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Essential Backyard BBQ Tools To Help You Create World-Class BBQ

So you're just beginning your BBQ journey and need to know the essentials to incredibly cooked low and slow brisket? Well, you've come to the right place. Here at Tappecue, we have a decade of experience in creating BBQ gadgets and learning from the best in the world. But you don't need to be the best in the world of BBQ to have the best of the world BBQ. All you need is a few essential tools, some basic knowledge and a little bit of skills.

First let's talk about the difference between Grilling and BBQ

You're not alone if you might've thought that grilling and BBQ were the same thing, but experts in the industry know the key differences between the two. Both are popular cooking methods for meats and other foods, but they have some distinct differences.

Grilling is a high-heat, direct cooking method that involves cooking food quickly over an open flame or hot surface. It's often used for smaller cuts of meat or vegetables and is typically done in a shorter amount of time. Grilling is often associated with summer and outdoor cooking and is often done on a grill or BBQ.

BBQ, on the other hand, is a low-and-slow cooking method that involves cooking food over indirect heat for an extended period. This method is often used for larger cuts of meat, such as brisket or pork shoulder, that require more time to break down the connective tissue and become tender. BBQ is often associated with regional styles of cooking, such as Kansas City-style or Texas-style BBQ, and is often done on a smoker or BBQ pit.

Overall, the main difference between grilling and BBQ is the cooking method and the amount of time it takes to cook the food. Grilling is a quick, high-heat method while BBQ is a slow, low-heat method that requires more time and patience.

Each requires some of the same tools to achieve success. However, it's much easier to turn your grill into a low and slow "smoker" than to change your smoker into a grill. This is mainly due to the fact that most traditional smokers are built for low and slow BBQ, yet you can purchase different tools or use different techniques (i.e. the snake method) to turn your grill into a smoker.

That's not to say, most modern day grills will have a "smoker-like" attachment that can give you a similar taste to the low and slow "smokey" flavor you'd achieve with an offset smoker. In such case, it's very similar to adding synthetic flavoring to processed foods. You won't get the WOW factor you'd achieve with a traditional smoker using lump coal and wood chunks. That's an entire different article for another day.

For argument's sake, we'll assume you have already invested in a nice, offset smoker or Weber Smokey Mountain, but if you haven't, run over to YouTube and look up the "snake method for your BBQ grill". For those that are ready to start their BBQ journey, let's get started with the basics.

Grab yourself a chimney starter, some lump coal , and some firestarters. Whatever you do, stay away from lighter fluid. Instead, simply throw a fire starter onto a bed of lump coal at the bottom of your firebox, then place your chimney starter full of more lump coal on top of the lit fire starter. Let that sit for 10 minutes or until the coals are red hot. Dump the red hot coals onto the bed of coal at the bottom of your firebox.

Feel free to do your own research on the different brands of lump coal, fire starters and chimney starters. Ultimately the choice is up to you.

Next, you'll want to clean off your grill grates. If you've never used your smoker before simply clean them off with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda (or any other cleaning solution you feel comfortable using). Your grill brush will help you dislodge any stuck meat burnt onto the grates. For optimal effectiveness, do this before and after every cook while the grill grates are still hot.

If you're not using wood chunks, you're not really smoking. Wood chips, pellets, or just flavored briquettes will get you some smoke flavor. If you're investing the time and money on a large brisket, why not get the best possible result? That's why we suggest using wood chunks on top of lump coal. This will give you the smoke flavor you're really looking for if you want world-class BBQ. Wood chunks will output more smoke over a longer length of time. My personal favorite is Applewood, as we smoke a lot of chicken and pork at my home. Other common flavors are oak, hickory, peach, and cherry.

Lastly, the Tappecue system is the perfect addition to your BBQ tool arsenal, as it will help you know exactly when your food is done and when you need to add more lump coal to your pit.

The Cruise Control System will give you the ability to set it and forget it, while it manages your fire by giving life to your fire whenever the coals begin to die down. This is due to the fact it has a chamber probe that monitors the temp of your chamber and turns on a blower whenever the flame begins to die down. So for example, say you want to smoke your brisket at 225 for on a rotisserie smoker for several hours. The chamber probe will read the air temperature inside your smoker to let the blower know exactly when to kick on and give more life to your fire (thus increasing the heat inside your smoker). So when your temp drops below 225, it will kick on the blower.

Then, pair this with the AirProbe3, and you'll know exactly when to wrap your brisket with butcher paper or aluminum foil, or sit through the stall and chart the temperatures as they rise. The AirProbe3 will track all of your temperatures (internal and external) as the meat cooks, so you'll know exactly when it's done and how to repeat and improve your cook next time!

Looking to make your own World-Class BBQ?

Stay tuned here at Tappecue for insights from famous pitmasters on what it takes to create world-class BBQ. In the next coming months, we'll be launching a book giving you insights from famous pitmasters from our 10 years of experience learning from the best, which will also include tips and tricks, preparing your own BBQ rub and sauce, flavor profiling, professional techniques and more.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date and in the meantime, comment below what you your essential BBQ tool is and how it helps you create world-class barbecue in your backyard.

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Need good pair of insulated gloves to get food on and off

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