I was raised in Florida and Dad always had a boat, at first a small runabout that we used for fishing on the inland waterways, and after many years, a 32′ cabin cruiser that we could take into the ocean. We loved fishing and spent many quality hours together bringing home dinner. I live inland now, but if I still lived on the coast I would be Fishhead. I love fish and I consider it meat since it is the protein based muscle of an animal.
My allergy to the bugs
When I was in high school in Florida I spent hours catching crabs with fish heads on the Intracoastal Waterway and India River off Merritt Island. At parties I popped shrimp like M&Ms. I spent a summer in Maine feasting on lobster. And then one day, after a fabulous restaurant meal of soft shell crabs, my favorite food on the planet, my throat started to constrict. A few weeks later I had more softshells and it happened again, accompanied by hives this time. I was allergic to crustaceans, the ocean bugs. Fortunately, I could still eat fin fish, clams, mussels, scallops, and squid.
Shrimp, crab, crawfish, and lobster have exoskeletons, which is to say their shells behave like bones for structural support. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms include itching, hives, tingling in the mouth, and even difficulty breathing called anaphylaxis. In some cases, it can be fatal. The reaction seems to be occur when Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in the blood come into contact with certain proteins in the crustaceans, probably tropomysin. I can’t even breath the vapors when I cook shrimp. It was thought for years that there was a relationship between iodine in the shellfish and antibodies, but this has been disproven. Like me, many people don’t develop the allergy until later in life. When I learned I couldn’t eat softshells anymore, I contemplated suicide, but I have just learned to live on fin fish and bivalves. Sigh.
Savory New Orleans BBQ shrimp and spicy Andouille sausage are the stars of the show in this recipe for a grilled po boy. Served on crusty French style bread and packed full of meat and/or seafood, the po' boy sandwich is a New Orleans staple and our Barbecue Shrimp & Andouille Po-Boy twist is surely an instant classic.
Romance is in full bloom with this mouthwatering take on traditional surf-and-turf. Delectable lobster tails are poached in butter then sliced and served atop a smoky and perfectly seared beef filet in this recipe for lightly smoked filet mignon and butter poached lobster! Your loved one will surely thank us after!
If you've only ever eaten oysters raw, this recipe will be a revelation. And if you've never warmed up to oysters, give this recipe a try. Oysters Grilled with Roasted Garlic Butter and Romano are easy to make, drenched with rich flavors, and utterly delicious.
This classic mussels (Moules Mariniere) recipe from France is so easy. And it's finger food. After simmering in a flavor rich white wine, cream, and tomato sauce, the mussels are served, shells and all, into big shallow bowls with plenty of the liquor laden broth and serve with crusty bread or grilled bread.
Jumbo lump crab meat shines brightly in this recipe for griddle grilled crab cakes with rosemary aioli. Exceptional crab cakes begin with high quality crab, gently blended with a minimum amount of other ingredients so that the crab remains the star of the show, then finished on the grill.
A base of sliced citrus is the key to perfectly grilled fish in this recipe for grilled blackened catfish with charred lemon cream sauce. Grilling the catfish fillets on top of orange slices ensures the fish won't stick to the grill grate and adds a touch of citrus flavor.
Take ordinary salads over the top with this tested recipe for crispy crusty salmon. Fresh salmon is cooked on the grill with a griddle until it's interior is perfectly cooked and buttery while the skin is crackling crisp. The fish is then served on dressed romaine lettuce along with grated parmesan and garlic croutons.
Planking is a popular method for cooking fish like salmon on a grill. Fans claim that soaking the wood in water gently steams the fish, which gets nice and smoky from the smoldering wood. Planking makes a nice presentation and helps keep fish from sticking to the grill, but the rest is mostly bunk. Here's the science.
No fish is more receptive to smoke than salmon. This recipe creates an elegant, delicate, moist piece of salmon with a hint of sweet, salt, and garlic. Unlike the stuff we put on bagels, it is "hot smoked" at about 225°F. This smoked salmon is perfect served on its own, in potatoes, in scrambled eggs or risotto, or in a sandwich.
In this tested recipe you'll learn how to make your own flavor packed homemade salmon sausage. Perfectly seasoned, the salmon sausage can either be made into stuffed links, tubeless links, patties, or meatballs. at your next cookout, try serving it on a crusty bun with flavored mayo, lettuce, and tomato.
Create a grilled bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp appetizer with only five ingredients thanks to this award winning recipe courtesy of pitmaster Melissa Cookston. Cookston won the 2012 Kingsford Invitational by taking first place in five categories including this delicious bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp recipe.
Enjoy a taste of the south with this tested recipe for a grilled twist on the classic pairing of shrimp and grits. Whether it’s for brunch, lunch, or dinner, this delicious combination of rich and creamy stone ground grits and perfectly grilled shrimp is sure to please any crowd.
Shrimp and corn are a match made in heaven. Instead of the usual shrimp and grits, enjoy the combination in this recipe for Griddle Grilled Shrimp with Cheesy Polenta Cakes. A white wine griddle sauce takes this recipe up a notch.
This mouthwatering grilled shrimp boil recipe is an effortless family style feast for your backyard cookout. There’s something truly engaging about diving into a steaming hot peel-and-eat shrimp boil, fingers dripping with spicy juices as you devour the tender shrimp, potatoes, sausage, and corn, all done on the grill.
Cooked to perfection with sous vide then lightly charred on the grill, this sous-vide-que lobster tail recipe is the best grilled lobster you'll ever taste. Poached in butter during a temperature controlled sous vide water bath, the lobster is rendered moist and tender before adding a touch of BBQ smoke, char, and crowned with a chimichurri sauce.
Boiled lobster is good, but grilled lobster is better and here is the only recipe you need to make it happen! Undiluted by boiling water, the lobster flavor truly shines through when cooked quickly over live fire, not to mention the added smoky depth. Lobster is split in half, grilled, and basted with butter.
If we want to get some smoke on quick cooking fish we need to place the fish in close proximity to smoldering wood. Here is a technique that gives fish just the right kiss of smoke without overwhelming its natural beauty.
Tartar sauce is the popular condiment for grilled or smoked fish. While many store bought tartar sauces can be bland and boring, this home made version is sure to become your go-to side sauce for your favorite fish dishes.
As I explain in my article on the science and myths of marinades, they don't penetrate most foods very far. The exceptions are seafood and vegetables. This one is based on a wonderful, herby salad dressing that my wife created.
Pepe's on Wooster St. in New Haven CT is one of the most famous pizza places in the world, and their most famous pie is the White Clam Pizza. Duplicating Pepe's pies is impossible, but you can come close at home with the right ingredients, and a little love. Here's the recipe for creating a delicious white clam pizza in your kitchen.
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Our Favorite Backyard Smoker
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
Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages
Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.
The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.
ThermoWorks’ Thermapen ONE provides an accurate reading in one second or less. The ONE also includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight, rotating display, and water resistant seals. Don’t accept cheap substitutes. Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review
The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.
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.