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Meat-Up in Memphis

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Tools And Toys

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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

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

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

Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

the good one grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review

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

Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

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

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.

Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

NK-22-Ck Grill

Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


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

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

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

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

Professional Steakhouse Knife Set

masterbuilt gas smoker

Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

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

Fireboard: 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, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

Click here to read our detailed review

Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order



Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
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The Official Coney Dog Thread

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  • Top | #1

    The Official Coney Dog Thread

    The Coney Dog has its origins in Jackson and Detroit, Michigan and it has more of a regional flare than I realized. It is a simple dish: Natural casing dog that 'snaps' when bitten into, coney sauce, chopped white onion, yellow mustard on a steamed bun. That is it. It sounds simple, but it's amazing how many places get it wrong....

    1st off, I'd like to start with some terminology. Notice that I haven't called it a "Chili Dog", nor have I used the term "Chili" at all. I privately messaged Huskee regarding the creation of this thread and the one comment he made that was SO true is that many people assume that coney sauce is simply chili minus the beans. That is NOT the case. Coney sauce is its own unique item. I wouldn't eat a bowl of coney sauce. It wouldn't be very good in that quantity. It's actually a condiment and when perusing the internet for coney sauce recipes you'll find the ingredient list to be rather pedestrian and simple. Ground chuck, powdered spices, tomato-based liquid and that's about it. The trick is achieving a gravy-like thickness and higher ratio of gravy to meat than is typical in chili. The best coney sauces are zesty and slightly spicy IMO. Some Coney Island restaurants have a bowl of chili as a menu item. Essentially, they add some lightly seasoned and browned ground beef to some coney sauce.

    A key aspect of the coney that so many places get wrong is the balance. If a fork and knife is needed to eat a coney then it has way too much coney sauce on it. You should be able to pick up a coney dog and eat it with your hands. Sure, you'll have a little sauce and mustard goop out and you'll want a fork on hand to mop that up, but if you can't eat it with your hands, it's not properly balanced.

    Now, for as much as I am sounding like a coney purist, I'm not totally rigid. For starters, I cannot stand raw onions. When I eat a coney it never has raw onions on it. Also, I'm very heavy-handed with the mustard. Lastly, when I make a coney I don't use natural casing dogs. For some reason, when I bite into a coney with a natural casing dog, my teeth don't quite penetrate the dog and it ends up lifting out of the bun and smacking my nose, leaving coney sauce and mustard on my face. So, I like skinless franks. I know losing that 'snap' loses part of the experience, but I find the trade-off worth it. Most restaurants either steam their dogs or griddle cook them. I think they are even better gently-cooked on a charcoal grill indirect for the entire cook with a small, golf-ball sized chunk of wood. Put a hot dog over direct heat and within 10 seconds the outside gets blackened and leathery.

    I am on a quest to create the perfect coney sauce recipe and plan on finding reasons to have coney dogs for dinner very soon so that I don't end up freezing quarts of coney sauce as a little coney sauce goes a long way. If anyone has suggestions, I am all eyes. I've always just winged my coney sauce in the past and while I was always happy with the results, It was always too meaty. A couple of cool ideas I've picked up in my on-line research is once the sauce has simmered, remove about a quarter of it, pop it into a food processor and process until it's a thick liquid, that way it thickens without messing around with a corn-starch slurry, adding masa harina near the end of the cook, etc. Another cool idea that I'm going to experiment with is to process a raw frank and add it to the sauce 15 minutes before it's done simmering. That little trick would add an element that my sauces have never had. I will be measuring out ingredients and am looking to create a recipe that will produce consistently good coney sauce every time. This is particularly where I hope to get some ideas from Pit members.

    In spite of its simplicity, when properly done, the coney dog is a culinary delight. I will tell you that I've sampled plenty of brands of canned coney sauce and they are all crap except for Tony Packo's. If I were to have to make coneys in a pinch, I am very happy with Tony Packo's canned chili (I doctor it up a little bit, but even that isn't necessary). And for those of you who are M*A*S*H fans, yes, THAT Tony Packo's. Toledo is only an hour drive for me and I've eaten at Packo's a few times. The place is legit. I always keep a can of Packo's chili in the pantry for an emergency craving.

