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The Ugly Brothers Grillosophy

We Hold These Truths to be Self Evident:

1) If we weren't suppose to eat animals, how come they're made of meat?
2) Slow smoked pig meat is best.
3) When you think you've added too much garlic, add some more.
4) Everything is better if it has been brined.
5) A Weber is a damn good grill, but it is NOT a BBQ.
6) If you can own only one grill or smoker, get the Big Green Egg
CNBC TV Steals & Deals interview with Les Burden, Jr.
7) What Westerners call smoking Southerners call BBQ and what Westerners call BBQ Southerners call grilling. Northerners don't make these distinctions because they just can't cook.

Things you
Want to do when you Barbeque

  • Defrost your meat in a microwave. You'll inadvertently cook part of it and it won't live up to its full potential. Defrost it slowly in the refrigerator, even if it takes a couple of days.
  • Pre-boil pork ribs. Many people do this to help make their ribs more tender, and it does. However, it also boils away much of the flavor. Cook your pork ribs low and slow, be patient with them and they will reward you in kind.
  • Use softwood of softwood charcoal. Soft woods such as pine will give your meat a taste of resin. Hardwoods such as oak, hickory, mesquite, pecan, or fruit are superior. Big Green Egg Lump Hardwood, Royal Oak or other charcoals marked as "hardwood charcoal" will burn better and cleaner than other charcoals.
  • Use Match Lite charcoal. Match Lite, E-Z Lite or other charcoals that contain petroleum products will give your meat the taste of fuel.
  • Start your fire with petroleum fuel starters. A charcoal chimney is an easy effiecent way to start your fire without any petroleum products. You will not have any trace of fuel flavor to your meat.
  • Pour fuel onto a fire when you already have meat on the grill. We told you not to use petroleum products to start your fire but, if didn't listen and you feel you need to crank up your fire by putting more your a real fool so please logoff from this site immediately! This sounds pretty obvious but we have seen amateurs and professionals do it! We have even witnessed this a barbeque competitions. If you feel you must practice this ill-advise procedure than you might as well pour fuel directly onto your meat.



If your gonna smoke meat ya gotta have the right tools. This means a barbeque and the right accessories. Below are a few recommendations the Ugly Brothers find most helpful.


 The Big Green Egg. Adapted from the ancient Japanese Kamodo barbeque, the Big Green Egg is an American made ceramic lined charcoal smoker/barbeque that easily maintains heat. Perfect for large, slow cooked cuts such as pork butt, brisket, and turkeys.

See below for some historical notes and rationalizations and fire building techniques regarding this style of smoker/grill.

The Australian Turbo Grill by Barbeques Galore. Natural/LP gas. 5 burners of scorching manliness, this is the Ugly Brothers choice for daily grilling. Extremely macho, why mess with anything less?


Digital internal meat thermometers offer a great way to accurately monitor what's going on inside your meat. They can also be used accurately measure the temperature on the grill surface by poking the probe through a potato and placing that directly on the grill. The Ugly Brothers recommend you have at least two of these wonderful devices.
Meat injectors are sort of like veterinary syringes for for dead meat. Use these to inject seasoning/cure into large cuts of meat, turkeys, etc. before cooking. Very popular for fried turkey and home made ham, the Ugly Brothers like to inject brisket and tri-tip also.

If what you're looking for is not here, you may want to check our On-Line Catalog.

Wondering how to smoke your meat? The Ugly Brothers Smoking Reference Chart is a good starting point.


CHARCOAL - This is more important than may folks think! Charcoal is not just a heat source, it is also adds flavor, that's why good charcoal can have a profound effect on the taste of your meat. For best results always use HARDWOOD CHARCOAL. Charcoal made from soft woods tend to give a faint sappy taste to the meat. How can you tell if it's hardwood charcoal? Because the manufacturer will tell you, that's how, they will boast about it! Only buy charcoal that says its made from 100% hardwood such as oak.
  Petroleum Based Starters - Don't like 'em. Never did, never will. Charcoal lighter fluid, fire starters and match light charcoal all tend to add the flavor of fuel to the meat. The best way to start charcoal with out the petro-chemical flavor is to use a charcoal chimney, such as Weber's Chimney Starter, which allows you to use paper to start the charcoal. Some folks will even put the chimney starter over an outdoor propane to get it goin' even faster!

