Official Rules and Regulations for the Big Giveaway

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This isn’t particularly fun but it is important if you wanna win!

Official Contest Rules and Regulations

Open to residents of the United States of America only and governed by United States of America Law

No Purchase Necessary.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. The Giveaway Contest on Facebook (the “Contest”) is sponsored by Drapers’s BBQ and Pap’s Foods (the “Sponsors”).

ELIGIBILITY: To enter and be eligible to win, a person must be a legal resident of The United States of America who has reached the age of majority at time of entry in the jurisdiction in which he/she resides and who is not an employee, representative or agent of The Sponsors, any independent contest organization, or their affiliated and related companies and, if applicable, their respective advertising or promotion agencies, dealers, and members of the immediate families of, or persons domiciled with any of the above. In these Official Contest Rules & Regulations, “immediate family” means mother, father, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and/or legal or common-law spouse.

HOW TO ENTER: During the Contest Period, you may enter the contest at The Sponsors Facebook page. During the Kentucky BBQ Festival held during the Contest Period, onsite entry may be made available at the discretion of the Sponsors.
Be certain you have read, and agree to be bound by, the Official Contest Rules & Regulations and indicate if you do not wish to receive future information from The Sponsors regarding upcoming events and/or promotions.

PRIZING: There is one prize available to be won, consisting of the following: one Pit Barrel Cooker of the Pit Barrel Cooker Co., one ChefAlarm by ThermoWorks, one Meat Maniac sampler back by Pap’s Foods and one Pitmaster Pack by Draper’s BBQ to include A.P. Rub, Moo’d Enhancer Rub, Smokin’ Sauce, team hat and 2 bags of Kingsford charcoal.

Total approximate retail value of prize pack is $500. To the extent permitted by law, The Sponsors makes no express or implied warranties, or conditions of any kind with respect to the safety, appearance or performance of any Prize. Prizes must be accepted as awarded without substitution, are not transferable, not for resale and have no cash surrender value. The Sponsors reserves the right, in the event that a Prize or any component of a Prize cannot be awarded as described for any reason, to substitute another prize without liability.

DRAW: A random draw (the “Draw”) will take place in Danville, KY on September 7, 2014 from among all eligible entries received by the Contest Closing Date. The odds of being selected for a Prize depend on the total number of eligible entries received by the Contest Closing Date. Each selected entrant will be contacted by email within three (3) business days of the Draw Date. If a selected entrant (a) cannot be reached by email within three (3) business days of being selected after reasonable attempts; or (b) fails to return the properly executed Release Form within the specified time (see rule 5), then he/she will be disqualified and another entrant may (at the discretion of The Sponsors) be randomly selected until such time as contact is made by email with a selected entrant or there are no more eligible entries, whichever comes first. The Sponsors will not be responsible for failed attempts to contact a selected entrant.

To be declared a Prize winner, each selected entrant will also be required to sign a declaration and release form (the “Release Form”) confirming compliance with the Official Contest Rules & Regulations, acceptance of the Prize as awarded, without substitution, and releasing The Sponsors, their independent contest organization, and their affiliated and related companies, their dealers, and their respective shareholders, directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, successors and assigns, and, if applicable, their respective advertising or promotion agencies from any liability in connection with the Prize or this Contest. The Release Form must be returned within the time period specified on the Release Form or the Prize may be forfeited. Prizes will be shipped to each confirmed winner by The Sponsors to the address on the Release Form within six (6) weeks of being confirmed a winner. Limit of one (1) Prize per person.

NAME/IMAGE OF WINNERS: By entering the Contest, each winner consents to the use of his/her name, address (city and state) and/or photograph without further remuneration, in connection with any publicity carried out by or on behalf of The Sponsors with respect to this Contest.

The Sponsors and the independent contest organization accept no responsibility for loss, damage or claims caused by or resulting from the Contest or acceptance of any Prize.

The Sponsors and the independent contest organization are not responsible for: (i) entries which fail to comply with these Official Contest Rules & Regulations and all such entries are void; or (ii) any failure of the Contest Website during the Contest, including any problems or technical malfunction of any computer on-line systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof including any injury or damage to an entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from downloading any material in the Contest, all of which may affect a person’s ability to participate in the Contest. Entry data that has been tampered with or altered are void.

In the event it is determined that an entrant has entered in a fashion not sanctioned by the Official Contest Rules & Regulations, the entrant will be disqualified and all of the entries submitted by the entrant will be disqualified.The Sponsors reserves the right for any reason, within the U.S. Law, to terminate or suspend this Contest or to amend the Official Contest Rules & Regulations at any time and in any way, without prior notice. Without limiting the foregoing, if, for any reason, the Contest is not capable of running as originally planned, The Sponsors reserves the right to cancel the Contest and conduct a draw from all previously eligible entries received by the Contest Closing Date. The Sponsors and/or the independent contest organization shall not be held responsible for any problems, errors or negligence that may arise or occur in connection with the Contest.

