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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.

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jalapeno popperSmoked Jalapeño Poppers

By Meathead Goldwyn

Jalapeño Poppers are great appetizers. While standard restaurant jalapeño poppers are usually breaded and fried, my outdoor version is smoked and much more flavorful. This appetizer is a big hit with people who like a little bit of heat in their food, but you can remove most of the heat to accommodate wimps if you wish.

There are many variations on grilled jalapeño poppers. Most call for wrapping the halved jalapeños with bacon and holding it in place with toothpicks. That's too much of a pain for me, the dripping grease can put all kinds of soot on things, and by the time the bacon cooks, the chiles are limp and dull. I like them with some snap. So I prefer to put the bacon in the filling.

Jalapeños are chile peppers with a measurable amount of heat, but they are not too hot for most folks. The cool part (pun intended) is that the best way to extinguish capsaicin heat is with cooking and dairy fat. Cooking somehow disarms jalapeños, and the cheese in this recipe not only tastes good, it also helps control the fire. If you remove the seeds and ribs, you can remove 90% of the heat if you wish, and the flavor is wonderful. They are great with cold beer. But then most everything is.

poppers_rackThere are three ways to do them.

1) If you have a jalapeño rack like the King Kooker Stainless-Steel 36-Hole Jalapeno Rack with Corer shown here, you can just chop off the top, cut out the seeds (I use a potato peeler), and stuff them.

2) You can cut them in half, remove the seeds, and stuff them as show at the top of the page. The stem is woody and not very good to eat, so you use it as a handle and bit it off just below the cap.

one eyed jalapeno poppers3) You can cut them off and remove the inedible cap, and keep the cheese from melting and oozing out with a pimento-stuffed olive as a plug. Hence the name "One-Eyed Jalapeño Poppers". The olive is not only functional, it tastes great.

Recipe

Makes. 24 pepper halves
Takes. 30 minutes prep time, 20 minutes cooking time

Ingredients
12 slices bacon
8 ounces of Home-made Boursin-style Cheese Spread at room temperature
1/2 cup sharp cheddar
2 teaspoons sugar
12 fresh jalapeños
1 teaspoon paprika

About the bacon. Leftover pulled pork is a good substitute. Or go upscale and mix some crab meat, lobster, or shrimp into the stuffing.

About the jalapeños. If you like things really hot, use habaneros.

About the cheese. Try replacing the cheddar with blue cheese, mozzarella, jack, queso quesadilla, or queso asadero.

For One-eyed Jalapeño Poppers. 24 green olives with pimento stuffing.

Method
coring a jalapeno1) Cook the bacon to the level of doneness you prefer. It will not cook any more once you stuff the jalapeños with the cheese. Let it cool and chop it into bits.

2) Prepare the Home-made Boursin-style Cheese Spread and mix in the cheddar and sugar. Or leave them out. They are a nice addition, but not necessary. Add bacon.

3) Put on rubber gloves to work on the peppers. If you are going to halve them, with a thin sharp filleting or paring knife, cut the stems off and discard them. Then cut them in half lengthwise. Run the blade along the inside wall of the pepper removing the seeds and the white ribs. If you like hot stuff, leave the ribs in. If you are going to leave them whole and cook them in a rack, slice off the stem and cap and use a potato peeler to remove the seed pod. It will be hard to remove the ribs this way, so they will be hotter than the sliced peppers.

4) Spread the cheese mix into the peppers, but not so much that it will overflow when cooking. To make them one-eyed, put an olive at the stem end. Sprinkle the paprika on top.

5) Fire up the smoker or grill with a 2-zone setup and cook at about 225°F over indirect heat until the the cheese melts and the pepper gets a little soft. Try not to let the peppers go limp, they're better with a little crunch. Remove gently with a spatula and let them cool a bit before serving. They are also fine at room temp or right out of the fridge. Make sure you have plenty of cold beer on hand.

This page modified 8/23/2007


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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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