Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Grilling Techniques

Techniques

Smart Smoking: Build a Long-Lasting Charcoal Fire

Smart Smoking: Build a Long-Lasting Charcoal Fire

Planet Barbecue’s most accomplished pit masters are what Steven calls “process-oriented.” In other words, the convenient push-button ignition and regulated fuel flow of gas and pellet grills and smokers hold little allure for them. They take immense pride in building a noble fire with wood and/or charcoal and maintaining it for the duration of the smoke session, sometimes dusk to dawn (or until the beer runs out). But the other night—as in the middle of the night—it occurred to me, as I pulled...

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Salt Brick Chicken and More

Salt Brick Chicken and More

Pollo al mattone (chicken under a brick) is one of the glories of Italian grilling. It’s so revered by Italian grill masters, that two food-obsessed cities claim its parentage: Florence and Rome. The theory is simple: you grill a spatchcocked chicken under a foiled brick. The weight of the brick compresses the meat, producing a firm, pleasing texture and crackling crisp skin. And the technique keeps delicate meats, like chicken breasts, from drying out on the grill....

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3-2-1 Ribs Revisited: Is It Time for New Math?

3-2-1 Ribs Revisited: Is It Time for New Math?

Most serious practitioners consider barbecue an art, the outcome of which depends on knowledge, skill, and intuition. Which is why I’m skeptical of formulaic approaches like the 3-2-1 method for cooking pork spare ribs. Last year, in what turned out to be one of my most visited blog posts to date, I wrote: And if you serve ribs cooked by the 3-2-1 method, 95 percent of the people who taste them will react with delight and will declare you a genius. ...

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The 10 Commandments of Smoking

The 10 Commandments of Smoking

Smoking is easy but it isn't always simple. I've broken down some of the essential concepts here. Follow these Ten Commandments and you'll master smoking in no time, and you'll have a lot of fun—and satisfaction—in the process. For more specifics on the fuels, equipment, and techniques to master, check out my book, Project Smoke. Pass along the wisdom: Download your favorites from the images below and share with your friends...

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For Labor Day: 10 Indispensable Tips for Grilling Sausage from Jake Klein

For Labor Day: 10 Indispensable Tips for Grilling Sausage from Jake Klein

Labor Day is fast approaching (after a weekend Project Smoke marathon on Create TV). Our approach? Keep it simple. That means sausage, lots of sausage. Interesting sausage. And when it comes to sausage grilling expertise, I turn to our house authority, my stepson, Jake Klein. Jake owns Jake’s Handcrafted, a Brooklyn sausage gastro-pub, where all the sausage is made and smoked on the premises. Traditional sausage, like Jake’s celebrated pepper- and mace-scented...

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Ribs in a Hurry: 5 Great Techniques

Ribs in a Hurry: 5 Great Techniques

Ribs—crusty with spices, fragrant with wood smoke, sizzling with fat and caramelized sauce—invoke the spirit of barbecue like no other meat. Plus, they are unabashedly fun to eat, channeling through our DNA the same hand-to-mouth pleasure our cave-dwelling ancestors experienced after they embraced the power of live-fire cooking. Bet you could go for a slab right now. But wait—it’s a weeknight. And ribs take hours and hours to cook, right? Yes and no. If you’re a devotee of the enormously...

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Filipino Barbecue: It’s in the Stuffing

Filipino Barbecue: It’s in the Stuffing

It gives me great pleasure to introduce this month’s guest blogger, Alex Paman. You may recognize his name from the Barbecue Board (and from my book Planet Barbecue). Alex is my go to guy when I want to know more about Filipino barbecue. And Filipino barbecue is one of the world’s best-kept food secrets. The following makes me hungry just to read about and I bet it will you, too. –Steven Lechon baboy (roast pig). The very words make a Filipino’s...

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Behind the Scenes at Barbecue University

Behind the Scenes at Barbecue University

It’s 6 a.m. and the sun is rising on the Cheyenne Mountain Lodge. In two hours, its huge patio will be overrun with people eager to survey the impressive collection of grills and smokers amassed for Day 1 of Barbecue University with Steven Raichlen at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There is much to be done before the students arrive. Chef Roland LaCroix, already running on caffeine and adrenalin, makes the long trek from the kitchen to the burn...

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Barbecue University™

Crash Course: 4 Ways to Control the Heat on a Charcoal Grill

Crash Course: 4 Ways to Control the Heat on a Charcoal Grill

How do you control the heat on a charcoal grill? Despite the volatile nature of a charcoal (or wood) fire, there are four effective ways to control the heat. Adjust the airflow: Most charcoal grills have vents on the bottom. Open the vents wide and you get more air and thus a hotter fire. Partially close the vents and you get less air and a cooler fire. Make sure the vents are open when you light your charcoal and set up the grill. If you have trouble starting a charcoal...

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Barbecue University™

Crash Course: How to Light a Charcoal or Wood Grill

Crash Course: How to Light a Charcoal or Wood Grill

Photo by Rob Baas. 3 Ways to Light a Charcoal Grill In the United States, you often hear the complaint that a charcoal grill takes too long to light. The truth is that if you have the right tools, charcoal is quick and easy to light, requiring little—if any—more time than it takes to preheat a gas grill. Here are three tried-and-true methods. A chimney starter: A chimney starter looks like a large coffee can or an upright metal box with a perforated partition inside. The charcoal goes in top; a crumpled...

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