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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
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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.

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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).

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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

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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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Grilled French Toast on the Grill (DOH!)

Grilled French Toast"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." Mae West

By Meathead Goldwyn

Rich boats of bread waterlogged with eggs, laden with fresh fruit, floating in a sea of real maple syrup. Sheer heaven.

Just about the simplest breakfast this side of a bowl of cereal, French toast is the perfect way to start a Sunday morning, or a Tuesday morning for that matter. Or a Thursday lunch. And if you compete on the barbecue circuit, cooking a French toast breakfast for your team will make them warm on the inside and forgive you for making them tend the smoker all night.

French toast should be toasted, not fried in a pan. That's why they call it toast! And French toast on the grill is killer. Here's the ultimate French Toast recipe, a snap to make on a grill.

Recipe

Yield. 2 large thick slices, enough for one hungry person, or two lightweights
Preparation time. 5 minutes.
Cooking time. 15 minutes.

Ingredients
2 large slices of crusty bread, about 3/4" thick
2 eggs
2 ounces milk (2% or higher fat content is best)
2 tablespoons butter if you use a griddle
1/3 cup pure Grade B maple syrup
Fresh fruit

About the bread. Use an uncut Italian bread or something with a nice crunchy crust, but not as crusty as a French baguette. Ironic that French bread is too crusty for French toast, no? Challah, brioche, and cinnamon raisin bread are wonderful choices. Keep it to about 3/4" thick or less so the egg in the center cooks until it is safe. The crust adds a nice texture, but just as important, it helps prevent the soggy bread from falling apart. If you use sliced white bread, one egg will do two slices.

About the egg/bread ratio. The rule of thumb is 1/2 egg for a slice of sandwich bread. Large thick slices can absorb up to a whole egg.

About the egg/milk ratio. The rule of thumb is an egg averages 2 ounces, and you use 1 ounce of milk for 2 ounces of egg. You can also use fat free Egg Beaters (R) if you wish. If you'r out of milk you can use water.

Optional flavorings. Whisk in a pinch of cinnamon and 2 drops of vanilla per egg. Go wild and add a pinch of nutmeg and allspice.

About the toppings. I prefer Grade B maple syrup. It is darker, more flavorful, and cheaper than Grade A, and it is infinitely better than the ersatz stuff. Fresh fruit is great on French toast, especially peaches, blueberries, bananas, and strawberries. A sprinkle of confectioner's sugar give it a real downtown look. Some folks like to top it with fruit syrups, honey, Lyle's golden syrup, cane syrup, liqueurs, jams, apple sauce, more butter, powdered sugar, sugar with cinnamon, sour cream, creme fraiche, yogurt, peanut butter, melted cheese, or even baked beans. Use your imagination.

Go savory. Try making French toast with rye bread or sourdough bread and whisk in salt and pepper. Serve savory French toast with without syrup. Just sprinkle on some fresh herbs such as rosemary, tarragon, or thyme, and top with grill-roasted peppers and Italian sausage.

Method
1) Take the chill off the syrup by putting it in a coffee cup and letting it sit at room temp or heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds or in a saucepan on low for 5 minutes. Select your toppings and get them ready.

2) Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon thoroughly in a wide bottom bowl. Leave no streaks, and make sure the cinnamon isn't lumpy.

3) Dunk both sides of the bread in the egg mix for about 20 seconds per side. We want it well saturated. Put the bread on a flat plate. If there is egg leftover, pour it on top of the bread slices and let it soak in.

4) Toasting on grill grates. If you are using charcoal, use fewer briquets than normal and spread them out so they are not stacked on top of each other and so they are not touching. If you are using a gas or electric grill, turn the knobs to medium and when the grates are hot, clean them thoroughly. Oil the grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil or with a silicon basting brush. Put the egg soaked bread on the clean, oiled grates, and stand there. Don't wander away. Check after two minutes. Use a spatula rather than tongs. Depending on the heat of your grill, they can go from beautifully golden to burnt in a minute or two. They are ready when GBD (Golden Brown and Delicious) and the surface no longer looks wet. Don't let them get too hard.

Cast iron griddlesToasting on a griddle. Crank up the grill to high, heat the griddle, and back it down to just above medium. Add enough butter to coat it well, and when it is melted, place the bread on and press it gently with a spatula so the surface is in contact with the oil. Close the lid and give it 5-10 minutes on the first side until it is golden. The second side should not take as long.

5) Transfer the toast to serving plates immediately and crown it with the toppings of your choice. Serve with coffee.

Here are some good videos of other French Toast ideas

This page was revised 12/18/2008


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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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