notch.


    • MattSayar
      MattSayar commented
      Editing a comment
      Exactly, it should be optional, not required

  • Top | #4
    I lived there for 30 years. I could not agree more with you! Bird Dog is Bird Crap!


    • Top | #5
      Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel! LoL! Thanks for the review. some in laws live in CS area. I won't go out expecting BBQ.


      • Top | #6
        Just my 2 pennies, but I haven't really found much in the way of food, BBQ or otherwise, in the Springs that was worth seconds. I had the unfortunate outing to Rudy's right after we moved back while all our things were in storage and it was garbage, but I do give them credit as there is always a line.


        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          Editing a comment
          The places I mentioned above are amazing, just not BBQ

        • MattSayar
          MattSayar commented
          Editing a comment
          Oh man there's plenty of good places to eat here. I'm not sure where you're looking!

        • tstalafuse
          tstalafuse commented
          Editing a comment
          We've been to both places and thought they were okay. I have had better/worse German food in/outside of Germany (same for Italy, France, Mexico, and most Central American countries). As for what I am looking for.. If I am going to pay to have someone prepare the meal it needs to be better than what I can make myself. Otherwise, I just don't feel the need to go back. I have shared many meals with people who confused good food with the convenience of not having to prepare the meal.