Mark Jenner

Founder, Barbecue and Grilling Expert

Expertise

Barbecue, Grilling, Smoking (cooking), Product Reviews, Food Safety

Mark Jenner

Highlights

  • Barbecuing and grilling since 2005.
  • Founded and written for FoodFireFriends since 2017.
  • Hands-on experience with almost every type of smoker and grill imaginable.
  • Currently owns and uses over 30 different smokers and grills for hands-on experience while creating content for this site.
  • Skilled BBQ product tester with years of experience across all types of smokers, grills, tools, and accessories.
  • Has developed and written up countless BBQ and grilling recipes.
  • Quoted in and mentioned in numerous publications across the web for his BBQ advice.

Experience

I am a barbecue addict who first got into it in 2005 when someone offered me a second-hand Weber Kettle charcoal grill at a knock-down price.

I’d recently moved into a rented, shared house with three good friends, one of them being my American friend, Michael. He knew his way around a grill, showed me how to smoke chicken and ribs, and soon convinced me to go halves with him for the price of a Weber Smokey Mountain.

I soon became obsessed and decided to learn everything I could about BBQ, grilling and smoking. I remember the first two books I bought: ‘The BBQ Bible,’ by Steven Raichlen,’ and ‘Peace, Love & Barbecue,’ by Mike Mills.’ Excellent books, and Michael and I worked our way through most of their recipes, and for me, a new love was born.

I’ve loved all forms of food and cooking since I was a young teenager anyway, and this was just the next step in my culinary journey. But BBQ is the one I enjoy and am now most passionate about.

Since those early days, I have bought and sold scores of different grills and smokers, eaten at dozens of smokehouses, and attended countless barbecue festivals and cookouts.

I was initially an electronic engineer by trade and then a technical specialist in the CCTV and security systems world. And I’ve always enjoyed writing, teaching, IT, programming, and the world of computers. So back in 2017, I decided I would start a website, and one in BBQ and grilling was a natural choice. And so FoodFireFriends was born.

Over the years, I’ve worked on the site slowly. But from humble beginnings, it has become a large and popular resource for many. And I’m now beginning to add team members to help me grow the site faster, to add more expertise and voices to this incredible resource.

These days I regularly contribute to this site as an author, the lead content strategist, and chief editor. I barbecue between 3 and 10 times weekly, satisfying my passion for creating great food from raw ingredients over live fire.

The main equipment I currently own and use is:

  • Three Kamado Joes (Junior, Classic I, and Big Joe III.)
  • A Weber Smokey Mountain.
  • A Masterbuilt Gravity Fed charcoal smoker.
  • A Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill.
  • Two Z Grills pellet grills.
  • A Pit Barrel cooker.
  • Two Weber kettle grills (original and Mastertouch.)
  • A Napoleon Pro charcoal kettle grill.
  • A Weber Genesis gas grill.
  • A Masterbuilt 30 electric smoker.
  • A Kadai open fire cooking pit.
  • An Ooni Karu 16 pizza oven.
  • A handful of travel grills, including Weber Go-Anywhere and Smokey Joe portable charcoal grills, and a Napoleon TravelQ Pro285 gas grill.
  • A vast range of remote thermometers, temperature controllers, instant-read thermometers, and other BBQ tools and accessories.

I sometimes buy, use, review and sell on grills and smokers while always keeping at least one of each type for me to cook on and experiment with to help me create content for this site. And besides, I have a bit of a collector’s attitude; The right number of barbecues to own is always what I have + 1. I can never have enough or too many!

I am 45 years old, married with two children, and my hobbies include playing in a darts team, amateur golf, general fitness, and a bit of travel.

More From Mark Jenner

beer can chicken, grilled, sitting upright on a white cutting board with a blurred garden background.
Recipes

Beer Can Chicken — Dispelling Myths and a Better Way (With recipe)

Beer can chicken causes many disagreements in the BBQ world: Does the beer actually impart any flavor? Is it safe to eat chicken that’s been stuffed with a beer can? Is the ink from a beer can food safe, or is it toxic? Today, we answer all your beer can chicken questions.

A close up of unlit lump charcoal next to briquettes on a weber grill.
Accessories

Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes — Which is Better, When, and Why?

When it comes to charcoal, you have one main choice to make: Lump or briquettes? In this guide, we compare and contrast the pros and cons of each. We discuss when to use one or the other and the benefits gained from switching between the two at the correct times.

Close up pork ribs perfectly grilled and sticky with sauce.
Ribs

How Long to Grill Ribs — For Perfect Bite and Texture

Different types of pork ribs take different times to cook. And how hot your smoker is makes a big difference too. And so does how you like them, and the way you cook them! So there’s no simple, fits all answer. However, we have all the answers below.

