Alaska is known for its fresh, sustainably harvested seafood – now you can enjoy it wherever you are through this monthly subscription

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  • The Wild Alaskan Company is a wild-caught, sustainable seafood delivery service.
  • Its mission is to make access to sustainable fish easy and convenient.
  • It operates on a monthly membership model, in which you can get 12 pieces of fish for $132/month.

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyWild Combo Box Subscription (small)Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

While other kids grew up playing soccer or riding bikes in their backyard, Arron Kallenberg was raised on his family’s commercial fishing boat in Bristol Bay, Alaska, home to the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world.

After spending 15 years working at internet startups, Kallenberg returned to these fishing roots, incorporating his knowledge of technology to create the subscription-based Wild Alaskan Company.

Its mission is simple: the service delivers wild-caught seafood from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to everywhere in the US except Hawaii.

Related Article Module: Where to buy the best-tasting, highest-quality seafood online in 2021

And the seafood from these regions of the country isn’t just delicious, it’s also more environmentally friendly than your typical supermarket fish selection. That’s because Alaska mandates directly in its constitution that seafood must be maintained on the sustained yield principle, which prevents the long-term depletion of natural resources.

How it works and what to expect

All year long, the company offers sockeye salmon, coho salmon, Alaskan halibut, and Pacific cod. Depending on availability, it also stocks rockfish, wild Alaska pollock, sablefish, and weathervane scallops.

You can’t get this seafood a la carte. Instead, items are bundled together into various plans: the Wild Salmon Box (6-ounce portions of salmon), Wild White Fish Box (6-ounce portions of white fish), and Wild Combo Box (6-ounce portions of both types).

You have the choice between 12 single portions ($10.99 each) or 24 single portions ($9.99 each), to be delivered every month or two months. The 12-portion plan has an additional $9.95 shipping charge, while shipping is free for the 24-portion plan.

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The fish arrives frozen in a dry ice-packed, insulated cooler, ready to be stashed in your freezer or cooked immediately.

Review of Wild Alaskan Company

I love eating fish but don’t buy it often when I go grocery shopping due to either lack of availability at my local market or confusion about the fish’s background and sourcing.

While I think Wild Alaskan Company could be even more transparent about its suppliers and processors, I liked at least knowing that the service sources from sustainably managed fisheries and was created by people who care about the wellbeing of natural food systems. Senior reporter and resident fisherman Owen Burke also advises using Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch consumer guide and complete recommendation list to look up the safety and sustainability of the specific fish you receive.

All in all, I felt like I could spend more time and energy simply enjoying the fish.

Wild Alaskan Company sent me its Wild Combo Box to test out. The monthly assortments can vary, but at the time, my box contained sockeye salmon, coho salmon, Pacific cod, halibut, and pollock.

The fish isn’t “fresh” in the traditional sense – it isn’t sent to you shortly after being caught. Rather, it’s “fresh-frozen,” (otherwise known as flash-freezing), which means it’s frozen shortly after it’s caught and handled.

This method, used by indigenous Inuit communities, actually helps retain the taste and texture of your fish, plus it lets you enjoy all types of seasonal fish year-round.

By comparison, some of the seafood you see at grocery store counters may be older than you think, and it’s not unlikely that it was previously frozen. Some seafood departments, such as the one at Wegman’s, even throw out their fresh fish after two days.

In the end, eating fish that’s frozen properly is less wasteful, and you don’t have to sacrifice taste and texture. My box of fish tasted great: flavorful, tender, and flaky.

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The monthly membership design is meant to ensure you’ll always have a flaky piece of salmon or halibut ready to cook for dinner. However, if at any point you want to pause, skip, or cancel your membership, you can do so in your account settings.

The bottom line

As we’ve already seen with the online meat boom, there’s a greater urgency to think more consciously and carefully about where your food comes from and its effects on the planet.

Wild Alaskan Company is the direct-to-consumer equivalent in the fish and seafood industry, so whether you already love eating seafood or wish you had more guidance picking out the right types, it’s a service you should consider trying.

Wild Combo Box Subscription (medium)

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The best grill brushes we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Nobody likes cleaning grills, but it’s essential for both your and your grill’s health.
  • Kona’s 360° Grill Brush is our favorite because it evenly scours large swathes and doesn’t rust.
  • We also recommend grill-cleaning bricks and metal-free brushes below.

Keeping your grill clean is paramount to its longevity; it helps preserve the hardware, preventing corrosion and rust. It’s also essential if you want to make sure the food you cook is safe for consumption.

That’s because the residue that builds up on the grate and inside of a grill contains carcinogens, and leftover food bits are a magnet for bacteria. Safety aside, your food will also taste better and cook more evenly if you commit to regular grill maintenance.

When it comes to choosing the right grill-cleaning tool(s), Barbecue University TV host, author, and grilling expert Steven Raichlen said to look for the longest tools you can find because “grilling utensils are never long enough.” Anything over 16 inches should suffice, and anything under 12 inches is best avoided, or you’ll face some serious singeing every time you go to clean your grill.

Below, we’ve chosen the ones we find to be most useful and effective, though a combination of two or three of them is probably ideal. So long as you have at least one brush and one scraper, and make sure to put in the time to actually use them, they’ll do wonders for keeping your grill in top condition.

Here are the best grill brushes in 2021

Our testing methodology

The best grill brushes, methodology

We spoke with experts like New York City meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda and Barbecue University TV host Steven Raichlen to learn what makes a good grill-cleaning tool. We also went to work cleaning too-many-to-count grills around the house and neighborhood.

Here’s what we looked for in the best grill brushes and tools:

Handles: During testing, we learned that handles, where applicable, had to be long and ideally not made of plastic, which can melt. Across the board, we preferred stainless steel handles, followed by wood handles.

Bristles: Bristles are highly effective, but can bend or break, which poses a hazard if they get in your food. We made sure that even over a hot grate, none of the bristles became deformed or dislodged from the plate to which they’re attached.

Ease of use: If a brush or tool was difficult to engage properly, we lost interest. Most people don’t want to spend too much time learning how to use a brush, and we think it should be easy enough for anyone to pick up and (effectively) use.

The best grill brush overall

The best grill brush overall, Kona 360 Grill Brush

The Kona 360° Grill Brush works in all directions to clean any and all grates, and comes with sturdy bristles that won’t end up stuck in your grill, or your food.

Pros: High-quality bristles that won’t bend or break easily, multidirectional, cleans at angles

Cons: Head is not replaceable, prone to rust if not properly dried, no built-in scraper (though you may not need it with this brush)

Kona’s 360° Grill Brush is effectively a one-stop tool that makes cleaning a grill as painless as possible. Thanks to its three-part head consisting of what are basically heavy-duty, oversized pipe cleaners, it reaches angles that more traditional, square, flat grill brushes simply can’t.

After using this brush for a couple of months, we’ve found that a combination of a few different angles, and specifically using the rounded edges, takes care of almost the entire surface area of a grill grate, which makes cleanup as swift as we could ever imagine.

Lightweight and balanced, this brush is great for cleaning hot or cold surfaces (hot is always preferred because you’ll be able to dislodge residue much more easily). However, you do want to be careful about making sure it dries properly if you use it with water to clean your grill (hanging it vertically works well for us, and we haven’t encountered any rust yet). 

You can also use this brush to clean the entire grill box, should you choose, and it is designated safe for use on ceramic, porcelain, and infrared cooking surfaces, too.

Best budget grill brush

The best grill brush on a budget, Cuisinart

Cuisinart’s Grill Cleaning Brush comes with a sturdy stainless steel handle and scraper and well-spaced bristles for getting into hard-to-reach spaces.

Pros: Long, stainless steel handle, built-in scraper

Cons: Base of the brush head is plastic, which can melt over high heat if you’re not quick and careful; brand doesn’t offer replacement heads

Cuisinart’s Grill Cleaning Brush offers just what you need for a basic tool at an affordable price, without being made entirely of cheap, heat-intolerant materials.

One of the most common problems with budget grill brushes is that their handles are often short and plastic, meaning they melt easily (and put you in danger of singeing your arm hair). Cuisinart addresses this issue by outfitting their brush with a long, stainless steel handle; it won’t burn, and it will keep your hands far enough away from the flames. 

Between the inch-long bristles and the three-and-a-quarter-inch scraper, this brush will give you everything you need (save for a little water and maybe some grill spray) to keep your grill operational.

That’s not to say this is the perfect brush — we still haven’t quite found one within this price range. The bristles are a little short, and they bend and break fairly easily, but that seems to be the case with most brushes on the cheaper side. While the majority of the tool is stainless steel, the base of the brush head is plastic, which, yes, will melt if you’re not careful. Some advice: keep moving if you’re working over a hot grill, as resting in one place too long will speed up the melting process. 

Otherwise, it’s a functional, traditional brush design with a rectangular grid of bristles. If you want to eliminate plastic entirely, you’ll have to spend a bit more, but know full well that this brush should last you a couple of seasons.

Best grill scraper

The best grill scraper, Kona

Kona’s Safe/Clean Wooden Grill Scraper is 100% nontoxic with food-grade varnish, molds to your grill grates over time, and won’t leave behind stray bristles.

Pros: Food-quality varnish, solid hardwood, molds to your grill over time

Cons: Takes time to mold to your grill, not as thorough as a brush, will warp and/or split if it gets (and stays) wet

Fresh out of the packaging, you might be inclined to think that Kona’s Safe/Clean Wooden Grill Scraper doesn’t work. You’ll need to spend some time scraping your grill and forming grooves into this scraper, but once you get it to that point, it’s going to function almost as well as — and in some ways better than — a good grill brush. Its main advantage: there are no metal bristles to break off and get stuck in your grill’s grates (or your food). 

In truth, you’ll probably want to follow your work with a wet paper towel to pick up anything left over. You’ll also have to flip your grates to properly clean them top to bottom. 

We like this scraper because it has a D-shaped handle like a snow shovel, which really allows you to put your shoulder into cleaning. It’s also a lot thicker than some other options, which look like they might wear out considerably faster.

And, because there can never be too many bottle openers within reach when it comes to grilling outdoors, there’s one built into Kona’s Safe/Clean Wooden Grill Scraper.

