TIME food and drink

BBQ Pit the Size of a Bus Could Be Yours for Just $350,000

The 'Undisputable Cuz' Courtesy of Terry Folsom

Perfect for cooking four tons of meat at a time

A BBQ pit about the size of a whale — and almost large enough to cook one — is on sale for the equally hefty price of $350,000.

Terry Folsom, a man in Brenham, Tex. who says he acquired the 40-ton behemoth in a business transaction, is now looking to sell it, the Houston news source KHOU-TV reports. The pit is listed on Ebay with a sell price of $350,000.

“It’s the world’s largest barbecue pit,” Folsom’s wife Kim told KHOU-TV.

The ‘Undisputable Cuz’ Courtesy of Terry Folsom

The pit, dubbed the “Undisputable Cuz,” stretches 75 feet and is large enough to cook four tons of meat at a time. Seven smokestacks extend from the top and 24 doors open into it. Of course, the pit is also equipped with a walk-in cooler with room for beer kegs.



TIME Food & Drink

How to Make Milk Out of Nuts in 5 Easy Steps

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They’re simple to make, astonishingly delicious and as good straight up as in recipes like a rich panna cotta

Step One: Cover

Cover the nuts with filtered water and then let them soak overnight at room temperature.

Step Two: Drain

Drain and rinse the nuts. Puree in a blender with more filtered water and the flavoring ingredients.

Step Three: Pour

Pour the pureed mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, then let it sit and drain for 30 minutes.

Step Four: Press

Press on the solids with a spatula to make sure you extract all the liquid.

Step Five: Refrigerate

Transfer the nut milk to an airtight container and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Stir or shake before serving.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

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TIME food and drink

The 4 Best Beef Cuts for Chili

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Use less expensive cuts of beef that are best cooked through

Save the steak for the grill (or your cast-iron skillet). For chili, use less expensive cuts of beef that are best cooked through.

1. Ground beef
This is the quickest and least expensive type of beef to use for chili. Yes, the dish still simmers for a while, but you don’t have to worry about tenderizing the meat.

2. Beef chuck
Diced beef chuck, which comes from the shoulder, is tough, but it becomes nicely tender when stewed for at least 90 minutes. It also has a beefier flavor than the ground stuff.

3. Brisket
This huge cut is usually barbecued or braised, but if you cut it into pieces, it works well in chili. After stewing for at least two hours, the chunks will pull into delicious shreds that can be piled onto tacos.

4. Short ribs
Short ribs are usually served whole, but they don’t have to be. Pull the meat off the bones and dice it up for a more luxe and luscious take on chili.

This article originally appeared on Food &Wine.

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TIME health

This Gadget Will Tell You if You Have Bad Breath

Breathometer ©Breathometer

A new invention prevents embarrassment by detecting bad breath

We’ve all been there before—about to go on a date or into an important business meeting and suddenly self-conscious about those garlic knots from the night before. A new invention aims to ID bad morning, garlic or any other type of unwanted breath before it escapes. Created by the people behind Breathometer and the first smartphone-connected breathalyzer, The Mint is a tiny contraption that can measure the volatile sulfur compounds—like hydrogen sulfide—that are some of the major drivers of bad breath. The device sends results to an app on your phone to warn you if you need to pop an entire pack of gum in your mouth. It will also keep track of your breath history and let you know how your eating habits are affecting your breath.

More than just a stink-checker, Mint can also score your hydration level by measuring the amount of moisture on your mucus membrane, which is one of the first parts of your body to be affected by dehydration.

It’s not a perfect tool—the Mint’s censors won’t measure the compounds in cigarettes, for example. So theoretically you could go around smelling like an ashtray and not know it. Although, if you just smoked, you probably don’t need a machine to tell you that.

The Mint should be available this summer, but if you want to start getting a handle on your stanky breath sooner, you can sign up for their beta program on their Indiegogo page and test an early version of the Mint this spring.

This article originally appeared on FWx.com.

