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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.
Here's a playlist of BBQ, food, drinking, and related tunes for playing while cooking. Burn them and play them on the road while you're lookin' for that great little rib shack. Feel free to click to download "You Can't Hurry Ribs", my theme song sung by my niece Natalie Longo to the tune of "You Can't Hurry Love" by Diana Ross.
And yes, I know that all chicken shacks don't serve chicken and not all hot dogs and buns get mustard.
Special thanks to the readers who have suggested additions to the list and offered wise cracks. Add yours to the comments section below.
Red links take you to iTunes where you can listen to the tune and then buy it if you wish.