Word to the wise: make sure you hang this vertically, ideally from a hook, or even bring it inside. We left ours on a table where rainwater puddled and it split. This shouldn’t happen if you’re careful.

Best grill-cleaning brick

The best grill cleaning brick, KegWorks

For that truly like-new, grime-free, high shine look, it’s hard to beat the amazing scouring power you get with the Avant Grub Professional-Grade Grill-Cleaning Brick.

Pros: Does an excellent job of removing grease, quick and easy to use, immediately builds groves to fit your grill

Cons: Large, a little messy in your hands, doesn’t reach corners and edges (you’ll need a brush as well)

A cleaning brick is similar to a wooden grill scraper in that you’ll build grooves in it with your grill grates, but because it’s softer, the grooves will take shape almost immediately. It’s going to do a great job of cleaning them, but as with the scraper, you will have to turn the grates over to get the underside, and corners, edges, and hard-to-reach spaces will require a brush.

Most grill cleaning bricks are made of nonporous pumice, and there are universal cleaning brick handles that make the job a lot smoother and easier on your hands, but they’re far from necessary. What we like about grill cleaning bricks is that they are simple and also safer and potentially less damaging to your grill’s grates than wire brushes (if you overuse them). They also tend to clean much more effectively than brushes, but you do have to replace them more frequently than brushes, as they wear away quickly.

Any grill-cleaning brick made with nonporous pumice will do the trick, but Avant Grubs‘ is on the more affordable side, especially when you buy a four-pack.

We found that this brick gets porcelain-coated stainless steel grates shining in the shortest order, even compared with the brushes we tested, but because it doesn’t have a scraper or a contoured edge, you’ll have to use something else (probably a brush) to get into those harder-to-reach spots.

What else we tested

The best grill brush, what else we tested

What we don’t recommend and why:

BBQ Aid: This tool worked nicely, and we like the concept of a replacement head, but we have some concerns about bristle longevity due to a number of customer reviews on Amazon. We still think that the Kona 360°, being roughly the same price and having no plastic components, is the better bet.

Tool Wizard Barbecue Brush: This was another tool that worked very well, but it took a beating quickly, and we tore the mesh scrubber pad up pretty badly within the first use. You might swap the provided pads out for steel wool ones and find that they survive better, but it could wreak havoc on your grill grates so we don’t recommend it.

What we’re testing next

We’re still looking for a budget grill brush we really like, but we’re going to keep testing our current picks for durability and longevity.

Grand Grill Daddy Grill Cleaning BrushWe don’t particularly like the idea of an $80 grill brush, but people really seem to love this one, which has built-in steam-cleaning technology. We’re curious enough to bite, and we’ll report back with our findings in our next update of this guide.

Weber 12-inch 3-sided Grill Brush: This model from Weber looks like a pared-down version of our top pick, and we like the wire frame where other budget-friendly options usually only have plastic.

FAQs

What’s the best way to clean a grill?

The best way to clean a grill is while it’s still hot, which helps loosen residue and grease for easier removal. In general, it’s best to clean the grill both before and after cooking. Here’s how experts recommend cleaning your grill:

Before cooking

  1. Pre-heat your grill to your desired cooking temperature.
  2. When the grill is up to temp, use a grill brush to clean across the entire cooking surface.
  3. Using long tongs, dip a folded paper towel into high-heat cooking oil (such a vegetable or canola oil) and rub across the entire cooking surface. This helps clean and prime the cook top.
  4. Proceed with grilling.

After cooking

  1. While the grill is still hot, use your grill brush to loosen any debris and clean the cooking surface.
  2. Water is ok to use on your grill as long as it’s hot. Keep in mind that water left on cold cast iron grates or grill bodies can cause rusting.
  3. You may periodically want to use a scrubbing block for deeper grill cleaning, but this should be done on a cool grill.

How do I clean my grill brush?

Clean your grill brush with water and/or soap when it comes time, but be sure to hang it vertically so that it dries sufficiently, otherwise you’ll end up with rust.

Check out our other grilling guides

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The 5 best meat thermometers in 2021 for all types of cooks

  • A meat thermometer is one of the best tools you can invest in to improve your cooking.
  • We tested 12 models and interviewed a lead chef at the Institute of Culinary Education to find the best thermometers.
  • The Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4 is our top pick because it’s fast, accurate, and easy to use.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The most-used piece of equipment in my kitchen isn’t my Dutch oven, or my chef’s knife, or even my most beloved spatula – it’s my thermometer. I invested in a good kitchen thermometer almost a decade ago and since then, it’s carried me through countless dinner parties and holiday meals (including a pig roast), hundreds of weeknight dinners, and a career in professional kitchens. I use my thermometer to temp everything from a piece of chicken to a loaf of bread to a pot of caramel or a vat of frying oil – I’ve even taken the temperature of a baked potato.

Using a thermometer to take the temperature of food is one of the first skills students learn in culinary school. Tracy Wilk, lead chef at the Institute of Culinary Education, said that a thermometer is a core tool that can make you a more confident cook.

“A lot of home cooks can be intimidated by some techniques like cooking steak or tempering chocolate, but once you’re able to work with temperatures, the gates really open up for your cooking abilities,” Wilk said. “There’s also satisfaction from a perfectly cooked roast chicken that isn’t cut into a million pieces before it’s served. Using a thermometer will help you get accurate and delicious results.”

Thermometers don’t just help make your food taste better, they’re also important for food safety. According to the Food and Drug Administration, a thermometer is the only way to ensure that meat, poultry, and egg products are cooked safely as color and texture are not always reliable.

To find the best thermometers you can buy, I tested 12 different models, putting each through an identical set of tests to determine accuracy, ease of use, and durability. You can read more below about our testing methodology, as well as information on how to use and calibrate a thermometer, and why Thermoworks occupies all of the top spots in our guide.

Here are the best meat thermometers in 2021

Our testing methodology

Best meat thermometers methodology 2021

I’ve been using kitchen thermometers as a core tool in my arsenal for more than a decade, including seven years working in professional kitchens as a product tester and editor for “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Cook’s Illustrated.” For this guide, I leaned on my extensive experience testing and writing about kitchen products and using a thermometer almost daily, and also interviewed Tracy Wilk, lead chef at the Institute of Culinary Education. I tested 12 different kitchen thermometers, putting each through a set of identical tests. Here’s what I looked for in the best thermometers:

Accuracy: A thermometer should be, above all, accurate. I looked for accuracy at both high and low temperatures, as well as accuracy over time. I put each model through three different accuracy tests: an ice bath test, a boiling water test, and a sous vide test where I tracked the temperature reported by each thermometer over two hours when placed in a water bath heated by an immersion circulator. You can read more about how I did the industry-standard ice bath and boiling water tests below. Though I used the thermometers while cooking food to evaluate the ease of use, I didn’t include food in my accuracy tests since it introduces a number of hard-to-control variables like cooking temperature, size and thickness of the meat, and potential human error.

Speed: In every test, I timed how long it took for the thermometer to report a steady, accurate temperature. Some thermometers read within seconds, while others took up to a minute. For remote thermometers, I also timed how long it took for the base to transmit the temperature data to the pager.

Ease of use: A good thermometer needs to be easy to use and the readouts should be legible and easy to read. I used each thermometer over several weeks as part of my regular cooking routine, seeing how comfortable they were to hold over hot pans filled with searing steak, whether their screens fogged up when I stuck the probes into vats of chili, and generally evaluating how easy they were to handle, use, and read. 

Durability: Thermometers are often used in busy kitchens where bumps and spills happen. I tested the durability of the thermometers by knocking each from the counter onto the ground 10 times and checking for any cracking or functionality loss. All the thermometers passed this test.

Special features: While a thermometer doesn’t need to have any fancy features, I looked at any additional functions such as backlights, alarms, timers, and customizability. I checked to see that these functions were helpful and worked as intended.

The best meat thermometer overall

Best meat thermometers 2021 Thermoworks Thermapen

The Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4 is lab-calibrated, accurate, and thoughtfully designed with features like an auto-rotating display, large numbers, a backlight, and a superfast read time. 

Pros: Lab-calibrated, displays accurate temperature within seconds, large and easy to read display, automatic backlight, automatically turns on and off, display automatically rotates, can be used in Celsius or Farenheit, can be customized to display whole numbers or up to one decimal place, comes in 10 colors

Cons: Might be more difficult for lefties to use

The Thermapen is beloved in the food industry because it’s simply designed, accurate, and fast — it has everything you want and need in a thermometer with no superfluous extras. While its long been the tool of choice by pros, but I didn’t realize just how objectively best-in-class it is until I tested it alongside 11 other thermometers.

It takes zero knowledge to use: simply unfold the probe and get to temping. The display is large and easy to read; there’s no glare from any angle and the display doesn’t fog up when you get close to hot foods. The numbers automatically rotate depending on which way you’re holding the Thermapen, so it’s legible from all angles. A sensor near the display turns on the backlight whenever the ambient light is low; a feature I’ve found really helpful when grilling in the dark. The thermometer also automatically turns on when you pick it up and turns off when you put it down, so you don’t have to worry about wasting the battery.

Most importantly, it’s accurate and reads fast. It reported accurate temperatures in our calibration tests. When I used it while cooking steak, it reported the temperature within three seconds of sticking the probe in — the fastest of the models we tested. 

While the Thermapen is ready to go right out of the box, you can customize it by choosing between Celsius and Farenheit and setting the display to show whole numbers or one decimal place on the temperature readout. 

The only issue I’ve ever encountered with the Thermapen is that it’s not ergonomically designed with left-handed users in mind. Lefties might be more comfortable with our budget pick, the ThermoPop, which is configured more universally.

The best budget meat thermometer

Best meat thermometers 2021 Thermoworks ThermoPop

The Thermoworks ThermoPop is a simple and easy-to-use meat thermometer at an entry-level price that’s great for those just learning to cook. 

Pros: Accurate, fast, easy-to-read numbers, has a backlight, has a rotating display, can show temperatures in Celsius and Fahrenheit, comfortable for both lefties and righties to use, comes in nine color options

Cons: Backlight and display rotation have to be activated by pressing buttons, the rigid probe has some trouble getting into tight spots, only displays whole numbers, can’t adjust digits if the thermometer needs calibration

While the Thermapen may be unparalleled in its features and accuracy, it comes at a premium price. For those learning to cook or just looking for something a little more simple or inexpensive, the Thermoworks ThermoPop has everything you need to get started, and it’s about a third of the price of the Thermapen.

