America’s Test Kitchen, 2005, 420 pages, hardbound, more than 450 recipes, many B&W photos and excellent line drawings, 28 color photos.
As I have exclaimed perhaps too often and too breathlessly elsewhere on this site, Cook’s Illustrated, the magazine, the website, the book publisher, and producer of America’s Test Kitchen on PBS, is my favorite source for no-nonsense, thoroughly tested info. The editors take little for granted and they are constantly questioning and testing accepted wisdom and wives’ tales. And these folks really understand barbecue.
Here’s a sampling: “Ounce for ounce, hardwood lump charcoal burns much hotter than briquets. However, the differences are less dramatic when the coals are measured by volume. (Because of their shape, briquets compact more easily so you can fit more coals into the same amount of space.) For all practical purposes, a heaping chimney of charcoal briquets will make a fire that is as hot as a level chimney of hardwood lump charcoal. So if you need to substitute briquets for hardwood, use slightly more briquets to achieve the same heat level.” They then show a chart of equivalent volumes.
The limited illustrations are mostly high quality black and white pen drawings with a handful of beautiful large color plates scattered throughout.
Published On: 6/17/2018 Last Modified: 1/25/2021
These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.
A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs
The FireBoard Spark is a hybrid combining instant-read capability, a cabled temperature probe, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. We gave Spark a Platinum Medal for pushing the envelope of product capability while maintaining high standards of design and workmanship.
Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography
With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review
The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.
The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker
GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.