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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.

tailgater monthly
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Two Salsa Rojas, Tomato Salsas, The Staple Of Mexican Cuisine

By Meathead Goldwyn

An important building block in Mexican food is salsa roja, which is commonly called tomato salsa in the US. There are a gazillion ways to make it, but here are two of my faves: Classic Pico de Gallo, because this classic is made with raw ingredients and is bright and easy to assembl, and Grilled Salsa Roja, because it is deep in flavor and very complex.

Fresh quality ingredients are essential, especially fresh tomatoes are absolutely necessary to good salsa. You cannot make it in January from the South American pink rocks in the grocery stores. Prime time is August through September. Note that when I say "meaty tomatoes" I mean a tomato with thick walls and little jelly in the center, such as Roma tomatoes. Although the jelly is loaded with savory umami flavor, it also makes the salsa watery.

pico de galloOption 1: Pico de Gallo

The simple, bright fresh flavors of this raw salsa are wonderful on corn chips or fish tacos.

Takes. 30 minutes
Makes. About 2 cups

Ingredients
4 large meaty tomatoes
1 small green jalapeño
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 clove fresh garlic, minced into small bits
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 lime, sliced in half
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method
1) Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Chop into small cubes, about 1/8" and add to a medium bowl.

2) Slice the jalapeño lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and the white ribs and the stem end with a spoon. Chop into small bits and add to the bowl.

3) Add the clilantro, scallions, and garlic to the bowl. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime through a strainer to catch the seeds. Rub the lime skin on a zester to get about 1 teaspoon of lime zest into the bowl. Chill. You can add the black pepper at any time, but hold off on the salt til the last minute because it tends to draw moisture out. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

grilled salsaOption 2: Grilled Salsa Roja

Takes. 1 hour
Makes. About 2 cups

Grilling the ingredients adds complexity and pulls out sweetness.

Ingredients
4 large meaty tomatoes
1 small green jalapeño
1 medium onion
2 cloves fresh garlic
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 lime, sliced in half
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method
1) Preheat the grill to medium high, about 325°F in one single hot zone. When it is hot, clean the grates really well. You don't want any rancid meat grease in your salsa.

2) Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Slice the jalapeño lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, the white ribs, and the stem end with a spoon. Peel the onion, cut off the ends, and slice into 1/2" thick rings. Peel the garlic cloves and cut off the stem end.

3) Put the tomato, onion, lime, and jalapeño on the grill cut side down. To keep the garlic cloves from falling through you can put them on a grill topper or a piece of foil or a frying pan. Turn the tomato, onion, and pepper when they start to get grill marks. Let the jalapeño and tomato skins blister and blacken so they will be easy to peel. Remove the lime when the cut side gets grill makrs. Remove onion when it gets marked on the second side.

6) Let everything cool and peel the tomatoes and jalapeños (you may swant to wear gloves when handling the jalapeños). Chop the tomato, onion, jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro in a bowl, squeeze in the lime juice through a strainer or your fingers to catch the seeds, and add salt and pepper to taste. Rub the lime skin on a zester to get about 1 teaspoon of lime zest into the bowl. Stir and chill. If you barehanded the pepper, wash thoroughly with soap or you can burn your eyes or other moist parts (use your imagination). Chill. You can add the black pepper at any time, but hold off on the salt til the last minute because it tends to draw moisture out. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

This page was revised 8/6/2012


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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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