Category Archives: Accessories

ThermoPop Leads The Pack Of Inexpensive Digital Thermometers

Cook’s Country magazine reviewed inexpensive digital thermometers in their April/May 2016 edition. Which units came out on top? Here are the top three recommendations:

ThermoWorks ThermoPop

ThermoWorks ThermoPop

Fast, accurate, ergonomic design, backlight and rotating display make this a good alternative to the more expensive Thermapen.

Polder Stable-Read Instant Read Thermometer

Polder Stable-Read Instant Read Thermometer

Fast and accurate with audible beep when temp is registered. On the downside, a test unit melted when rested briefly against a hot saucepan.

Le Creuset Digital Instant Read Thermometer

Le Creuset Digital Instant Read Thermometere

Fast and accurate, but slim body was not ergonomic for big-handed users.

More New Grilling Books for 2015

There’s yet another crop of new grilling books out for 2015. And here you thought everything had been written about our favorite outdoor cooking method…

Take a look at these new offerings. If you like any of these, let us know on The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board.

 

Grilling With House of Q

Grilling With House of Q

Amazon.com says, “If you love the taste of barbecue but worry about cooking the perfect steak or if you’re a whiz with burgers but want to grill other foods or if you harbor aspirations of presenting your own smoked brisket to a panel of trained judges, then this book is for you. BBQ Brian has spent more than a decade smoking and grilling foods, competing against other pit masters and learning from some of the best in the business. And not only does he regularly win awards for his barbecue and House of Q BBQ sauces, but he’s now one of the most sought-after teachers around. Why? Because he tells a great story, makes learning fun and easy and freely shares his recipes and his love of good food. Grilling with House of Q is part handsome cookbook, part instruction manual and part story collection. The result is that rare volume that entertains and becomes your go-to for delicious, no-fail smoked ribs, shrimp tacos, pulled pork and pit beans—or burritos, mac ’n’ cheese and baklava—all prepared on your grill and all eagerly anticipated by friends, backyard neighbors and barbecue judges.”

 

Build Your Own Burger

Build Your Own Burger

Amazon says, “Want to take your burger making skills to a whole new and exciting level? Let Build Your Own Burger show you how. This fun and practical guide to creating delicious and original burgers has literally thousands of combinations. In this inventive and fun format, ingredients are split into four categories – the buns, the sauces, the patties, and the toppings – each image presented in its own panel. Mix and match the panels to create your ideal burger. A comprehensive section covers the basics, including equipment, ingredients, and troubleshooting tips to get you started. The tasty-looking photography and the clever format will inspire cooks to create unique and mouth-watering flavor combinations such as: A fiery Chili Bun with a Beef Jalapeno Patty, topped with Sweet Chili Mayo and a Cooling Cucumber Salad or an Olive Ciabatta bun with a Field Mushroom Patty, topped with Vine-Ripened Tomato Salsa and Grilled Halloumi. With easy-to-follow recipes and photographs of all the elements, even a beginner can create luscious burgers in no time at all. Filled with burger ideas for any occasion and every palate, this really is the only burger book you’ll ever need.”

 

Southern Cooking For Company

Southern Cooking For Company

Not a grilling book per se, but with some imagination many of the main dish recipes can be adapted to the grill. This book is probably worth owning just for the side dish and dessert recipes alone!

Amazon says, “Nicki Pendleton Wood has gathered recipes from more than 100 Southerners that they prepare when company is coming. These are the show-off recipes hosts pull out when guests are on the way, whether for an intimate evening with another couple, a party for 100 people celebrating a milestone birthday, or anything in between. In addition to the recipes, contributors share their secrets for making guests feel at home.”

 

The Eat Like A Man Guide To Feeding A Crowd

The Eat Like A Man Guide To Feeding A Crowd

Amazon says, “This welcome follow-up to Esquire’s wildly popular Eat Like a Man cookbook is the ultimate resource for guys who want to host big crowds and need the scaled-up recipes, logistical advice, and mojo to pull it off whether they’re cooking breakfast for a houseful of weekend guests, producing an epic spread for the playoffs, or planning the backyard BBQ that trumps all. With tantalizing photos and about 100 recipes for lazy breakfasts, afternoon noshing, dinner spreads, and late-night binges—including loads of favorites from chefs who know how to satisfy a crowd, such as Linton Hopkins, Edward Lee, and Michael Symon—this is the only cookbook a man will ever need when the party is at his place.”