In the event of a dispute, entries will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the person who is assigned an email address by an internet provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g. business, educational institute, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. If the identity of an entrant is disputed, the authorized account holder associated with the email account at the time of entry will be deemed to be the entrant. A selected entrant may be required to provide proof that he/she is the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the selected entry name change. The sole determinant of the time for the purposes of a valid entry in this Contest will be the Contest server machine(s).

All entries become the permanent property of The Sponsors and none will be returned. This Contest is void where prohibited by law and is subject to all applicable federal, state and/or municipal laws.

In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between the terms and conditions of these Official Rules and Regulations and disclosures or other statements contained in any Contest related materials (including, but not limited to: point of sale, television, print or online advertising), the terms and conditions of these Official Contest Rules & Regulations shall prevail, govern and control.

Personal information. By entering the Contest, each entrant consents to The Sponsors, the independent contest organization, their agents and/or representatives storing, sharing and using the personal information submitted with his/her entry. Entrants agree to receive promotional communications from The Sponsors, and have the ability to opt-out of promotional emails by requesting to ‘unsubscribe’ from any communication.

The Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

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Draper’s BBQ Contest

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As the world well knows companies can live or die with social media.  We at Draper’s have been solid at social media when we really push at it and frankly terrible at it when we do not.  Case in point, we have over 2500 Twitter followers but only 850 likes on our Facebook page.  You can probably guess from those numbers were we spent our time over the past couple of years.

Given that Mike and I sat down and pitched a few ideas back and forth on how we can convert our Twitter followers into Facebook likes.  We quickly settled on the idea of giving something away as a membership drive of sorts for Facebook.  Everyone likes a good giveaway and honestly we like giving stuff away making people happy.

So from there we came up with a few things that might fit the bill.  I kept thinking back to the question I get asked via email the most “what is the best bbq/smoker on the market for a new team or for my backyard?”  With that in mind Mike and I thought it would be great to give away some sort of “pitmaster in a box” kit where the winner would get essentially everything they needed to either start competition barbecue or at least have a heck of a leg up to starting a team.

The hunt was short for what bbq/smoker/grill would fit the bill.  We naturally went with the one we recommend to 90% of the people who send us that email.  We turned to Pit Barrel Cooker Co and their Pit Barrel Cooker for this contest and new pitmasters.  And here’s why:  First it rings in around $300 which is a solid value given that most complete pieces of bunk from Lowe’s will cost you that much.  Second it has a good cooking capacity.  Third while it is simple to use it does introduce the budding pitmaster to fire and air flow management.  Fourth it helps the cook to learn the valuable trait of trusting time, fire and smoke to do the job without messing with the meat too much.  Fifth, its made in America and I can’t think of another complete functioning pit at this price point that is also made here.

Many people would recommend a pellet pit for a first pit but I just don’t think pellet pits or any device that controls the airflow and fuel for you helps make you a pitmaster.  That’s not to say you can’t create great food on them, but there is no way to learn the essentials of being a pitmaster if you are not actively managing that fire in my opinion.  I know I will get hate mail over that statement, but remember I come from a family who did barbecue for many, many years without the use of a thermometer or fans and burned down wood into coals.  The only tools my grandfather needed to be an amazing pitmaster was his trusty shovel and his old cinder block pit.  Never once saw him use anything else.  His lack of tools (read crutches) helped him develop those instincts that are so crucial to a pitmaster.  That my friends is being a pitmaster to me.

Don’t get me wrong, the PBC is dead easy to use.  Essentially you light the fire and walk away,  but it at least gets the pitmaster introduced to good old charcoal as a fuel and forces them to not rely on a temp gauge or digital control.  PBC will run at 275 degrees for 7hrs on a basket of charcoal without much fuss at all and turns out a fantastic product.

I could go on and on about the PBC and why I recommend it, but I think Meathead Goldwynn over at Amazing Ribs.com does a pretty comprehensive job at covering it:  http://amazingribs.com/bbq_equipment_reviews_ratings/smoker-pizza-oven/pit-barrel-cooker  and John Dawson with Patio Daddio also has wrote extensively about the PBC: http://www.patiodaddiobbq.com/2012/07/competition-bbq-pit-barrel-style.html

With that we called up Noah and Amber at PBC and placed the order.  They graciously decided to sponsor part of the contest with us.  The ordering process was dead easy and Noah and Amber are great people to work with.

