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What's the worst tool/accessory you have bought?

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    What's the worst tool/accessory you have bought?

    Hi all, I discussed grills and bbq tools with a friend the other day, and thought of what I should recommend in terms of tools/accessories. The obvious things is a good thermometer, of course. I have both the Thermapen and a Maverick, and love them.

    Then I came to think of all the stuff I have bought, but never use or have thrown out. Obvious things for me are:
    • The huge grill tongs that are for sale around here. Large, long and completely useless. Looks like they could pick up briskets by the pair, but folds/bends when you grab a tiny sirloin.
    • Cast iron grill grates. I liked grill marks a some years ago, but thanks to this site I know better.
    How about you? Can we assemble a "crap list" of sorts?

    #2
    Last year I got a grill mat, it rolls up, looks like it's made of some sort of teflon-y stuff. I got it on a whim, it was under $10. I read the instructions, then looked it up on the internet, then threw it away.

    Comment


      #3
      This may be considered heresy on this site, but my worst waste-of-money purchase was a Smokenator. Way too much babysitting. For less than half the price, I got a Vortex (well, I've bought 3 actually; I just gave one to a neighbor) from Thunderdome BBQ. Much more flexible (not just for low-and-slow). No babysitting. I can set one up with a charcoal snake and get a steady 225°-250°F for 6-8 hours. Can't do that with a Smokenator.

      For what it's worth, for those of you with differing opinions...

      I've got a slightly used Smokenator that I am VERY willing to part with. Any offers?

      Comment


      • A Fid
        A Fid commented
        Editing a comment
        Just viewed a u-tube vid about the Vortex, looks like a very versatile tool indeed.

      • Tennessee Trash
        Tennessee Trash commented
        Editing a comment
        Great post. I really enjoy my smokenator and have made tons of great food on it. However, your criticism is correct. It's good to have some good and bad feedback on these things for the members here to read before dropping cash.

        I check mine every 45-50 minutes, mainly to add water but I just top off unlit charcoal while I'm in there. It isn't terrible if you're making ribs or birds and have nothing to do but hang around the house. When I did a brisket on the smokenator it was a midnight to 5pm affair. Every 45-50 minutes checking got pretty old pretty quick.

        I use mine a lot for reverse searing. It's almost foolproof to stay in the 225 range as opposed to dumping charcoal in the kettle. It keeps the charcoal stacked up nice so you're cooking indirectly and not inadvertently cooking over the coals with a full grill.

        It's worth the money in my opinion but if I just bought it for briskets & butts I'd hate it.

      • jpburger
        jpburger commented
        Editing a comment
        You're right. The smokenator does a fine job, but requires almost constant attention. I have kept mine, but got a pit barrel smoker to do my serious cooking.

      #4
      Ozric, thank you. I never heard of that item before. The Vortex looks like a great choice for increasing the flexibility of my Big Green Egg. I'm going to check what the Eggheads say, if it's good I'll pull the trigger.

      Comment


      • Henrik
        Henrik commented
        Editing a comment
        Hmm, I have a green egg and I don't really see the need for a Vortex in it, as it is built for indirect grilling to begin with, and is very fuel efficient. Care to elaborate?

      • Ozric
        Ozric commented
        Editing a comment
        I like the ability to have VERY HIGH indirect heat. Makes the best wings going. Crispy, but not burned. I use them for that all the time.

      • Henrik
        Henrik commented
        Editing a comment
        Cool, didn't think of that.

      #5
      A charbroil cheap offset smoker - complete and utter crap. That said, if it was marketed as a cheap grill - no problem. If you're cooking 407 burgers at once, it can do it. However, for smoking - a disaster. I actually went back a year ago and considered 'fixing' it with gaskets, baffles, etc. Then came to my senses and pitched the thing.

      Lesson learned - all BBQ $$ now go on very researched items!

      Comment


        #6
        Off-set- Mini Brinkman from Home Depot... By the time I do all the "up grades" needed to smoke with it, without baby sitting, I could've bought a Barrel, at least... I had not yet found this site obviously... :-) Lesson learned - Use this site to research and than go to the forum!

