Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Grilling Techniques

How to Make a Schwenker (German Swinging Grill)

How to Make a Schwenker (German Swinging Grill)

What’s the world’s best grill? In the U.S. the debate usually circles around charcoal versus gas. But as you travel around Planet Barbecue, you find a stunning array of wood burning grills. This week’s blog post—written by Paula Marcoux—focuses on a grill that enjoys cult status in Germany, but is virtually unknown elsewhere: a unique hanging grill called the schwenker. As for Paula, the culinary historian and former Colonial food ways manager at...

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How to Cook with Wood

How to Cook with Wood

The wood burning oven at Hartwood. Photo by Gentl & Hyers. For years I’ve heard reports of a remarkable restaurant in Tulum, Mexico—run by American expats—where all the cooking is done over wood fires, and the flavors explode in your mouth like fireworks in a 4th of July sky. Well, now you can experience the restaurant Hartwood and the timeless wisdom of wood fire cooking from founder-chef Eric Werner in a stunning new book called Hartwood, published by our sister publisher Artisan....

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Beef Brisket Made Easy

Beef Brisket Made Easy

Photo by Richard Dallett. Brisket. Few words have such power to make mouths water and stomachs roar with hunger. Brisket is the summum of Texas barbecue and its popularity extends far beyond the Lone Star State. Food writers and pit masters like to mystify the process, making smoking a brisket sound as difficult as quantum physics. Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Brisket is easy, requiring maybe 30 minutes of actual work from start to finish. True, that start to finish can stretch as long as 16 hours. But armed with the right tools (a sharp knife, a remote digital thermometer, and unlined butcher...

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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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