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The Perfect Lazy-Man's Smoker Challenge

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  • tongatim
    Former Member
    • Sep 2014
    • 35
    • Bellingham, WA

    The Perfect Lazy-Man's Smoker Challenge

    I want to issue a challenge to this awesome group of BBQ wisdom. In short, I want to be able to get great briskets and pork shoulders and still sleep at night.

    For years, I used a typical side-by-side 2 chamber smoker. Learned to get great results by slow smoking---initially charcoal with hickory chunks, then just wood. As I hit my mid 60's, however, staying up all night, or getting up every couple of hours to tend the fire, got increasingly difficult. So I got a Rec-Tec. Like all grills/smokers, there's been a learning curve. I love most things about it---especially sleeping at night through a long cook--- but just cannot get the heavy smoke and bark that makes the Q I crave. I've used their X-treme smoke function and the Amax-N-Tube smoker both during the cook and as a pre smoke, but have had to face the fact that pellet smokers don't do heavily-smoked brisket or pork shoulder.

    I've read the articles and books, cruised the forums, watched the videos, and cooked a lot of meat, and it still seems I'm chasing the holy grail of deeply smoked brisket and pork butts while getting a night's sleep. I know my end of the smokiness spectrum is not for everyone, but for those who reside at my end, I raise the challenge to come up with the perfect old guy's smoker. These are the requirements:

    1) It does a great brisket in experienced and loving hands. (If it does that, I'm confident it will also do great pork butts ).
    2) It uses wood. Hickory and oak are my go-to woods for briskets and butts. Charcoal with wood chunks is an acceptable 2nd choice.
    3) It can be left alone for 6 hours while keeping a consistent temp in the 200-250 degree range.
    4) The bark and the degree of smoke flavor would make an Austin Q-lover smile.
    5) It has to come in under $2500


    I'm fully prepared to accept critique of my challenge and underlying assumptions, ridicule for expecting alchemy while getting a night's sleep, and even guffaws if I've somehow overlooked the obvious solution all these years. I know the answer is out there, and the wisdom of this group is the key!

    Tim

  • David Parrish
    Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
    • May 2014
    • 5049
    • Charlotte, NC

    #2
    A Premium, Master Touch, or Performer Weber Kettle (22" for a small family or 26" for larger capacity), a Slow 'N Sear, and a Party Q. This combo will do everything you are asking for and more.

    Comment

    • jholmgren
      Founding Member
      • Aug 2014
      • 287
      • York, PA
      • -Jim

        *Kamado Joe "Classic Joe"*
        *Weber Spirit (for quick weeknight cooks)*
        *Cyber Q Wi-Fi temp controller for overnight cooks*
        *ThermaPen Instant* *Thermapen Chef Alarm* ...and pretty much any wheat beer!

      #3
      I would think a ceramic Kamado grill would fit those requirements. (BGE/Kamado Joe/Akorn/etc.)

      Comment

      • Dr ROK
        Charter Member
        • Dec 2014
        • 1351
        • Morrill, Nebraska
        • Retired high school teacher and principal
          Dr ROK - Rider of Kawasaki &/or rock and roll fan
          Yoder 640 on Husker themed comp cart
          Cookshack Smokette smoker
          Antique refrigerator smoker
          Weber 22 1/2" kettle w/ GrillGrates AND Slow and Sear
          Rec Tec Mini Portable Tailgater w/ GrillGrates
          Plenty of GrillGrates
          Uuni wood pellet oven, first generation
          Roccbox Pizza Oven
          Meater Block
          "Go Big Red" Thermopen instant read thermometer
          Ultrafast instant read thermometer
          CDN quick read thermometer
          Maverick ET-732 thermometer
          Maverick ET-735 thermometer
          Tru-Temp wireless thermometer
          Infrared thermometer (Mainly use for pizza on the Uuni and Roccbox)

          Beverages - Is there really anything other than Guinness? Oh yeah, I forgot about tequila!

        #4
        You have perfectly described what a cookshack smoker will do for you. Briskets are amazing on them. Amazing bark, plenty of smoke flavor, and you really have to try to dry out the flat on a brisket. Pork butts will also amaze you. Excellent smoke flavor, moisture is awesome, and they'll fall apart in your hands. Throw 4 - 5 oz of hickory in the wood box, set the thermostat, close the door, and wait until the alarm tells you its done. No need to wrap, no need to inject, no need to do anything, but go to bed and wait till it's done. Some may tell you that it's not real bbq if you don't put some effort into it, but I'm telling you you won't be sorry if your looking for set and forget. I put in 4 pork butts around 10 pm and get up the next day waiting for them to finish. No worries when I sleep, I know it's going to be exactly like it was the last time, delicious.

