bbq grill and accessories ad
AmazingRibs.com BBQ Logo
Meathead the Barbecue & Grilling Lover Cartoon

Read Smoke Signals, our free e-letter. No spam. Guaranteed. Enter your email here:

bbq ad

http://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon. Amazon and many other websites pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. It works on everything from grills to diapers, Amazon never tells us who bought what, it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site!

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 is 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

BBQ_grill_grates

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. 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 $269 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.

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 monthly
digg

Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes (No Gravy or Cream Needed)

By Meathead Goldwyn

Potatoes are my second favorite food and they go great with my favorite food. I can eat them any way you can cook them. I recently had some great garlic mashed in a restaurant, without gravy, and they were so delicate, mellow, and sweet. Not that heavy G-A-R-L-I-C breath stuff. I immediately went to work trying to duplicate them. But I failed. I came close when I roasted the garlic first, but no cigar. That's because I didn't know the secrets to great garlic mashed.

I belong to several internet discussion groups, and one day I read a note about garlic mashed from one of the people whose comments I always pay attention to on the Smokering BBQ list.

Chef Kurt Lucas of Organic Fresh Fingers develops organic meals for children. He has been the Executive Chef at Oregon State University and he has worked for Michel Richard, the famous French Chef of Citronella in DC.

potato masherThe secret Chef Lucas taught me, is boiling the garlic to reduce its pungence and increase its mellow sweetness. And lots of butter. Most mashed potato recipes call for cream, half-and-half, or milk. This recipe is so good and creamy you don't need any cream in the mix or gravy on the table. But if you insist, you can mix in some cream or half-and-half, but taste it first!

Another secret, I have learned the hard way, is to mash them only with an old fashioned wire potato masher or a potato ricer. Potatoes are about 80% water and most of the rest is starch. Most of that starch is trapped in little pillowlike granules. The spinning blades of a food processor, blender, or a mixer, can tear open those granules and produce gummy wallpaper paste. Whipped potatoes are another technique and another recipe.

Recipe

Yield. 4 small servings
Preparation time. 30-45 minutes

Ingredients
2 pounds Russet Burbank or Yukon Gold potatoes, after peeling
6 medium cloves of garlic
1/4 pound unsalted butter or margarine (1 stick), cut into 1/2" chunks
6 pinches of salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (fresher is better)
2 tablespoons of your favorite fresh herbs

About the potatoes. There are many different potatoes to choose from (read my article The Zen of Potatoes). Russets are a great all round tater, fine for for mashing, and Yukon Golds have an especially nice buttery flavor. Select large potatoes because they are easier to peel. Each potato has a slightly different texture and flavor, so experiment until you find your fave. If you clean the skins thoroughly with a brush or scrubby sponge, you can leave them in for more texture, flavor, and nutrition.

About the garlic. If you have roasted or grilled garlic on hand, you can skip boiling the garlic, but frankly, I like the boiled version better. Click here to see how to roast garlic.

About the butter. If you use salted butter, cut back a pinch of salt in the mashing step. Yes, I know that's a lot of butter, but we don't eat mashed potatoes every day now, do we? You can substitute olive oil for some of the butter.

About the herbs. Fresh herbs are great in mashed potatoes. Try chives or one of the Simon & Garfunkel herbs: Parsley, sage, rosemary, or thyme. Oregano and basil are also great. My favorite is fresh rosemary. That's thyme in the picture above. Click here to learn more about herbs and substitutions.

Optional for cheeseheads. Add 3 ounces grated cheddar cheese or boursin cheese spread.

Optional for carnivores. Add 3 strips crispy bacon crumbled into bits or toss some leftover rib meat or pulled pork in the mix!

Optional for lactivores. Cut back a bit on the butter and add up to 1/4 cup of cream, half and half, or milk.

Method
1) We want to begin by de-fanging the garlic of its sulfury pungence and convert it to sweetness by cooking it. Chef Lucas recommends you peel the garlic cloves, remove the woody root, and cut them in half. Bring a non-reactive saucepan with a quart of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt and the garlic. Boil the garlic for about 15 minutes. You need lots of water to remove all the pungence of the garlic.

2) While the garlic is cooking, get another pot of water boiling. Don't use the garlic water for the potatoes! Make sure you have enough water to submerge the potatoes about an inch below the surface. Add two pinches of salt. Wash the potatoes and cut them into thumb-sized chunks. Try to get the chunks about the same size so they all finish cookin about the same time. When the water is boiling, add the potatoes and boil them until a fork pierces them with only a little resistance, about 15 minutes, depending on how large the chunks are. Don't overcook the potatoes so that the exterior is mushy and they fall apart when you pierce them. Chef Lucas warns that "overcooked potatoes tend to soak up water and can become runny."

3) Drain the garlic, drop them in the serving bowl, add the butter, three pinches of salt, black pepper, and herbs, and mash everything into a paste with a fork.

4) Drain the potatoes thoroughly and keep them in the hot pot to dry them out a bit more. I like mine with some chunks, more smashed than mashed, so I just dump them into the bowl and use an old-fashioned wire masher. If you like yours smooth, use a potato ricer (it looks like a giant garlic press). Squeeze them through the holes into the bowl and mix with a large spoon. Don't use a mixer or you run the risk of making glue. Before serving, taste them and add more salt and pepper if you wish.

Optional. Here's where you can add cheese, meat, or cream. I recommend you do the recipe as is the first time, and then riff on it the second time if you wish.

5) Holding mashed potatoes. Getting all the parts of a meal ready at once is the trickiest part of cooking, so if the rest of the meal isn't ready when the spuds are, you can keep them warm in a slow cooker or heat them in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes just before serving.

Here are some good videos of potato cooking

This page was revised 11/23/2010


Please read this before posting a comment or question

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. 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 can't help you. Please read this article about thermometers.

MISSING COMMENTS. On March 16, 2014 the company that supplied the software for our comments section went out of business. The company that bought them was not up to our standards, so on April 17, 2014 we moved to a new service and and thousands of previous comments were lost. So we must begin again. Sigh. Click here to learn more about our comment system.

Moderators

LeaderDog.org Ad on BBQ site

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, rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best buying guide to barbecue smokers, grills, and accessories, edited by Meathead.

Advertising on this site. AmazingRibs.com is by far the most popular barbecue website in the world and one of the 50 most popular food websites in the US according to comScore and Quantcast. Visitors and pageviews increase rapidly every year. Click here for analytics and advertising info.

© 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 you need written permission to publish or distribute anything on this website. 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.