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Some Of Our Favorite
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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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Authentic Chicago Deep Dish...in Excruciating Detail

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  • Top | #1

    Authentic Chicago Deep Dish...in Excruciating Detail

    This thread is all about authentic Chicago Style Deep Dish, but cooked on my Komodo Kamado, of course. I did a thread similar to this on Kamado Guru once. Put the entire site to sleep. If you caught that one, feel free to skip this one. Heck, skip it if you're not interested too. I won't be offended. Or you may find you need a nap in the middle. That's fine. We'll still be here when you wake up.

    First, let's parse the name. Most deep dish I see posted on the internet is NOT Chicago style, yet most people feel the need to insert that word "Chicago" in front of "Deep Dish", no matter how heretical it may be. Bottom line is there are a lot of deep dish pizzas out there, many quite good, but only some of these qualify as Chicago Style. Nothing wrong with making and enjoying those other pies, just don't offend a great city by calling it Chicago Style when it's not.

    So what makes it "Chicago Style"? To me, it comes down to two key things: The crust and the tomatoes.

    First, the crust. Many people think Chicago Style pizza crust is similar to a loaf of bread -- very doughy. Others think there is cornmeal in the crust. Don't get me going on that one. Let's just say I agree with this: http://www.realdeepdish.com/2009/05-...lling-you-out/. Both of these are WRONG! The classic Chicago Style pizza crust, such as you'll find at Lou Malnati's, Pizzeria Uno, or Gino's East, has a biscuit-like texture. A bit crisp on the outside, giving way to a biscuity crumb on the inside. Again, if you like cornmeal in your dough or making pizza out of a loaf of bread, by all means keep doing it. Just don't call it Chicago Style or you'll be labeled either a heretic or a Cubs fan!

    Next, the tomatoes on a Chicago Style pizza have a distinctly bright flavor, and are usually a bit chunky as well. The closest I've come to replicating that flavor is with a particular brand: 6-in-1 All Purpose Ground Tomatoes. They aren't chunky enough, but the flavor is spot on and you can always add some high quality diced or hand crushed tomatoes for chunkiness.

    Let's start with the dough. Here's my favorite dough recipe for a 13" Deep Dish pizza. The recipe you'll find at http://www.realdeepdish.com is also excellent and I used to make one very similar to that, but I like this better:

    350g AP Flour - 95%
    20g Semolina - 5%
    170g Water - 46%
    64g Corn oil (17%)
    14g Olive oil (4%)
    1/4 tsp Salt - (.35%)
    1/2 tsp Sugar - (.5%)
    2g instant dry yeast - (.5%)

    First, mix all the dry ingredients except for the yeast, then pour in the oil. Remember, since we're not making bread, we're trying to *avoid* gluten formation, so we don't want to proof the yeast and we don't want to over-knead the dough.
    IMG_2121.jpg


    Partially mix in the oil, then add the water and partially mix that too. Then sprinkle the yeast on top.
    IMG_2122.jpg


    Stir that in until just barely combined, then knead the dough in the bowl with one hand for no more than two minutes. Now cover it with plastic and let it rise in the oven with only the oven light on for heat for up to five hours. It will rise, but not much.
    IMG_2123.jpg


    While that's going on, we also want to drain the tomatoes in a strainer over a cereal bowl. Some people like to spoon them right from the can. I prefer to let the water drain out so that the pizza isn't too wet.
    IMG_2124.jpg


    I also like to de-fat my pepperoni so that we don't get a grease slick on top. Put the pepperoni on a plate between paper towel sheets, then nuke for 30 seconds. Amazing how much grease is pulled out.
    IMG_2126.jpg


    Sliced and sautéed my onion for just a bit. No pics of that. Instead I give you my fancy new teak cutting board. Sweet, no?
    IMG_2127.jpg


    After five hours, the dough has risen, but gluten matrix is weak to non-existent. No way that dough would pass the windowpane test.
    IMG_2128.jpg


    Grease my decades old, highly seasoned steel deep dish pizza pan. I've been doing deep dish pizza much longer than I've been doing barbecue. Bought this one while I was still in college and realized the need to master this before leaving Illinois for good.
    IMG_2129.jpg


    Spread the dough, and pinch it half way up those two inch sides.
    IMG_2130.jpg


    You can use 8 to 16 ounces of mozzarella, depending on how cheesy you want it. This mozzarella is from a cow I own in the Shenandoah Valley, then delivered the whole, unpasteurized milk to an Italian Grandmother nearby to make the cheese for me.
    IMG_2132.jpg


