Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Grill One for Mom: Our Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

Grill One for Mom: Our Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

Little known fact about Steven Raichlen (or at least about his childhood). My mother, Frances Raichlen, wore the barbecue pants in my family. Back in a day when most women wouldn’t go near a grill, my mother loaded ours with charcoal briquettes, lit it with gasoline! (do not try this at home), and charred T-bones anthracite black on the outside, leaving the center so rare it still mooed. So as Mother’s Day rolls around, I always think of the role she played in inspiring my own career as a food writer specializing...

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Grilled Feast

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Grilled Feast

Today is Cinco de Mayo—May 5—and tonight, Mexican-themed restaurants and bars will be crowded with American revelers who are not quite sure what they are celebrating. If queried, many would say they’re honoring Mexico’s Independence Day. (Sorry, but that’s actually September 16.) For the record, Cinco de Mayo marks the anniversary of a battle for Puebla fought in 1862. A barefoot and under-equipped Mexican army miraculously defeated the French in a fight reminiscent of David and Goliath. But why let the facts get between...

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Buying a Grill or Smoker? 8 Questions to Ask Yourself

Buying a Grill or Smoker? 8 Questions to Ask Yourself

May is National Barbecue Month, a perfect time to establish your barbecue bona fides. Will this be the year you master the porterhouse? Make your own home-cured bacon or pastrami? Nail a competition-quality brisket? It’s also 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. “Which grill should I buy?”...

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Home-Smoked Pastrami, Part 1

Home-Smoked Pastrami, Part 1

Photo by Richard Dallett. If you think to eat killer pastrami you need to visit a landmark deli in Manhattan, you haven’t been to Fette Sau BBQ in Brooklyn. Or The Granary in San Antonio. Or The Local Pig in Kansas City. 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...

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The Best Cheeses for Grilling

The Best Cheeses for Grilling

Photo by Richard Dallett. Congress has designated April “Grilled Cheese Month.” (Good to know our elected representatives are doing something useful.) So there’s no better time to point out that there’s grilled cheese, and then there’s grilled cheese. What our elected representatives probably had in mind was the classic white bread-processed orange American cheese sandwich crisped on a griddle or in a skillet. You can do better. Build the sandwich with focaccia and smoked mozzarella, for example,...

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High Tech Grilling Sweepstakes

High Tech Grilling Sweepstakes

Few of us could manage daily life without our smartphones. More and more of us are using high-tech electronics and apps to help us take barbecue to the next level. With the Oregon Scientific Grill-Right Bluetooth® BBQ Thermometer, there's no need to wait by the grill to find out when dinner is ready—you'll get an alert when your meal has reached the perfect temperature. And with the Oregon Scientific Weather@Home Thermo Plus indoor/outdoor temperature...

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What Is Grass-Fed Beef and What’s So Great About It?

What Is Grass-Fed Beef and What’s So Great About It?

Grass-fed beef. You hear the term more and more, not just at natural foods markets, but at a new generation of barbecue joints. So what exactly is grass-fed beef and how does it differ from conventional beef? Why should you consider buying it the next time you fire up your grill or smoker? Are there any special techniques you need to cook it? We interviewed Randy Strauss, who with his brother Tim, runs one of the nation’s foremost purveyors of grass-fed beef: Strauss Meats. What is Strauss’s background, and why do you raise grass-fed beef?...

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The Ins and Outs of Injecting

The Ins and Outs of Injecting

Afraid of needles? Don’t let that deter you from enjoying the benefits of injecting. As many barbecue pros know, injecting is the most efficient way to add flavor and moisture to smoked, barbecued, or grilled food. Think of injecting as marinating from the inside out. Let me explain. Rubs, spice pastes, and glazes sit on the meat’s surface. Marinades penetrate only a few millimeters into the meat. Brining and curing solutions do reach the center,...

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