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Meat-Up in Memphis

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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.



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

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Sous Vide Q - What's the bid deal?

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  • Top | #1

    Sous Vide Q - What's the bid deal?

    So I recently bought a sous vide and for my initial cook I found a steal of a deal on 1" thick bone-in New York steaks. For comparison purposes, I also cooked one on my pellet smoker (RecTec 680) using reverse sear. Both were dry brined about 6 hours before the cook, but I didn't use any other spices. The sous-vide steak was "bathed" at 130 for an hour. Its counterpart was smoked at 225 for about 45 minutes. Both were seared on a Weber Genesis II with the flat side of the grill grates. Long story short, the smoked then reverse seared steak, with it's awesome smoky flavor blew the sous-vide steak out of the water. I can't see this being a close race, unless I totally blow the timing on the smoke and overcooked the meat. Granted, the sous-vide wasn't bad, and if I was comparing it to a just grilled (not smoked) version, it might come out on top, but I'm having trouble guessing what scenarios the sous-vide will outduel a smoker/reverse sear. Does it need a thicker or tougher cut? Or do I need to interject a smoking phase either before or after the sous-vide phase?

    Edit: While the reverse sear was the better tasting steak for the main meal, the sous vide steak has still been excellent for leftovers. The perfect done-ness across the section has kept the meat extremely tender, where as sometimes cold leftovers firm up a bit. I have really enjoyed this steak in salads or as a cold-cut with cheese/crackers

    Note: Prior to the cook, I had checked out the sous-vide-Q links and was surprised to learn the recommended sequence was basically 1) sous-vide, 2) ice bath 3) delay up to 2 days if needed, 4) smoke 5) reverse sear. I didn't think this would be a fair method for my comparison purposes, since it takes so much more time, which is why I went with the above comparison instead. While this sequence is supposed to yield the best result, I thought the sous-vide was supposed to save me time and help ensure a perfectly cooked meal. If I'm still doing the smoke/reverse sear sequence anyway, what does the sous-vide bring to the table?

    Any & all thoughts appreciated. Thanks!

  • Top | #2
    Would it be fair to say MOST people spice up their stake one way or the other. Some with spices before, some during, some after and some spice one way or the other at all three stages. Comparing a smoked stake to a "bland??" cooked stake is not a fair comparison IMO. (Smoke being the spice this time.)


    • Top | #3
      That's not really a fair comparison as you're comparing a steak done on a smoker with one that has zero chance of getting any smoke flavour added, unless you add liquid smoke to the sous vide bag. There are lots of benefits to SV though. Imagine if for some reason after you'd put the steaks on the smoker and they were almost done, something came up that would cause you to delay serving them for a couple of hours. With SV, zero problem, just leave them in the SV until you're ready to serve. A really long SV is great at turning a basically crappy cut of meat into something that can approach a standing rib roast for tenderness and flavour.


      • pkadare
        pkadare commented
        Editing a comment
        Also, SV is great for veggies as well, particularly carrots, corn on the cob, and brussel sprouts. I have 2 SV devices now, my original Sous Vide Supreme, and an Anova IC so that I can cook 2 foods to different temps for the same meal.

      • klflowers
        klflowers commented
        Editing a comment
        And asparagus. I made some killer asparagus a couple of weeks ago with it.

    • Top | #4
      There are ways sous vide tops the smoker or a grill. I can take a frozen steak out in the afternoon and with the sous vide be eating it for dinner that evening. You can put a steak in the sous vide before you go to work and be eating it ten minutes after you get home. You can put frozen leftover pulled pork in the sous vide before work and be eating it at perfect temp without being dried out when you get home. But yeah, put an unseasoned steak on a smoker and one in a sous vide the smoker is going to give more flavour.


      • Top | #5
        I think the time saving they are talking about is on the final cook, not the entire process, it's a way you can prep the meat in advance so you can do it quickly when it's time to eat.


        • Top | #6
          I love steaks done reverse seared as well as front seared. Sous vide steaks can also be killer. Several ideas to consider for sous vide. First, I would not sous vide to just a few degrees below the finished temp. Allow a difference that will allow the finishing step enough time for the Maillard reaction and the flavors to develop. In the alternative, chill the meat so that more time is spent in the finishing for development. I would also not forget about carryover cooking. It will continue cooking even after it leaves the grill so that perfect medium rare could become a medium or more if not accounted for.


          • pkadare
            pkadare commented
            Editing a comment
            There is a possible problem with running your SV for an extended period below 130 degrees. A lot of folks seem to feel that this can allow bacteria to breed. I personally SV my steaks at 125 degrees and have never had a problem. It is the old, fat is bad, no wait, fat is good, no wait, it is bad again, now it is good again argument.