        Comment

        • LA Pork Butt
          Charter Member
          • Dec 2014
          • 5653
          • Grew up in New Orleans, lived in Texas for 20 years, lived in Mandeville, LA for 22 years. I now liv

          #5
          I would suggest a big green egg. I don't do brisket, but regularly do Boston butts. Load it with lump charcoal, start a small fire in the center, add wood chuncks. Set it and forget it. I always sleep through the night and have gone 14 hours without adding fuel. My first cook was 27 degrees over night, and it held steady all night long. A plus is this things lasts. You can will it to your grand kids or great grand kids.

          Comment

          • Karon Adams
            Charter Member
            • Feb 2015
            • 1515
            • Chattanooga TN
            • Karon Adams
              Consort of the Flame
              Cooking is a Sacred Endeavour
              Big Poppa's Drum conversion
              Maverick wireless meat & grill thermometers
              Thermopen Instant Read Thermometer
              Pit IQ blower

            #6
            Instead of mentioning specific brands, I'm going to come at this from what you need. Something tight. that is the most important thing. a smoker that you can be certain about when you adjust the vents. if you have something tight, you are already 10 steps ahead. get a smoker, cook in it several times. you will have several long days and late dinners. but, once you have it dialed in, you can start doing overnight cooks.

            I have a NICE tight smoker. It is a UDS put together from a Big Poppa's kit. We use a 55 gallon drum. Mine was from the soap business I once owned. She gave me one of her palm oil barrels, we had a local company sand blast it and then HWMO painted it and put it together. The kit has all the pieces you need.

            Mine has a gasket around the lid. HWMO, bless, didn't center to vent holes in the lid before he drilled them. He was about to be the next hunk I PUT on the smoker. until I realized that little bit of oversight actually gave me more control of the vent, since he was, at least, regular in the method of his irregularity. instead of opening the vents and each hole opening the same amount, the first hole opens then the second, then the third, and so on. the more you open the vents, the more each progressive vent hole opens. so, the first opens a mm or two, at that point the second one opens a millimeter as the first opens another mm and so on. so, he was saved.

            Now that we have done several cooks, we can put the meat on, hook up the IQ and the Maverick and go to bed. We target so that the meat is ready for lunch.

            Whatever smoker you use, you will need to dial it in. know how long and how much charcoal you will need. cook several cooks to make sure all your safety stuff is in place. I needed several cooks to make certain all was well and safe before I could sleep on it.

            In the winter (such as it is down here) we wrap the smoker in a double layers of hot water heater insulation (with appropriate openings for venting.) We also use some extended metal grating that can hold extra charcoal to drop down if needed. especially handy in winter.

            Bottom line, nice and tight and learn your smoker. then, you can be set. weather is going to affect your smoker but, we have ours down to right around 15 hours for the most perfect meat you could hope.

            Good luck! I can't wait to see what you buy/build!

            Comment

            • Bigfish8
              Former Member
              • Oct 2015
              • 19

              #7
              Your goal being to allow a smoker to perform unattended overnight and have it maintain a precise temperature (again, without worries) will likely require an insulated smoker with some type of pit minder. The Big Green Egg style cookers will easily accomplish the task as will the Backwoods Smokers. My primary smoker is a stainless steel drum converted with a Big Poppa drum kit. I have not tried insulating it as Karon has done with hers and I do not use a pit minder with it. I always smoke meat and target it being done for dinner so I will start early in the morning. A big part of the fun for me is enjoying the aroma and having a few beers as the day progresses. LOL! Anyway, please let us know what smoker you select and I am confident it will give you many years of great Q!

