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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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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.

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BBQ Stars

SPOTLIGHT

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.

 


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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

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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

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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


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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

Announcement

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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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Light my (PBC) fire: tips on lighting and maintaining temperatures

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  • Top | #166
    Wow, Hagen , that's great news! Congrats on that successful pork shoulder cook. I bet it tastes great.

    I'm happy that the info here helped you enjoy cooking on your PBC even more.

    Kathryn

    Comment


    • Hagen
      Hagen commented
      Editing a comment
      I normally use the kettle and thought I did pretty good on my pulled pork. But, this was the most moist pulled pork I have ever done and flavorful. I used Memphis Dust rub and a Chipotle honey bbq sauce I made at home to top it off. Incredible😃😃

  • Top | #167
    Just a quick .02 to add which may already be in here somewhere. Today when lighting my coals, as I reached to the shelf for my usual flame clicker I saw... my culinary torch sitting beside it! Interpreting this as divine intervention (as I never leave my culinary torch in the garage) I decided to use it instead to fire off the coals, and it worked great! They kicked right off with the torch, rather than taking what feels like forever using the soft flame of the clicker.

    So from now on when lighting, as the young'uns say, here'w how IIIIIIIII do...

    1) Fill charcoal basket to level
    2) Soak em with lighter fluid (outside the barrel)
    3) Throw on some work gloves and lower the charcoal basket into the barrel
    4) Hit em with the culinary torch!

    Comment


    • lschweig
      lschweig commented
      Editing a comment
      I put a liberal amount of lighter fluid on the coal after the loaded basket is in the PBC and light it with a propane torch or preferably a MAPP gas torch, the type you use to sweat copper pipes, and it works great every time.
      I do it this way as I don't want the lighter fluid to soak in too much.

  • Top | #168
    best lighting method I have found so far.
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • hogdog6
      hogdog6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thats exactly how I light mine for chicken 😎

    • UncleFester
      UncleFester commented
      Editing a comment
      Nah, I don't do that to light my coals.

      That is how I cook my food.

  • Top | #169
    I was having temp issues and called PBC customer service for help. A female employee asked for the exact steps I took which were all correct, except for the fact that I used a lighter cube to ignite the charcoal. She was very adamant "DO NOT USE A LIGHTER CUBE!" She went on to say it makes the coals too hot and basically throws everything off.

    I'm honestly not thrilled with the PBC. I live at sea level with great weather all year and it's just not easy for me to get good results. It's not "stupid simple" like they claim but I'm not giving up. Guests always think the device is pretty studly so I'm hanging in there.
    Last edited by Larry Grover; March 25th, 2017, 12:55 PM.

    Comment


    • Top | #170
      Larry Grover a hearty welcome from northern Illinois.

      You have come to the right place to help solve your issues with the PBC as there a a bunch of us here that are willing to help. You just have to ask the specific questions to get a quick reply.

      Comment


      • Top | #171
        Originally posted by Larry Grover View Post
        I was having temp issues and called PBC customer service for help. A female employee asked for the exact steps I took which were all correct, except for the fact that I used a lighter cube to ignite the charcoal. She was very adamant "DO NOT USE A LIGHTER CUBE!" She went on to say it makes the coals too hot and basically throws everything off.
        Huh? That's one I've never heard before! Kathryn ( fzxdoc ) ... or anyone else for that matter ... have you ever been warned against using lighter cubes for the PBC?

        Perhaps Pit Barrel Cooker Co. would comment, too?

        (BTW, welcome to the Pit, Larry)
        Last edited by MBMorgan; March 25th, 2017, 11:08 AM.

        Comment


        • lschweig
          lschweig commented
          Editing a comment
          Nope.

        • Hondo
          Hondo commented
          Editing a comment
          As a matter of fact I always use two cubes... No particular reason other than I'm a "if one is good, two must be better kind of guy"...

      • Top | #172
        Thanks for the warm welcome, awesome site! So here's what happened so we are clear on the issue. I noticed on the PBC website FAQ page that you can use less charcoal for small jobs. I called customer service for details and a lady told me to use 1/2 to 3/4 load and to light 30 briqs in the chimney instead of the usual 40. So I tried cooking with 4 pounds instead of 8 ensuring to follow all of the instructions to the "T".

