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Meat-Up in Memphis

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SPOTLIGHT

Some Of Our Favorite
Tools And Toys

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

 


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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.

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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

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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

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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


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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

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Pancetta at home - a how to and final thoughts

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  • barelfly
    Club Member
    • Dec 2017
    • 522
    • New Mexico

    Top | #1

    Pancetta at home - a how to and final thoughts

    Pancetta Experiment – final results

    I dig the pig. And who doesn’t. So, why not find one more way to make pig into yummy goodness at home. That was my goal – I’ve enjoyed making bacon at home, so why not make bacon’s cousin, Pancetta, to cook up in some of my favorite recipes and accompany the 15lbs of charcuterie a friend and I recently made.

    Bacon and pancetta both come from pork belly. Bacon goes through a curing process and then is smoked to give it that great smokey flavor. Pancetta, like bacon, also goes through a curing process, but it’s a much longer dry cure process. And for the home cook, if you don’t have the proper cellar or humid environment, what are you to do?

    With the dry aging phenomenon here on AmazingRibs.com, many members are taking to dry aging whole ribeyes, striploins and even brisket. By taking the Umai Dry Bag process to these great pieces of beef, you get wonderful dry aged beef right in your own refrigerator. So, my thought after doing some research was to replicate this process with the same Umai Dry Bag, but do it with a pork belly.

    This process is not mine, I combined a few processes from the Umai Dry website as well as Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn’s book “Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking & Curing.” Between the two, I have had great results with dry aging beef and curing bacon at home.

    Course: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizer
    Cuisine: Itailian
    Preparation time: 30-60 minutes
    Curing time: 4-10 weeks, or longer depending on end weight loss target. Can use 30-35% weight loss if choose.

    TOOLS
    Really, you only need a few things to make pancetta at home during the process that help you along the way:
    Scale – to weigh the pork belly during the dry cure
    Zipper top bag for belly to during initial cure
    Butchers Twine – used to keep the belly rolled tightly
    Umai Dry Bag – Sized to fit the rolled pork belly – I used a 10”x20” Roast sized bag for the 5lb belly

    INGREDIENTS
    1 5lb pork belly, skin removed

    Dry Cure:
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2 teaspons/14grams pink salt (Prague Powder #1)
    ¼ cup kosher salt
    2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    4 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper – reserve half for when rolling slab into roll of pancetta
    2 tablespoons juniper berries, crushed
    4 bay leaves, crumbled
    1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    4-5 springs fresh thyme

    METHOD

    I combined the dry cure ingredients then rubbed on the slab of belly so evenly distributed. Belly was then placed in a 2.5 gallon zipper top bag, closed with as much air out as possible. Belly than cured for 7 days, with every day involving a rub and flip of the slab of belly (without taking the belly out of the bag) so that the contents remain evenly distributed.

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    After 7 days, it is recommended to ensure that the belly is firm at the thickest point. If not, let it go a day or two longer. In my experience with this process, 7-8 days usually does the trick.

    Next, rinse the cure from the belly thoroughly under cold water, pat it dry and then sprinkle the other 2 tablespoons of pepper on the meat side of the belly.

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    Then start with the long side of the belly and roll tightly as you would a towel. Then tie tightly with butcher's twine in multiple spots, ensuring there are no air pockets inside the roll. You cannot roll the belly too tight. The tighter you roll this, the better it will stay together when you go to slice once finished. I did run out of twine, so had to improvise with food bands.

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    At this point, I altered Ruhlman & Polcyn's process (drying in an open, humid environment for 2 weeks) and used the Umai Dry Bag. Take the 10"x20" roast size Umai Dry Bag, place the rolled belly inside, and go through the normal Umai Dry Bag sealing process of sealing one corner twice, then inserting a vac mouse and vacuuming the air out with assistance and ensuring there is good adhesion to the belly itself. Double seal the top of the bag so that the Umai Dry Bag does what is made to do, allow moisture to escape out of the bag and allow the belly to dry.

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    At this point, you want to get your initial weight of the belly to allow you to track the weight loss.

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    Then place the sealed belly into the fridge on a wire rack to allow proper airflow to all sides of the belly. There are great videos on the interwebs demonstrating how to properly seal Umai Dry Bags - the included instructions from Umai are also very detailed in this process.

    At this point, begins the waiting game. According to Ruhlman & Polcyn, "because pancetta isn't meant to be eaten raw, the drying isn't as critical a stage as it is for items such as prosciutto or dry-cured sausages. But drying pancetta enhances it's texture, intensifies it's flavor, and helps it to last longer."

