Glossary of Terms

Perpetually Under Construction

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  • ABT -- See Atomic Buffalo Turd. Yes, we are serious.

  • Adobo Sauce -- A dark-red sauce or paste of Mexican origin made from tomato, vinegar, chiles and garlic. Often used to pack Chipotle Chiles in cans.

  • Anaheim Chile -- Chile named after the California city. It is a mild pepper, usually medium green in color and has a long, narrow shape. The red strain is called the Colorado chile. Anaheim chiles can be purchased fresh or canned. They have a sweet mild taste with just a hint of heat.

  • Ancho Chile -- Deep reddish brown in color, Ancho has a mild paprika flavor, with sweet to moderate heat. It is the sweetest of the dried chiles. In its fresh, green state, the ancho is referred to as a Poblano Chile.

  • Arm Shoulder -- See Picnic.

  • Ash Tool -- An accessory for the Big Green Egg. A metal tool which can be used to stir ashes in the cooker (to knock the ash off from previous fires) and to scrape out ash through the lower vent.

  • Atomic Buffalo Turd -- An appetizer that can come in many forms, but basically is a jalapeno pepper that is hollowed out, stuffed with cream cheese and a piece of pulled pork, wrapped in bacon and cooked until the bacon is crispy. They are not nearly as hot as you would think and have very little "morning after" effect. (No, our glossary will not define "morning after effect".)


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  • Babybacks -- See Back Ribs.

  • Back Half -- See Flat.

  • Back Ribs -- 1. Beef ribs cut from a rib roast.   2. Pork ribs that come from the back or loin of the animal. The ribs are taken from the center cut and part of the blade end of the pork loin. They consist of a minimum of 8 ribs but can include up to 14 ribs. An average rack of ribs includes 12 to 13 ribs. The ribs have meat between the bones and are meatier than spare ribs, but do not have as much meat as country-style ribs. Because they do come from the loin, they are leaner than spare ribs. They are also more expensive. Because they are the leanest of the ribs, baby backs are less messy to eat than the other ribs, but can be more prone to be overcooked. They are also easier to handle than spare ribs, because they are smaller. They have a naturally sweeter flavor than spare ribs.

  • Banana Chile -- See Hungarian Wax Chile.

  • Barbecue -- We won't try to produce a 100% guaranteed definition, but we'll take a stab at enlightening those who think it is only a piece of hardware or a social gathering. Barbecue is large pieces of meat cooked slowly at a low temperature, over some sort of wood fuel with some sort of smoke. It is also the method of cooking which produces the aforementioned meat. Note that grilling is not barbecueing. Meat that has been grilled is not barbecue.

  • Barbecue Cut Ribs -- See Kansas City Style Ribs.

  • Barbecue Tender -- See Skirt Meat.

  • Bark -- A dark brown to black, chewy and flavorful layer which forms on the outer layer of the meat when cooked low and slow. The formation of bark is assisted by the use of a rub. The more sugar in your rub, the darker the color of the bark will be due to caramelization and/or burning of the sugar. Some feel that rubbing the meat with mustard aids the formation of the bark.

  • Barrow -- A male butcher hog.

  • BBQ Guru -- A line of devices sold by The BBQ Guru which can be used to control the temperature of your cooker. There are several models, but they all basically operate on the same principle. A probe senses the temperature of the cooker. This information is fed to a small control unit which then controls a small fan fitted to the bottom of your cooker. By turning the fan on and off and thus controlling the airflow through the cooker, it can control the temperature of the cooker within a few degrees. The high end models also have a meat probe which feeds meat temperature to the controller. See also Pit Minder E-Temp, Competitor and ProCom 4.

  • BBQ Tender -- See Skirt Meat.

  • Beer Butt Chicken -- A method of roasting a chicken in which a beer can is inserted into the rear cavity of a whole chicken. The two are placed on the cooking surface so that the can and chicken are upright. The can is filled with liquid (usually beer), herbs and spices. The theory is that the liquid will keep the chicken moist and the liquid, herbs and spices will flavor the chicken.

  • Beer-friendly -- Of a recipe or cooking technique meant to be used outdoors on a grill or smoker. Not so complicated that beer will interfere with the execution of the recipe or technique, or result in the cook setting himself on fire or otherwise injuring himself.

  • Beer-safe -- See Beer-friendly.

  • BGE -- See Big Green Egg.

  • Big Green Egg -- A ceramic cooker made by The Big Green Egg company.

  • Blade Boston Roast -- See Butt.

  • Blade Shoulder -- See Butt.

  • Boar -- An uncastrated male breeding hog weighing up to 1000 pounds.

  • Boston Butt -- See Butt.

  • Breaks -- See Brisket Bone.