Next to be a pitmaster in training you need a good temperature reading device.  I love my Thermapen even though my grandfather would have quickly laughed at how much I paid.  I now have learned to cook more by feel, but I always check my competition meats with a high accuracy thermometer.  So given that, the fine folks at Thermoworks gave us approval to give away one of their top of the line Chef Alarm units.

I won’t completely steal Mike’s thunder as he is doing a review of the unit as we speak.  But I will tell you this, no tricks were missed in the development of this beauty.  It’s a professional piece of gear all the way and all a budding pitmaster needs to help him dial in that time and temp aspect of cooking.  For $60 its a great value and worth the investment.

After some more discussion Mike and decided we should give away this awesome kit live at the Kentucky State Barbecue Festival in Danville, Ky on September 7th.  This is the last day of the event and we figured it would be fantastic to do the announcement on stage there since it is one of our favorite events each year.  This is our favorite event because we get to feed about 50,000 of our closest friends, fans, family and cook right along side the likes of Brad Simmons, Carey Bringle, Craig Kimmel, Mike Mills, Moe Cason and Shelly Fritch.  All superstars in their own right and we are humbled each year to cook with them.

This planted the next seed of what we should include.  The Danville area is home to one of my favorite snacks, Pap’s Beef Sticks and Pap’s CEO Rick Waldon.  So I called up Rick and asked him if he wanted in.  He was quick to pull the trigger and offered up a bevy of beef snacks to keep any pitmaster satisfied on those long cooks.  Go check out the Meat Maniac on the Pap’s site.  Seriously if you have not tried Pap’s, go order some or go tell your favorite store to carry some.  It’s seriously the best beef jerky around.  My personal favorite is the Pitmasters Barbecue, it is a awesome mix of smoky, sweet and heat.  Not to mention Pap’s ensures only the highest quality US beef is used.  Pap’s is legit and if you win this prize pack you will know why.

By now you have to be asking, well that is all fine and good but what does Draper’s BBQ bring to the table in this contest.  Well, we figure you have the pit to cook on, the thermometer to tell when it is done and even snacks to keep you happy while you cook.  So we are there to fill in the remaining gaps.  You will need some great rubs for your meat, so you get 1lb of our A.P. Rub and 1lb of our Moo’d Enhancer.  You need sauce to top that meat with, so you get a gallon of our Smokin’ Sauce.  But you also need something to keep the sun out of your eyes while you cook, so you also get one of our team caps.  These hats are nice adjustable flex fit hats with our logo embroidered on them so you can be apart of the DBQ crew.  We also toss in enough charcoal for your first several cooks on the PBC.

If you have been keeping up with the prices, this is a prize pack worth over $550 delivered to your door.  If you are within a reasonable driving distance we will deliver the prize pack personally.  All you need now is some meat, some free time, a frosty beverage of your choosing and a lighter and you are ready to start your trek towards pitmaster enlightenment.

So now you have to be wondering how do I enter?  Well, stay tuned.  July 25th at 5pm Central time the contest will go live on the Draper’s BBQ FB page and Mike will post the rules on our blog.  All you have to do to enter is Like our Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/DrapersBBQ  That’s it, we have made it simple.  Because it is so simple we would greatly appreciate it if you shared our page to your friends after you like it.  If you are one of the 830 people who have already liked our page you are already entered but again we would greatly, greatly appreciate you sharing our page as often as you can to help us out.

If this contest successfully generates the results we are looking for we want to do something like this once a quarter.  Mostly because we just like giving stuff away and making people happy, but also because we have LOTS of things coming up including a new video series that Mike and I are ironing out that we want everyone to see.  Draper’s is being reborn and we want to share everything with as many people as possible, so stay tuned!

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The Art of the Reverse Sear.

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Some times you try new cooking techniques because you want to make something better, or easier than before.  Some times you do things out of necessity.  Rarely do both occur on the same attempt.  Last weekend my local grocery store, had Hereford Tri-Tip roasts and Duroc pork shoulders on sale for 50% off of regular price. This sale made the Tri-Tips $3.55 per lb (usually $7-8) and the shoulders $1.55 (usually over $3) per pound.  Unheard of prices for these 2 items.  I purchased about $200 worth of meat for $100.  I had the desire to cook a Tri-Tip that night as I had not cooked one all winter.  I have 2 sons with activities on the weekends and I really did not have time to tend a grill for 30 minutes to a hour and cook this wonderful piece of meat.  I thought this would be a great chance to try out reverse searing this steak.  I had heard of the reverse sear before and knew that a Tri-Tip would be the perfect cut of meat to use this technique on.  I scoured the web for about 15 minutes and found some information  on how to do the reverse sear with a Tri-Tip and I was ready to go.

Seasoned Tri-Tip on the smoker.

Seasoned Tri-Tip on the smoker.