              Comment

              • PaulstheRibList
                Founding Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 1585
                • Lake Charles, LA
                • Started Low-N-Slow BBQ in 2012. Obviously, it's taken hold (in chronological order:
                  1.) A pair of Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5's
                  2.) #LilTex, a 22" Expensive Offset Smoker (looks like a Yoder Witicha)
                  3.) #WhoDat1, a HUGE Gravity Fed Insulated Cabinet Smoker (cooking chamber 3'x2'x6')
                  4.) A Full Size Commercial Dryer/converted to Vertical Smoker.
                  5.) Jambo Backyard stickburner (my FAVORITE Pit so far)
                  6.) GrillMeister, a huge 24"x48" Adjustable, Charcoal Grill from Pitmaker.com
                  7.) 22" Weber Kettle with Slow-N-Sear
                  8.) Vault insulated reverse-flow cabinet smoker from Pitmaker
                  9.) BarbecueFiretruck...under development
                  10.) 26 foot BBQ Vending Trailer equipped with HUGE Myron Mixon 72xc smoker is HERE, Oct 2016!
                  11.) Opened www.PaulsRibShackBarbecue.com Food Trailer officially in March 2017
                  12.) Austin Smoke Works 500 Gallon Propane Tank Offset Smoker, named "Lucille" as travel pit for PaulsRibShack, Oct 2018.
                  12.) Opening Brick & Mortar location at 4800 Nelson Rd, Spring 2019. Had a pair of 1,000 Gallon Austin Smoke Works pits, both in RibShackRed for our new place!

                  Fabulous Backlit Thermapens, several Maverick Remote Thermometers (don't use any remotes anymore), Thermoworks Smoke, Other Thermoworks toys, Vacuum sealer, lots and lots of equipment...

                  I'm loving using BBQ to make friends and build connections.
                  I have #theRibList where I keep a list of new and old friends and whenever I'm cooking, I make 1 to 20 extra and share the joy.

                #8
                I purchased my big gravity fed cooker, #WhoDat1, because I wanted to do more cooks for events, parties, etc. than I was willing to loose a night of uninterrupted sleep for. I have a huge grill grate, nearly 16x16, and I can burn as much wood on it as I wish, including whole splits if they are shorter than the 16 inch grate. I'm still experimenting with using even heavier percentage of wood in it. While you didn't mention wanting to cook for 50-100 people, like #WhoDat1 can do, I'm thinking that a nice gravity-fed, or an insulated cabinet, will do what you want with the charcoal/wood mix. There are several options under $2,500. I purchased mine used and added a new BBQ Guru CyberQ Wifi and I'm under your price limit on what I have in it.

                Otherwise, you can do a WSM and a pitminder and it will totally keep that consistent temp for hours and hours and hours. If you cook on it a bit and get your rhythm, you can cook on the WSM and keep the temps you want without a pit temp control device as well. They are, obviously, well under your price limit.

                I wish there was an automated way to cook with straight wood all night while sleeping 6 hours. I have some ideas, and I'm sure others do as well, but...it's charcoal/wood chunks, or a pellet cooker.

                Have Fun!

                Comment

                • Breadhead
                  Banned Former Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 0

                  #9
                  tongatim ... I'm 64 years old and know exactly what you mean.

                  EVERY single perameter you listed I do effortlessly.

                  Big Green Egg + DigiQ Dx2.

                  If you properly load your firebox a BGE will cook low and slow for 24 hours without having to add lump coal. That's a fact!!!

                  If you strategically place wood chunks over your lump coal so as the fire spreads as the cook goes on you can get ALL the smoke flavor you desire.

                  On Friday night... I did a low and slow pork butt cook on my BGE with the DigiQ Dx2. I lite the lump at 10:30pm and had it stable at 225° at 11:00pm. I put the PB on the grate and told the DigiQ I wanted to maintain a cooking temperature of 225°. I sat near the BGE until 11:30pm and saw it was maintaining a perfect temp of 225° and went to bed. I slept until 8:30am, got up and made my coffee and me and the dog went out to check on the cook. The DigiQ was at exactly 225°, the bark was building and the meat was at the stall at 173°.

                  3 hours later the IT of the meat was a 175° and the stall was over. I didn't use a Texas crutch, no wrap. The meat temp progressed upward slowly and after 16 hours the pork butt was probe soft at 200° and I pulled it.

                  I looked to see how much lump I had left unburnt and there was at least 25% remaining.

                  I also have a Maverick ET 735 so I can view my cooking temperature at the grate level and track the IT of the meat I'm smoking from my bedroom on my iPad. I rarely use the Maverick any more because I have total confidence, based on many cooks, that the DigiQ will hold the temp I set up for long durations of time.

