Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

For Your Easter Table: Ham in a Hurry

For Your Easter Table: Ham in a Hurry

Ham is hog’s leap to immortality. But that leap takes time. From a few weeks for your basic cooked ham to up to a year or more for a truly great dry-cured, cold-smoked ham like Italian speck or German schwartzwelder schinken (Black Forest ham). Even the “fast” version of the Smokehouse Shoulder Ham I demonstrated on Project Smoke last season requires a week of curing and 24 hours of smoking. But what if there was a ham you could cure in...

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Barbecue University™

Crash Course: The 6 Major Types of Grills

Crash Course: The 6 Major Types of Grills

There are many ways you could categorize the world’s dozens, perhaps hundreds, of different grills. You could group them by fuel, for example: charcoal grills, wood-burning grills, gas grills. You could organize them by region of origin—the grills of South America, for example, or Southeast Asia. But the most useful way, from a griller’s point of view, is by the configuration of the fire and where to place the food for cooking. This is what determines at what temperature and how quickly the food will grill. Understanding and controlling these variables goes a long way toward determining your success as a grill master. Open Grill The simplest of all grills: a metal or stone box with the burning charcoal, wood,...

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Wet-Aging vs. Dry-Aging and How to Dry-Age Beef at Home

Wet-Aging vs. Dry-Aging and How to Dry-Age Beef at Home

If you’ve ever tasted a thick prime steak dry-aged 4 to 6 weeks, you’ve come pretty close to heaven on earth. One of the best dry-aged beef purveyors we know is Chicago Steak Company. We asked Chicago Steak CEO Matt Crowley to share his thoughts on the difference between dry- and wet-aged beef and how to dry-age beef at home. If you’ve bought a steak from a grocery store, there’s a good chance you’ve purchased a wet-aged steak. Unlike dry-aging,...

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a Pastrami Reuben

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a Pastrami Reuben

Photo by Rob Baas. Call me an iconoclast, but I believe there are better ways to celebrate the Feast of St. Patrick (March 17) than by emptying a vacuum-sealed pouch of corned beef brisket into a pot of boiling water with cabbage wedges. Even if you’re a homesick Irishman, it doesn’t sound like anything to, well, write home about. What is worth writing home about is a Reuben sandwich made with home-cured, home-smoked pastrami. But don’t take my word for it. Our grill wrangler/recipe tester,...

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Planet Barbecue

Jamaica: Where Smoke and Fire Meet the Caribbean

Jamaica: Where Smoke and Fire Meet the Caribbean

As spring slowly approaches, imagine yourself in sunny Jamaica, where spicy jerk is the star of the barbecue scene. We're continuing with our series of grilling destinations around the world (see what Argentina and Singapore have to offer) as featured in my book, Planet Barbecue! When it comes to barbecue, Jamaica has only one trick up its sleeve. But, oh, what a trick. I’m talking, of course, about Jamaica’s national dish—and cultural icon—jerk. Once you’ve tasted this fiery smoke-roasted...

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How to Build a Smokehouse

How to Build a Smokehouse

In October 2014 we showed you a home-built wooden smokehouse. (Here’s a photo of me next to mine.) To make an even more permanent structure—and commitment to the art of smoking—cinder blocks are the way to go. The very affordable Build a Smokehouse book offers the most complete instructions I know for building a cinderblock smokehouse. Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite. –Steven Permanent smokehouses can be made of stone, logs, concrete, or wooden framing members, and should...

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Barbecue University™

A Crash Course on Gas Grills

A Crash Course on Gas Grills

In North America, gas is king. Developed by utility companies, gas grills hit the barbecue scene in the 1950s. Today, almost 70 percent of American families use gas grills. There are two types of gas grill: those that burn natural gas, a fossil fuel based primarily on methane, and those that burn propane, a refined petroleum product comprised of hydrogen and carbon. So why grill with gas? In a word—convenience. The convenience of push-button ignition. The convenience of turn-of-a-dial...

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Five Regional Barbecue Sauces for Pulled Pork

Five Regional Barbecue Sauces for Pulled Pork

Pork shoulder is one of the cornerstones of American barbecue—right up there with brisket and ribs. It’s certainly the most flexible: you can smoke it. Indirect grill it. Spit-roast it on a rotisserie. It’s also the most forgiving: it stays moist even when you overcook it. And in my book—make that books!—pulled pork is pork shoulder’s highest calling. Rubbed with salt and spices, blasted with wood smoke, periodically mopped with vinegar or beer, and finally, shredded with meat claws or pulled...

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