Best Pork Butt for Top Pitmasters featured image

Best Pork Butt Rubs and Preparation Tips

Here’s our favorite rubs and meat preparation tips for smoking a pork butt or shoulder from three top Pitmasters in the industry.

Aaron Franklin

Aaron Franklin pork butt recipe

We’ve mentioned before that Aaron is one of the few BBQ experts, but he’s passionate about pork butt too. In fact, he’s taken home the coveted James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef in the Southwest for smoking pork butt in 2015. We’ll share some of his tips on how he achieves the incredible tenderness that pork butt can deliver if you pay attention to his expert advice. Even if you’re a beginner, you can pull this off in your backyard BBQ setup. Here’s why:

A bone to pick

Aaron recommends that you pick a pork butt that still has the bone inside. This allows your pork to remain in a uniform shape while it slows cooks for several hours. Once your meat is done, the bone slips-out nice and easy.

The skin-win’ trick

Since pork butt has a silverskin covering it. This needs to be removed so that the smoke flavor will penetrate all throughout the meat. Since this cut of meat is much fattier than others, excess fat does need to be trimmed off as well. This doesn’t mean you should remove all the fat as this will slide away once your cook is done.


Now here’s the real kicker since Aaron recommends ordinary mustard or even hot sauce as your slather. Hot sauce that makes an excellent slather is hickory and cracked pepper mustard sauce which compliments pork very nicely. This is followed by coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper with a tiny bit of paprika for a nice color. You can find the hickory and cracker pepper mustard sauce found here

Slow cooking all day long

Once you’ve slathered and coated your pork butt, it needs to go into your smoker grill fatty side up. It will take up to 10 hours per 8-10 lbs of pork butt. It’ll take 5 stages to cook this pork butt, so every step is tending to your butt. You can get a better idea from checking out Aaron’s free preview of how he does it best.

Pitmaster X

Pitmaster X pork butt recipe

This guy could be the next best thing in Youtube pitmaster video stars right after the Crazy Russian Hacker dude. He’s dedicated to doing extreme BBQ in his backyard pit with incredible results that are mouth-watering to boot. His approach to making an amazing Boston Butt is simple and savory. Here is what Pitmaster X aka Roel Westra recommends adding to your next butt in the future.

Applewood for the smokey flavor

Roel recommends that the Boston pork butt is only smoked for an hour. After that, it needs to get wrapped in aluminum foil. This way the smoke flavor stays inside the meat as it cooks further.

Score the fat cap

The top of the fat cap is scored like a chessboard and while flake sea salt is pressed into the scored lines on top. This is to pre-flavor the fat so as it reduces it also salts the meat as it cooks.

About the rub

What Pitmaster X does to his Boston Butt is to season only the exposed meat with a good meat rub. It shouldn’t go over the fat cap at all and needs to be packed onto the exposed meat until it appears dry on the outside. Then it goes into the smoker for just an hour.

Wrap it up already

After the butt is smoked enough, it gets wrapped up with two layers of industrial aluminum foil. It will then cook for an additional 4 hours. Pitmaster X recommends draining the excess fat by cutting a slip at the top of the foil. This fat can be used for cooking on other projects. After this, the Boston but is removed from the foil and put back into the BBQ to finish cooking for a couple more hours.

Big Bob Gibson

Big Bob Gibson pork butt recipe

If there was ever a shortlist of championship awards that Bob Gibson has taken home, it would be from the Memphis in May BBQ event. He’s attended this event over a dozen times winning top awards, yet has taken 5 Grand Champion titles for his hard work. It just so happens that his award-winning recipe for pork butt includes a method that’s very different than other recipes. Here’s what tip make his butt so juicy:

Flavor injected

This recipe includes a series of injections all over your pork butt so the meat will have tenderizing and flavor-enhancing juices inside the meat itself. Bob is using apple juice, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Every square inch is injected beforehand with this mixture until the meat is bursting with juice.