    I lied. Safeway had this in stock. I'm using 12 ounces of the stuff.
    IMG_2131.jpg


    Then top the cheese with the sautéed onions.
    IMG_2133.jpg


    Now ready for the tomatoes. Here's what they look like after draining all afternoon.
    IMG_2134.jpg


    Look at all that water.
    IMG_2135.jpg


    Most, but not all of the drained tomatoes go on the pie.
    IMG_2136.jpg


    Now sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon each of dried basil and oregano. I prefer fresh basil, but none available today.
    IMG_2137.jpg


    Grate some parmesan directly on top.
    IMG_2138.jpg


    Then all of that de-fatted pepperoni.
    IMG_2139.jpg


    Onto the KK at 450.
    IMG_2140.jpg
    IMG_2141.jpg


    Turn it after about 15 minutes. Don't know if I really needed to do that in the KK, but always do it in the oven and it's a habit,
    IMG_2143.jpg


    And after about 15 minutes more, we're ready.
    IMG_2151.jpg


    Let it rest for five minutes.
    IMG_2153.jpg


    Remove it from the pan.
    IMG_2154.jpg


    Plated.
    IMG_2155.jpg


    Perfect. Here's the bottom.
    IMG_2158.jpg

    Last edited by Pequod; April 24th, 2017, 11:49 AM.

  • Top | #2
    Dude this is awesome!!! Thank you for sharing this. This is going "Sticky"

    Breadhead will love this one

    Skip Perfect timing, given our convo on the deck the other night.

    Comment


    • Top | #3
      Better than Lou Malnatis at home? Nice job!

      Comment


      • Top | #4
        Not too much detail at all - we love detai. And thanx for posting this.

        Comment


        • Top | #5
          Pequod , that pizza looks fantastic! Very nice cook!! Great post.

          Comment


          • Top | #6
            That looks unbelievably awesome! I have never been a deep dish fan, but this might change my mind.

            Comment


            • Pequod
              Pequod commented
              Editing a comment
              Those who aren't deep dish fans usually haven't had it done the right way. Just sayin'. 😉🖖

            • Spinaker
              Spinaker commented
              Editing a comment
              This is true! Pequod

            • JGo37
              JGo37 commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, I'm not a fan either - I'd call it WORSHIP.

          • Top | #7
            I've never been to Chicago, so I've never had the authentic pie. However, we did have an Uno's close by for a number of years. I remember that the crust was "different" from NY style pizza, and it did have chunky tomatoes too. It was not my favorite pie, but I did enjoy it occasionally. Do you know how close that chain's pizza is to the real thing?

            Comment


            • COL Daub
              COL Daub commented
              Editing a comment
              As a man who grew up in Chicago, the Uno Chain Franchise restaurant found all over the US is NOTHING like the original Uno's and Duo's in downtown Chicago. They are horrible. When the pizza comes to the table on a metal rack inside the deep dish pan, you know it is not true Chicago deep dish pizza.

            • Buck Flicks
              Buck Flicks commented
              Editing a comment
              You can order Giordano's via mail -mine arrived in Texas in late summer and were still frozen - and were still pretty good. Not as good as fresh, but when you live in Texas and want authentic Chicago style, it will do in a pinch. We used to have Uno's in Texas, but I think they've closed down.

            • JGo37
              JGo37 commented
              Editing a comment
              Funny thing is Uno's had the best Chicago Dogs in O'Hare until those kiosks changed about a year ago. Now the dogs are no good.

          • Top | #8
            Most of the famous Chicago spots use San Marzano tomatoes for the sauce:
            http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-deal-14-16365
            Or something similar.

            This is a great accomplishment. Looks very worthy. Kind of like Malnatti, which I'm not a huge fan of. Giordano's has a similar crust but a bit of cornmeal dusting in the pan to make the release work better.

            The problem with most Chicago recommendations for great pizza is that everyone who grew up here grew up within spitting distance of a place that they went do repeatedly during their formative years (a lot like Cubs fandom, tbh). As a result, that's always the platonic ideal. Steve Dolinsky (who did not grow up in Chicago, but resides here) did a two month pizza quest, came up with the following:
            http://www.stevedolinsky.com/top-5-c...sh-pizzas-city
            http://www.stevedolinsky.com/top-5-c...pizzas-suburbs

            Malnatti doesn't go dark enough on the crust, for my liking, I think. Pequods is my favorite I've had.