        Comment


        • KenD
          KenD commented
          Editing a comment
          Update! Since I had not owned my Mini Brinkman more than 30 days, Home Depot allowed me to returned it and refunded me full price. I learned my lesson and just invested in a Pit Barrel. I am definitely happy with Depot.

        • Ozric
          Ozric commented
          Editing a comment
          I just saw in the paper this morning the Home Depot offers a 10% discount to vets...ALL THE TIME! Wish I'd known about that before. I spend a LOT of money at HD (no Lowe's and no Costco (yet) here in Flagstaff; just Sam's Club and HD).

        • KenD
          KenD commented
          Editing a comment
          That's correct, Ozric. Home Depot does offer a 10% discount to vets. You need to have a photo ID veteran's card or Active Military ID and you have to tell the cashier at the time. Also, Depot gives the discount at on Veteran's day as well.

        #7
        I don't think I have anything I don't use. Just never got around to serious smoking until recently and I found this site first, lucky me. However, I almost brought a pair of those 5 finger silicone gloves but read what Meathead said about them. Too bad they don't work as well.

        Comment


        • Hicdog
          Hicdog commented
          Editing a comment
          I also bought a pair of "bear claw" type gloves for my hog roast could not hold on to anything with them after they got a little fat on them. wast of time and money

        #8
        My most stupid BBQ accessory purchase is probably just over the horizon. So far so good.

        Kathryn

        Comment


          #9
          I just remembered the worst tool I have purchased is a grill fork. LOL came with the set years ago. Anyone ever done that.

          Comment


            #10
            Originally posted by Guy View Post
            ...I almost brought a pair of those 5 finger silicone gloves but read what Meathead said about them. Too bad they don't work as well.
            I have a pair. They're useful for picking up a big piece of meat and moving it off/on the smoker. You can wash them easily in the sink. Just wash your hands while wearing them. I'm not sure I'd buy them again, but I do put them to good use. If that's enough to justify the purchase, go for it!

            Comment


            • Guy
              Guy commented
              Editing a comment
              Boss, I have a pair of gloves to pick up meat with. My mother in law gave them to me for Christmas. I like them just for that purpose. It would be nice to have one pair of gloves for everything. Probably not possible because of contamination. You think???

            • David Parrish
              David Parrish commented
              Editing a comment
              If there's one pair of gloves that does everything I haven't found it.

            #11
            I picked up a set of charcoal rails for whatever reason, but never found a use for them. They're still in the box.

            Comment


              #12
              Bear Paws. I use them on occasion to pick up butts to move them but that's it. They don't really tear apart as well as it would seem and I have pretty picky eaters, if I didn't pull out all of the fat and veins etc nobody would eat it, including me.

              Comment


              • David Parrish
                David Parrish commented
                Editing a comment
                Once my butts are done there's no way I can pick them up with bear claws. The meat just falls apart. We may want to review your technique and see if we can't get you to a little higher state of tenderness

              • _John_
                _John_ commented
                Editing a comment
                Its hard to do, but I have the kind that are metal, so they fit in between the grates so you can pick it up from underneat which helps sticking. I agree though, it would be like trying to pick up water with them if you go in to the sides.

              #13
              Long before I knew anything about real Q and was just a gas griller, I bought one of those thermometer forks. Also bought an oversized "cup" for soaking wood chips before I learned what a waste that was.

              Comment


                #14
                Beer can chicken holder. I never use it. My birds stay upright without the rack.

                Comment


                • Guy
                  Guy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I never brought one of those. I have too many beer cans to use. Just prop them everywhere. LOL

                #15
                Not my money personally, but my mom got rid of her disused gas grill and gave me several grill items she had purchased. She had all manner of never used copper baskets and trays with holes in them. I've been using the basket to keep my grill tools together and that's about it.

                I can see those cedar planks being a real waste. They had them at Lowe's for $5 a pop while I was in there. Definitely wouldn't use those for the in-laws.

                Comment

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