There are 11 page views remaining.

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.


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 Pitmaster Award winners or Gold Medalist, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

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

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

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

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

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 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

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, our Pitmaster Award 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 Gold Medal.

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


No announcement yet.

Beware Of The Marketers

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Top | #46
    As always worth reading and food for thought.


    • Top | #47
      Originally posted by Willy View Post
      ComfortablyNumb To be clear, no, I don't believe the certification itself is a scam per se. I do believe organic supporters claiming organic produce is superior to conventional produce is a scam. The article you linked to says that as well. Like you, if I was a grower, I would not try to get OG certified.

      We are in full agreement on the expense and often silly, non-results oriented regulations for organic ag, as well as the emptiness of the word "natural". I too chuckle at the term "free range". Because of the poor treatment of chickens, we used to buy eggs at the FM. In a few years the price has gone from $3--$3.50 a dozen to $6 a dozen. I now buy eggs at the grocery store.

      I also agree with, and admire you for, your first sentences regarding treatment of and discussions with customers. I worked a FM for several years, sitting under a canopy and offering advice as a Master Gardener associated with the local County Extension Office. A couple of vendors confided in me over the years about some of their practices that weren't "kosher"--LOL. The fellow who used cotton defoliant as an herbicide topped the list. Not sure how even got hold of it. BTW, the use of the word "master" in the title Master Gardener is pretty much just blowing smoke up the skirts of unpaid volunteers. That said, I did enjoy the program and I learned a lot.

      A final FM irony. One local FM vendor grows his lettuces and greens hydroponically, which means, of course, not organically, yet he does a good business at our FM. I'm fine with hydroponics; it just seems odd that a generally organic crowd accepts it.

      If you don't mind my asking, what led to your departure from the FM?
      Organic certification and the claims of safer and more nutritional food go hand in hand. And my personal experience of selling points being more money and lack of transparency along with the need for fear marketing as expressed in the article you reference, convince me it is a scam. Perhaps you need some more nudging, check this out. However, it is not without irony, most organic proponents are anti-corporate, however who owns organic?

      'Natural' currently means nothing because it has yet to be coopted. However all it will take is an enterprising marketing group or a fed up regulatory agency to change that. 'Free range' is just a joke, as is all the terms used in marketing eggs, such as 'cage free' and 'vegetarian fed'. Too bad you're not my neighbour, I sold my eggs from chickens who roamed ten fenced in acres eating whatever they pleased for $2.00 a dozen. Customers insisted I wasn't charging enough so they raised my rates to $2.50 and eventually $3.00 a dozen.

      What earns your admiration resulted in ire from my peers. To them 'fresh, local, and grown naturally' were to suffice. Frankly, I feel that farming should not be a profession, rather an obligation. We should all be growing food. Since that is not practical, it should be grown with transparency. I also think we should be kind to one another and not murder or steal, and I expect we'll experience that before transparency in food production.

      I don't mind you asking about my 'departure' from the Farmer's Market. The short answer is I was kicked out because I refused to fix my prices with what the other vendors were charging. The long answer is that most Farmer's Markets are a marketing tool, much like Organic Certification. They promote the idea that their products are 'fresh and local' and that they 'connect the community with local farmers.' The market has rules to protect their anchor vendors and penalties for not following them. For example, some have rules of no re-selling, or that the product has to be grown within a certain distance of the market. One rule most have is price fixing. Now they aren't so blatant as to say how much to charge, rather it is worded 'no produce dumping' 'no selling below cost' or 'a fair price in line with the market'. My philosophy is that a Farmer's Market is where a farmer can sell his/her produce directly to the public and make more money than selling to a wholesaler or packing house at a price lower than what a retail grocer sells for, creating a win-win situation for the farmer and the consumer. This is diametrically opposed to the Farmer's Market which promotes that because the produce is 'fresh and local' and by supporting your local farmer you are keeping money in the local economy, that the consumer should pay a premium price. Before the market I would check what Walmart and the other local grocers were charging and price mine slightly less. The other vendors would check with each other and charge about the same. The day it hit the fan I was charging $1.00 for four ears of corn. Walmart and Safeway were at three for $1.00, the other two vendors selling corn at the FM were charging $1.00 for two. I was approached by a board member and the market manager and told I was violating the market rule of 'produce dumping' by 'selling below cost' and that I needed to charge what the other two were charging. My response was that I was making a fair amount based on investment (5,000 seeds cost me $35, assuming a yield of 4,000 ears I was making $965) and that in good conscience I couldn't charge more. I was told if I didn't raise my prices I would be kicked out, to which I said, 'Do what you have to do.' The end result is I was out and the anchor vendor had a speaker at his next annual farm tour present the topic 'Why is my corn fifty cents an ear?'


      • Top | #48
        Golden rice, a GMO, finally approved for use in Bangladesh:


        • Top | #49
          Great article, Meathead. I think you would find Dr. Sarah Taber's take on food and farming very much in line with yours. She's a DPM. Doctor of Plant Medicine (who knew there was such a thing) and has been working in agriculture as a farm worker doing everything from de-tasseling corn to blueberry research on up to her current gig as an consultant on regulatory compliance. She has strong opinions and is often NSFW and will make you think about what's wrong with our food systems.


          • Willy
            Willy commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the mention of Sarah Taber. I hadn't heard of her. She sounds like a good source of reliable science with respect to food.

        • Top | #50
          MattSayar The source of my 40% claim is the May 2014 issue of Nat Geo. They show that 38.6% of earth's non-iced (non-iced being a fact I omitted) land is devoted to agriculture, 46.5% is undeveloped (forests, high mountains, tundra, deserts) and 14.9% is "other" (erosion, rural housing/business, urban, planted forests/logging, mines, roads, reservoirs, railways).

          There really isn't any significant land area left that is not already being exploited. I phrased my comment a bit better in an earlier post on this thread where I wrote: "Not much is left to exploit except the tropical rain forest regions and I don’t think we want to go there".

          I think many people have a somewhat naive view of agriculture as "blending in with nature"--Farmer John puffing on his corn cob pipe while birds flit and deer frolic. In reality, large-scale agriculture (especially crops) is extremely hostile to "nature". Every acre planted with corn, wheat, taters, whatever is an acre unavailable for Bambi and Thumper. The more we till, the less (pardon the cliche) biodiversity, the fewer places for recreation, etc.

          Land for agriculture is a hot topic. Try some Google searches for articles. I find this whole discussion fascinating; I hope you do too.


          • Top | #51
            Meathead, I"ll meet you at the pearly gates with the glasses and the sauce! Thanks for not succumbing to the political correctness and food police!