Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Grilling Techniques

10 Barbecue Hacks: Simple Tricks to Take Your Grilling to the Next Level

10 Barbecue Hacks: Simple Tricks to Take Your Grilling to the Next Level

Last week, two new groups of graduates left Barbecue University with diplomas in hand. I’m proud to have helped them ascend the ladder of barbecue enlightenment. Here are some of the “secret” techniques from the school to help you up your game at the grill. Keep it hot: Of course you light your charcoal in a chimney starter. When you pour out the coals, leave one or two burning embers in the starter, then add a fresh batch of charcoal. The embers will light the coals—no newspaper or fire...

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Reverse Searing: Godsend or Gimmick?

Reverse Searing: Godsend or Gimmick?

When I started smoking meat 25 years ago, no one knew of reverse searing. Today, you can hardly browse barbecue websites without being urged to try it. The process turns the traditional method of cooking a steak or roast—hot sear followed by slow roast—on its head. You start by smoking the meat low and slow to an internal temperature of about 100 degrees, then you char it over a hot fire to raise it to the desired temperature, applying the crisp smoky crust at the...

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Extreme Grilling: Steak Six Ways

Extreme Grilling: Steak Six Ways

Photo by Forres Meadows. You’re a confident griller of steaks. You’ve mastered New York strips, you can handle flank steak, and on several occasions, have produced magazine centerfold-worthy porterhouses. Now it’s time to tackle extreme steak grilling: That means on a shovel, grilled over spruce branches, wrapped in hay, in a salt and cloth crust, on a pitchfork, and my favorite—grilled directly on the embers. For obvious reasons, we’re going to have to leave out steaks grilled over a trough of molten...

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The Ins and Outs of Injecting

The Ins and Outs of Injecting

Afraid of needles? Don’t let that deter you from enjoying the benefits of injecting. As many barbecue pros know, injecting is the most efficient way to add flavor and moisture to smoked, barbecued, or grilled food. Think of injecting as marinating from the inside out. Let me explain. Rubs, spice pastes, and glazes sit on the meat’s surface. Marinades penetrate only a few millimeters into the meat. Brining and curing solutions do reach the center,...

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In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 3: How to Cook It

In Praise of Pork Shoulder, Part 3: How to Cook It

The pork shoulder may be the world’s simplest cut of meat to cook. Simpler than steak. Simpler than brisket. Simpler than ribs. In a nutshell, you season the hell out of it (for tips on buying and seasoning pork shoulder, see Parts 1 and 2 of this series) and cook it at a low to moderate heat for 3 to 6 hours (2-1/2 to 3 hours at 350 degrees; 5 to 6 hours at 250 degrees.) What emerges from your smoker or grill gives you a bodacious blend of crisp crust, luscious fat, and meltingly tender meat. But simple doesn’t mean simple-minded....

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5 Reasons (and 5 Tips) to Make Grilled Pizza Now

5 Reasons (and 5 Tips) to Make Grilled Pizza Now

Grilled pizza was created more than 30 years ago by George Germon and Johanne Killeen at their restaurant Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island. Flame-seared pies now turn up at innovative restaurants across North America—and around the world. So why is pizza even more irresistible when cooked on the grill? A grill, whether charcoal, wood-fired, or gas, comes the closest that most home cooks can get to achieving the high temperatures (700...

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The Feast: Porchetta Goes Whole Hog

The Feast: Porchetta Goes Whole Hog

Every once in a while, you come across an idea so original, so insanely mouthwatering, and just so darn cool, you shelve whatever else is on your grill or smoker to try it. Such is Michael Garcia’s porchetta, a whole hog skillfully boned, stuffed with fennel, garlic, herbs, and other seasonings, tied into a compact cylinder, spit-roasted, and served skin crackling crisp off the fire. Hey, if you do try it (I mean when you try it), send photos to the Barbecue Board. Thanks, Mike. –Steven...

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The 3-2-1 Method for Ribs

The 3-2-1 Method for Ribs

In a field as disorderly as barbecue, numbers bring a certain comfort. Perhaps that explains the popularity of the 3-2-1 method for cooking ribs. Not familiar with it? I first encountered the technique researching my book Ribs, Ribs, Outrageous Ribs. (Competition barbecuers sometimes call it the “Texas Crutch.”) In a nutshell, you break cooking ribs into 3 time blocks: • 3 hours of smoking unwrapped at 225 degrees, followed by • 2 hours...

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Iron Meets Smoke: Grilling on a Plancha

Iron Meets Smoke: Grilling on a Plancha

The Spanish call it plancha. Argentineans call it champa. I call it one of the best ways to marry the searing and crusting capabilities of a cast iron skillet with the intense heat and smoke flavor produced by your grill. A plancha is a sort of griddle—a thick, flat slab of cast iron you place on your grill for searing small or delicate foods like asparagus stalks, bay scallops, shrimp, fragile fish fillets, chicken livers, and yes, even diced poultry...

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How to Grill and Smoke Sausages: Contain Flare-Ups

How to Grill and Smoke Sausages: Contain Flare-Ups

In our last blog post we told you about 10 sausages from around Planet Barbecue you need to know about now. In this post we’ll tell you how to cook any sausage—fresh (raw), cooked, cured, or smoked, using a revolutionary new method pioneered by yours truly. Read on. The traditional way to grill sausages is directly over the fire. The traditional way to cook sausage often leads to colossal conflagrations and flare-ups. If you choose to direct grill your sausages (as most...

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