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Digital Thermometers:
Stop Guessing!

thermopop bbq thermometer

Gold BBQ AwardA good digital thermometer keeps me from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. You can get a professional grade, fast and precise splashproof thermometer like the Thermopop (above) for about $24. The Thermapen (below), the Ferrari of instant reads, is about $96. It's the one you see all the TV chefs and all the top competition pitmasters using. Click here to read more about types of thermometer and our ratings and reviews.

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GrillGrates Take You To
The Infrared Zone

BBQ_grill_grates

Gold BBQ AwardGrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, produce great grill marks, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, smolder wood right below the meat, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips or pellets or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill and pellet smoker needs them.

Click here to read more about what makes these grates so special and how they compare to other cooking surfaces.

The Smokenator:
A Necessity For All Weber Kettles

smokenator bbq system

Gold BBQ Award If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the amazing Smokenator and Hovergrill. The Smokenator turns your grill into a first class smoker, and the Hovergrill can add capacity or be used to create steakhouse steaks.

Click here to read more.

The Pit Barrel Cooker

pit barrel c ooker bbqAbsolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world.

This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier (and that's because smoke and heat go up, not sideways).

Gold BBQ AwardBest of all, it is only $289 delivered to your door!

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them.

scissor tongs

Best. Tongs. Ever.

Gold BBQ AwardMade of rugged 1/8" thick aluminum, 20" long, with four serious rivets, mine show zero signs of weakness after years of abuse. I use them on meats, hot charcoal, burning logs, and with the mechanical advantage that the scissor design creates, I can easily pick up a whole packer brisket. Click here to read more.

Amp Up The Smoke

mo's smoking pouch

Gold BBQ AwardMo's Smoking Pouch is essential for gas grills. It is an envelope of mesh 304 stainless steel that holds wood chips or pellets. The airspaces in the mesh are small enough that they limit the amount of oxygen that gets in so the wood smokes and never bursts into flame. Put it on top of the cooking grate, on the burners, on the coals, or stand it on edge at the back of your grill. It holds enough wood for about 15 minutes for short cooks, so you need to refill it or buy a second pouch for long cooks like pork shoulder and brisket. Mine has survived more than 50 cooks. Click for more info.

steak knives for bbq

The Best Steakhouse Knives

Gold BBQ AwardThe same knives used at Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, and Morton's. Machine washable, high-carbon stainless steel, hardwood handle. And now they have the AmazingRibs.com imprimatur. Click for more info.


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*Based on 4" raw burger with 1/2" space on all sides

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Best BBQ accessories

Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers 1000 Series Original Braten Grill

By Meathead Goldwyn

Manufacturer: Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers

Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers is a small manufacturer in Paxton, IL. They make small portable campfire and fireplace grills, the Braten 1000, and a larger Stahlkammer 2000. Braten and Stahlkammer are heavy duty, over engineered cookers with very unique features. They use Argentine V-shaped grates that capture drippings and direct them toward a front drip pan for sauces and basting. These grates are typically used on vertical lift or Santa Maria style, open fire cookers. By design, these cookers cannot have a lid. But Englebrecht uses a large frame for the lift mechanism that extends above and to the left and right of the lid, allowing it to swing open and shut. The 1000 Series Braten also has an offset firebox.

In March 2012, President Barack Obama gave the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his wife, a very cool gift, a $2,000 wood and charcoal-burning grill and smoker combo, made, where else, in Obama's home state, Illinois. These are hand made cookers. Production is limited. All sales are direct.

Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers 1000 Series Original Braten Grill

Meathead had a chance to cook on The Braten 1000. Here is his review:

This time the Obamas got it right. In March 2012 they gave the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his wife, a very cool gift, a $1,900 wood and charcoal-burning grill and smoker combo, made, where else, in Obama's home state, Illinois.

Last time the Obamas didn't do so well. They gave Cameron's predecessor, Gordon Brown, a set of movie DVDs that didn't play on the devices sold in the UK.

This time the gift was the estimable Engelbrecht Braten 1000. I have had a chance to cook on one at the California home of Sterling Ball, owner of BigPoppaSmokers.com, one of Engelbrecht's internet dealers. I was very impressed, to say the least.