    Finally, I'll conclude this post with a link to a nice video about American Coney Island, located at the corner of Lafayette and Michigan Avenue in Detroit:


    Last edited by JeffJ; April 16th, 2018, 08:03 PM.

  • Top | #2
    So the original Coney Dog doesn’t come from Coney Island? Someone run tell Joey Chestnut, he’s eating the wrong dogs!!!


    • JeffJ
      JeffJ commented
      Editing a comment
      Good observation, Troutman. The Coney dog does NOT originate at Coney Island.

  • Top | #3
    To address what Troutman said, here is a quick primer on the coney dog:

    "Many people think that the Coney dog, also called the Coney Island hot dog, got its start on Coney Island, NY where the hot dog was created. In actuality, this popular food got its start in Michigan, although the exact location is still disputed. Three locations in Michigan all claim to be the birthplace of Coney dogs: American Coney Island in Detroit, Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit and Todoroff’s Original Coney Island in Jackson.

    In 1917, Gust Keros opened American Coney Island. A few years later Keros’s brother opened Lafayette Coney Island next door. Both of these Detroit Coney Islands are incredibly popular to this day, where there is an on-going argument over which establishment serves the best Coney dog. The dispute has been featured on several food television shows, including Food Wars and Man v. Food.

    A Coney dog is a beef hotdog, topped with an all meat, beanless chili, diced white onions, and yellow mustard. A true Coney dog uses made-in-Michigan products."




    • Top | #4
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ID:	484597 All I know about coney dogs is what you need to make the best one


      • texastweeter
        texastweeter commented
        Editing a comment
        Got the rope, someone go find a post oak with a sturdy branch! Troutman ComfortablyNumb

      • ComfortablyNumb
        ComfortablyNumb commented
        Editing a comment
        texastweeter Nah. let's do it with style. We'll tie him to the bumper of my '56 and drag him down Main St. ;-)

      • texastweeter
        texastweeter commented
        Editing a comment
        I think the sauce is for a dog called a Texas Hot Weiner, it apparently originates in Western NY... Everyone wants to claim Texan... @ Comfortably Numb Troutman

    • Top | #5
      I'm an advocate of the Flint-style (Angelo's) coney - I don't like coneys that are too saucy. The beef heart adds richness. Some recipes incorporate ground hot dogs.


      I grew up just south of Flint, and went to college there, so perhaps I'm biased. But, Koegel's dogs are the best, skin-on or skinless.

      Disclaimer: Of the oft disputed duo, I think American is trash (and dirty) - I'd rather even have National. Lafayette all the way. Credentials: I work downtown, live just north of there, and been an MI resident my entire life.


      • sparetime
        sparetime commented
        Editing a comment
        I grew up in Warren and now live in Fenton - I'll have to agree that Koegel's makes the best dogs!!

    • Top | #6
      National makes pretty good coneys. Lipuma's Coney Island in Rochester Hills makes excellent coneys. Between American and Lafayette...I always thought I preferred Lafayette. I dined at American last November and Lafayette a couple of weeks ago and thought American was better. which surprised me.


      • Top | #7
        cscheib I'm not a fan of Kogel's franks. I have wanted to like them and have tried to force the issue, but I just don't care for them all that much. Don't get me wrong, they are not bad by any stretch, I just prefer Dearborn or even Ball Park over Kogel's.


        • cscheib
          cscheib commented
          Editing a comment
          the viennas (natural casing) are where it's at... I've never resorted to franks

      • Top | #8
        The best way to cook a natural casing hot dog in my opinion is "The reverse sear" method. I've been doing that for years for hot dogs even before seeing it here on Amazing Ribs for steaks.