My son and I trimmed and seasoned the Tri-Tip.  Nothing 2 complicated.  It consisted of garlic salt, Western Sizzle steak seasoning and a BBQ rub that I will have a review on in a couple of weeks.  I prepped the pellet cooker, set the temp for 275 degrees and I was ready to start cooking.  I placed my thermometer probe in the thickest side of the meat.  I wanted to reach an internal temperature of 130 degrees before I moved it over to the propane grill to finish it off.  Once on the pellet grill, I left it in the hands of my wife to watch while my sonsand I ran an errand.  The thermometer was set to sound and alarm at 120 and my wife called me home when it went off after about 45 minutes.  When I arrived back home the steak was at 132 degrees and I moved it to my propane grill to finish off.  After grilling (searing) for 15 to 20 minutes more the Tri-Tip was at the desired temp of 145 degrees.  I took it off and waited for it to rest for 15 more minutes to slice it.

Reverse seared Tri-Tip ready for slicing.

Reverse seared Tri-Tip ready for slicing.

Now that I have told my story let me explain want a reverse sear is.  Normally when grilling you sear first and lock in the juices and form a crust on the meat then you cook the meat indirectly until you reach your desired temperature.  With reverse searing, you indirect cook first until the meat reaches a desired temp then you sear at the end to for a crust and finish the meat off.  What I got when I reversed seared was a tenderer steak, a juicier steak and a steak that had more flavor because I was allowed to add smoke into the cooking process.  My meat had a more uniform temperature throughout giving it uniform color except at the ends where it was slightly less rare.  Here is an infographic to explain.

If you added a smoke ring to the example on the right, this is what my steak looked like.

If you added a red smoke ring to the example on the right, this is what my steak looked like.

The reverse sear is not a hard technique to learn or accomplish.  Cook low and slow first the finish hot and fast.  If you watch your temps close nothing will go wrong and you will be rewarded with the juiciest, most flavorful Tri-Tip you have ever eaten.

 

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Vacation Grillin’

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This past week my wife put her foot down and demanded a vacation.  You know those weird things where people/families get time alone together minus distraction, work, phones, email, texts, Facebook…..needless to say I am one of those people who are not good at vacation.  I am good at pretty much everything else, but too much down time with nothing productive to do and I start going crazy in a hurry.

So like a good husband who had been voluntold what to do, I of course packed the truck.  I was told that there would be internet at this cabin, I realize now in retrospect this was a well played ruse to get me to go.  I was fortunate to have cell signal, so internet was pushing it.  I was also told there was a grill there, even though it was a gas grill I at least had something to cook on.  I gave a few minutes of thought about taking a grill or barbecue pit with us, but I didn’t want to make the boss angry.  So I opted for tossing some cherry Mojobricks, a pound of AP Rub and a bottle of Smokin’ Sauce in a bag and away we went to Lake Barkley and our little cabin in the hills.

I will forego the complete retelling of all the madness that was our time on Lake Barkley and instead concentrate on the first meal I had to cook on the grill our first night there.

I remind you I was indeed told that it was a gas grill so I knew going in I would be hampered.  I know, I know I risk sounding like a barbecue snob but let’s be honest 90% of contraptions that are fired by gas and also sold at big box home improvement stores are terrible.  As soon as I got out of my truck I was greeted with the site of what would become the bane of my culinary existence over the next few days, the Char-Broil Classic C-210L.   I knew immediately my chances for turning out non-charred food was minimal.  All I could think was that somehow I must be on a Twighlight Zone version of Chopped or something.  To a grill lover this was the highest form of culinary handicap and unjust on many levels.  Never the less a menu had to be made and food had to be cooked as I refused to cook any of the main dishes inside on the stove during the vacation.

We unpacked and I took a minute to take full stock of the kitchen utensils and the state of the grill.  As you can see from the picture above the utensils were lacking severely and I also found that the ignitor on the grill was broken and I had nothing to start a fire with.  So I did what any man would do, I turned the stove burner on high and lit a piece of cardboard on fire and carried it out to the grill to see if it would at least light.  The burners on the grill at least seemed to be in good working order, it could use a solid cleaning but at least it made fire.

After the dry run it was time to make a grocery list and run out to the store to pick up food.  I decided that everything that was to be cooked on the grill would have to be higher heat short cook time foods.  I put chicken wings, pork steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs and things like that on my list and I knew my in-laws were coming to visit us and bringing ribeyes and all the sides one evening as well.  I already hated the idea of cooking some nice hand cut steaks on this contraption, but it was a bridge I would have to cross later.  Unfortunately, the store didn’t have wings at a reasonable price, rather at a price I was willing to pay for these particular wings anyway.  So I opted for some nice sized chicken leg quarters that were on sale.  I knew these would have to cook longer but decided the savings in the wallet were worth the risk.

