While you can smoke well on a grill if you know the tricks, nothing beats a dedicated smoker for succulent low-and-slow smoked ribs, pork, and brisket. You don't have to spend $10,000 on a big black submarine as seen on TV. Whether you want to go with wood, charcoal, gas, pellet, or electric, you can choose from a wide variety of smokers that are easy to use and get great results for under $500. Here are our picks.
'Equipment' on Serious Eats
With over 500 grilling equipment reviews under his belt (and 20 grills out in his backyard at any given moment), Max Good knows a thing or two about 'em. Here are his 2015 picks for the five best gas grills, from $99 to $499.
If you have a lot of money, it's as easy to select a great grill as to select a great wine. The trick is finding a great one that's also affordable. With over 500 grilling equipment reviews under my belt and ten grills out in my backyard at any given moment, I know a thing or two about buying grills. Here are my picks for the best five charcoal grills for $500 or less.
It's been a full year since I first announced the new Baking Steel Griddle. Since that day, I've received almost daily emails and Tweets inquiring about when it will be released to the public. It's one of my favorite bits of kitchen gear, providing the best surface for baking pizza and breads in your oven, as well as the ultimate stovetop griddle surface for cooking eggs and pancakes or searing steaks, burgers, and pork chops. I'm happy to announce that today they are finally ready to start taking discounted pre-orders from the public, with delivery expected to begin on September 19th.
The greatest olive oil in the world isn't worth a damn if you don't use it, and for my money, the easiest way to get yourself to start using up your olive oil is to store it in a way that properly protects it from oxidation while also allowing for easy, no-fuss access to pour whenever you need a little drizzle here and there. So what's the best storage solution on the market? I tested a dozen different olive oil pourers to find my favorites.
We've shared a lot of love for cast iron here at Serious Eats, but in our own kitchens there's another very similar type of pan that gets near equal use: carbon steel. Since it's more common in restaurant kitchens than homes, we've been pretty mum on the subject, but today, it's time to talk about what makes this sibling to cast iron great.
Let me get one thing straight with you: I don't like plastic cooking utensils. They're weak, ineffectual, melty, flimsy tools that make me feel like I'm cooking in My First Kitchen. That's up until now. For the first time in my life, I've found a plastic cooking spoon that I'm not only happy with, but that I actually find myself reaching for instead of my silicone spatula or my wooden spoon from time to time.
Mandoline-style slicers make quick work of some cutting tasks, especially when you need perfectly even, thin slices of foods—say, for making potato chips or French fries at home. We took as many as we could find for under $50 for a test drive to find the ones we like best.
If you've ever been awestruck by the texture of a purée or a soup in a fancy restaurant, odds are a high-power blender was responsible. The good news is, they're now easily available for the home cook. The bad news? There are many options, and they're pricey. We're talking at least $400. For those bucks, you want to make sure that you're getting the best blender for your needs. Here's the scoop.
For a long time, I lived in denial of how strong my feelings for carbon steel are. People would ask me what knives they should buy, and, unless they were professionals, I'd always steer them towards stainless steel. I figured I was giving good advice, since stainless steel is more forgiving, and most home cooks are looking for ease. But now I'm going to tell you what I really think: if you take cooking seriously, if you're ready to invest a little bit of time and a lot more care, and—this is a big one—if you're willing to sharpen your own knives, then carbon steel is where it's at.
Sure, kitchen shears are for cutting and snipping, but that's just the start. Here's why we think a good pair is worth having in your arsenal.
If you're still using one of those straight swivel peelers, you need to read this. Because we're convinced that this y-head peeler is better.
So when somebody asks me which wooden spoon is best, I always give the same advice I give when recommending knives, wives, or magic wands: it's an inherently personal decision. That said, there are a few important criteria to look for if you're starting from square one. Here's a spoon that meets them all and then some.
We love cast iron here at Serious Eats. We know many of our readers love it too. And for those who are really, really serious about it, the next step is to go vintage. But just how do you fix up a rusted century-old pan? We went to a pro to find out.
The Splashproof Thermapen is an indispensible tool for anyone who roasts meat, cooks steaks or chicken, barbecues, makes candy, or deep fries, but at nearly $100, it ain't cheap. Enter the ThermoPop, the new, $29 digital thermometer from the makers of the Thermapen.
I love eating salads, but I'm way more likely to do it if there's a great vinaigrette ready and waiting in my fridge. Enter the OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker, a neat little gadget designed to let you measure, mix, store, emulsify, and dispense dressing at moments notice. This is the kind of tool which makes me eat more salad, and I kinda like that.
There's a mysterious, myth-packed lore when it comes to cast iron pans. On the one hand there's the folks who claim you've got to treat your cast iron cookware like a delicate little flower. On the other, there's the macho types who chime in with their my cast iron is hella non-stick or goddam, does my pan heat evenly! In the world of cast iron, there are unfounded, untested claims left right and center. It's time to put a few of those myths to rest.
When I recently moved across the country, I knew I'd be without my full kitchen for an extended period of time. So I put together an emergency kitchen-in-a-box containing all the hand tools, small gadgets, knives, and pots I'd need to cook just about anything. Here are the contents of my Emergency Cooking Kit.
Cast iron frying pans are versatile, durable, and remarkably cheap. While pans that have passed down for generations might have a whole lot of sentimental value, you can buy a brand new cast iron frying pan without shelling out much cash. But do you think of using one when you're not frying up bacon?
Are ice balls better in cocktails than standard kitchen cubes? Does clear ice melt slower than cloudy ice? In order test out the fancy new Wintersmiths iceballer, I looked further into all of these questions.