 

The Beer Bible

The Beer Bible

Amazon says, “It’s finally here—the comprehensive, authoritative book that does for beer what The Wine Bible does for wine. Written by an expert from the West Coast, where America’s craft beer movement got its start, The Beer Bible is the ultimate reader- and drinker-friendly guide to all the world’s beers.

“No other book of this depth and scope approaches the subject of beer in the same way that beer lovers do—by style, just as a perfect pub menu is organized—and gets right to the pleasure of discovery, knowledge, and connoisseurship. Divided into four major families—ales, lagers, wheat beers, and tart and wild ales—there’s everything a beer drinker wants to know about the hundreds of different authentic types of brews, from bitters, bocks, and IPAs to weisses, milk stouts, lambics, and more. Each style is a chapter unto itself, delving into origins, ingredients, description and characteristics, substyles, and tasting notes, and ending with a recommended list of the beers to know in each category. Hip infographics throughout make the explanation of beer’s flavors, brewing methods, ingredients, labeling, serving, and more as immediate as it is lively.

“The book is written for passionate beginners, who will love its “if you like X, try Y” feature; for intermediate beer lovers eager to go deeper; and for true geeks, who will find new information on every page. History, romance, the art of tasting, backstories and anecdotes, appropriate glassware, bitterness units, mouthfeel, and more—it’s all here. Plus a primer on pairing beer and food using the three Cs— complement, contrast, or cut. It’s the book that every beer lover will read with pleasure, and use with even more.”

 

School of Booze

School Of Booze

Amazon says, “Humans were seeking out alcohol millions of years before the word “keg” was coined. School of Booze contains everything you have ever wanted to know about alcoholic beverages, from how to make absinthe to the cultural history of zythos (beer). It covers the discovery and invention of fermented alcohol, ancient history, toasting, alcohol and health, alcohol’s role in religion, origin of slang expressions, virtually every known form of alcoholic beverage and their histories, temperance and prohibition movements and law, and much more. Packed with fascinating miscellany and curious facts to entertain your friends at the pub, this book is an essential compendium of knowledge about what essayist Dr. Samuel Johnson called life’s “second greatest pleasure.” It is the perfect gift for yourself, or for anyone who enjoys raising a glass to good health. Bottoms up!”

Weber 6483 Burger Press

Review of Weber 6483 Burger Press

Weber 6483 Burger Press

Pros:

  • Presses burgers ranging from 1/4 to 1/2 pound
  • Clear acrylic design shows when burger is fully pressed
  • Creates a dimple in the patty that prevents puffy burgers during cooking
  • Handle can be removed for cleaning
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Meat may stick to the press under certain circumstances

Close-up view of Weber 6483 Burger Press

I’ve formed hamburger patties by hand for years and never given much thought to doing it any other way until I recently purchased the Weber 6483 Burger Press.

The press consists of two plastic halves that form a 4-5/8″ wide patty. The bottom half is marked “1/4 LB” on one side and “1/2 LB” on the other; the offset design allows the top half to press down only far enough to make each sized patty.

To make patties, flip the bottom half of the press to the patty size you want to make. To make 1/3 pound burgers as shown here, use the “1/4 LB” side of the press.

Weighing meat for patties

Use a kitchen scale to weigh-out the amount of meat for each patty, or divide the meat evenly by eyeballing it.

Placing meat into burger press

Form the meat loosely into a ball and place it on the bottom half of the press.

Pressing the burger

Place the top half of the press over the meat and press down firmly. The clear acrylic allows you see when the meat has completely spread out to fill the press.

Close-up of dimpled patty

Removing the top half reveals that the press makes a dimple in the patty. This indentation helps prevent the burger from puffing up in the middle as it cooks.