  • Brine -- A solution of water and salt used to improve the flavor, texture, and moisture content of lean cuts of meat. The meat is typically soaked in this solution for a period of time ranging from a few hours to up to two days. Via osmosis, the salt is introduced into the muscle fibers where the salt denatures the proteins in the meat fibers. Once the proteins are denatured, they can retain more moisture in the meat. Brines may also contain sugar and various herbs and spices so as to introduce flavor into the meat. Once the salinity of the solution reaches equilibrium with the salinity of the fluid in the meat, any molecules of flavoring substances are then free to move back and forth between the meat and the solution. If you would like to try brining, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Do not place a raw piece of meat into a warm brine. The brine must be completely chilled before the meat is introduced so as to prevent bacteria growth. Also, be aware that the salt needs to be weighed, not measured by volume. A cup of table salt and a cup of kosher salt are not equal in weight. Table salt weighs approximately 10 ounces per cup and kosher salt weighs approximately 5 to 8 ounces per cup depending on the brand. So, if a brine recipe calls for a cup of table salt and you cannot weigh the salt, you can approximate the correct amount of salt by using 2 cups of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (7.7 ounces per cup) or 1.5 cups of Morton Kosher Salt (5.5 ounces per cup).

  • Brining -- See Brine.

  • Brisket -- The brisket primal is located on the underside of the animal below the chuck primal and is also known as the breast meat, which extends from between the forelegs to the plate. It includes part of the breast bone and the lower ends of ribs 1-5. The fore shank, which is the top of the fore leg, is often included with the brisket primal. The brisket / plate / flank are often grouped together as one primal cut or they may be considered as separate primal cuts.

    The brisket market cut, which is what most barbecue chef's are familiar with, is located between the fore shank and the plate and is directly below the chuck primal. It is very flavorful, but tough. It is usually sold boneless and more often than not, it is cut into two pieces, the flat and the point. However, it is also often sold as a whole brisket with the two pieces intact.

  • Brisket Bone -- Of pork, the small meaty pieces that are removed from the spare rib when cutting St. Louis style ribs. Cut from butcher hogs, they are very meaty.

  • Burnt Ends -- A method of preparing brisket, usually from the point. When the flat portion of the brisket is done, the point may be separated from the flat and put back into the cooker for another couple of hours. It is then removed from the cooker, chopped, mixed with sauce and returned to the cooker for another half hour of smoking. The resulting "burnt ends" are then served on a bun.

  • Butcher Hog -- A male or female pig that is raised strictly for meat. It will weigh from 195 to 320 pounds.

  • Butt -- A subprimal cut from the upper portion of the shoulder. The roasts from this cut are available bone-in or boneless. The meat from this cut is often used for making pulled pork.

  • Button Bone Riblets -- See Button Ribs.

  • Button Riblets -- See Button Ribs.

  • Button Ribs -- Flat circular shaped bones located at the sirloin end of the loin. The button ribs consist of the last 4 to 6 bones on the backbone that do not have actual ribs connected to them. The meat on the button ribs consists of meat that covers each rib and connects them together.

  • Butt Rub -- A slightly suggestive term for a rub applied to a pork butt. See also Rub.

  • Butt Shoulder -- See Butt.


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  • Canadian Back Ribs -- See Back Ribs.

  • Caramelize -- Caramelization is a process which occurs when sugar is heated until it forms a liquid and then takes on a color from clear to almost black as it is heated to higher temperatures. Usually associated with candy making, caramelization occurs, however, when any sugar is heated sufficiently. Its primary relevance to cooking barbecue is when it occurs in the sugars contained in a rub or sauce. Note, this is NOT the same thing as the Maillard Reaction!

  • Cascabel Chile -- A small dried, plum-shaped, dark blood-red colored chile. This chile has a rich nutty flavor and medium heat. Also known as a chile bola.

  • Cayenne Chile -- A bright red, extremely hot chile. Generally sold dried and used to make cayenne pepper.

  • Cayenne Pepper -- Dried, ground cayenne chiles.

  • Charcuterie -- The branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit.

  • Charleston Hot Chile -- A relatively new variety of cayenne chile, said to be twenty times hotter than the jalapeño chile. Color ranges from yellow-green, to golden, to orange and crimson red.

  • Cheap Yellow Mustard -- Mustard that is cheap and yellow. Useful for coating pieces of meat before applying a rub since many rubs contain mustard powder and the vinegar in the mustard can help to tenderize the meat. Typically, the cheaper the better, no need to buy higher priced national brands.

  • Cheater Rack -- Of pork ribs, a meat industry term for a rack of ribs that contains only nine bones.

  • Chilaca Chile -- A mild to medium-hot, rich-flavored chile. When dried, it is known as the Pasilla Chile. Turns from dark green to dark brown when fully mature.

  • Chile Bola -- See Cascabel Chile.

  • Chile Negro -- See Pasilla Chile.

  • Chile Pequeno -- See Pequin Chile.

  • Chile Seco -- Dried Serrano Chile.

  • Chiltepin Chile -- See Pequin Chile.

  • Chinese Five Spice Powder -- See Five Spice Powder.