The thermometer is lollipop-shaped with a long, thin probe on one end and a bulbous display on the other. The screen is clear and easy to read with large digits and a backlight. It’s accurate and reports the temperature within four seconds of inserting the probe into the food — just a second longer than the Thermapen. Since its probe is upright instead of angled, it works equally well for lefties and righties.

It has all the features you need in a thermometer, however, it takes an extra step to activate some of them. For example, you need to press a button to turn on the backlight or rotate the display while the Thermapen does both of these things automatically. It’s also not quite as customizable — you can’t set it to display one decimal place temperatures, it only shows whole numbers. And in the event that your thermometer’s calibration is off, you can’t make adjustments to the numbers on your own; you’d have to send it back to the company. It’s also a little less maneuverable in tight spaces or awkward angles since the probe is straight instead of angled. 

That said, it’s a great entry-level thermometer that has all the features you’ll need for almost every type of cooking project.

The best leave-in meat thermometer

Best meat thermometers 2021 Thermoworks ChefAlarm

The Thermoworks ChefAlarm has many thoughtful features like built-in alarms, a timer, and a probe that stays in your food for the entire cook time, making it a great option for grilling or long cooking projects.

Pros: Accurate, reads quickly, large display, built-in timer and stopwatch, high and low alarms, comes with a pot clip and carrying case, can buy and use other probe styles depending on your needs, magnetic base, can be used in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, comes in nine different colors

Cons: Magnet not always strong enough to hold up the unit on oven door, takes some time to set up 

While fast-reading handheld thermometers like the Thermapen and ThermoPop are great for most uses, sometimes you need a thermometer that can be left in your food while it’s cooking, which is where probe or leave-in thermometers like the Thermoworks ChefAlarm come in. 

The ChefAlarm is ideally designed for grilling, barbecue, or cooking long roasts in the oven. It features a high-temperature probe connected to a base that reports the current temperature, as well as the minimum and maximum temperatures your food has reached while cooking. Buttons on the base allow you to set a timer or stopwatch, along with alarms to tell you when your food has dropped above or below a certain desired temperature range. The base can be folded to sit stably on a counter or attached via a magnet to a metallic surface like a grill lid or oven door. It also comes with a carrying case and a clip for attaching the probe to pots for deep frying or candy making.

In my temperature tests, the ChefAlarm was accurate and relatively fast, reporting temperatures within six seconds. However, between the probe, cable, and base, it has a lot of parts and is a bit unwieldy for stovetop cooking like searing steak or fish. I’ve found I get the most use out of it when grilling or cooking foods that take a lot of time. 

One tiny quibble I have with the ChefAlarm is that the magnet isn’t always strong enough to hold the base up when attached to my oven door, which could be an issue if you have a wall-mounted oven with no easily reachable surface nearby.

The leave-in meat thermometer on a budget

Best meat thermometers 2021 thermoworks DOT

The Thermoworks DOT is a relatively inexpensive thermometer with a few simple, but well-designed features. It’s an accurate leave-in thermometer without all the bells and whistles.

Pros: Relatively fast, very accurate, clear display that’s easy to read from afar, has a backlight, can buy and use other probe styles depending on your needs, magnetic base, alarm alerts when the food has reached its set temperature, can be used in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, comes in nine different color options

Cons: No timer, no minimum or maximum temperature display, only one volume setting, only displays whole numbers

If you’re looking for a leave-in thermometer that is a bit simpler and less expensive than the ChefAlarm, the Thermoworks DOT is a more streamlined option. It consists of a circular, magnetic base attached to a 4.5-inch probe connected by a 47-inch cable. The front of the base has just two buttons: up and down, which you use to set your desired final cooking temperature. You stick the probe in the food and leave it there for the entire cook time, and the thermometer will beep loudly to let you know when your food has reached your desired temperature. 

The DOT has a backlight that can be activated with a button on the back of the base, and you can buy other specialty probes that work with it to suit your needs (though you most likely won’t ever need to). One thing I particularly like about the DOT is that it’s lighter than the ChefAlarm, and stays put when I attach it magnetically to my grill or oven. It’s also incredibly accurate and a beat faster than the ChefAlarm, reporting the temperature within just five seconds.

The DOT doesn’t have a timer or the ability to show you minimum and maximum cooking temperatures, but you may not need either of those functions if you’re cooking something simple, or you use a separate timer while cooking. 

Overall, it’s a great option if you’re looking to dabble with a leave-in thermometer, or don’t need all the extra bells and whistles that come with a more expensive thermometer.

The best meat thermometer for the grill

Best meat thermometers 2021 thermoworks smoke

If you’re serious about barbecue, the Thermoworks Smoke X2 offers both accuracy and convenience with a leave-in probe that can transmit data to a pager more than a mile away. 

Pros: Comes with a pager so you can monitor temperatures from afar, pager works more than a mile away from the base, comes with two temperature probes, accurate, moderately fast read and data transmission time, can set high and low temperature alarms, has a backlight, can be used in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, comes in nine different colors, can be used with other specialty probes and equipment

Cons: Too bulky for stovetop cooking

If you’re cooking something that takes many, many hours or even days — as is often the case with barbecue — remote thermometers like the Thermoworks Smoke X2 let you monitor the temperature of your food from afar so you’re not tied to the grill. 

The Smoke looks similar to other leave-in thermometers we tested. It comes with two probes that are connected by long wires to a base that sits outside your grill or oven. The base transmits that temperature data to a pager that you wear on a lanyard. Both probes were accurate and took about seven seconds to transmit the temperature to the base — slower than our other top picks, but much faster than any other remote thermometer I’ve tested. 

The base and pager stay connected up to a mile away from each other, which likely covers all the distance you’ll need. While I didn’t test the lengths of this claim, I did walk with the pager up to 1,000 feet away from the base and it never lost connection, even when I went upstairs, behind walls, and down the block.

While The Smoke isn’t a thermometer you’ll likely use every day, it’s a good investment if you regularly cook a lot of project recipes or barbecue.

What else we tested

Best meat thermometers what else we tested 2021

We tested a total of 12 thermometers for this guide. Here are the ones we tested that didn’t make the cut.

What else we recommend and why:

  • Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Digital Meat Thermometer ($55.99): This fast-reading handheld thermometer is accurate, easy to use, and gives clear readouts. It has many of the features we love in the Thermapen Mk4, like a backlight and auto-rotating display. While the Javelin is a great thermometer, the Thermapen edged this model out because its features were a bit more reliable; the Javelin’s display sometimes rotated when we didn’t want it to and you need to press a button to activate the backlight. These are minor quibbles, however, and this is a great option if you want a more affordable alternative with many of the same functions as the Thermapen. 
  • Lavatools Javelin Digital Meat Thermometer ($26.99): This petite thermometer is only a little more than four inches long with a probe length of just 2.8 inches. While it’s fast, accurate, and easy to read for its small size, it’s a bit too small for everyday use. I found my hands getting uncomfortably hot when holding this thermometer in food that was cooking, and its probe is too short to get all the way into large roasts and cuts of meat. That said, it’s small enough that you could clip it to a keychain, or use the included magnet to keep it on your fridge door for easy access when you need a thermometer in a pinch. It might be a good portable thermometer, but not one that I would want to use every day.

What we don’t recommend and why:

  • OXO Good Grips Thermocouple Thermometer ($99.95): This instant-read thermometer is sleek, reports fast read-outs, and has a rotating display, but it was consistently off by one degree in all the calibration tests. While that wasn’t a deal-breaker (and hardly enough of a difference to ruin your food), I was regularly thwarted by the rotating display, which consistently read upside down when I tried to use it in a hurry, like while searing steak. The probe does extend further than other models, which meant my left-handed husband could also use the thermometer comfortably in his dominant hand (many instant-read thermometers only extend far enough to be most versatile for right-handed use). It may be a good option for lefties, but I would’ve liked more accuracy and reliability given the price.
  • Polder Stable-Read Digital Thermometer ($19.99): This thermometer beeps to let you know when it’s at a stable reading, which can be useful if you’re still figuring out the nuances of using a meat thermometer. However, that was just about its only redeeming factor. It was consistently off by about 3 degrees F, and the display is hard to read, doesn’t rotate, and is not backlit. The probe is rigid and the thermometer is long, so it’s not good for temping things at an angle. Finally, the probe sheath was really difficult to pull on and off; not great when you’re trying to grab the thermometer quickly while your food cooks. 
  • ThermoPro Wireless Meat Thermometer ($56.99): This remote thermometer gets solid reviews, so we decided to try it out. While it was accurate, it was difficult to use compared to the Thermoworks Smoke and lacked many of the features we love in that thermometer. The ThermoPro’s display is relatively small and hard to read, it wasn’t intuitive to use and program, and it only has a range of up to 300 feet. While this seems like a long distance, it lost connection when I left the transmitter by the grill and took the pager with me into my house and up a flight of stairs. When it was connected to the pager, it took about 45 seconds for the thermometer to report the temperature in all of our accuracy tests — the longest of any product we tried. While this lag isn’t likely to make a difference in your food if you’re using it to cook barbecue or another long-cooking dish, it’s much too slow for stovetop use or quick-cooking foods like steak or fish. 
  • Taylor Commercial Digital Thermometer ($10.29): While this thermometer was the least expensive of any model we tested, its display is teeny-tiny at just 1/4 inch tall. I had to squint to read the numbers, the display often fogged up, and there was a glare if I didn’t hold the thermometer at the right angle. It also took a relatively long time to read at about 20 seconds, and in that time, my hand got hot from having to hold the thermometer close to the food for so long. It also wasn’t very accurate and was consistently off by 2 degrees F in all our accuracy tests.
  • Taylor Waterproof Instant Read Thermometer ($16.76): Another inexpensive option from Taylor, this thermometer was slightly easier to read and featured a backlight. While it was also faster and more accurate than the other Taylor thermometer we tried, it still wasn’t without flaws. The display had a strong glare from certain angles and fogged up when close to hot foods; this was exacerbated by its short probe, which kept the thermometer (and our hands) near the heat. The buttons were also hard to press.
  • Yummly Smart Thermometer ($99.99): This thermometer is part of a new generation of leave-in thermometers that are completely wireless. The probe stays in your food the entire cooking time, but there are no wires coming out of your oven or grill like there are with the DOT or ChefAlarm. The probe wirelessly transmits temperature data to your phone, so you can see when the food is finished cooking. I tested this model and struggled with app and connectivity issues that rendered the thermometer basically useless.