Pressed burger patties

With the burgers pressed, they’re ready to be seasoned with salt & pepper and grilled.

Removing handle from press

The nylon handle can be removed for cleaning.

Burger press parts are dishwasher safe

The burger press parts are labeled “dishwasher safe” on the box. Since the handle was not dirty and is removable, I took it off before running the press through the dishwasher.

Pressed burgers on the grill

Now just grill your pressed burgers as you would any other. I grilled these over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes until 135-140°F for medium doneness. If you’re concerned about the food safety of your burgers, grill to 160°F for well done.

Melting cheese slices and toasting buns

Note how the burgers grilled up nice and flat, not puffy, due to the dimples made by the press.

Pressed burger served with steak fries

Some people using this press report problems with the meat sticking to the press. I didn’t have a sticking problem, but if you do, a little non-stick cooking spray may do the trick. Some suggest using a square of waxed paper or hamburger patty papers to avoid sticking.

Overall, this is a neat gadget that I plan to keep around. It works as advertised, pressing out consistently sized and shaped burgers that grill evenly every time.

What to make sliders? Weber has you covered with the Weber 6485 Slider Press.

For tips on making better burgers, read 5 Steps to Burger Brilliance, an excerpt from Weber’s Big Book of Burgers by author Jamie Purviance.

The Weber 6483 Burger Press is available at Amazon.com.

New Grilling Books For 2015

There’s a new crop of grilling books out for 2015. You may already be aware of some of these, some maybe not. All of these look interesting to me, take a look for yourself and if you’ve read any of them, let us know on The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board.

Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ

Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling and Smoking

The Ultimate Book of BBQ builds on the expertise of Southern Living magazine to create the definitive barbecue and outdoor grilling guide. The book features more than 200 of the highest-rated Southern Living recipes for barbecued meats and sides, plus pit-proven tips, techniques, and secrets for year-round smoking, grilling and barbecuing.

The Official John Wayne Way to Grill

The Official John Wayne Way to Grill: Great Stories & Manly Meals Shared By Duke’s Family

John Wayne Enterprises is proud to present The John Wayne Way to Grill, a new cookbook containing more than 200-pages of Duke’s favorite meals, from Tex-Mex classics to the best of Western barbecue and everything in between. More than just a collection of recipes, this deluxe publication will be chock-full of never-before-seen photos of the actor, along with personal anecdotes and heartwarming stories shared by his son Ethan.

Wicked Good Burgers

Wicked Good Burgers: Fearless Recipes and Uncompromising Techniques for the Ultimate Patty

Wicked Good Burgers ain’t your daddy’s patty on a bun. The upstart Yankee team that revolutionized barbecue with their upset win at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational turns their talents to burgers. Wicked Good Burgers fearlessly incorporates new techniques, inspirations, and ingredients to take the burger to the next level – whether it’s the Meatloaf Burger on Pretzel Bread with Cabernet Mustard or the Island Creek Burger with Oysters and homemade cocktail sauce.

Flavorize: Great Marinades, Injections, Brines, Rubs, and Glazes

Flavorize: Great Marinades, Injections, Brines, Rubs, and Glazes

In his latest lip-smackin’ cookbook, Dr. BBQ shows how to dress up meat, vegetables, and fruits with 120 brand-new recipes for tantalizing marinades, mouthwatering injections, savory brines, flavorful rubs, delectable glazes, and full recipes for what to make with them.

Feeding The Fire

Feeding the Fire: Recipes and Strategies for Better Barbecue and Grilling

Joe Carroll makes stellar barbecue and grilled meats in Brooklyn, New York, at his acclaimed restaurants Fette Sau and St. Anselm. In Feeding the Fire, Carroll gives us his top 20 lessons and more than 75 recipes to make incredible fire-cooked foods at home, proving that you don’t need to have fancy equipment or long-held regional traditions to make succulent barbecue and grilled meats.

New Weber Polyester Gas Grill Covers for 2015

Grill cover for Genesis 300 series

In years past, Weber offered two types of gas grill covers: Standard-grade made of regular vinyl and premium-grade made of heavy-duty vinyl.

