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Meat-Up in Memphis

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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.

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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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Top tips for first KCBS competition?

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  • Top | #1

    Top tips for first KCBS competition?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm competing in my first BBQ competition at the end of August. Wondering if you could give me a few of the top tips for first time competitors? (e.g. have a schedule, plan ahead, have multiple smokers, timing etc.)

    I have a solid grasp of how I'm going to cook my brisket, butt, chicken thighs and ribs. Also competing in a "chefs choice" category of "pizza" which should be interesting.

    The main question I have is should I obtain another smoker before the competition? All I have is a Oklahoma Joe's stick burner at the moment.



    - MES 30
    - Oklahoma Joe's offset (Highland)
    - Blackstone griddle
    - Gas Grill
    - Thermapen instant read thermometer
    - Various wifi and wired meat probes
    - Amaz'n pellet smoker

    (next on the wishlist is a kettle, pellet smoker and egg)

  • Top | #2
    Many teams will cook a lot more food than is required for turn in so they can select the best meat for their boxes. Our team will generally cook 4 racks of ribs, 2 butts, 12-18 thighs, and 1 brisket. At a bare minimum you could go with 2 racks of ribs, 1 butt, 9 thighs, 1 brisket. With one smoker, you will need to have a well though out and closely managed cook plan to pull it off. I competed with just a WSM 22" at my first comp and was just happy to have all 4 entries successfully submitted on time. In my opinion, adding another smoker would be helpful. Good luck and let me know if you have other questions.


    • Smoke Trails BBQ
      Smoke Trails BBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks dshaffes, I may look at borrowing my neighbors WSM or sourcing another smoker for the cook. Sounds like it could be tough managing with just the one

  • Top | #3
    My 2 cents:

    In the future, I’d get another smoker. If you are competing at the end of August, you don’t have much time to practice with a new smoker. Go with what your practicing on now, especially if you have a firm grasp on how your going to cook. Just dial it in.

    I judge so make sure you turn in HOT food. Don’t spend a lot of time dressing up your box and then the food gets cold. Cold meat will affect the taste and tenderness. When judges look at boxes, their really looking for legalities. If it looks Like good BBQ, straight cuts, appetizing, rather than a hot mess, you’ll score a 9. Appearance does not score as high as Taste and Tenderness. Im always amazed when I get “cold” meat.

    Make sure there are at least 6 entries to a box and they are detached. It happens occasionally when two pieces of meat are not detached (e.g. ribs) and one judge does not get a piece of meat. Judges are not allowed to pull the pieces apart.

    Biggest legality that is caught is foreign objects in a box. A tiny piece of tin foil, a toothpick, etc. if you use toothpicks to hold your chicken skin down, then make sure you count your toothpicks.

    Good luck and have fun. And don’t worry if you forget to bring something. The teams are always friendly and willing to help out other pit masters, especially if it is their first time.


    • Smoke Trails BBQ
      Smoke Trails BBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Triple B. I hadn't considered the hot factor. I suppose in that case it would be important to slice and prep the box at a higher internal temp while balancing rest time? And perhaps turning it in as close to the turn in time as possible (or within the 5 min period before/after)

    • TripleB
      TripleB commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry, but I was emphasizing that your food needs to be warm as possible when you turn in. Prep your box, don't slice too soon, keep your box warm in a hot box, get a thermal carrying case to transport your food to the turn in. When the meat is turned in, it does not immediately go to the judges. There are checks, double checks, triple checks before the judges get the meat to judge. Don't over think or over plan this. Just a tip.

  • Top | #4
    Remember KCBS likes sugar sweet not savory. And don’t overcook, meaning no fall of the bone. Meat needs to bite clean. Have fun and don’t take it to seriously.


    • TripleB
      TripleB commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes and it's too bad that teams are turning in everything, except brisket, sweet. It use to be quite a range of flavors. Savory, simple rub, heat, etc. Now I see the flavor profiles about all the same. Talking to cooks after a contest they stated that the judges want it sweet and if you want to win, that's what you do. Again, too bad.