  • Chipotle Chile -- Smoked, dried jalapenos, often packed in cans in adobo sauce. They have a deep, smoky flavor and can be found in Mexican markets and many supermarkets.

  • Colorado Chile -- A red variety of Anaheim Chile.

  • Colorado Style Ribs -- See Kansas City Style Ribs.

  • Competitor -- The mid-range temperature controller made by The BBQ Guru. It contains a temperature controller and two temperature probes, one for monitoring the temperature of your cooker and the other for monitoring the temperature of your meat. See also BBQ Guru.

  • Consumer Cut -- See Retail Cut.

  • Cooler -- A device that can be used to hold barbecued meats in order to keep them hot until it is time to serve them. Typically, pork butts and briskets are wrapped in foil, then wrapped in towels or blankets, and finally placed in a cooler to keep the meat hot. A single butt can be held safely for 6 to 7 hours. The time can be extended with the use of so-called "super coolers", pre-heating the cooler with hot water, and placing hot foil-wrapped bricks in the cooler with the meat.

  • Copyright Infringement -- Technically what one would be guilty of if one used the contents of this and the other web pages which make up this web site without permission from The Naked Whiz. :-)

  • Cotronics Gasket -- A woven ceramic gasket material sold by Cotronics Corporation which some have used to replace the original felt gasket on their ceramic cookers.

  • Country-style Ribs -- Ribs taken from the blade end of the loin closest to the shoulder. Country-style ribs are meatier than other ribs but they are not as easy to eat, due to their bone structure and fat running through the meat. They include a minimum of 3 ribs and can be as many as 6 with bones or boneless.

  • Culotte -- See Tri-Tip Steak.

  • Cut Downs -- Of ribs, a meat industry term that refers to ribs which have been cut down from one or both sides of the rack in order to drop the rack into a lighter weight range. This is usually seen more with loin back ribs. When a rack is longer than usual and the bone has very little curve, this is a sign of a cut down.


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  • Daisy Wheel -- See Dual Function Metal Top.

  • Denver Rack -- See Lamb Ribs.

  • Direct Cooking -- Any cooking method in which there is nothing between the fire and the food. Antonym: See Indirect Cooking.

  • Dry Rub -- See Rub.

  • Dual Function Metal Top -- An accessory for the Big Green Egg. This is a metal cap which is placed on top of the Egg to control airflow out the top of the Egg. It consists of a daisy wheel component, a slider component and the base. The daisy wheel is attached to the slider and rotates. It has six small holes as does the slider. By rotating the daisy wheel, you can adjust the size of the six holes and thus achieve very fine temperature control. The slider/daisy wheel assembly pivots around an attachment to one side of the base, thus allowing the slider to cover a much larger opening in the entire assembly. By controlling this larger opened, you can achieve rougher temperature control. See also our Ceramic FAQ for pictures of this essential device.

  • Duck Sauce -- A thick, sweet-and-sour condiment made from plums, apricots, sugar and seasonings. Duck sauce is often served with duck, pork or spareribs but lots of folks put it on anything Chinese. Also called Plum Sauce.

  • Dwell -- Another name for roasting a steak after you have seared it at high temperature.


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  • EVOO or E.V.O.O. -- Pronounced "eevoo" or "ee vee oh oh", abbreviation for Extra Virgin Olive Oil, probably made famous by Rachael Ray on her 30-Minute Meals television show, and the source of more complaints from R.R. bashers on the now-extinct Food TV message boards, which was probably more than you wanted to know, huh?


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  • Feather Bones -- Of pork ribs, a meat industry term for the smallest bones on the spare rib and loin back, located on the rear or ham end of the hog. They generally have more of a curve, and in some cases, actually are more cartilage than bone.

  • Ferrari -- See Komodo Kamado.

  • Firebrick -- High temperature brick made especially for use in high-termperature applications such as fireplaces. Firebricks are cream colored. They can be used to provide a ceramic barrier for indirect cooking and as supports for raised grids. Normal brick should not be used for this purpose. See also Splits.

  • Fish Sauce -- A sauce made from fermenting fish in brine that is used in Southeast Asian cooking much like soy sauce is used in Chinese cooking.

  • Five Spice Powder -- A blend of anise, fennel, cinnamon, cloves and Szechuan pepper. Sold in many supermarkets and Asian markets. Also known as Chinese Five Spice Powder.

  • Flashback -- The dangerous rapid combustion of volatile organic compounds which occurs when the air vents are shut down for a time and then the cooker lid is opened without first venting the cooker. Usually occurs after high-temperature cooks followed by a dwell, as in cooking steaks. Click Here for more detailed information.

  • Flat -- The back half of a brisket, one of the muscles which make up a whole beef brisket. The flat cut has minimal fat and is usually more expensive than the more flavorful point cut, which has more fat.

  • Flat Half -- See Flat.

  • Flatbone -- Of pork spare ribs, a meat industry term for the wide bone on the shoulder end of the loin.