For 2015, Weber has begun the transition to 100% polyester fabric grill covers. The material is more supple than vinyl, staying soft and pliable even in cold weather. It’s also lightweight, making removing and replacing the cover easier than ever. Covers continue to include Velcro straps for tightening the cover when in place.

Close-up of Weber 7101 packaging

A new feature is an integrated storage pouch sewn into the cover. The cover can be folded into the pouch for storage, and when not in use the pouch stays hidden out of sight inside the cover. If you cover your grill after each use, it’s unlikely you’ll need the storage pouch. But if you cover your grill only at the end of the grilling season, the pouch may prove to be a handy feature.

Close-up view of storage pouch

Each cover comes with a 3-year warranty for defects in material (but not fading), whereas vinyl versions had a 2-year warranty. Prices are slightly higher for these new covers versus the old ones.

It’s too soon to say how well these new polyester covers will hold up to the elements; only time will tell.  As we learn more we’ll be sure to let you know.

Available Covers

At the time of this writing, these polyester gas grill covers are available:

Some covers may fit older grills not listed. Contact Weber Customer Service at 800-446-1071 for assistance. For example, a member of The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board reports that the Model 7106 fits the Genesis 1000 and Genesis Silver A/B grills.

Polyester covers are also available for Weber 18″, 22″ and 26″ kettles and Performer grills.

Baking Steel For Grilled Pizza

Baking Steel by Stoughton Steel

In a recent post, I featured a technique for grilling pizza on a Weber Genesis gas grill. Shortly after that post, America’s Test Kitchen Radio reviewed the Baking Steel by Stoughton Steel. They say it’s far superior to a pizza stone and helps you make pizza as crispy as any pizzeria out there.

Baking Steel is 1/4 inch thick

The Baking Steel is a 1/4″ thick piece of steel measuring 16″ x 14″ and weighing an impressive 15 pounds. It gets so ripping hot that it bakes pizza up to 2x faster than a pizza stone and results in a taller, more crispy crust. It can also double as a griddle.

The Baking Steel by Stoughton Steel is available at Amazon.com.

Weber 6409 Salt & Pepper Shakers

Review of Weber 6409 Salt and Pepper Shakers

Weber 6409 Salt & Pepper Shakers

Pros:

  • Clear acrylic design shows fill level
  • Good capacity
  • Catches overflow during refilling
  • Fun iconic Weber kettle shape

Cons:

  • Cannot close the shakers for storage
  • Must cover holes during refilling
  • Kosher salt and coarse-ground black pepper dispense a bit slowly

Filled Weber salt & pepper shakers

The Weber 6409 Salt & Pepper Shaker Set is fun and functional. If you’re a Weber fan, you’ll appreciate the way these shakers mimic the iconic Weber kettle grill, and at $5.99 for the pair, they’re not a bad deal, either.

These shakers hold a good amount of salt & ground black pepper. The clear acrylic construction is not only durable and easy to clean but allows you to see when each shaker needs a refill.

Upside down view of silicone stopper

To fill, you turn the shaker upside down, remove the silicone stopper, and fill from the bottom. You must cover the holes with your hand or place the shaker upside down on a towel as your fill it. Not a huge deal, as just a few grains are lost during the process.

Using a funnel makes it easy to fill these guys neatly, and even if you overfill, the base catches the overflow so you can easily pour it back into the original container. I’m not sure if this is an intentional design feature, but it is helpful.

View of shaker holes

Table salt and regular ground black pepper work best in these shakers, but the holes are large enough for kosher salt and coarse-ground pepper. Both dispense a bit slowly but adequately.

If you intend to leave these shakers outside with your grill, you’ll want to prevent moisture or who-knows-what from getting inside. Unfortunately, they do not close, so you’ll have to put them in a Ziploc bag. Of course, if you’re using them inside the house, being able to close the shakers is not as much of an issue.

The Weber 6409 Salt & Pepper Shaker Set is available at Amazon.com.