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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, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon.


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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Road Trip Northern VA to Nashville - need food recs

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  • Top | #1

    Road Trip Northern VA to Nashville - need food recs

    I'm heading to Nashville for a conference next week. Just realized this past weekend that when I booked the conference and the hotel, I looked at flights but never actually booked one. Limited options and high prices got me thinking this would be a great opportunity for a road trip without kids or a dog in the car. It's a little longer than I'd prefer to drive solo (probably about 9 hours each way), but I do love a good road trip and the opportunities are few and far between these days so I figure I have to take advantage when/where I can. With a long drive each way and 4 1/2 days in Nashville (thought a lot of my time is booked), the only thing left to decide is where to eat.

    I've searched the Pit for Nashville recs and compiled the names of all the places I saw mentioned, with links, below. Haven't checked each one out yet, but figured it was worth asking if anyone had any recommendation that weren't already on the list or think any of these are a 'must try' before doing my own mouthwatering, hunger inducing research.

    I'm also interested in any recommendations along 66, 81 or 40 from Centreville, VA on the road to Nashville if there are any out there.

    Hattie B's
    Loveless Cafe
    Papa Turney's
    Peg Leg Porker
    Corkey's (Brentwood)
    Puckett's Grocery


  • Top | #2
    those are all good - my opinion is that if you dont do Loveless you are depriving yourself of a life-altering experience.


    • jumbo7676
      jumbo7676 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks! I could do a late Sunday dinner there. Should be after peak hours, but I don't mind waiting a bit if necessary since I won't have anything else to do besides fill my belly before a long sleep, uninterrupted by crying kids and an occasional face licks from the dog. Recommend any menu items in particular?

    • Steve R.
      Steve R. commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm a big fan of their fried chicken, and it's one of the things they are best known for. I'm told the bbq items are excellent, but I hate to go there and not get the thing that I know I love. Now my belly is growling.

    • xaugievike
      xaugievike commented
      Editing a comment
      ive not had anything bad there....the hardest part is not filling yourself up on the biscuits before the meal arrives!

  • Top | #3
    Made it to Loveless Cafe last night. Boy, do they know how to fry some chicken! I got the sampler platter, which is 3 meats, 2 sides. Went with the special of the day, which was a Nashville hot fried chicken thigh, a regular fried chicken thigh, and pulled pork with a side of creamed corn and hash brown casserole. You know... health food. I thought the pork was good, not great, but I ate pretty late so it had been quite a while since it was cooked earlier in the day and I'd bet if I was there 5 hours earlier it would have been better. The flavor of the Nashville chicken was really good, but the piece I got was a little overcooked and dry around the outside. The regular fried chicken thigh was amazingly good, cooked as well as a chicken thigh can be cooked. The hash brown casserole was also great. Overall, I'd gladly go back if I find myself in the Nashville area again.

    I went to Hattie B's tonight. I really didn't want to do fried chicken on back to back nights, but that's the only way it would fit into my schedule and I wanted to give it a try. It was good, definitely better than average fried chicken, but not as good as Loveless and not worth the 40 minute wait in line and 20 minute wait for the food after ordering. I think that there are enough places to get good (not great) fried chicken that waiting an hour for something a little better than average doesn't seem worth it to me. But I tried it. I enjoyed it. I thought mac and cheese was on par with the chicken, better than average but nothing to rave about. I really liked the potato salad. A lot of bacon flavor comes through even though I couldn't really see any pieces of bacon in there.

    I think that is the end of my culinary adventures on this trip, unless I find a place I'd like to stop at during the long drive home. The rest of my time and meals will be spent at this conference, except for a possible trip to the Grand Ole Opry tomorrow night to see Old Crow Medicine Show and a few other performers.