Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Grilling Techniques

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...

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Crash Course

Back to School: The Raichlen Crash Course on Barbecuing and Grilling

Back to School: The Raichlen Crash Course on Barbecuing and Grilling

Say it’s not true! Is it back to school time already? Maybe you’re college bound and want to show off your grill skills for your dorm mates. Maybe this is the year you aspire to smoke the competition on the tailgating circuit. Maybe you survived you first grill season and you want to take your skills to the next level. Or maybe you just can’t wait until the next session of Barbecue University in June. Well, here’s the official Raichlen crash course on barbecuing and grilling—the essentials you need to rock the grill every time you fire it up. Master the lesson, then practice, practice, practice! There’s still plenty of beautiful...

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The Great Grilled Corn Debate

The Great Grilled Corn Debate

The world of barbecue is rife with “grate” debates. Gas versus charcoal. Dry ribs versus wet. Then there’s the “corntroversy” over the best way to grill sweet corn, which is in peak season in August: Does it taste better grilled with the husk on or off? Advocates of the husk-on school maintain that grilling corn with the protective green sheath intact protects the tender kernels from the harsh dry heat of the grill. Husk-offers—of which I’m a partisan—point out...

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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...

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Stick Meat—The Ultimate Guide to Kebabs

Stick Meat—The Ultimate Guide to Kebabs

Guest blogger Paula Marcoux—a former culinary historian at Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts—recently published a fascinating book on live fire cooking around the world called Cooking with Fire. It’s certainly one of my top ten grill books of the year. I asked Paula to share her thoughts about one of the world’s most ancient and universal grilled dishes: kebabs. -Steven One of the sweetest cooking tools I've ever seen is an earthenware kebab holder,...

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How to Talk to Your Butcher

How to Talk to Your Butcher

Anyone who is serious about BBQ also needs to be serious about meat. That means skipping the mega-mart and heading to a good old-fashioned butcher shop to find the highest quality meats and the best cuts for your recipes. Need a special cut? Have a weird request? Want a suggestion of what to buy and how to cook it? Your butcher is, quite literally, there to help you. Tom Mylan, co-owner of The Meat Hook in Brooklyn, New York, and author of The Meat Hook Meat Book (Artisan, 2014), offers some expert know-how on...

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Wounded Warriors at BBQ U

Wounded Warriors at BBQ U

Baghdad. Fallujah. Kandahar. Kabul. American soldiers saw action in all of them, taking fire and giving it back. So when the Colorado Springs chapter of Wounded Warriors contacted me about visiting with some of the vets while I was in town, the Broadmoor and I thought we could do better. We decided to host a special session of Barbecue University just for them. I’ve taught literally thousands of classes around Planet Barbecue, but I can tell you this:...

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Is It Done Yet? Five Failproof Tests to Check for Doneness

Is It Done Yet? Five Failproof Tests to Check for Doneness

Is it done yet? When it comes to grilling or smoking, that’s the, er, burning question. Even the most seasoned grillers and smokers sometimes experience a twinge of uncertainty when it comes to gauging the doneness of a particular meat or seafood. One of our missions here at Barbecue! Bible is to help you take the guesswork out of grilling. Here are five tests you can use now to tell exactly when the food on your grill is ready. The visual test: Look at the food and smell it....

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Eat Your Words

Grilling to Perfection: Master the Basics

Grilling to Perfection: Master the Basics

Our barbecue community is growing. I'm pleased to announce a new series of guest blogs written by some of the top experts in the field—many of them my friends and colleagues—who will weigh in on topics of, er, burning interest. Up first: Andy Husband, Boston restaurateur, multi-barbecue competition champion, and author of several terrific books, who will share his advice on cleaning and lighting your grill and other fundamental techniques. -Steven When it comes to cooking over fire, my...

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New Technique: Extreme Grilling on a Shovel

New Technique: Extreme Grilling on a Shovel

Call me Spademan. From the moment I heard about this extreme grilling technique from the Australian outback, I was hooked. It requires only two things: a clean steel shovel and a hot fire, and it’s about to boost your reputation as an out-of-the-box grill master. Beach barbecues, camping trips, and even backyard cookouts are about to get a lot more interesting. Shovel grilling began, so legend goes, with a rancher in the outback who had lamb (no shortage of that in Australia) and a...

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