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A 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.
GrillGrates(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.
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.
Absolutely 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).
Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!
Made 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.
Mo'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.
The 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.
"There Is No Such Thing as Too Much Barbecue" is a wonderful, poetic ode, a short essay, by Jason Sheehan. It was broadcast by National Public Radio's All Things Considered on Memorial Day, May 29, 2006 as part of their "This I Believe" series. You can read it or listen to it by clicking here.
Of course, this is alphabetic, and since people have been known to copy and paste my pages, I need to include AmazingRibs.com in my list. Some guy named Meathead writes mostly about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, but there's a lot of good info about food, ingredients, and techniques. Even has some vegetable recipes.
Barbecue Master. Based in NC barbecue country, Cyndi Allison has been writing about barbecue and teaching it for more than a decade. Check out the links to her other websites and blogs.
Barbecuen. Articles and ideas on everything from grills to cooking elk.
BBQDryRubs. The site is a nice hobby site from David Somerville covering more than rubs. He focuses on Weber gear and the sausage section is good.
BBQ FAQ. An astonishing compilation of wisdom from scores of serious cue'ers. The only problem is that the mailing list of participants has been dissolved so you can no longer sign up. Also, a lot of the links are broken. Still, the knowledge there is timeless.
BBQ Sauce Reviews. He likes sauce. Some better than others. See if you fave is on his 5-star list.
Braai 4 Heritage. In South Africa they call it braai, and everyone barbecues. They even have a National Braai Day!
Cooking Outdoors. Gary House is fearless as he cooks everything on his grills, even pies and bread. There are sections on barbecue, cast iron cooking, Dutch oven, fire pit, and foil cooking. Lots of recipes well illustrated with photos.
GrateTV. This frequent video show stars Jack Waiboer, a talented BBQ cook and competitor based in SC, and co-host Bill West (above). They teach tips, technique, tools, toys, secret ingredients, beer drinking, and answer viewer email questions. They know their stuff, and teach it with a smile. That's them above, and one of the gadgets they feature.
GrillGrrrl. Robyn Medlin Lindars knows how to cook, and she can do it outdoors. She blogs about her adventures, her recipes, and she teaches classes in her home base of South Florida and around the nation. Her specialty is making barbecue fun for women. She also cooks on her sailboat! Fun stuff!
A Hamburger Today. Gently patted together by Robyn Lee, this site is made of prime restaurant commentary, stuffed with burger lore, topped with good humor, and held together with beautiful drippy photographs. She is aided by a handful of burgerphiles who know their stuff.
Home BBQ. Message boards that discuss just about anything barbecue.
The Ingredient Store.com. Home of the FAB injections and marinades. FAB is the stuff most of the brisket champs inject (into the meat, not themselves).
Live Fire Online. Curt McAdams can cook and takes nice pix in Ohio. He focuses on barbecuing and grilling, but often digresses on local foods, markets, baking, and dining.
Mark Stevens. I met Mark in one of the online message boards and have learned a thing or two from him and his tips. You can too. His home made website has great links, and some good recipes and tips.
Naked Whiz. This may be the most inaccurate and inappropriate name for a website on the net, but don't let it deter you. This is the go-to site if you have any questions about charcoal, how it is made, and what is the best.
Nibble Me This. Chris Grove is in Knoxville and he works his Big Green Egg and other cookers hard. He has also written a book about kamados.
Patio Daddio BBQ. John Dawson brings his analytical IT mind to the patio and tests new techniques, equipment, and recipes with an unusual thoroughness and sharp sense of humor. He also competes. This is one of my faves.
Postcards from Scotsylvania. Scot Murphy is a very smart, witty, fella, and a pretty good cook too. His blog covers barbecue, gardening, politics, comics, and "ruminations about the universe, occasional whining, snarkiness, stuff like that."
She Smoke. Julie Reinhardt is the author of the book She-Smoke, a Backyard Barbecue Book, and co-owner of Smokin' Pete's BBQ in Seattle. This blog is an extension of the book, the restaurant, and how she rolls with two kids in tow.
Thesmokering is an informal conglomeration of almost 1,000 websites devoted to barbecue. They include sites with recipes, tips on technique, cookers, supplies, sauce for sale (a lot of them have sauce for sale), and more. Best of all, there is a search engine so you can search on keywords such as "ribs."
Something Different Country Store & Deli. This is the website of a real old-fashioned country store that happens to be world famous because it is owned by folks that know a lot about barbecue, not to mention food and farming in general. Dad, Dan Gill, is the writer in the family, and his musings, called Dan's Blurbs, are well thought out and researched. Definitely something different.
Southern Foodways Alliance. Southern cuisine is this nation's most interesting and these guys know ALL about it. All about it. The oral history videos are priceless.
Sports Tailgaters. All tailgating items including locations, bars, apparel, games, and accessories. Share your stories, pictures, and bar locations with fellow sports fans. They also have a full suite of Fantasy Sports Leagues.
Tropic Als BBQ Review. Are you a Parrot Head or a wanna be back yard beach bum? Check out Tropic-Al's BBQ Review: a back yard banana republic in the Catskills.
Virtual Weber Bullet. Chris Allingham's site is dedicated to the use of the Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker (a.k.a. "The Bullet"). There is an amazing amount of really helpful info on barbecue from theory to recipes that can be applied to cookers other than The Bullet. The message boards are visited regularly by lots of knowledgeable people, and I have even seen notices of meat sales at butchers near my house posted there. It is not affiliated with Weber grills.
White Trash BBQ. The story of a BBQ obsessed Brooklyn guy who dreams of producing award winning barbeque. He competes around the nation in the KCBS barbecue competition circuit, documents his cooks and those of others he meets, and has even been known to post while he is cooking! Fun stuff, especially if you are thinking of getting on the circuit.
...more to come (to be notified when new recipes and other articles come online, be sure to subscribe to my free, spam free, email newsletter).