A complex rub

Bob sure likes to give his pork butt rub some serious attention. He doesn’t just use salt and pepper, he’s using sugar, brown sugar, garlic, paprika, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper. This mixture doesn’t need a binder smear and all of these ingredients are mixed together and packed on just by using light pressure. It will stick easily since the injection will have made the pork surface slightly sticky.

A very twangy mop sauce

While this pork butt has been slow cooking for 13 hours, it’s going to need mopping every hour to keep your meat moist. Bob likes to use vinegar, lemon, cayenne pepper, and salt. By this point, it will be nearing the end of the cooking time at 15-16 hours.

Leave the bone inside

When the meat is finally cooked the bone can be removed like a cork out of a bottle. The internal temperature should be 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Meat Up in Memphis 2022

If you’re a fan of the real taste of Memphis BBQ, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a unique event that’s happening this year that you can’t miss. The second annual “Meat Up in Memphis” BBQ event is once again gearing up for its three-day BBQ event. Held at the historically grand Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis right around the corner from the world-famous Beale Street.


venue in downtown Memphis

This food-filled event centers on Memphis-style pork BBQ and kicks off with an impressive itinerary of scheduled events happening throughout the day. What can only be described as three days of pork BBQ talks, seminars, tastings, and of course plenty of food and drink. Those who are interested in attending this event will be glad to know there’s still plenty of room with up to 400 that will be in attendance. This year it’ll be held from August 27 through August 29, 2021.

Luckily for BBQ enthusiasts, the masterful Pitmasters of have played a major part in organizing this three-day event. You can still book this 3-day package for just $687.00 and includes all the Meat Up in Memphis events for this 3-day weekend. This gives you instant access to all the food and entertainment they provide. Additionally, they’ve struck a deal with the Peabody Hotel so you can book rooms ahead of time.


They can offer an incredible 50% discount for all the days that you stay at the hotel, but you’ll need to contact to help book these rooms ahead of time. Both of their single or double rooms are just $245 per night plus tax. If your group is larger they offer special rates for groups of 4 or more. While you’ll have to pay for any adult beverages out of your own pocket, the Meat Up in Memphis will provide coffee and soft drinks.

Meathead Goldwyn ribs top Pitmaster

You’ll also be treated to gift bags, giveaways, and drawings for great prizes all weekend long. if you’re a big fan of Meathead Goldwyn, you’ll finally have a chance to have him sign your copy of “The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling”. You can also have him personalize that book for you. Don’t worry if you don’t have his latest copy, they’ll have extra copies of it to purchase there so you can get it signed by Meathead for free!

Some of the highlights on Friday include a whole hog demo, exhibitor product expos, and a free dinner that night at Rendevous inside the hotel. But it’s on Saturday that the event really starts to kick off. There are scheduled BBQ events, talks, special guests, and BBQ demos all through the day. You’ll be happy to hear they’ve set up break times in between with beverages being served in the expo product area.

memphis meat up duck walk

You don’t want to miss the duck walk that will happen daily at 11am and 5pm with the hotel’s more infamous guests- the fountain Ducks! Each procession in the morning and evening is hosted with a red carpet treatment complete with an Honorary Duck Master that’s appointed each day. From 7-10pm that night you’ll enjoy a whole hog cooked by Mark Lambert in a buffet that’s set up in the product expo area.

The last day is a real show-stopper that features a breakfast buffet, and at noon another chance to taste the best of Memphis with over 10 great BBQ dishes from various joints all over town served for free in the Grand Ballroom. Don’t miss the Dusk March that will feature Meathead at 5pm. But that’s not the end of this wild party. Just around the corner on Beale Street, invites you to join in for the Beal Street Bash.

Memphis Silky O’Sullivan’s pub

This will be held at Silky O’Sullivan’s pub right around the corner. There are drinks, live music, and a chance to join in for an improv music jam during the break. You can get your groove-on at this wild Memphis party! By the end of this weekend, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for Memphis BBQ, BBQ tips and tricks, great food, and plenty of special BBQ guests that you might know.

Be sure to check out all the main information listed at for all the details. We’re sure that the true flavors of Memphis pork BBQ will be a real highlight for you this year, so don’t miss out. Check it out! Check back for post event coverage.