  • Flatbone Ribs -- See Button Ribs.

  • Fresno Chile -- Short and cone-shaped, as hot as the Jalapeño Chile. Color from light green to bright red.

  • Front Half -- See Point.


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  • Gilt -- A female butcher hog.

  • Granton Edge -- 1. Mistakenly used to refer to a series of eliptical shaped depressions on the sides of a knife blade. These depressions create air pockets which reduce the ability of the food to stick to the blade of the knife. 2. Similar to the first definition, but instead a configuration where the eliptical depressions extend all the way to the cutting edge of the knife. This is the correct usage of the term and is trademarked and patented by Granton Cutlery.

  • GrateMate -- A clever set of accessories for use in the Big Green Egg. It allows raised grates, wok cooking, holds drip pans, etc. Especially useful in the small Big Green Egg since there is no plate setter available for the small egg.

  • Grid Extender -- An accessory for the Big Green Egg. It is basically a grid that clips onto the main grid, thus providing a second raised cooking grid. See our Ceramic FAQ for more details.

  • Grid Topper -- A porcelain-covered metal tray with holes or slots in it. Used to grill foods that might otherwise fall through the grid into the fire. See also Wok Topper.

  • Grill Dome -- A brand of ceramic cooker made by the Grill Dome company.

  • Grill Topper -- See Grid Topper.

  • Guajillo Chile -- A dried chile whit a shiny-smooth, deep, burnished red skin. The chile is very tough and must be soaked longer than most dried chiles. Pointed, long and narrow in shape. Also known as the Travieso Chile.

  • Guero Chile -- A generic term for yellow chiles such as Hungarian Wax Chile or Santa Fe Grande Chile.

  • Guru -- See BBQ Guru.


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  • Habenero Chile -- Extremely hot, small lantern-shaped chile. It ranges in color from light green to bright orange when ripe. Can be used in both fresh and dried form.

  • Ham End -- Of a hog, the rear end. So called because the hams come from the rear legs of the hog.

  • HDAF -- Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil

  • Hoisin Sauce -- A thick, sweet, dark and spicy condiment made from soy beans, chiles, garlic, ginger and sugar.

  • Hollow Edge -- Another named for a Granton Edge knife. Probably used by manufacturers who wish to avoid having to worry about Granton Cutlery having trademarked the name "Granton Edge".

  • Hollow Ground Edge -- Usually mis-used to mean a Granton Edge knife, however, a hollow ground edge is actually one where convex curves are carved out of the edge to form a sharper, thinner, more delicate edge.

  • Humpty -- Affectionate name for a Big Green Egg.

  • Hungarian Wax Chile -- A large yellow chile that ranges in flavor from mild to medium-hot. Alsa has a distinctly waxy flavor. Also called Banana Chiles.


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  • Imperial Kamado -- A brand of Kamado-style cooker which is made by the Imperial Kamado company. Most notable for the fact that it is the only major Kamado-style cooker on the market which is made from clay and thus cannot cook with high heat. This limits its usage to low-temperature smoking and roasting.

  • Indirect Cooking -- Any cooking method in which there is some sort of barrier between the fire and the food. This could be just a drip pan, fire bricks, or a plate setter. Antonym: See Direct Cooking.

  • Iodized Salt -- Table Salt which has had sodium iodide added as a dietary supplement in order to prevent hypothyroidism. Can be used in rubs, but should never be used for Brining.


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  • Jalapeno Chile -- Smooth, dark green (scarlet red when ripe) chiles that range from hot to very hot. They're available fresh and canned. Dried, jalapeños are known as chipotle chiles.

  • Jamaican Hot Chile -- Bright red, extremely hot, small and irregularly shaped chile.


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  • Kamado -- 1. A style of ceramic cooker based on the Japanese clay kamado cookers.   2. A brand of cooker made by the Kamado company.

  • Kansas City Style Ribs -- A way of preparing spare ribs similar to the St. Louis Style Ribs ribs except they are trimmed more, making the ribs less meaty. The end flap and hard bone along the bottom are trimmed and the ribs are cut into a rectangle shape, resulting in a cut resembling back ribs.

  • Komodo Kamado -- A charcoal cooker made with refractory-based materials by the Komodo Kamado company. Not to be confused with the Kamado company. (Komodo Kamado was created out of the ruins left behind by the Kamado company when its owner fled Indonesia to avoid creditors. Komodo Kamado put most of the stranded workers back to work and ended up producing the Ferrari of the ceramic charcoal cooker world, using the highest quality materials and techniques to solve the problems which to this day continue to plague owners of cookers made by the Kamado company.)

  • Kosher Salt -- An additive-free coarse-grained salt. Can be used in preparing kosher meat. Also used by cooks who prefer its texture and flavor. Can be used in rubs and brining.

  • Kullen -- The eliptical-shaped depressions found on the sides of the blades on Granton Edge knives.