          • Potkettleblack
            Potkettleblack commented
            Editing a comment
            The USDA and folks like Doug Baldwin never really tested <129 pasteurization. The number got moved to 127. And I guess ChefSteps even has some at 125. I wouldn’t do anything long at that temp because that is a temp that labs use for growing nasty things. I also wouldn’t go that low because I know how to shock and achieve the same result without undercooking my target final temp.

            Let’s say your unit’s calibration drifts by a couple degrees. 125 is now 123. Or 120. That’s a bit scary me thinks.

          • Donw
            Donw commented
            Editing a comment
            All correct. I personally SV steak at 130 and then ice bath until well chilled. Then hit with a good sear and pull at 125. Comes out how I like them every time after carryover does its magic. The ice chill is really the key IMHO. Never had a steak that needed a long SV.

        • Top | #7
          Sous vide is not a tool that replaces conventional cooking. Indeed there are things that sous vide can do that just doesn't match up with a good, well done piece of comparable meat on a grill or smoker. It's just another tool. Others have pointed out the convenience factor as well as the precise cooking temperature and perfect doneness.

          One of the biggest advantages to sous vide not mentioned is how it promotes tenderness. How else can you cook a brisket to medium rare, steak like finish to perfectly tender without a long bath in between smokings?

          Click image for larger version

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          Or take a relatively tough cut like a chuck roast and turn it into a mouthwatering delight without having to smoke it to over 200* ?

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          Or a London Broil that cuts like butter?

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          Stick around and you will see hybrids of grilling, smoking and sous vide developed by several of our members. Again its a tool to be used in conjunction with traditional barbecuing methods that makes it a clear winner in your cooking toolbelt !!

          And hey, welcome to the Pit !! Hope you hang around


          • pkadare
            pkadare commented
            Editing a comment
            "One of the biggest advantages to sous vide not mentioned is how it promotes tenderness." It was, but I'll get over the slight, I guess. :-)

          • treesmacker
            treesmacker commented
            Editing a comment
            +1 for London Broil - I could never ever make one tender enough before; this was frustrating because the cut of meat in the raw looks so nice and lean, and reasonably priced. With sous vide, I finally made a deliciously tender one.
            I'm not yet convinced sous vide is best for a nice naturally marbled rib eye, New york, or similar steak. I think sous vide really shines for chicken (especially breast), lean pork, and tough cuts of beef that you otherwise would slow cook or braise. BTW - NICE pics!

        • Top | #8
          I don't think the sous vide is a time saving device. It is just another cooking tool. I prefer steaks made using the cold grate technique (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U722RZahzzU) when I can, but when I can't - if it is raining, for instance - a steak SV'd at 131 for a couple of hours then seared in cast iron is a close second. And I usually get a thicker steak - say 1 1/2".

          If you really want to get the best out of the SV, try some QVQ short ribs - smoke for a couple of hours, into the SV for a couple of days, ice bath then back on the smoker to bring up to temp. Troutman got me into doing that. It takes some planning, but the results - oh my.

          And welcome to the pit from TN!!!


          • Top | #9
            I've had my Anova for coming up on 2 years, and it was probably last used in January, to prepare some steaks that I finished in a cast iron skillet on a cold rainy day. Otherwise, I just prefer my steaks done with a reverse sear method on the grill.

            Now, where I used it and it came out a winner was when we wanted to feed 8-10 folks steaks for lunch after church on Sunday. I put all the steaks in the SV at 130, went to church, came back, pulled them out, and let them cool down while the gas grill heated up, and as soon as it did, I seared all of them. It was a huge time saver that day. Sure, I probably would have enjoyed the steaks with a reverse sear on the kettle, with more charcoal and smoke flavor. But, using the SV let us eat about 15-20 minutes after getting home, versus an hour or more.


            • Top | #10
              Too new with SV to comment on veggies. But I CAN comment on SV for tougher cuts of meat like pork steak or london broil/flank steak. Leave any tougher cut of meat in a SV cooker for 24 to 48 hours and it actually WILL cut like butter and melt in your mouth. I like that. Haven't tried the smoke/sv/smoke process yet, but it sounds like something to put on my list of things to try.


              • Top | #11
                Really... do we have to have this conversation again?

                1- Sous vide is not time efficient. Nearly everything will take longer to cook Sous Vide than in whatever the traditional manner is.
                2- Sous vide does not improve flavor. It does not infuse flavor either, except in some very limited circumstances.
                3- Sous vide is rarely the final step. It is sometimes the first step, sometimes the middle step in a multi-step process, but rarely the final step in a multi-step process. Very few things are eaten directly out of the SV bag.
                4- Shocking in ice water is important. https://sousvideresources.com/2016/0...tment-is-safe/
                5- Temp is doneness. Time is tenderness.
                6- Put down the stopwatch and pinch your bags.
                7- Use your purge. https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...echnique-purge It's Gold, Jerry... Gold!

