Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Gear

Spring Cleaning Your Smoker

Spring Cleaning Your Smoker

There are people on Planet Barbecue who wouldn’t dream of cooking in an oven crusted with carbonized grease and spills, but who persist in calling the same detritus “seasoning” when cooking outdoors on their smokers or grills. No. Just say no. By-products of the smoking process—tar, creosote, soot, and so on—can accumulate to the point where they flake off on your food. Annual maintenance needn’t be a chore if you have the right equipment, not to mention some tunes and an adult beverage....

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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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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™

Crash Course on Grilling: The Anatomy of a Grill

Crash Course on Grilling: The Anatomy of a Grill

We’re pleased to introduce a new blog series on BarbecueBible.com: Barbecue University™. Every few weeks we’ll give you a crash course on a particular aspect of grilling, from essential gear and fuels to the indispensable techniques. Up this week: The Anatomy of a Grill. Master it and you’ll make more informed decisions when buying and using your grill. Travel Planet Barbecue with me and you’ll find grills of every size, shape, and design. Despite this incredible diversity, all grills share similar...

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Smokin’ Accessories for the Pit Barrel Cooker

Smokin’ Accessories for the Pit Barrel Cooker

The Pit Barrel Cooker keeps on smokin', gaining popularity in the months since we posted a blog story about founder Noah Glanville and his product last January. Thousands of you have viewed that post, and we’ve heard from many who have grown to love the PBC as much as we do. The product is unique because of its features (for example, it doesn’t have a drip pan), its size (30-gallon, smaller than the typical 55), and its affordability ($299 including...

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Black Magic: Cast Iron and Live Fire, Part 1

Black Magic: Cast Iron and Live Fire, Part 1

When it comes to cookware for your smoker or grill, cast iron rocks. From its tough black look to its wrist-bending heft. There’s its primal connection to past generations of live-fire hearth masters. And last but not least, its versatility. With a well-seasoned piece of cast iron, you can sear, braise, bake, fry, stew, pan-roast, and even smoke. Cast iron’s bona fides (and strong connections to food) were established more than 2,500 years ago—the Chinese may have been the first to pour...

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2015 Holiday Gift Guide

2015 Holiday Gift Guide

The weather outside is frightful—87 degrees in Miami last week—but the fire is so delightful ... the fire in my grill, of course. As I smoke-roasted the turkey for the Raichlen family Thanksgiving, I gave some thought to what I would want on my holiday gift list. The beauty of the following list is that it works for both your favorite barbecuer and YOU. Best of all: you can shop from the comfort of home while other people duke it out on this, Black Friday. iGrill2 Bluetooth Thermometer Price: $87.98 A must-have for grilling multi-taskers...

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Our Top Picks: Tailgating Gear

Our Top Picks: Tailgating Gear

What’s so appealing about hosting a party in a parking lot before a sporting event? Everything! Americans love tailgating and take credit for inventing this unique form of entertaining, usually a triumvirate of beer, balls, and barbecue. Recently, we posted our top 10 tailgating tips. Embedded in that blog post was a promise to share with you our favorite equipment. Now we’re making good on it. You won’t see any battery-draining margarita blenders, big screen plasma TVs, or silver candelabra here. Just useful stuff that will make you look like...

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High-Tech Grilling Gadgets, Part 1

High-Tech Grilling Gadgets, Part 1

Call me a Luddite. (In the early 19th century, this militant sect of English textile workers destroyed newfangled power looms in an attempt to protect their jobs.) When it comes to barbecue, I like to manage the metrics with the tools I was born with. The palm of my hand, for example, for gauging the heat of a grill. (Remember the Mississippi Test?) Or my index finger for poking a steak or chop to check its doneness. For larger cuts of meat I’ll use an instant-read meat thermometer (see below) and I try to keep an eye on...

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The Best Accessory for Barbecue: Grill Baskets

The Best Accessory for Barbecue: Grill Baskets

Travel the world’s barbecue trail and you’ll make a surprising discovery. Roughly a quarter of the grills on Planet Barbecue lack the one feature most of us North Americans consider indispensible: a grate. On vast swaths of Planet Barbecue—from Morocco to Greece, from Israel to Azerbaijan, from Russia to India—people grill on a mangal—a rectangular metal box with blazing embers at the bottom, but without a grill grate. Instead, they place the food to be grilled in a wire basket straddling the top of the mangal to be...

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