Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Flavors

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...

Read more →

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...

Read more →

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...

Read more →

Make Any BBQ Rub with the Rub Matrix

Make Any BBQ Rub with the Rub Matrix

OK, folks. Back to school? Back to chemistry class. I promise to make this painless. You already know the formula to Raichlen’s Rub (a.k.a. the only barbecue rub you will ever need in this life), right? Well, here, in easy-to-understand chart form, is how to customize that rub to produce a wide range of flavors and ethnic character. In other words, by subtly varying each core ingredient—and adding strategic aromatics—you can create an infinite variety of rubs. Master...

Read more →

Organic Spices to Flavor Your Meats

Organic Spices to Flavor Your Meats

This blog post is brought to you with support from our sponsor, Spicely.com, who provided the samples and advertising support. "Where your meat comes from and how it’s raised matters as much as how you smoke it.” This is the mantra of my new Project Smoke show on Public Television, where we try to use only grass-fed beef, heritage pork, and organic chicken and vegetables. And so it goes with the spices you use to flavor your meats. In a world of spices...

Read more →

Go for the Burn: Authentic Jamaican Jerk at Home

Go for the Burn: Authentic Jamaican Jerk at Home

Photo by Rob Baas. 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. An Emmy award-winning videographer (you’ve seen his work on the Discovery Channel and PBS), Feblowitz is one of jerk’s most zealous evangelists. The license plate...

Read more →

Home(made) for the Holidays: Do-It-Yourself Barbecue Rubs

Home(made) for the Holidays: Do-It-Yourself Barbecue Rubs

Barbecuers are easy to shop for. There’s always a new accessory, grill, or smoker that’s guaranteed to delight during holiday gift-giving. What other subset of the American population would actually welcome coal in their stockings? Especially if it’s binchotan, a premium charcoal from Japan. But you don’t have to battle crowds or burden your credit card to please the grill buff on your gift list. Give him or her something you’ve made...

Read more →

In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 2: Season It Like You Mean It

In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 2: Season It Like You Mean It

Photo by David McSpadden. In Part 1 of this series, we gave you tips on buying pork shoulder, sometimes called pork butt, even though it has nothing to do with a hog’s hindquarters. Now you’ll learn how to coax the most flavor from this indispensable hunk of meat. When it comes to seasoning pork shoulder, remember that a faint heart never won a poker—err, porker—game. You have options: Rub: We Americans use rubs with greater imagination and with a freer...

Read more →

Fiery Enough for You? Introducing the “Frankensauce”

Fiery Enough for You? Introducing the “Frankensauce”

If you’ve spent any time on this website (or just hanging around the grill), you’ll know the deep reverence for and alarmingly heavy-handedness we grilling fanatics have with hot sauce. Bottled hot sauce is good. Homemade hot sauce is better. But when you introduce fermentation to hot sauce (you know, the process that transforms cabbage into sauerkraut and fresh sausage into salami), you produce a hot sauce with complex umami flavors—a condiment worthy of your best grilling. Which brings me to Chicago barbecue fanatic...

Read more →

Taking the Cure: Of Nitrites, Prague Powder, and Other Curing Salts

Taking the Cure: Of Nitrites, Prague Powder, and Other Curing Salts

Picture the incarnadine color of corned beef and pastrami. The shimmering translucence and satin texture of Spanish lomo (cured pork loin) and bresaola and bündnerfleisch (respectively, Italian and Swiss air-dried beef). The rich hammy flavor of bacon, prosciutto, and jamon serrano. The complex umami flavors, not to mention the remarkable shelf life of dry-cured sausage and salami. All owe these hunger-inducing attributes to substances steeped in ancient tradition and modern controversy—sodium nitrate (NaNO3) and sodium nitrite (NaNO2)—the active ingredients in curing...

Read more →