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Best Brisket Tips by Top BBQ Pitmasters

We’ve collaborated some of our favorite brisket smoking tips, tricks and hacks from Harry Soo and Doug Scheiding who have evolved the art of smoking brisket.

Harry Soo aka Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ

Harry Soo aka Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ

This championship BBQ pitmaster is a real winner and has won more grand champion awards over the years. He’s also an instructor and teaches others all about what makes BBQ better through real science. He also has a very successful Youtube channel where he helps others learn about BBQ techniques. Here you can find out what Harry considers the best tips for preparing any brisket.

Trim your brisket first

Using a nice sharp knife, you’ll want to remove excess fat that is on the fat cap side of your brisket. This is usually found on the leading edge of the cap and needs to have inch removed beforehand. Flipping it over, you also need to remove the tiny strips and layers of silverskin and fat on the meaty side. If you don’t, the seasoning rub doesn’t get into the meat.

Have a great basic rub

Now it seems that Harry recommends using very simple ingredients to make your own rub. This includes whole black pepper, kosher salt, and celery seed. The salt and pepper are very basic seasoning additives that are a 75/50 cup mixture, leaning heavier on the black pepper. Add a one-quarter cup of celery seed to this mixture so it helps create a better smoke ring when you smoke your brisket. Then you mix it together and add it to your brisket.

Where to place your smoking wood

According to Harry, your smoking wood needs to go at the bottom of your BBQ. This is better for getting the flavor into your meat. Place your chunks of hickory and applewood right at the bottom before adding your lump wood charcoal. You’ll want to cook the brisket for 3 hours and spray it every half hour with simple water to get the rub to crust over and get hard.

Wrapping your brisket

This next step involves aluminum foil but one tip that Harry adds is pure genius. He lays butcher paper onto the foil and then wraps the foil around the brisket like a postal package. Use a bamboo skewer to test the tenderness of the meat which should feel like poking it into peanut butter. This lets you know it’s done when your skewer goes into the meat with the same amount of ease as the peanut butter.

Doug Scheiding from Rogue BBQ Cookers

Doug Scheiding from Rogue BBQ Cookers

Doug and his wife represent a BBQ pitmaster team out in Texas and is a seasoned pro when it comes to Texas-style brisket. Doug shares his top tips on how to make brisket a pleasure to make. Here is what he recommends when preparing your brisket to go on the BBQ. When it comes to tender, we think that Doug is a real stickler for moist and tasty brisket like no other.

Prepare your brisket

Trim off excess fat and get your rub together. Using a beef broth, the brisket is then injected all throughout the meat and in the fat cap. For this Doug likes to use a smear that is made from Head Country Marinade mixed with a bit of chili powder. Rub this onto both sides of the brisket and finish this off with ground pepper. You’ll want to let the meat sit for at least 15 minutes before putting it on the grill.

Slow cooking all night long

Your brisket is going into the BBQ with the fat cap side down so it’s protected from the heat. It’s going to be cooked at 200F for the next 10-12 hours. It will also need to be spritzed with a mixture of apple juice every half hour during the entire cook time. You’ll also need to tend to the fire to keep the heat consistent all through the cooking time.

Wrap it up for a few hours more

After the internal temperature of your brisket reaches 155-165 degrees Fahrenheit it needs to be wrapped in heavy-duty aluminum foil. You can add leftover beef broth that was used for the injecting process at the beginning. It needs an additional 2-3 hours to finish the cooking process. When your brisket finally reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s done.

Let it steam a bit

Now you want to transfer the brisket that’s wrapped in the foil to a container that’s insulated. Keep it in a cooler for 2-6 hours before slicing it into strips and served. There is also another option to add Apple Habanero BBQ basting sauce before it’s sliced and served.

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bixby bbq festival in tulsa

Bixby BBQ n’ Blues Festival


When; Friday May 7th 5-11p and Saturday May 8th 10a-11p

Where; Washington Irving Memorial park, Bixby Oklahoma

Located slightly south and east of Tulsa, Bixby maintains the small town feeling developed over the last 115 years. They offer their own slice of classic Americana near where highway 64 crosses the Arkansas River, the Bixby Barbeque N’ Blues festival.

