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Digital Thermometers:
Stop Guessing!

thermopop bbq thermometer

Gold BBQ AwardA good digital thermometer keeps me from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. You can get a professional grade, fast and precise splashproof thermometer like the Thermopop (above) for about $24. The Thermapen (below), the Ferrari of instant reads, is about $96. It's the one you see all the TV chefs and all the top competition pitmasters using. Click here to read more about types of thermometer and our ratings and reviews.

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Support the website that supports you and get some nifty benefits:

A Comprehensive Food Temperature Guide Magnet that sells for $9.95 on Amazon.com.
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Click here for details.

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GrillGrates Take You To
The Infrared Zone

BBQ_grill_grates

Gold BBQ AwardGrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, produce great grill marks, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, smolder wood right below the meat, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips or pellets or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill and pellet smoker needs them.

Click here to read more about what makes these grates so special and how they compare to other cooking surfaces.

The Smokenator:
A Necessity For All Weber Kettles

smokenator bbq system

Gold BBQ Award If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the amazing Smokenator and Hovergrill. The Smokenator turns your grill into a first class smoker, and the Hovergrill can add capacity or be used to create steakhouse steaks.

Click here to read more.

The Pit Barrel Cooker

pit barrel c ooker bbqAbsolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world.

This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier (and that's because smoke and heat go up, not sideways).

Gold BBQ AwardBest of all, it is only $289 delivered to your door!

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

scissor tongs

Best. Tongs. Ever.

Gold BBQ AwardMade of rugged 1/8" thick aluminum, 20" long, with four serious rivets, mine show zero signs of weakness after years of abuse. I use them on meats, hot charcoal, burning logs, and with the mechanical advantage that the scissor design creates, I can easily pick up a whole packer brisket. Click here to read more.

Amp Up The Smoke

mo's smoking pouch

Gold BBQ AwardMo's Smoking Pouch is essential for gas grills. It is an envelope of mesh 304 stainless steel that holds wood chips or pellets. The airspaces in the mesh are small enough that they limit the amount of oxygen that gets in so the wood smokes and never bursts into flame. Put it on top of the cooking grate, on the burners, on the coals, or stand it on edge at the back of your grill. It holds enough wood for about 15 minutes for short cooks, so you need to refill it or buy a second pouch for long cooks like pork shoulder and brisket. Mine has survived more than 50 cooks. Click for more info.

steak knives for bbq

The Best Steakhouse Knives

Gold BBQ AwardThe same knives used at Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, and Morton's. Machine washable, high-carbon stainless steel, hardwood handle. And now they have the AmazingRibs.com imprimatur. Click for more info.


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*Based on 4" raw burger with 1/2" space on all sides

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Best BBQ accessories

Traeger XL Grill

By Max Good

Manufacturer: Traeger Pellet Grills, LLC.

Traeger pioneered and popularized the pellet smoker and remains the best known brand since it is in wide distribution. And they aim to keep it that way even though competition is growing. They haven't broken into Home Depot or Lowe's yet, but they are sold by some Ace Hardware stores and a large variety on independents. Recently they've been making inroads with Costco as well. Traeger has an interesting variety of pellet smokers from a small portable, to large commercial models, to one that looks like a pink pig.

They offer a full line of branded extras from Traeger Pellets and rubs to Traeger insulation blankets and cold smoker add-ons.

Traeger XL Grill

The XL is Traeger's largest residential pellet smokers. With 836 square inches of primary cook surface it can cook 24 chickens or 16 slabs of ribs. This big boy has a large pellet hopper in front, two chimneys and two drip buckets. Although it has a digital controller, it uses an old style dial control like those made by Ortech. Not bad, but once you get into this price range some competitors feature more advanced touchpad controls that work better and include additional features beyond ignition and set points.

Even the older digital dial controllers provide the set it and forget it ease of use that is the main attraction of pellet smoking. They are often more accurate than your kitchen range and allow you to load up your smoker at 11 pm, set it to 225 F, then go to bed and sleep soundly, knowing you'll wake up to a feast of delicious meat that's been slow cooking for hours at a steady and accurate temperature.

Traeger pioneered and popularized the pellet smoker and remains the best known brand since it is in wide distribution. The consensus is that the more expensive Traegers, like the XL, are reasonably well built, but some buyers complain that since manufacturing moved to China quality has dropped, especially on entry level models.

All Traegers are black powder coated steel with porcelain enamel steel grates.

Price: 

$1,995 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

Where To Buy (Buying from these suppliers supports this website): 

FireCraft: Free Shipping

Cabela's: Free In Store Pick Up

Primary Function: 

Smoker

Pig or Lamb Roaster

Fuel: 

Wood Pellets

Primary Capacity: 

836 square inches ( about 41 burgers )

Main Burners: 

1

Manufacturer claims that all or practically all of this device is made in the USA

No

Review Method: 

Researched it from Afar

We have researched this product from afar by gathering info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources, with our BS meters on high.


Please read this before posting a comment or question

grouchy?1) Please use the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help, then please post your question on the appropriate page.

2) Please tell us everything we need to know to answer your question such as the type of cooker and thermometer you are using. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you. Please read this article about thermometers.

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About this website. AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, spareribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best buying guide to barbecue smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, edited by Meathead.

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© Copyright 2014 by AmazingRibs, Inc. AmazingRibs.com is published by AmazingRibs, Inc., a Florida Corporation. Unless otherwise noted, all text, recipes, photos, and computer code are owned by AmazingRibs, Inc. and fully protected by US copyright law. This means that unless you have written permission to publish or distribute anything on this website you have committed a Federal crime. But we're easy. To get reprint rights, just click here. You do not need permission to link to this website. Note. Some photos of commercial products such as grills were provided by the manufacturers and are under their copyright.