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Digital Thermometers:
Stop Guessing!

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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
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

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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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Kentucky Mint Juleps: The Ultimate Recipe

By Meathead Goldwyn

Bourbon is the quintessential American whiskey and the drink of choice of many of the best pitmasters in the south. Made in Kentucky, mostly from corn, when properly made, filtered, and aged, Bourbon can rival the finest Cognacs in richness, depth, and complexity.

Mint is a weed. Plant some now and you'll be engulfed by it in two years. There are many types, so go to the plant store and pinch a few leaves. Pick the one you like the best. Pick two.

By the time the Kentucky Derby rolls around on the first weekend in May, mint is ready to pick, even in harsher climes, and it flourishes all summer long sporting lovely lavender flowers by midsummer.

The refreshing mint julep became the official drink of the Derby in 1938 and was served in water glasses. According to the Derby Museum at Churchill Downs in Louisville, the glasses disappeared from the track dining room. So management started charging 25¢ per glass and the most popular race souvenir was born. They are collector's items and older glasses command hundreds of dollars on eBay. By 2010 the production run was up to 700,000 and they can be bought in stores. Sterling Silver Julep Cups were introduced in 1951 and they play an important role in Derby lore. Traditionally, the governor of Kentucky salutes the victorious Derby owner with a toast at the fashionable Winner's Party following the race. The official silver cups sell for $750 on their website. You can order unofficial Mint Julep Cups on Amazon for much less and read more about the drink in the book The Kentucky Mint Julep by Colonel Joe Nickel.

My wife and I always watch the Derby with a mint julep in hand. Tell me about your Derby traditions.

Mint Juleps for Seven

Simple syrup is on every bar in the world. It is simply equal amounts water and sugar by volume. Below is a simple syrup infused with mint, perfect for juleps and mojitos. All the flavor, and no green stuff in your teeth!

This makes a fairly sweet drink, as they like it in the South. You can cut back on the syrup and add a splash of sparkling water if you wish, and I often wish.

Makes. 14 ounces of mint syrup, enough for 8 (12 ounce) drinks
Preparation time. 15 minutes to make the mint syrup, 5 minutes to make the drink

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup of mint leaves, rinsed, de-stemmed, and chopped coarsely
1 (750 ml) bottle respectable Kentucky Bourbon
Crushed ice

About the Bourbon. Knob Creek is my favorite sippin' whiskey, but I no way I'm mixing it with sugar and mint. Maker's Mark is a popular, less expensive choice. But for this recipe, the mint is the star, so I use an inexpensive bourbon, like regular Jim Beam.

About the mint. Be sure to remove the stems and the large central vein which can be bitter. Leaves only, please.

Liven it up a bit. Before serving, dose it with a splash of club soda if you wish.

Method
1) Put the mint, sugar, and water is a small saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Then turn it down to low for about 5 minutes to extract the mint flavor. Turn off the heat and let it cool at room temp.

2) Filter the syrup through a fine mesh strainer. You can then bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator for weeks.

3) Fill an 12 ounce cocktail glass half way with crushed ice. Pour in 3 ounces of Bourbon, add 1 1/2 ounces of syrup, and stir or shake well because the syrup will sink to the bottom. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a straw, and get your bets down.

Here is a good videos for cocktail makers

This page was revised 5/7/2010


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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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