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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.

bbq thermapen

GrillGrates Take You To
The Infrared Zone


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 $299 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.

tailgater magazine

Killer Tested Barbecue And Grilling Recipes

"The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity, than the discovery of a new star." Anthelme Brillat Savarin from The Physiology of Taste 1825

By Meathead Goldwyn

Whenever you cook a recipe, it is a good practice to read it through all the way before you start, making sure you have all the ingredients and tools. In the same way athletes visualize the race, you want to do a mental walk through.

I know you want to play with your food, but I strongly recommend that you follow my recipe closely the first time, no substitutions, no improvisation. You will then know what it is supposed to taste like. Then, on your second go round, you can customize it and riff on it by adding and subtracting and substituting. You may not like rosemary so you will be tempted to leave it out of Meathead's Memphis Dust, but I'm here to tell you that you'll never taste it on the final product because it is just on instrument in an orchestra. You may want to substitute honey for molasses, but the sulfur in molasses interacts with beans differently, making the meal less, shall we say, noisy? I know you think you can amp it up with a bit more chipotle or sugar, or by substituting cider vinegar for distilled vinegar, but I have worked really hard to get it right and there is a good reason for each and everything in a recipe. When there are good and safe substitutions, I list them. Try it my way the first time.

Then, when you change a recipe, it is a good idea to change only one thing at a time so if something goes wrong you know what the cause was. Change the rub and the cooking temp and if the chicken skin is flabby, you won't know for sure which was the culprit.

One of the most important keys to success is mise en place, a basic technique practiced by all professional chefs. Basically it means, before you fire up, get all the ingredients and tools out and do all the measuring, chopping, and blending. Trim the meat, chop the onions, peel the carrots. Scurrying to chop an onion at the last minute can mean disaster to a sauce. I help you by listing the ingredients in the order they will be used and the numbered steps in the recipe are the order in which I strongly recommend you work.

Prep and cooking times are based on my experience but your mileage may vary. As I have tried to make clear, you must cook with a thermometer, not with a clock. A turkey breast that took 90 minutes last week might need two hours this week. Thickness of the meat is the most important factor in determining cooking time, not weight. Ambient temperature and humidity outside are also important factors. Click here to read about what influences cooking time. Also, meat is made from animals and some just tougher than others, some are fattier, some are crankier. No two are precisely alike.

Because there are so many different grills and smokers out there, I cannot get detailed in each recipe about how to set up your cooker if you have a charcoal grill, gas grill, charcoal smoker, gas smoker, pellet smoker, egg/kamado, etc. Instead I specify temperature and whether you should cook over direct heat, indirect heat, or use a 2-zone setup. I have discussed how to set up each of these devices for these cooking methods elsewhere on this site. Unless otherwise noted, almost all the recipes in this book require you to cook with the lid down.

Here's a growing list of my favorite recipes, tested many times by me, my sous chef, and my readers. I work hard to perfect them, always striving to figure out the best techniques. Trust me and stick close to them the first time.

My ingredients. Here is a partial list of some of the ingredients I use in my recipes and what you need to know about them.

Rubs, Pastes, Marinades, & Brines. Before the meat goes on, on goes the flavor.

BBQ Sauce Recipes. All the classic regional sauces: Kansas City, East Carolina, Lexington, Tennessee Whiskey, South Carolina Mustard, and more.

Other Fun Sauces. Rich Red Wine Sauce, Chimichurri, Marinara, here are sauces that make foods come alive.

PORKnography: Ribs, Pulled Pork, & More. Here you'll find a recipe for the Best Barbecue Ribs Ever, as well as perfect pulled pork, and more.

Beef Recipes. Texas Beef Brisket, beef ribs, Italian Beef Sangwitches, and that's just a start.

Hamburgers. Throw out everything you know about burgers. In this section we learn about the history of hamburgers, the regional styles from the Jucy Lucy to the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger, and the absolute best way to cook the dream burger, the 8 ounce Steakhouse Steakburger. And the best technique is nothing like the way you do it now.

Lamb Recipes. Loin Chops in Sheep Dip is the best lamb you've ever tasted and Binghamton Spiedies beat the heck out of kebabs.

Chicken, Turkey, & Duck Recipes. The Ultimate Smoked Turkey will make you the hero of Thanksgiving and Simon & Garfunkel Chicken will take you to Scarborough Fair.

Seafood Recipes. Schmancy Smoked Salmon. Nuff said.

Hot Dogs & Sausages. Lore and the recipe for the Classic Chicago Dog, the Detroit Coney, Wisconsin Brat Tub, and more.

Pizza & Flatbreads on the Grill. Pizza on the grill is just plain better. In this section you'll learn how shockingly easy it is to make pizza dough and pies that will spoil you for life.

Other fun entrees. You won't go back to breaded and fried eggplant after you taste Grilled Eggplant Parm. And wait til you grill Grilled Cheese sandwiches.

Other Side Dishes. Learn why it's called Crack 'n' Cheese not Mac 'n' Cheese. Or try Bron's Cheesy Grits, Drunken Cranberries, and more.

Beans. Here's the complete canon of regional American bean dishes: Boston Baked Beans, Texas Grannie's Beans, N'Orleans Red Beans & Rice, South Carolina Hoppin John, and Kentucky Bourbon Baked Beans.

Breads. Garlic bread, cornbread, nd more to come.

Potatoes. From all over the world, Mom's All-American Potato Salad, German Potato Salad, Greek Potatoes, English Blue Cheese Potatoes, and Italian Pesto Potatoes.

Slaws, Salads, & Other Veggies. All the classic cole slaw recipes, Grilled Asparagus, Caprese Salad, and more.

Condiments. Recipes for making your own ketchup, hot sauces, salsas, giardiniera, and more.

Breakfast Recipes. Sitting on a flat rock by the campfire, a trout splashing on reentry, a cormorant drying its wings, ribbons of hot pink as the sun hauls itself out of the water, songbirds seeking sex in he most melodic way, and breakfast on the grill. Before you brush your teeth.

Snacks & munchies. Stuff to serve during the game and before the ribs are served.

Drink Recipes. In the South it's Sweet Tea, Lemonade, or beer. Here's the recipes as well as other great things to drink with your ribs.

Dessert Recipes. If chocolate truffles don't make her melt in your hands, then you haven't got a chance.

...more to come (to be notified when new recipes and other articles come online, be sure to subscribe to my free, spam free, email newsletter).

Please read this before posting a comment or question

grouchy?1) 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.

2) 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 so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you. Please read this article about thermometers.

3) If you post a photo, wait a minute for a thumbnail to appear. It will happen even if you don't see it happen.

4) Click here to learn more about our comment system and our privacy promise. Remember, your login info for comments is probably different from your Pitmaster Club login info if you are a member.


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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.

This site is brought to you by readers like you who support us with their membership in our Pitmaster Club. Click here to learn more about benefits to membership.

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© Copyright 2014 by AmazingRibs, Inc. AmazingRibs.com is published by AmazingRibs, Inc., a Florida Corporation. Unless otherwise noted, all text, recipes, photos, and computer code are owned by AmazingRibs, Inc. and fully protected by US copyright law. This means that unless you have written permission to publish or distribute anything on this website you have committed a Federal crime. But we're easy. To get reprint rights, just click here. You do not need permission to link to this website. Note. Some photos of commercial products such as grills were provided by the manufacturers and are under their copyright.