Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Grilling Techniques

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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Barbecue University

Prime Rib Meets Grill—The Conclusion

Prime Rib Meets Grill—The Conclusion

So now you know how to shop for a prime rib and how to French it, tie it, and season it. There are at least three ways to cook this hunka-hunka roast on the grill or in the smoker—all of them excellent. Spit-roasting: Spit-roasting is my hands-down favorite method for cooking prime rib. Thanks to the slow gentle rotation, the meat cooks evenly and bastes in its own melting fat. Extra points if you spit-roast on a charcoal grill because you can toss wood chips on the coals, giving the you...

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Barbecue University

Boston Butt Basics, Part 2

Boston Butt Basics, Part 2

In the last blog, Boston Butt Basics, Part 1, we discussed the anatomy of pork shoulder. So now you know the difference between a Boston butt and a picnic. You know what to look for when buying pork shoulder and you read how to season it with a mustard rub, smoke it, and serve it, South Carolina-style with Mustard Sauce. So it’s time to, er, bone up on pork shoulder grilling and smoking techniques and some basic prep before you fire up the grill. Prepping a pork shoulder:...

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Barbecue University

Spit-Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey That’s Got Mojo

Spit-Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey That’s Got Mojo

For me, the big question for Thanksgiving is what’s the best way to cook turkey. Over the years, I’ve tried dozens of methods, from roasting, baking, braising to deep-frying. As you might imagine, my current favorite method involves building a fire—specifically, firing up a smoker or a grill. Over the next month, I’ll be sharing with you my favorite live-fire cooked turkeys. To get you started—here’s a adobo-marinated, mojo-sauced,...

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Planet Barbecue

A Live-Fire Romance with OX Restaurant in Portland

A Live-Fire Romance with OX Restaurant in Portland

As Greg Denton tells it, “we fell in love over the grill. The year was 1999; the place Terra restaurant in Napa Valley. The Vermont-born, Culinary Institute of America-trained chef took one look at one of his co-workers—a statuesque Ecuadorian-American named Gabrielle Quinonez—and vowed to make her his wife. (They're pictured, above.) A decade later, the couple honeymooned in Spain’s Basque country, making the obligatory visits to the touted temples of molecular cuisine. (“Left us...

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Barbecue University

Grilled Sausages — No More Flare Ups!

Grilled Sausages — No More Flare Ups!

Say it ain’t so: Pinkberry in the North End?! When I lived in Boston, this warren of winding streets was our Little Italy, and you’d no more go there for yupscale yogurt than you’d root for the Yankees at Fenway Park. If you happened to come here during a street festival, like the Feast of Saint Anthony, you’d know you weren’t in Kansas—or even Boston—anymore. Crowds thronged streets once trod by Paul Revere. The soundscape was a cacophony of religious processions and street singers. As for the taste of the North End, more than 100 vendors and pushcarts sold everything...

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Barbecue University

The 10 Commandments of Perfect Grilling

The 10 Commandments of Perfect Grilling

BE ORGANIZED. Have everything you need at grillside—the food, marinade, basting sauce, seasonings, and equipment—before you start grilling. GAUGE YOUR FUEL. There’s nothing worse than running out of charcoal or gas in the middle of grilling. When using charcoal, light enough to form a bed of glowing coals three inches larger on all sides than the surface area of the food you’re planning to cook. (A 22 1/2-inch grill needs one chimney starter’s worth of coals.) When...

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