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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.

Meet Meathead, Barbecue Whisperer & Hedonism Evangelist

"Wretched excess is just barely enough." Shirley O. Corriher, baking expert

By Meathead Goldwyn

meathead eating chickenGlad you stopped by. Sit a spell and take some time to visit. There's a lot to, ahem, consume on this site.

Dad was the first to call me Meathead after watching Archie Bunker. You don't want to know what my editors and my wife call me. If you've read this far, you're my buddy and you can call me whatever you want.

Why do I produce AmazingRibs.com? Because I am a Barbecue Whisperer and Hedonism Evangelist. An eater, drinker, writer, photographer, and teacher and I loooovvvve cooking. Almost as much as eating. Especially outdoor cooking. The Roman god Bacchus is my paragon.

I've had the privilege of judging barbecue and other foods and drinks from Italy to California. I have been a judge at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue, at the first Kingsford Invitational, at the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition, at the World-Wide Mustard Competition, and the World Championship Steak Cook-Off. I have served as Chief Judge of the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and Chief Judge of the College Football Hall of Fame Kickoff Riboff (click the link read my argument for being enshrined in the Hall), and I founded directed for many years the World Wine Championships, World Beer Championships, and World Spirits Championships.

Along the way I have tried to share my love of the sensory with words and pictures. I was a journalism major at the University of Florida and I have written hundreds of articles about food and drink for consumers as a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post (the great Phyllis Richmann was my editor), the Chicago Tribune (several not so great editors), and scores more for the trade magazine Restaurant Hospitality (the great Gail Bellamy was my editor). My food columns can still be found on Huffington Post.

I've been helping folks learn about food and drink online since 1990 when I started Wine & Dine Online as part of LAOnline, long before anybody typed "w" three times in a row or a dot followed by a com. I then hosted the Food & Drink Network on America Online from 1992-2000, built Tastings.com in 1998, and then built this site in 2006.

I lectured for more than a decade on wine at Cornell University's famous School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, NY, and I was an adjunct teaching art at Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago for three years. As founder of the Beverage Testing Institute I produced seven books on wine, beer, and spirits.

Somewhere along the way I studied photography with the great Jerry N. Uelsmann and picked up the world's first Masters degree in Art in Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My photos have been bought by a lot of folks from TIME to Playboy, and my first one man show was at the gallery at Robert Mondavi Winery. Here's an article about my food photography with tips on technique and a list of my tools.

Among my most powerful childhood memories is the seductive scent of sweetly-sauced ribs sizzling and crisping on Dad's grill. In cooler weather Mom would roast them in the oven and serve them swimming in sauce. My interest in cooking began when I was about 10 and Mom and Dad opened a restaurant and I got to be a real jerk, a soda jerk. They named the place after a beautiful flower, the Oleander. We later learned it was poisonous, and eventually the restaurant failed. If you ever hear that I'm opening a restaurant, hunt me down and shoot me.

I suppose there is some symbolism in the fact that I went to Fruitville Elementary School near Sarasota, and then went to McIntosh Middle School. At Merritt Island High, my senior year science project was setting up a test plant to measure the oxygen output from algae, and then harvesting it for food to see if it could be used in space travel. I developed my first recipe, algae cookies. They needed a LOT of chocolate chips. It won a prize from NASA at the 1967 Florida State Science Fair. I just showed pictures of the cookies because if the judges had tasted them I would not have won anything.

I first discovered real barbecued ribs, smoked over wood, at a rickety joint named Y.T. Parker's Bar-B-Q in Gainesville, When I was at the University of Florida. I also discovered hot pepper sauce at Y.T.’s. He put four sauces on the wobbly tables, mild, regular, hot, and one more. If hot was not potent enough for you, he would whup one up even more flammable. If you could eat one hotter than anyone else had eaten before, he let you name it, and that was the fourth bottle. Last time I was there, in the 1970s, he was up to "Super Sabre Jet". My parents had warned me that smoking marijuana would lead to harder stuff. Well, they were right. I gave up weed and took up smoking pork.

Since then I have become an omnivore, eating and drinking for a living since 1970. It's a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it. And I've got wine and sauce stains on all my shirts and the well-marbled waistline to prove I do it well.

Over the years, outdoor cooking has become my passion (my wife would call it my obsession). A radio interviewer introduced me once as a "Barbecue Whisperer" a moniker I kinda like. My ambition to make what I call "Amazing Ribs" is what has fired me to bring this website and forthcoming book to fruition. Please let me know how I'm doing.

This page was revised 3/14/2010


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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