Once home it was time to prep the chicken and get ready to start the meal.  I tossed several Mojobricks in the grill around the burner.  I knew they would burn up somewhat quickly but I needed to at least try to impart some resemblance of real smoke flavor into the chicken.  In the pic below you can see the Mojobrick starting to catch fire. You will also notice the burnt cardboard ashes that were used to start the fire and just how dirty this pit was.

I gave the chicken a light coat of AP Rub and tossed them on the fire.  As you can see these were pretty good sized leg quarters.  I then closed the lid and it didn’t take very long at all for the Mojobricks to start filling the air with a great cherry smoke smell.  The pic below gives you a good idea just how much smoke a few Mojo’s can put out.

It was about 20 seconds after the pic above was taken that I learned two things.  First, just how fast a small grill comes up to temp.  Second, how fast a small, dirty gas grill can turn into a bon fire.  I ran and got a large cup of water and kept it on standby from that point on. It was typical to go through two to three glasses of water during each cook.  Anything that hit the drip plate and rolled off dripped right onto the gas flame igniting a healthy flare up each time.  I couldn’t ever get more than about an arms length away from this pit due to flare ups.

Toward end of this first cook I gave up and decided to put the chicken in a pan for it to finish.  This actually worked quite well.  I wish I had figured it out sooner and I’m sure the chicken would have been void of the few char spots it had.  Truth be told though, I like a little bit of char so I wasn’t complaining that much.

I have to admit that I left my trusty Thermapen at home for this trip and it was sorely missed during this cook.  With the flare ups and not knowing what temp the grill was actually cooking at I had no choice but to separate the leg quarter at the joint to get a look at if it was done or not.  Thankfully it was indeed done, if not just a touch over done.  That’s not to say the chicken was dry, but had I left it on for another 10 minutes it likely would have been.

Once I verified the chicken was done I gave it a nice slathering of Smokin’ Sauce and I shut off the gas to the grill and left the lid closed so the sauce could set.

As you can see it’s not the sexiest yardbird ever cooked, but you know what it was kind of nice to eat good ole “regular joe” barbecue.  It had some char to it.  It was just the slightest bit over cooked.  It wasn’t evenly sauced.  It was…..good.  It was just good chicken.  It was refreshing to be reminded what just good barbecued/grilled chicken tasted like. It didn’t require a muffin pan or a bottle of blue butter.  It lacked pretentiousness and fussiness, but it didn’t lack flavor and in the end that is a destination that we should all travel to while on vacation.

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Father’s Day Gifts – 2012

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Ok everyone one and their play cousin has published a Father’s Day Gift Guide already. In typical Draper’s fashion we are one of the last to post our recommendations.  It’s ok to save the best and most comprehensive for last though.  You would expect a barbecue company to give a Father’s Day Gift Guide chocked full of grilling related items, accessories and sauces.  You will find some of those here, but being the renaissance men that we are, we wanted to provide you  a list of items that addresses all the parts of good ole dad.  Dad isn’t a one dimensional guy and while he may love barbecue and grilling the most we are betting he also has a humorous side and an intellectual side as well.  So our gift guide was designed to address every side of your special guy’s persona and give you ideas in which we know he would love.

Idea 1 – T-Shirts

Before you think we’ve lost our marbles and have gone all cheap on dear ole dad hear us out.  If your dad is stuck in khakis or slacks and a button down all day, at that 9 to 5 grind he calls a job to put you through school, then I can promise you one of his favorite things to do is put on a pair shorts, a t-shirt and some comfy shoes and chill out.  To add to that putting on a funny t-shirt only makes it better.  So check out some of our favorites from Tanga.com all of which are under $10!

Idea 2 – Bacon

Dad understands that bacon is not a food it’s a lifestyle and we believe it’s one that should be celebrated in every way possible.  We firmly believe nothing says “I love you” quite like bacon.  So here are just some accessories that will be sure to please the giver-o-the-allowance.  If you want even more, even crazier gifts just Google “Bacon Gifts.”

The Bacon Wallet

Bacon Wallet – Because its cool! – $9

Bacon Hot Sauce

Bacon Hot Sauce – What’s better than bacon? HOT BACON! – $7

Bacon Bandages

Bacon Bandages – Because sometimes dad’s Ninja impersonation ends badly. – $5

Bacon Wrapping Paper

Bacon Wrapping Paper – Why? Because EVERYTHING should be wrapped in bacon. – $6

Baconnaise

Baconnaise – Want the ultimate BLT? Then you need this! – $15

 Idea 3 – Tech

Every dad is a tech dude to a certain extent, yes we know he still can’t program the correct time on the 15yr old VCR but we promise he will like these tech gifts.

