Grill Armor Gloves Help Protect the Backyard Pitmaster

Link to Purchase

Monk: Years ago when I did my whole hog party in my backyard, I ended up borrowing a pair of heat resistant gloves from my neighbor that came in super handy when Speedy and I had to unexpectedly move our burn barrel in the middle of the night (yes, you read that right). I returned the gloves the next day and didn’t think to ask the brand or even look into getting a pair for myself.

That was over 5 years ago but I recently came across a brand called Grill Armor Gloves and they look to fit the bill when it comes to a heat resistant glove. I’ve tested them out a few times over the past month and have found them to work nicely both grill-side as well as even indoors as oven mitts.

In terms of quality, the gloves are insulated with a couple of synthetic fabrics that are the same as Nomex and Kevlar and are lined with a 100% cotton lining. Each glove has a handy pull tab to help pull them on and while the pair of gloves I have says they would fit most, I found them a bit snug for even my medium-sized hands. A larger set of paws may have some issues with this particular pair.

Whether it’s grabbing the charcoal chimney full of lit coals or the Weber handle that always gets a little too hot for my liking, the gloves insulated my hand well. I even tested putting my hand directly on the kettle lid while it was on the grill with a temp of roughly 300 degrees, and felt nothing; these gloves are supposedly resistant up to 932 degrees. For more serious cooks they could come in handy moving hot grates or lit logs. I’ll definitely be putting this to the test later this year in the fall and winter months, whether its for another whole hog (??) or for the regular family firepits.

My only nit is that I do have to switch gloves when grabbing any meat off the grill since the Grill Armor Gloves are more of a synthetic mitten material and I wouldn’t want to get fibers into the meat. But this would be the case for any similar style of gloves.

Also, at $29.95 they are at the top of end this category so you might be tempted for similar but cheaper options. And while I didn’t experience this personally, a buddy said he felt a hot spot in one of the fingers when he borrowed to use.

Even with those small concerns, I’d recommend looking into these if you’re in the market for heat resistant gloves and see if they are the right option for you. They also come in a couple of options: a longer cuff as well as a ladies size.

Link to Purchase

Description: Thick but flexible and lightweight gloves that can protect your hand from extreme heat up to 932℉. Insulated with top-quality M-ARAMID & P-ARAMID fabrics (same as Nomex and Kevlar) with 100% cotton lining for maximum comfort. Great for cooking, baking, grilling, camping, fireplace, and much more. Available in different colors and sizes.

INKBIRD Has Created the World’s First 5GHz Wi-Fi Smart Meat Thermometer

Link to purchase (Amazon)

Monk: In our years of reviewing barbecue rubs, sauces, grill tools/accessories, and thermometers, we are occasionally offered products in exchange for an honest review. Sometimes we do the reviews because its hard to turn down free products but to be honest in some cases the product simply wasn’t up to par and it was tough to put a nice spin on it in the review. In one case a few years back, a particular meat thermometer (which shall go unnamed) downright didn’t work and after following up with that company on the issue, a firmware update never came and thus a review was never published. That thermometer probably sits in a drawer somewhere in my house.

Spoiler alert: the product not being up to par won’t be the case for this particular product review.

INKBIRD is a company that came onto my radar within the past year because a neighborhood buddy has used a smart thermometer/fan for his Primo Grill and has raved about that product. And they just released a new meat thermometer – the IBT-26S – the world’s first thermometer incorporating 5Ghz Wi-Fi technology along with Bluetooth 5.1 (available today from Amazon for purchasing). I decided to put it through its paces recently smoking a small-ish 2.5 pound chuck roast like a brisket on a Friday afternoon/evening.

“This superior BBQ thermometer features Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities that allow us to create and monitor the cooking process from a smartphone. With the help of its temperature alarms and several smart functions, we can always roast aromatic, juicy, and delicious meat.”