Stainless steel grill grates being cleaned with a wire brush.
General How Tos

How to Clean Stainless Steel Grill Grates, so They Look Like New

Despite what some people say, that horrible baked-on grease and old food on your grates is NOT extra flavor. It’s dirty, acrid-tasting junk. Get it cleaned off! Here’s how to get your stainless steel grates looking like new and how to keep them that way.

BBQ ribs dripping in thick sauce with a paint brush laying beside them.
Prep & Serving

How to Thicken BBQ Sauce — 11 Easy Ways With Common Ingredients

If your BBQ sauce is a little too runny, but you don’t want to change the flavor, try these eleven awesome tips for thickening. All use common ingredients you already have in your kitchen, so no need to go shopping. You’re bound to have one at hand!

Different smoked meats, slaw and pickles as a BBQ platter on a cutting board.
General Knowledge

BBQ Myths Debunked — 32 Things You Get Wrong About BBQ

Countless tips and tricks get passed around the BBQ community, becoming widely believed as gospel truth, despite many being wrong. So in this article, we list many things people believe — that are wrong — and then say what is actually right. There’s some great learning in here!

Some fish fillets on a plate with lemon after broiling to create a nice sear.
General How Tos

What is Broiling? Can You do it on a Grill or BBQ?

Do you know the cooking technique of broiling? It’s similar to grilling, yet also very different because the heat comes from above, not below. Can this be achieved on our standard BBQs and grills? Why would we even want to bother? Find out below.

Close up of reheated baby back ribs.
General How Tos

How to Reheat Ribs, in Oven, on Grill, Sous Vide, and More

It’s best to cook multiple racks of ribs to make the best of your time and fuel, which leads to storing and reheating them later. But how do you reheat ribs? What is the best way? Here’s how to reheat ribs, keeping quality high as if fresh off the smoker.

Close up shot of a brisket injection.
Brisket

Beef Brisket Injection: Why, How and 3 Best Recipes

The worst fear of any outdoor cook when tackling brisket is it drying out. Injecting adds moisture, as well as ramps up the flavor profile. See 3 of the best beef brisket injection recipes below, as well as a guide and tips on how to inject the right way.

Afterburner steak grilling on top of two charcoal chimneys.
Grilling Guides

Afterburner Chimney Seared Steak — A Screaming Hot Searing Method

Afterburner steak is so named because the flames out of the chimney look like the afterburner out the rear of a jet. It’s screaming hot, cooks very quickly, and is a fantastic way to sear thin steaks, creating great crust without overcooking the center.

Slices of smoked beef brisket.
Brisket

Aaron Franklin Brisket Recipe — Step-by-Step With Videos to Follow

Here’s how to BBQ brisket, as described by Aaron Franklin, widely regarded as one of the top brisket cooks and experts to ever fire up a smoker. With a complete description of his process and videos to follow, you can perfectly recreate his epic brisket for yourself!

A weber kettle set up for two-zone grilling.
Grilling Guides

Two-Zone Grilling Method: A Must-Have Skill to Master Your Grill

Two-zone grilling enables you to cook at different temperatures on the same grill, with direct radiant heat and indirect convection heat simultaneously. Or to have a safe zone away from flames if things get too hot, and you need to calm down the grilling. Here’s how you do it.

Man under an umbrella lighting a BBQ in the rain.
Grilling Guides

Top Tips for Grilling in the Rain — The Barbecue Must Go On

BBQ, whatever the weather! The show must go on! Use whatever cliché or saying you like, but rain does not have to stop play! Here are all the tips you need to carry on cooking outdoors when the heavens have opened while keeping yourself and your food dry.

A bone in ribeye steak on a grill with flames licking around it.
Grilling Guides

How Long to Grill Steak, Rare to Well Done, Times and Temperatures

How long should you grill steak to get your preferred doneness level? It varies, of course, and mostly on the thickness of the cut. Read on to learn the grilling times and target temperatures of steaks from rare to well done, from under 1 inch to over 2 inches thick.

Smoked brisket, sliced in two with one half on top of the other.
BBQ Theory

How Long Does Smoked Meat Last — If Refrigerated or Frozen

Smoke is known as a preservative. So, after you’ve hot smoked some meat, how long can you keep it in the fridge before it spoils? How about in the freezer? Surely if smoke is a preservative, it will last for a long time before spoiling? We answer all your questions below.

Brisket smoking on a two tier grill or BBQ.
General Knowledge

Grilling Vs. BBQ — What’s the Difference? (If There is One?)

There’s BBQ, and there’s grilling. They are both performed outdoors, often on the same equipment, but they are very different things with different goals, despite the terms being used interchangeably. Learn the difference between barbecue and grilling in this quick guide.