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Meat-Up in Memphis

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

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  • Top | #31
    I did get those gloves. Wow do they work great, but then they're pretty pricey. I think I could grab on to the hinges of hell with them, though.



    • Top | #32
      New Pit Member here, love this site and all everyone's great and helpful tips! I just got my PBC and will be doing my first cook (prolly ribs or tri tip) this weekend prior to smoking an 18 lb bird on it for T-Giving. My question may seem remedial but I was wondering if any of you could post pics on how you assemble the foil liner underneath the charcoal basket? I think I get the idea, but have this fear of messing it up and therefore temps not running correctly. Thanks for any help you can provide with this!


      • fzxdoc
        fzxdoc commented
        Editing a comment
        Sorry I don't have any technique photos for the aluminum foil liner method. Basically I put two layers of Al foil on my countertop and take the lid of the PBC and place it on top. I run my finger under the foil to get an impression of the inner edge of the lid. That gives me a nice circle to follow as I remove the lid and fold/crimp the foil under. Then I drop that double-layer circle of foil into the bottom of the PBC making sure none of it obscures the vent opening. The basket goes on top and the rest is history!

        I use Reynolds wide heavy duty Al foil and it works great.


      • skrose
        skrose commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, I appreciate it!

    • Top | #33
      Hey there, I'm new to The Pit and thought I would describe my unique lighting method. I came up with this after several cooks using the standard PBC lighting method as well as the tin foil method from this thread. While I like the ease of clean up afforded by the tin foil method, I don't feel so comfortable with the act of dumping lit coals from the chimney into the basket--probably because I have the larger chimney.

      1. Remove basket from PBC
      2. Fill basket with as much Kingsford charcoal as needed for your cook
      3. Place basket back in PBC and alighn the handle to be parallel with the rebar holes (btw, great idea!)
      4. Use an garden torch to create a small circular 'core' of lit coals within the coal basket that is about 5 inches across. This should take no more than 4-5 minutes.
      5. Place a thermometer probe in the barrel to monitor pre-heating temperature. For example, run the probe through a rebar hole and hang it on one of the rebar rods. I place mine slightly off-center so that it is not directly over the lit core.
      6. When the desired pre-heating temp is reached, add meat to PBC and close the lid tightly.

      This is a faster lighting method and, if done properly, one can still get up to 10 hours of burn time as the combustion slowly spreads from the lit core to the surrounding unlit brickettes in the rest of the basket.

      When I tried this with the heavy-duty foil under the basket, the foil lost it's integrity--probably from the high heat of the garden torch. So I use a narrow broom and a dust pan with a long handle for clean up.

      One of these days I will try the lighter fluid method--probably when I discover that I'm out of propane!



      • Curtis Ellzey
        Curtis Ellzey commented
        Editing a comment
        Interesting method! Btw, what's a "garden torch"? I might be gardening wrong...lol

      • smarkley
        smarkley commented
        Editing a comment
        I use the lighter fluid *occasionally* when I am in a hurry. -- I use Noah's method and have never - ever tasted fluid on the meat.

      • mtford72
        mtford72 commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm with smarkley. I've just given up trying to use the chimney. The lighter fluid is so much simpler. I've never noticed any residual flavor. It burns so thoroughly so quickly, the residue has to be practically nothing.

    • Top | #34
      This thread has been very helpful and helped flatten the learning curve for me... Thank you fzxdoc and everyone that has contributed to this thread...


      • fzxdoc
        fzxdoc commented
        Editing a comment
        You're welcome, Hondo. Enjoy that brand new PBC!


    • Top | #35
      I just finished my first cook on the PBC, 2 chickens. All turned out well and the chicken was awesome. One question, has anyone ever used the wax cubes for lighting the PBC? A guy from a local BBQ store told me to give it a try. He sets 2-3 cubes at the bottom of the barrel, lights them, and then sets a full basket of coals right on top of the cubes. Waits the 15-20 minutes and then hangs the meat. I thought is sounded interesting but I've never used the cubes on anything.



      • Top | #36
        Daniel, I use wax cubes all the time. I put 1 cube on a square of aluminum foil on the grate in the PBC. Light the cube, put the chimney with 40 briquettes in it over the cube and let burn for 15 minutes. Pour the hot coals on remaining unlighted coals in the basket at the bottom of the barrel and you're good to go.

        I use the foil so I can just fold up the spent wax cube and any ash and toss it away before removing the grate and pouring the burning coals.

        Congrats on your first PBC cook. The PBC makes the best chickens. One Pit member, Ernest , calls the PBC the Chicken Whisperer.

        Last edited by fzxdoc; March 21st, 2015, 06:20 AM.


        • Top | #37
          I'm thinking that Daniel has hit on something. Many of us are already using the foil in the bottom of the barrel to help ash cleanup, why not just place the wax cubes or firestarter of choice on the foil and place the full basket of coals over it. Sounds like a totally easy way of starting things without the hassle of transferring coals from the chimney to the basket.

          I'm turning my home-brined corned beef into pastrami this weekend, so I think I'll give this a try.


          • Top | #38
            @BruceB, let us know how that method works out. I'm particularly interested in how quickly the PBC comes up to temperature using a few wax cubes under the basket for a starter. Thanks for doing the research!



            • Top | #39
              Well, I am breaking the rules a bit because this is only my second cook on the PBC and I'm venturing off of the traditional lighting techniques. Noah would not be happy Here is what I did:

              1) Made a foil liner (don't laugh I know its not the best) but that is what I get for not having heavy duty foil on hand.
              2) Dropped 3-cubes on top of the foil and lit them. Gave it about 30-45 seconds then dropped the coal basket right on top of them.
              3) Waited for 20-minutes (lid off of course, no bars in). I'm at sea level and was only going to go 15-min but there was still smoke coming from the barrel at 15-min. My bottom port is open right at 1/4 given my elevation (3-miles from the beach).
              4) After 20-min I added the bars with a probe hanging from one, and put 2-racks of spares in. Will post temps and times below.