Official description of the IBT-26S from Inkbird


Upon receiving a tidy package from Amazon, I opened the box to find a champagne gold and black rectangle display frame with a LCD backlit screen. The build quality was evident but I wonder how the glossy finish will hold up over time in the outdoors and banging up against grill tools. Same for the LCD screen, although that is probably more durable than a video screen like you might find on an iPhone or iPad.

The IBT-26S is capable of connecting up to 5 meat probes and 1 oven probe as stated on the packaging. For other thermometers I’ve tested, I’ve found that 5 total probes (4 meat and 1 oven) was not always enough so that additional probe already makes this product feel downright luxurious by comparison.

However, I must admit my confusion in reading the packaging; I thought the number of probes listed were actually included instead of being the max capability of the unit. In reality, the thermometer comes with 4 meat probes, 0 oven probes, and 2 clips – more than enough to get started of course. Inkbird assured me they are in the process of update their packaging to make it less confusing going forward.


The IBT-26S doesn’t have a secondary remote unit and instead connects to the Inkbird app on your phone, which will need to be downloaded and the thermometer set up from there. I found this to be similar to setting up a new Google Home device but be sure to select the “IBT-26S (5G)” option to connect instead of the regular “IBT-26S” next to it. That threw me for a loop a couple of times before I was able to connect.

The app itself is cleanly designed and fairly easy to use. Connect your probes and select from one of 23 choices of USDA preset meat recipes or “BBQ Smoke,” which is the setting I used. From there, I manually set the range at which I was aiming to smoke (225 to 275).

From my home office 50 feet away, although the range extends much farther beyond that when connected to Wi-Fi

In addition to monitoring the temperature remotely from anywhere, the app allows you to adjust the backlight remotely and set timers for each probe.


While in use, the app records your temperatures – both grill and meat – and stores the history to the cloud, which is retrievable and exportable for up to 30 days. The more scientifically-inclined or competition barbecue cook will want to download and analyze more thoroughly than I did, but it’s a great feature.

From my iPhone I was able to monitor the temperatures in the app from at least quarter a mile away in the neighborhood and my understanding is that you can monitor from even further away as long as you have cell or Wi-Fi service: the neighborhood pool, the grocery store, work, you name it. Again, think the Google Home app and being able to access your Nest thermostat from anywhere.

I didn’t have any issues with the unit battery once fully charged via a USB-C cord that comes in the box and which plugs directly into the unit. According to INKBIRD “the built-in lithium battery with 2500mAh can continuously work for up to 32 hours after a full charge.” It certainly kept a charge the entire time I used it.

As for how the smoked chuck roast turned out? After dealing with some initial temp issues due to user error on my part, my cook settled in nicely and I served slices to rave reviews from my neighbors.


The INKBIRD IBT-26S thermometer is by far the best barbecue thermometer I’ve tested in large part because it allows you to monitor your smoker from anywhere. Beyond that, the thermometer works as is expected, the probe capacity is above average, and the app itself is intuitive and easy to use. Serious barbecuers in the market for a new thermometer should take a hard look at the world’s first 5Ghz Wi-Fi thermometer, the INKBIRD IBT-26S.

Link to purchase (Amazon)

More product images courtesy of Inkbird

Product Review: Grill Rescue Grill Brush

June 2023 update: it appears that Grill Rescue has had issues fulfilling orders lately based on complaints on their BBB page. I would exercise caution when placing the order as of now.

Monk: If you’re like me you’ve come across horror stories of grill cleaning brushes with metallic bristles that come lose and result in a very painful ER visit. I’ve tried out a few different options from a wood spatula that conforms to the grill shape to ones more akin to a safer version of steel wool. Recently, the folks from Grill Rescue reached out to me to see if I wanted to give their grill brush a try in exchange for an honest review.

