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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.

pickle chips

Sweet Sour Sandwich Pickle Chips

By Meathead Goldwyn

This quick and simple recipe makes sweet and sour pickle slices for sandwiches perfect for mounding on hamburgers, deli meats, pulled pork sandwiches, and my fave, on a liverwurst (a.k.a. liver sausage a.k.a. Schwarzenegger) sandwich. These pickles make a nice side dish, and heck, I've been known to demolish half a jar when I have the munchies. This recipe is for making sandwich sized slices, but there's no reason why you can't use it to make spears or whole pickles. Whole pickles take a bit longer because the skin is not as permeable as the inside of the cuke.

You don't need to Pasteurize or heat treat these pickles, and you don't need much time to make them, but they must be stored in the refrigerator. Because I got tired of homemade pickles swimming in spice flotsam and jetsam, I have fine tuned this recipe so you can get them out. You will need an 18 x 18" piece of cheesecloth and about 6" of kitchen string (clean kite string will do) to do it. Click here to learn more about The Zen of Pickles, the different types of pickles, and pickle production methods.

Recipe

Yield. Makes about 1 quart
Preparation time. 3 1/2 hours
Cooking time. 30 minutes

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds of small pickle cucumbers, about 3 to 5" long
2 tablespoons pickling spices
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar, 5% acidity
1 1/2 cups sugar

About the cukes. Regular cukes will work, but pickle cukes, about 3 to 5" long, work better because they have thicker skins and fewer seeds. You can make gherkins if you can get those little baby cukes. Just use them whole.

About the vinegar. Use only distilled white vinegar, not cider vinegar. Cider vinegar has too strong a flavor for this recipe.

About the salt. The amount of salt and vinegar are crucial in making pickles so if you must substitute another salt, use my conversion table.

About the pickling spices. Pickling spices are a blend of spices and the blend can vary from packer to packer. Click here for my recipe for pickling spices.

Options. You can add other flavors if you wish. I recommend you start with this recipe. Then, if you like, make another batch and add a small sliced onion, or 1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes.

sweet sour pickle chips and slicesMethod
1) Slice the cukes into 1/8" disks. Place the cucumber slices in a bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, and mix it all together. Put the bowl in the fridge for about 3 hours.

2) Take an 18 x 18" square of cheesecloth. Fold in half and again to make a smaller square 4 layers thick. Place the pickling spices in the center of the square. Bring up all the edges and tie them together to make a pouch, and tie it together with some kitchen string.

3) Put the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan, and add the pouch of pickling spices. Turn the exhaust fan on high or take this outdoors to the sideburner on your grill because the vinegar smell will be strong. Bring to a boil and back it down to a simmer and let the spice bag steep for about 30 minutes.

4) The salt will pull water from the cukes, so drain them in a colander, rinse off excess salt, shake off excess water, from the rinse and add to a very very clean quart jar. Pour the spiced syrup in while it is still hot, and fill until the pickles are submerged or within 1/4" of the rim. If there is extra syrup, you can throw it out. If you are short, don't worry. A few slices may float. That's OK, too. With a spoon knock out any big bubbles under the pickles. Seal tight, and chill. They can be used the next day but it takes a few days to reach peak flavor. Keep in refrigerator. They usually don't last long in my house, but I've kept a small jar for as long as a year in the fridge.

This page was revised 5/25/2012


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

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