We recently wrote about the top YouTube channels on grilling to watch, so continuing in that fashion, we thought we’d look into forums, too.
Often forgotten about, it’s sometimes crazy when you google a question, and the top answer comes from a forum post almost 10 years old. But not all advice has an expiration date, and a timeless tip is just as good today as it was a decade ago.
Today, Facebook groups, Quora, and Reddit have stolen the thunder from forums. But BBQ forums are still goldmines for useful tips and solving age-old grilling dilemmas.
Some BBQ forums may look dated (some date back to the early 2000s, so be aware of the odd technical issue), but don’t judge them for that—judge them for their content.
Others have adopted social media, are relatively updated, and have a super active community.
Read on for the best of both.
10 Best BBQ Forums
Many of the top BBQ forums are based in the US, but there are a fair few in the UK and Australia that you should definitely check out and we have included them in our list.
And, if you’re new to forums, there are a few channels you’ll notice that most have:
- Roll Call—this is usually where new members start.
- Chewing the fat—for random conversations.
- Make sure you check out any channels devoted to the rules too.
So, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, check out these 10 BBQ forums.
1. The Texas BBQ Forum
Kicking off in Texas is The Texas BBQ Forum. It may be a little old and need some updating, but it’s very active with around 4,909 members, some of which have been around since 2006.
Members are also given a rank for their contributions to the forum, like ‘Sheriff,’ ‘Pilgrim,’ ‘Cowboy,’ and ‘Outlaw’ among others.
To make the most of the forum, it would probably be best if you lived in Texas. The site has a whole section on competitions in the state. Though, it would help if they were ordered chronologically.
The Texas BBQ Forum is sponsored by SuckleBusters, which produces rubs and sauces, and is probably where the majority of the money comes from to keep the forum up and running.
2. Smoke Fire and Food
Our second top BBQ forum, Smoke Fire and Food, comes from the land down under—Australia. With spectacular weather year around, it’s not surprising one of the top BBQ forums comes from Oz.
It may take a bit of time to catch up with some of the lingo but joining Smoke Fire and Food could be a great way to learn new techniques and cook different varieties of food you don’t see in the US.
What’s really nice about Smoke Fire and Food is how ordered the different topics are. The most posted are on charcoal, wood, and gas grilling.
There are also whole areas dedicated to tools, outdoor kitchens, and different cooking methods—including baking and desserts.
At the time of writing, there are 1,600 members, 97,284 posts, and 6,472 threads. But more importantly, new members are still joining, and it looks like it is still being updated.
The SmokeBuilder forum is more focused on building a BBQ set-up and less so on actual grilling and food.
If you’re interested in topics like air intake, stack size, and patio build, The SmokeBuilder forum will be a wealth of information.
Frank Cox is the person behind the forum, and there are users from all over the US and some from Canada too.
You can also check out The SmokeBuilder homepage which appears to be more up-to-date and focuses more on the service of building smokers—for you, with you, or by you.
On top of that, there is a newsletter and even a podcast worth checking out.
Note that there are a few tech issues with this forum, like the flashing top banner and the irremovable cookie banner—it’ll never disappear, no matter how many times you click ‘I accept.’
4. Wood Smoke Forum
Another BBQ from outside the states, the Wood Smoke Forum is from the UK. Despite not having the best barbeque weather, there is a strong culture of outdoor cooking in the UK.
Again, you may have to get used to the way Brits talk and there may be some topics that aren’t too relevant to you (products and prices, for example—or topics, like ‘Cooking in the rain’).
Like Smoke Fire and Food, the Wood Smoke Forum is broken down into categories. Some of the most popular are on kamado grills, pellet smokers, bacon, and reviews.
What’s quite nice about the Wood Smoke Forum is that it’s a little more updated, than some of the other forums on this list, so it’s easier on the eye and to get around.
5. BBQ Brethren Forum
Another old-school forum, BBQ Brethren is still alive and kicking, though it could do with a bit of a design touch-up (but then again, maybe some people prefer it that way).
While most of the BBQ Brethren are America-centric, they have members all across the globe, from Iceland to South Africa, and New Zealand to Alaska.
And there are a lot of BBQ Brethren—approximately, 215,963 members of which 7,491 are active. Together, they’ve managed to accumulate almost 4.5 million posts.
The BBQ Brethren forum could be more organized with some of the topics moving toward online gaming, jokes, and road trips.
