Below is a list of my current BBQ-related equipment and gadgets.
Grill Dome Infinity Series Ceramic Kamado (XL model and Copper Color)
This XL Grill Dome Infinity Series Ceramic Kamado is the newest addition to my back porch arsenal of cookers. I’ve been cooking on the large model Grill Dome Infinity Series Kamado (featured immediately below) since last fall and have quickly fallen in love with ceramic style cookers. This new XL model is Grill Dome’s largest cooker and differs from the large model in that it has a 22″ grilling diameter and weighs a 100 lbs more (300 lbs total!!). Though Grill Dome offers 6 colors to choose from, I went with the copper color again because it is absolutely gorgeous and changes various hues as the sunlight hits it from various angles throughout the day. These cookers are without a doubt the most versatile cookers on the market in that you can slow smoke on them but also sear at very high temps. The fuel efficiency of these cookers is also unmatched and I frequently cook large cuts of meat (like Boston butts) 10+ hours with just 5 lbs or so of lump charcoal.
The Grill Dome Infinity Series Ceramic Kamado cooker is the newest addition to my collection of cookers and instantly has become my favorite. I’ve had my eyes on ceramic kamados for quite some time now and finally pulled the trigger. They are NOT cheap, but they are hands down the most fuel efficient cookers money can buy. The can cook low and slow around the normal 225° – 250° range or they can cook as high as 700° for searing steaks. As long as you take care of them, they will last you a life time. I did a lot of research before investing in one and personally believe that the Grill Dome cookers are the best on the market. Check out more on my Grill Dome post here.
The 22.5″ Weber Smokey Mountain (or “WSM”) charcoal water smoker is my primary cooker. It is a vertical “bullet” style smoker that is perfect for low and slow cooking on your back porch. Though these smokers are quite cheap ($300-$400 range) compared to much more expensive smokers on the market, there are competition guys that use these and beat out guys with $30K rigs. No joke. The WSM is one of my true loves.
The 26.75″ Weber One Touch Gold Charcoal Grill, or “kettle”, is an incredibly versatile BBQ rig that can be used for both grilling and low and slow smoking. Weber currently offers 3 standard size charcoal kettles: a 18.5″, a 22.5″ and the one I have, the 26.75″. If you’re just starting out with BBQ’ing, I highly recommend investing in one of the Weber One Touch kettles before investing in a unit like the WSM that is solely meant for low and slow cooking.
Weber Jumbo Joe
The Weber Jumbo Joe is a portable charcoal grill with a respectable 18.5″ cooking grate that has become my one of my favorite cookers for camping, tail gates or quick 1-2 person meals on the back porch. I invested in the Lime Green Weber Smokey Joe you see below before Weber had released this updated Jumbo Joe model in 2013 and sadly, the Smokey Joe gets no more attention now that have this Jumbo Joe For portability, this little cooker just can’t be beat because compared to the Smokey Joe models (Silver and Gold), you have significant more grilling real estate and can easily cook for 4-6 people. It’s also large enough to perform small, indirect low and slow cooks. I even upgraded this little rig with the 18.5″ Craycort Cast Iron Grate system to make this one heck of little cooker!
Lime Green Weber Smokey Joe
What could be cooler than the ultra portable Weber Smokey Joe? An ultra portable Weber Smokey Joe in Lime Green! The Weber Smokey Joe (available in both a “Silver” and “Gold” model) is perfect for quick charcoal grilling for 2-4 people. Don’t be fooled by it’s small stature as this guy packs a punch and I cook on mine almost weekly. They normally just come in black, but I scored a rare lime green “Silver” model which I absolutely love. Check out my unboxing video if you’d like.
A “Mini” WSM is essentially a converted Weber Smokey Joe into a vertical style smoker like the Weber Smokey Mountains. They are super portable and despite their seemingly smaller size, they can cook a TON of food. These rigs are great for camping trips, tailgates or cooking for smaller crowds. Check out my full article on how to build the Mini WSM.
The BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2 is a digital BBQ temperature monitoring and control device. Before I invested in the DX2 I cooked everything full blown manual, meaning I had to “babysit” my WSM quite a bit and during long overnight cooks I’d have to get up a couple times to make sure everything was OK. BBQ Guru offers several different temperature controlling devices, some fairly affordable, others pretty steep…but let me tell you…this is probably the best money I have spent on BBQ accessories. It saves me a lot of heartache by taking all of the babysitting part out (especially overnight cooks) and also helps cut down on fuel usage. I HIGHLY recommend investing in one of these. You will not regret it.
The Maverick ET 732 Wireless BBQ Thermometer Set is my second favorite gadget, next to my DigiQ DX2. The ET 732 is a wireless pit temp and food temp monitoring device that allows me to sit inside the AC and keep an eye on my cooker outside. In my opinion, this gadget, paired with the above mentioned BBQ Guru controller, makes BBQ’ing “easy”. I mean, you still need to know what you’re doing, but my bros and I will be sitting inside watching football or playing XBOX and all I have to do is glance over at the receiver every once in a while. Before owning this device or the DigiQ, I did everything manually, and that’s fine…but man, I LOVE THESE GADGETS and this Maverick ET 732 is one of my true loves.