Logitech Harmony 650

Logitech Harmony 650 – Because he deserves the remote control at all times! – $60

 Klipsch IMAGE S4 Earbuds

Klipsch IMAGE S4 Ear buds – Because yes your mother does talk too much…. sometimes.  shhh Dont tell! – $65

Roku LT Streaming Player

Roku LT – A Roku of his very own! He will love recording his favorite bbq shows on this! – $50

Idea 4 – Grilling

We know your dad is already the Greatest of the Grill Grates but just in case he isn’t or perhaps he just doesn’t have these items then you know what to do.  HOOK HIM UP!  These are the our personal favorite things from around the grill and we know your dad will love them as well.

Thermapen

Thermapen – Super fast and now even cooler! – $96

Firewire - Flexible Skewers

Firewire Flexible Skewers – These are awesome for those bbq grills that are tight on space! – $10

Victorinox Knives

Victorinox Knife Set – If dad travels to bbq competitions this is a fantastic set of knives to have! – $130

Grill Grate

Grill Grates – There arent many universal bbq tools that make everyone a better cook but this is one of them! – $55

MeatRakes

MeatRakes – Help dad stop fingering his food and RAKE some MEAT. – $20

Draper’s BBQ Moo’d Enhancer with Shaker – No list would be complete without some Draper’s products. This package contains our super successful beef rub and the best shaker dad will ever have! – $20

Yoder YS-640 Pellet Smoker

Yoder YS-640 Smoker – This smoker got the most votes on our panel for its combination of cooking size, features, build quality and pricing. – Starting at $1300

Idea 5 – Books

Before you start saying “books??? LAME!” Just wait and hear us out.  These aren’t regular books, they are reference/recipe books and are of course barbecue related.  These books represent a mix of our personal favorites along with the best that has been released this year.  I can promise dad will thumb through these books over and over again getting ideas and inspiration for his barbecue.  What we love about books is that they work just as well in great weather as they do in bad.  They are a year round gift that keeps us inspired and thinking about what we really love, barbecue.  🙂  Oh don’t cry we still love you too.

Grilling & Barbecue - Cooks IllustratedSlow Fire by Dr. BBQ - Ray LampeWicked Good Barbecue - A. Husbands & C. HartBeerlicious - Ted Reader

Alright kids that pretty well covers it.  If you can’t find something on this list for the older dude in your house you call dad, well you just aren’t looking very hard.  We did our best to cover a wide price range and provide you with gifts that any dad would love to have.  In the end though we dads would prefer spending the day just hanging out, manning the grill cooking up something for those that love us and call us dad.  Of course doing that on a new pellet smoker, drinking a nice cold and frosty beverage, using new barbecue tools, to cooking up a new recipe from a book you got us wouldn’t be all that bad either.

Peace, Love and Pork Grease to all the men out there who go the extra mile to be involved in their families lives and earn the title Dad.

– Draper’s BBQ Staff

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Thermoworks TW8060 Review

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I was recently given the opportunity to review a couple of products by Thermoworks.  Being a near-religious user of their Thermapen I quickly agreed.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I cherish my orange Thermapen.  I have stopped using any other thermometer.  I became such a big fan of this device this summer.  I put off paying the money for a Thermapen for the past couple of years, trying my best to ignore the posts on different forums saying just how amazing these units are. I finally broke down and bought myself one and I am glad I did.  I often equate the Thermapen to Tivo.  No, it’s not required to watch TV, but once you have it you really can’t imagine NOT having it.  That is exactly how I feel about my Thermapen.  It’s not that I can’t cook without it, it’s that I won’t.  I can check a whole pit of chicken halves (around 50) in the time it would take me to accurately check about 10 with any other so called “quick read” device.  The Thermapen is literally the only thermometer that I believe earns the moniker of quick read.  To say I have high expectations of everything from Thermoworks is fair and accurate. So, as you can imagine, I was anxious to test the TW8060!

The kit I was sent was the special kit that included the Smokehouse Probe (item 113-177) and the High Temp Alligator Clip Probe  (8468-22).  

What Thermoworks Has To Say

Let’s start the review with what Thermoworks has to say about the TW8060:  “Our new TW8060 is a simple-to-use 2-channel thermocouple alarm thermometer with convenient backlit display. An ideal cooking thermometer, the TW8060 can monitor your food item and the oven temperature simultaneously and alert you when it’s done. Also records Max and Min temperatures of both channels so you’ll know what limits were reached during your process. A handy tool in a small, compact package. Uses type K thermocouples so high temperatures are not a problem. Choose from hundreds of probes.

Great tool for BBQing. Insert one probe into meat and the other can be used to monitor the grill temp, or smoker. As featured on Alton Brown’s Good Eats recent BBQ special “Right on Q” (click here to read more about it on our blog).” 

