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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.

Classic Southern Sweet Tea Recipe

By Meathead Goldwyn

In the Southeast, when you ask for tea, people assume you mean iced and sweet, and that's the way they serve it. The sweetener is always refined white sugar. Not honey. Not artificial. Sweet tea in Georgia seems to be sweeter than most other places. Georgians are so serious about their sweet tea that on April Fools' Day 2003 several Georgia state legislators introduced a bill that said (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'sweet tea' means iced tea which is sweetened with sugar at the time that it is brewed. "Any food service establishment which serves iced tea must serve sweet tea. Such an establishment may serve unsweetened tea but in such case must also serve sweet tea. Any person who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature."

The amount of sugar is personal, and Southern restaurants make sure the the sugar dispenser is full. Trey Murrell, Rogersville, TN, wrote to tell me "Most folks in the deep South like more than 1 cup of sugar. I put 2 cups myself. My grandmother, who grew up in South Carolina, puts 2 cups in hers. I heard one older man say that he likes his tea so sweet, if he runs out of pancake syrup, he'll use his tea."

Beware of sun tea

Sun tea is a method of making tea by pouring tea leaves into water in a clear class jar and sitting it in the sun to steep. People like it because the results are less tannic and bitter than boiled tea. It is also a lovely way to grow pathogens.

Tea leaves are grown in fields where birds and other animals can easily contaminate them with droppings. They are harvested by dirty hands. Many tea leaves are also dried in the open. They are not washed or pasteurized.

Steeping the leaves warm and wet in ambient air temp is a pathogen incubator. UV from the sun and tannin from the leaves may inhibit growth a bit, like a speed bump, but they cannot stop it. Boiling tea leaves kills all microbes. Boil your tea, please.

If you want to brew tea without boiling water, mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of tea leaves in 1/2 gallon of water and leave it in the fridge over night. Strain and serve.

Recipe

Ingredients
1/2 gallon fresh, clean, water
4 family size tea bags or 8 regular tea bags
1 cup granulated sugar

Method
1) Pour the water in a 3 quart or larger pot and boil.

2) Turn the heat off and add the teabags. Cover to steep the tea for 5-7 minutes. Steep it longer to make it stronger and more bitter. Squeezing the teabags makes it stronger and more bitter. Most folks will like it better if you don't steep it longer than 7 minutes and if you don't squeeze the tea bags.

3) Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

4) Refrigerate. Some folks like to age it 12 hours or so, others like to serve it warm over ice. It can get skunky if you keep it more than a few days.

5) Serve over ice cubes with lemon wedges and/or mint leaves as garnish.

This page was revised 8/14/2007


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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! If you are not using a good digital thermometer we can't help you. Please read this article about thermometers, then buy a good digital, and then, if the problem persists, hit us with your questions.

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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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