    For final dry time, I let this belly dry for 9 weeks. The Umai site mentions 4-8 weeks or a weight loss of 35-40%. In total, the belly dry cured for 9 weeks, coming in at 15% weight loss. I am not sure how long it would take to achieve 35-40% loss, but I wasn't willing to wait that long. I can't imagine what the flavor and texture would be like though, given what you can achieve with 9 weeks. Who knows, perhaps I'll by another belly and replicate this process again with 5lbs and allow the other 5lb belly to go the full 35% reduction.

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    Once you have your finished pancetta, the ways to use this are endless! I have prepared the pancetta three ways:

    Even though Ruhlman & Polcyn state pancetta is not meant to be eaten raw, I did in fact slice it very thin and serve it on a charcuterie board with the dry cured charcuterie I made during the same time. It was amazing – great texture that melted in your mouth and was flavorful from the ingredients used during the initial cure stage.

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    When pancetta is around, who doesn’t love a good Carbonara pasta! Here, I diced up some pancetta into bite-sized bits, slowly cooked it in a stainless pan to allow for a golden brown exterior along with a delicate interior. I finished the pancetta with a splash of dry sherry to amp up the flavor and give it that perfect crunch. Wow! What a dish! The combination was amazing!

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    Last I used the pancetta in an omelet. If bacon is good for breakfast, why wouldn’t pancetta be good in an omelet! Again, dice up into bite-sized pieces and slowly crisp up for that perfect crunchy exterior. Then add your eggs and any other additions you like in your omelet. I always like green chile, red peppers, a little onion along with some cheese and spinach. If you have some avocado, add that right at the end and you have an omelet with so many textural differences to go with a wonderful flavor profile!

    To go along with the above dishes, I plan on making a classic bolognese sauce using the pancetta to add a deeper flavor than what you can achieve with just beef, pork and veal alone. I can't wait to whip this up soon!

    Hopefully this inspires you to give pancetta at home a try so you too can enjoy the wonderful flavor and texture pancetta can bring to your dishes! The process was so easy and so inexpensive to replicate, you'll have your friends thinking you took an Italian cooking class!
  • ComfortablyNumb
    Club Member
    • May 2017
    • 2565
    • Northeast Washington
    • KBQ C-60
      PK360
      Thermoworks Smoke
      Thermoworks Thermopop
      Thermoworks Dot

    Top | #2
    Just added to my 'to do' list.

    Comment

    • Troutman
      Member Recipe Director
      • Aug 2017
      • 6285
      • Republic of Texallence

      • OUTDOOR COOKERS
        22" Weber Kettle - Red Premium Limited Edition
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        Pitts & Spitts Pellet Pro 2436
        BBQ ACCESSORIES
        Classic Thermopen
        Thermoworks SMOKE
        Fireboard Pro with Pit Viper fan
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        Weber stainless veggie basket
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        For Beef (brisket, beef ribs, large clods/roasts) = 100% mesquite, oak or hickory
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        JA Henckels 15 piece Stainless Knife Set
        Victorinox 12" Fibrox Pro Slicing Knive
        Victorinox 6" Curved Boning Knife
        Set of Dalstrong Japanese Steak Knives

      Top | #3
      This is simply well done my friend, the method, the write up, the results. Now gotta find the time to do it

      Comment

      • pjlstrat
        Club Member
        • May 2019
        • 202
        • Massachusetts
        • Grills
          Primo XL
          Weber Genesis w/ rotisserie

          Thermometers/Controllers
          Thermopen
          ThermaQ 2 Channel
          Party Q
          Smobot

        Top | #4
        Thank you for this......I will definitely be trying....

        Comment

        • barelfly
          Club Member
          • Dec 2017
          • 522
          • New Mexico

          Top | #5
          Thanks for the comments everyone. It was a fun process. Have Really enjoyed the pancetta, I know you all will too.

          Comment

          • Meathead
            BBQ Whisperer, Mythbuster
            • May 2014
            • 1156
            • Chicago area
            • Remember, no rules in the bedroom or kitchen
              Meathead

            Top | #6
            Looks fantastic!

            Comment

            • rickgregory
              Charter Member
              • Aug 2014
              • 67

              Top | #7
              Very nice. A thought on the weight loss - your pork belly is mostly fat and you just aren't going to get 30% weight loss out of that I think. A more bacon-ready belly with more meat would likely let you get down to 20-25% but even that will have a hard time getting to 35+%

              Comment


              • barelfly
                barelfly commented
                Editing a comment
                I never thought of that, but yes, now that you say that makes perfect sense. The other charcuterie I made during the same time had no issues getting to the 35% mark in 4-5 weeks, but was mostly lean pork or beef.

                Next time, I’ll see if I can find a belly on the meatier side, or as much meat as possible.

                Thanks!

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            Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Save $100 by booking before November 28th,Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
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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, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best buying guide to barbecue smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, edited by Meathead.

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