Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Recipes & Techniques

Barbecue—The New Health Food?!

Barbecue—The New Health Food?!

Photo credit: Reprinted from The Barbecue! Bible. Photo copyright © Ben Fink. Barbecue—the new health food. Sounds like an oxymoron (if not heresy). Yet, travelling Planet Barbecue as I do several months a year, I’ve seen that, in many cultures, grilled meats are some of the leanest, meanest, healthiest entrees around. A lot of us have made resolutions to shed a few pounds in the wake of New Year’s. As for the best way to do this,...

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Barbecue University

Cocktails for Smoke Lovers

Cocktails for Smoke Lovers

By now, you know Raichlen’s rule: If a food tastes great baked, fried, or sautéed, it tastes even better grilled. Here’s the corollary: If a cocktail hits the spot shaken or stirred, it surely sips better smoked. Which brings us one of the hottest trends in American mixology these days: smoked cocktails. Smoke has been called the “umami of barbecue,” and it adds a character and complexity that can turn a cocktail you’ve drunk a thousand times into a drink...

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Barbecue University

The Ultimate Holiday Centerpiece—Prime Rib

The Ultimate Holiday Centerpiece—Prime Rib

This is it. The big kahuna. The ultimate centerpiece for a holiday dinner. The most majestic (and possibly expensive) piece of meat you will ever cook. The English know it as roast beef. Your butcher sells it as prime rib. I call it one of the best ways I know to create high drama (and possibly a little envy) when you bring this dark, crusty, sizzling, garlic- and rosemary-scented hunk o’ heaven to the table. Despite its power to shock and awe, prime rib is surprisingly easy to cook: It takes only...

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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: Keep...

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The Year of the Brisket

The Year of the Brisket

When I started in this business, barbecue mythology held that it took decades to master how to smoke a brisket properly, transforming this tough ornery muscle from the chest of the steer into meat so juicy it oozes when you press it and so tender you can cut it with the side of a fork. Today, some of America’s foremost brisket masters are still in their twenties (so much for decades of experience), and no, they did not grow up as scions of generations-old barbecue dynasties. Billy Durney of Hometown Bar-B-Que in Red Hook, Brooklyn, for example, ran a bodyguard agency before he became a pit master. Austin’s legendary Aaron...

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Barbecue University

Boston Butt Basics

Boston Butt Basics

Sorry, Stephen Hawking, but “the discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.” So wrote a French food philosopher named Brillat-Savarin in 1825 (yeah, the same Brillat who gave his name to the obscenely rich French cheese and a rum-soaked cake for dessert). I don’t know what dish the Frenchman had in mind, but for me it would have been pork butt. Sure, pork chops, ribs, tenderloin—even trotters and snouts—have added much to human happiness. But when it comes to sheer barbecue bliss, I snap my fat-slicked fingers for pork butt. Without...

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Barbecue University

The Secrets to the Best Thanksgiving Turkey Ever

The Secrets to the Best Thanksgiving Turkey Ever

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Especially when it comes to turkey. In our collective quest to find an antidote to the dry birds of Thanksgivings past, most of us have tried—at least once—a number of unconventional cooking techniques. Draping butter-soaked cheesecloth over the breast, for example. Or awkwardly flipping the bird from back to front and front to back as if it were a restless sleeper in the oven. Roasting the turkey in a buttered paper grocery bag....

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Barbecue University

Beer Can Turkey for Thanksgiving

Beer Can Turkey for Thanksgiving

You wouldn’t, would you—not with America’s most revered culinary emblem—Thanksgiving turkey? In this age of culinary iconoclasm, shouldn’t a few classics remain sacred? So don’t let a man with a can even get near a fowl so profoundly American, Benjamin Franklin wanted to make it our national bird. Well, recent times have broadened our definition of icons—and turkey. The latter has been ground into burgers, stuffed into hot dog and sausage...

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Barbecue University

The Raichlen Barbecue Playlist

The Raichlen Barbecue Playlist

Grilling on Martha's Vineyard with Tony Garnier I’ve never met Bob Dylan. But I’ve sure seen him in concert a lot and I’m always playing his music. So when I met his bass player, Tony Garnier, on Martha’s Vineyard, one year, and discovered that he’s nearly as grill obsessed as I am, I immediately invited him over for a barbecue. The guy can play, and man, does he make a mean gumbo. Over the years, I’ve met Frank Zappa (just off recording Absolutely Free) and Rod Stewart (way back when he was the singer for the Jeff Beck Group—remember them?). I never met Jim...

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Barbecue University

Pizza Hits the Grill

Pizza Hits the Grill

If barbecue traded on the stock market, I’d buy futures in grilled pizza. Flame-seared pies now turn up at innovative restaurants across North America—and around the world. Grill manufacturers sell a broad array of pizza accessories, from pizza stones to peels to cutters. The Companion Group—manufacturers of my Best of Barbecue and Planet Barbecue lines—recently created a new division called Pizzacraft, devote to the art of pizza on the grill. Wood-burning ovens are no longer the province solely...

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