The ThermoWorks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen is another staple in my digital BBQ device collection. ThermoWorks manufactures several devices used by the FDA and they are very well know for their quality and accuracy. The Splash-Proof Thermapen is accurate to ± .7° F and gives you a reading in just 3 seconds. It is water resistant, has a 1,500 hr battery life and comes in over 10 colors. I of course ,living here in Gator Nation, have one of the best colors they offer: orange. ( I need to get a blue one too I guess…)
The Maverick PT-100BBQ Digital Thermometer is very similar to the Thermapen mentioned above, but it has a back-lit screen which gives it an advantage over the Thermapen when using it in low light conditions. It is accurate to ± 2 ° F and provides a reading within 3-5 seconds. It is also water resistent and shock resistent (though I wouldn’t purposely try to test that out…). It also uses 3 AAA batteries which is different than the Thermapen’s lithium coin cell battery. To be honest, I really like them both and use them both a lot, but if you were to just get one, I’d go w/ the Maverick so you can see the read out in low light. Check out my video review of it HERE.
iGrill Wireless Bluetooth Digital Grilling Thermometer
The iGrill Wireless Bluetooth Digital Grilling Thermometer is a fancy little grilling gadget that connects to iOS or Android devices via Bluetooth and displays the pit and food temps of your cook environment via the iGrill mobile app. I have the app on both my iPhone 5 and my iPad Mini and must say it works really well. The receiver gives you the option of running either two food probes or one food probe and one pit probe. In addition to monitoring your cook via the iGrill app, you can also check the temps directly on the receiver as well as set temp alarms. When using the pit and food probes together, the app has a cool graphing function that lets you go back and review your pit and food temps during the cook. Check out my full review of the iGrill here.
Kitchen & Grilling Gear
The Meat Rake makes pulling pork a breeze. The rakes are made of professional grade 304 stainless steel and have non-slip polypropylene handles. I also have Bear Paws (featured below), but what I like more about the Meat Rakes is that they allow you to keep your hands out of the greasy meat, whereas with the Bear Paws you hands are much lower and dragging in the meat at times. These are pretty much a must have tool in my kitchen. Grab a set on Amazon here.
The GrillGrate is an interlocking, raised rail grilling surface constructed of hard anodized aluminum that is a exceptional upgrade to any grilling surface b/c it reduces flare ups; produces gorgeous sear marks; provides evenly heat distributed cooking surface; and sizzles and radiates fats and juices back up into the meat. One of the biggest problems with most grilling surfaces is flare ups and over-charring. The GrillGrates raised rail design and catch channels prevent this from happen and I can honestly tell you it has taken my direct heat grilling to whole new level. Check out my full review here.
Up until I got hooked up with a set of Meat Rakes, I used the Bear Paws exclusively to pull pork. Though I’ve been reach for my Meat Rakes more often than not lately, there Bear Paws still do a good job. They’re plastic so they’re not as tough as the Meat Rakes and as I mentioned before, it’s also pretty easy to get your hands fairly greasy with the Bear Claws simply b/c they don’t have a handle like the Meat Rakes. Don’t get me wrong though, these do a great job shredding pork apart, so if those are your only option or they’re given to you as a gift, I wouldn’t complain, they’re still a great tool to have.
If you are an avid follower on my YouTube Channel, then you’ve no doubt seen these little guys in a lot of my videos. They’re perfect for measuring out ingredients for sauces and rubs or for using for serving sauces. They come with lids, but the lids don’t seal super great so I wouldn’t count on them to keep stuff really fresh if you plan on using them for storage. The lids are more meant for temporarily transporting ingredients somewhere. They come 8 in a set and you can grab some for about $15 here on Amazon.
I use my Bayou Classic Stainless Steel Seasoning and Marinade Injector all the time for injecting marinades into large cuts of meat like pork shoulders, briskets and whole chickens. There are a ton of debates online whether injecting is necessary to produce good BBQ, and at this point in my BBQ adventures, I really can’t give you a solid opinion one way or the other when it comes to tenderness, but I definitely think it’s the way to go if you want to experiment with new flavor profiles in your meat. This injector feels solid in your hand and is stainless steel so it’s going to last you a long, long time. One tip with this injector: tiny bits of stuff tend to clog the holes in the marinade needle, so all you need to do to remedy that is use some canned air and blast that junk out of there.
A very large cutting board, preferably w/ grooved channels around the edge to catch juices, is absolutely essential in my opinion for prepping and slicing various cuts of meats. I have the Winco CBI-1824 Cutting Board with dimensions of 18″ X 24″ X 1/2. It provides a ton of space for me to prep for my cooks and my wife loves it because it catches all of the raw meat juices and keeps them from flowing off onto the counter. A quick head’s up though: this cutting board is so massive that it doesn’t even fit in our kitchen sink, so what I normally do is just hose it down outside and then wipe it clean with a Clorox wipe before storing. That’s not a deal breaker though b/c this massive cutting board is one of my favorite things in the kitchen. I use it 4-5 times per week.