Gator Pit of Texas Grills
Ritch Robin, owner of the Gator Pit, the nationally known barbecue pit manufacturer in northwest Houston, has been welding and fabricating ever since building his first pit at the age of 14. But it’s only since 1996 that he’s been producing pits full-time for serious ’cue connoisseurs. Robin offers standard models but will also custom-build and mod to your specs. “When it comes to barbecue grills, I can build pretty much anything from a huge trailer cooker, to a catering rig, to an outrageous themed grill,” says Robin. “Barbecues are the cornerstone of America. They bring friends and families together.” Robin’s traditional backyard smokers start at $1,189 and go up to $2,024.
Saber Cast 500 P 3-Burner Grill
Easy to assemble and use, and a breeze to clean (the grates evaporate grease on contact), Sabers also use 30 percent less propane (or natural gas) than most. (Texas Star Grill Shop; $799)
Weber’s One-Touch Gold 22.5”
You’ll get years of flexible service out of this grill: you can sear steaks, set up two-zone roasting, or spread out the coals evenly for general sizzling, while the Smokenator accessory is your key to ribs and brisket. Make sure to pair it with a good meat thermometer, as Weber’s built-in ones are notoriously inaccurate. (Walmart; $149)