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TIME food and drink

It’s O.K. to Sell Foie Gras in California Again

Foie Gras Ban
In this Aug. 9, 2006, file photo, a serving of salt-cured fresh foie gras with herbs is displayed at chef Didier Durand's Cyrano's Bistrot & Wine Bar in Chicago M. Spencer Green—AP

Chefs and foodies rejoice

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday overturned a state law banning the sale of foie gras in California, ending a two-year-long ban on the luxury food that had placated animal-rights groups but upset the state’s high-end restaurants and gourmands, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It feels a little like December of 1933,” said chef Michael Cimarusti on Twitter, comparing the end of the ban to the time when alcohol became legal again in the U.S. after the Prohibition era.

Animal-rights groups, who had supported a ban on a product made by force-feeding ducks and geese and harvesting their abnormally fattened livers, vowed on Wednesday to protest outside any restaurants who reinstate foie gras on their menus — and there are plenty planning to do just that. One chef told the New York Times: “I’m just very excited to have some culinary freedom back.”

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson ruled that the ban unconstitutionally interfered with federal law regulating poultry products. Animal-rights groups said Wednesday they would ask the California attorney general to seek an appeal.

[Los Angles Times]

TIME food and drink

American Consumption of Cookies in Severe Decline

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Consumers are passing on processed baked goods in favor of healthier options

Much of America’s health news over the past decade or so has revolved around the obesity epidemic. We’ve identified many possible culprits such as fast food and a more sedentary lifestyle, but sugar has taken a lot of the brunt of the criticism.

So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised how much cookie consumption has declined over that same period. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looked at products known as “ready-to-eat grain-based desserts” – also known as RTE GBDs – that include pre-packaged baked goods like cookies, cakes, pies, donuts and other pastries. What they found was that, between 2005 and 2012, sales of these products declined by a massive 24%.

Health experts consider this the good news. The bad news, according to EurekaAlert!, is that “there has been little change in the nutritional content of RTE GBDs manufactured or purchased” during that same period. This could mean that companies could sell more of their sweet products if they’d just make them a bit healthier. If this severe decline in cookie consumption bothers you there is still a few more days left in the year to eat a lot of Christmas cookies. Enjoy!

[h/t Grub Street]

This article originally appeared on FWx.

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TIME food and drink

How to Eat Mindfully

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Learn to appreciate every bite

The true testament to the power of food goes beyond any sensory gratification to the feelings of love and togetherness it evokes. Yet, it seems so easy to overlook the deeper pleasures of the table amid the hectic holiday swirl.

“The body’s logic is to respond to any stressor by focusing on taking as much food as possible and storing it,” says Martha Beck, life coach and author of The Four Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace. “But you’re not enjoying it. So if you’re stressed—and most people are during the holidays—you will overeat and won’t enjoy the time.”

By encouraging you to let go of stressors and enjoy the food you’re eating, mindfulness can help you make the most of your food choices, paving the way for truly appreciating and savoring them.

1. Inhale and exhale.

“I used to get so sick of people telling me to breathe in and out, but now I realize there is deep, neurological stuff going on,” Beck says. “This is why every meditation tradition focuses so obsessively on the breath: Slow, deep, even breathing tells the brain stem to put the entire brain into a state of calm.” Take five deep in-and-out breaths after you sit down at the table and before you lift your fork.

2. Give thanks.
“The parts of your brain that are associated with gratitude and appreciation cannot operate when there is stress,” Beck says. But the good news is the reverse is also true: “If you’re focused on gratitude, the stress can’t take over. Gratitude stops addictive patterns in the brain.” After your five deep breaths, allow yourself a moment of gratitude, silent reflection, or prayer for the food you are about to eat.

3. All food is good.
Remove “good” and “bad” from your food vocabulary. You can’t completely enjoy a piece of cake if you’re telling yourself it is bad for you. “There is no such thing as a bad or wrong food,” Beck says. “If you get rid of the judgmental language around food, it becomes less stressful.” When making food decisions, try replacing “I should” or “I shouldn’t” with “I choose to.”

4. Replay frustrating situations.
When you do find yourself mindlessly eating or reacting to stress by reaching for something sweet or salty (it does happen to everyone), forgive yourself and move on. “Because we tend to remember what we did wrong, it helps to replay it in your mind with a different outcome,” Beck says. “It’s a way of rehearsing that behavior so it replicates more easily.” Instead of mentally putting yourself through the ringer, replay the situation in your head again. You went overboard with the cheese board or the cocktail bar, and you’re unhappy. Replay the scenario, only this time you’re taking a bite or sip, enjoying it slowly, and truly savoring every flavor.