                  Loading your firebox properly for a long low and slow cook is critical. If you just dump your lump in out of the bag willy nilly your fire will not last long -8 to 12 hours. However... If you strategically place large pieces of lump at the bottom and then medium sizes pieces on top of the large pieces and then small prices and dust on top of the medium sizes pieces... Your lump will burn for up to 24 hours at 225°. Loading it that way you've allowed for maximum airflow which on a kamado/ceramic cooker is critical.

                  Here is a picture of the pork butt I started on late Friday night and finished at 3:00pm Saturday afternoon using that method... Without having to load more lump or wood chunks. Also on Saturday while the PB was smoking I went out to lunch with friends and stopped by Costco on the way home from lunch... Knowing my temp would be maintained at 225°. I wrapped it in aluminum foil and put it in a cambro for 2 hours and dinner was served at 5:00pm, as planned the day before. Simple Simon my friend.😎
                  Last edited by Breadhead; October 5, 2015, 01:31 AM.

                  Comment


                  • tongatim
                    tongatim commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Breadhead,

                    Many thanks for this detailed and convincing response….and for commiserating with the travails of aging. Can you do a full brisket on the BGE? Two? How many butts?

                    Thanks,
                    Tim

                  • Breadhead
                    Breadhead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    tongatim ...

                    I have a large BGE it's only 18" across. I just shorten the flat an inch or 2 if I have to, to fit it in if I need to. I've cooked 2 full packers on it at one time. To do that I mount another grate above the regular grate. Also be aware that ceramic cookers are famous for maintaining the moisture in your meat. They won't deplete the moisture like some other cookers do and dry your meat out.

                    I have cooked 4 pork butts using the same grate setup. I might be able to fit 5 or 6 butts. See picture above, there's room for 2 more and that was a 10.38 pound butt before trimming. About 40 to 48 pounds of pork butt is the max. Spacing is important when you have that much meat on. I try to have 2" of separation between the clods of meat.

                    Of course you can buy an XL or an XXL size to increase your quantity of meat greatly. I don't need that size of cooker because I just cook for small crowds of 25 people or less.

                    Remember... I've been smoking, grilling and baking bread and pizza on this large BGE for 4 years and have been through the learning curve. During that time I've had the fire go out while I was sleeping (once) on a low and slow cook. For the first 2 years I didn't have a DigiQ Dx2 I went by instinct. I could control it pretty good but the DigiQ was a complete game changer. I set it up and stabilize it at 225° and go to bed. I'm very confident that when I get up about 8 hrs later it will be at 225°.

                    This is only MY opinion and MY method. It works for me. There are many great cookers that will do just as good of a job and are easy to use. For what I cook this one is best for me. Remember I bake lots of bread.😎

                    For baking, not just bread, the BGE is better than your kitchen oven. Pizzeria's cook pizza at 650° to 800°. You kitchen oven is only capable of reaching 550°.

                    Chinese restaurants wok food at 800° your kitchen stove can achieve about 500°. The BGE can get your wok to 800° quickly.

                    At the end of the day... Versatility is the great advantage of a Ceramic cooker... End of story.😎
                    Last edited by Breadhead; October 5, 2015, 11:20 PM.
                • CandySueQ
                  KCBS President, and Moderator
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 1527
                  • Pellet Fired Jambo, T1000 Woodmaster, FEC100, MAK 2 star, Yoder 640, Backwoods Pellet Chef, 14" & 22" WSM, 22" Weber Kettle, Stoven, Hot Box Grill, Hasty Bake Portable

                  #10
                  Lots of good advice above! I'll step back a bit and ask how you are using your Rec Tec. Are you putting your meat in the cooker cold? Seems to make a difference in how much smoke soaks in. What temperature are you cooking at? Starting at a lower temp (smoke mode) for longer may have you burping smoke rings! Have you tried black walnut pellets? I describe walnut as hickory's in your face, obnoxious cousin. It's way too smoky for me, but that one change may help give you what you want.

                  Are you wrapping your brisket and pork? Don't, mop instead, after your meat hits 160 to 165. That will put moisture on the outside of the meat giving the smoke a place to stick to your meat. Helps bark too. I've found that wrapping significantly drops smoke flavor, smoke "falls" into the moisture.

                  If I had to pick a method above, I'd fall in the drum smoker or WSM category. Put pork above brisket. Pork fat rules!

