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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.

All Purpose Hot Dog Chili Sauce Recipe

Meathead's All-Purpose Chili Sauce Recipe

By Meathead Goldwyn

Right up front you've got to understand that hot chili sauces bear no resemblance to real Texas Chili. Zero. Zip. Nada. They are closer to Sloppy Joes, if anything.

The Greeks and Macedonians who spread the concept of the chili dog, commonly called the Coney, from coast to coast each had a proprietary meat sauce that they made from cheap cuts of ground beef, beef heart, kidneys, and trimmings. Much the same stuff used to make the hot dogs, in fact.

They seasoned their sauces with Mediterranean flavors, the brown spices (cinnamon, allspice, clove), herbs (oregano especially), tomatoes and tomato sauce, and amped it up with American chili powder and red pepper flakes. Every joint has its own recipe (except for the lazy ones who buy it frozen).

I've tasted a lot of their recipes. I've even reproduced a number of them on this site (see The Detroit Coney and the Cincinnati Cheese Coney). Now here's my all purpose recipe, good for hot dogs and even Carolina Style Hamburgers. A little less brown spice, a bit more tomato. Yes, I know it looks a lot like Sloppy Joe meat, but it's not.

Recipe

Makes. Enough for about 8-10 hot dogs. Even if it is more than you need, make a full batch and freeeze it. It's good on a bun all buy itself.
Preparation time. About 90 minutes.

Ingredients
1 pound lean ground sirloin or lamb or mixed
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons American chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cups water
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 ounces tomato paste
2 teaspoons inexpensive balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Chipotle Sauce

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Controversial. Now this mix-in has been known to start fights, so I offer it without opinion, but many hot dog chili sauces have beans in them. If that's the way you like it, then just add a 15 ounce can of drained and rinsed pinto beans.

To make kick butt Sloppy Joes. Stir in 1/4 cup Kansas City style barbecue sauce.

Method
1) In a small bowl assemble the dry ingredients: American chili powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, mustard, ginger, salt, and pepper. In another bowl mix the wet ingredients: Water, Worcestershire, tomato paste, vinegar, and hot sauce.

2) Crumble the meat into a medium hot pan that is not non-stick. Stir it around and break it up with a wooden spoon until it is tan all over, about 15 minutes. Keep it simmering until all the water evaporates and the meat begins to fry. You'll hear it sizzle and it will start turning dark brown. Push the meat to one side of the pan. Add the onions and peppers to the bare metal side of the pan and fry them for about 5 minutes until the onions are limp. Add the garlic and fry it for 1 minute. Mix everything together.

3) Push everything to one side and add the olive oil on top of the bare metal and then pour the spices on the oil to allow their oil-soluble flavors to bloom in the oil for about 1 minute. Mix the spices in with everything else.

4) Add the wet ingredients and mix. Let everything simmer on medium low with the lid off for up to an hour. When it dries out, add more water. Cook it down to the whatever thickness you like. I like mine on the crumbly side, not the drippy side as they do in Detroit and Cincy.

This page was revised 6/25/2009


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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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