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John Setzler

BBQ Accessories: THE REALLY RIGHT STUFF

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Greetings Gurus...  I'm putting this post as a pinned post in the Gadgets & Accessories section.  This is a 'living' post and I'll be adding items to it as time goes by.  This is *MY* definitive list of THE REALLY RIGHT STUFF when it comes to BBQ accessories.  Items on this list are things that I own and have tested rather extensively.  Keep in mind that this list of STUFF is NOT necessarily a MUST-HAVE list.  It's just MY recommendations of what you SHOULD get if you decide to purchase the type of item in question.  

 

Instant Read Thermometer

 

EVERY backyard barbecue and grilling enthusiast should own an instant read thermometer.  These allow you to produce consistent results without having to rely on look-and-feel tactics that don't always work.  You can spend anywhere between $10 and over $100 on instant read thermometers.  The speed at which they give you an accurate reading is often a big factor in the cost.  Speed is rather important though, especially when you don't want to keep the lid on your grill open very long.

 

 

thermopop.jpg

 

My Recommendation: Thermoworks Thermopop

Price: $24 introductory price / $29 regular price

 

Several aspects of this instant read thermometer make it my TOP choice even in comparison with much more expensive models.  This thermometer gives you an accurate reading in 5-6 seconds.  The only advantage you get with the $94 Thermapen from the same company is a 2-3 second read time.  I have used both extensively and the Thermopop is perfectly adequate for all barbecue and grilling applications.  It's also splash-proof, has a rotating display, the LCD orientation rotates for ease of use in any direction or left handed, and the display is also back-lit.  You can't go wrong with this thermometer!

 

 

Meat / Pit Probes

 

Most of us enjoy being able to monitor the internal temperature of our meat during the cook without having to use an instant read thermometer or open the grill to take the reading.  I'm a fan of the units that will read pit and meat temperature simultaneously and I have two of these that are both fantastic products.  

 

ET85.jpg

 

My Recommendation: Maverick Redi-Chek ET-85 Two-In-One

Price: $20.99 on Amazon (price tends to fluctuate a little)

 

This is a very basic yet very functional two-probe thermometer on a single probe.  The narrow part of the probe is inserted into the meat and the thicker part at the top is a separate thermometer that reads your pit temperature.  Both probes can have high temp alarms set as you see fit.  I have been using one of these regularly for over two years with no failures of any kind.  For the price and usability, you can't go wrong with this product.  The only possible drawbacks this unit has are that the probe cable is only about 36" long and the thickness of the probe at the big end makes it difficult or impossible to run it through a small hole on some types of grills.  This isn't an issue in Kamado cooking though.

 

 

TW8060Kit.jpg

 

 

Alternate Recommendation:  Thermoworks TW8060 Two-Channel Thermocouple with Alarm

Price: Kits starting at $129.00

 

This unit is a BEAST.  It will serve any application you want.  You have multiple options with various probes and the probes are well constructed and will last a long time.  I have been using this model for quite a while now as well and have zero complaints about it.  If I could come up with one complaint, it would be that the meat probe is slightly longer than it needs to be.  As for durability, I score this unit with top ratings.  It DOES cost significantly more than the other units I have used in the past, but I don't find myself dealing with failed probes on the TW8060.  If you want something nicer than the Maverick ET-85 shown above, buy this!

 

 

Timers / Alarms

 

I run timers constantly on things that I'm cooking.  Not so much to know when it's ready, but to know how long it has been cooking.  I have three different timers and I stand by each one of them in terms of usability and durability.

 

ThermoworksEBL.jpg

 

Recommendation:  Thermoworks Extra Big & Loud Timer

Price: $29.00

 

When it comes to timers, I have one major requirement when it comes to ease of use.  I want to be able to punch in a time rather than scrolling to set my hours, minutes, and seconds.  This requires a 10-digit keypad on the timer.  This model by Thermoworks is FANTASTIC!  It's very easy to use and just like it says, the timer is loud.  The volume is also adjustable.  I have been using this timer on all my cooks for several months now and have yet to replace the 9v battery.  I love the big display.  I can see it from a distance with no problem.  This timer is also IP65 splash/water resistant.  If I could only have one timer, this would be the one.

