Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Grilling Techniques

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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Belly Up to Steak

Belly Up to Steak

Photo by BBQ Board member Dyal_SC The Spanish name says it all. Fajita, literally “girdle.” This robust steak from the underbelly of the steer (we call it skirt steak) has everything a carnivore hungers for: a bold flavor and no-nonsense texture you can sink your teeth into at a price you can afford. Anyone can look like a genius cooking a tender filet mignon. It takes skill—even cojones—to turn out a good skirt steak. The skirt belongs to a family of cheap, fibrous, big-flavored steaks...

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Grilling in the Chinese New Year

Grilling in the Chinese New Year

Two men celebrating with bak kua (grilled pork jerky) While many of us were preparing for Super Bowl parties last weekend, the Chinese welcomed a bronco of a different sort: the Year of the Horse. Fortunately, it’s not too late to celebrate the Chinese New Year: Festivities last for 15 days, making this the longest holiday on the Chinese calendar. Perfect for guys like me, who despite the best intentions, don’t always post holiday cards on time. My first impulse is to celebrate...

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Embrace the Cold-Weather Griller in You

Embrace the Cold-Weather Griller in You

Quick, when it snows, what do you shovel first: the path to your car or the path to your grill? Believe it or not, when I was growing up, people routinely retired their grills after Labor Day. Times have changed. Whether it’s due to a protracted appetite for the smoky flavors of summer or the continued need for barbecue bragging rights all year long, live-fire cooking outdoors has become a four-season obsession. You might wonder why you’d take winter...

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Barbecue University

The Ultimate Indoor Grill—Your Fireplace

The Ultimate Indoor Grill—Your Fireplace

This winter is one for the record books, with weather so cold in the Northeast, it even stopped Niagara Falls in its tracks. An unexpected reminder of how dependent we are on the grid for warmth, water, and, of course, the ability to produce hot food. While I’d normally advocate shoveling a path to the grill to cook when the power’s out—easy for a Miami-based guy to say, right?—no one should be outdoors in dangerously cold conditions. But you don’t have to forsake the satisfying flavors of smoke and...

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