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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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rendezvous ribsRendezvous Ribs Recipe: Ribs In A Hurry

"Eve came from Adam's rib, and it was good. Eve learned to grill ribs, and it was better." Meathead

By Meathead Goldwyn

The most popular ribjoint in the world, has to be Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous in Memphis where they can seat 700 and almost everyone orders baby backs. On an average day, they move 2,100 pounds of ribs.

At the Vous baby backs are cooked about 2 to 3 feet above charcoal at a relatively hot 425°F for only about 60 minutes. The secret is, while they are cooking they are frequently mopped with a thin vinegary mop that steams and softens the meat. No wood is used so there is not much smoke taste. The meat is flavored with the mop and fat dripping on the coals and vaporizing. Then it is covered in their seasoning. There is no sauce.

Almost everything on this site, everything I know, everything I teach, tells you to take your time cooking ribs. Low and slow produces the most tender, juicy meat. That means three hours or more for baby backs, and five or more hours for spares and St. Louis cut.

But sometimes you just can't wait. Like when you have every tourist in Memphis waiting to be served. Here's how to have baby backs ready in 90 minutes, by imitating the way they do it at the Vous where they churn them out like nobody else can. They are a little chewier than low and slow smoked ribs, but darn tasty. If you are among the many who love the Vous, this will get you as close as an airline ticket to Memphis and a cab to that alley near Beale Street.

Recipe for Rendezvous Ribs

Yield. Makes 1 cup of mop, enough for about 2 slabs of baby back ribs
Preparation time. 5 minutes

6 tablespoons of Rendezvous Seasoning (click for recipe)
1/2 cup distilled vinegar
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons ketchup or tomato based barbecue sauce such as Kansas City Classic or a storebought sauce

Method
1) Set 4 tablespoons of the Rendezvous Seasoning aside for later. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons with the vinegar, water, and barbecue sauce in a bowl. This makes the Rendezvous Mop.

2) Get the coals started in a chimney. When they are coated with white ash, push most of them to one side of your grill and scatter a few on the other side so you have a two zone grill. Stabilize the temp at about 350°F in the indirect section. At the Vous they cook directly over the coals and the dripping fat vaporizes and flavors the meat. But they get the meat 2 to 3 feet above the heat so there is no problem with flareups burning the meat. On most grills you cannot get the meat this high (although it is possible on some bullet smokers if you remove the water pan), so place the meat on the cooler side of the grill.

3) Paint the meat liberally on all sides with Rendezvous Mop when it goes on the grill and put the lid down. Every 15 minutes open it and quickly paint the meat again and flip it over. If you can, keep the mop warm so it doesn't cool off the meat too much and slow the cooking.

Cooking indoors? Because there is no smoke needed, you do this recipe easily indoors. Put the meat on a broiler rack or in a pan, bone side down. Put the oven on bake at 400°F and you might get them done in an hour. Just remember to mop every 10-15 minutes.

4) After 60 minutes, test to see if the meat is ready with the bend test. Click here for an article on how to tell if the meat is ready. When it is ready, put it on the dinner plate, give it a final mopping, allowing some to pool on the plate, and sprinkle with the remaining Rendezvous Seasoning.

This page was revised 6/27/2010

 


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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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