Category Archives: Tips n’ Tricks

Review of Extech TM55 Instant Read Thermometer

EXTECH TM 55 Instant Read Thermometer

EXTECH TM 55 is lightweight, fits in your pocket and is quick on the temperature read.

BBQ Pro Shop was invited to review the Extech TM55 Instant Read Thermometer. We firmly believe that a high quality instant read thermometer is an essential tool for smoking BBQ or grilling in the backyard. Why? A good thermometer gives you the confidence that your food is done, or lets you know where it is in the process when smoking a brisket, turkey, pork shoulder or chicken. We are often lost when asked to grill a tenderloin or thick chicken breasts at a friends house who does not own a quality instant read meat thermometer. Finding a high quality, inexpensive instant read thermometer is not easy to do, but look no further!

The BBQ Pro Shop lab was issued a Extech TM55 Pocket Fold-Up Food Thermometer we were excited to see a product from a high quality brand. The Extech TM55 is an incredible value at a $35 price point, and we were not disappointed. We have been loyal to our Thermoworks Thermapen for a long time, but at almost 3X the price, it is difficult to recommend to friends and family who are in need of a high quality instant read meat thermometer. The Extech TM55 has excellent read time and is accurate within 1DegreeF/0.5DegreeC.

To test it, we were indirect cooking some pretty thick, bone in chicken breasts. About 30 minutes in, we poked them with the Extech TM55 and within 3 seconds, had a solid reading. Poked it again, got the same result, poked it a third time and obtained a quick and accurate reading! Most inexpensive thermometers slowly give you a reading and when that happens it lowers your confidence level. Speed is a really important part of a quality instant read thermometer.

We give the Extech TM55 a solid 5 Star rating, take a look at some of these features, and for less than $35 it is one of the best values out there. Click the link below and order yours from Amazon, ships free with Amazon Prime!

FEATURES

  • Measures from -40 to 482°F (-40 to 250°C) with 2.4 inch (61 millimeter) stainless steel probe (NSF certified).
  • Fast response time at < 5 seconds in moving liquid.
  • Large LCD display with 0.1° resolution.
  • Basic accuracy: ±1°F/0.5°C.
  • Auto power off (with disable) after 1 hour or when probe is placed in stored position.
  • Probe can be positioned from 0° (storage) to 180° angle.
  • Ultrasonically welded housing (waterproof IP65 rated) with anti-microbial additive.
  • Built-in magnetized strip attaches to refrigerator or smoker stand.
  • Dishwasher safe (top rack).
  • Dimensions: 4.6×1.5×0.8 inch (116 x 38 x 20 millimeter); Weight:1.5 ounce (41.2 gram).
  • Complete with CR2032 battery.

Best BBQ Gloves for Grilling, Smoking and Fire

Below we share with you our top picks for BBQ Gloves to help you handle meat, hot coals and protect your hands.

As the owner of BBQ Pro Shop, we often get asked a lot of questions about what we recommend and use ourselves. Many years ago, we made the switch to focus on finding the best BBQ Rubs, Grill Seasonings, Seasoned Salts and Sauces and stepped away from the world of BBQ gear. However, as an avid griller and smoker, we wanted to share with you the BBQ Gloves that have done us so right over the years!

  1. Tending Fires and Coals – When we started to use a chimney starter and deal with indirect cooking, we needed an all-purpose BBQ glove to help make sure we did not burn our hands when dumping coals, or setting grates onto the grill. We suggest buying welding gloves, you can buy them on Amazon or at your local Home Depot or Hardware store and they are perfect all-purpose gloves for grilling over hot coals as well. That way when they get soot and soiled, you will know to use them only for tending the flame.
  2. Pulling Pork and Handling Meat– For many years we have grilled or smoked our turkeys and handling those off the grill is never easy. That is why we wear Oil Shield, insulated NeoPrene BBQ gloves with 14″ sleeves. It allows for maximum comfort when handling a 20 LB turkey hot off the grill, as well as pork shoulders, and 18# briskets. Your hands and arms stay safe and they have a great grip on the meat as well. We often use BBQ Gloves to pull pork butts and shoulders as well remove bones.
  3. Rubbing or Seasoning Meat– We go to Costco and buy two packs of nitrile gloves which can be bought on Amazon or in most drug store chains. These are great all purpose BBQ Gloves for handling meat, applying rub, trimming and placing raw meat on the grill or smoker. They are disposable so helps avoid cross contamination on different meats. Love to use them when carving, serving or slicing, they add a layer of food safety and keep your hands from getting too greasy and smelling like whatever you touched last.

Below are some links to our favorite products on Amazon, with these three suggestion in your BBQ and Grilling toolbox, your hands will be safe and you can better enjoy what you do!

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 fix.com 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.


Source: Fix.com

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.

Yazoo's Delta Q Style St. Louis Spare Ribs

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 bbqproshop@gmail.com and we will do what we can!