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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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Support the website that supports you and get some nifty benefits:

A Comprehensive Food Temperature Guide Magnet that sells for $9.95 on Amazon.com.
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Click here for details.

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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.

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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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Kids eating hot dogs at Ted's in BuffaloPreparing Your Buns

"I devoured hot-dogs in Baltimore way back in 1886, and they were then very far from newfangled... They contained precisely the same rubber, indigestible pseudo-sausages that millions of Americans now eat, and they leaked the same flabby, puerile mustard. Their single point of difference lay in the fact that their covers were honest German Wecke made of wheat-flour baked to crispiness, and not the soggy rolls prevailing today, of ground acorns, plaster-of-Paris, flecks of bath-sponge, and atmospheric air all compact." H.L. Mencken

By Meathead Goldwyn

There are several ways to handle buns. Many hot dog stands steam them and many toast them on the griddle. You pick.

Steaming your buns

I like hard buns only at my health club. Steaming the buns makes them warm and soft, but steaming them too much makes them mushy and sticky. There are several ways to steam buns at home:

1) Start a little water boiling in a double boiler or Chinese bamboo steamer and put the buns in for about 20 seconds. That's all they need.

2) Take a sheet of paper towel and lightly sprinkle it with water until about 20% of it is wet. Wrap the buns in the moistened paper, and microwave for about 10 seconds. If the bun is frozen, nuke it for 30 secs. Exact timing will vary because microwave temps can vary.

3) Get a pot of water boiling. With tongs, hold the buns over the steam for about 30-60 seconds. If you are doing dirty water dogs, this is the easiest method.

4) Reader Mark Leonard of El Dorado Hills, CA, sent me this tip: "I very lightly mist the outsides of the buns with water (if they're a little older I mist a little on the insides as well), wrap them tightly in foil in one package and then toss them on the grill, flipping once, while the dogs cook. Works great." I'll bet it does!

Toasting your buns

Since I grill most of my franks, I usually toast the buns on the grill right next to the meat. I simply open them up and lay them on the grates. Depending on how hot the grill is, they can burn in as little as 30 seconds, so do not leave your buns unattended. Check them frequently. If they get a little too black on the edges, you can usually scrape awar the char with a serrated knife.

If you really want to amp it up, spread a little butter or oil on the cut face of the buns before you grill them. Yum.

This page was revised 6/23/2009


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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, 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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