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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 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.
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. 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 $269 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.
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.
All the articles, recipes, and tips on technique, on AmazingRibs.com are written by Meathead but I stand on the shoulders of some very helpful people, listen alphabetically.
Brigit Binns, Culinary Consultant, Confidant
Brigit Binns is my culinary consultant, occasional editor, advisor, and confidant. She is also is the esteemed author of more than two dozen cookbooks (many for Williams-Sonoma).
She has taught me much, corrected my stupidities, and sent me recipes to test for her books that always bowl me over. She teaches bread and pizza baking outdoors at her wood burning oven in Paso Robles. Follow her at TheCrispyBit.com.
Dr. Greg Blonder, Science Advisor, Mythbuster
Dr. Greg Blonder, is an amazing polymath and the AmazingRibs.com resident science advisor and mythbuster. He has a physics BS from Harvard and a physics PhD from MIT. In his life as a physicist he rose to become the Chief Technical Advisor at AT&T's legendary Bell Labs and he holds more than 80 patents in the areas of optical disk recording, integrated fiber optic devices, displays, computer systems, software, and user interfaces. He has designed furniture, electronic window treatments, and some very cool toys.
As an entrepreneur, he has been a partner at the Morgenthaler Ventures, a technology centric venture capital firm that has supplied funds to Apple among others. He has also lectured at Columbia University and Wharton, written a number of articles for Business Week, and teaches Scenario Planning part time at Parson's The New School for Design.
His love of food, especially barbecue, has brought him to food science where he conducts original research for this website, and patiently answers my dumb questions.
Jerod Broussard, Comments Moderator
Jerod Broussard is a maestro of the popular drum smoker and he checks the comments on that page regularly to help owners. Born and raised in Southwest Louisiana on a rice farm, Jerod earned a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science and moved to Texas where he has been a food inspector since 2002. Don't be shy with your questions regarding chicken, Jerod inspects about 15,000 a day prior to them being chilled and processed. Like just about everyone who owns a Pit Barrel, he's an enthusiastic fan who can't stop smokin'.
Max Good, Director of Equipment Reviews & Keeper of the Flame
Max is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max loves barbecue so much that he took his barbecue sauce recipes, had them bottled, and now sells Black Swan Premium, All-Natural Sauces around the world.
Barbecue was not his first career. He earned a BA from Columbia College in Chicago and studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Dana School of Music. He has been involved in every aspect of film, video and music production. He edited the 1991 Academy Award nominated documentary, "The Mark of the Maker" and "Universal Hotel", which is part of a permanent exhibit at the Dachau Memorial Museum.
Norma Goldwyn, Copy Editor
One of the fringe benefits of having a retired schoolteacher for a Mom is she will gladly underline all my spelling and grammar errors in bright red ink. Mom stays active editing, going to the theatre, and guides art museum tours as a volunteer. She says she's thrilled with her son's success, but still wishes he had become a doctor and really really wishes he would use the name she gave him not the nickname, Meathead.
Jonas Halpren, Advertising Consultant
Jonas has helped me understand a tiny part of the online advertising world, negotiated deals for me, and guided me in many other ways.
George Hensler, BBQ Competition Expert
George Hensler is the founder and pitmaster for the competition BBQ team named "Who Are Those Guys?" They have been competing on the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) circuit since 2007. He is a columnist for the KCBS Bullsheet and the National BBQ News and he has written two books, Totally Q, an insider's look at the crazy world of barbecue and Startin' the Fire , a "how to" book on starting your own competition BBQ team. He resides with his family in Street, MD.
Jason King, Videos
Kinger loves to cook and shoot videos. A while ago he started sending me short vids he made of my recipes and I loved them. Now many of them now appear on these pages to help you visualize the process. You can also see them on BBQFOOD4U. Kinger lives in Toronto and says "My Mother told me 'If you wanna eat you better learn to cook.' So I did. Cooking, filming, editing, and cleaning up the mess is a lot of work, but I just love to show everyone how easy it is to make delicious food."
Lisa Lynott, Artist & Illustrator
How lucky can I get? My neighbor across the back fence is an accomplished artist and she is slowly replacing my crude drawings with polished professional illustrations that explain complex concepts.
Lisa is a technical illustrator who studied illustration and graphic design at the American Academy of Art, Chicago, and scientific and botanical illustration at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. A senior designer at the Brookfield Zoo, Lisa's animal and plant illustrations have appeared in publications and zoo exhibits. Other projects have included anatomical illustrations for physical therapy manuals and corporate graphics. She has also exhibited drawings in groups shows in Chicago.
Dr. Antonio Mata, "The Meat Geek"
Dr. Antonio Mata, PhD, is a meat scientist known around the world as "The Meat Geek". He has been a Consulting Technical Coordinator to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the discoverer of the Petite Tender steak and the Las Vegas Strip Steak. He was also involved in the discovery of the flatiron steak. He answers my meat questions and makes me laugh.
Jim is head of Desktop Design in Chicago. He is an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) and Adobe Certified Instructor (ACI) with over 20 years of experience working with graphic design and office productivity software. He has written two books for Adobe Press and hundreds of articles on graphic design and electronic publishing. He is a nationally known speaker and presenter who represents Adobe Systems at industry events and seminars nationwide.
His associate, Jeremy Chambers, is a Drupal database expert and his remarkable skills created our equipment reviews database.
We also benefit greatly from the consultations and expertise of Paul Huntsberger of 303software and Alex Hambrick of CloudSixteen.
Bill McGrath, Thermometer Maven
Bill McGrath is our Thermometer Maven. He has sophisticated equipment, an electrical engineering degree from Cornell University, and an MBA (almost) from UC Berkley. Despite being mostly retired, he is still the person responsible for developing and updating all of ExxonMobil's training modules for their refinery and chemical plant electricians worldwide. He is an avid cook, oenophile, photographer, pilot, scuba diver, and motorcycle buff. He lives in a motor home and he and his significant other follow the sun. He started with us in February 2014 and his first reviews will appear online soon.
Parrish has so much steel on his deck it is in danger of collapsing (six cookers and counting). Among his tools is a Hasty Bake 256, and he checks the comments on that page regularly to help other owners. Dave is a nine year veteran of the US Air Force where he flew C-130 cargo/transport aircraft in the navigator crew position. He returned home to the South to settle into civilian life as an Information Systems Auditor.