Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Flavors

A Guide: Curing Salts in Home-Smoked Meats

A Guide: Curing Salts in Home-Smoked Meats

Photo by Rob Baas. In a few weeks’ time, a big rosy pork shoulder ham will have pride of place on millions of American tables. Its very color is a harbinger of spring, the result of a preservation process using curing salt. (Without this special salt, the meat would not be pink; it would be the same shade of tan as a cooked pork chop.) The details have been lost to history. But thousands of years ago—as early as 3000 B.C.—mankind discovered salt not only delayed the spoilage of precious proteins like meat and fish, but when laced with small amounts of sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, or potassium nitrate (saltpeter) there were even more benefits: an appealing color,...

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Your Next BBQ Secret Weapon: Coconut

Your Next BBQ Secret Weapon: Coconut

Coconut may not play a big role in your grilling, but in Asia it is a staple. Malaysians, Cambodians, and Indonesians all use coconut shell charcoal for grilling. Coconut milk goes into marinades and basting mixtures in these countries: try the Cambodian coconut grilled corn in Planet Barbecue. In Guam, freshly grated coconut is added to grilled chicken salad. So as you ascend the ladder of barbecue enlightenment, you need to know more about the amazing coconut....

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Monroe County-Style Pork Steaks

Monroe County-Style Pork Steaks

All photos by Rob Baas. Project Smoke fire wrangler Rob Baas needs no introduction. Not to anyone who has watched him fire up our grills on the set of Project Smoke. Not to anyone who has read his excellent blog posts on BarbecueBible.com or enjoyed his mouthwatering photos on Instagram and Facebook. What you may not know about Rob is that he’s a native of Kentucky. We asked him to write about the best Kentucky barbecue you’ve never heard of. Get ready...

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6 Homemade Holiday Gifts from Your Grill or Smoker

6 Homemade Holiday Gifts from Your Grill or Smoker

Bumping up against December’s “order by” deadlines? Running low on funds? Or just tired of the mall scene? Find respite by using your grill and/or smoker to make homemade gifts for the important people on your list. In the process, you might even recapture some of that old-fashioned holiday spirit. Here are six worthy projects, most of which not only require very little hands-on time, but that travel well, too. So relax: We’ve got you covered. Bacon Bourbon: What happens when bourbon...

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Grilling with the Best Olive Oil

Grilling with the Best Olive Oil

If you’ve watched my TV shows (the latest one is Project Smoke on American Public Television), you’ve likely noticed I always emphasize that the quality of your food is at least as important as how you cook it. On the show, we use the best meat. The best produce. The best seafood. This dedication to quality extends to other ingredients as well. An example? Premium extra virgin olive oil, which you’ve likely noticed on the set, is a staple in my cooking and grilling life, a...

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Filipino Barbecue: It’s in the Stuffing

Filipino Barbecue: It’s in the Stuffing

It gives me great pleasure to introduce this month’s guest blogger, Alex Paman. You may recognize his name from the Barbecue Board (and from my book Planet Barbecue). Alex is my go to guy when I want to know more about Filipino barbecue. And Filipino barbecue is one of the world’s best-kept food secrets. The following makes me hungry just to read about and I bet it will you, too. –Steven Lechon baboy (roast pig). The very words make a Filipino’s...

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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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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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Barbecue University™

Crash Course on Grilling and Smoking with Wood

Crash Course on Grilling and Smoking with Wood

Here’s the third “class” in our ongoing Barbecue University™ blog series—a crash course on wood. Wood is the original and, to my mind, still the best fuel for grilling, and grill masters from Montevideo to Munich back me up on this. Charcoal and propane or natural gas produce heat, but only wood gives you both heat and flavor. That flavor is, of course, smoke—made up of carbon compounds like guaiacol, also found in roasted coffee, and syringol, the active...

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Planet Barbecue

Singapore: Crossroads of Asian Grilling

Singapore: Crossroads of Asian Grilling

Next week and beyond, Chinese and many other Asian cultures will celebrate Lunar New Year (more commonly known as Chinese New Year), and Singapore—one of the biggest multicultural foodie destinations in the world despite it being such a tiny island—will join in on the festivities. Here’s an excerpt from my cookbook Planet Barbecue! that’ll make you want to try grilled food from all over Asia. What would you call a place where you could breakfast on grilled bread with...

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