5. Enjoy what’s on your plate.
“Never eat anything you don’t enjoy, and truly enjoy everything you eat,” says Beck. Take the first four bites of your meals slowly and with full attention on the food: Savor the flavors and textures so that you can begin to understand what mindful eating feels like.

This article originally appeared on CookingLight.com

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TIME food and drink

Nearly 46 Million Americans Received Starbucks Gift Cards This Holiday

Starbucks coffee
Starbucks coffee Bloomberg—Getty Images

Coffee giant says 1 in 7 Americans received one of its cards

While much of the frenzy around the holidays invokes images of Wal-Mart door busters and Amazon warehouses, Starbucks is proving itself to be one of the kings of the season.

The coffee giant has announced that one out of every seven Americans received one of its gift cards this holiday season. That’s up from one in eight Americans in 2013. Doing a little math (based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s population clock of about 320 million Americans), that implies that nearly 46 million received Starbucks gift cards in 2014 versus about 40 million in the year-earlier period.

It isn’t exactly a surprise that Starbucks would do so well when it comes to generating gift card sales during the key retail shopping season. A National Retail Federation survey recently reported that one in five had planned to pick up coffee shop gift cards this holiday season, one of the most popular choices for gift cards.

A Starbucks spokeswoman told Fortune that nearly 2.5 million Starbucks cards were activated on Christmas Eve alone, implying the coffee company benefits greatly from those looking to scoop up a last-minute gift. And more than $1.1 billion were loaded on the company’s cards in the U.S. and Canada throughout the most recent holiday season. To add some perspective, Starbucks generated $16.4 billion in revenue globally in the most recent fiscal year.

Gift cards are a popular strategy employed by retailers to generate more traffic to their stores, and Starbucks is particularly good at incorporating those dollars into its loyalty program. The value of a gift card can be uploaded and combined with a java lover’s Starbucks card, which offers broader rewards and discounts, as well as promotions (including the recently announced “Starbucks for Life” promotion).

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME food and drink

Should You Eat Turkey or Ham This Christmas? An Analysis

Spiral ham on platter
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The real Christmas mystery

Americans consume an estimated 22 million turkeys on Christmas. They also purchase an estimated 318 million pounds of ham around the holidays. A back-of-the-envelope calculation would suggest that turkeys, weighing in at an average of 15 pounds, are neck and neck with ham in total pounds consumed. To help break the impasse, TIME has arranged a perfectly scientific throwdown between the two Christmas staples. May the best protein win.

Tradition: Turkey was all the rage when it first hit European dinner tables in the late 1600s. The exotic bird had to be imported at great expense from the New World, so it acquired an instant luxury status among the era’s aristocrats. By the Victorian era, the bird had displaced the popularity of the goose as the ultimate Christmas table centerpiece, the Independent reports. Pigs, on the other hand, were always there for every holiday and any other humdrum occasion.

Turkey 1, Ham 0

Health: The USDA breaks down fat content for every 100 grams of whatever it is you’re serving this Christmas. The average roasted turkey, skin included, clocks in at 7.39 grams of fat. A whole cured, boneless roasted ham clocks in at 3.13 grams of fat.

Turkey 1, Ham 1

Price: A porcine epidemic has killed off millions of piglets ahead of the holidays, sending the average price of spiral ham spiraling up to $2.91 a pound. Meanwhile, fresh turkey held steady at $1.28, according to USDA reports.

Turkey 2, Ham 1

Taste: Even if you use per capita consumption figures supplied by the National Turkey Federation, Americans outside of the holidays choose pork over turkey by a 3 to 1 margin.

Turkey 2, Ham 2

Versatility: But give the National Turkey Federation credit for compiling a whopping list of more than 100 Christmas Day recipes to marinade, dress, accompany and generally gussy up the turkey. Maple-spice-brined turkey with Chardonnay sauce vs honey glazed ham? Not much of a contest.

WINNER: Turkey, by a hair.

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