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  • Lamb Ribs -- Lamb ribs come from the breast and contain no less than seven ribs. The width should be between three and seven inches. The fat cover and diaphragm and continuous muscles should be removed. The outside of the rib should be trimmed of fat so at least 70 to 80% lean meat remains.

  • Lemongrass -- An herb widely used in Southeast Asia, available in most Asian markets. For cooking, use just the fragrant green leaves, finely minced. The stems are tough and flavorless, but should take root if placed in water allowing you to grow your own lemongrass.

  • Lisa Marie -- The pet name given DrBBQ's first Egg.

  • Loin Back Ribs -- See Back Ribs.

  • Loin Ribs -- See Back Ribs.

  • Lump -- Short for "lump charcoal". This is charcoal that is not briquette in nature. It is made from wood and does not contain clay or other additives or binders that are contained in briquettes. Lump can burn hotter, cleaner and with less ash than briquettes, and it is easier to start as well.


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  • Maillard Reaction -- Named after the French scientist Louis Camille Maillard, pictured on the right, a type of non-enzymatic browning which involves the reaction of simple sugars and amino acids. The Maillard reaction occurs when the denatured proteins on the surface of the meat recombine with the sugars present. The combination creates the "meaty" flavor and changes the color. For this reason, it is also called the browning reaction. The Maillard reaction occurs most readily at around 300° F to 500° F. When meat is cooked, the outside reaches a higher temperature than the inside, triggering the Maillard reaction and creating the strongest flavors on the surface. Note, this is NOT the same thing as caramelization!

  • MAP-Pro -- When manufacturing of MAPP gas was discontinued on April 30, 2008, Map-Pro was developed to replace it. It has very similar operating characteristics to MAPP gas.

  • MAPP -- A gas which is a combination of liquefied petroleum and Methylacetylene-Propadiene. It is a stable, high-energy fuel that produces 2,405 BTU/cubic foot with a 5301 °F (2927 °C) flame temperature. Much better heating than a propane-only torch. Sold in one-pound cylinders similar to the ever-familiar propane torches. Often used by owners of ceramic cookers to light charcoal fires. Manufacturing of this gas was discontinued on April 30, 2008. MAPP gas was subsequently replaced by MAP-Pro gas.

  • Market Ready Cut -- See Retail Cut.

  • Membrane -- A, well, it's a membrane, is what it is. A thin, tough, slippery membrane which lines the concave side of a slab of ribs. Most people remove the membrane so as to allow more fat to render from the ribs, allow the rub to penetrate the meat better, and to make the finished ribs more tender and easier to pull apart.

  • Mexican Jumpin' Lump -- Another term for mesquite lump. So called because of its tendency to spark and shoot hot bits of flaming lump all over the place.

  • Mickey T's Rings -- See Temperature Rings.

  • Mirin -- A type of Rice Wine.

  • Mole -- A rich, spicy, dark, reddish-brown sauce usually served with poultry. Generally, mole is a smooth, cooked blend of onion, garlic, several varieties of chiles, ground seeds such as sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, and a small amount of Mexican chocolate.

  • Mulato Chile -- A type of dried Poblano Chile, smokier than its relative, the Ancho Chile. Used in make Mole.

  • Mustard -- Mustard, preferably the cheap yellow variety, can be used to coat a piece of meat, either before or after the application of the rub. The mustard may assist in the formation of the bark, while it can also flavor the meat. Although no one would slather mustard on most finished barbecued pieces of meat, many rubs contain dry mustard powder. Many sauces contain mustard and vinegar. So it isn't as outlandish as you might initially think. The mustard disappears during the cooking process.


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  • Oyster Sauce -- A dark, brown sauce consisting of oysters, brine and soy sauce cooked until thick and concentrated. Oyster sauce gives dishes a richness without overpowering their natural flavor. Available in many supermarkets and all Asian markets.


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  • Pasilla Chile -- Rich-flavored, medium-hot chile, blackish-brown in color, which is why it's also called Chile Negro. This chile is sold whole, and powdered. In its fresh form this chile is called a Chilaca Chile.

  • Pastrami -- A brisket of beef that has been cured in a mixture of garlic, peppercorns, sugar, coriander seeds, etc., then smoked before cooking. Despite some claims to the contrary, pastrami is a noun describing the meat prepared in a certain way, not a verb. We have been unable to find any source that indicates that pastrami is a verb. We would be happy to be shown a dictionary that indicates that there is an English verb, "to pastrami".

  • Peel -- A wooden or metal paddle used to move pizza and other baked goods in and out of the baking chamber. Instructions for building your own peel can be found here.

  • Pequin Chile -- Oval shaped, tiny dried chiles. Red-orange in color, their flavor is slightly sweet and smoky and their heat very high. The pequín is also called Chile Pequeño.

  • Picnic -- A subprimal cut from the lower portion of the shoulder. A more economical but also fattier cut than the butt. When the bone and fat is trimmed from this cut it results in a very rich flavored roast. The meat from this cut is excellent for making juicy barbecued pulled pork. It may have the bone in it or the bone removed and rolled and tied.