    • Smoke Trails BBQ
      Smoke Trails BBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Jamie. Since my wife is going to be my sous chef I better not take it to seriously

  • Top | #5
    One could write a book with tips... Wait, I think someone has....

    First of all, leave the gas cooker at home. Wasted effort. You cannot use it to cook; not even to keep the cooked food warm. Automatic disqualification to use gas or electricity to apply heat to meat. You would only be able to use the gas grill to heat water for doing dishes.

    Forget about "chef's choice." You need no distractions. Cook the four KCBS entries only as your only focus. Besides, you do not have cooker room.

    You need a second cooker. Either recruit a partner, or borrow a cooker. IF, and I mean IF, you attempt to cook an entire contest on one cooker - you will need to cook big meats to be done before 8:00 AM, ribs fast to be done at 11:00, and chicken VERY fast to be done at 11:50. You have no room for error.

    KCBS food is not the same as food you make at home. The judges take one bite of your food for judging. So you have to impress those taste buds on that single bite, and not worry about what it tastes like when consuming the whole piece of meat. KCBS entries are over-salted and over-sugared to achieve this. The saucing of your meat is expected by most judges.

    Put some effort into box garnish. It matters, no matter what the rules say.

    Before you compete again, sign up for a KCBS judging class. Find out what is expected in your entry, and it will vastly improve your cooking.

    Lastly, have fun, but do not over indulge in the adult beverages. KCBS events are fun... but it is no fun attempting to put together your entries when hung over.


    • Top | #6
      Have FUN!


      • Top | #7
        Glad your wife is in on it. Once my wife joined the team we started walking a lot more often.

        Don’t be intimidated by the fancy equipment of other teams. For some of us, it is humble beginnings, it was for me.

        Gordon Ramsey says you lose 30% of whatever rub you use on meat, so use 30% more.

        Inject everything. Get either Kosmo’s or butchers phosphates. Phosphates help the food retain moisture. Good moist food will not tighten up as much when it gets cold.

        Sharpen your knives, for obvious reasons. Be sure to have a razor-sharp slicing knife, you don’t want to go sawing through your perfect brisket and make it look like Freddy Krueger did it.

        If rules allow, prep your meat ahead of time. Angie and I have meat prep parties where we trim 12 thighs and vac pack them, makes less work the day of event.

        Chicken skin: Bite through does not mean crispy. It means tender. If your chicken skin isn’t right, but your meat is tender, consider losing the skin, re-rub it and sauce it well.

        Be careful with your tongs. We barely use em anymore, but aggressive tonging can damage appearance.

        Comfortable shoes. After a comp, you’ll feel like you walked 12 miles at Disney World.

        Hang your paper towels. Use a bungee cord to hang from your canopy, and/or a wood clamp secured to your table.

        Plan for the weather.

        Keep your area organized. They don’t judge you on this but other competitors do. If you organized, you appear more professional, and other teams will notice and take you more seriously.

        if you’re inviting friends, be sure they know it’s business first. I’ve had people who came to party and eat a free buffet, I had to reality-check them.

        If health code permits, offer to trade a rib or something with the other teams next to you. Note how their taste/tenderness differs from yours, then see where they place.

        Shigging isn't shigging your first time out. Yes, focus on your tasks, but see what others are doing. Go so far as to even flat out ask. You’ll seem like a young inquisitive Harry Potter on his first day at Hogwarts, and some people will spill their guts on their processes and flavors.

        Shiny sauce. I take corn syrup with me to brighten up my sauces. Just a little will enhance your shine without affecting taste too much.

        A cooker cooks differently when completely loaded with meat. A lot of people test run at home with one meat at a time, then the day of the event they are turning in undercooked product and not knowing why. Everything takes a little longer when it’s a full cooker. Larger cookers are less affected by this, but it still applies.

        Use a faux Cambro. A dry cooler will hold meat hot for hours.

        Take a stroll. You need to know how long it takes to get to the turn in. Only one way to know.

