Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Pork

Ham for the Holidays: Smoke a Ham at Home

Ham for the Holidays: Smoke a Ham at Home

Are you ready for the holidays? It’s a slippery slope after Halloween. First up, of course, is Thanksgiving. And we’ll be your resource for that as we’ll be posting a couple of options for turkey. (Spoiler alert: One speaks Italian.) But what would be more traditional, more welcome than a house-cured, house-smoked ham to sustain the household through the coming days? The seasonality of food, a given for our ancestors, mandated that meat be preserved through a variety of...

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The Pinnacle of Pork? Porchetta (or Porketta)

The Pinnacle of Pork? Porchetta (or Porketta)

During October, National Pork Month, we’ve featured pulled pork, 3-1-1 ribs, and shared our best recipes for pork steaks. But we saved the best for last: porchetta. Porchetta (pronounced “por-ketta”) is a spectacular roulade of pork—whole hog traditionally, or shoulder or loin—rich with crisp belly fat, blasted with garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and citrus zest. Ancient cookbooks housed in the Vatican library suggest porchetta, which was traditionally spit-roasted...

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Our Best Pork Chop Recipes

Our Best Pork Chop Recipes

Last week we celebrated National Pulled Pork Day with great enthusiasm, but don’t let the fun stop there! National Pork Month lasts the full month of October, and we present for your consideration another favorite pork dish—the pork chop. Pork ribs, pulled pork, and bacon may gain more attention when it comes to pork on your grill or in your smoker, but an expertly prepared moist and tender pork chop is a thing of beauty. Here are the most popular pork chop recipes on the website viewed by...

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3-2-1 Ribs Revisited: Is It Time for New Math?

3-2-1 Ribs Revisited: Is It Time for New Math?

Most serious practitioners consider barbecue an art, the outcome of which depends on knowledge, skill, and intuition. Which is why I’m skeptical of formulaic approaches like the 3-2-1 method for cooking pork spare ribs. Last year, in what turned out to be one of my most visited blog posts to date, I wrote: And if you serve ribs cooked by the 3-2-1 method, 95 percent of the people who taste them will react with delight and will declare you a genius. ...

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Celebrate Pulled Pork Day

Celebrate Pulled Pork Day

Who says our Congress does nothing? Both sides of the aisle came together to proclaim National Pulled Pork Day. It debuts on October 12, 2016. Forgive my cynicism. I couldn’t be more supportive of pulled pork. It is one of the glories of true barbecue, a miracle of meat, smoke, and fire. Oh, and one other thing: patience. The American South, from the Carolinas to Tennessee, is known for its pulled pork. Many people believe it’s an American invention....

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For Labor Day: 10 Indispensable Tips for Grilling Sausage from Jake Klein

For Labor Day: 10 Indispensable Tips for Grilling Sausage from Jake Klein

Labor Day is fast approaching (after a weekend Project Smoke marathon on Create TV). Our approach? Keep it simple. That means sausage, lots of sausage. Interesting sausage. And when it comes to sausage grilling expertise, I turn to our house authority, my stepson, Jake Klein. Jake owns Jake’s Handcrafted, a Brooklyn sausage gastro-pub, where all the sausage is made and smoked on the premises. Traditional sausage, like Jake’s celebrated pepper- and mace-scented...

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Cure Ribs in Ham Brine to Make Honey Ham Ribs

Cure Ribs in Ham Brine to Make Honey Ham Ribs

Photo by Richard Dallett. Combine the briny, smoky, umami flavors of country ham with the crusty, gnaw-off-the-bone pleasure of barbecued baby backs and you wind up with ham ribs. I wish I could say I thought of it, but I got the idea from a man utterly obsessed with pork, smoke, and fire: Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston, Texas. Curing the ribs in ham brine prior to smoking produces a gorgeous color, uncommon succulence (in the way most brine-cured meats...

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Ribs in a Hurry: 5 Great Techniques

Ribs in a Hurry: 5 Great Techniques

Ribs—crusty with spices, fragrant with wood smoke, sizzling with fat and caramelized sauce—invoke the spirit of barbecue like no other meat. Plus, they are unabashedly fun to eat, channeling through our DNA the same hand-to-mouth pleasure our cave-dwelling ancestors experienced after they embraced the power of live-fire cooking. Bet you could go for a slab right now. But wait—it’s a weeknight. And ribs take hours and hours to cook, right? Yes and no. If you’re a devotee of the enormously...

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For Your Easter Table: Ham in a Hurry

For Your Easter Table: Ham in a Hurry

Ham is hog’s leap to immortality. But that leap takes time. From a few weeks for your basic cooked ham to up to a year or more for a truly great dry-cured, cold-smoked ham like Italian speck or German schwartzwelder schinken (Black Forest ham). Even the “fast” version of the Smokehouse Shoulder Ham I demonstrated on Project Smoke last season requires a week of curing and 24 hours of smoking. But what if there was a ham you could cure in...

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Five Regional Barbecue Sauces for Pulled Pork

Five Regional Barbecue Sauces for Pulled Pork

Pork shoulder is one of the cornerstones of American barbecue—right up there with brisket and ribs. It’s certainly the most flexible: you can smoke it. Indirect grill it. Spit-roast it on a rotisserie. It’s also the most forgiving: it stays moist even when you overcook it. And in my book—make that books!—pulled pork is pork shoulder’s highest calling. Rubbed with salt and spices, blasted with wood smoke, periodically mopped with vinegar or beer, and finally, shredded with meat claws or pulled...

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