Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

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Planet Barbecue

Taco Tuesday Hits the Grill

Taco Tuesday Hits the Grill

Americans eat more than 4.5 billion tacos a year. Tacos rank among our most beloved fast foods, good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack after the bars close. And now, tacos have their own day! Taco Tuesdays have become a ritual in kitchens across the country. We challenge you to mix it up this week, and grill your taco ingredients! We've compiled a list of recipes below to get your started. 1. Shepherd’s Tacos (Tacos al Pastor) Like many totemic dishes on Planet Barbecue, the tacos al pastor...

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Hot Stuff

You Can Smoke What? 12 Unusual Foods You Can Smoke

You Can Smoke What? 12 Unusual Foods You Can Smoke

By now, you’ve mastered barbecued ribs and brisket. I hope you’ve smoked salmon and bacon, and maybe even applied your smoking skills to a ham or a turkey. Are you ready to expand your smoking horizons? Here are 12 foods you may never have dreamed you could smoke—but you’ll sure be glad you did. Most of the foods listed here are smoked using a cold-smoker, hot-smoker, or a handheld smoker like the Smoking Gun. In a cold smoker: Place the food in a shallow aluminum foil drip pan. (Spread or pour soft or liquid foods, like honey...

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Barbecue University™

What Is Brine? and How to Make It

What Is Brine? and How to Make It

When it comes to keeping foods moist on a smoker or grill, few techniques rival brining. A soak in a saline solution (which is what brine is) makes turkeys tender and succulent and pork chops plump and moist. Add a curing salt (like sodium nitrite) and brine gives pastrami its pinkish color and poultry or ham its umami richness. So, how does brining work? Muscles consist of long, bundled fibers. Moisture loss is inevitable when you hot-smoke or grill meat....

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Barbecue University™

Grilling in the Embers

Grilling in the Embers

This form of grilling is as old as humankind itself. Back before man invented grill grates or gridirons or even sharpened sticks for making shish kebabs, people cooked foods in the fire. Literally in the fire. Precisely, right in the coals. They laid root vegetables or meat directly on the embers and let the radiant heat of the coals do the cooking. When the food was ready, the ashes were brushed off. Barbecue was born. I like to call this primitive kind of grilling...

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A New Kind of Barbecue Food Truck

A New Kind of Barbecue Food Truck

Many of you dream of turning your passion for barbecue into a business. Mark Van Blaricum from Kansas City did it. His Pita for Good food truck has become a mecca for KC grilled food lovers, and I’m personally gratified to have played my small part. Do you have a foodie success story? Share it on the Barbecue Board. –Steven It happened fast. I got Steven’s Planet Barbecue as a gift; found a lamb purveyor at my local farmer’s market; and tried the Moroccan...

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Tips for Planked Salmon

Tips for Planked Salmon

Excerpted from Steven Raichlen's Beer-Can Chicken. Chances are, if you’ve visited the Pacific Northwest you’ve enjoyed one of the most distinctive American ways to grill fish: on a cedar or alder plank. The process satisfies and gratifies on quite a few levels. First, the wood imparts a unique flavor all its own—a spicy, wine-like flavor in the case of cedar; a woodier, smokier flavor in the case of alder. It also tends to absorb...

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In Praise of Pork Chops

In Praise of Pork Chops

Good things come in small packages? Maybe true for jewelry, but certainly not on the grill. If you want to know how good big can be, order the pork tomahawk at Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. I’ve written about this Italian chop house before and I’ll tell you a lot more about it in a future blog. But for the moment, all you really need to know is that to cut the pork tomahawk, Chi Spacca’s chef starts at the top of the backbone and ends at the bottom of the belly, giving you a...

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Extreme Grilling

Extreme Grilling

Chicken under a brick? Been there. Steak on a shovel? Done that. Beer can chicken? Please. So this week, I'm starting a series of blogs on extreme grilling. First up, using a military strength blowtorch to caramelize spit-roasted pineapple. The device pictured above is an industrial-strength blowtorch used for roofing and "search and destroy" landscaping. One popular model is the 100,000 BTU Red Dragon--you can find it at www.amazon.com--which...

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FIREPLACE COOKERY

FIREPLACE COOKERY: PART 1 We don't do much fireplace cooking here in Miami. So here's a scene from the wood-burning hearth at Barbecue University. If this is a subject that interests you, check out William Rubel's book, The Magic of Fire: Hearth Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2002). The jacket reads, "Hearth cooking is a hobby with almost no entry barrier..." Amen. In the meantime, here are some of my tips for fireplace cookery: 1) Build a...

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GRILLED RICE

YOU CAN GRILL WHAT??? This just in from our Bangkok correspondent, Allan Dresner: kao neow--grilled sticky rice and egg cakes. Dip rice in spiced beaten egg, then grill over a screaming hot charcoal fire. "The egg feels like an omelette around the rice," says Drez. Below are three other great grilled rice dishes from around the world: 1) Japan: onigiri--triangular cakes of grilled sticky rice often stuffed with sausage or beans 2) Laos: rice...

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