BBQpad Community Summary Now Available

BBQpad is all about the community.

BBQ is social cooking and we want BBQpad to be as social as the cooking itself (beer and friends required). Remember, the site is free and open to anyone to use – go and find out more and get started.

Although we have been seeing some fantastic cooks (and mouthwatering photos) going on in BBQpad, it has been difficult to see all the activity happening in the community in a single place.

Until now!

Today we added a new feature to the site called the Community summary. It looks like this:

See cooks, active pitmasters, photos and more with just a click!

The page provides a quick overview of the activity going on in the BBQpad community. It shows lots of different things:

  • Latest Cook Photos – the latest photos from the latest cooks are displayed, and you can click a button to check out the cook that the photo is part of.
  • Cooks Happening Now – see the latest active cooks and see what the pitmaster is doing, and feel free to go and leave some comments in the discussion part of their cook page to discuss the cook, offer tips, and other discussion.
  • Newest Pitmasters – see who is new around these parts; here are the latest five members who have registered.
  • Most Active Pitmasters – curious to see who is smoking and grilling up the most? Here are the most active ‘cue-ers by order of fully completed and rated cooks.
  • Recently Completed Cooks – check out the recent cooks that have been completed and rated – be sure to go and leave a few comments on the cook to let the pitmaster know your thoughts and tips!

The page also shows up-coming cook offs – such as the rib cook off this weekend (be sure to join us!), as well as the latest news items on this blog and links to our social media communities.

As with everything in BBQpad, your feedback is essential to us, and we want to continue to refine and improve the site, so be sure to share your thoughts!

See the Community summary!

Our First BBQpad Cook Off!

When we built BBQpad, the very first goal was to create an awesome tool for tracking all the details about your cooks. This modern replacement for the venerable cook’s notebook helps you get a better idea of what you are doing in your cooks, your temperature control, track photos of how your food looks throughout the cooking process and at the end, and other details. BBQpad makes tracking and reviewing your cooks dead simple, and helps you to improve your ‘cue.

Another goal of BBQpad though is to make it as inherently social as BBQ cooking itself (friends and beer required). With BBQpad you can share your cooks with others, and other pitmasters can offer comments and feedback and more.

Well, I am pleased to announce a new feature in BBQpad that continues this social theme – online cook offs!

Joining the cook off simple and a fun way to cook together!

The idea is simple: there will be a number of cook off events on BBQpad in which everyone is welcome to join and participate in. The cook off will happen on a specific date period and cover a specific food, and pitmasters from around the world will all cook together, tracking their cooks on BBQpad.

To take part you simply go to the event page on the date(s) of the event, create a new cook as part of the event, and track your cook in BBQpad. As you and others cook you can see the latest cook updates from these different cooks all in one place, as well as discussion from those watching the cook off. We also encourage those of you who tweet to tweet about your cooks with the #bbqpad hashtag, and those tweets appear on the cook off page too. This provides a great way of cooking together and having fun with the cook off.

At the end of the cook off the BBQpad team will then review all of the cooks and pick a winner and runner-up based on the following criteria:

  • The visual quality of the food – we will take a look at the pictures of the food and judge which ‘cue looks the most flavorful and tender.
  • The capabilities of the pitmaster – we will review each of the cook logs and judge how well the pitmaster was able to control and react to their cooks, such as controlling temperature changes, keeping the food moist, inventive approaches to their cooking, interesting rubs/marinades/brines, maintaining a detailed log on BBQpad, and other areas. Importantly: this doesn’t mean you have to have a perfect cook, but it is more about your technique and approach when cooking and reacting to changes. As an example, if your smoker jumps in temp quickly and you manage to get it back under control quickly, you will be given points for this competent reaction to the temperature change.

The whole idea here is to have some fun cooking together, watching each others cooks, and sharing discussion, feedback, and tips.

Our First Cook Off!

Our very first cook off is going to take part from 2nd – 3rd March 2013 and will be a rib cook. You are welcome to cook any kind of ribs you like; baby backs, spares, St. Louis, beef ribs…all are welcome in the cook off!

Everyone is welcome to perform their cooks anytime that weekend, whenever is convenient to you.

How To Take Part

The cook off is open to anyone and all you need is a free BBQpad account. Click here to register.

When you have registered and logged in, click here to see the event page. All you need to do is come back to the event page on 2nd – 3rd March 2013 and click the button to create a cook as part of the event.

Now start cooking and be sure to take some awesome pictures while you are cooking and of the end result!

Are you ready to bring it on in the rib stakes?

When you have completed your cook, be sure to click the End Cook button on your cook page to complete the cook. Also be sure to click the Rate This Item button next to each completed food to provide your own personal rating for taste, tenderness, and appearance of your food.

We will then review all the cooks and announce the winners right here on the BBQpad blog a few days later.

We look forward to seeing you in the competition!

Keeping Up To Date

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to keep up to date with the cook off and other BBQpad related news.

Join The Cook Off!

Adding Photos Is Now Easier Than Ever

Photos are an integral part of BBQpad. You can not only add photos of the finished product at the end of your cook, but also photos throughout the cook to show how your food evolves. Photos provide a fantastic way to see into a cook on BBQpad.

Unfortunately, until recently adding photos was a bit of a pain. You needed to upload the photo to an image service such as flickr or imgur, and then copy and paste the URL of the photo into a box to add the photo to your cook. It was a bit cumbersome to use, and the small preview images were also a little slow to load.

Fortunately, we have fixed it!

Adding photos now is as simple as clicking or tapping the browse button and selecting a photo from your computer (or phone/tablet if on mobile) and the photo will be uploaded to your cook. Simple as that!

Photos for cook items and updates now use this browse button. We haven’t transferred over profile pictures yet, but we will be adding this soon.

So, go forth, and photograph your ‘cue, and share them on BBQpad with just a click or tap of a button!

Improved Mobile Support

Here at BBQpad we want to ensure the site is working for as many of our users as possible.

Unfortunately a small bird flew into our treehouse and informed us that the site didn’t look particularly good on mobile phones such as the iPhone and Android. We also saw it that it looked a little scrunched up on a tablet.

As many of you will be cooking and updating your cooks from your mobile, we wanted to get that fixed right away.

Fortunately, those changes are now available. The most noticeable change is the Food table which includes a new drop down feature. If you click or tap the food in your cook, the details about that item (such as the rub, marinade, sauce, brine, rest time etc) will appear, as well as any photos. This makes much better use of space both on mobile, tablet, and desktop.

As an example, here is a cook on desktop:

And the same cook on mobile:

As ever, you can access all the goodness, right from http://www.bbqpad.com