        I've gone on too far, but there are a million things. Let us see photos of your trophy when you take grand champion.
        Last edited by Woodson; August 23rd, 2019, 06:59 AM.


        • Donw
          Donw commented
          Editing a comment
          Sounds like really good advice. Had to do a little research on what Shigging means. Funny how ever profession and activity has its own language that you have to learn to fully understand it.

        • Woodson
          Woodson commented
          Editing a comment
          The lingo is weird sometimes. Then there are those guys who only speak in acronym. Frustrating. I overkill on comps. I bring so much stuff, I really need to lighten my load.

        • Mark V
          Mark V commented
          Editing a comment
          There is actually a team here in MN that is Shiggin n Grinnin. Most teams I see have at least 3 smokers, many are drums. You need to be able to set them up at different temps at different times and with different woods.

      • Top | #8
        One more worth mentioning. You are going to attract people who want to come “help” and or eventually join YOUR team. Make sure they know you’re the boss, but give creative freedom once the help proves himself or herself to be more than just a laborer.

        In doing this, I make sure all the equipment is mine. I’m not a control freak, but hear me out. I’ve seen teams arguing over nonsense like, “that’s my Weber lid, thermapen, generator, or whatever.” Should a disagreement cause a partnership to dissolve, be sure nothing walks off. I tell my helpers to bring welding gloves only. Nothing else. And at the end of the show, there is no questioning in who’s trailer the stuff belongs. I have never had a problem with this, but I’ve seen it. Some unreliable person doesn’t show up, and this person was supposed to bring the chicken!!!!!! Now you have problems.

        I'm not saying don’t partner with anyone, but just be damn sure whoever is coming and bringing whatever is actually coming. Easy solution, own it all, buy all meats, pay all the fees. If you win the big check, you can decide to cut people in on it at what percentage or whatever. But most teams starting out need equipment. So just be clear with any helpers upfront about what happens if you win the big check.

        I swear I'm done, except this photo of me getting a check 🤠
        Attached Files


        • Top | #9
          Go to the channels page on here page down till you find BBQ competitions, Meeting spot for all the Competition Barbecue Pitmasters. Foil not included! There is already some great discussions and tips. Good luck, learn all you can in advance, Do cooks at home. Before your contest.


          • Top | #10
            Take a judging class and judge a few events. Learn what judges look for. You can see then what others turn in, see what you are up against.


            • Woodson
              Woodson commented
              Editing a comment
              Judging class taught me I was under seasoning my product, as are many other competitors nervous about over-seasoning. No longer, and I’m taking regular walks up on stage.

          • Top | #11
            Go to the Channels section and down toward the bottom there is a section called Competition Berbeque. I would take a gander at it.


            • ComfortablyNumb
              ComfortablyNumb commented
              Editing a comment
              Ah, I see, you just repeat what others post because you want to make sure someone sees what they posted, not because you don't read what others post. So can we expect you to repeat in every thread, or is this one special? Oh, and sorry if you thought I was being snide, I'm used to seeing a '+1' or an 'I agree with so-and-so', not just a blatant repeat of what someone posted as if you didn't read it. I guess I just didn't realise the depth of your concern. A terrible mistake on my part.

            • Nate
              Nate commented
              Editing a comment
              ComfortablyNumb , that must be how one ends up with nearly 800 posts in less than 3 months!

            • Jerod Broussard
              Jerod Broussard commented
              Editing a comment
              OK, we get it ComfortablyNumb and Nate MS ticked off some people, he has apologized to us and coming here to blast him doesn't seem to help much with keeping a friendly atmosphere. As mentioned before, if you don't like what someone is posting just put them on your IGNORE LIST. I have over 20 people on another forum I frequent. It really helps my day.

          • Top | #12
            Thanks everyone, it went really well and I learned a lot. Thanks for all the tips!


            • Donw
              Donw commented
              Editing a comment
              Glad to hear you enjoyed it and learned somethings at the event. Next you know we will be enjoying photos of your awards😀