What we look forward to testing

Best meat thermometers   looking forward 2021

There are hundreds of meat thermometers out there, here are some other models we’re looking forward to testing soon: 

  • Thermapen ONE ($105): A new version of our top-rated instant read thermometer, the Thermapen ONE purportedly has a brighter backlight than the MK4 and read times in as little as one second. We’re giving it a try and will report back on our thoughts.
  • Maverick Stake ($79.99): Maverick is a well-loved brand among barbecuers, and it recently introduced the Stake, which is another one of these new-generation wireless leave-in thermometers. 
  • Taylor Gourmet Programmable Kitchen Thermometer with Timer ($21.99): This leave-in thermometer has a built-in timer and a more traditional design, similar to our top picks. It may make an inexpensive option for those looking for this style of thermometer.

Types of thermometers

Best meat thermometers   Different types of thermometers 2021

In this guide, we focused on three primary types of thermometers used most commonly in cooking: instant-read thermometers, probe thermometers/leave-in thermometers, and remote thermometers. Here are the key differences between the styles:

Instant-read thermometer

Pros: Fast read-out, slim design that fits easily in your hand, can check multiple locations in the food quickly, can be used for almost any task

Cons: Not meant to be left in the food so you have to open the pot lid, oven door, or grill lid to check the temperature, which could result in heat loss and a longer cook time 

These devices are handheld digital thermometers that give you a temperature read-out in several seconds. They’re the most versatile of the different thermometers, and if you’re only going to buy one thermometer, this is the style to buy. They’re great for stovetop cooking and foods that cook fast but also work well for checking on dishes you cook in the oven or grill. My instant-read thermometer is one of the most-used tools in my kitchen and the thermometer I reach for most often.

Probe thermometer or leave-in thermometer

Pros: Great for long cooks where you don’t want to poke the food too often, good for candy-making and deep-frying, often has built-in alarms or timers

Cons: Slightly slower read-out, not ideal for fast-cooking foods like steak or fish on the stovetop, more parts to keep track of, bigger and harder to operate with one hand

These thermometers have a probe that’s meant to be left in the food for the entire duration of cooking. The probe connects by a thin metal wire to a base that sits outside the stove, oven, or grill and shows the temperature read-out. Many probe thermometers also have extra functions like timers or alarms. This style is good for situations where you want to constantly monitor the temperature without having to frequently poke the food or open the oven door or grill lids, like when making large roasts or long-cooked braises. They’re also useful for deep-frying and candy-making since you can clip the probe onto the pot and monitor the temperature of the frying oil or sugar for consistency.

Remote thermometer

Pros: Pager or smartphone-connectivity that lets you monitor temperature from afar, good for long-cooking foods like barbecue or roasts

Cons: Most expensive, bulky, slightly longer read and transmission time than leave-in thermometers

Remote thermometers are very similar to probe thermometers in that they have a leave-in probe connected to a base, but they have the added component of a pager that lets you monitor the temperature of your food from afar. This is popular for grilling and smoking, which typically have very long cook times. A remote thermometer lets you walk away from the grill or oven and still keep an eye on the temperature of your food. Many are also smartphone-connected, so you can check the temperature from your phone. While you can use them in all the same ways you would use a leave-in thermometer, they’re usually bigger, heavier, and more expensive, so really only recommended if you do a lot of barbecuing or very long cooks.

Why ThermoWorks makes the best thermometers we tested

Best meat thermometers   why thermoworks is best 2021

With Thermoworks occupying all five of our top picks, you might think this guide is sponsored — it most assuredly is not. Our guides are never sponsored and we conduct the same set of tests on all products (you can read more about how we tested in our methodology). We put 12 different thermometers through the same rigorous criteria for this guide. So how did Thermoworks products come to best the competition?

Here are some of the reasons Thermoworks thermometers tested so well, and why they’re worth buying:

Accuracy: A thermometer should be accurate. Thermoworks thermometers consistently gave the most precise and accurate measurements in our tests. Should your thermometer reading be off after doing basic calibration tests (very unlikely in a new thermometer, since many of its products come factory-calibrated, but a possibility with extended use), some of Thermoworks’ thermometers are easily adjusted with buttons inside the battery compartment, or you can send the thermometer to the company for lab calibration. 

Thoughtful design: Thermoworks thermometers are thoughtfully designed and simple to use. The thermometers have just the right amount of features — nothing superfluous. Some features we found particularly helpful in our top picks were large readouts, backlit displays, and easy adjustability. 

Trusted industry leader: Thermoworks has been in business for 25 years and only makes thermometers and temperature tracking devices. Its staff is filled with engineers who are laser-focused on thermometry and calibration. Its reputation for doing one thing and doing it well has made it a trusted brand used not only by home cooks and in the foodservice industry, but also by pharmaceutical, construction, manufacturing, utility, heating and air conditioning, plastics and rubber, research and science, and other industries. 

Customer service: While customer service didn’t factor into my rankings for this guide, it’s worth noting that Thermoworks has some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been using Thermoworks products daily for a decade as part of my job and in my own home. Whenever I’ve had a question, a call to the customer service line quickly puts me in touch with a technician who can answer questions big and small — from troubleshooting data logging software to basic questions about what thermometer is best for what use. 

Colors: While appearance also didn’t factor into my ratings, I do love that most Thermoworks products come in nine to 10 colors, so you can choose one that feels customized and personal to you.

How to calibrate a thermometer

Best meat thermometers 2021 how to calibrate

Before you use your thermometer for the first time, you should make sure it’s accurate. This process is called “calibration,” but that’s a bit of a misnomer since you usually aren’t making any adjustments, just checking accuracy. In addition to calibrating your thermometer before its first use, it’s also a good idea to check its accuracy periodically, especially if you’re using an older model or a dial thermometer. There are two industry-standard ways to calibrate your thermometer: the ice bath test and the boiling water test.   

Ice bath test

The easiest way to check for accuracy is to prepare an ice bath. Here are the steps outlined on Thermoworks’ website, which are standard across many brands:

  1. Fill a vessel like a large mug or bowl to the rim with ice.
  2. Add cold water to the vessel to fill the gaps between the ice. Stop filling when you’ve reached just below the lip of the vessel. 
  3. Insert your thermometer’s probe into the center of the ice bath and stir gently.
  4. An accurate thermometer should read 32 degrees F (or 0 degrees C) in the ice bath.

Boiling water test

If you don’t have ice readily available, you can also check the accuracy of your thermometer with boiling water. However, keep in mind that water boils at different temperatures depending on your location and the current atmospheric pressure. The boiling water calibration test should only be used in a pinch and only to detect glaring inaccuracies. Here are the steps:

  1. Fill a pot with at least four inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. When the water is at a roaring boil with big bubbles bursting at the surface, insert your thermometer probe into the water, taking care that it doesn’t touch the sides or bottom of the pot. 
  3. Compare the temperature read-out to the estimated boiling point of water for your area. At sea level, water generally boils at 212 degrees F (100 degrees C). 

What to do if your thermometer is inaccurate

If you perform either of the above calibration tests and find that your thermometer is inaccurate, first check the accuracy range of your device, which should be listed on the packaging or instructions. Some thermometers allow for a variance of up to a degree plus or minus the target temperature. If your thermometer’s reading is within the allowed range, there’s no need to make adjustments. 

If your thermometer is off by more than the allowed range, follow any included instructions in the packaging for adjusting the read-out of your device. If your device isn’t adjustable you have a couple of options. First, you can send the thermometer back to the manufacturer for calibration. The price and availability of this service will vary depending on the model, your warranty, and the company. Second, you can simply take a small piece of tape and write the amount the thermometer is off by on it and stick it to the thermometer body. Every time you use the thermometer, the tape will remind you to mentally adjust the read-out by the number written on the tape. Finally, if your thermometer was cheap or is old, you may just want to buy a new one.

Check out our other grilling gear guides

best gas grill 2021 Weber S-315
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Thrive Market is an online grocery store that sells organic foods at wholesale prices – here’s what it’s like to use

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

a collection of groceries from Thrive Market against a yellow background

  • Thrive Market is an online grocery store that curates the best organic, non-GMO groceries, beauty, and cleaning supplies.
  • Its prices are 25% to 50% off regular retail prices, though you have to pay a membership fee ($60/year or $10/month).
  • I saved more than $100 on my first order at Thrive Market than if I were to shop at a regular grocery store.

Membership (Monthly) (small)Membership (Annual) (small)Table of Contents: Masthead StickyRelated Article Module: The 5 best places to buy groceries online in 2021

When I first tried Thrive Market, I was just coming out of essentially a reverse-cleanse: a 12-pack of macaroni and cheese that I bought at a “great deal” discount on Amazon groceries. A couple of months of eating that and an unrelated health scare, and I was ready to commit to a complete pantry overhaul. That’s when I started shopping at Thrive Market.

What is Thrive Market?

Thrive Market bills itself as “wholesome food at wholesale prices.” It’s an online wholesale grocery store that curates the best organic, non-GMO products at a discounted rate of 25% to 50% off retail prices to its members.

You have two membership options. The annual membership costs $59.95 (or $5/month) and is billed once yearly. If you opt to do a monthly membership instead, you’ll pay $9.95 per month.

You’ll get free shipping on your first order over $25, plus all orders $49 or more. Thrive Market currently ships to all contiguous US states.

How it works:

  • Sign up for free: You can browse the catalog, see member saving, and receive 25% off your first purchase.
  • Start a free 30-day trial: You can start a free 30-day membership trial with your first purchase on Thrive Market. Cancel anytime.
  • Join as a member: After your trial, you can sign up for a paid membership. If you do, you’re also sponsoring a free membership for a low-income family.

