Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Recipes

The World’s Best Hot Dog

The World’s Best Hot Dog

Photo by Rob BaasThis is a true story. My grandfather, Sam Raichlen (known to all by his nickname “Dear”), loved food like a man possessed. The short list of his favorites included Maryland steamed crabs, lox and eggs, gribenes (chicken cracklings), and his mother-in-law’s chocolate roll. (The latter was for him, perhaps, my great grandmother’s chief virtue.) As much as anyone in my family, it was Dear who inspired me to become a food writer. But as my grandfather...

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The Salsas of Mexico

The Salsas of Mexico

Photo (clockwise from left): Grilled Tomatillos by Taz; Pico de Gallo by jeffreyw; Mango Salsa by Maggie Hoffman Quick: what’s America’s preferred condiment? Ketchup? Mustard? Mayo? No, mis amigos: it’s salsa. Born in pre-Colombian Mexico, this ancient condiment uses every flavor blaster in the New World arsenal—chilies, tomatoes, alliums, citrus, even squash seeds. And if you think salsa comes solely tomato red or tomatillo green, you haven’t experienced melon, papaya, or pineapple salsa. You should. Think of salsa as edible house music: the mellow fruitiness of tomatoes or tomatillos (yes, botanically both are fruits) electrified by fresh or dried chilies. The buzz of fresh...

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Fire It Up for Passover

Fire It Up for Passover

At sundown on April 14, Jews all over the world will celebrate the start of Passover. I’ll be one of them. This eight-day holiday—my favorite in the Jewish calendar—commemorates the escape of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt and the settling of what would become Israel. It’s a bigger-than-life holiday full of cinematic events: building the pyramids, Pharaoh’s daughters finding baby Moses floating on the Nile, Moses transforming his staff into a serpent, the ten...

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Embrace the Popularity of Lamb

Embrace the Popularity of Lamb

Quick: What’s the world’s most popular grilled/barbecued meat? If you named beef or pork, guess again. On any given evening, probably more fires  around Planet Barbecue are lit to cook lamb (or mutton) than any other animal protein. You could start eating grilled lamb in Mauritania and Morocco and feast your way east through North Africa, southern Europe, the Greek Islands, Turkey, the Middle and Near East, and Central Asia, continuing on to the Indian subcontinent to Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand. ...

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Under the Hood

Spring Returns—And Not a Minute Too Soon

Spring Returns—And Not a Minute Too Soon

Polar vortexes. Texas hookers. Thunder sleet. If nothing else, this winter added new words to the nation’s weather vocabulary as it spread inconvenience and misery from Bozeman to Boston, from International Falls to Atlanta. But spring officially arrived Thursday, March 20—not a moment too soon. Many of you shoveled the path to your grill and kept smoking and grilling this winter. We salute you. And if you're just now waking your charcoal grill or smoker out of its winter hibernation, here’s what you...

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Eat Your Words

Miami Spice E-Book Giveaway

Miami Spice E-Book Giveaway

I’ve got big news. In a time when hardly anything is free anymore, I’m giving something away. For this week only (through Monday), you can download my Miami Spice e-book by signing up for the Up in Smoke newsletter. In the newsletter, you’ll get biweekly news, culture, techniques, and tips that will help you become your best grilling self. The Miami Spice e-book offers over 200 recipes with the irresistible convergence of...

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Planet Barbecue

Sauces, South American-Style

Sauces, South American-Style

“The best sauce in the world is hunger,” observed Cervantes. (La mejor salsa del mundo es la hambre.) I bet the author of Don Quixote never tasted Argentinean chimichurri or molho à companha from Brazil. Argentinians could no more imagine grilled beef without their tangy, garlicky, olive oil- and herb-based chimichurri than Brazilians could dig into traditional churrasco (a belt-loosening array of spit-roasted meats carved off sword-like spits directly onto your dinner plate) without a bowl of onion- and chile-laced molho à companha (country salsa). We North Americans may think we have a monopoly on barbecue sauce. But since the moment our prehistoric...

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Corned Beef Hits the Smoker

Corned Beef Hits the Smoker

It was just last week that we honored Carnival (“bye-bye meat,” literally) with a hot- smoked New Orleans-style gumbo. But there’s a reprieve on the horizon—the Feast of St. Patrick (which falls on Monday, March 17). That means a lot of Americans—Irish or not and Catholic or not—will consume prodigious quantities of whiskey, beer or stout, and corned beef. You can’t get more Irish than corned beef, right? Guess again. Corned beef brisket...

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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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Valentine’s Day with Heart

Valentine’s Day with Heart

Today is Valentine’s Day. I’m giving my wife a heart-shaped card (or at least a card decorated with hearts). If I’m smart, I’ll throw in a heart-shaped box of chocolates. The one thing I won’t do is serve her a dish that’s a barbecue icon in Peru and Bolivia, and that’s turning up grilled, or otherwise, served at an increasing number of cutting-edge restaurants in North America. I’m referring to beef, veal, lamb, and chicken hearts. Exhibit #1. The grilled lamb heart salad served at Portland, Oregon’s new temple...

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