Grill Rescue is a grill accessories company that was started by a firefighter (hence the distinctive firetruck red coloring) and also has koozies, tumblers, and a set of rubs and spices. Their grill brush is touted by them as the “world’s safest grill brush” due to the fact that it has no bristles and is instead made of a fabric called aramid fiber, which is durable fabric apparently used in firefighter gear. It will run you $39.95 for the standard model or $44.95 for one that includes a scraper (see photo below).

In addition to the unique brush material, another big point of differentiation is the removable head which can be cleaned in a dishwasher and replaced when the time comes. I found that the head was harder to take off than what was shown by the video of a bikini-clad model on the website and I ended up having to use the end of a spatula to pry it off initially. Perhaps it will be easier on future removals.

For this year’s annual neighborhood Wing Fest (where my team took home the win for the second year running), I sprayed the brush head down with a hose and cleaned my trusty Weber. The water created a steaming effect that easily removed grime. In no time the grill was ready or our award-winning wings. Once we were done, rinse and repeat (literally) and the grill was good for storage until next time.

While my brush came with a rubber hook accessory that sticks on the end and allows you to hang it off your grill, it will set consumers back an additional $9.95 on top of the cost of the already-pricey brush. I feel that this should come standard or the brush should already have a way to hang it without the additional cost.

In terms of other additional costs, replacement cleaning heads run between $12.95 for standard or $16.85 which includes a scraper. The website claims each one will last up to a hundred uses. This is what mine looked like after one use and a washing. The aramid fiber was tough but I’m already starting to see signs of wear so I’ll be curious how it holds up after additional uses.

In the crowded grill accessories market where you can go to your local hardware store and get a grill brush for around $10, is the Grill Rescue Grill Brush worth its price tag of at least $40? Assuming it holds to its claim of 100 uses per brush head (a couple of years worth depending on how often you grill or smoke), the answer is “possibly.” It feels really solid in my hand, the safety aspect is not nothing, plus it works well in it’s actual main function of cleaning the grill. Ultimately your threshold for spending that kind of money will be an individual decision. If you do decide to get the Grill Rescue Grill Brush, you will get a well made grill accessory.

Product Review: Slow ‘N Sear® from SnS Grills

Monk: SnS Grills is a grill and accessories company headquartered in Concord, NC. The story of the company and its founder David Parrish is covered in detail on their website but long story short Parrish got hooked in with the Amazing Ribs website and its community of amateur pitmasters and grillers before eventually deciding to tackle the riddle of how to turn a kettle grill into a legit smoker. The Slow ‘N Sear is the product of him using his physics degree for the good of barbecue and grilling.

And it’s won the company some acclaim, with Meathead Goldwyn of Amazing Ribs proclaiming it “the single best accessory for the Weber kettle ever” and Steven Raichlen calling it the “best new barbecue product of 2018.” Having re-ignited my love for my now-16-year old Weber kettle during the pandemic, I had to give it a try for myself.

Made of heavy duty steel (listed on the site as “18-gauge 430 stainless steel”), the Slow ‘N Sear is a charcoal basket that sits directly on the bottom grate of my Weber kettle grill. Where it differs from the Weber Char-Baskets is that it is made larger to fit more charcoal without needing to constantly refill but more importantly it has a built-in water reservoir to help evenly cook the meat.

I tried it out with a small chuck roast and the Slow ‘N Sear worked like a charm. The basket promoted airflow and burned the charcoal cleanly. While the website says the reservoir will get you 5+ hours of steam from the water reservoir, I refilled it once during the cook. I may have cooked the meat just a tad over but through no fault of the basket. And while this chuck roast was too small, had it been a steak or other piece of meat I could have flipped it directly above the charcoal for searing.

There are actually two models of this insert – this original and the Deluxe which has a removable water reservoir and a ventilated plate for $30 more.

SnS Grills has expanded into making a ton of other grill accessories along with their own line of kamado smokers and kettle grills and I will give serious consideration to the kamado next time I’m in the market for a smoker. However, if you are still rocking an old-school Weber kettle grill like me, the Slow ‘N Sear is an easy way to turn it into a legit offset smoker.