You can shop Thrive Market category, by values (ie. gluten-free, paleo, raw, vegan, etc.), or by current deals.

What can you buy at Thrive Market?

Thrive Market carries 6,000+ healthy products, and you can shop hundreds of categories. You’ll find food, beauty, bath and body, health, babies and kids, home, pet supplies, and the all-inclusive “other” from brands like Burt’s Bees, Acure, Annie’s, Seventh Generation, KIND, Bragg, Califa, Milkadamia, and Primal Kitchen.

While you can buy staples like meats and seafood, the rest of Thrive Market’s selection is mostly shelf-stable options. For produce, you’ll probably still want to stop at your neighborhood store, farmers’ market, or another grocery delivery option.

In addition to offering thousands of organic brands you could find at your local grocery store and online, they also have an in-house Thrive Market brand that packages organic products (the equivalent of your supermarket chain’s generic brand).

a smoothie bowl made from groceries purchased from Thrive Market
Thrive Market’s $60/year or $10/month membership gets you access to savings on healthy foods.

If you spend a lot of time researching healthy foods, have a dedicated diet or food restrictions, or consistently buy organic or non-GMO foods online, you’ll likely get the most value with Thrive Market.

Quality is a concern with organic substitutes, and it’s helpful to have customer ratings to simplify things as you go on Thrive Market. The healthy eating community is an intense one, so it’s nice that Thrive Market makes use of all that helpful, accumulative passion in a way that I, a newcomer, can utilize too.

The 25% to 50% price difference also could help to close the gap between the sometimes inflated “organic” prices at some grocery stores, making Thrive Market a viable choice for the average person on a budget.

If ordering food online seems risky to you, it’s good to note that you’ll be protected by a return policy. If anything is wrong with your groceries or your order, though, let them know here within 21 days.

When we price checked some of the items, Thrive Market was not always cheaper, but when it was, it usually offered a large enough gap in savings to be substantial overall. You could save more by buying local, though your selection may not be as wide or the process as convenient.

And if you’re concerned about getting value out of your membership, Thrive Market guarantees their annual membership will pay for itself. If your membership fee was $60, but you only saved $40 in a year, they will automatically give you the difference ($20) in Thrive Market credit after you renew.

Review of Thrive Market

two boxes of Simple Mills crackers from Thrive Market
Thrive Market stocks popular brands like Annie’s and Simple Mills, and has its own in-house Thrive Market brand too.

I ordered my groceries from Thrive Market in pursuit of a pantry not entirely reliant upon mac and cheese. In my first Thrive order, the total was $99.16 and the savings listed were $145.33.

The savings claims held up, and I technically paid off the $60 annual membership fee in my first order. The food was delicious, and I discovered new better-for-you snacks. I also found Thrive to be surprisingly cheaper for some of my favorite skincare products, like this Aztec Clay Mask.

Thrive Market carries ethically sourced meat and seafood in large bulk “box” options, but the options are slightly more limited than the average meat and seafood counter at a grocery store. I also don’t have space in my freezer or fridge to handle $100+ worth of meat, but if you do, it could be another great place to see your savings.

My colleague, Owen Burke, a lifelong fisherman with a background in commercial fishing and tending oyster bars, tried out Thrive’s bevy of seafood on offer, and had this to say:

“I tried Thrive Market’s Deluxe Seafood box, which runs you about $170. This is not something you’ll want to buy unless you have a solid shelf of freezer space to spare, but I’ll commend Thrive and call this nothing short of a feat on their part. You’re getting six different species of seafood, and everything I received was wild-caught, and not in some far-flung waters using questionable methods and labor practices, something with which the industry is rife. These might not be the absolute best practices for every product, but Thrive is going leaps and bounds above your run-of-the-mill grocery store.

My favorite was the shrimp. They were superbly packed, vacuum-sealed, and packaged, which is among the most important things to do with any seafood. Mess that part up in any way (which, admittedly, is an easy thing to do), and you’re fighting a losing game against oxidation and freezer burn. These shrimp still looked fresh after I thawed them and pulled them out of the packaging. They were beautifully peeled and de-veined, and they had no hint of off-flavor that you sometimes get when shrimp (especially frozen shrimp) aren’t handled all that well. I give them an A+ here.

The sockeye salmon was also vacuum-sealed well, and while I always appreciate skin-on salmon fillets, they often come at the cost of turned (brown) blood meat, which imparts that”fishy” flavor associated with frozen fish. This is per usual, though, when it comes to frozen salmon, but I recommend eating around it, if not to avoid the taste then to avoid the toxins blood meat bears. You’ll also get four to five fillets, which means four to five servings (about six ounces a pop).

The lobster tails are very nicely processed, de-veined, and split so you can pop them right in the oven or on the grill. They’re not vacuum-sealed, but loose on a tray covered in plastic, which lends them to some freezer burn and ice buildup, but that really doesn’t create the problem for lobster as it does for fish, due to the tough quality of the meat.

The scallops I received provided two servings, and while they weren’t vacuum-sealed as I would have liked, they were plenty tasty. Just note that these are not your jumbo-sized U10 (under 10/pound) scallops, but they were tasty and clean (free of residual sand and mud). You can find better scallops out there, but for what you’re getting for the price of this box, I’d file no complaints.

It varies depending on what you get, but in all, you’re looking at 10-15 meals of fresh-frozen (that’s fish that was frozen fresh, as soon as it was processed) wild-caught protein of high quality. That’s something like $11-$17 dollars a dish, which is about as good as you’re going to do with high-quality fresh seafood unless you’ve got friends at the fishing docks.”

The bottom line

a box showing meat purchased from Thrive Market
Thrive Market carries meat and fish to be ordered in bulk, but it isn’t likely to be the average person’s main source of meats.

I wish it was possible to find everything here (fresh fruit, more options for meat), but ultimately the discounts and the easy delivery make using Thrive worth it. And I wish it was free shipping always instead of just orders of $49 and up, but I typically clear that just by restocking my favorite basics. All in all, I liked using Thrive Market regularly for healthy snacks, healthy-but-fast foods, and kitchen basics like pasta sauce and olive oil.

If you need an added incentive, Thrive Market also has a program called “Thrive Gives” which gifts a free membership to someone in need through Feeding America and the Boys and Girls Club or directly through the site for every paid membership. The free membership also includes teachers, veterans, and first responders.

Start a free 30-day trial to Thrive Market

Membership (Monthly) (small)

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The best Memorial Day grill sales ending soon – including deals from The Home Depot, Butcherbox, and Omaha Steaks

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

home depot gas grills
  • Grilling deals are pretty rare, but Memorial Day is a great time of year to find some.
  • We’ve rounded up the best grill and grill accessories sales going on below.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Memorial Day is here, and as the unofficial start of summer, it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill, throw on some burgers, steaks, and hot dogs, and enjoy a nice barbecue with your friends and family. It’s also the best time to find grilling deals.

If you’re wondering what grills to be looking for, read our guides to the best gas grills and the best charcoal grills.

Below you’ll find the best sales on grilling equipment from around the web this Memorial Day weekend. We’ve also outlined everything you can expect from Memorial Day grill sales in the FAQ section. If you’re looking for more deals, check out our coverage on spring deals and Memorial Day mattress deals, plus all our deals coverage here.

Keep reading to learn about the best deals on grills or find more Memorial Day sales here

The best deals on grills we like

Genesis II E-315 3 burner Liquid Propane Grill (medium)Signature 21-Inch Kamado Grill & Smoker (medium)Griller’s Meal Pack (medium)Thermapen Mk4 (medium)Searing Grill (medium)
The best deals on grills and grilling equipment

  • Ace Hardware: Save on select grills.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Select savings for Beyond+ members, save up to 25% on select BBQ tools.
  • BBQ GuysSave on select grills and grilling accessories.
  • The Home Depot: Savings of up to 40% on select grills.
  • Lowe’s: Save up to $150 on select pellet grills.
  • Walmart: Select grills and grilling accessories on sale. 
  • Sur La Table: Save up to 50% on select grilling products and other kitchen gear during Memorial Day weekend. Plus, you’ll get free shipping on orders over $75.
  • Target: Save on select grills and accessories
  • Traeger: Free grill cover and pellets with select grill purchases.
  • ThermoWorks: Save with new deals added regularly.
  • Wayfair: Save hundreds of dollars on grills, smokers, and outdoor cooking appliances. 
  • Overstock: Save up to 20% on select grills and outdoor cooking accessories.

The best deals on meat and seafood for grilling

  • Butcherbox: Get a free BBQ Bundle for new and canceled customers through May 31.
  • Chicago Steak Company: Get free shipping plus 12 free 4-ounce burgers with orders over $99 with promo code FREEGIFTS.
  • Cooks Venture: Get $20 off your first order with promo code TRYCV.
  • Omaha Steaks: Get 50% off summer grilling favorites.
  • Thrive Market: Get a free gift worth up to $25 with your order.

FAQs

When do Memorial Day grills sales start?

Grill discounts start appearing steadily between January and Memorial Day, as retailers attempt to empty their inventory of old models before new grill models launch in the late spring. 

What grills are typically discounted on Memorial Day?

The best grill discounts will vary by retailer, but you can bet that most retailers like The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Target will be offering discounts on major brands like Weber, Dyna-Glo, Nexgrill, and more.

When is the best time to buy a grill?

We typically see major sales on grills around Memorial Day (the start of grilling season) and Labor Day (when grill season winds down). You can also find solid deals throughout the colder months as stores attempt to empty their inventory in anticipation of new model launches in the spring. We recommend jumping on good grill deals before the summer months really get underway and stock is in high demand. 

What grill should I buy?

The best grill for you depends on how often you grill, how many people you cook for, and what you typically make. We think most people will get the most out of a gas grill because they’re versatile, easy to use, and easy to clean. You can find our top gas grill picks in our buying guide

If you like to make barbecue or other foods that are cooked low and slow, a charcoal grill may be a better bet. They take more time to get up and running each time you want to cook, but impart a rich, smoky flavor on the food and you never have to worry about running out of propane in the middle of cooking. You can read more about our picks for best charcoal grill here.

The next step up from a charcoal grill would be a smoker. We recommend looking into smokers only if you cook barbecue very regularly and have already tested the limits of a charcoal grill. Read more about the best smokers here.

