Launched in 2005, AmazingRibs.com started off as a hobby and labor of love. While it's no longer a hobby, it has grown and morphed from a one-man amateur operation into a professional website that speak with authority about barbecue, smoking and outdoor cooking. All about the science and art of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with more than 1000 pages of free tested recipes, tips..
You must clean your grill grates. Period. No, make that exclamation point! Grease or carbon on the grates do not “season” them. Grease smoke is yucky and nowhere nearly as tasty as wood smoke. And carbon helps your meat stick. Wire brushes, gadgets like the Chargon, and chemical sprays do a nice job, but this device beats them all easily.
The Grilltastic has a water tank in the handle. Plug in the long cord (you will need an outlet) and click the switch, and in a few seconds the 1500 watt steam generator sprays steam on the grates. Lean in and scrub and you will be shocked at how clean the grates come. Even carbon. It works surprisingly fast.
If you don’t have an outlet nearby you can remove the grates, put them on newspaper, and move them close to the outlet. The very sturdy stainless steel bristles are unlikely to fall out of the tight braided metal that hold them in, and they quickly and easily remove all the hard to release grease and carbon. The brush head is removable and can be washed in the sink or dishwasher. A tankful of water lasts several cleanings and there is a small window that shows you the water level.
It works on cold metal but works best if you preheat the grates, and you should clean the underside of the grates too. When I am done steam cleaning I still like to push a wad of paper towels over the grates with the brush to lift off any residue.
On the downside, it is a bit clumsy, you still have to put in some elbow grease, you will need to store it indoors in cold weather or the water will freeze and probably crack the tank, you need an outlet, and it would be nice to have a skein to wrap the cord around. But it does the job superbly.
For years, chocolate has been getting darker and darker. Now it might be going pink. The Swiss confectionery company, Barry Callebaut, recently introduced its newest take on everyone's favorite treat: pink chocolate. The company is currently awaiting FDA approval to label its product "pink chocolate," which would be an entirely new category distinct from the existing milk, white, and dark chocolate categories. This rosy-hued chocolate has been in development for more than 10 years and could be real game-changer in the $22 billion U.S. chocolate industry. It's made from from a specific type of cocoa bean with a pink color and berry-like taste. But until Barry Callebaut gets the word from the FDA, they will be calling this new treat "ruby couverture." Get the full story here.
Food expiration dates can be confusing, and the FDA aims to change that. Some food products have labels that say "Exp. Date" and some say "Sell Before, "Sell By," "Use By," "Best By," or "Use Before." To clear up the confusion, the FDA recently banned all of these labeling terms in favor of "Best If Used By." A big reason why the FDA cracked down on expiration terminology is that confusing dates and terms have contributed to the $161 billion worth of food wasted annually in the U.S., 20% of which comes from food waste at home. Consumers want to know when their food is no longer safe to eat, and if it's past its prime, they toss it. But it seems the old adage "when in doubt, throw it out" has contributed to a significant amount of perfectly good food being thrown away. Of course, predicting exactly when fresh or packaged food is no longer safe to eat can be extremely tricky. But the FDA is confident that the new "Best If Use By" label will clearly inform let consumers about the last day they should use any given product. Get the full story here.
Farmers around the country are adjusting to new climate conditions. Rising temperatures and earlier growing seasons have brought more invasive pests and erratic weather patterns as some farms wither from drought, while others sit flooded. Farming has always been a complex dance with nature, but as crop failures increase, the agriculture business has become more of a financial gamble. The news is not all bad, though, as changing climate conditions have improved some crops. While Michigan's tart cherries and upstate New York's red raspberries have been difficult to grow, Florida's watermelons can now be harvested sooner, and Montana's chickpeas are thriving. Get the full story here.
Wisconsin has long been known as "America's Dairyland," but the state's dairy industry has fallen on hard times. Milk prices have been declining for 5 years straight, forcing many farmers to reduce their business operations or close altogether. In 2018, Wisconsin lost 638 dairy farmers, and this year, 212 dairy farms have already closed. Milk and cheese are huge economic forces in the state: the dairy industry contributes $43 billion to Wisconsin's annual economy. Although milk prices have steadily declined in recent years due to decreased demand for milk products, some Wisconsin dairy farmers are optimistic that the spring season will bring some success. Get the full story here.