Test of Time

2021 represents the twentieth anniversary of this event, and according to organizers this is the largest BBQ festival in the state of Oklahoma. Family friendly, drawing upwards of 8,000 people, this event still represents an excellent value. $10 seems to be the going rate, you can park on site. Another $10 gets you the ‘People’s Choice Taster Kit’ (only 2,500 sold Saturday 11:30-1:30) allowing you to taste and vote for the BBQ People’s Choice winner. At $15 the kiddos can enjoy an ‘Inflatable Jumpers Day Pass’, guaranteed to wear them out with all the jumping and sliding they can handle, along with the petting zoo, a trackless train ride, and pony rides

Food, glorious food

eating food

At the core, this is a barbecue competition with $12,000 in prizes and four sponsored categories; sausage, ribs, brisket, and pork butt. Over 80 teams are expected this year. They have also added a kid’s event, the ‘Kids’-Q’, 10 teams in two categories cooking up ground beef for ages 6-10, or chicken thighs ages 11-15. Family friendly on all zone

Judging for the adult competition is done by Kansas City Barbecue Society Certified BBQ Judge. Yes, that is a thing, as it should be because barbecue is serious stuff, and not just in the southwest. Although, competing teams do mostly hail from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas. The core of great barbecue in the United States.

Food for the soul; music

band for bixby blues festival

It is also a blues festival as mentioned in the name. Entry to the festival and all the blues you can listen to are free. Organizers work with RadioIDL (local live streaming blues digital radio) and the Blues Society of Tulsa, to book local and national performers. They have the obligatory names like ‘Ronnie Pyle and the Drivers’, ‘Hydramatics’, and appropriately for the event, ‘Darrell Christopher & the Ingredients’. Music starts flowing Friday early evening and continues on through most of the day on Saturday.

But wait, there’s more

The small town feel continues with a classic food court offering festival standards from dos to cotton candy, along with beer and such. There will be some 50 retail vendors also offering their wares, goods, and services. And of course a fleet of volunteers who make all this possible. If you live in that region, check it out as a great way that you can give back to the community.

It’s not just about you

At its heart, the festival is about giving and fund raising, in this case for an excellent group. The Rotarians are internationally known for their philanthropy and giving back to their communities, and the Rotary Club of Bixby ( is no exception. Prior year festivals helped fund the amphitheater in the Washington Irving Memorial Park. Their non-profit has distributed over 900 dictionaries to local third graders and organized the Christmas Parade. In addition, they participate in the national and international Rotary causes from Girl Scouts to eyewear for developing country’s citizens.

Typically the weather in May in Bixby is averages in the high seventies, and the preliminary long forecast term is looking just like that. Springtime should abound in the local environs around the festival. After the recent past of trials and tribulations for all of us, this literal breath of fresh air has an extra degree of meaning. With a mélange of experience from the sounds of live music, the rich and intense smells of top level barbecue cooking nearby, and a great community feeling to enjoy all of this in, it truly does not get much better. Oh, and helping out those in need by supporting a great local organization. Don’t forget about that!

If your travels, or your residence, find you in this area of Oklahoma you owe it to yourself, and others, to go be a part of this delightful event.

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Best BBQ Sauce Recipes featured image

Best BBQ Sauce Recipes from Top Pitmasters

Do you like a great BBQ sauce to go on your ribs and BBQ meats? We’ve taken the time to collect 5 tasty recipes and Pitmasters who proudly stand behind them. These recipes can be made at your next BBQ party too. So if you have any questions if they’re any good, we’ve collected helpful background info on them. Here are the best BBQ sauce recipes your taste buds are screaming for!

1. Myron Mixon’s Basic Hickory BBQ Sauce

Basic Hickory BBQ Sauce by Myron Mixon’s

Myron Mixon is a celebrity in the BBQ world and a 4-time BBQ champion in his own right. He’s also a real showman when it come s to ruling the airwaves with top-rated series such as BBQ Rules and BBQ Pitmasters on the Discovery channel. He recently shared his winning BBQ sauce that is reportedly excellent for pork, beef, and lamb. It’s a woodsy hickory flavor BBQ sauce that has hints of sweet and strong residual flavors.