Finally, there are specialty grills like salamander grills, pizza ovens, flat-top grills, hibachi-style grills, and more. You may want to consider these types of grills if you find that a standard gas or charcoal grill isn’t meeting your needs for the type of cooking you’re doing.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best Memorial Day grilling deals including grills, meat, and grilling accessories

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

home depot gas grills
  • Grilling deals are pretty rare, but Memorial Day is a great time of year to find some.
  • We’ve rounded up the best grill and grill accessories sales going on below.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Memorial Day Weekend is here, and as the unofficial start of summer, it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill, throw on some burgers, steaks, and hot dogs, and enjoy a nice barbecue with your friends and family. It’s also the best time to find grilling deals.

If you’re wondering what grills to be looking for, read our guides to the best gas grills and the best charcoal grills.

Below you’ll find the best sales on grilling equipment from around the web this Memorial Day weekend. We’ve also outlined everything you can expect from Memorial Day grill sales in the FAQ section. If you’re looking for more deals, check out our coverage on spring deals and Memorial Day mattress deals, plus all our deals coverage here.

Keep reading to learn about the best deals on grills or find more Memorial Day sales here

The best deals on grills we like

Genesis II E-315 3 burner Liquid Propane Grill (medium)Signature 21-Inch Kamado Grill & Smoker (medium)Griller’s Meal Pack (medium)Thermapen Mk4 (medium)Searing Grill (medium)
The best deals on grills and grilling equipment

  • Ace Hardware: Save on select grills.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Select savings for Beyond+ members, save up to 25% on select BBQ tools.
  • BBQ GuysSave on select grills and grilling accessories.
  • The Home Depot: Savings of up to 40% on select grills.
  • Lowe’s: Save up to $150 on select pellet grills.
  • Walmart: Select grills and grilling accessories on sale. 
  • Sur La Table: Save up to 50% on select grilling products and other kitchen gear during Memorial Day weekend. Plus, you’ll get free shipping on orders over $75.
  • Target: Save on select grills and accessories
  • Traeger: Free grill cover and pellets with select grill purchases.
  • ThermoWorks: Save with new deals added regularly.
  • Wayfair: Save hundreds of dollars on grills, smokers, and outdoor cooking appliances. 
  • Overstock: Save up to 20% on select grills and outdoor cooking accessories.

The best deals on meat and seafood for grilling

  • Butcherbox: Get a free BBQ Bundle for new and canceled customers through May 31.
  • Chicago Steak Company: Get free shipping plus 12 free 4-ounce burgers with orders over $99 with promo code FREEGIFTS.
  • Cooks Venture: Get $20 off your first order with promo code TRYCV.
  • Omaha Steaks: Get 50% off summer grilling favorites.
  • Thrive Market: Get a free gift worth up to $25 with your order.

FAQs

When do Memorial Day grills sales start?

Grill discounts start appearing steadily between January and Memorial Day, as retailers attempt to empty their inventory of old models before new grill models launch in the late spring. 

What grills are typically discounted on Memorial Day?

The best grill discounts will vary by retailer, but you can bet that most retailers like The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Target will be offering discounts on major brands like Weber, Dyna-Glo, Nexgrill, and more.

When is the best time to buy a grill?

We typically see major sales on grills around Memorial Day (the start of grilling season) and Labor Day (when grill season winds down). You can also find solid deals throughout the colder months as stores attempt to empty their inventory in anticipation of new model launches in the spring. We recommend jumping on good grill deals before the summer months really get underway and stock is in high demand. 

What grill should I buy?

The best grill for you depends on how often you grill, how many people you cook for, and what you typically make. We think most people will get the most out of a gas grill because they’re versatile, easy to use, and easy to clean. You can find our top gas grill picks in our buying guide

If you like to make barbecue or other foods that are cooked low and slow, a charcoal grill may be a better bet. They take more time to get up and running each time you want to cook, but impart a rich, smoky flavor on the food and you never have to worry about running out of propane in the middle of cooking. You can read more about our picks for best charcoal grill here.

The next step up from a charcoal grill would be a smoker. We recommend looking into smokers only if you cook barbecue very regularly and have already tested the limits of a charcoal grill. Read more about the best smokers here.

Finally, there are specialty grills like salamander grills, pizza ovens, flat-top grills, hibachi-style grills, and more. You may want to consider these types of grills if you find that a standard gas or charcoal grill isn’t meeting your needs for the type of cooking you’re doing.

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The best Memorial Day grill sales on grills, meat, and grilling accessories you can shop now

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

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  • We’re highlighting the best grill deals you can expect this season.
  • Memorial Day is one of the best times to shop for grills, and we’ve organized some exclusive deals with several brands.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, and as the unofficial start of summer, it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill, throw on some burgers, steaks, and hot dogs, and enjoy a nice barbecue with your friends and family.

If you don’t own a grill or the one you have has seen better days, you’re in luck. This week, Insider Reviews has arranged a bunch of deals on grills, grilling meat, and grilling accessories to help you get started. If you’re wondering what grills to be looking for, read our guides to the best gas grills and the best charcoal grills.

Below you’ll find our exclusive deals, plus the best sales on grilling equipment from around the web this Memorial Day. We’ve also outlined everything you can expect from Memorial Day grill sales in the FAQ section. If you’re looking for more deals, check out our coverage on spring deals and Memorial Day mattress deals, plus all our deals coverage here.

Keep reading to learn about the best deals on grills or find more Memorial Day sales here

The best deals on grills we like

Genesis II E-315 3 burner Liquid Propane Grill (medium)Signature 21-Inch Kamado Grill & Smoker (medium)Griller’s Meal Pack (medium)Thermapen Mk4 (medium)Searing Grill (medium)
The best deals on grills and grilling equipment

  • Ace Hardware: Savings across select grills
  • BBQ GuysSave on select grills and grilling accessories.
  • The Home Depot: Savings of up to 40% on select grills.
  • Lowe’s: Save up to $150 on select pellet grills.
  • Walmart: Select grills and grilling accessories on sale. 
  • Target: Save on select grills and accessories.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Select savings for Beyond+ members, save up to 25% on select BBQ tools
  • Traeger: Free grill cover and pellets with select grill purchases.
  • ThermoWorks: Save with new deals added regularly.
  • Wayfair: Save hundreds of dollars on grills, smokers, and outdoor cooking appliances. 
  • Overstock: Save up to 20% on select grills and outdoor cooking accessories.

The best deals on meat and seafood for grilling

  • Butcherbox: Get a free BBQ Bundle for new and canceled customers through May 31.
  • Chicago Steak Company: Get free shipping plus 12 free 4-ounce burgers with orders over $99 with promo code FREEGIFTS.
  • Cooks Venture: Get $20 off your first order with promo code TRYCV.
  • Omaha Steaks: Get 50% off summer grilling favorites.
  • Thrive Market: Get a free gift worth up to $25 with your order.

FAQs

When do Memorial Day grills sales start?

Grill discounts start appearing steadily between January and Memorial Day, as retailers attempt to empty their inventory of old models before new grill models launch in the late spring. 

What grills are typically discounted on Memorial Day?

The best grill discounts will vary by retailer, but you can bet that most retailers like The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Target will be offering discounts on major brands like Weber, Dyna-Glo, Nexgrill, and more.

When is the best time to buy a grill?

We typically see major sales on grills around Memorial Day (the start of grilling season) and Labor Day (when grill season winds down). You can also find solid deals throughout the colder months as stores attempt to empty their inventory in anticipation of new model launches in the spring. We recommend jumping on good grill deals before the summer months really get underway and stock is in high demand. 

What grill should I buy?

The best grill for you depends on how often you grill, how many people you cook for, and what you typically make. We think most people will get the most out of a gas grill because they’re versatile, easy to use, and easy to clean. You can find our top gas grill picks in our buying guide

If you like to make barbecue or other foods that are cooked low and slow, a charcoal grill may be a better bet. They take more time to get up and running each time you want to cook, but impart a rich, smoky flavor on the food and you never have to worry about running out of propane in the middle of cooking. You can read more about our picks for best charcoal grill here.

The next step up from a charcoal grill would be a smoker. We recommend looking into smokers only if you cook barbecue very regularly and have already tested the limits of a charcoal grill. Read more about the best smokers here.

Finally, there are specialty grills like salamander grills, pizza ovens, flat-top grills, hibachi-style grills, and more. You may want to consider these types of grills if you find that a standard gas or charcoal grill isn’t meeting your needs for the type of cooking you’re doing.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 4 best grill brush and cleaning tools we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Cleaning a grill isn’t the most fun chore, but it’s essential for both your and your grill’s health.
  • The Kona 360° Grill Brush is our favorite because it evenly scours large swathes with each pass.
  • We also have recommendations for grill-cleaning bricks and metal-free brushes below.

Keeping your grill clean is paramount to its longevity; it helps preserve the hardware, preventing corrosion and rust. It’s also essential if you want to make sure the food you cook is safe for consumption.

That’s because the residue that builds up on the grate and inside of a grill contains carcinogens, and leftover food bits are a magnet for bacteria. Safety aside, your food will also taste better and cook more evenly if you commit to regular grill maintenance.

When it comes to choosing the right grill-cleaning tool(s), Barbecue University TV host, author, and grilling expert Steven Raichlen said to look for the longest tools you can find because “grilling utensils are never long enough.” Anything over 16 inches should suffice, and anything under 12 inches is best avoided, or you’ll face some serious singeing every time you go to clean your grill.

Below, we’ve chosen the ones we find to be most useful and effective, though a combination of two or three of them is probably ideal. So long as you have at least one brush and one scraper, and make sure to put in the time to actually use them, they’ll do wonders for keeping your grill in top condition.

Here are the best grill brushes in 2021

The best grill brush overall

The best grill brush overall, Kona 360 Grill Brush

The Kona 360° Grill Brush works in all directions to clean any and all grates, and comes with sturdy bristles that won’t end up stuck in your grill, or your food.

