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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 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


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Bitter smoke taste vs. Under cooked meat

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  • Top | #1

    Bitter smoke taste vs. Under cooked meat

    Good morning,

    I'm not sure if this is the correct channel for this, but it seems to fit best under technique. I have an Oklahoma Joe off-set smoker. I occasionally struggle with food becoming too bitter with smoke flavor or the meat not being done enough.

    Ribs for instance. I smoked some baby back ribs (on rib racks) this weekend, and the flavor was amazing. The ribs were done enough except for a larger portion of a rack or two. They were undercooked.
    The popular opinion is to cook them until they are nearly done and then finish them off in the oven at 300 for an hour or so. While that is doable, it seems unrealistic to the authenticity of smoking meat.

    The other side of that is if I keep cooking them with flavored wood then there is a chance that they become bitter and overly smoked.

    I was wondering what thoughts the group would have to my dilemma.

  • Top | #2
    Welcome! For starters I recommend you view Meathead's Last Meal Ribs article, it walks you through both how to cook ribs (hint: your smoker is an oven, don't bother moving your ribs, cook them there until they're done) and links you to fire management articles. Stickburners are tricky because you MUST have a HOT fire for best smoke. Make your fire smaller to keep your temps in line, but HOT! Keep it so that your cook temps are in the 220-275 range, but make sure that fire is always a hot fire with thin smoke. Thick, billowing smoke from a fire that's choked of air and/or too cool will lead you to your bitter smoke. And if your fire is hot and the smoke is thin, there is no danger of leaving them in the smoker the whole time, it's actually preferred! If you're a fan of softer-bark ribs, you could try wrapping them in foil. Once they're wrapped, your smoke/fire quality doesn't matter, only the temp.


    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you CaptainMike

    • BRic
      BRic commented
      Editing a comment
      Follow Huskee advice / This the best advice you can get . A good hot fire goes a long
      way. It`s all about tending your fire . The minute you start getting white smoke you need to get more air to your firebox. Offset smokers need a lot of good air to burn properly,

    • HouseHomey
      HouseHomey commented
      Editing a comment
      Just move to the podium now and take questions from the general Press.

      efran1666 what Huskee said.

  • Top | #3
    From what I've read about stick burners is that you don't want to try and control temps via airflow - you control temps by the amount of fuel you are burning. You want as much oxygen as possible flowing to the wood. Also, unlike charcoal, wood doesn't burn at a consistent temp so you will have considerable temperature fluctuations over the course of a cook. Don't fret about it. As long as you keep it in the 220-300 range you should be good for ribs/pork butt/brisket/etc. If you are cooking birds, build a bigger fire because you are going to want it to be hotter.

    I have the OKJ on my birthday wish list. My wife is pushing back due to limited patio space, which is understandable, but frustrating nevertheless.


    • Top | #4
      I don't have a stick burner, but welcome to The Pit.


      • Top | #5
        as recommended above, wide open vents, hotter but smaller fire. what kind of wood are you using. if you like a lighter smoke profile use fruit woods. for heavier smoke use hickory, Oak, or mesquite. I personally use hickory on all pork products.


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          I have 3 offsets, an I endorse this message!

        • Ahumadora
          Ahumadora commented
          Editing a comment
          I have about 55-60 stickburners and I double endorse this message. Make sure the wood is dry and well seasoned.

      • Top | #6
        Thank you everyone for your replies. I found all the replies useful. I have several new techniques to try. Thanks again.