What Utensils Do I Need-Pt. 1
01/27/06 - 15:39 Filed in: Coookbooks | Gear | Thermometers
While I’m still new to all of this, there are some utensils I’ve already found you shouldn’t live without. Some are specific to my CharGriller Smoker Pro, most will be general. This will be split up into a multi-part on going series of entries to avoid inducing sleep in the reader (you) or writer (me).
Remote Read Thermometers: These are the key to multi-tasking on long smokes or staying in out of the elements. I bought a Maverick MT-72 dual probe thermometer for the gas grill (shown in picture above). It is very handy having two probes for two pieces of meat. It is also handy to have two for a turkey or other tricky piece of meat. Getting the probe in the right part of the thigh is tricky. A turkey has two thighs, you have two probes. So double your odds. I often use this on the smoker to help out and it will work in the oven too.
For the smoker I bought a Maverick ET-73 dual-probe smoker thermometer. One probe measures the temperature at the grate, one for the meat. You DO NOT want to trust the built in thermometer mounted up high on your grill cover. The readings can be off by up to 50 degrees (28 C), This variance changes depending on whether the cover is receiving direct sun or not. So this 50 degrees (28 C) isn’t even a constant you can count on. The only way you can get accurate grate level readings where your food sits, is to take a reading at the grate level.
Both of these thermometers have a remote reader you can bring in the house. The range is said to be 75 feet (22.75 m). This will depend on the construction of your house. My house got some foil faced insulation in a residing project two years ago, Since then, I’ve had to keep my receivers in the Kitchen on the window sill so they have direct line of sight. The receivers allow you to set alarms for when the meat is done or you grill temps are too high or low. This allows you to multi-task and stay out of the elements during nasty weather. These are must haves for low maintenance smoking.
Good Grill Cookbook(s): If you are like me and didn’t pick up too many cooking skills growing up, the right cookbook is a must. I was very frustrated with the grill cookbooks I’d found in the past. They assumed a certain knowledge level I simply didn’t have. I needed a “Grilling for Dummies” type book.
I found something better: HOW TO GRILL by Steven Raichlen. This book has oven 1,000 pictures that illustrates the key steps and techniques. It starts off assuming you know next to nothing about grilling. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. The next book I got was BBQ USA also by Steven Raichlen. This is a more traditional cookbook with all kinds of great BBQ recipes from all over the USA. I’ll turn to How to Grill to learn some new technique or new cut of meat. Then I go to BBQ USA to try all of the interesting regional variation.
While not a cookbook, Steven Raichlen has a show on PBS called BBQU, There you can see him prepare items from his many books.
PART 2 will discuss some more essential plus some nice to have prep items for in the Kitchen.
SOME RELATED LINKS WHAT UTENSILS DO I NEED - PART 2 Blog Entry
WHAT UTENSILS DO I NEED - PART 3 Blog Entry
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