Sounds like a great unit and hey if it’s good enough for a near cult legend like Alton Brown who is known for his kitchen gadgetry then it probably is going to meet or exceed the average Joe’s needs and expectations.

First impressions of the TW8060  

The first thing you will notice when you unbox this unit is that it’s not like most other thermometer-probe units.  This one feels a bit more like an instrument.  What do I mean by that?  The TW8060 gives you the impression it was once used for something much more complex and strenuous than just reading the current temp of your Big Green Egg and your brisket at the same time.  The screen of the TW8060 is initially protected by a clear sticker that proclaims “Environmental Instrument.”  You can tell this unit was likely adapted from commercial, industrial or business use and, if you cook as much as I do, that is a very good thing.    

The unit itself isn’t overly large or heavy.  It fits the hand nicely and has a very nice easy to read screen.  There are 6 buttons which appear very self explanatory.  Overall, a smart design that looks  fairly easy to use.  The unit also has as dust cover that goes on top of it to keep debris out of the ports where the probes connect.

The next thing I noticed were the probes. They are awesome and deserve their own section breaking down just how great they are.  Fortunately, the next section does just that.


Probing The Issue

It is fair to say there is as much money in the probes of the test unit I was sent as the device itself.  You can tell.  These probes are awesome and easily the nicest I’ve ever seen.  The gauge of wire used is much thicker than that of other probes. The protective shielding is stronger and they use a two prong positive / negative connector which I have never seen.  Typically probes use a 3.5mm headphone jack style connector.  

The two prong connectors intrigued me enough that I actually requested to be put in touch with a engineer at Thermoworks so I could “probe deeper into the issue” (say it like Dr. Evil and that’s mildly funny).  The response I got back was:

“The connectors are different because the TW8060 uses “Standard” industry Mini Thermocouple probes rather than Thermistors. Most other oven Thermometers use Thermistors, just like the TW362B with the stereo plug jack.

We decided to use Thermocouples due to the temperature use range, durability, more water resistant, and larger selection of uses, etc. (The 362XX probe thermistor sensor – for example – will fail if heavy steam seeps into the sensor. A Thermocouple would not be affected in the same environment.)”

The next thing I noticed concerned the pit temp probe.  This is the first probe I’ve ever seen (I understand there may be others) with an integrated clip that is intended to hold the probe exactly where you want it.  In fact the thermocouple itself is located at the very tip of the alligator clip.  I can’t tell you how many times I needed something like this.  Putting a pit probe in your bbq contraption is one thing but putting it EXACTLY where you want it and knowing it will stay there is a huge advantage.

Because of how precise the placement of the pit probe could be, I decided to do a test cook on our Ole Hickory CTO.  I did so only because I have always wondered what the temp variance was between the 4 racks and also from front to back on each rack.  This is the first device that allowed me to accurately measure this difference.  Now, armed with this information, I have a much better idea where and where to place different cuts of meat for different results.  This is a big deal for pit masters, especially those of us who are starting to move to the “hot and fast” cooking method.

The next thing to note about the probes is the length.  This has long been my biggest complaint about most units.  The probes are usually just long enough be awkward.  It’s safe to say that Thermoworks has decided to err on the side of making sure there is enough length on the probes.  The meat probe is right at 6ft long which is plenty for most any pit.  The pit temp probe I was sent is 8ft which is awesome.  So many times, especially on larger pits, I have actually run a completely different thermometer if I needed to read something on the opposite side of the pit.  I don’t foresee that being a problem here.  

As you can see from the pic above I have the probes inside the pit with the doors closed and then I extended the connector, backing away from the pit until the wire was taught before taking the picture.   To give you an idea of scale the CTO is right at 5ft tall.  So yeah the probes are pretty darned long.

One last thing to note is the thickness of the meat probe they sent.  Holy cow this thing is built to last.  I have personally bent a couple of probes while cooking whole hog and hams.  This is something I can honestly say I don’t think could ever happen with this unit.  Notice the probe in relation to the brisket in the pic below.  This is a smaller brisket but you can get the idea.  

Wanna See My Unit

I know I mentioned in passing earlier about how nice and big the display is on this unit.  It really does deserve to be highlighted.  You can see in the pic below just how easy the display is on the eyes.  Also the display has a back light for low light conditions.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get a pic to turn out quite right, but the light is very good and does work very well.  The only way I could imagine the back light being better is if it used some sort of Indiglo like Timex uses.  It’s not needed though, the light really does the job well.

Also note in the pic the 6 buttons of the device. Being a stubborn guy (“guy” being the operative word) I was able to use the device without referring to the manual.  I did go back and do a quick read through of the manual after I finished testing, though.  Thermoworks did an absolutely outstanding manual for the Thermapen.  This manual isn’t as educational, but is very easy to understand and use.