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              Below photo is looking inside the port after setting the basket on top of the 3-cubes.

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              Coal Basket after 20-min.

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              Last edited by dpsphotos; March 21st, 2015, 11:43 AM.


              • Top | #40
                Here are the temps so far. Just realized in all my haste to try this out and get the pit temp right, I did not even take a picture of the ribs before they went in. ROOKIE

                Peak temp after putting the ribs on. 432
                5-min - 424
                15-min - 363
                30-min - 307
                60-min - 284
                90-min - 270
                2-hrs - 268 - Still have resisted the urge to peak

                So at 2-hrs 15-min one rack fell off the hook (see post below). After opening the lid a few times to go to the grate, here are the temps.

                2-hrs 30-min - 277 (Not sure how well my probe is reading now that the racks are blocking it given they are on the grate).

                3-hrs - 288

                3-hrs 30-min - 287 pulled them off for saucing at this point. Will update end result below.
                Last edited by dpsphotos; March 21st, 2015, 05:02 PM.


                • Top | #41
                  Wow, this sounds like a great method, Daniel! It looks like it works just as well as pouring coals from the chimney. I'm definitely going to give it a try on my chicken cook tomorrow! Thanks so much for the great idea.

                  I hope the ribs turn out well.



                  • Top | #42
                    Well, right at 2-hrs and 15-min I heard one of the rib racks fall off the hook. I have had to go to the grate. They are not done (don't pass the bend and the bark is not done), not sure what I did wrong. Obviously I have had to open the lid a few times, will update temps above once it settles. I have the ribs on the grate, the bars in, and my probe back in.

                    Should Note, I did put the hook in after the second bone. I felt it was a bit thin there, but the hooks weren't long enough to go to the third bone. Also, the tips were kissing the coals when I first hung the ribs.

                    Last edited by dpsphotos; March 21st, 2015, 12:36 PM.


                    • Top | #43
                      Daniel, if the ribs are that close to the fire, I cut them in half. Also, I double-hook them like Noah does for brisket (vertical hook-in-a-hook method). So far, knock wood, nothing has fallen into the fire and I've done half a bajillion cooks on the PBC. Just as a FYI, for pork butt, I put the meat on the grate when the internal temp gets to be about 170 or so because I'm afraid of it falling as it softens at higher temps.

                      I hope no harm was done to those ribs dropping into the fire. Did you rinse/wipe them off? Good luck for the rest of the cook.



                      • Top | #44
                        The cook was not that bad given that one rack fell into the coals just past the 2-hr mark. I went to the grate and at 3.5-hrs sauced them.

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                        The rack on the left was the PBC Beef & Game rub, the one on the right was John Henry's Texas Pecan rub. The rack on the right needed a bit more time I thought, so I sauced the other one and stuck them back in for 20-min. I used a doctored up KC Masterpiece sauce.

                        A few notes:
                        - I think 20-min with the sauce on them was too much, I would like to shorten that for next time. It just seemed to caramelize too much.
                        - The rack on the right with the John Henry's rub was tough. The bottom side got hard and crunchy but the top side was good. I'm not sure if that is from being on the grate or if the rub itself has too much sugar. Just guessing at this point but it was weird.
                        - Like the PBC all purpose better, the Beef & Game just didn't hit the spot for me. Although that rack of ribs cooked the best and was the most tender.

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                        Left rack done with 20-min of sauce time, right rack now going on for sauce.

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                        Coal basket after a total of 4-hrs. One side burned more complete than the other, but I noticed one rack dripped a lot more. The dripping rack of ribs was over the less burned section of coals and also seemed to cause flare-ups as that side would have a small flame every time I opened the lid.



                        • Top | #45
                          Daniel, it looks as though you had a marvelous cook and learned a lot. Congrats! About the smoker temperatures, I find that the side closest to the vent gets hotter first and then the other side takes over after a few hours. Jerod (@Jerod Broussard one of our great moderators) has also reported this finding.

                          In fact, just a few days ago I did an 8 hour cook on the PBC and put two smoker probes in, clipped opposite each other on the grate, to test this. The vent side ran anywhere from 5 to 20 degrees hotter for the first 2.5 hours, then the side opposite the vent ran 10 to 25 degrees hotter for about 3.5 hours then both sides evened out for the remaining 2 hours of the cook. I had three hunks of meat on that grate, so it wasn't a true test with nothing interfering, but it was a good estimate I thought.

                          When I do short cooks, such as bacon-covered meatloaf or chicken, which take 1 to 1.5 hours, I rotate the meat after the first half hour or so. For long cooks, I don't bother as much with it.

                          And I'm with you about the Beef and Game rub--I think Meathead's Big Bad Beef Rub is way superior. I love, love love the All Purpose Rub on chicken and turkey though.

                          And finally, about your novel fire-starting method: after listening once again to Dr. Blonder's seminar on Smoke, Smokerings, etc. I'm hesitant to try the 3 lighter cubes under the basket method. There was a comment in it that people with UDSs or PBCs run the risk of acrid smoke because of the unlit charcoal due to the way we have light smokers of that design. I got to thinking that starting the fire from the bottom of the basket might make this situation worse. I've never had a bad smoke on my PBC, so perhaps I shouldn't mess with my method. I was busy working and had that seminar playing in the background, so I'm going to have to go back and listen to that part again to make sure I got it straight.