        The cooking temps were way too low - it kept dropping well below 200 so I had to keep cracking (or opening the the lid altogether) to get things hot. But the temp kept dropping fast which led to weak, acrid smoke and poor tasting meat (chicken.)

        I also noticed the pre-lit coals next to the bottom vent were hot but the ones on the other side appeared they had fizzled out. With only half a load of coal it seemed there just wasn't enough hot ones to carry the load. So I called customer service and asked for advice.

        I talked to the same lady and the first thing she did was ask what I did step by step. Bottom vent open 25% for sea-level? Yep. Using Kingsford Original? Yep. Everything great but the big "AH-HA" moment came when I told her I used a lighter cube. I also asked with a 50% load should I open up the bottom vent more? She said no and stated "The circle vent doesn’t have much to do with temp control. You must use the lid for that."

        Although I'm not an experienced smoker it was a head-scratcher.
        Last edited by Larry Grover; March 25th, 2017, 01:56 PM.

        Comment


        • Top | #173
          Originally posted by Larry Grover View Post
          I noticed on the PBC website FAQ page that you can use less charcoal for small jobs. I called customer service for details and a lady told me to use 1/2 to 3/4 load and to light 30 briqs in the chimney instead of the usual 40. So I tried cooking with 4 pounds instead of 8 ensuring to follow all of the instructions to the "T".
          FWIW, until you're comfortable that you've absolutely and consistently nailed the lighting procedure and temperature control, I wouldn't recommend fiddling around with partial loads of charcoal (which is, after all probably a lot cheaper than the meat that might be less than perfect as a result).

          Originally posted by Larry Grover View Post
          I talked to the same lady and the first thing she did was ask what I did step by step. Bottom vent open 25% for sea-level? Yep. Using Kingsford original? Yep. Everything great but the big "AH-HA" moment came when I told her I used a lighter cube. I also asked with a 50% load should I open up the bottom vent more? She said no and stated "The circle vent doesn’t have much to do with temp control. You must use the lid for that."

          Although I'm not an experienced smoker it was a head-scratcher.
          They are a little inconsistent with their messaging about just how to set the vent. Personally, I do not believe you should be tweaking your vent setting to achieve a particular temperature range until you have exhausted all options for controlling temps with the lid (including making sure that the lid is sealing properly). It's a frustrating process that may take more than a few cooks to work through it completely ... but it's a necessary process.

          Comment


          • Top | #174
            Larry Grover After several attempts to use less charcoal in a PBC cook, I decided long ago that charcoal is just too inexpensive to risk a successful cook with scrimping on. Especially for chicken, which needs higher (in excess of 325°F) temps for a satisfying cook.

            I use a lighter cube every single time I use the PBC, and its temperatures are usually rock solid at around 275°F. The lighter cube should make no difference if you are waiting for your topmost coals to just start to ash over in your chimney before pouring them.

            I also agree with the PBC Customer Service person: the position of the lower vent does not change the temperature of the cook much. It does, however, affect how well the coals are lit and stay lit. So finding just the right opening for your altitude (or perhaps a bit more or less, depending on your results) and leaving it there for every cook ensures consistency, at least in my experience.

            Kathryn

            Comment


            • Top | #175
              I'm gonna go full Capt Obvious here, but anybody that struggles with this when they're still new to the PBC, fear not. I've had mine about 9 months, have used it maybe 12 times, and it was probably run 8 before I was a pro with temp regulation. It's really quite simple, but the variables you need to look for are easy to overlook when you still have a fledgling relationship with it. You will be surprised how easy it is to misplace the lid and let temps take off. If I had it to do over again, I'd just read the first post in this thread before every cook just for reminders. Once you and the PBC are old friends, it comes naturally - and so does amazing food.

              Edit: I admit to NOT leaving my intake alone once it's set though. I'm in Tuscaloosa AL, very close to sea level, and with my vent fully closed, it's still not really closed. That works well for a 250 degree run, but if you're cooking chicken, I move it over a tad more. If I'm doing chicken and pork, I just aim for the middle and run it around 290, then sorta sear the chicken on my gas grill at the end.

