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Meat-Up in Memphis

T-Shirts & More T-Shirts & More
Order men's and women's T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Aprons, Mugs, Caps, Tote Bags, Flasks, and more, all imprinted with the Pitmaster Club logo. There's even a spiral bound journal where you can make notes on your cooks.

Cool Embroidered Shirt Cool Embroidered Shirt
This beautifully embroidered shirt is the same one Meathead wears in public and on TV. It's wash and wear and doesn't need ironing (really!), but it is a soft cottonlike feel. Choice of four colors and both men's and women's.

Click here for more info.

Support ARC

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 Amazon.


BBQ Stars


Some Of Our Favorite
Tools And Toys

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



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.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

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

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

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

the good one 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

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

Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

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.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

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

The Swiss Army Knife Of Thermometers


The smart folks at ThermoWorks have finally done it: The Swiss Army Knife of thermometers, two in one. Start with the industry standard food thermometer, the Thermapen MK4, (Platinum Medal winner) truly instant (2 to 3 seconds) precise (+ or – 0.7°F). Then they built in an infrared thermometer ideal for measuring the temps of pizza stones, griddles, and frying pans (also great for finding leaks around doors and windows in your house).

Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal.

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 Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

NK-22-Ck Grill

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.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


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

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

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

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

Professional Steakhouse Knife Set

masterbuilt gas smoker

Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

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 AmazingRibs.com readers only

Fireboard: 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, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

Click here to read our detailed review

Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

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



Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
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Smoque in Chicago

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  • Top | #1

    Smoque in Chicago

    We were in Chitown last week, and I wanted to eat at Smoque. So, Me and Mrs and my sis and her husband headed over to Pulaski St!

    And, oh my goodness. I have a new standard to shoot for.

    The restaurant has a great bbq look and feel to it. You go to the register, order your food, and it gets brought to your table. We all ordered brisket, and a rack of ribs to share, along with cole slaws, beans, mac & cheese, fries, and desserts of peach cobbler and pecan bread pudding.

    Now, I make good brisket. I've been to places that serve brisket, and mine is as good as theirs. It's better than many, not as good as some, but in general, I can stand next to my brisket and serve it with confidence.

    The brisket at Smoque makes mine taste like lunch meat. Like cheap baloney. And I mean that. The brisket at Smoque is an order of magnitude better than mine. I like bbq sauce. I like meat without sauce, but I like sauce, too, and the two together, well it's usually pretty good. But this brisket was so good, I didn't even think about putting sauce on it. It was like prime rib brisket, so tender, so moist, so beautiful in taste and mouth feel. Mrs and I have eaten at some pretty amazing restaurants over our almost 30 years together; this ranks right up there with CUT at The Palazzo in Las Vegas, with Brown's Beach House in Hawaii, with SW at The Wynn, with just about anything I can remember.

    The ribs were excellent, mine come pretty close though (following the AR recipe with some tweaks). The sides were, how can I say it? Fun. The mac & cheese was super cheesy, the beans had big chunks of meat and flavor, the cole slaw was vinegary, not milky (I liked it that way, Mrs did not). The fries were really good. The desserts, we were already stuffed but we forced them down anyhow. The bread pudding was absolutely great. The peach cobbler was also absolutely great. We're glad we had them, at the cost of feeling downright Thanksgiving'd out!

    I haven't eaten brisket in Texas, but my opinion is that ranking art is insulting to the artists, and demeans the artistic process. So it can't be compared to Texas brisket. This is damn good food, and if you're in Chicago you gotta try it.

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  • Top | #2
    Great review. I had no idea their brisket would be that good. The ribs being great is not surprising. And that Mac N' Cheese sounds incredible!

    And I agree with you on ranking art!

    Thanks for sharing your experience!


    • Top | #3
      I guess I'm spoiled. In three apartments in Chicago, I've lived within 2 miles of Smoque constantly.

      Wife is the brisket connoisseur, and loves their brisket, but does put sauce on it, because she sauces everything. I like the ribs, and I also get a Texas Hot Link, because they round it out. I've always found the sides to be on point, but not really remarkable. I think they highlight the meat, more than stand out, which, for me, is perfect.

      Wife agrees with you on the coleslaw... IIRC, it's her favorite ever. The downtown outpost isn't quite up to snuff, imho, so while I work across the street from it, I never go.

      Glad you had a good time.


      • Top | #4
        Barry is the man. He puts sugar in his brisket rub, and so do I....along with 13 other things, I think it's 13.


        • Top | #5
          Thanx for the review.


          • Top | #6
            Hmmm, it seems I must travel to Chicago. Sounds great!


            • Top | #7
              Yea I’ve heard his cue is the bomb....gotta make it up home one of these days,


              • Top | #8
                Oooh so close Mosca. Ya got me thinking.


                • Top | #9
                  Barry revealed his secret to me. He said they "do it with love".


                  • Top | #10
                    I'll be in Chicago in August. A stop at Smoque is on the list after this review, thanks!


                    • Top | #11
                      I gotta make a note in my book of places to go incase i'm in the neighborhood..


                      • Top | #12
                        My BBQ obsession began when I travelled to Texas regularly. Smoque's brisket is the only brisket I've had outside Texas that is as good as Texas brisket. There is another Chicago BBQ place called Greet St Meats that is reported to be Smoque's equal. I haven't been there yet.


                        • Top | #13
                          I can tell you I have been to Smoque many a times as well as had their food at catered events. FANTASTIC.

                          The only drawback to the place is the wait. The joint is small and gets packed quickly. As one can imagine, the weekends tend to even busier. Its not uncommon to wait 30 minutes to 1.5/2 hours for food. In the summer it isn't too bad to wait outside in the line. If coming in the cooler months, dress accordingly.

                          If coming to Chi-Town, this is a must stop. My city might not be known for great BBQ, but this is a gem!


                          • Potkettleblack
                            Potkettleblack commented
                            Editing a comment
                            It’s funny that we’re not known for it, as there are a number of good places, and the bubble has kind of popped, so some of the less good places have shaken out.

                        • Top | #14
                          I made sure to hit Smoque last fall when I was in Chicago. I was impressed. Being from Texas and having eaten some good brisket there, (Evie Maie's, Cattleack BBQ, Black's) this is comparable. I am not a Texas brisket snob. I've had excellent brisket in Huntsville, AL (Chuckwagon BBQ), Jacksonville, Fl (Mojo's BBQ), and right here in Clarksville, TN (my backyard and Mission BBQ). Smoque can hang with the best of them, and I wear my Smoque BBQ t-shirt with pride.