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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.

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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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Competition Needs

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  • Top | #1

    Competition Needs

    Think you want to try competing in barbeque? I'm starting my 11th year doing this. I've cooked out of the back of my pickup truck, in a trailer and with an RV. Here's a progression of steps to get you there!

    Where are you geographically?

    There are several sanctioning groups, some are all over like KCBS (Kansas City Barbeque Society), others are region-specific like IBCA, LSBS, Texas Gulf Coast BBQ Association (all in Texas primarily), BCA (Barbeque Cookers Alliance in Louisiana), Florida BBQ Association (primarily Florida), Memphis Barbeque Network (primarily around Memphis), Georgia BBQ Association (rules like MBN), Georgia BBQ Championship (KCBS sanctioning) and lots of unsanctioned events around. Best way to start looking is do a search for "BBQ contests in ____ (put your state here)"!

    What are the sanctioning groups that put on events in your area?

    After you've found events in your area, look at the rules of the event. Do they use judges off the street? Do they have a "certified" judging program. It helps you as a cook to judge. You see first-hand what competition means. What does the meat look like, taste like and what's the best texture? All of these are determined by sanctioning rules.

    Judge some events before you cook. Talk to competitors after judging and look at how they've set up their cooking spot. Take notes afterwards. Make friends -- ask if you can come help them at a contest. That gives you first hand experience (without investment!) of what's involved.

    What equipment do you have?

    Do you have a cooker that will work? How will you transport it to events? Even if an event is in your home town, you've got to get your stuff there and back. Plan to be self-sufficient. If you need electricity, have a back up plan if electricity isn't available. Same with water, use it if provided but be able to supply your own needs if necessary.

    What will you need?

    Cooker(s), fuel(s), shelter (this can be RV, trailer, canopy), work surfaces (folding tables, tailgate of PU truck), folding chairs, coolers (dual use -- cooling and for holding meat while hot -- cambro or similar is really handy), sleeping method (in your truck, zero gravity folding recliner, cot, etc.), knives and tools and a clock and timer.

    Expendable necessities:

    Paper towels, wipes, disposable cutting boards, aluminum pans and foil, plastic table covering (comes on a roll, cut to size), trash bags, disposable gloves (very important!), disposable pan liners, zip lock bags gallon size (left overs). Seasonings (rubs, marinades, sauces) and tools necessary to apply same and, of course, the meat you plan to cook.

    Practice and Planning!

    Not necessarily in that order -- you have to practice and you need to plan your practice out! Assuming you've got your flavor profiles down and know how to use your cooker(s), a competition event is different than cooking in your backyard. Take some time and set up your contest cook site as if you are really at a contest. Then cook as if you are at an event. Keep track of what you need to go to the house to get and add that to your contest check list. Same thing if you think you will use something and don't -- don't carry it just in case. Take notes on cooking and time requirements. Always add time for cooking at a contest. You'll need it!

    Rules at most events allow you to prep your meat at home. Do that! It saves you time and it's easier to clean meats at home with a sink near by. Besides you'll enjoy having the extra time to visit with your fellow competitors.

    Invite your friends to come "judge" your entries. It'll be fun and you'll gain comfort knowing how cooking a contest will run.

    This list is by no means comprehensive! Much of your cooking methods will be determined by the cooker(s) you use and the resources you have at your site. One of the challenges of competition cooking is being able to produce an edible product no matter what obstacles get in the way. And there will be obstacles -- guaranteed! It's all in how you handle them. Good Luck and Have Fun!

  • Top | #2
    Great post. Stickied!


    • Top | #3
      Very comprehensive! I am not considering competing - I'm still at spectator level. However, if I take your list of must haves you could also use the set up for a tailgating party, a weekend hunt or camping trip, etc. maybe add one more cooler for bud lites for those.


      • Top | #4
        PNWBA The Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of barbecue in the Northwest

        <<< Because it is in the upper left corner, it gets forgotten, but they really do have a LOT of events >>>


        • CandySueQ
          CandySueQ commented
          Editing a comment
          You are so right! Got friends up there. Bad on me.

      • Top | #5
        Great list. I did two cooks similar to a competition prior to my first event. Started a list of items needed and when I started which food when. Kept a cooking log for each meat. The only thing that changed when I did compete was having a camper at the site, using wagyu brisket and failing to adjust to the brisk wind that was blowing. It really affected the cooker temps. At home, our house serves as a wind block.


        • Top | #6
          Weather makes big differences in cooks. Give me rain anytime -- add wind and my cooker ain't happy. There's no doubt that most (if not all) cookers are directional. Wind blowing the right way is good, blowing in the stack can cause cooking issues. It's good to be flexible in setup so you can deal with weather, because you never know where you'll be placed at a contest.


          • wcpreston
            wcpreston commented
            Editing a comment
            CandySueQ I live in Southern California. What is this rain thing you talk about?

        • Top | #7
          Great stuff Candy! Can't underscore the importance of judging a few times first to get an idea of what the judges want and what the competition is doing.


          • Top | #8
            Yeah Candy, I am going to be practicing for my first comp next week. Of course it is not anything formal like the sanctioned stuff. My buddy just agreed today to be my pit buddy. So planning has begun and there's already a lot to think about.


            • HawkerXP
              HawkerXP commented
              Editing a comment
              Good luck and let us know how it goes for you.

            • Nate
              Nate commented
              Editing a comment
              Good Luck... just finished my last one for the season up last Saturday!

          • Top | #9
            Awesome Post Candy! Lots of good info. I'm still in the working out of the back of a pickup phase...

            Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_0452.JPG Views:	1 Size:	5.19 MB ID:	230089


            • CandySueQ
              CandySueQ commented
              Editing a comment
              That's much like my truck setup! I did have a topper on the bed, which made for better sleeping in bad weather.

            • Nate
              Nate commented
              Editing a comment
              CandySueQ , luckily the comps I was in the last few years have all been good weather & are day cooks instead of overnight. Can definitely see where the topper would be handy and may become a consideration if I start needing to do overnight comps.

            • Nate
              Nate commented
              Editing a comment
              CandySueQ , I'm trying to decide between going with an enclosed trailer to haul drums and work out of or if I want to get a pull behind cooker. I love my PBC & I'm eyeing Gateways however a larger cooker would help with capacity as I'm getting more request for catering (haven't started but want to).

          • Top | #10
            Click image for larger version

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ID:	230170 Finest BBQ in Indy is what FBI is for! You can see how the truck is backed under the canopy (holds two legs down). I used the tailgate as an additional work table too.


            • Top | #11
              Nice, thanks for sharing your setups. Gives me an idea of what things will look like or should look like for my first competition.


              • BriggsBBQ
                BriggsBBQ commented
                Editing a comment
                Oh wait, you said only bring what you use...

              • EdF
                EdF commented
                Editing a comment
                BriggsBBQ you clearly have well-developed judgment! ;-)

              • CandySueQ
                CandySueQ commented
                Editing a comment
                My current fave is raspberry infused vodka with Perrier in moderation!