It is not a surprising gift since the two leaders were last seen bonding at a garden party at 10 Downing Street for British and American service members. The two cooked burgers and hot dogs in their white shirts and ties. The "grills" were some kind of goofy burners topped by frying pans. So, what the press dubbed a "barbecue", was more like what they call a "fry-out" in Wisconsin.

The Braten 1000 has some unusual, nifty features. Chief among them is a cooking grate that can be raised or lowered by turning a wheel that is attached to an axle above the grill. It has two heavy duty stainless steel cables, one on each side of the grill, that allow the cook to raise and lower the food in order to control the heat. The closer the food is to the coals, the faster it cooks. This arrangement is common on large grills in and around Southern California, and they are often called Santa Maria grills, named after the town where they are most popular. The design is also common in Argentina.

But there are some innovations in the Englebrecht over the typical Santa Maria and Argentine grills. The traditional models are open on top so the heat can be applied only to one side of the food at a time. This is fine for steaks, burgers, chicken parts, asparagus, and other thin foods, but it makes them a pain when it comes to large thick meats, like roasts or whole turkeys. The Braten has a heavy heat absorbing lid which allows you get high radiant heat from below, reflected heat from above, and convection heat from all around as the air circulates. The lid makes it an oven.

Another innovation is that the Braten comes with a firebox on the side. This allows you to start a fire off to the side and channel the heat and smoke into the main cooking chamber like the classic "offset" smoker for long, low and slow cooks, like you want when cooking pork ribs, beef brisket, or pulled pork. If you leave the coal pan in, the heat and smoke are distriubted more evenly than on standard offsets. The firebox has a flat top so it can be used as a side burner to cook side dishes or keep your sauce warm.

The unit is overengineered and built to last well past the Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin Administration. It is heavy duty steel with expertly welded seams. The body is powder coated and baked on at 1500F, according to Englebrecht. This is necessary because when cooking over wood the high heat will warp thin metals.

The main cooking grate is 29 x 17", 493 square inches of cooking surface, plenty of room for a party. The standard cooking surface is 3/8" stainless steel rod for beautiful grill marks, but they offer a most unusual option, V-shaped grates, which gather juices and melting fats and drain them away. This type of grate is common in Argentina. Some say it give meat a cleaner taste by keeping most of the drippings out of the coals, others say the drippings add flavor.

There is an aluminum workshelf in front with stainless tool hooks. The hinges have brass pins that will not rust. The handles are oak to protect you hand from burns. There are 2 cast iron wheels so to move it you have to lift one end. Not for the frail among us. Although they have mounted one of the better bi-metal dial thermometers on the market, I don't trust them and strongly recommend that the Camerons replace theirs with a modern digital probe like the Maverick ET-732.

Apparently the unit given to Cameron had to be tooled a little differently because the President insisted that everything be made in the USA and Englebrecht does use some imported parts. According to a report on ABC news, Englebrecht will do the same for you, but it will cost extra.

Cooking with wood is tricky, and many rookies end up serving black cinders or meat that tastes like an ash tray. But this baby does just fine with charcoal. When cooking with wood, you never use soft woods like pine because the resins are noxious. You can use hardwood, nutwood, or fruitwood like oak, hickory, or apple. Starter fluid is never used, only kindling, newspaper, or parafin cubes. You then burn them down to glowing embers. You don't want to cook over the roaring flames. The heat is too great and the combustion gases too strong. You need to wait until flames are gone and the logs burn down to coals.

Now I want to know, who is gonna teach the Camerons how to use their new grill? I volunteer!

Price: 

$2,250 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

Primary Function: 

Grill

Smoker

Combination Grill & Smoker

Drop-Ins

Fuel: 

Charcoal

Logs

Primary Capacity: 

493 square inches ( about 24 burgers )

Manufacturer claims that all or practically all of this device is made in the USA

Yes

Review Method: 

Cooked On It

We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.


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About this website. AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, spareribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best buying guide to barbecue smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, edited by Meathead.

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