I think it is important to highlight the speed in the readings on this unit as well.  Immediate response is a very accurate description.  I wish I had a video to show just how quick the thermocouples used in the TW8060 respond to changes in temp and how fast that is displayed.  Had I thought more about it I would have staged a race between my orange Thermapen and the TW8060.  I have to say I think the TW8060 might just have an edge in the speed department.  So what color is the fastest Thermapen?  Grey and Yellow :).  I know its an unfair comparison as the Thermapen is a compact unit and the TW8060 isn’t.  I just wanted everyone to understand just how fast this unit is.  Thermoworks hit another home run in this department.

Function, Function What’s Your Function

Ok, so by now you know I like this unit, how well it is built and some of the features, but none of that really covers how it works.  Here is where I won’t belabor any points.  If you have a bbq pit or have ever cooked a Thanksgiving turkey you know how these units typically work.  You jab the beast with a probe, set the temp you want to get an alarm at and go grab a beer on your way back to watching the football game.  At least that is what I do.  This unit functions as it should and it is easy to set up.  

There are a few things that should be noted that might be missed by the average user.  First I really like that it has a high and low temp alarm as most units don’t.  Second is the temp range of this unit, it can read from -328 to 2372°F (-200 to 1300°C).  Can I get a WOW on that one?  Third is the accuracy of the reading.  This unit has no more than a +/- of .02% rate of error at any degree and most of its range it is within a .01%.  Again AMAZING and it makes you wonder why more companies don’t use thermocouples.  Next this unit includes a Max/Min function. While the unit is powered on, it will continuously record the maximum and minimum recorded temperature. The Max/Min temperatures will be stored until they are cleared by the user, even if the power is shut off.  I’m not 100% sure how I will use this handy power, but I am sure it will be useful and it is not included on any of my other units.  Finally, some kudos should be given to Thermoworks for using industry standard probes and offering a good mix of them to the end user on their website.  This allows the end user to configure the TW8060 exactly the way they want it and even have spare or different probes available as their needs change.  It’s a small thing but a good thing.

There are only two places I would have to ding this unit.  First is that it does not have a 2 channel alarm and it should, especially considering the cost of entry on the unit.  The alarm only covers channel 1, so note that before buying.  I think this is something that could be easily remedied in future revisions of the product and, given the product cost, Thermoworks should address it.  Next, it should ship with some sort of stand that keeps the unit upright.  There is a great one that is available as an add-on, but again, for the money it should be included, in my humblest of opinions.  

What I Liked

– Speed, this thing is fast and a performer.

– Design, well made near industrial quality that is still easy to use.

– The probes, easily the best I have ever seen.  Cannot say enough about how excellent these probes are compared to any other’s I have used.

– Screen, easily readable even in low light due to back light feature.

– Dust / debris cover for the top of the unit for when it is not in use.

– Functionality that I’ve never seen in any other unit, Max/Min feature is an excellent idea.

– Range of readings is nothing short of exceptional.

– Good list of accessories,  including different probes that allow the end user to set up this unit just the way they want, an awesome case and a very cool stand.

What Could Be Improved

It’s fair to admit that I am not often easily impressed, nor do I review any product without mentioning places for improvement, so understand some of these improvements could be considered a little “nit picky” by some.  That said, here are my suggested improvements:

1 – Alarm on both channels.  Why?  To be such a high end unit it just seems logical to have an alarm on both channels

2 – Positive lock for the yellow probe connectors.  While this isn’t completely necessary I think it would be nice to have.  Maybe the dust cover could be altered in a way where it could stay on the unit while the probes are inserted.  This unit is expensive and I would hate to see it accidentally picked up by the probe wires and the unit disconnect and fall to the ground.

3 – Magnet on the back of the unit.  Why?  Because most bbq pits are metal and it would make sense to be able to stick the unit on the side of your smoker out of the way until you need it.  At least use the attachment point on the back of unit and develop a magnet that could be sold as an accessory.

4 – Ship from factory with a stand.  Again this is an expensive unit and for the price it would be nice to have.  There is an awesome stand available as an accessory that I will be purchasing.  

I don’t want to end the review of this unit on anything less than a positive note.  I am a believer in the TW8060 and pretty much anything that Thermoworks decides to produce.  In fact I believe in Thermoworks products so much I have literally bought a Thermapen for everyone who cooks with me.  Yes, that is a lot of money, but when you cook for the public at large events serving something that’s raw can cost you even more.  We as a company trust Thermoworks.  The bottom line on the TW8060 is that it is what I expect from Thermoworks:  A fine product that does the job.  No it’s not the cheapest product, but it is one of the best in many categories.  Go check out the TW8060. Oh, and tell the folks at Thermoworks that I sent you.

 

 

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