                  Comment


                  • tongatim
                    tongatim commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks, Candy Sue. I enjoyed your video seminar with Meathead. In response to your questions:
                    -I start my meat cold
                    -I quit wrapping a couple of years ago for the reasons you state
                    -I spritz rather than mop
                    -I also have not found injecting to make a whole lot of difference for me and the Rec Tec
                    -I typically cook at 225-250

                    Growing up as a kid in Georgia, where pork reigned supreme, is exactly what got me back into trying to recreate the great BBQ I remember. I'm slowly converting my Northwest neighbors (who believe alder is actually a wood) to the magic of Southern butts.

                    Still, I can't resist the challenge of pulling off a great brisket.

                    Thanks for the black walnut tip. I'm going to give it a try.

                    Tim

                  • Breadhead
                    Breadhead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    CandySueQ ...

                    What is your mop mixture? If you don't mind me asking.

                    I've never mopped but I'm thinking maybe I should experiment with your suggestion.
                • DWCowles
                  Founding Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 9702
                  • Smiths Grove, Ky
                  • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

                  #11
                  Mmmmm...what brand of pellets are you using? I get great smoke flavor and bark with my RecTec

                  Comment


                  • tongatim
                    tongatim commented
                    Editing a comment
                    DW,

                    I've used a variety of pellets, including Rec Tec's Ultimate blend (oak and hickory), and their 100% hickory (I don't think they sell it anymore). I've experimented with pre smoking and adding additional smoke during the cook with a variety of Candy Sue's 100% (hickory, maple, cherry) flavoring pellets. I've used Bear Mountain pellets at times later on in the cook when the smoke isn't as critical.

                    What have you used?

                    Tim

                  • DWCowles
                    DWCowles commented
                    Editing a comment
                    tongatim I used the Perfect Mix. RecTec has it for $109 for 80lbs but I get my from www.cookinpellets.com for $22 per 40 lbs bags.
                • tongatim
                  Former Member
                  • Sep 2014
                  • 35
                  • Bellingham, WA

                  #12
                  Thanks to all for the great responses. I've got a lot to work from now. This is a fantastic forum.

                  (Karon, if HWMO ever ends up on the cooker, let us know how he turns out.)

                  Tim

                  Comment


                  • Breadhead
                    Breadhead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I think she prefers medium rare.😎

                    She'd probably pull him off at 125° and let the carryover cooking finish him off at about 130°.👌

                  • PappyBBQ
                    PappyBBQ commented
                    Editing a comment
                    And make sure to post pics!
                • leftwngr
                  Charter Member
                  • Sep 2014
                  • 30
                  • Orange County, CA
                  • Pitmaker Vault; AZ BBQ Outfitters Scottsdale Grill; Weber Genesis; Rec Tec smoker (donated to a friend); Blackstone SS 36" griddle; a bunch of thermoworks temperature monitors.

                  #13
                  Something else to consider: instead of adding smoke with a smoke tube or a pre smoke, try keeping more of what you already have in the chamber with gasket tape and a downdraft hood. It's made a big difference on my RT.

                  Smoke flavor is a matter of taste, so if you want more, then any of the options suggested will do. But tape and a hood will set you back less than 10% of your budget, and I'm all about saving a few bucks.

                  That said, if you really want a stable cooker and low maintenance fire management, I'd consider an insulated cooker. Your budget will get you a Backwoods, Spicewine or Humphrey's which are all just killer smokers.

                  Comment

                  • tongatim
                    Former Member
                    • Sep 2014
                    • 35
                    • Bellingham, WA

                    #14
                    Well, a year later and a lot of experimenting and thinking. Downdraft hood and gasket around the lid didn't satisfy me, and the Big Green Egg route was a little short on capacity for my needs. The RecTec has found a new home and happy owner, and I finally sprung for a Humphrey's Battle Box. It just arrived a couple of days ago. I'm on the learning curve (which is half the fun), but so far it looks like it will reach and hold the temps easily enough through the night.