  • Picnic Roast -- See Picnic.

  • Picnic Shoulder -- See Picnic.

  • Pit Minder E-Temp -- The low end temperature controller made by The BBQ Guru. It contains a temperature controller, a small blower and one temperature probe for monitoring the temperature of your cooker. See also BBQ Guru.

  • Place Setter -- See Plate Setter.

  • Place Sitter -- See Plate Setter.

  • Plate Setter -- An accessory for the Big Green Egg. It is basically a ceramic plate with legs. You can use it as a ceramic barrier for indirect cooking and as a way of elevating a pizza stone to the level of the opening of the Egg. See our Ceramic FAQ for more details.

  • Plate Sitter -- See Plate Setter.

  • Plateau -- The phase during the low and slow cooking of piece of meat like a pork butt or a brisket in which the internal temperature of the meat stops rising. During this phase, the connective tissue in the meat (collagen) is being converted to gelatin. This conversion process uses all the heat from the fire and as a result, the internal temperature of the meat stops rising. Once this conversion is complete, the heat from the fire can go back towards raising the internal temperature of the meat. This plateau can last many hours and can occur at different internal meat temperatures. The internal temperature of the meat may even drop a few degrees during this phase.

  • Plum Sauce -- See Duck Sauce.

  • Poblano Chile -- A dark green chile with flavor that varies from mild to hot. The darkest poblanos have the richest flavor. Poblanos are available fresh and canned. Ripe poblanos turn a reddish-brown color and are sweeter than the green. When dried, they're known as ancho or mulato chiles. Poblanos are best known as the chile used for chiles rellenos.

  • Point -- The font half of a brisket, one of the muscles which make up a whole beef brisket. The point cut has more fat and more flavor than the more expensive flat cut.

  • Point Cut -- See Point.

  • Polder -- A brand of remote thermometers, although this name is often used generically to refer to any remote thermometer. These thermometers typically have a probe with an armored cable. The probe goes into the meat and the cable snakes out of the cooker where it is plugged into the display unit. These units may have one or two probes and may have the ability to set a high and low temperature. Basic models only record the temperature of the probe and will sound the alarm when the temperature exceeds a set value. Some models are wireless, meaning that they come with two modules. The probe plugs into one which resides at the cooker, and then another remote unit communicates with the cooker unit via a wireless connection. This allows you to take it to bed with you for overnight cooks.

  • Pork Butt -- See Butt.

  • Pork Shoulder -- See Shoulder.

  • Primal Cut -- A cut of meat which is a group of muscles from the same area of the animal. Primal cuts are also called wholesale cuts, because they are usually sold to meat markets to be cut into smaller beef cuts for sale to the consumer. Examples of primal cuts are the short loin, chuck, sirloin, rib, brisket, round, plate and flank. See also Subprimal Cut.

  • Primo -- A brand of ceramic cooker made by the Primo Grill company. Most noteable for its Kamado model which is an exact copy of the Big Green Egg and its Oval model which is the only oval-shaped ceramic cooker at this time in the industry.

  • ProCom 4 -- The high end temperature controller made by The BBQ Guru. It is a wireless unit which consists of a handheld unit and a temperature controller unit. It has four temperature probes, one for monitoring the temperature of your cooker, one for monitoring the temperature of your meat, and two more to monitor the temperature of anything you like. See also BBQ Guru. See also our review of the ProCom 4 unit.

  • Pulled Pork -- Pork from the shoulder that is cooked at a low temperature for a long time until the meat reaches an internal temperature around 200 degrees. This cooking process converts the collagen in the meat to gelatin, resulting in tender, moist, fall-apart meat. The meat is typical "pulled", or shredded.


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  • Rack -- A term usually used to describe a section of ribs which is trimmed more than a slab. Apparently how much more is variable. Some people use the term to refer to half a slab, while others might use it to describe a slab which has simply been trimmed to some degree.

  • Red Bone -- Of pork spare ribs, a meat industry term for a rib that has been cut through the wide or flat end of the spare rib bone rather than through the cartilege when preparing a rack St. Louis style.

  • Reduced -- Of ribs, a meat industry term for a rib that has had a riblet removed or any meat removed so the weight of the rib falls into a lighter weight range.

  • Retail Cut -- Certain subprimal cuts and cuts of meat that are cut FROM subprimal cuts which are ready for retail sale to the consumer. An example would be filet mignon steaks cut from the tenderloin.

  • Rib -- We don't need to define ribs, do we? Ribs is ribs! Ribs is good eats! We don't need no steeeking definition, right? Well, ok since you insist, here is the 10-second explanation. Beef ribs come from cutting the ribs from a rib roast which comes from the rib primal cut. Pork ribs, well, wait a minute. There are two kinds, back ribs and spares. Back ribs come from the center cut and blade end subprimal cuts, which come from the loin primal cut. Spare ribs come from the side rib subprimal cut, which comes from the side/belly primal cut. Satisfied?

