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Digital Thermometers:
Stop Guessing!

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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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Brigit BinnsBrigit Binns' Steak Sauce

By Meathead Goldwyn

In the US steak sauce is a moderately thick brown sauce sold in grocery stores. It is very salty, slightly sweet, and savory. The contents vary from producer to producer. A-1, the most popular brand in the US is made with tomato puree, vinegar, corn syrup, salt, raisin paste, crushed orange puree, spices and herbs, dried onion and garlic, caramel color, potassium sorbate (preservative) and xanthan gum (emulsifier).

The problem is, I just can't bring myself to use the stuff on good steaks. But I do use it as an ingredient in barbecue sauces. For readers in Great Britain where apparently there is no "steak sauce" in bottles, HP sauce is a good substitute. According to Wikipedia it is made with malt vinegar, tomato, dates, tamarind extract, sweetener, and spices. Better still, make your own.

Brigit Binns was kind enough to share her recipe for steak sauce that actually makes something good enough to put on a properly-cooked steak. It is far deeper, richer, more complex, and bright than A-1. Try it on burgers, meatloaf, and calves liver, too.

Brigit is my role model and my mentor. We met on Facebook when I was looking for a recipe tester and we got into a debate over who makes the best testers, professionals or amateurs. In the process we discovered how much we had in common (love of dogs and hot dogs among them).

Binns book The Cook & The ButcherOne of the problems we both faced was isolation so we began taking our problems to each other for feedback, both culinary, commercial, and personal. We both work from home in our kitchens and back yards, and there is no such thing as walking down the hall to another office to bounce ideas off colleagues. So we became remote colleagues. We have met face to face only once, when she drove through Chicago on a cross country trip, and we went to Superdawg together and she stayed with my wife and me for a night.

Brigit has written more than 2 dozen cookbooks, many as the collaborator of famous chefs and many for Williams-Sonoma. In 2011 she collaborated with Ryan Farr, a classically trained chef, butcher, and butchery instructor on Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork by Ryan Farr with Brigit Binns. I use it often.

This steak sauce recipe comes from her wonderful book, The Cook & the Butcher, Juicy recipes butcher's wisdom, and expert tips. Published by Williams-Sonoma, it is a compendium of her years of expertise with meats and the wisdom of the great butchers she has known. The photos are droolworthy. I highly recommend it.

Binns lives in Paso Robles, in the heart of California's wine country, and and I can't wait until her book on Central Coast Wine Country Cooking, this time with her byline on top. Check out her website at BrigitBinns.com.

Makes. 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients
1/4 cup water
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped white onions or shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard

Method
1) In a saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover, and gently simmer until the sauce is thick, chunky, and very aromatic, about 45 minutes. In most recipes you soak dried mushrooms first, but much of their flavor is lost in the water (notice how it turns brown?). For this recipe, you do not need to soak the mushrooms first. They will soften and give up their flavor in the sauce while it simmers, and nothing will be lost in the soaking liquid. Pass it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the solids. Refrigerate for up to 2 months.

This page was revised 5/2/2012


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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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