Pros: High-quality bristles that won’t bend or break easily, multidirectional, cleans at angles

Cons: Head is not replaceable, prone to rust if not properly dried, no built-in scraper (though you may not need it with this brush)

Kona’s 360° Grill Brush is effectively a one-stop tool that makes cleaning a grill as painless as possible. Thanks to its three-part head consisting of what are basically heavy-duty, oversized pipe cleaners, it reaches angles that more traditional, square, flat grill brushes simply can’t.

After using this brush for a couple of months, we’ve found that a combination of a few different angles, and specifically using the rounded edges, takes care of almost the entire surface area of a grill grate, which makes cleanup as swift as we could ever imagine.

Lightweight and balanced, this brush is great for cleaning hot or cold surfaces (hot is always preferred, because you’ll be able to dislodge residue much more easily). However, you do want to be careful about making sure it dries properly if you use it with water to clean your grill (hanging it vertically works well for us, and we haven’t encountered any rust yet). 

You can also use this brush to clean the entire grill box, should you choose, and it is designated safe for use on ceramic, porcelain, and infrared cooking surfaces, too.

Best budget grill brush

The best grill brush on a budget, Cuisinart

Cuisinart’s Grill Cleaning Brush comes with a sturdy stainless steel handle and scraper and well-spaced bristles for getting into hard-to-reach spaces.

Pros: Long, stainless steel handle, built-in scraper

Cons: Base of the brush head is plastic, which can melt over high heat if you’re not quick and careful; brand doesn’t offer replacement heads

Cuisinart’s Grill Cleaning Brush offers just what you need for a basic tool at an affordable price, without being made entirely of cheap, heat-intolerant materials.

One of the most common problems with budget grill brushes is that their handles are often short and plastic, meaning they melt easily (and put you in danger of singeing your arm hair). Cuisinart addresses this issue by outfitting their brush with a long, stainless steel handle; it won’t burn, and it will keep your hands far enough away from the flames. 

Between the inch-long bristles and the three-and-a-quarter-inch scraper, this brush will give you everything you need (save for a little water and maybe some grill spray) to keep your grill operational.

That’s not to say this is the perfect brush — we still haven’t quite found one within this price range. The bristles are a little short, but that seems to be the case with most brushes on the cheaper side. While the majority of the tool is stainless steel, the base of the brush head is plastic, which, yes, will melt if you’re not careful. Some advice: keep moving if you’re working over a hot grill, as resting in one place too long will speed up the melting process. 

Otherwise, it’s a functional, traditional brush design with a rectangular grid of bristles. If you want to eliminate plastic entirely, you’ll have to spend a bit more, but know full well that this brush should last you a few good years, if not longer.

Best grill scraper

The best grill scraper, Kona

Kona’s Safe/Clean Wooden Grill Scraper is 100% nontoxic with food-grade varnish, molds to your grill grates over time, and won’t leave behind stray bristles.

Pros: Food-quality varnish, solid hardwood, molds to your grill over time

Cons: Takes time to mold to your grill, not as thorough as a brush

Fresh out of the packaging, you might be inclined to think that Kona’s Safe/Clean Wooden Grill Scraper doesn’t work. You’ll need to spend some time scraping your grill and forming grooves into this scraper, but once you get it to that point, it’s going to function almost as well as — and in some ways better than — a good grill brush. Its main advantage: there are no metal bristles to break off and get stuck in your grill’s grates (or your food). 

In truth, you’ll probably want to follow your work with a wet paper towel to pick up anything left over. You’ll also have to flip your grates to properly clean them top and bottom. 

We like this scraper because it has a D-shaped handle like a snow shovel, which really allows you to put your shoulder into cleaning. It’s also a lot thicker than some other options, which look like they might wear out considerably faster.

And, because there can never be too many bottle openers within reach when it comes to grilling outdoors, there’s one built into Kona’s Safe/Clean Wooden Grill Scraper.

Best grill-cleaning brick

The best grill cleaning brick, KegWorks

For that truly like-new, grime-free, high shine look, it’s hard to beat the amazing scouring power you get with the KegWorks Grill Cleaning Brick.

Pros: Does an excellent job of removing grease, quick and easy to use, immediately builds groves to fit your grill

Cons: Large, a little messy in your hands, doesn’t reach corners and edges (you’ll need a brush and/or scraper as well)

A cleaning brick is similar to a wooden grill scraper in that you’ll build grooves in it with your grill grates, but because it’s softer, the grooves will take shape almost immediately. It’s going to do a great job of cleaning them, but as with the scraper, you will have to turn the grates over to get the underside.

Most grill cleaning bricks are made of nonporous pumice, and there are universal cleaning brick handles that make the job a lot smoother and easier on your hands, but they’re far from necessary. What we like about grill cleaning bricks is that they are simple and also safer and potentially less damaging to your grill’s grates than wire brushes (if you overuse them). That said, you do have to replace them more frequently than brushes, as they wear away quickly.

Any grill-cleaning brick made with nonporous pumice will do the trick, but KegWorks‘ is on the more affordable side, probably because it’s not as dense. That lightness has its benefits: this brick breaks in a lot faster than most. 

We found that this brick gets porcelain-coated stainless steel grates shining in the shortest order, but because it doesn’t have a scraper or a contoured edge, you’ll have to use something else to get into those harder-to-reach spots.

What else we tested

The best grill brush, what else we tested

What we don’t recommend and why:

BBQ Aid: This tool worked nicely, and we like the replacement head, but we have some concerns about bristle longevity due to a number of customer reviews on Amazon. We still think that the Kona 360°, being roughly the same price and having no plastic components, is the better bet.

Tool Wizard Barbecue Brush: This was another tool that worked very well, but it took a beating quickly, and we tore the mesh scrubber pad up pretty badly within the first use. You might swap the provided pads out for steel wool ones and find that they survive better, but it could wreak havoc on your grill grates so we don’t recommend it.

Our testing methodology

The best grill brushes, methodology

We spoke with experts like New York City meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda and Barbecue University TV host Steven Raichlen to learn what makes a good grill-cleaning tool. We also went to work cleaning too-many-to-count grills around the house and neighborhood.

Here’s what we looked for in the best grill brushes and tools:

Handles: During testing, we learned that handles, where applicable, had to be long and ideally not made of plastic, which can melt. Across the board, we preferred stainless steel handles, followed by wood handles.

Bristles: Bristles are highly effective, but can bend or break, which poses a hazard if they get in your food. We made sure that even over a hot grate, none of the bristles became deformed or dislodged from the plate to which they’re attached.

Ease of use: If a brush or tool was difficult to engage properly, we lost interest. Most people don’t want to spend too much time learning how to use a brush, and we think it should be easy enough for anyone to pick up and (effectively) use.

What we’re testing next

We’re not currently preparing to test anything new at the moment, but we’re going to keep testing our current picks for durability and longevity.

FAQs

What’s the best way to clean a grill?

The best way to clean a grill is while it’s still hot, which helps loosen residue and grease for easier removal. In general, it’s best to clean the grill both before and after cooking. Here’s how experts recommend cleaning your grill:

Before cooking

  1. Pre-heat your grill to your desired cooking temperature.
  2. When the grill is up to temp, use a grill brush to clean across the entire cooking surface.
  3. Using long tongs, dip a folded paper towel into high-heat cooking oil (such a vegetable or canola oil) and rub across the entire cooking surface. This helps clean and prime the cook top.
  4. Proceed with grilling.

After cooking

  1. While the grill is still hot, use your grill brush to loosen any debris and clean the cooking surface.
  2. Water is ok to use on your grill as long as it’s hot. Keep in mind that water left on cold cast iron grates or grill bodies can cause rusting.
  3. You may periodically want to use a scrubbing block for deeper grill cleaning, but this should be done on a cool grill.

How do I clean my grill brush?

Clean your grill brush with water and/or soap when it comes time, but be sure to hang it vertically so that it dries sufficiently, otherwise you’ll end up with rust.

Check out our other grilling guides

best charcoal grill 2021 masterbuilt
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Thrive Market is an online grocery store that sells organic foods at wholesale prices, and right now you can get 25% off your first order

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Thrive Market

  • Thrive Market is an online grocery store that curates the best organic, non-GMO groceries, beauty, and cleaning supplies.
  • Its prices are 25% to 50% off regular retail prices, though you have to pay a membership fee ($60/year or $10/month).
  • I saved more than $100 on my first order at Thrive Market than if I were to shop at a regular grocery store.

Membership (Monthly) (small)Table of Contents: Masthead StickyRelated Article Module: The 5 best places to buy groceries online in 2021

When I first tried Thrive Market, I was just coming out of essentially a reverse-cleanse: a 12-pack of macaroni and cheese that I bought at a “great deal” discount on Amazon groceries. A couple of months of eating that and an unrelated health scare, and I was ready to commit to a complete pantry overhaul. That’s when I started shopping at Thrive Market.

What is Thrive Market?

Thrive Market bills itself as “wholesome food at wholesale prices.” It’s an online wholesale grocery store that curates the best organic, non-GMO products at a discounted rate of 25% to 50% off retail prices to its members.

You have two membership options. The annual membership costs $59.95 (or $5/month) and is billed once yearly. If you opt to do a monthly membership instead, you’ll pay $9.95 per month.

You’ll get free shipping on your first order over $25, plus all orders $49 or more. Thrive Market currently ships to all contiguous US states.

How it works:

  • Sign up for free: You can browse the catalog, see member saving, and receive 25% off your first purchase.
  • Start a free 30-day trial: You can start a free 30-day membership trial with your first purchase on Thrive Market. Cancel anytime.
  • Join as a member: After your trial, you can sign up for a paid membership. If you do, you’re also sponsoring a free membership for a low-income family.

You can shop Thrive Market category, by values (ie. gluten-free, paleo, raw, vegan, etc.), or by current deals.

What can you buy at Thrive Market?

Thrive Market carries 6,000+ healthy products, and you can shop hundreds of categories. You’ll find food, beauty, bath and body, health, babies and kids, home, pet supplies, and the all-inclusive “other” from brands like Burt’s Bees, Acure, Annie’s, Seventh Generation, KIND, Bragg, Califa, Milkadamia, and Primal Kitchen.

While you can buy staples like meats and seafood, the rest of Thrive Market’s selection is mostly shelf-stable options. For produce, you’ll probably still want to stop at your neighborhood store, farmers’ market, or another grocery delivery option.