  • Riblets -- Riblets come from loin or spare ribs and are created by cutting down a loin or spare rib.

  • Rib Tips -- See Brisket Bone.

  • Rice Wine -- A sweet, golden wine low in alcohol made from fermenting freshly-steamed glutinous rice. Adds sweetness and flavor to many sauces and glazes. Available in Japanese markets and some supermarkets. See also Mirin.

  • Rub -- A combination of sugar, salt, herbs and spices that are applied to the surface of a piece of meat prior to smoking, roasting or grilling. If the rub has no liquid in it, it can be called a dry rub. However, it may have some liquid in it and thus have the consistency of a paste.

  • Rutland Gasket -- A fibreglass product made by Rutland Fire Clay Co. intended to be used in wood stove and fireplace applications. It can be used to replace the original gasket on some ceramic cookers. More detailed information can be found here.


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  • Salt -- Sodium chloride. NaCl. Used in rubs and brining. See also Iodized Salt, Table Salt, Kosher Salt and Sea Salt.

  • Sante Fe Grande Chile -- Small, tapered, conical peppers are generally yellow in color, but can mature to orange or red. Slightly sweet taste and medium-hot to hot.

  • Scotch Bonnet Chile -- Small irregularly shaped chile that ranges in color from yellow to orange to red. One of the hottest chiles, it is closely related to the equally fiery Jamaican Hot and Habanero chiles.

  • Sea Salt -- Salt made by evaporating sea water. It comes in fine-grained or larger crystals.

  • Sear -- To brown meat quickly by subjecting it to high heat, either in a pan or on a grid. Contrary to widely-held opinions, the object of searing is not to seal in the meat's juices, nor does searing actually seal in juices. Searing the meat produces a flavorful crust on the outside through the Maillard Reaction.

  • Serrano Chile -- A small chile with a very hot, savory flavor. Bright green, scarlet red, and yellow in color. Available fresh, canned, pickled or packed in oil. The dried serrano chile is known as Chile Seco.

  • Sesame Oil -- Oil derived from the sesame seed. It comes in two basic types. Asian sesame oil is dark, has a strong flavor and is used as a flavor accent for Asian dishes. The other is lighter in color and flavor and has a nutty character. It can be used for everything from salad dressings to sautéing. Sesame oil is high in polyunsaturated fats, behind safflower, soybean and corn oil. Its smoke point is around 420 degrees F, making it good for frying. Found in Asian markets and many large supermarkets.

  • Shiner -- Of ribs, a meat industry term for ribs that have meat scraped from the top side of the rib, exposing the bone. When there is too much bone exposed, the bones will actually fall out during the cooking process.

  • Short Ribs -- The ends of beef Back Ribs.

  • Shoulder -- The primal cut of the pig that includes the front leg and the section at the top of the leg. It contains a higher level of fat than the other cuts of pork, which provides it with a lot of flavor and tenderness.

  • Skirt Meat -- Extra meat along the bottom edge on the bone side of pork spare ribs.

  • Slab -- Ribs come in slabs, usually the entire set of ribs from one side of the animal, although the slab may contain fewer ribs depending on how it was cut and trimmed.

  • Slider -- See Dual Function Metal Top.

  • Smoke -- As a verb, to cook meat low and slow in the presence of smoke. However, for the purposes of this glossary, the flavor imparted to meat when it is smoked. Smoke flavor is created when smoke particles are deposited on the surface of the meat being smoked. Therefore, smoke flavor is added to the meat as long as there is smoke present in the cooking chamber. (As opposed to the way that the smoke ring only forms while the meat is below 140 degrees.) Smoke flavor is not absorbed by the meat as the smoke particles remain primarily on the surface of the meat. Smoke flavor can be increased by keeping the surface of the meat moist as this aids the smoke particles in adhering to the meat.

  • Smoke Ring -- A coloring of the outer portion of smoked meats which can be anywhere in the range from pink to purple. It is caused by the reaction of nitrates and nitrites in smoke, or chemical cures, with methyglobin in meat. This reaction takes place while the meat is below approximately 140 degrees. At this point, the bacteria involved in changing sodium nitrate to nitric oxide (which bonds to the myoglobin in the smoke ring process) begin to die. Note that the smoke ring is essentially flavorless and has nothing to do with smoke flavor.

  • Smoked Shoulder Roll -- See Butt.

  • South Side Cut Ribs -- See Kansas City Style Ribs.

  • Sow -- A female breeding hog that weights between 300 and 700 pounds.