        I never thought to do the reverse sear technique for steaks until I saw it here.
        Last edited by ssandy_561; April 16th, 2018, 09:26 PM.


        • Top | #9
          OMG, will one of you guys just give us a recipe!! Many of us probably didn't even know that a Coney Island dog isn't just a weenie smothered in chili, cheese and onions (which doesn't suck either).


          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Lol...you said “weenie”

          • Elton's BBQ
            Elton's BBQ commented
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        • Top | #10
          CaptainMike When I make coney sauce, I wing it. I am on a quest to develop the perfect coney sauce recipe. Once I have done so and taste-testers agree that it's sublime, I will post the recipe on this thread and will create a separate thread that features the same recipe. I'm not there yet, unfortunately, which was one of my motivations for creating this thread - Pit member suggestions.


          • Top | #11
            When I was growing up one of my favorite restaurants in Plymouth (my parents still live in the house they bought in '79) was Daly. It goes back decades and had a fairly prominent footprint in Southern-Eastern Michigan back in the "Happy Day's" era. The one I grew up with had those outdoor drive-in lanes where you dined in your car with the waitress bringing the food to you. Now, in the '80's those drive-up booths were barely used but the traditional diner menu remained. Believe it or not, I was a really finicky eater when I was young - I didn't like pizza, hamburgers or fries. But I loved the menu at Daly. Their vegetable beef soup and their foot-long coney dogs were divine. I bring it up because I haven't had a Daly-Dog since I was in college (I graduated in '93). I am thinking a pilgrimage to the Daly in Livonia is necessary to see if the soup and the coney are as good as I remember.

            Here is a link to their website:


            When my mom and dad were dating Daly was a hot-spot and none of the teens ever set foot in the restaurant. All food was "carry-out".


            • Top | #12
              Fun video. Love Koegel dogs. Life long Michigan resident and did not know the coney originated here. Have to agree that if we have a thread dedicated to Coney dogs then we need at least one coney recipe. Sadly, never made them at home so I have nothing to offer.


              • Top | #13
                Let me be the first to offer up a recipe. I just spent a hour digging through my recipe file looking for the 3X5 recipe card with the hand written recipe on it for Coney Sauce given to me by a foodie friend of mine about 10 years ago. He was in his late 70's then and used to sharpen knives for the butchers in the area. The guy had some connections. Any way here is the recipe as written on the card he gave me.

                2lbs. Hamburger
                1/2lb Lard
                1tsp. Salt
                1tsp. Garlic Salt
                1Tbls. Vinegar
                Fry hamburger and lard together add salts and vinegar.Fry and crumble meat fine.

                In a separate bowl.
                1/4 cup paprika (not designated in recipe but I would use sweet Hungarian)
                1/2 cup chili powder
                1/4 Tbls. Red pepper flake
                Add small amount of boiling water to above ingredients to dissolve.

                Add 1 quart boiling water to hamburger mixture then add spices from the separate mixture.
                Stir and simmer for 1 to 2 hours.
                Add 1Tbls. Flour if mixture is too thin or water if too thick.

                Note: Do not drain hamburger after cooking that's where your flavor is.

                Disclaimer: I have never made this recipe so I can't vouch for it other than I would trust the guy I got it from as a legit coney sauce recipe. If some one takes the effort to make it please post the results.


                • Top | #14
                  I'll refrain from posting a recipe for Flint-style, as I haven't made any myself, but there are many recipes out there... some include ground hot dogs or beef hearts. A friend in high school had a recipe that I remember being delicious, but I don't currently have a way of contacting him.

                  This thread will likely encourage me to make a few attempts as soon as this shitty cold lets up.


                  • Top | #15
                    Thanks Frozen Smoke! I know you said you had not made it, but have you had it?

                    Been awhile since I made something with lard in it


                    • Frozen Smoke
                      Frozen Smoke commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Sorry I missed your post somehow. I have had it as the guy made some for a work get together we had. I loved it. He claimed it was from a guy he knew who ran a coney dog cart in Philly.