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Useful Tips for Cooking
over the Grill or Smoker

Welcome to this section to offer various tips for outdoor cooking. These tips are proven and will increase your effectiveness over the hot coals which we love to toil! Read on and now you are improving with each time you cook outdoors!






 Great New Tips!

While each tip can mostly stand alone, it is best to read them all and incorporate them into an overall assault on the grill. Be sure to have your assault well fortified with your favorite beverage! Today's tip is:

A Better Burger

A Better BurgerAhhh, summertime.  The days are a little longer, the temperatures are definitely a little warmer and the pace of everyday life slows just a little as we take more time for ourselves than perhaps during the busy school year.

Since it is Father's Day and a day to relax rather than trying to cook something like a whole hog, we thought we would give you some pointers in making a better burger.


We recommend using fresh ground (same day) Certified Angus beef which is somewhere between 80% to 85% lean.  Conversely, that would mean the meat would be anywhere between 15% to 20% fat. As much as healthy folks hate to admit it, the fat in the ground beef is what makes your burgers juicy and adds the best flavor.  If you go with a lean ground round or other lean beef, you are not going to achieve the desired flavor or juiciness.

Mega Burger!
Some people take their hamburger experience to new lofty levels!
Click For Larger Image

If you cannot find fresh ground beef and frozen is all that is available, be sure to allow sufficient time for the ground beef to thaw completely in the refrigerator. If you try to grill frozen ground beef, more than likely, the meat may end up raw instead of rare/done.

SuggestionGround beef, unlike a steak, can be a harbinger of germs which can really do a number on you.  Before removing the meat from the grill, check to insure the meat is done.  "Done" would mean the center of the meat should read 155°-160°F.  To check the temperature of the burger, insert a meat thermometer (we prefer an instant read thermometer like the chefs use) into the side of the burger so that the tip of the thermometer is in the middle of the meat. For the record, germs are killed at about 142°F. but to be on the safe side, run it up to 155°-160°F because you never know if the burger has been cooked evenly.

SuggestionKeep a spray bottle of water near by while grilling burgers.  Remember the fat content of the meat?  When the fat renders and drops into the fire, flare-ups are common and can be dangerous, not to mention burn the meat.  A gentle spray on the flames will keep this under control for you.

SuggestionRemove the burgers when they reach about 155°F because, like most things that come off of a hot grill, the heat keeps on cooking the burgers after having been removed from the grill.  To fully understand this technique, wait about 3 to 4 minutes and then test with a thermometer and you should find that they are at 160° F.  AGAIN : Please use a meat thermometer to determine when the meat is done.
Smoky Hale
Want more info on the Fine Art of the Burger?
Check out Smoky Hale's article on the site.
Click For Smoky's Article

To obtain the juiciest burgers, we suggest shaping your patties evenly - about 3/4-inch thick. That way they should not dry out quickly over the fire.  One suggestion we found that had merit was to make a small hole in the middle of the burger which will allow some juices to escape from the middle thus preventing the meat from "bulging" and having horizontal separation while grilling.

SuggestionGet your fire up and going well before you are ready to slap the burgers on the grill.  We would recommend that the grill grates be very hot when the meat is placed on them.  This will not only give you great grill marks, but will allow the meat to release from the cooking grate when it is ready. 

SuggestionDon't forget to season your burgers.  Most folks use salt and pepper, but don't limit  yourself.  We use a great steak seasoning on ours.

SuggestionNow that your burgers are on the grill ..... leave them alone! Never press the burgers to watch the flames roar and smoke soar.  This just forces the wonderful juices out of the meat.  You don't want a dry burger, do ya?

SuggestionGarnish your burgers as desired with cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, mayo, ketchup, barbecue sauce, or even the kitchen sink.  Make them yours and enjoy!


Want to try something a little different? Try making "sliders".  Not familiar with 'em? They are the small burgers which many trendy restaurants are serving these days.  They are done pretty much the same way, but they may cook just a little faster. These minatures are a fun and entertaining way to serve burgers.

Recommended items we use:




Good Luck!
The Barbecue Store

Bulk Wood Chips
Here's a great money saving idea.  Wood chips and chunks never go bad. So why not order them in money saving bulk boxes?  Simply keep them in a dry area and use as needed!

Click & Order Your Bulk Chips & Chunks TODAY 

Bad Weather? Too hot or cold? Know what your bbq pit is doing with these Wireless Thermometers
Bad Weather?  Too hot or cold? Know what your bbq pit is doing with these Wireless Thermometers

There's not a better BBQ glove. Stylish Suade, lined and double protected from the elements.

There's not a better BBQ glove. Stylish Suade, lined and double protected from the elements.
FlameX Leather Gloves

Get all of Smoky Hale's wisdom and become the best cook around. Learn to do it right!

Get all of Smoky Hale's wisdom and become the best cook around. Learn to do it right!

When cold, romance or just having to burn something, our designer firepits will do it all. Get free shipping on SoJoe FirePits today
When cold, romance or just having to burn something, our designer firepits will do it all.  Get free shipping on SoJoe FirePits today

Visit The Barbecue Store Today!Visit The Barbecue Store Today!
Visit The Barbecue Store Today!

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