Category Archives: Tips n’ Tricks

Build Your Own Ugly Drum Smoker

We get asked all the time what is a great smoker to get a start on and we have been hearing so much about the UDS or Ugly Drum Smoker and the folks at were kind enough to share this great little infographic with us on how to build one yourself. So if you are just getting started and want to keep the budget low as you get started, BBQ Pro Shop has your plans for your first UDS! Enjoy.

The assembly of an ugly drum smoker is a true barbecue experience. If you love a good “do it yourself” project and want a good, high-quality smoker for very little money, this project is perfect. The best part is that you are making one of the best smokers you can get, as it is simple to light and you can easily maintain a nice “low and slow” barbecue temperature. Depending on your creativity and painting skills, there is no reason your ugly drum smoker needs to be ugly! Pick your favorite sport team’s colors and be creative. You can also attach a bottle opener to the drum for convenient beverage opening as you smoke your afternoons away.


Embedded with Mike Mills of 17th Street BBQ

Michael Gebert is one of our favorites when it comes to documenting BBQ. He is especially near and dear to us, since he hails from Chicago. His blog Aptly named Sky Full Of Bacon, highlights and documents his food adventures and writes for a number of publications. Sharing this video with you that came as a result of his embedding himself with Mike Mills at the Praise The Lard BBQ Competition, which is celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary this year. Enjoy the sights and sounds of what it is like to be at a BBQ competition. We have been down to Murphysboro, IL twice, have met so many great folks and have judged the KCBS contest in the past. If you ever want to experience something really special, this is one not to miss!

Enjoy more of Michael’s video’s at his Sky Full of Bacon Vimeo Site!

Sky Full of Bacon 21: Woodsmoke Nation from Michael Gebert on Vimeo.

Got My New Primo Smoker, Now What?

Yazoo's Delta Q Style St. Louis Spare Ribs

My first cook of St. Louis Spare Ribs

Being a retailer and an owner of Primo Smokers and Grills, we are often asked the question, “I just got a Primo Smoker and I want to use it to smoke something, what do I do?” Well you are certainly in for some fun! Having been an owner who faced the same daunting thought of  “How do I get started?” I wanted to share some tips with you on how I started learning to use my Primo as a Smoker and not just as the best charcoal grill I have ever used!

I want to preface this by saying that in terms of the Big Green Egg fans out there, my competition partner in Pork Phat Posse is a BGE owner, and so the same advice applies for you too. Obviously the names and sites are different, but I have some suggestions for you:
  1. Join the Primo Grill Forum (PGF): Sign Up. Read up and try a few of the processes that they give you. The thing about the Primo that I have learned is that it is easy to configure and can be configured in all sorts of ways. Many of the members of the PGF have thousands of hours and hundreds of successful cooks. So if you are looking for experience and processes to call your own, this a great way to get started. Do some research on what you want to cook first, learn how to configure your grill, start your fire and use your smoker. They helped me out a ton and ultimately I had to dry out a few briskets, undercook some pork butts and burn some babybacks to find my groove. Expect to do the same.
  2. Heat Control: If you are going to be slow smoking meats, save yourself a lot of time and get yourself a BBQ Guru, call them to help you configure it and no need to go with all the bells and whistles on your first go. Buy a BBQ Guru that makes sense for you. If you are a purest, this may not be for you , but I found my BBQ Guru to be the difference between sleepless BBQ Cooks and sleeping like a baby!  It changed my success rate with smoking as I found it difficult to control and maintain the heat with out one.
  3. Make Sure You Have Proper Primo AccessoriesMake sure that you have Ceramic D Plates and a set of Roaster Drip Pan Racks, I use a water pan on top of my D-Plates and have a lot of success with this method in conjunction with the BBQ Guru. Learned how to do this on the Primo Grill Forum, and there are many ways to do this, but having this system in place turns your Primo into a smoker or at least an indirect cooker, which makes all the difference.
  4. Anything but Brisket: As a beginner, all I wanted to do was cook a brisket, so I dried out a few before I did the research and was told that this was the toughest one too cook! So I started with Pork Butts and Babyback ribs, learned to rub them the right way, start a fire, and hold a temperature for long periods of time. Then after I got all those things working, I cooked a brisket and got better and better at it. So my advice is start with the basics and work your way up to the more challenging cuts.
  5. Have fun!: Manage your expectations. You are not going to be smoking Myron Mixon style on your first cook, so be willing to experiment and learn from your mistakes. I was told to always take good notes, from the start of the cook, to the end of the cook. This has helped me repeat my success and tweak for improvements when I cook. So if you remember to have fun, and that this is a learning process, your end results will only get better and better.
Stay in touch and enjoy! If we can help you, email us any time at and we will do what we can!

Dennis’ Pineapple BBQ Sauce Easy Chicken Breasts Recipe


Easy Chicken Breasts

We have carried Dennis’ Pineapple BBQ sauce for many years and found that Dennis who is an excellent chef, shares recipes for his products. We love his products, have for a long time now, and just wanted to share this simple recipe for easy chicken breasts. If you want to grill these, make sure you do it low and slow as the BBQ sauce will burn under high heat. No shame in doing it in the oven either, enjoy and thanks to Reva Foods LLC for the recipe!


4 – 6 oz. Chicken breasts
1 cup Dennis’ Pineapple BBQ Sauce


. Place chicken breasts in food safe plastic bag.
. Pour in 1 cup Dennis’ Pineapple BBQ Sauce and refrigerate for 60 minutes.
. Put chicken and sauce mixture into an oven safe dish and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until chicken reaches 150 degrees.

Grill Friends® Barbeque Grill and Cooking Accessories by Original “Grill Girl” Elizabeth Karmel

A new site for Elizabeth Karmel’s Grill Friends® by Harold’s Import has launched with all the details on Elizabeth Karmel’s award-winning line of grilling tools and accessories. The official “Queen of the Grill” Elizabeth Karmel, was raised on the art of outdoor grilling and BBQ in North Carolina and turned her passion for fire into a full-fledged empire.

Karmel’s is the original “Grill Girl” look no further than her impressive list of accomplishments in all things grilling.  Since 2001, she has been educating women grillers (Girls At The Grill), launching her web site Karmel has written barbeque cookbooks and continues to rite grilling articles for Associate Press, Bon Appetit and Everyday with Rachael Ray just to name a few!  Karmel hosts trips to America’s most famous barbecue regions and is the executive chef at NYC’s and Washington DC’s Hill Country BBQ.

Elizabeth Karmel’s Grill Friends® BBQ accessories are designed by a professional and someone who actual grills and does it professionally. If you are looking to make your grilling experience easy, fun and delicious, Karmel has all of the products and books to make it happen. the Grill Friends® Product line  includes the award-winning Super Silicone™ Angled BBQ Basting Brush, Flavored Wood Chips, Organic Grilling Planks and many more barbecue grill accessories. BBQ Pro Shop has been a supporter of  Elizabeth Karmel and is the exclusive online retailer of the Elizabeth Karmel’s web sites, and  We are disciples of The Queen of the Grill and she is our Grill Girl!

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @grillgirl