But does his recipe really measure up? Even the top champions all borrow from each other from time to time. Here’s what goes into his award-winning recipe.

  • 2 cups ketchup (or tomato paste)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Two-thirds cup of cider vinegar
  • One-quarter cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt


Place everything into a blender and then give the mix these ingredients by pulsing a few times. After that, you transfer this mixture to a medium pot and simmer on medium heat is mixed well. It doesn’t need to boil but simmering is just fine. After a couple of minutes, allow the sauce to cool and then transfer to a clean jar. It can store up to 6 months in the fridge.

How good is this sauce?

What makes this sauce a bit of a mystery is that it mentions hickory, but the recipe doesn’t have hickory added. It lends its flavor more to a very fine pasta sauce. Some Pitmasters have mentioned that it’s missing 2 tablespoons of Apple Jelly. Perhaps if you add liquid hickory flavor, it will give this BBQ sauce more definition.

2. John Reese’s Pitmaster Bourbon BBQ Sauce (from BBQPitBoys)

Bourbon BBQ Sauce by John Reese’s Pitmaster (from BBQPitBoys)

If you’ve ever heard of the BBQ Pit Boys, they’re quite a rough and tumble bunch. They’ve got a great Youtube channel and have quite a following. If they’re not practicing Bushcraft BBQ, they know how to handle high-power firearms. It seems they have a recipe that is similar but with a refreshing outdoor twist. This reportedly makes a tangy zesty BBQ sauce that is good for chicken, beef, and pork.

  • 2 cups Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dry mustard
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • One-half cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup bourbon


Add ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan on an outdoor grill. Using hickory wood for added smoke, stir the ingredients at a slow simmer. As this sauce starts to thicken, continue to stir to lock in smoke flavor. Afterward, the finished sauce can cool and then be transferred to empty jelly jars. Makes up to three and one-half cups of BBQ sauce.

How good is this sauce?

What makes this sauce awesome is that it’s meant for mopping your BBQ but equally tasty for dipping likewise. It has the right amount of zest but could ultimately use fresh onions and garlic for added depth. The combination of brown sugar and vinegar turns out a fine sauce that is what BBQ is all about. The bourbon is the real kicker since this adds a whole new layer that tells you this BBQ sauce isn’t fooling around.

3. Steven Raichlen’s Sweet and Smoky BBQ Sauce

Sweet and Smoky BBQ Sauce by Steven Raichlen’s

This BBQ Pitmaster didn’t just learn to grill, and it appears he wrote the bible on it. He’s the author of several books and is known nationally for being a master grill specialist. He’s got a recipe that is the defining flavor of what makes Kansas City BBQ flavor. This recipe actually comes from Kansas City Barbeque Society but is hailed from Steven’s BBQ Bible. This recipe makes 5 whole cups of authentic Kansas City sweet red rib BBQ sauce.

  • One-quarter cup honey
  • One-quarter cup molasses
  • One-quarter cup Worcestershire sauce
  • One-half cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 6 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 4 cups ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon pure chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black powder
  • 1 teaspoons ground allspice
  • One-quarter teaspoon ground cloves
  • Coarse Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


Combine together all of the ingredients (minus the ketchup) in a large saucepan and bring to a medium simmer. After about 5 minutes when everything is mixed thoroughly, you can add the ketchup and bring it to a boil. The last item to add is salt and pepper to taste. After it reaches a boil, reduces the heat back to a simmer until it reaches a nice thick consistency. Turn off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes.

Then you can transfer the sauce to large glass jars that can be stored. It will last several months in your fridge when capped.

How good is this sauce?

If you’ve ever enjoyed authentic Kansas City BBQ sauce, this should be on your favorite list. This flavor is one of the major legends of BBQ cuisine with a flavor signature unlike any other BBQ sauce out there. It is also rated 4-stars by the Food Shmooze review website.

