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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.

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 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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About the new Home-built Smokers, Refurbs, & Outdoor Kitchens sub-channel

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  • Top | #1

    About the new Home-built Smokers, Refurbs, & Outdoor Kitchens sub-channel

    Want to show off, or get inspiration for: Home-built Smokers, Refurbs, & Outdoor Kitchens???

    Well, here's your new channel for just such projects! Thank you Nate for the idea and Spinaker for passing it on!

    Mods will add older topics of this context to this channel as we run across them. If you have questions, ideas, looking for advice from those experienced, or just want to show off yours- here you go!

  • Top | #2
    Oh Boy, Here we go!!!!


    • Top | #3


      • Top | #4
        This is in my wheelhouse.


        • Top | #5
          Thanks! Huskee


          • Top | #6
            Rude Boy!


            • JCGrill
              JCGrill commented
              Editing a comment

            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              Funny that was my first assignment to the guys, get Rude Boy in there!!

          • Top | #7
            Those of us crazy enough to tackle making our own custom smokers should post things that worked well and things that did not perform so well. After finishing my $35,000.00 Reverse flow offset smoker..... $2000.00 in materials and $33,000.00 in medical bills... from cutting a massive crevace in my leg with a cut-off grinder... I have been using the smoker for several months on a long cooks. Here a re few points to be made.

            The GOOD ....Custom made grill sections turned out to be super quality and a great design, very stiff but light to handle and cleans up easily. Made from 1 inch square stock and expanded flatted wire. Even neighbors professional chef girlfriend wants me to fabricate some for her pit. Found some heavy junk steel in yard and used as a counter weight for propane tank lid and operates as easily as a washing machine lid.

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            Under-size firebox was one of my pet peeves with commercial made smokers since wood I acquire does not usually come in nice pre-cut lengths that fit in those small boxes. Its great to be able to get some pecan limbs from the neighbors tree trimming service and not have to get a chain saw out to modify the lengths for cooking. Built box with L24 x H22 x W22. Fire grate was made from 3/4 inch round stock and weighs enough to anchor a small battleship or cruiser but I was tired of seeing fire grates sag, rust out, fall apart before there useful life.

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            Large garden tractor tires make this 800 pound rig maneuverable on grass and concrete but it is a beast to move by yourself ergo the reason for the long handles on the driving end of the pit. Like the trailer concept but after owning many trailers decided to not fill up yard with a trailer I have to move to mow. Mower actually goes under this unit. Width of entire smoker was made to fit through a 36 inch backyard gate.

            Always aggravated at the skinny shelves for cooking utensils that makes you balance bowls and meat carefully to open the pit then you knock them off anyway. Fabricated lots of wide table space. Probably the most stress free part of my cooks now.

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            Carved a pinwheel vent out of quarter inch plate and secured pivot with welded stainless steel bolt, nut, and washer. If ever there was a piece of the equipment that fails early and often it is the pinwheel vent on commercial smokers. Drives me crazy! They always fall of after a year or two when the bolt fails.

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            Used 5/16 3" x 4" rectangle galvanized trailer tongue scrap I had left over from replacing my rusted out offshore boat trailer's tongue. Another pet peeve of mind on commercial units is the legs are made from thin gauge pipe that rusts at the bottom feet and rusts at the welds on the smoke chamber making the unit a 3 legged dog at first until it just plain rolls over dead. Then I have to pay the yard man to haul unit to the dump and go out looking for a new smoker. I am 60 and am really done with replacing smokers every few years. To give some credit where credit is due we do live near the salt water coast so life expectancy of commercial made units is cut extremely short 5 years at best. Used cast iron wheels from Tractor Supply with ball bearing pivots so the unit can roll nicely on pavement. Pretty much just skates over grass and dirt.

            Unit was built to be balanced on the main rear axle so lifting the front driving side is not a huge task.

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            Cut out a steak burger, sausage grill lid on firebox and made a charcoal basket and grate to grill an sear. Works fine but not ideal due to size of grill about 18 x 18.

            One crowning achievement was the tight fitting door I cut out of quarter inch plate and welded stiffner's on both side to keep from warping. Tolerances for gaps was about 1/16" .... very tight but does not drag in floor of firebox.

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            NOW for the BAD and UGLY!

            Used a 3/4 inch steel axle purchased from tractor supply and inserted into a piece of 3/4 inch galvanized pipe for a guide and weather protector, used stainless washers on each side of wheels and large cotter pins. Mild steel axle has already bent and sagged an inch so will have to add struts to fix. Purpose of the galvanized pipe was to eliminate rust on axle by greasing and inserting into pipe and add stiffness. Not stiff enough.

            Used massive grease fitted bullet hinges from Air Gas welding supply and works like a champ for the smoker lid. Put 2 bullet hinges in cut out grill over firebox and the movement due to bad placement causes lid not to close sometimes. A redo is in order there.

            1/4 inch thick pin wheel expands when firebox heats up making it difficult to adjust without a tapping hammer to move. Free when cools down. Tried to weld nut and bolt pretty tight so it would not move ...works good when cold not so much when heated.

            Used Rust-oleum 1100 degree paint for the black paint from Wal Mart - cheap price!. Prepped metal and wiped down with acetone all bare metal no rust using wire wheel on grinder. Rustoleum paint began to show rust within a week or two. Very unhappy with this paints performance now will have to repaint after only a few months. Have at least six coats on firebox and can not stop it from rusting through paint. Purchased the copper colored high heat paint from internet called Stove Bright #6319 Mojave Red for smoker lid and smoker main body. Very pricey, difficult to source, and has performed flawlessly. Was not color as advertised.... copper is is not mauve but no rust showing through but schools not out yet.

