New Most Popular Page

We are pleased to announce a brand new page that has recently been added to BBQpad.

It is called the Most Popular page and it lists the most popular Cookers, Woods, and Fuels that BBQpad pitmasters are using. It looks like this:

This page provides a great way of seeing what our pitmasters prefer, and clicking one of the links will take you to a page that provides information about that cooker/fuel, a place for our community to discuss it, and links to places where it is available (such as on Amazon).

This information page looks like this (showing the Weber Performer, already one of the most popular cookers on BBQpad):

Our Most Popular page will continue to be expanded and improved in the future. Do let us know what other information you want to see on it!

In other related news, we have also improved the look and feel of our BBQpad Community page. This page includes our most active pitmasters, newest users, latest cook photos, recently completed cooks, up-coming events and more. It looks like this:

Be sure to see the Most Popular and Community pages!

Be sure to keep up to date with BBQpad news and what our community is cookin’ up on our Facebook page, on Twitter, and in our Google+ community.

Raft Of BBQpad Improvements!

Recently we have been working hard to improve and refine the BBQpad experience so it is easier than ever to track your cooks, share them with others, and refine your ‘cue. If you are new to BBQpad, go and find out more about what it is. Go on, we will wait.

So what have we been up to?

Well, we have been doing some user testing. In other words, asking for volunteers to let us watch them use the pad and then we can find usability issues and get them fixed up so BBQpad is as simple to use as possible. We also used this as an opportunity to add some additional features too!

Remember too that BBQpad works on your Desktop, Laptop, Mobile (such as iPhone and Android) and Tablet (such as the iPad) and supports browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and others.

Let’s roll through the juicy updates…

Cooks Are Now Easier Than Ever!

We have now refined cooks on BBQpad so that they are easier than ever to update.

Firstly, we used to have two different buttons for making updates to your cook (adding a general update (e.g. spritzing) and adding a temperature update). We have simplified this so you only need to hit a single button to update your cook:

With a single click you can update your cook with any changes, temp readings, and whether your food is on or off the cooker. You can even select a photo to show your cook right now (or the beer you are chugging).

Simpler Food Summaries

We have also simplified the food summary on each cook page. Instead of burying the juicy photos in the food information section, we now display them proud and upfront. We have also made it more intuitive to access details of the rubs, sauces, brines, marinades, rest time and other prep – just click/tap the information symbol and it appears (as you can see expanded below for our second butt):

Adding Photos Now Easier

Not only have we made the photos on your cooks more visible, but they are easier than ever to add. Simply click the grey thumbnail icon to select a file from your computer, phone, or tablet.

We have also fixed uploading photos from iPhones so they are not lop-sided and made both uploading and download photos more efficient than ever!

Streamlining How Cooks Are Completed

Traditionally when you had completed a cook in BBQpad you would rate each food item and then click the End This Cook button. Well, we never really liked this button. In fact, we didn’t like it so much that we killed it.

Now, as soon as you have rated your last item we will end your cook for you automatically to save you doing it.

Although the cook is ended, if you want to go and change something (such as a rating) later you can still do so.

BBQpad Pro: Choose Which Cooks Are Private/Public

For our BBQpad Pro users who can make their cooks private, you can now choose this on a per-cook basis. Want to make a cook that you are prepping for a competition private but then have another cook with the family and share it with the community? No worries, this is just a click away on the cook page!

Significantly Expanded About Information

We have also added a number of pages on BBQpad that explain what the site does, what features are included, and more:

We hope you enjoy the updates, and as ever, if you have any comments, questions or queries, be sure to get in touch!

First BBQpad Cook Off Is Complete! The Winner Is…

A little while ago we posted about our very first scheduled online cook off, with the food category being ribs. The idea was 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.

Well, we did our first cook off this weekend and Jason Perlow, Adam Balla and BBQpad’s own Jono Bacon took part. This was a great chance to test the new feature on BBQpad in action. It was a furious weekend of cooking with everyone putting in their best and some truly mouth-watering results showing up .

With the results in the BBQpad team reviewed the cook offs and picked a winner and runner-up. We excluded Jono as he is part of the BBQpad team. The winner was picked based upon the visual quality of the food (we take a look at the pictures of the food and judge which ‘cue looks the most flavorful and tender) and the capabilities of the pitmaster (we 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).

We are pleased to announce the results:

  • WINNER: Jason Perlow – we decided to nominate Jason the winner for a few reasons. Firstly, the quality of his cook results look incredible. The ribs were cut well, looked moist, had a fantastic smoke ring, and a great mahogany color. It was clear from the photos also that Jason applied just the right amount of caramelization to the ribs, and that they were not over-sauced. His choice of rub and sauce was interesting, and the marinade was an interesting combination. Finally, from a cook control perspective, it was clear that Jason faced some testing conditions with the wind, but his temperature control was impressive given the conditions. Congratulations, Jason!
  • RUNNER-UP: Adam Balla – Adam came in as runner up and we were impressed with him doing his ribs on a smaller Weber kettle. The ribs had some good pull back and his choice of the glaze was interesting. He also demonstrated cook temp control on the kettle.

To go and see the results, discussion, and cook logs, see the cook off event page here!

Jason’s Entry

Always Improving

As with everything in BBQpad, we want to continue to improve and extend how well the site works. With this being our very cook off we want to hear your feedback how we can make cook offs more fun, more exciting, and more inclusive. Some questions:

  • How do you think we could improve judging?
  • How can we make the event page more interesting and useful?
  • How can we better publicise and encourage people to join?

Please share your comments and input, and thanks in advance, and congratulations to Jason and Adam!