              Comment


              • Top | #176
                You fully close your vent? Skelly

                Comment


                • Skelly
                  Skelly commented
                  Editing a comment
                  lschweig Yes & No ... When in fully closed position, there is ~ 1/4" gap at the bottom of it. I assume it was misplaced in mfg, but it works for 250-290 degree cooks. I move it for chicken.
                  Last edited by Skelly; March 25th, 2017, 03:52 PM.

              • Top | #177
                That's a normal setting for sea level.

                Comment


                • Skelly
                  Skelly commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yes it is. But that's the fully closed position where mine is set. In other words, I can't fully close it. I don't mind because it works very well.

              • Top | #178
                Thanks for the advice. I think part of my problem is that the coals weren't hot & stable enough when the meat was put in.

                The customer service rep said to start a timer as soon as I light the newspaper and dump the coals @ 12 minutes on the nose for sea level (this conflicts with the PBC website video which says 15-20 minutes.) Also, Kathryn posted in another thread that chimney's burn at different speeds. I was using a Weber short stack but she discovered the Char-Broil Half-Time burns faster so that's problem #1.

                Problem #2 is that the PBC instructions say to put the meat in right away, but the advice here is to burn the lit coals in the barrel for 20 minutes first. Next time I'll try all the steps on page #1 in this thread and post the results.

                My PBC has been collecting rust since last summer because of underwhelming results. I understand for marketing purposes they want to keep things simple. But you also don't want customers out there struggling. I think the company needs to get away from "Just follow our instructions and don't worry about temperature" advice. Give us a built-in thermometer, more detailed instructions and some troubleshooting advice.

                Comment


                • Top | #179
                  Originally posted by Larry Grover View Post

                  My PBC has been collecting rust since last summer because of underwhelming results. I understand for marketing purposes they want to keep things simple. But you also don't want customers out there struggling. I think the company needs to get away from "Just follow our instructions and don't worry about temperature" advice. Give us a built-in thermometer, more detailed instructions and some troubleshooting advice.
                  Larry Grover

                  Awww, that's just sad, the smoker sitting unused like that, because the PBC turns out great food. Like Skelly said, sometimes you just need to figure out what works best for your PBC at your altitude and weather conditions.

                  Some PBCs work great right out of the box. There are folks here who use them all the time without monitoring PBC temperature, following Noah's cooking instructions, and are delighted with the results.

                  Other PBCs seem to take a bit more troubleshooting. Far and away, the biggest problem reported here is a lid that doesn't fit well (or the barrel is a bit out of round), causing smoke to leak at the rim seam. That plays havoc with temperatures.

                  I always think it's best to start with the PBC methods from their website. Try a couple of cooks. If you're not pleased with the results, then come here to the Pit and get info on other approaches to making the PBC cook consistently and well. Buy a remote thermometer, and start taking good notes on each cook. Certainly knowing what the PBC temperature is during a cook goes a long way to finding what works best for you, your PBC, and your altitude.

                  Larry, the fire starting method here is not cast in stone. While 15-10-10 works well for me and many others, some folks have found that 20-5-5 works better, or 15-10, leaving off the last 10 minutes of burn time. So start with, say, 15 (or however long it takes for your topmost coals in the chimney to ash over)-10-10 and see how it goes. Modify if necessary for the next cook. Good luck! I think once you master your PBC's temperatures, and start eating its delicious food, you'll be using it more and more.

                  Kathryn

                  Comment


                  • Top | #180
                    Thanks Kathryn, i will surely follow your advice. Also, is the consensus here that one intake at the bottom is sufficient? I was poking around the forum last night and found a link to a Popular Mechanics build of a drum smoker.

                    Their instructions call for 4 intakes, and you mentioned Temps on one side of the barrel can be 40 degrees hotter than the other until it evens out during a longer cook. Just seems to me you'd want at least two so you have cross ventilation. I'm no expert though, just curious how you pro's feel about it.

                    Comment

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