            Bought some test add on accessories. Paid in very low price range for seeing how they operated. Red all of Pitmasters and internet reviews on pricey temperature monitors and thermometers. Here is the verdict on items attached to smoker:

            1. Stainless dial thermometer, Home Depot, Hecho (made) in China around $25.00. My hand on the lid is more accurate than this piece of wasted metal and glass. Does not accurately show temperature with in 50 degrees and 5 minutes to respond to swing in temps. As the guys at this website say it is just a temperature guestimator.

            2. Got a Maverick HD 32 single probe digital thermometer and install probe thru little hole in back of smoke chamber for meat or for chamber air temp. Unit is accurate but has a short probe wire making it difficult to use because it keeps transmitter/ sending unit too close to pit lid where it is hot. Works great except remote receiver fades in and out in house even though pit is only 50 feet away, frustrating but works partially. Also cheap probe wire coils up on you, does not want to lay flat and kinks easily. $35.00 unit so you get $35.00 worth of product. Not the $200.00 to $375.00 super BBQ digital stuff Pitmasters has carefully reviewed but does the job in a pinch, especially for just testing out how units and smoke chamber work after build.

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            3. Was picking up lump charcoal at grocery store and came across a $11.00 digital probe from Taylor a common name of cooking products here in south Texas. Was really easy to set up use and has similar and compatible probe to Maverick and can be switched out since jack is the same. Works great for super cheap price. Can not get any of these cheap probes wet or they short out and give you a error code "HHH" Forgot probe in pit and cleaned out pit with hose... stopped working so I let it roast in long brisket cook and began working again. If you do not have a temperature probe you can not go wrong with this super inexpensive unit but how long it will last is..?????

            4. Checked my reverse flow quarter inch welded in baffle plate under the grills from one end to other with a laser thermometer and has a 50 degree temperature swing so need to be cognizant of meat thickness and placement to get an even oven temperature.

            5. Used a 1 inch drain tube instead of 1 inch and a quarter with brass ball valve now I know why. Chunks of burned fat or drippings gets stuck in pipe! Have to blow out with water hose! Not a challenge.

            6. Large pits burn large amounts of charcoal and wood to maintain even temps at 225 degrees. A temperature control blower might help.

            Now for the pièce de résistance of this reverse offset smoker!

            Cooks absolutely perfect brisket and ribs
            with wonderful full bodied smoke flavor, thick dark bark, and heavy nitrous oxide smoke rings. Flavorful and very tender. Holds temperature really well but could use a digital temperature blower fan to even out peaks and valleys. Makes blue smoke that you almost can not see and smells up the neighborhood drawing neighbors like flies!
            But most of all I like tending the fire and sharing the meat. Super bonus is it is absolutely the easiest pit to clean you will ever use!

            Biggest benefits to a reverse offset smoker are the more even temperatures from end to end for large quantities of meat, grill grates will not rust because firebox can not get high heat to dry or burn oil off of grates, more like an oven then a BBQ pit, even smoke distribution, better ability to control water in water pan... does not dry out near as fast and almost no effort to clean since all of the mess is up high where you can reach it. While grill is still plenty hot, simply remove grill grates after wire brushing, spray baffle plate with light mist from hose, wire brush scumbies off of plate, open grease valve at bottom over 5 gallon plastic bucket and rinse out. Everything stays nice and oiled with no extra burnt grease cakes everywhere so your next cook starts out clean. No detergent, no hard scrubbing since all grease cakes are soft.

            Attached Files


            • EdF
              EdF commented
              Editing a comment
              Very nice, and well worth having some pride in your work!

          • Top | #8
            Great writeup! I recognize many of the points. I too went for sturdy grill grates, feels like they will last a lifetime. I did a double barrel, i.e. insulated, with 20 mm spacing everywhere. It has dual walls. That was the big win. Especially when cooking at cold temps. Another thing that is key is smoke stack placement, and air "entry" into the food chamber. When you get those two right, there is very little temp difference in the food chamber. I built a 'normal' flow smoker, and measure 5-8 degree temp difference in the whole chamber. Love it.

            The things I should have done better is:
            1. Shelves. I have zero shelves for storage on or around the smoker. Don't know why I missed that :-)
            2. I would like to have slide out shelves/grates. I didn't due to the dual wall construction and (at the time) it involved a lot of extra work, so I skipped it. Wish now I didn't.
            3. Instead of a removable chimney I would much prefer a foldable chimney. Would save time whenever I travel with it (which I do every now and then).


            • Top | #9
              Love your points about being insulated. Thought through this process and determined that since our winter temps rarely drop below 50 degree F or 10 degrees celsius that it would be a waste. In hind sight it would not hurt to double wall and rockwool insulate just in case cold front drops to freezing temps. Fold down stack is another great idea.. mine weighs about 20 kilos so might be a stretch to have on a hinge but would lower height if placed on a trailer. Fortunately i used the Feldon's Calculator and one other to cross check all of the math involved in cut opening at firebox, gap at other end of smoker and baffle height. My biggest fear is that I would build this and not get the math right....turned out perfect even with a small variance in baffle height at middle drain section which was 1/4 inch below 5 - 1/4 apothogee calculated for correct volume under baffle. Would build another if asked.


              • Top | #10
                Great write up. That looks like a fun project.