                    Comment

                    • PaulstheRibList
                      Founding Member
                      • Jul 2014
                      • 1585
                      • Lake Charles, LA
                      • Started Low-N-Slow BBQ in 2012. Obviously, it's taken hold (in chronological order:
                        1.) A pair of Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5's
                        2.) #LilTex, a 22" Expensive Offset Smoker (looks like a Yoder Witicha)
                        3.) #WhoDat1, a HUGE Gravity Fed Insulated Cabinet Smoker (cooking chamber 3'x2'x6')
                        4.) A Full Size Commercial Dryer/converted to Vertical Smoker.
                        5.) Jambo Backyard stickburner (my FAVORITE Pit so far)
                        6.) GrillMeister, a huge 24"x48" Adjustable, Charcoal Grill from Pitmaker.com
                        7.) 22" Weber Kettle with Slow-N-Sear
                        8.) Vault insulated reverse-flow cabinet smoker from Pitmaker
                        9.) BarbecueFiretruck...under development
                        10.) 26 foot BBQ Vending Trailer equipped with HUGE Myron Mixon 72xc smoker is HERE, Oct 2016!
                        11.) Opened www.PaulsRibShackBarbecue.com Food Trailer officially in March 2017
                        12.) Austin Smoke Works 500 Gallon Propane Tank Offset Smoker, named "Lucille" as travel pit for PaulsRibShack, Oct 2018.
                        12.) Opening Brick & Mortar location at 4800 Nelson Rd, Spring 2019. Had a pair of 1,000 Gallon Austin Smoke Works pits, both in RibShackRed for our new place!

                        Fabulous Backlit Thermapens, several Maverick Remote Thermometers (don't use any remotes anymore), Thermoworks Smoke, Other Thermoworks toys, Vacuum sealer, lots and lots of equipment...

                        I'm loving using BBQ to make friends and build connections.
                        I have #theRibList where I keep a list of new and old friends and whenever I'm cooking, I make 1 to 20 extra and share the joy.

                      #15
                      Originally posted by tongatim View Post
                      Well, a year later and a lot of experimenting and thinking. Downdraft hood and gasket around the lid didn't satisfy me, and the Big Green Egg route was a little short on capacity for my needs. The RecTec has found a new home and happy owner, and I finally sprung for a Humphrey's Battle Box. It just arrived a couple of days ago. I'm on the learning curve (which is half the fun), but so far it looks like it will reach and hold the temps easily enough through the night.
                      I bought a Pitmaker Vault, same idea, insulated cabinet smoker, burning charcoal/wood chunks. Took me several cooks to get a dial in on a small load of meat.

                      I'm now liking the meat that comes out of the pit, but I think it's not A+ in the smoke flavor, imho.

                      However, thinking is thinking and knowing are two different things. Only way to settle this:

                      I think today I'm going to do a side-by-side, stickburner vs. Vault for #WhoDatRibs.

                      If I do it, I'll set up a separate post.

                      Keep us informed on your Battle Box! The guys on the BBQ Breatheren love Humphrey's, so I'm sure it will be great for you

                      Comment


                      • PaulstheRibList
                        PaulstheRibList commented
                        Editing a comment
                        There...I did it! I posted a response on a post and did not include a picture of delicious Barbecue! #imissthepicturesalready

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                    Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker
                    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 because temperature control is so much easier.

                    Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them


                    The Undisputed Champion!

                    thermapen
                    The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is considered by the pros, and our team, to be the single best instant read thermometer. The MK4 includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight and rotating display. Don't accept cheap substitutes.

                    Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review


                    Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

                    Grilla pellet smoker
                    We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5" x 29.5" footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.

                    Click here for our review on this unique smoker


                    Delta by Nuke,
                    Stylish and Affordable
                    Gaucho Grill

                    Weber Genesis Grill
                    Delta by Nuke burns wood or charcoal and comes with an adjustable height grill grate. This Argentinian grill will get your flame on!

                    Click here to read our complete review


                    Genesis II E-335
                    A Versatile Gasser That Does It All!

                    Weber Genesis Grill
                    Webers? Genesis line has long been one of the most popular choices for gas grillers. The new Genesis II E-335 offers solid performance, a sear burner for sizzling heat and an excellent warranty.

                    Click here to read our complete review


                    GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

                    grill grates
                    GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily rmoved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

                    Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


                    Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

                    PK 360 grill
                    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 beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

                    Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

                    Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal


                    Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

                    kareubequ bbq 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
                    This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making 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


                    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 to read our complete review


                    Track Up To Six Temperatures At Once

                    Grilla pellet smoker
                    FireBoard Drive 2 is an updated version of a well-received product that sets the standard for performance and functionality in the wireless food thermometer/thermostatic controller class.

                    Click here for our review of this unique device


                    The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

                    NK-22-Ck Grill
                    Napoleon's 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


                    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