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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 is 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.

bbq thermapen

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. 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 $269 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.

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.

The Electronic Crybaby

This ran in the Perspective section of the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, 12/22/2013.

By Meathead Goldwyn

Dear Santa:

I don't want to seem too picky, but this year, please don't give me anything with a battery. Even if batteries are not included.

It is 3 a.m. and after an hour of searching, I am at exasperated. Something with a battery somewhere in the house is crying for a change like a child with dirty diapers. And I can't find it.

I slipped out of bed trying not to wake my wife. I fumbled through my dresser drawer. My mobile phone is off. I don't think my laptop beeps when it is expiring, but I checked anyway. Digital cameras don't beep, do they? I took the battery out just to be sure. It's not my new wireless keyboard and mouse is it? Nope. Is it that newfangled digital oven thermometer that tells me when my brisket is ready. Nope.

I find my way to my wife's purse. I never touch her purse, but tonight I must grope it in the dark. It is cold and fearsome in there, but I eventually fish out the Crackberry her boss issued her. It glows green as I squint at it without my glasses. I don't know how to tell if their batteries are low so I stand there slipping out of consciousness waiting to hear a beep. I hear it, but it does not come from my hand.

I head for her desk and I smash my toes against a chair that is not in its usual spot. My wrist in my mouth barely muffles my curses and my wife calls out to ask if I am alright. "Does it sound like I'm alright?" I turn on the room lights now that she is awake. I musta really hollered. Normally she is immune to things that go beep in the night. She can even sleep through the car alarms that wail during thunderstorms. Does anyone call the police when they hear a car alarm anymore? Did she leave her personal phone on (yes she has two phones)? She can't remember, so I check. Is it her iPad? Nope.

I am narrowing the possibilities. There are wireless landline phones scattered around the house, often left on the sofa away from their charging cradle and the juice of life. How many times have I told her to put them back? How many times has she told me? Tonight they are not guilty and neither are we.

I stand beneath the kitchen smoke alarm for a few minutes until I hear the plaintiff electronic blip mock me again. Not this smoke alarm. Nor is it the radio frequency thermometer transmitting the temperature on the side of the garage to the receiver in the kitchen so I know what coat to wear.

It must be a smoke alarm upstairs. Even with the lights on I get a faceful of spider webs in the attic. I repeat the ritual of standing under the alarm waiting to hear a beep. And there it is! But it is coming from below me. Waaaaay below me. It must be in the basement.

I descend two flights and check the basement alarm and the crawl space alarm, but neither wants a new battery tonight. I am stumped. I cannot imagine what it could be. I hear it again. Behind me. I begin the process of triangulation. I walk slowly in the direction of the sound until I hear it again. I correct course like a bloodhound on the scent. I finally find myself in the furnace room and remember the carbon monoxide detector I put there so long ago that it is old enough to vote. I stare at it. It mocks me with a high pitched electronic laugh. I rip it off the wall and open its belly to discover that it needs a special battery. I will pick one up tomorrow.

After I finish this letter I will go to the living room and open a real book, not a Kindle. It needs no batteries, and neither do I. I am wired, and I will be up all night.

Meathead


Please read this before posting a comment or question

Please use the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help. Then please post your question on the appropriate page. Please tell us everything we need to know to answer your question such as the type of cooker and thermometer you are using. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we can't help you. Please read this article about thermometers.

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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, rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best buying guide to barbecue smokers, grills, and accessories, edited by Meathead.

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