In addition to offering thousands of organic brands you could find at your local grocery store and online, they also have an in-house Thrive Market brand that packages organic products (the equivalent of your supermarket chain’s generic brand).

Thrive Market
Thrive Market’s $60/year or $10/month membership gets you access to savings on healthy foods.

If you spend a lot of time researching healthy foods, have a dedicated diet or food restrictions, or consistently buy organic or non-GMO foods online, you’ll likely get the most value with Thrive Market.

Quality is a concern with organic substitutes, and it’s helpful to have customer ratings to simplify things as you go on Thrive Market. The healthy eating community is an intense one, so it’s nice that Thrive Market makes use of all that helpful, accumulative passion in a way that I, a newcomer, can utilize too.

The 25% to 50% price difference also could help to close the gap between the sometimes inflated “organic” prices at some grocery stores, making Thrive Market a viable choice for the average person on a budget.

If ordering food online seems risky to you, it’s good to note that you’ll be protected by a return policy. If anything is wrong with your groceries or your order, though, let them know here within 21 days.

When we price checked some of the items, Thrive Market was not always cheaper, but when it was, it usually offered a large enough gap in savings to be substantial overall. You could save more by buying local, though your selection may not be as wide or the process as convenient.

And if you’re concerned about getting value out of your membership, Thrive Market guarantees their annual membership will pay for itself. If your membership fee was $60, but you only saved $40 in a year, they will automatically give you the difference ($20) in Thrive Market credit after you renew.

Review of Thrive Market

Thrive Market
Thrive Market stocks popular brands like Annie’s and Simple Mills, and has its own in-house Thrive Market brand too.

I ordered my groceries from Thrive Market in pursuit of a pantry not entirely reliant upon mac and cheese. In my first Thrive order, the total was $99.16 and the savings listed were $145.33.

The savings claims held up, and I technically paid off the $60 annual membership fee in my first order. The food was delicious, and I discovered new better-for-you snacks. I also found Thrive to be surprisingly cheaper for some of my favorite skincare products, like this Aztec Clay Mask.

Thrive Market carries ethically sourced meat and seafood in large bulk “box” options, but the options are slightly more limited than the average meat and seafood counter at a grocery store. I also don’t have space in my freezer or fridge to handle $100+ worth of meat, but if you do, it could be another great place to see your savings.

My colleague, Owen Burke, a lifelong fisherman with a background in commercial fishing and tending oyster bars, tried out Thrive’s bevy of seafood on offer, and had this to say:

“I tried Thrive Market’s Deluxe Seafood box, which runs you about $170. This is not something you’ll want to buy unless you have a solid shelf of freezer space to spare, but I’ll commend Thrive and call this nothing short of a feat on their part. You’re getting six different species of seafood, and everything I received was wild-caught, and not in some far-flung waters using questionable methods and labor practices, something with which the industry is rife. These might not be the absolute best practices for every product, but Thrive is going leaps and bounds above your run-of-the-mill grocery store.

My favorite was the shrimp. They were superbly packed, vacuum-sealed, and packaged, which is among the most important things to do with any seafood. Mess that part up in any way (which, admittedly, is an easy thing to do), and you’re fighting a losing game against oxidation and freezer burn. These shrimp still looked fresh after I thawed them and pulled them out of the packaging. They were beautifully peeled and deveined, and they had no hint of off-flavor that you sometimes get when shrimp (especially frozen shrimp) aren’t handled all that well. I give them an A+ here.

The sockeye salmon was also vacuum-sealed well, and while I always appreciate skin-on salmon fillets, they often come at the cost of turned (brown) blood meat, which imparts that”fishy” flavor associated with frozen fish. This is per usual, though, when it comes to frozen salmon, but I recommend eating around it, if not to avoid the taste then to avoid the toxins blood meat bears. You’ll also get four to five fillets, which means four to five servings (about six ounces a pop).

The lobster tails are very nicely processed, deveined, and split so you can pop them right in the oven or on the grill. They’re not vacuum-sealed, but loose on a tray covered in plastic, which lends them to some freezer burn and ice buildup, but that really doesn’t create the problem for lobster as it does for fish, due to the tough quality of the meat.

The scallops I received provided two servings, and while they weren’t vacuum-sealed as I would have liked, they were plenty tasty. Just note that these are not your jumbo-sized U10 (under 10/pound) scallops, but they were tasty and clean (free of residual sand and mud). You can find better scallops out there, but for what you’re getting for the price of this box, I’d file no complaints.

It varies depending on what you get, but in all, you’re looking at 10-15 meals of fresh-frozen (that’s fish that was frozen fresh, as soon as it was processed) wild-caught protein of high quality. That’s something like $11-$17 dollars a dish, which is about as good as you’re going to do with high-quality fresh seafood unless you’ve got friends at the fishing docks.”

The bottom line

Thrive Market
Thrive Market carries meat and fish to be ordered in bulk, but it isn’t likely to be the average person’s main source of meats.

I wish it was possible to find everything here (fresh fruit, more options for meat), but ultimately the discounts and the easy delivery make using Thrive worth it. And I wish it was free shipping always instead of just orders of $49 and up, but I typically clear that just by restocking my favorite basics. All in all, I liked using Thrive Market regularly for healthy snacks, healthy-but-fast foods, and kitchen basics like pasta sauce and olive oil.

If you need an added incentive, Thrive Market also has a program called “Thrive Gives” which gifts a free membership to someone in need through Feeding America and the Boys and Girls Club or directly through the site for every paid membership. The free membership also includes teachers, veterans, and first responders.

Start a free 30-day trial to Thrive Market

Membership (Monthly) (small)

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How to cook the perfect medium-rare steak, according to one of the country’s leading meat purveyors

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sliced filet mignon that was cooked in Otto Wilde Grill
A LaFrieda Meat Purveyors fillet, fresh off the grill.

  • Meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda is supplies places like Boucherie, Minetta Tavern, and, yes, Shake Shack.
  • We asked the man behind the meat how to cook the perfect medium-rare steak.
  • Rule number one? Use great steak.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Pat LaFrieda is an old-school do-it-yourselfer, a formidable trait that bleeds into his cooking. He is precise and foolproof in his methodology.

We’ve sat down with LaFrieda multiple times to discuss, among other things, the finer points of meat preparation and grilling. We like to think we’ve gleaned a thing or two. Ever the students, here’s what we’ve learned from the meat man himself.

Related Article Module: Pat LaFrieda shares the 8 grill accessories he can’t do without, and how to use them

Rule number one? A good steak, as any cook worth their salt might contest, is already so rich in flavor that very little needs to be done in the way of preparation and seasoning. Other tidbits? High heat is essential. A thermometer, unless your very vocation is grilling steaks day-in, day-out, is a very good idea. Have a resting rack ready. And for the sake of all things good and decent in the wide, wonderful world of meat: Do not jab your steak with a fork to judge whether it’s cooked to your liking.

Seasoning

Steak being seasoned with salt in front of Otto Wilde grill
A LaFrieda tomahawk steak catching a generous helping of salt before being fired.

Some meat enthusiasts believe in bringing a steak up to room temperature before tossing it on the grill. Now, as a meat purveyor, Pat LaFrieda is not exactly encouraged by the FDA to invite the associated bacteria to the party, but he claims it’s pointless to leave a steak out.

How do you prepare the perfect medium-rare steak? “Straight from the fridge at 38 degrees [Fahrenheit], douse it in salt.” If you’re cooking with an overhead oven, “Lower the grate down from heat (on high), and cook it for about three minutes on each side, if you’re cooking, say, a 1.5-inch porterhouse. Once finished, pepper it.” Some say that peppering your steak ahead of cooking will cause it to burn and impart a bitter taste.

Searing

Steak cooked in Otto Wilde Grill
There’s nothing like a crispy golden sear. Salt helps.

As for guesstimating the doneness of your steak? Probably not the best move for most of us. “This whole thing about ‘If you touch it and it feels like your cheek,’ I never got that,” LaFrieda says. “Stick a thermometer in the center where it’s toughest and where the bone is. If it’s 125 [degrees Fahrenheit], I’m taking it out. If you rest it for more than 2 minutes, then it’s going to continue to cook through.”

And when you pull that steak out? Get it on a resting rack. “You don’t want the meat to rest in its own juices. Whatever’s going to fall, let it fall.” Otherwise, he tells us, “You’re now steaming the steak again – what we’ve worked so hard to do, and now we’re going to lose it. Let it sit for two minutes on the rack, then make sure you cut into it and stop the heating process.”

Slicing

pat
It just doesn’t get much better. Pro tip: If you plan to save and reheat your steak, leave it a little less than medium rare so it won’t overcook the second time around.

“Slice it at 2 minutes and the cooking procedure ends. The moment you cut through a steak, the resting period is over. No juices get redistributed through the product. The exterior temperatures are equaling the interior temperatures. That’s just physics. This gets you a nice sear and one solid color throughout.”

As for the right knife? A meat slicing knife works, but LaFrieda prefers a butcher’s knife to get the job done. Pat’s brand of choice is Victorinox.

Serving

Once you’ve sliced your steak, or let it rest as long as you’d like, it’s time to add fresh-ground pepper, if you want it. Then there’s really only one question left: To use sauce, or not to use sauce? “I love sauces,” LaFrieda says. “They bring a different dimension to something that I’ve eaten most likely plain for most of my life.”

His favorite sauces? “Mine. It’s a little sweet, and it’s got a lot of reduced balsamic and sautéed Vidalia onions, which you can use as a marinade. If you just use it for steaks, a little bit goes a long way because it has that potency of the balsamic and the sweet Vidalia. My whole life I’ve been eating steak au poivre from Raoul’s.”

On reheating leftovers

If you’re going to have leftovers, “Make sure the meat is very rare, to begin with,” LaFrieda implores. “If you’re going to make a whole fillet and you know you’ll only eat a few slices, make sure you refrigerate the rarest parts so when you reheat it, it’s not overcooked. And keep it out of the microwave for crying out loud. Stovetop.”

And there you have it.

For more meat tips, read “Pat LaFrieda’s Meat: Everything You Need to Know,” and check out his list of the 8 grilling tools he cannot live without.

Meat: Everything You Need to Know (small)

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