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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.

Let's Fight Back Against The War On Thanksgiving, A Holiday More All-American Than July 4 Or Christmas

This ran in the Chicago Tribune on the op-ed page as a guest commentary on 11/27/2013, the day before Thanksgiving.

By Meathead Goldwyn

barbecued turkey on flagWhy are we whining about a "War on Christmas" when it is really Thanksgiving that is under fire?

This year Macy's and many others will be open Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday starts on Thursday. It was bad enough that scores of stores opened at midnight, leaving little time for sleep, but now employers are forcing their "valued" employees to leave their food, family, and fellowship, and work through the meal and through the night, not to mention that they are enticing shoppers to leave the dirty dishes in search of bargains.

This is all the more outrageous because Thanksgiving is the quintessential All-American holiday, more important and meaningful than any other American holiday, including Independence Day.

Think about this: We are a nation of immigrants. We are all descendants of immigrants, even native Americans. Everybody here from someplace else. Every nationality on earth, every culture, every language. As we have just seen, politics and religion divide us deeply and profoundly. But once a year we get together with our friends and families, fractious though they may be, give thanks to our various gods, to our hosts, to each other, and share a feast.

Americans share this event not only nationwide, but overseas, in war zones, with expats on the job in Johannesburg or Johannisberg. And we share it over time, with our ancestors back to 1621, less than a year after the Mayflower dropped British colonists in Plymouth, MA. They left England to seek religious freedom, and they gave thanks for their first harvest by sharing a feast with the Wampanoag tribe. The celebration continued informally until 1863 when President Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November to honor the "blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies."

That means the feast we are serving has been shared like this for almost 400 years, more than 100 years longer than Independence Day. July 4 may be about independence, but William Jennings Bryan once wrote "On Thanksgiving Day, we acknowledge our dependence." The Thanksgiving ceremonial repast connects us all as part of an unparalleled time-space continuum. This makes it truly the most important American holiday.

A few of us may have lasagna or prime rib, but most of us, across the vastness of the globe, across all age groups, across politics and religion, share pretty much the same menu of turkey, the bird Ben Franklin, the coolest founder, wanted to be our national bird; dressing made from bread, the humblest and noblest of foods; potatoes, the most earthy peasant food that sustained our ancestors in hardship; gravy to ladle over the potatoes and meat to moisten and enrich them; cranberries, a bauble sweet and sour, just like life itself; something green, like green beans or a salad to make Mom happy; plenty of wine, the beverage of conviviality and conversation; and All-American apple pie. If this is not your menu, it should be.

OK, at your house you might skip the cranberries or prefer pumpkin pie, but the thought that so many of us are sharing this classic menu, this celebration, this unique national cultural touchstone, is enough to make me weep, all the more because food, my great love and livelihood, is at the center of the action.

The encroachment of Black Friday into Thursday also makes me weep. Why are we letting greedy merchants steal this signal patriotic event from their clerks, stockboys, cashiers, and managers? Where is the outcry from the family values crowd? Where are the flag draped patriots?

Let me make it clear, I have nothing against capitalism and profit. I am a serial entrepreneur myself. But I do have something against greed. And I do respect family values.

Yes, I know thousands line up for the bargains when the stores open up on Thursday, and that is their decision. But the people who have to stock the shelves, man the cash registers, sweep the floors, and break up the fights in the aisles have no choice. They either abandon their families on this family day, or risk their jobs.

When I sit down for dinner on the fourth Thursday in November and reflect on the fact that I am part of a ritual feast shared by so many for so long, I am deeply and truly awed. More so when I realize that thousands are eating my recipes.

And then, as I chew, I wonder, why don't I cook turkey, dressing, and cranberries more often? And the answer is clear. Because Thanksgiving and all the fixins are sacred. Let's keep it that way. Let's not go shopping until Friday morning and let's tell the shopkeepers to let their employees and customers spend this most special American day with their families and friends.


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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! If you are not using a good digital thermometer we can't help you. Please read this article about thermometers, then buy a good digital, and then, if the problem persists, hit us with your questions.

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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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