            You're right. Uno original vs. Uno the chain is kind of night and day.

            Comment


            • Top | #9
              The only deep dish I've ever had was the Uno chain. I was in high school at the time. It was so unimpressive that I've never had it again. I'll definitely give this a shot. Thanks for the details.

              Comment


              • Top | #10
                I should also mention that I like using a full fat mozz, and then do a process with my vacuum sealer that is similar to how you defat your pepperoni. I slice the ball of real mozz, or tear it into shreds, place it between paper towels, in a flat sheet, then vac seal it for ten minutes. Presses all the moisture out of the cheese, resulting in something like the skim mozz, only with better texture and flavor.

                Comment


                • Dr ROK
                  Dr ROK commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks for this great tip. I often times have excess water on top of my pizzas when using full fat mozzarella and have sliced it and sat on paper towels in the fridge overnight. Helped some, but I do believe this process would do a much better job and it's a lot quicker!

              • Top | #11
                Looks yum. I'm gonna try this out! Thanks.

                Comment


                • Top | #12
                  Would a cast iron skillet, possibly partially pre-heated, be a decent substitute for the pizza pan?

                  BTW, EXCELLENT and informative write-up. Thank you.

                  Comment


                  • Pequod
                    Pequod commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I know some people do. I've never done it, so can't testify to the results. You can get a decent deep dish pan for a reasonable price. There are good recommendations on these at http://realdeepdish.com. Just look for one with two-inch sides. Sloped or straight doesn't really matter.

                • Top | #13
                  Nice looking pizza Pequod 👍🍕

                  Its pretty cool that you've worked at getting your deep dish pizza just right. I've never tried deep dish pizza ever. It's not something I was around as a kid. Dominos has it on their menu but I don't order pizzas from chains so I doubt it's something I'll be adding to my home cooked menu soon.

                  I bet your KK is fantastic for baking pizza. I'd love to fire that cooker up to 900° and bake an authentic Neapolitan pizza on it. That would take about 90 seconds per pizza pie.

                  Comment


                  • Pequod
                    Pequod commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Just say "no" to deep dish from Dominos!

                  • Huskee
                    Huskee commented
                    Editing a comment
                    At the risk of tomatoes being thrown, I love Little Caesar's deep dish. If it's not overcooked they are sooo good. They blow Jet's away which I hear a lot of people rave about. Never had Dom's or a good homemade one.

                • Top | #14
                  Potkettleblack - All good inputs, thanks! My goal here was to help people stop making sucky deep dish and then blaming it on Chicago. Hopefully I succeeded in providing a "baseline" with this tutorial from which anyone can depart. Kind of Malnati's-ish or Uno's-ish. Certainly plenty of room to navigate from there. Personally, I like to use smoked fresh, whole milk mozzarella on occasion (and almost always on thin crust!). That may make me a heretic, but at least I'm not a Cubs fan!

                  For all who still care : Chicago pizza isn't all Deep Dish! Chicago thin crust (cut square!) and stuffed are entirely different animals and, in my mind, are equally awesome when done right. Like wine regions in France, there are pizza terroirs in Chicago and the outlying regions as well. I grew up in the South Suburbs, and the original Aurelio's in Homewood is always my first stop for thin crust when I go home. The original Sanfratello's (now gone) had a bready deep dish that was beyond compare. I can still taste it in my mind. And then I spent 10 years at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana three hours south where Papa Del's still reigns supreme for a deep dish that's bready, dense, and they actually cook their sauce. Breaks all the rules, but it's my (and many alums') favorite deep dish of all time -- I just take care not to call it Chicago Style. It's Champaign-Urbana style and it's freakin' awesome!

                  Comment


                  • Potkettleblack
                    Potkettleblack commented
                    Editing a comment
                    There's really five types of Chicagoland pizza: Thin, tavern, Neapolitan, Deep and stuffed. As a NYer who now lives here, I like them all, but have a weird love of Tavern.

                  • Potkettleblack
                    Potkettleblack commented
                    Editing a comment
                    But Neapolitan is my true thin love.

                • Top | #15
                  Great - Now I have to buy a pizza pan! The wife and I went to Lou Malnatti's (sp?) last time we were in Chicago and the pizza looked a lot like this. It was awesome! This looks great - I have to give it a try. Thanks for the detailed instructions!

                  Comment

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