The Good Stuff

Here are the five tools to get you started.

Written by
Matt Dallman

Every time you are tempted by some new gadget that will make BBQ "easier" just remember that good 'Que is WAY more about the man/woman and their method than any smoker or kitchen tool.

  • Digital Thermometer- Couple options for you and both will get your temps down right. The Thermapen Mk4 is the "Gold Standard," used by industry pros and back-yard pitbosses. Allows for a quick and accurate read, and it's insanely durable. Newer models are back-lit, with rotating display which will save your neck in a tight grill space. My PRO-TIP is to sign up for the Thermapen Email Tips. It's one of the better weekly emails for cooking tips, recipes, and lots of great online sales.
  • Hell's Handle 8 x 4 - I never knew I could love a spatula as much as I love this one. With barbeque you're not flipping meat, you're rotating large pieces of meat around the smoker or loading up or off. The Hell's Handle is long enough to balance and move slabs of ribs around with ease and is strong enough to hold 20 lb.+ briskets without bending. Go big with the 8 x 4, and the Fish Spatula is a great tool as well.
  • Kitchen Timer (Taylor 5828)- You are going to want a reminder. Trust me. Your oven timer will go off and you'll ignore it. Your cell-phone is going to run out of juice, and if you wait for "one-more show" you'll be asleep through the night. This little model from Taylor packs and audible punch that you can hear through several rooms.
  • Weber Charcoal Chimney- Tried and true. Simple design, durable and I believe it's the quickest starting method to clean, hot coals. Grab 2 for extra large fireboxes.
  • Home Depot Work Gloves- Every BBQ shop has a range of grill gloves starting at $15 bucks upwards of $30. My favorite glove is the $4.99 model at Home Depot, usually found in the tool department. Easy on and off, durable and enough padding for heat-resistance. You can even customize 'em with your favorite Sharpie!
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