Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Grilling Techniques

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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Eat Your Words

Miami Spice E-Book Giveaway

Miami Spice E-Book Giveaway

I’ve got big news. In a time when hardly anything is free anymore, I’m giving something away. For this week only (through Monday), you can download my Miami Spice e-book by signing up for the Up in Smoke newsletter. In the newsletter, you’ll get biweekly news, culture, techniques, and tips that will help you become your best grilling self. The Miami Spice e-book offers over 200 recipes with the irresistible convergence of...

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Not Your Mom’s Meatballs

Not Your Mom’s Meatballs

Italians call them polpetti. The French name is boulettes. For Swedes they’re known as frikadeller, while Mexicans enjoy them as albondigas. Whatever you call them, you know a great meatball when you taste it: ground meat, bread, and seasonings combined into flavorful spheres that are substantial enough to satisfy you but not so dense they give you heartburn. So what makes a great meatball? Well, first there’s the...

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Just in Time for Mardi Gras—Gumbo Gets Smoked

Just in Time for Mardi Gras—Gumbo Gets Smoked

Little known fact about me: Long before I wrote Planet Barbecue or taped Primal Grill; long before I founded Barbecue University and launched the Best of Barbecue line of grilling accessories; long before I reviewed restaurants for Boston Magazine and penned a wine and spirits column for GQ, I majored in French literature and studied medieval cooking in Europe. One of my favorite paintings then—and now—was The Fight Between Carnival and Lent...

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