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If you’re just getting into BBQ and you want to up your game and produce good, consistent results, these three tips will help take you to the next level.

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1: Buy an Instant Read Thermometer

There are a bunch of different types on the market, but the one that I like best is the one I have the most history using, the ThermoWorks Thermapen.

It’s important to use an instant read thermometer because when you open up the pit to check on your food, you want to make sure that you’re not letting all the heat escape. With a thermometer like the Thermapen, you can get in, check your temperature, and get back to cooking right away without throwing off your entire cook.

The other great thing about the instant read is that you don’t have a lot of time to pull off a steak at a perfect medium rare. You have to get an accurate temperature quick to make sure you pull the meat off of the heat at the right time.

2: Find a Go-To Seasoning

When you’re grilling, the flavor comes from three things: the meat, the smoke, and the seasoning. The right seasoning is the wow factor that really takes your meat from good to great.

Of course, I really like our own blend, GQue BBQ The Rub, for my cooks. It’s got a good balance of sweet, salty, and savory and it compliments anything you put it on without overpowering the other flavors.

There are also all kinds of other amazing seasonings out there. Find one that you really like that works as an all-around seasoning for everything you cook and you eliminate the risk of using something that you may or may not like and you can always experiment with other types when you feel up to it.

3: Cook on What You Know

It’s easy to fall into the trap of keeping up with the Jones’ and always buying the latest and greatest thing, but the best cook doesn’t come from the most expensive grill, it comes from the grill you’re most comfortable with.

Each grill has its own quirks and the only way to learn how your grill works is to keep using it. I recommend doing the biscuit test on any new grill you buy or even give it a shot on your old one if you’ve never done it, you may learn something new. Pay attention to the hot and cool spots and how they effect each of your cooks.

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