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Digital Thermometers:
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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.

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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!

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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

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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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frico in salad

Freakin' Great Frico Cheese Crisps

By Meathead Goldwyn

If you love the crispy bits of cheese that stick to the griddle when you make grilled cheese sandwiches even better than the sandwiches, frico will become your favorite munchie.

Frico are lacy, cheesy, crunchy crackers that are quick and easy appetizers or snacks. They're best when made with real Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or a high quality American parmesan. It's possible you can use other "parmesan" type cheeses, but I can't guarantee the recipe will work.

Frico can be made on a griddle on your grill, in a frying pan, or in your indoor oven. I usually make them in the oven since time and temp control are pretty critical.

You can serve frico as a garnish for salads or risoto, they can be crumbled on top of stews, soups, and even some meats like grilled pork chops or chicken breasts. For a real thrill, put one on a burger.

Make a big batch. You can store frico in an airtight container for several days. No need to refrigerate.

Frico are super with a slightly sweet fizzy wine like Asti Spumante, prosecco, Champagne, or beer.

Frico Recipe

Makes. About 16 crisps
Preparation time. 10 minutes
Cooking time. 10 minutes, cooling time 15 minutes.

Ingredients
4 ounces by weight of coarsely grated young Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon all purpose flour

About the cheese. To get the nice lacy effect, it is important to grate the cheese on a box grater using the large holes and to not use more flour.

Optional. You can use other herbs if you wish. Thyme, sage, oregano, and basil, fresh or dried, all work fine. Also, ground black pepper or hot pepper will work just fine too, but you'll see it in the final result. White pepper is invisible.

Optional. If you want to get fancy, top your frico with a daub of creamy cheese like fresh chevre (a goat cheese), crème fraîche, sour cream, whipped cream cheese, or try my boursin recipe. Another topping that is fun is a thin sliver of strawberry or peach.

Method
1) Preheat the grill or oven to 400°F.

2) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (if you have a reusable silicone baking pad, a silpat, you can use that). Parchment is miraculous stuff, impregnated with silicon, and it is the best way to keep frico from sticking. If you cook frico on the grill, and you use parchment paper, make sure it is not hanging over the edges so it won't catch fire. If you don't have parchment, coat the pan lightly with a high smoke point oil such as olive oil. You can use a griddle or even a frying pan on top of a burner, but the method below is for a baking sheet with parchment, the easiest way to do this.

2) Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Scoop the cheese mix 1 tablespoon at a time and make 1 tablespoon piles on the parchment or silpat. Press each mound to less than 1/8" high, and leave at least 1/4" between piles. Don't make them too thick or they will be chewy rather than crispy.

4) Bake about 8 to 10 minutes on the middle grate of the oven until bubbly and slightly golden. If you use a dark colored baking sheet they will cook more quickly, so watch them carefully. If they brown too much they will be bitter. Take them away from the heat and let them cool for no more than a minute, then work them loose from the parchment paper (easy to do) or the oiled surface (a little trickier) with a thin spatula. Cool for about 15 minutes on paper towels to absorb any oil that was on the cooking surface or that has exuded from the cheese. If you have more than one batch to bake you can use the parchment more than once.

This page was revised 9/18/2010


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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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