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GOLD MEDAL SPOTLIGHT

These are not ads. These are products we love and highly recommend. Click here to read more about our medals and what they mean.


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.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


kareubequ bbq smoker

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


The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

fireboard bbq thermometer

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, this is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

Click here to read our detailed review


G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

Click here to read our detailed review

Click here to order from Amazon


Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

masterbuilt gas smoker

The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

Click here to read our detailed review


GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

grill grates

GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and 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 to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

slow n sear

The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool


The Swiss Army Knife Of Thermometers

The smart folks at ThermoWorks have finally done it: The Swiss Army Knife of thermometers, two in one. Start with the industry standard food thermometer, the Thermapen MK4, (Platinum Medal winner) truly instant (2 to 3 seconds) precise (+ or – 0.7°F). Then they built in an infrared thermometer ideal for measuring the temps of pizza stones, griddles, and frying pans (also great for finding leaks around doors and windows in your house).

Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal.


Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

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 in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only 9 delivered to your door!

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them


Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

maverick PT55 thermometer

A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there


PK 360 grill

Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

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 much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only


The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

the good one grill

The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. 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.

Click here to read our complete review

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Emulsions

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  • Top | #1

    Emulsions

    Understanding emulsions is crucial to great sauces and salad dressings. Fats and oils are all hydrophobic, meaning they don't mix with water. But fat molecules like to hang out together which is why your salad dressing forms layers in the bottle, with the fats floating on top of the vinegar, which is about 95% water. But oil and water can be made to mix by making the fat droplets very small and surrounding them with something that prevents them from clumping together called an emulsifier or surfactant. Emulsifiers are molecules that are yentas (if you haven’t seen Fiddler on the Roof, look it up), that can bind with both fat and water. Butter, chocolate syrup, and peanut butter are all emulsions of fat and water. Emulsions are usually thicker than their components and they stick better to foods like salads than the components do on their own.

    Egg yolks are among the best emulsifiers. Egg yolks are mixed with oil and vinegar and lemon juice to make mayonnaise, an emulsion that lasts a long time. Hollandaise sauce is a blend of butter and lemon juice also held together by egg yolk.

    The molecules of fat or water in an emulsion can bump into their own kind and form larger molecules until the emulsion breaks and the oil and water go hang out with their own tribe again. To prevent this we use stabilizers, molecules that get in the way of fat and water molecules that want to combine. Starches often can do the job. Add a bit of mustard to a vinaigrette, usually after the vinegar and before the oil, and they will mix well and stay mixed, sometimes for days. Xanthan gum is a common stabilizer in commercial food processing and it is often found in commercial salad dressings.

    Many sauce or vinaigrette and sauce recipes tell you to dump everything but the oil into a blender or food processor, whup it up, and then drizzle in the oil. I just don’t think this is necessary. The idea of drizzling in the oil stems from pre-blender days when emulsions were made by hand in bowls with a whisk. If you added a little at a time and whisked like the dickens, eventually you got a good emulsion and carpal tunnel syndrome. But a blender is so powerful, you can add the oil all at once and, with a little pulsing, you will get a fine emulsion.

  • Top | #2
    Great, now I have Aerosmith's Sweet Emotion playing in my head.....

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    • Top | #3
      Thanx again Meathead.

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      • Top | #4


        Homemade mayonnaise made with a stick blender is fantastic. Same with hollandaise. Takes a couple minutes.

        I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do it with a whisk to start the formation. (To add more flavoring oil ir other stuff, sure ).

        By the way. Very fresh eggs emulsify stuff great. Older eggs are pretty poor. I’ve had batches never form With older eggs.

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        • Top | #5
          Some time ago I was making homemade mayo with the blender and it was coming along fine and then just separated. I couldn't get it to re-emulsify. I couldn't figure out why. I had to start over using the whisk. I have asked many people how and why the mixture would separate like that... No one knew. Any Ideas??

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          • Meathead
            Meathead commented
            Editing a comment
            Hmmmmm. Blending too long can do this. Did you add a liquid like vinegar or lemon juice? I have heard that adding an extra yolk can fix a broken mayo. I have had people tell me that adding the oil a little at a time is vital but not by my experience.

          • troymeister
            troymeister commented
            Editing a comment
            Meathead The recipe and method I used was from the older fashion Better Homes and Gardens cookbook my mom gave me when I got my first apartment. (in Berwyn) The recipe did call for 2 tbsp's of red wine vinegar or lemon juice. The acid may have been the factor. Interesting none the less.

          • Timo
            Timo commented
            Editing a comment
            You can fix broken mayo (or hollandaise) by making a small batch from new ingredients and then adding the broken mixture little by little while whisking. I would recommend doing this by hand though. The result is almost as nothing ever happened.

        • Top | #6
          I think you are right about the "add oil slowly" being leftover from hand whisking days (when it was very important). I use the stick blender, blender and food processor regularly with the "dump it all in and turn it on method." Works great.

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