Excited? That doesn’t begin to express the emotion. After years of planning and months of shooting and editing, my new TV show, Project Smoke, launches on Saturday, June 27 (and in some cities July 4th weekend or later this summer). Our mission: to do for smoking what Primal Grill did for grilling.
When I started smoking meat 25 years ago, no one knew of reverse searing. Today, you can hardly browse barbecue websites without being urged to try it. The process turns the traditional method of cooking a steak or roast—hot sear followed by slow roast—on its head.
This cousin of the popover and Yorkshire pudding puffs dramatically on a hot grill.
It’s time to tackle extreme steak grilling: That means on a shovel, grilled over spruce branches, wrapped in hay, in a salt and cloth crust, on a pitchfork, and my favorite—grilled directly on the embers.
What makes a great hamburger? First there’s the meat. You want to use a flavorful cut, like sirloin (for uptown burgers), or chuck or round (if you’re feeling more democratic). And it shouldn’t be too lean: 15 to 20 percent fat is ideal.
It’s the time of year to cast a critical eye on your grilling hardware. For some people, that means refurbishing grills that grew sclerotic over the winter. For others—and here I raise my hand—National Barbecue Month gives you license to shop for a new grill or smoker.
Tom Mylan, co-owner of The Meat Hook in Brooklyn, uses cherrywood to smoke bacon at his shop “because it imparts a sweet but not wimpy smokiness.”
America is experiencing a pastrami renaissance with soulfully cured, assertively spiced smoked meat turning up at top barbecue joints across the country. Darkly crusted with crushed coriander seed and fiery with black pepper. Meat so moist it squirts when you cut into it and so flavorful, you don’t really need mustard, pickles, or rye bread.
Here’s an easy, virtually foolproof method for cooking perfect, crusty on the outside, meltingly tender inside prime ribs every time.
As anyone who has eaten real-deal Jamaican jerk can tell you, it hurts. Smoke gets in your eyes and Scotch bonnet chiles scorch your gullet. Gary Feblowitz explains. “You need to sweat while you’re eating jerk,” says my new friend (we met on the set of Project Smoke) and go-to guy for indispensable jerk supplies.
It never fails to amaze me how one simple idea can give birth to so many great regional variations. Consider ribs. The pork rib is one of the most perfect morsels ever to occupy a grill.
There’s a myth perpetuated by the French chefs I trained with in Paris—that a great roast chicken is a difficult dish to make. That myth has something to do with the contradictory attributes of a perfect roast chicken: skin so crisp it crackles when you bite it, yet meat so moist it squirts when you cut into it.
Steven Raichlen's official newsletter, Up in Smoke, is available exclusively on barbecuebible.com. Culled from experiences on the barbecue trail and beyond, Steven brings you reviews you can use, recipes, answers to your questions, special BBQ store discounts, and more. The newsletter is FREE and comes out every month. It is available first only to subscribers to the newsletter and then posted a month later in the newsletter archives. Sign up today!