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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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Clarified Butter And Ghee

"I always give my bird a generous butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why? Because I think the chicken likes it, and, more important, I like to give it." Julia Child

By Meathead Goldwyn

All my life I have sought clarity. Here is how I found it.

Butter is made by churning milk fat. It is a mix of oil, water, and milk solids. Many butters have salt added and are labeled "salted".

Sometimes, when cooking, one wants the flavor of butter, but not the water, especially when frying or sautéing. That water will keep the temperature of the oil down until the water bubbles, foams, and boils off, not good for frying. Then the milk solids turn brown and eventually black. Butter burns at about 250°F.

But if you clarify the butter, if you remove the water and milk solids, you raise the smoke point to about 400°F, so you can cook with it over higher heat before it breaks down and turns brown. Clarified butter, also called drawn butter, can be kept in a tight jar at room temp and you can buy it in some stores. I have never seen it go rancid.

Ghee is a form of clarified butter that has had the water evaporated but it is cooked a bit longer with the milk solids so they caramelize and develop a nutty flavor. Simetimes it is even flavored with spices. Ghee easily found in Indian groceries.

At right we see steaks warming in clarified butter at Stripsteak in the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. For more about their unique method of preparing incredible steaks, read my article Extreme Steak.

Preparation time. 5 minutes
Chill. 1 hour
Makes. 3/4 cup

Ingredients
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

Method
1) Cut the butter into cubes and put it into a bowl. Hit it with microwaves for 2 to 3 minutes until melted, or put it in a pan over low and melt it completely.

2) Put it into the freezer for about 30 minutes or the fridge for about an hour until it solidifies again.

3) It will separate into three layers, a thin layer of white milk solids at the top, a lemon colored layer of clarified butter, and a thin bottom layer of more solids and water. Scrape off the top layer and save it in plastic wrap or wax paper. You can use this top layer on popcorn or bread. Mark Bittman of the New York Times says "I sometimes add it to pancake batters or pasta-like doughs such as wrappers for pierogi."

4) Now run a butter knife around the sides of the bowl and loosen the waxy disk of clarified butter. There will probably be a little water at the bottom. DIscard it, and pat the water off the bottom of the butter with a paper towel. Melt it again in the microwave and pour it into a very clean jar.

This page revised 12/7/2013


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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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