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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 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.

Caramelized Onions

"I've eaten a river of liver and an ocean of fish! I've eaten so much fish, I'm ready to grow gills! I've eaten so much liver, I can only make love if I'm smothered in bacon and onions!" Hawkeye Pierce in MASH, the Adam's Rib show

By Meathead Goldwyn

Caramelized onion pizzaMahogany colored caramelized onions are a wonderful sweet savory ingredient in French Onion Soup, and as a topping for ribs, brisket, caramelized onion pizza, chops, steaks, burgers, hotdogs, baked potatoes, your lover...

As amazing as it seems, onions can be very sweet if cooked slowly. The process converts the natural sugars to caramel. Naturally, the sweeter the onion, the better the outcome. If they are in season, try to use Vidalias from Georgia (May and June), Walla Wallas from Washington State (June through August), Texas Sweets (April through June), Mauis from Hawaii (summer through November), Sweet Imperials from California, and OsoSweet from Chile (January through March). These breeds are usually 3-6% sweet and can even get up to 10% sweet. As a bonus, they are also lower in pyruvic acid, the stuff that gives onions bite and makes you cry when cutting them.

If you are using regular onions, you can sweeten them with a pinch of sugar, brown sugar, honey, or even molasses. My editor, Allen Kelson, says "When onions are cheap, we freeze baggies of caramelized ones; they're great for moistening sandwiches and also for a gazillion other things."

Caramelized Onions Recipe

Makes. About 1 cup or enough for topping a 12" pizza, for topping 6 sandwiches, or for topping 6 baked potatoes
Preparation time. 5 minutes or less
Cooking time.
30-45 minutes

Ingredients
2 cups of sliced onions
3 tablespoons butter
2 pinches of salt

Method
1) Peel the onions and and cut them into 1/8 - 1/4" slices (I wear swim goggles to keep from crying). Separate them thoroughly. Get a large frying pan. It is important that you spread the onions out over a large surface, so don't do this in a saucepan or a small frying pan. And non-stick is best. Over a medium to low heat, melt the butter, stir in the onions, and add the salt. Let them cook until they are brown all over but not burned, stirring every 5 minutes or so. The idea is to slowly extract most of the moisture, burn off the acrid stuff that makes you cry, and turn the copious natural sugars to caramel.

2) Optional. Add a pinch or two of hot pepper flakes when you add the onions to the pan. Just because you can.

3) Optional. When the onions are mostly brown, add 1/2 teaspoon of inexpensive balsamic vinegar. This amps up the sweetness, and balances it with some tartness. Cook another 10 minutes until the vinegar is fully absorbed.

4) Optional. When the onions are ready, add 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary, thyme, or oregano and cook for 5 minutes. If you use dried herbs, add them before the onions turn brown so the herbs can absorb some moisture and give up more of their flavor.

This page was revised 5/8/2009


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

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