4. Rodney Scott’s BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce by Rodney Scott’s

Now maybe you haven’t heard of Rodney before but for this Birmingham, Alabama resident, he’s gained a bit of traction. He was recently awarded the Best Chef Southeast at the James Beard Awards. His unique approach to BBQ sauce has earned him high praise among Pitmasters alike with his spicy-sweet blend of BBQ sauce. This closely guarded secret has finally emerged and is unlike most sauces you’ll find.

It’s especially good on pork, chicken, and turkey, but not limited to beef and spare ribs. Let’s take a closer look at what makes his recipe so different.

  • Two cups white (distilled) vinegar
  • One-half lemon (thinly sliced)
  • One-quarter cup sugar
  • One and one-half teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • One teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika powder
  • One teaspoon dark chili powder
  • One-half teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Two teaspoons accent seasoning


Into a small saucepan, pour the white vinegar, and then warm it to medium-high heat. As soon as your vinegar reaches 150F, then you add the lemon slices and cook them until they get a bit translucent. This will take about 10 minutes in all. In a separate bowl, you’ll whisk in the black pepper, red pepper, sugar, paprika, dark chili powder, and accent seasoning together. Mix this until the sugar is completely clear or when the temperature reaches 190F.

After this, allow the mixture to cool, and then place the sauce into a glass jar to keep it fresh. It will last for up to at least one month.

How good is this sauce?

Apparently, the real secret to this sauce is how the vinegar and lemon slices are cooked first. It also helps add natural enzymes that tenderize meat better than other kinds of vinegar-based mixtures. The real trick is to take the lemon slices out before you add the rest of the spices. It makes an excellent mop BBQ sauce that extra tasty as a dipping sauce too.

5. Aaron Franklin’s BBQ Rib Sauce

BBQ Rib Sauce by Aaron Franklin’s

This well-known MasterClass BBQ chef is right up there for getting the spotlight for his cooking and grilling style. Aaron is a rocket scientist when it comes to Texas-style BBQ. This recipe is one of his thick and sweet BBQ rib sauces that might just speak for itself. This time around, you can be the judge and make this recipe at home. But for a rib sauce that is pretty involved, here is what you’ll find for ingredients.

  • One cup apple cider vinegar
  • One cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (Beef tallow/vegetable oil, lard, or bacon fat)
  • One-third large onion (yellow or white- chopped roughly)
  • 4 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 2 cups organic or all-natural ketchup
  • One teaspoon smoked paprika
  • One teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • One teaspoon fine sea salt
  • One teaspoon mustard powder
  • 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce


The first thing you’ll do is heat a medium saucepan and add your fat (beef tallow, etc.) until it starts to simmer, and then add your onion until it gets translucent. This will take 6-8 minutes. After this, you add your garlic and continue to cook until the onions start to turn brown and the garlic is getting crisp for another three minutes. This is when you add the brown sugar and will totally melt, forming a glaze after simmering for 2-3 minutes.

This is when you add the apple cider vinegar, ketchup, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper. Bring this mixture up to a simmer and cook it for an additional 3-5 minutes. Or at least until this mixture has become thicker. This is when you can add the Worcestershire sauce and allow this to simmer away for an additional minute. Now, this is where it starts to get fun. You put the entire mixture into a glass blender and mix at the highest speed.

When you get a sauce that’s completely smooth and has an orange color, it’s done. Since this sauce will naturally be hot, you’ll need to transfer this hot mix directly into waiting jars and put on their tops. Then let them cool to room temperature. After this, put them in the fridge. This BBQ sauce can be stored for up to 1 month in your fridge after that.

How good is this sauce?

Apparently, over 700 people who subscribe to MasterClass rate this BBQ rib sauce with 4-stars. It’s clearly a hit from the overall reviews and does have a bit of appeal for Texas-style BBQ rib fans. With a generous amount of onion and garlic added here, this makes for some excellent taste on any ribs you add it to. When it comes to Beef or Pork, these flavors explode on impact with a sweet yet slightly zesty appeal.

