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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

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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.

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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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grilled herbed lamb lollipops

Herbed Rack Of Lamb Lollipops

"If I was placed midway between a perfectly cooked lamb ribeye and a perfectly cooked beef ribeye I would starve to death trying to pick which to eat." Meathead

By Meathead Goldwyn

rack of lambRack of lamb is a classic fancy restaurant meal and some of my favorite meat in the world. At $20 or so per pound, it better be good.

The rack is the equivalent of a beef prime rib, and the meat is the equivalent of ribeye. But it is a lot smaller, usually somewhere just north of two pounds for a whole rack. After you trim it and cook it you have just enough for two, about 1 1/2 pounds).

You can cook the rack whole, which is usually eight rib bones and a tube of spectacular loin meat coated with a thick layer of fat. Cook it whole and you have an impressive presentation, but I have a better way.

You need to remove the thick exterior fat layer and any silverskin underneath. The fat adds little flavor and prevents the meat from browning. Contrary to myth, fat caps do not improve flavor. Read this article on the subject of fat caps.

Most recipes call for coating the meat with mustard and breadcrumbs, but they cover the meat and get all the browning action. I want the meat to brown. So after trimming, I take one more step. In order to increase the marvelous Maillard and caramelization flavors of a brown surface, I cut the rack into four sections, each two bones wide. Cutting into single bone sections leaves me with chops that are too thin to get good and brown on the outside without overcooking the inside and it is tricky to get all eight chops the same thickness.

double wide lamb chopsA lot of recipes call for "Frenching" the bones which is the process of removing all the meat between the bones so the bone is bare and showy. But that little sliver of meat in there between the bones is too good for me to waste, even though it usually overcooks, so I leave it.

I call them lollipops because the knob of meat, perhaps 2" diameter and 1.5" thick, can easily be eaten without the aid of knife and fork in about four bites.

Makes. 2 servings
Takes. 15 minutes of prep, 1 hour of letting the wet rub marry, another hour or 3 to marinate the meat, and 30 minutes to cook.

Ingredients
1 (8 bone, 2 pound) rack or lamb
4 medium cloves of garlic, skinned, stemmed, pressed, crushed, or minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
Coarse salt to taste

Optional. Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint.

Method
1) Mix the garlic, rosemary, pepper, and olive oil and let it sit for at least an hour so the oil can extract the flavors. This is called a wet rub.

2) Trim off all the fat cap. There is often a tough silverskin membrane beneath the fat cap that needs to go, too. Yes, this is a lot of waste from a cut that was expensive to begin with. Work carefully so you don't waste any of this expensive meat. Cut the rack into four fat chops by slicing between every second bone. Try to make them the same thickness so the will cook at the same rate.

3) Pat the meat dry and apply wet rub. Use a lot. Much of it will fall off during cooking. You can let it marinate for a while, but it really won't penetrate much. An hour or 3 is enough. Meat is full of water and oil and water don't mix, so marinating really only treats the surface.

lamb chop grilled on side

lamb with foil4) Preheat the grill for 2-zone cooking with the direct heat side at Warp 10. Warm the meat gently on the indirect side with the lid down for about 5 minutes per side and then move it over the direct side to sear the exterior. Leave the lid open and place the bones over a sheet of foil. Don't wrap the bones, we want them to brown but not burn. This technique of warming the meat first is called reverse sear and it insures the most even colored interior possible. When you turn the meat try not to drag it across the grates and scrape off the rub, but turn often, about every 2 minutes. Take it up to 125°F or 130°F, 135°F at the most.

5) Now you may have noticed we haven't salted the meat yet. Usually I want you to do it long before you cook, but this small cut is best if you use a coarse salt for the end, just before serving, like granules on a pretzel. Go easy, it won't need much.

This page was revised 4/26/2013


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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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