Well, that kind of talk makes Carey Bringle bristle. Criticism in the barbecue world can get pretty controversial with editors creating lists of the "best" ribs or "best" pulled pork, and pitting pitmasters against each other. Bringle's take on all this? Chill out. As he wisely explains, comparing wildly different BBQ from different places and different pitmasters is just plain wrongheaded. There is no single "best" BBQ. The truth? There are different BBQ styles and they all have merit. "BBQ is something that should bring people together," as Bringle says, "not tear them apart." Amen. Get the full story here.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced an interagency strategy to address the reduction of food waste on a national level. As the U.S. population grows, food waste is becoming an increasingly urgent challenge. The new federal interagency strategy will inform consumers and educate food-related businesses about food waste reduction. Partnerships with private food companies like Campbell's, Sodexo, and Pepsico allow the new strategy to be implemented in these businesses' operations with the goal of manufacturing new food waste reduction technologies that can later be adopted by other businesses. Get the full story here.
Grilling and chilling is the secret to the most delicious margarita you've ever tasted!
Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, the classic frozen margarita gets a smoky blast in this recipe for Grilled Lime Margaritas! Citrus is first charred on the grill before being combined with good quality tequila, triple sec, sugar, and ice then blended to chilled perfection so you can serve it alongside grilled guacamole, grilled salsa, or other grilled Mexican inspired dishes!
Smoky Grilled Lime Frozen Margarita Recipe
Grilling limes adds a smoky depth of flavor to traditional margaritas.
Burgers are one of the original fast foods and a classic American meal. For decades, vegetarians and vegans got their burger fix with various mashed up bean burgers and cooked grain burgers that didn't taste like meat but gave you a similar burger-eating experience, especially after you piled on the ketchup, lettuce, tomato and other fixings on a sesame seed bun. Now, food manufacturers have created plant-based burgers that cook, taste, and eat like real beef. Seriously. Not every vegan or vegetarian wants that meat-like experience, but many people who are trying to eat less meat and love the taste of beef want exactly that. You've probably heard of the Impossible burger, developed by Impossible Foods. This burger includes no meat, yet looks, cooks, and tastes just like it. The burger is made from soy protein, potato protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and iron-rich heme, a compound that exists in every living organism and, in animals, is the component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood. The experience of eating this burger is so close to eating a beef burger that Burger King has been testing the Impossible Whopper in all 57 of its St. Louis, Missouri locations. The two Whoppers look nearly identical. Many consumers can't tell the difference, especially if they are not tipped off that they are eating a plant-based Whopper. Impossible Foods has been aggressively marketing their Impossible burgers to foodservice and fast food chains, and many companies have been selling them for months. Sales have been brisk, but this is the first test case for a major fast food brand. Apparently, sales are also going well at BK, and it may not be long before Burger King rolls out the Impossible Whopper to more than 7,000 locations nationwide. Get the original story here.Click here to read a food writer's opinion on beef Whoppers vs. Impossible Whoppers.
Georgia's oyster business may soon get a new lease on life. Eighty years ago, the state's oyster industry was thriving and canned oyster sales were booming. But the industry folded in the 1940s due to over-harvesting. Georgia lawmakers have just introduced a bill to help revive the local industry. It encourages oyster aquaculture or farming in the same coastal areas where wild oysters have been harvested for decades. However, not everyone is thrilled with the bill. Even local companies interested in getting into oyster aquaculture have reservations about it. First, the bill indicates that harvesting should be restricted in the summer months when the risk of eating contaminated raw oysters is highest. But improved oyster aquaculture methods in nearby South Carolina and Florida allow those states to harvest oysters all year long. Preventing Georgia oyster farmers from harvesting in the summer would put them at an economic disadvantage in the marketplace right off the bat. Second, the bill proposes to grant aquaculture leases on a random lottery basis, which could also hurt existing oyster companies in the state. Larger, out of state firms could snap up the prime leases if smaller Georgia oyster companies can't afford steep application prices. Before the bill is signed into law, it can be adjusted to accommodate and alleviate these concerns. Get the full story here.