With this in mind, it’s more a forum for finding a community than learning new skills. They also don’t like people coming to the forum to pitch products—that’s not what this forum is for.
6. The BBQ Forum
The BBQ Forum is in desperate need of revamping, despite this, a small group of approximately 549 members, is still active.
Sometimes a week can go by without a post, but that might be good if you don’t want to commit to something too big (and get a ton of notifications).
Though the homepage will bring up a bunch of conversations, there are four main categories, ‘General BBQ Discussion,’ ‘BBQ Recipes,’ ‘BBQ Events,’ and ‘USA Roadtrip: BBQ restaurants.’
I definitely recommend at least a skim read of the BBQ Recipes—you can find a wealth of ideas you’ve never thought of.
Also worth noting is that The BBQ Forum is not as moderated as other BBQ forums, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. Either way, you need some thick skin.
7. Aussie BBQ Forum
Another top BBQ forum from Australia, the Aussie BBQ Forum has racked up over 120,000 posts and has over 7,000 members.
One of my favorite things about the Aussie BBQ Forum is that they have a useful section on books that you will struggle to find on other forums.
They also have a whole section called ‘THE TIN SHED’ that deals with non-BBQ topics, including regular cooking questions, like what to do with leftovers.
The Aussie BBQ Forum has tighter rules than other BBQ forums on this list, with their Forum Rules page saying, “There are young users and language should be kept within a PG-13 level.”
Another plus—self-promotion is also not allowed and is regarded as spam.
At first glance, Smoked-Meat may look like you’ve clicked on something completely non-BBQ related, but with over 8,000 and 700,000 posts Smoked-Meat is a huge BBQ forum.
What’s really nice about the Smoked-Meat forum is the ‘911 Urgent Situations’ section which is where you can post urgent BBQ questions and get quick answers.
And there is a little RSS feed button, which would be really cool to use to keep you updated with any new posts, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work.
The rest of the forum is well organized with areas to talk about cooking different meats, food safety, and products (and where to buy them).
There is also an article section that’s definitely worth a peek.
Not to be confused with the Smoked-Meat forum above, the SmokingMeatForum is one of the most modern and active forums on BBQ.
To make it easier to differentiate the SmokingMeatForum and the Smoked-Meat forum, you can abbreviate it to ‘SMF.’
The confusion is not helped by the fact that SmokingMeatForum was created by smoking-meat.com, and it’s not clear if there’s a relationship between them and the Smoking-Meat forum.
Confusion aside, SMF is one of the most active BBQ forums online and has managed to maintain a lot of its users with over 140,000 and 2.4 million messages.
Users can react to posts and comments as they would on Facebook, a feature that’s not too common on older forums.
At the end of our list is the Cookshack forum created by Cookshack.com which sells pellets, smokers, sauces, and spices.
Some members have been on this forum since the early 2000s, so it has the benefit of a long list of dedicated users, while also being updated and modernized.
Like many of the top forums on this list, Cookshack covers cooking techniques, and recipes and there are even people sharing how they curated their bacon and people asking all important BBQ questions.
You can also like posts just like SmokingMeatForums, and they are all over social media—including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest to name a few, so you can always keep up to date.
Don’t forget about the non-English speaking world! If you’re lucky enough to speak German, you could also check out ‘BBQ Piraten’ (‘BBQ Pirates’).
And there’s the Backyard Boss forum, which was formally known as ‘The BBQ Geeks.’ Its name changed when it came under the Backyard Boss brand which focuses on all things backyard-related.
You can also check groups on Google. While some are still active, you may have to sift through a lot of spam and a ton of conspiracy theories.
Best Reddit BBQ Groups
It would be pretty ignorant of us to take a pass on Reddit, which is obviously a massive platform. Here are some of the top groups for BBQ on Reddit:
- r/BBQ ‘Low and Slow.’
- r/Barbecue ‘Barbecue.’
- r/grilling ‘Grilling! Tips and tricks for cooking over fire.’
- r/smoking ‘Enhancing food with wood smoke flavor.’
- r/Wings ‘Chicken Wings 🍗 🍗.’
And there are tons of others.
Aside from Reddit, there are also grilling groups on Discord. But the issue with Discord is that things can easily get lost—groups are like continuous streams of chats, even if you create specific channels.
Meanwhile, in a forum, you won’t lose vital conversations or need to scroll 100 times to find something someone said several years ago.