                Sous vide allows a restaurant style of time management for the home cook. Move more of the cook to prep and less to service. Instead of all the time spent on the day of the cook doing a reverse sear, you can reduce that to just sear at time of service. This matters more for things with long sous vide times, like flank and skirt steak, chuck, short ribs and brisket, and so on.

                sous vide allows for pasteurization of things that you might not regularly eat off the grill, like rare ground beef burgers, or even raw eggs.

                Sous vide's advantage with shocking is that edge to edge perfection, with a hard sear. No grey band of over cookedness.

                OP did not Sous Vide Q. I hope that's clear. QVQ or SVQ would involve a smoke stage for the sous vided product. Close Proximity Smoking is a perfectly adequate smoke stage for sous vide.

                I did some pork chops last night, 2" thick. Sous vided with a seasoned salt to 135, shocked, and refridgerated. The only reason for the fridge was time shifting. I cooked em on Sunday, but doing a full smoke on a weeknight would be impractical. They were rubbed with Gates BBQ Spicy, already salted, and put on the indirect side of the grill while I got the grill grates up to searing temp. Put a handful of pellets in the tracks of the Grill Grates, laid on a nice crosshatch at a couple minutes a side, and I had some epic grilled, lightly smoked, Old Spot T-Bone pork chops ready on a Tuesday night in under half an hour. Under 20 minutes.

                There are a thousand or more uses for SV. It's a different way to cook. It has its advantages and disadvantages. The comparisons seeking a "best" are really attempts to find personal optimums. That's fine. But as I'm fond of noting to a particular person who is liable to chime in on this thread, your personal preference is not universal, and your circumstances are not either.



                • pkadare
                  pkadare commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Smoking77 no, there is no need to let it warm up again after shocking, in fact, keeping it cool allows you more time to get a good sear without continuing to cook the interior more.

                • Smoking77
                  Smoking77 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Great to know pkadare !

                • Potkettleblack
                  Potkettleblack commented
                  Editing a comment
                  As pkadare noted... if I'm going from bath to grill with no storage, it's a short shock to cool the surface, then straight on the Warp 10 grill.

                  If coming from storage, like the fridge, I so some kind of warming before sear, like a short reverse sear process... last night's pork as an example... fire up the gasser to warp 10 on the left burners, put the chops on the right side to warm up while the sear station gets to temp... Then apply the grill marks.

              • Top | #12
                For some reason it seems like Sous Vide is the cilantro of the culinary tech. Either you love it our you hate it. With 5+ cooking gadgets, I don't use it but a few times a month. Doing a pork tenderloin in it tomorrow, my one time this week.


                • ScottyC13
                  ScottyC13 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  FWIW, I don't like cilantro, but I think SV could be worth a try when you can't be home during the day and want to prep something nice to try on the grill later.

                  It is just another technique and we need to learn how to use it.

              • Top | #13
                I haven't entered the debate before. For me, as the sole cook in our household, the fact that with SV the meat is no longer the boss of me is a huge advantage for delivering restaurant quality seared steaks, pork chops, etc. to my family.

                I think where the OP Neil Waibel and I may differ in our perspectives (both of which are valid, BTW) is that I really don't want a lot of smoke on my steaks. I want to taste the beef. If I want smoke, I'll do a brisket or a chuckie. It's a matter of personal preference.

                And SV fresh corn off the cob? Pure heaven. Give it a try with your Anova. You may like it.



                • MBMorgan
                  MBMorgan commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I was going to chime in as #10 but Smoking77 beat me to it. I guess that makes me #11 😎.

                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I wonder if I am #11?

                • Old Glory
                  Old Glory commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I need to try corn in the SV.

              • Top | #14
                10th person


                • Top | #15
                  Can I be #11? The logic behind saying that because only a few people post that they are in the absolute minority is asinine. There are people that have been on this site since almost day 1 who have never posted on ANY topic. Does that mean that the proportionality few that do post regularly are in the minority on ALL the topics on this site? And are you telling us to never talk about SV? Are you trying to sequester that topic to the ranks of politics and religion? What's next? Instant Pot? I guess some people are still striking rocks together to make fire. (Oh, to be clear, not knocking that, it is a good skill to learn and may come in handy in the near future.)

                  My momma taught me: It is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

                  Ooops. Maybe I shoulda followed that advice.
                  Last edited by JimLinebarger; August 21st, 2019, 04:33 PM.