 

 

ThermoworksTimeStick.jpg

 

Recommendation:  Thermoworks TimeStick

Price: $19.00 Introductory Price / $25.00 Regular Price

 

This small timer meets my requirements of being able to punch in the times I want.  It also works in countdown/count up modes.  It's also splash resistant and comes with a lanyard so you can hang it around your neck and carry it with you.  Having it with you is convenient if you don't want to visit your grill to see how much time is left or how long you have been going.  Strongly recommended!

 

OxoTripleTimer.jpg

 

Recommendation: Oxo Triple Timer

Price:  $19.99

 

Here's another timer that I use regularly.  This one also meets my requirements of countdown/count up and keypad time entry.  This one allows me to have three separate timers running at the same time, which is handy when I have several things going on at once.  This timer is also useful when you want to cook several different things that need to go for different times.  You can start the longest one first and easily have three different things ready at the same time.... great tool!

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Great idea for a thread.  I have the Thermopop, TimeStick, ChefAlarm and the Extra Loud/Big Timer.  All great products.  

 

I just wish Thermoworks made a product to directly compete with the Maverick 733.  The BlueTherm Duo uses bluetooth and is too expensive.  The TW8060 would be killer if it had a handheld receiver.

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I got over the desire for wireless thermometers pretty quickly.  I guess that must come with confidence and time.  I just don't see the need for it.  I agree that it can be nice to have but I check my grill periodically and know about when the meat is ready to come off.  If I don't have time to tend the grill then I don't cook :)

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Great post John. Im in the camp where I really don't need a them, I just know. They are great for new kamado owners to learn because the grill temp is not as critical as the food temp and thats what makes great BBQ. You can have a wide range when it comes to grill temps but not food temps. Learning your grill is key to knowing where to set your vents and where your temps will be but knowing when to pull the meat and rest is key. 

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I got over the desire for wireless thermometers pretty quickly.  I guess that must come with confidence and time.  I just don't see the need for it.  I agree that it can be nice to have but I check my grill periodically and know about when the meat is ready to come off.  If I don't have time to tend the grill then I don't cook :)

 

The Et 85 is a good recommendation.  I have one and, like you said in another post, John, use it once in a while just to use it.  I'm pretty much confident enough in my skills and experience these days to rely on the dome thermometer and my PT 100.

 

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The Thermo Pop is a great device for the price!

 

One thing that bringer BBQer's tend to ignore is that fact that a grill will not produce the same temp over the entire grill and if there are thicker or thinner cuts of the same meat they will cook differently at the same grill temp.

 

And that a Thermometer is truly necessary to evaluate the given temp for a piece of meat. No matter what you are cooking.

 

Ambient air temp is a factor too!

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I got over the desire for wireless thermometers pretty quickly.  I guess that must come with confidence and time.  I just don't see the need for it.  I agree that it can be nice to have but I check my grill periodically and know about when the meat is ready to come off.  If I don't have time to tend the grill then I don't cook :)

John  if you grilled with 20 degree weather and 20 MPH winds you would appreciate the remote capabilities--especially as far as meat temp. Andy is one tough guy --I can not even imagine what it is like cooking at those temps.

 

In the cold remote is not required but very very welcome. I light and run--return when up to temp--put the meat on and return when done.

 

Oh almost forgot. This thread is a wonderful idea and a great addition.

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I got over the desire for wireless thermometers pretty quickly.  I guess that must come with confidence and time.  I just don't see the need for it.  I agree that it can be nice to have but I check my grill periodically and know about when the meat is ready to come off.  If I don't have time to tend the grill then I don't cook :)

John  if you grilled with 20 degree weather and 20 MPH winds you would appreciate the remote capabilities--especially as far as meat temp. Andy is one tough guy --I can not even imagine what it is like cooking at those temps.

 

In the cold remote is not required but very very welcome. I light and run--return when up to temp--put the meat on and return when done.

 

Oh almost forgot. This thread is a wonderful idea and a great addition.

 

LOL I was gonna post something similar.. I was out there a couple times this winter in single digits, I think the coldest was 3 degrees.. I thought my 732 probes were shot it was reading LLL got them in the cooker and meat and they started working.. Once out there a few minutes the LCD was blank and only the remote unit would work. 

 

Great idea for a thread. Those Thermopops look like the real deal for the money. 

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Thanks John for starting this section, I took your advice/recommendations and got some timers, temperature probes and thermopops   :)   As a newbie to Kamado, this thread is very helpful for me and all others wanting to start the learning process up right.  Please share more, I am all ears... :geek:

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