Fire Building Techniques
for the Big Green Egg

The heavy ceramic insulation of the Big Green Egg allows it to retain much of the heat and moisture that would otherwise evaporate from more popular steel walled smokers. Small fires built in the BGE can burn for hours consuming very little fuel.

Perhaps the biggest mistake is to light a big fire in the BGE as many do in a steel smoker. OK, OK, OK, this would be great if you were cooking steaks, but for slow smoking this will create a hot fire which will be difficult to bring down. What wewant to do for slow smoking is to create a small fire which we can more easily regulate.

To achieve this place the desired amount of hardwood charcoal in the BGE, placing larger chunks on the bottom. For longer cooking items you will want to place enough hardwood charcoal in the BGE fire box to set the level above the side air holes.

Start about 15 hardwood briquettes in a charcoal chimney. These are the only briquettes you are allowed to use; the primary charcoal for your BGE should be lump hardwood charcoal. When they are completely ignited, place about 10 of them in the firebox, distributing them evenly. Close the lid on the BGE and allow the fire to burn for about 5 minutes with the bottom vent about half way open and the top vent open full. After this, close the bottom vent to about 1/2-inch and close the top vent at least 3/4 of the way. In a short while the temperature will rise and level off. For slow smoked meats such as brisket, butts and ribs we are shooting for a smoker temperature of approximately 190-200°F. Adjust the vents accordingly to raise or lower the temperature.

A smaller fire such as this will burn for long periods in the BGE, spreading slowly to the unlit charcoal and giving you a good 12 hours of constant heat. There should be no need to re-fuel the fire unless you are working under EXTREME conditions of cold and wind. If you are working under such conditions take comfort in the fact that a steel walled smoker would have required constant attention and would have been difficult to get up to temperature!



  • Hardwood charcoal only!
  • E-Z light briquettes NO WAY! You will taste the fuel.
  • Mesquite charcoal & chips use sparingly. Blend mesquite with other hardwood charcoals.
  • You can insert a smaller rack above the fire which can hold a water pan (for keeping a moist environment) or pizza stone (as a heat deflector).


Why The Big Green Egg?

You probably have wondered why the Ugly Bothers cook for competitions exclusively in the Big Green Egg. The answer is obvious, it is the best. In fact often I have been asked ...

Bud, what is the Big Green Egg.... is it a barbeque or a grill?

It's both and it's a tandoor oven.

GRILLING (which is referred to as BBQ by most people outside the South) is what most folks enjoy on their Weber Kettle or other charcoal or propane brazier. Grilling is the method of cooking whereby the meat is cooked over direct, intense flame, usually 500 degrees F or higher. Meats are cooked quickly and often are enjoyed seared on the outside, rare and juicy on the inside.

BARBEQUE is low, slow and moist. In a BBQ, meats are cooked slowly with indirect heat in an enclosed cooker which allows the moist hardwood smoke to penetrate the meat. BBQ temperatures range from about 170 to 250 degrees F and can take 12 or more hours to cook a brisket or pork butt. At the end of the process truly BBQ'd meat will well done, rendered free of fat, tender from the breakdown of the connective tissue and will show a distinctive pink "smoke ring" which indicates how deeply the smoke has penetrated the meat.

TANDOOR ovens are big, fired clay pots with a small hole on the bottom for feeding and ventilating the fire. They are capable of maintaining heat at stable temperatures for long periods of time due to the thick clay insulation. The tandoor originated in Babylonia as the tinuru and spread to ancient Egypt and throughout the Middle East and Asia. In India they are used for cooking breads and barbequing the spicy red chicken best known in this country and Europe as "tandoori chicken".

The BIG GREEN EGG is adapted from the Japanese Kamodo barbeque, a variation of the the tandoor, a design going back 3000 years! The Big Green Egg can be used as a grill by cooking over a hot fire with the vents wide open, it can be used as a BBQ by dampening the vents to maintain a low constant temperature over long periods of time and hey, it's a tandoor also! That's why Les Burden, Jr. has said... "If you can only own only one grill or smoker, get the Big Green Egg!"


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