Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Gear

A Guide to Charcoal Water Smokers

A Guide to Charcoal Water Smokers

“Stick burners” (offset barrel smokers) may give you the bragging rights, not to mention smoker envy. But if you’re just starting out with smoking, you’d do well to consider a water smoker—sometimes called a bullet smoker. Shaped like an upright bullet (hence the nickname), the water smoker is simple to operate, but serious enough for competition cooks, who often employ these hard-working cookers in multiple units. The water smoker has a small footprint (about the size of a kettle grill)—an...

Read more →

Under the Hood

Raichlen Drinks the Kool-Aid: A Visit to the Big Green Egg Headquarters

Raichlen Drinks the Kool-Aid: A Visit to the Big Green Egg Headquarters

For years I’ve called them the “Moonies” of barbecue—that growing evangelical army of Big Green Egg enthusiasts who have a cult-like attachment to their green ovoid charcoal burning cookers and a messianic drive to spread the gospel of kamado cooking to every corner of Planet Barbecue. Yes, we have several Eggs at Barbecue University™ and I own one in my personal grill collection at home. But while I use my Egg from time to time (it makes an awesome turkey for Thanksgiving),...

Read more →

9 Must-Have Tools to Take the Labor Out of Your Labor Day Barbecue

9 Must-Have Tools to Take the Labor Out of Your Labor Day Barbecue

Photo by nicholasputz Game plan for your Labor Day cookout? Hold the heavy lifting. That means keeping it simple: an easy grilled or smoked appetizer, a big hunk o’ smoke-roasted protein for the main course, a simple side dish or two, and a big-flavor, low-labor dessert (see my Labor Day menu). And if your guests offer to bring something? Let them. Not only is it one less thing to worry about, but it invests them in the success of your party. The right gear can help ease your labors...

Read more →

A Guide to Offset Barrel Smokers

A Guide to Offset Barrel Smokers

Water smokers, box, barrel, and pellet smokers do a fine job smoking meats and seafood. But nothing establishes your street cred as pit master who means business like an offset smoker. For years, these hunka-hunka smokers—a.k.a., offset barrel smokers, horizontal smokers, pipe smokers, or “stick-burners”—have dominated the competition barbecue circuit. Now, thanks to mass-market models available at stores like Home Depot and Lowes, they’re bringing their own particular aura of machismo to American and European backyards. The first offset smokers were likely built by oilfield workers in Texas and Oklahoma. Far from home and restaurants, it didn’t take much for barbecue-starved welders...

Read more →

Battle of the Hibachis

Battle of the Hibachis

It’s the antithesis of the modern North American stainless steel super grill (you know, that propane-fired monster with multiple heat zones, infrared sear station and industrial strength rotisserie). But when it comes to providing maximum grilling efficiency in minimal space, few grills can beat its direct, concentrated, blast-furnace heat. It’s the compact Japanese-style tabletop grill known in the West as the hibachi. Without it there would be no yakitori or robatayaki. Get the Yakitori Like They Make It in Japan recipe....

Read more →

What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day: 9 Inspired Gift Ideas

What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day: 9 Inspired Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is approaching fast (it’s Sunday, June 15), and you know what that means: Desperate Saturday trips to menswear departments, pro shops, and even hardware stores to find a gift for Dad that won’t totally … well, you know. Speaking as a guy and a father, here’s a bit of advice: Don’t give Dad a gift he would store in a top dresser drawer. In other words, no socks, neckties, cufflinks, and monogrammed anything. We want toys. And time with you and yours. Gear for your grills satisfies both criteria. Any of the...

Read more →

Win a Package of Grilling Gear

Win a Package of Grilling Gear

We're kicking off a whole summer filled with giveaways. First up, enter to win a package of my Best of Barbecue grilling tools. This is your chance to give Dad an extra gift for Father's Day. All the products have the Raichlen stamp of approval, so I'm sure you'll consider these tools essential to your grilling arsenal by the end of the summer. The set of tools includes my 4-Compartment Grilling Basket, Ultimate Rib Rack, Ultimate Fish Grilling Basket, and Infrared Thermometer. THIS...

Read more →

Under the Hood

Spring Returns—And Not a Minute Too Soon

Spring Returns—And Not a Minute Too Soon

Polar vortexes. Texas hookers. Thunder sleet. If nothing else, this winter added new words to the nation’s weather vocabulary as it spread inconvenience and misery from Bozeman to Boston, from International Falls to Atlanta. But spring officially arrived Thursday, March 20—not a moment too soon. Many of you shoveled the path to your grill and kept smoking and grilling this winter. We salute you. And if you're just now waking your charcoal grill or smoker out of its winter hibernation, here’s what you...

Read more →

Under the Hood

The Coolest Grills of 2013

The Coolest Grills of 2013

It’s a rough job, as the saying goes, but someone has to do it: Traveling Planet Barbecue on the lookout for amazing new grills, heart-stoppingly delectable dishes, and restaurants worth making a special trip for. In the next two weeks, I’ll be blogging here on Barbecue! Bible and writing for the Huffington Post about some the most memorable barbecue experiences I had in 2013. So spread the word, and as always, tell us about your best barbecue experiences in the year we’re about to say goodbye to. And now, Raichlen’s Coolest Grills of 2013. First, let...

Read more →

Under the Hood

2013 Barbecuers’ Holiday Gift Guide

2013 Barbecuers’ Holiday Gift Guide

We know. You haven’t even bought your Thanksgiving turkey yet. But Black Friday starts even earlier this year (one giant retailer will open its doors at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening) and that means only one thing: the holidays are here for real. Which brings us to our annual Barbecue! Bible gift guide—a compilation of cool fuels, tools, and seasonings for the favorite barbecuer or griller in your life. Permission granted to print it out and distribute it to people who might need gift ideas for you. Rib Rack: Full racks of baby backs or spare ribs...

Read more →