The Gear We Use...

To competing in BBQ you don’t need a lot of fancy stuff, but there is some equipment we rely on heavily.  We are not currently sponsored by any of the companies mentioned below in any way, we felt however you should know exactly what it takes to get into competition BBQ and what gear you should have.  

The Drum Smoker

The 55 gallon Drum Smoker is the Howzit BBQ teams pit of choice. We leverage drums designed by Steve Botkin of Desperado BBQ. Drum smokers are highly efficient, they cook fast, and their design infuses meat with amazing BBQ flavor.

Hunsaker Vortex Firebox

The circular charcoal basket holds more than enough charcoal for an extended burn time. The circular design helps ensure a even charcoal burn. Air is forced upwards from the center air intake via air intake or forced draft system into the hot charcoal. The hot air is then forced through the vortex plate at the correct angles causing the air inside the smoker to spin. The spinning air helps maintain a consistent temperature throughout the smoker. The vortex plate also acts as a heat deflector which helps reduce burned meat.


A Cambro (PCS400131) is an indispensable tool to BBQ teams. Made by Cambro Manufacturing, it is an insulated box in which keeps food stored in them in the food safety zone, above 140°F. If something cooks faster than planned, the Cambro will be there to hold your food warm but not continue to cook it!

Thermapen MK4

When it comes to measuring cooking temperatures with speed and accuracy, Thermapen Mk4. While BBQ is more about appearance and tenderness, quick accurate temperatures are essential to ensuring perfectly cooked BBQ.

Disposable Cutting Boards

Disposable cutting boards are really helpful to avoid cross-contamination. They are made of quality coated food grade paper. They have a large cutting area of 18 X 24 inches, and there are measurements along the edges for cutting food to size. There’s also a 9 inches x 9 inches square in the center, especially nice for sizing perfect turn-in box proportions in BBQ competitions.


Jealous Devil Lump Charcoal

Dont let anyone tell you all charcoal is the same, ’cause it ain’t!
The Howzit BBQ uses Jealous Devil Lump Charcoal because its the best in the business.
Made from ultra-dense South American hardwoods, there is no chemicals, fillers, or scrap material.
Fire it up and you wont get sparking or popping, and its ideal for competition because of its low ash.
Our experience has found you get Twice the cook power, hotter temperatures, and far longer burn time (4+ hours open grills / 20+ hours in smokers.
It’s mild aroma enhances profiles of the various flavor wood without overpowering them.

DIGIQ DX3 BBQ Temparture Control Draft Kit

The DigiQ keeps our smokers at the perfect, precise temperature. The DigiQ DX3 draft kit makes it easier to hold even temperatures by first measuring the ambient temperature of the cook chamber and then managing the flow of oxygen to the fire box with just the right amount of airflow based on the tempature desired. The DigiQ also has a meat temperature prop that lets you know the temp of the cook without opening the lid. Remember – If your lookin’, you aint cookin’.

Oklahoma Joe’s Disposable BBQ Gloves

It might seem trivial but I can assure you it’s not. Disposable BBQ Gloves keep your hands clean when trimming meat, injecting or applying rub, handling any food or even your smoker. Howzit uses the Oklahoma joe’s Disposable Gloves because each box contains 50 disposable nitrile gloves and 2 cotton glove liners for an added layer of heat resistance when handling food hot off the smoker.