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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 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.

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GrillGrates Take You To
The Infrared Zone

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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. 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.

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 $289 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.

Amp Up The Smoke

mo's smoking pouch

Gold BBQ AwardMo'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.

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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.


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Frijoles Borrachos: Steve Sando's Drunken Beans

By Meathead Goldwyn

Steve Sando is the man behind Rancho Gordo, a great source of every type of bean imagineable, and my go-to-guy when I have a bean question. As I was working on creating a list of the classic American bean dishes, I asked him for feedback. He told me about one I had never encountered, and now it ranks among my faves. This is one of the best recipes with beer that I know.

He says "As baked beans are to an Easterner, out West a bowl of borrachos [which translates roughly to mean "drunks"] is a comfort food beyond compare. Some of these beans, a good salad, and another bottle of beer to wash it all down is about all you need. The measurements and directions are very forgiving so don’t be afraid to improvise and come up with your own tradition."

For more of his recipes, check out his book, Heirloom Beans: Great Recipes for Dips and Spreads, Soups and Stews, Salads and Salsas, and Much More from Rancho Gordo.

Serves. 4
Prep for the beans. 12 hours soaking plus 30 minutes boiling
Cook time for the beans. 2 hours
Cooking the borrachos. 45 minutes

Ingredients
3/4 pound of dried beans
1 bottle lager beer
2 slices good quality bacon, diced
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
3 to 4 Serrano chiles, finely chopped
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to test
Lime wedges for serving

About the beans. Any of the pinto-like beans are in order here. Sando also likes Rio Zape, Red Appaloosa, or Anasazi. If you use dried beans, you should read my article The Zen of Beans to learn how to prep them. Sando sells dried beans so that's what he wants you to use, but you can use canned beans. Just substitute 3 (15 ounce) cans of beans will cut the cooking time to 2 hours.

Method
1) Soak the dried beans and boil them in a large soup pot as in my article The Zen of Beans. Drain them.

2) Add the beer and simmer for about 20 minutes.

3) Meanwhile, in an ungreased heavy skillet, over medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered. Move to a paper some paper towels on top of some newspaper to drain and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the excess oil. Keep the flame at medium and cook the onion, garlic, and chiles until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. If the pan looks like it might burn, then add an ounce of water to loosen the meat bits, and scrub them off with a wooden spoon. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft and wilted. Add the cooked bacon and stir.

4) Transfer this mixture to the beans, season with salt and pepper to your taste, add more water if you wish, and simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve with warm corn tortillas and lime wedges.

This page was revised 5/4/2011


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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, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best buying guide to barbecue smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, edited by Meathead.

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