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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.

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.


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grilled lemonsGrilled Lemonade

"If life gives you lemons, grill them." Meathead

By Meathead Goldwyn

rosengartenDavid Rosengarten is a superb chef, a brilliant taster, an entertaining writer, and an inspirational teacher. He is best known for his popular TV programs on The Food Network, where he hosted about 2,500 shows in the 1990s.

I met Rosengarten in Ithaca, NY, where he was working in a wine shop and I was writing about wine and teaching wine part time at Cornell. I hadn't seen him for several years until one day I got an email from him at my new home in Chicago. He was coming to town to conduct a spectacular gourmet dinner for the benefit of Share Our Strength, an important charity that fights hunger. He wanted to taste the best Chicago Hot Dogs and wanted me to help him find them. The next morning we started at 7 a.m. and hit four classics stands by noon (yes, there are hot dog stands open at 7 a.m. in Chicago). By 2 p.m. he was on a plane back home to NYC so he could do a tasting of duck breasts for his superb website on food, wine, and travel, drosengarten.com. On our drive around town I asked him what he preferred to drink with barbecue and without hesitation he said "lemonade" and that he had a great recipe.

chris lillyChris Lilly is one of the best pitmasters in the nation. He is executive Chef of Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur, AL, owner of more competition trophies than you can count, and an advisor to Kingsford. I met him at the Jack Daniel's world Championship Invitational Barbecue in 2005. He was a competitor and I was a judge. We hit it off instantly, and our paths have crossed many times since, even at Big Bob's. He makes his lemonade by slicing the lemons in half and then he grills the cut side over medium heat until there are grill marks.

So I combined both recipes.

norproYou'll need a 1 gallon pitcher, and you can squeeze the lemons by hand, but a juicer is more efficient and it will help you get more juice. I have two that I can recommend. The OXO Good Grips Citrus Squeezer (below) is nice because it strains out seeds and pulp, but it requires a bit of hand strength. The Norpro Glass Citrus Juicer (left) is inexpensive and really easy to use, but you need a strainer to separate seeds and pulp.

oxo juicer

Recipe

Makes. Makes a bit more than 1/2 gallon of lemonade, enough for 6 to7 people to get a good refreshing drink.
Takes. 2 hours

Ingredients
5 large lemons
3/4 to 1 cup of granulated sugar, according to taste
3 cups warm water

Optional. You can swap a lemon or two for limes to make a lemon lime blend.

Method
1) Wash the lemons thoroughly. Cut them in half at the equator and place them in a non-reactive pan. The acidity in the lemons can react with the aluminum or cast iron and discolor both. Don't lose any juice that leaks.

2) Preheat your grill to medium high, about 325°F. When it is hot, make sure the grates are really clean. There can be no traces of grease on them. Place half the lemons, cut side down on the grill and cook until the surface browns slightly but don't let them blacken. Remove them and put them back in the pan.

3) Squeeze all the lemon halves into a 1 gallon pitcher, then add the squeezed lemon halves to the pitcher (you should get about 1/4 cup of juice per lemon), add the warm water (warm water helps dissolve the sugar), dump in the sugar, and stir well with a wooden spoon.

4) Taste for sweetness. Add a little more sugar if you think it's necessary. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Surprisingly, when lemon juice has had a chance to age an hour or three, the flavors open up, similarly to the way red wine flavors open when aired.

5) When ready to serve, stir the lemonade, fill the glasses with ice cubes, and pour.

This page was revised 3/20/2013


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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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