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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 $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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cowboy candy

Champion's Cowboy Candy (a.k.a. Candied Jalapeños) Recipe

gene_autryBy Meathead Goldwyn

There are two kinds of "Cowboy Candy" and this recipe is not for chaw. This is a sweet/sour pickled pepper that is great as a relish on hot dogs, burgers, cold cut sandwiches, pulled pork, coleslaw, potato salad, grilled cheese sandwiches, Italian beef, Italian Sausages, or mixed in with your cornbread. Take a block of cream cheese and cover the top with these tasty rings and serve with crackers as an appeteaser.

Pleasantly the heat is diminished by the cooking process, so the results are not as hot as you might fear. This recipe is a refrigerator pickle, so all jars must be stored in the fridge. When you are done, save the syrup. You'll find a use for it in sauces like Mumbo sauce, barbecue sauce, cocktails, and more.

When I was a boy, one of my heroes was Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy and I was nuts about his horse Champion. So I have named my Cowboy Candy recipe after the world's smartest horse.

He made himself a household name starring on radio in the 1930s and 40s, in movies in the 40s and 50s, and on television in the 1950s. According to e made 640 recordings, including more than 300 songs written or co-written by him. His records sold more than 100 million copies and he has more than a dozen gold and platinum records, including the first record ever certified gold. His Christmas and children's records Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) and Peter Cottontail are among his platinum recordings. His version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is the second all-time best selling Christmas single. But my favorite, as a kid who wore a cowboy hat and chaps everywhere, was Back in the Saddle Again. In 1961 he bought the California Angels baseball team.

cowboy candyGene Autry's Cowboy Code
The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
He must always tell the truth.
He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
He must help people in distress.
He must be a good worker.
He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws.
The Cowboy is a patriot.

Makes. 12 ounce bottle
Prep time. 15 minutes
Cooking. 25 to 30 minutes

Ingredients
2 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup distilled vinegar
3/4 pounds fresh green jalapeños, washed thoroughly

Special hardware
You will also need a clean 12 ounce jar with a lid

About the jalapeños. You can use any chile pepper you wish, hotter or less hot. Click here to see your options.

About the vinegar. It is better with white vinegar than with cider vinegar.

Method
coring pepper1) Wear disposable gloves when cutting and handling hot peppers and safety glasses are not a bad idea. Think you're a tough guy and don't need the protection? Do it barehanded and then go take a leak. Then, while you're crying, wipe your eyes. But for goodness sake, don't make love for 24 hours unless you've worn gloves. Once your protection is in place, cut off the top stem. Slice them into 1/8" rings unless you are afraid they will be too hot. In this case, get a knife and reach down into the pepper with it and scrape off the white veins that hold the seeds (right). These veins also hold most of the heat. The seeds have some of the capsaicin, but not as much. Then rinse out the cavity and slice into 1/8" rings.

2) Cook the water, sugar, and vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat until it boils and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.

3) Before you proceed, beware. When you add the peppers to the hot syrup they will off-gas capsaicin, a.k.a. pepper spray, almost the same stuff the riot control police use. Please do not hover over the pan, and remember to turn on the overhead fan on your stove. Now add the peppers and the liquid will stop boiling. Wait for it to boil again and turn it off after about 20 seconds. This will pasteurize the peppers. If you wish, leave it boil longer to reduce the spiciness. While it is hot, use a slotted spoon to move the peppers into a very clean 12 ounce jar. Pack them in tight and pour in the syrup. Poke around with a fork until most of the air is gone, tighten the lid, and refrigerate. Keep refrigerated. After 2 days they will start losing the bright green color and the pepers and the syrup will swap their fluids. You can dig in then, but if you wait a week, you will be rewarded for your patience.

4) After you eat all the peppers, you can add more to the jar at least one more time After that it tends to get a bit diluted as the water in the pepper is pulled out into the liquid. I've even tossed cucumber slices in the liquid for the second go round. For a fun treat, save the spicy hot liquid for mixing cocktails, slaws, salad dressings, etc.

This page was revised 7/12/2012


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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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