  • Soy Sauce -- A dark, salty sauce made by fermenting boiled soybeans and roasted wheat or barley. The two main types of soy sauce are light and dark. Light soy sauce is thinner and saltier than dark soy sauce. Its flavor and color is also lighter and it may be used in dishes without darkening them. Dark soy sauce is slightly thicker than light soy sauce but generally not as salty. It has a richer flavor and color, usually the result of adding caramel. Chinese black soy is extremely dark and thick, the result of adding molasses. Japanese tamari is very similiar--thick, rich and extremely dark. There are also many low-sodium or "lite" soy sauces available.

  • Spare Ribs -- Pork ribs that come from the side rib subprimal cut which, in turn comes from the side/belly primal cut. So far so good? Basically spare ribs come from the side of the pig. They are the traditional slab of ribs. They include 11 to 13 long bones. There is a covering of meat on top of the bones and between them. They are the most inexpensive cut of ribs and are full of flavor. See also St. Louis Style Ribs and Kansas City Style Ribs.

  • Spares -- See Spare Ribs.

  • Spatchcock -- 1. A method of preparing small fowl which involves removing the backbone so that the bird may be spread open and flattened for cooking.    2. As a verb, to prepare a small fowl as in 1, above.    3. As an adjective, describing a fowl which has been prepared according to 1, above, as in "spatchcocked".    4. Although not found in any dictionaries to date, "spatchcock" is in common use as a noun meaning a small spring chicken, usually no older than 6 weeks.

    Spatchcocking is considered by many to be the equivalent of butterflying. However, some make the distinction that butterflying is more correctly defined to be making a single cut in a boneless piece of meat, poultry, fish or vegetable. Spatchcocking, on the other hand, is applied only to whole poultry.

    More information about this word can be found here.

  • Splits -- Firebricks which are only half as thick as normal. Can be used on edge as a support for raised grids or side by side to make a thinner barrier than with regular firebricks for indirect cooking.

  • Stag -- A castrated male hog weighing up to 700 pounds.

  • St. Louis Style Ribs -- A way of preparing a slab of spare ribs for smoking. The brisket bone is removed parallel to the rib side (perpendicular to the direction of the rib bones), resulting in exposure of cartilage on the brisket bone. The skirt meat may be left on or removed. This results in a straight, rectangular shape. See also Kansas City Style Ribs.

  • Subprimal Cut -- Smaller cuts of meat taken from primal cuts. Examples of subprimal cuts from the round primal are the bottom round, top round, eye round and round tip.


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  • Table Salt -- A fine-grained refined salt. Often has additives that make it free-flowing. Mainly used in rubs and for brining. See also Iodized Salt.

  • Tel-Tru -- Tel-Tru Manufacturing Company. World-Class manufacturer of bimetal thermometers, pressure gauges, and transmitters. For our purposes, we are interested in their thermometers. They make high quality thermometers for measuring the temperature of your cooker.

  • Temperature Plateau -- See Plateau.

  • Temperature Rings -- A set of wooden disks, each with a different diameter hole in the center. These disks can be used to replace the dual function metal top and serve to allow different amounts of airflow through the cooker. This allows you to achieve different reproducible cooking temperatures. Also known as Mickey T's Rings.

  • Texas Ribs -- Beef back ribs.

  • Thai Chile -- Small thin-fleshed very hot chile whose heat doesn't lessen with cooking. Color ranges from green to red when fully ripe.

  • Thermapen -- A very fast instant-read thermometer made for measuring the temperature of your food. Made by ThermoWorks. You get a free bag of jelly beans with every order!

  • Thick Cut -- See Point.

  • Thin Cut -- See Flat.

  • Travieso Chile -- Another name for the Guajillo Chile. From the Spanish word travieso, meaning "mischievous" due to the chile's hot nature.

  • TRex -- 1. A method of cooking steaks advocated by TRex.   2. A member of the BGE Forum who documented the TRex Method of cooking steaks.

  • Tri-Tip -- A subprimal cut of beef from the sirloin primal. Itis a triangular shaped cut at the tip of the sirloin and is surrounded by the remainder of the sirloin, and the round and flank primals. It can be used as a roast or it can be cut into steaks.

  • Tri-Tip Roast -- A roast cut from the Tri-Tip.

  • Tri-Tip Steak -- A steak cut from a Tri-Tip Roast.

  • Triangle Roast -- See Tri-Tip Roast.

  • Triangle Steak -- See Tri-Tip Steak.


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  • VOC -- See Volatile Organic Compound.

  • Volatile Organic Compound -- Volatile Organic Compound. The stuff in fresh lump which can create flashbacks. Although lump charcoal is mostly carbon, it still contains VOC's which are driven off by the heat and then burn. The buildup of VOC's in a cooker which has the air vents closed can cause a flashback when the lid is opened. See Flashback.


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  • Wiggle Rod -- A device invented by Char-Woody. A rod which can be inserted through the bottom vent of a ceramic cooker and used to wiggle or shake the grate, thus knocking ash loose and restoring airflow to the fire.

  • Wok Topper -- A porcelain-covered metal container, either round or square, with holes in it. Used to stir-fry vegetables on outdoor coookers. See also Grid Topper.


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    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



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