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Best BBQ Thermometers featured image

Best BBQ Thermometers

When it comes to BBQ you’re looking for a thermometer that can monitor multiple probes simultaneously, including the ambient pit temperature of your grill or smoker. Most of these types of devices offer Wi-Fi, cloud connectivity to store data from your cooking sessions, and fan pit control capabilities.

From times gone by, with a flat disk on wobbly legs, a tray that held charcoal and a grate that sat inches above it, until today with all our great tools, grilling, barbecuing and smoking are part of a great food tradition. As we get more sophisticated about ‘flame meet food’ the market place has not disappointed in delivering exceptional products.

In a classic high-tech meets low-tech, we now have wireless systems that not only monitor the flames, but lets you know how the food is doing form virtually anywhere.  Thermometers monitoring the cooking temperatures and allow you to adjust it, combined with tracking the exact temperature of the food for perfect cook times. This is a look at some of the products in the market that can help you take your BBQ experience to the next level.

Fireboard 2 (/w fan controller)

Fireboard 2 BBQ Thermometer

Buy From Fireboard

For hardware, the Firebird 2 is capable of handling up to 6 probes and tracking their results. With food like turkey, with distinctly different sections of meat, or a brisket with varying thickness, being able to monitor those areas is a huge plus. Plus you can use one to monitor the ambient temperature, which we will come back to in a moment.

The box itself is pretty rugged. You wouldn’t throw it in the lake, but it can certainly handle a light dowsing, and tolerates heat up to 160 degrees. Since its working life is likely outdoors, around flame and juices, it is important that it can take a lick or two. The bbq guys at Smoking Meat Geeks put it through a rain simulation test and proved it can stand up to its weather resistant claim.

This package also offers a great visual display with a variety of view options; multiple channels of real time temps, graphing, hybrid views showing some channels, and such. The only real negative is that this unit doesn’t have any kind of alert, you have to rely on your phone and the app for that.

Fireboard 2 BBQ Thermometer unboxing

Covering all the bases, the Firebird 2 does work with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Either method allows for alerts for high or low temps and monitoring in real time. It can also be integrated with your virtual assistant of choice, Alexa or Google. Via Wi-Fi you can save cooking data in the cloud, and download it, so that you can have a record of what works best for you.

Monitoring your ambient cooking temperature is one thing, but the Fireboard 2 allows you to do something about it. With a couple choices for drive connectivity, you can use a fan drive controller to boost the airflow, thereby increasing the temperature of your burn. You can program steps into your process. For example cook at 225 until the internal temp of your pork butt is 150, this triggers a temp increase to 300 through the stall, then when the internal is 170, drop back to 225. It is very versatile at cooking and controlling your process.

Signals (w/ Billows)

Signals bbq thermometer

Buy From Thermoworks

The manufacturer of this is Thermoworks. That says it all, because in every aspect of the food industry, health inspection, commercial processing and kitchens, even the beverage industry, these folks are the gold standard of all things temperature measurement related. Yes, that sounds a bit geeky, but when health and safety are on the line it is good to know who knows best. Even if it is just you putting great food on a plate, the right tool is invaluable.

The probe hardware is the best in the business with quick responses and exceptional durability. The base unit accommodates 4 probes, which is fine for most cooking. Probes are color coded so that you can more easily keep track of which is which. The display is easy to read, giving you all the pertinent information, and is programmable at the base unit. That feature is what sets this above many offerings in the field. Signals has great connectivity, but it can do all necessary functions as a standalone unit, including alert you when your temperature goal has been reached. All that, and it is rated IP66 for complete dust resistance and water resistance.

signals bbq thermometer connectivity with app;ication

We mentioned connectivity. The app is very intuitive, both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are easy to connect. Cloud storage is available, although you cannot add notes in the app.

The Billows device has some definite trade-offs. As an add-on item it is very reasonably priced, one of the lowest prices in the market. Of course that is based on already owning the Fireboard. It works pretty well in that it accomplishes the tasks, but it is somewhat sporadic in how it gets there. Most fan systems will create a spike in temperature when they kick in, this unit slightly more than most. It does stay within the stated parameters of 10 degrees variation. And they could use some better directions about how to install the unit. It works, perhaps not the best part of the Signals equipment, but certainly functional.

