Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

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Planet Barbecue

Down the Hatch! Celebrate New Mexico’s Flame-Roasted Chiles

Down the Hatch! Celebrate New Mexico’s Flame-Roasted Chiles

On Saturday and Sunday, August 31 and September 1 -- Labor Day weekend -- 30,000 heat seekers will converge on tiny Hatch, New Mexico, for the 42nd annual Hatch Chile Festival. The town of Hatch, population 1680, is the self-proclaimed “Chile Capital of the World” -- and who are we to argue? A few years ago, I visited New Mexico during chile season, which lasts only a few weeks during August and September. As I noted in BBQ USA, “Every barbecue region...

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Hot Stuff

A Handful of Smoke & Pickles

A Handful of Smoke & Pickles

Everyone has a story and a recipe. We cherish them because they are our reinventions. Our recipes convey who we were, are, and want to be. And this is reflected in the food of the best cooks across America, in homes, restaurants, and backyards and at county fairs and tailgates. We are redefining the landscape of how we grow, harvest, name, and eat our very own sustenance. There is a rich diversity in our cuisine — this thing that, for lack of a better term, we call American Cuisine...

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Eat Your Words

High on the Hog — Make that Sheep!

High on the Hog — Make that Sheep!

“Memphis, Tennessee” evokes visions of dry rub baby backs. North Carolina makes mouths water for its pulled pork (whole hog in the eastern part of the state; pork shoulder in the west). Texas is ground zero for barbecued brisket, while the Pacific Northwest gave us the salmon roast. But Kentucky? If you’re like most Americans, you suspect they serve barbecue in Kentucky, but you’d probably be hard pressed to name a single Kentuckian barbecue specialty. This...

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Hot Stuff

The $100,000 Hamburger

The $100,000 Hamburger

They came from Macomb, Michigan, to Artesia, New Mexico; from Troy, Alabama to Brooklyn, New York. They shaped patties from hand-chopped salmon, home-made pork sausage, grass-fed ground beef, and Indian-spiced ground lamb. They grilled on Weber gas grills and charcoal kettle grills and served their burgers on sesame buns, biscuits, and pretzel rolls. And when the smoke cleared, one of the 10 contestants walked away with a check for $100,000. That...

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Eat Your Words

The Philosopher of Barbecue: Michael Pollan & His New Book Cooked

The Philosopher of Barbecue: Michael Pollan & His New Book Cooked

Every once in a while, you encounter a book that gives you a radical new perspective on a familiar subject. Case in point: Michael Pollan’s brilliant new Cooked: A Story of Transformation (Penguin Press)—especially the first 121 pages, which are devoted to a topic near and dear to this community’s hearts: barbecue. Spoiler alert: This is not a cookbook (although it does conclude with four iconic recipes). It’s a profound meditation on what cooking means—technologically,...

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Planet Barbecue

The Best Brisket in Texas? Franklin BBQ

The Best Brisket in Texas? Franklin BBQ

If you want to experience the best brisket in Austin and possibly all of Texas, eat at Franklin BBQ. It won’t be easy. You’ll line up at 8:30 in the morning outside a turquoise cinderblock building on a nondescript street corner. If you come in summertime, you may endure triple digit heat. Regardless of the time of the year, you’ll stand in line with 400 other barbecue addicts (doesn’t anyone in Austin work?) for 2 1/2 hours until the restaurant opens at 11 a.m. And...

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Barbecue University

The Pull of Pork & Its Sauces: 12 Must-Read Tips

The Pull of Pork & Its Sauces: 12 Must-Read Tips

It’s an icon of American barbecue—spice-blasted, hickory-smoked pork shoulder, torn or chopped into meaty shreds, electrified with peppery vinegar sauce (or elevated with a unique white barbecue sauce, as with Big Bob Gibson’s pulled pork sandwich, pictured above), topped with crunchy coleslaw, and piled on a butter-grilled bun. Of the “big three” of American barbecue (the other two being brisket and ribs), pork shoulder is the easiest to get right. You can indirect grill it. You can smoke it. You can even cook it on a rotisserie. It requires no split-second timing. It’s nearly impossible...

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Planet Barbecue

Man Bites Dog! Plus, 10 Top American Hot Dogs

Man Bites Dog! Plus, 10 Top American Hot Dogs

Americans love their dogs -- their hot dogs, that is -- consuming 7 billion of them each summer, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Some people will eat more than their share: Last year, the winner in the men's division of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest on Coney Island dispatched 68 at a single sitting. Frankfurters became part of the American diet in the late 19th century, introduced by German immigrants. They were traditionally precooked sausages made from finely ground or emulsified pork and/or veal, or beef;...

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Planet Barbecue

Raichlen on Regional-Style Ribs!

Raichlen on Regional-Style Ribs!

You might think that a rib is a rib is a rib -- throw enough spice and wood smoke in its general direction, and you'll wind up with respectable bones. The fact is that, while cooking ribs is not complicated, there's an enormous amount of technique, tradition, lore, and yes, science behind preparing the perfect bones. (And with these 22 rib tips, you too can up your game with slabs and bones!) Ribs possess many advantages. They offer gnawable bones that provide structure and flavor, presenting...

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Crash Course

Spit-Roasting Stands on Its Head

Spit-Roasting Stands on Its Head

Gyro. Doner. Shawarma. All are variations on a theme of spit-roasting—more precisely, on a rotisserie turned on its head. Gyro (as in our term “gyroscope”) refers to a popular Greek “fast” food: thin slices of spiced lamb (or lamb meatloaf) packed onto a spit and roasted on a vertical rotisserie to be thinly shaved by hand (a hand wielding a very large sharp knife) and piled onto a pita bread with yogurt and vegetables. The Turks call the preparation doner, adding their own unique Turkish seasonings and condiments. Shawarma...

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