UltraQ (w/ Pit Bull & Pit Viper)

UltraQ BBQ Thermometer

Buy From Amazon

Too often we see devices that just throw a continuous stream of information, some of which is not particularly valuable to your process. These folks do a great job of distilling down the information output to the things that are important. A display you can read from across the yard, it also has an LED ring on the outside showing blue when temps are low, red in cooking range, pulsing when the fan runs and flashing if temps get too high. Information you can use.

This is a purpose built product specifically for controlling the temperature of your cooking process, while additionally monitoring temperatures in the food itself. They execute all of this very well. At purchase you specify the smoking device you are going to use this with and the BBQ Guru Pit fans will give you the best equipment for an easy installation.

Pit Bull & Pit Viper UltraQ fans

UltraQ offers both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, thankfully, because the base unit controls are not very good at all. Unfortunately none of this is their strength. It is much easier to control the device through the app, however that is not saying too awfully much. It is not an intuitive process, and seems unnecessarily cumbersome. It works, you will get to the end result, but it just may not be the smoothest of journeys.


Flameboss bbq thermometer

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This is the most purpose built device for controlling the heat inside your cooking device. It does the job well, with one of the best ratings for holding temperature within your chosen parameters. The mechanical units are strong, the digital aspects are not quite up to the same level.

For starters the base unit does not have a built in battery so you do need a power source. It also has a relatively small display, but it offers all the relevant information. It manages the blower device and has some nice options like ‘Keep Warm’ which will drop your temp to hold the food at serving temperature. In theory you can program all of this at the base unit, but it is not especially user friendly.

Flameboss connectivity with mobile

The app for your phone is comprehensive and works very effectively. It will allow you to easily control the device and establish your preferred settings for your cooking. The biggest issue is getting there. This is a Wi-Fi only device, no Bluetooth. It can even work on the road with its own Wi-Fi connectivity for your phone. It is limited to just 2.4 GHz, no connectivity on a 5 GHz system. Once you get past the quirks, up and running, the system as whole works quite well.

Inkbird iBBQ-4T

Inkbird iBBQ-4T bbq thermometer

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This is a straightforward temperature monitoring system, it does not interface with a blower unit. Inkbird has done a great job at fulfilling their purpose with this. It has a built in lithium ion battery that is rated at 26 hours of use, and charges with a simple USB connection. The base unit is virtually waterproof, each probe port has a cover, and the probes have a noticeable locked in feeling when you have properly plugged them in. The system can handle four probes, which are color coded. It also has an easy to read display, even in bright sun. The base unit alarm is very quiet however, so you will come to rely on the app for this aspect.

Inkbird iBBQ-4T connectivity with mobile

Inkbird makes other home automation devices that can be linked through this app as well. Once in the BBQ section, this app works quite efficiently. You can set both high and low alerts for each probe, along with a message box to remind you of what the alarm was for, such as turn down the temp or prep another meal item. This is another device that operates only in a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi environment, which may limit it to home or in town use only. Set up is fairly easy though, so once you are up and running it works well. It could give you better results for visualizing data, their graphing is somewhat primitive, and information has to be exported for each probe, as opposed to the entire cook project.


Meater thermometer

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If you ever wondered if ‘less is more’ this product answers that question with a solid yes. In this case, no blower or ambient temperature control features are part of Meater. But the name says it all. Measure the internal temperature of meat as it cooks. And the ambient temperature of the cooking environment. How, though, is the amazing thing. This device has a diameter smaller than a ball point pen, and is about as long. That’s it. No wires, just the probe and a sculpted wooden box with the charging tray. The batteries are in the probe itself, and offer 24 hours of use, with an available range of 165 feet.

Meater thermometer connectivity with mobile

All your output and controls are through Bluetooth and the phone app. The app even contains an estimator algorithm that can give you an idea of how long you need to cook at the ambient temperature to reach your desired internal temperature. This is an excellent case for form with function, a sleek stainless steel cylinder that will give you the essential information for your cooking endeavor.

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