Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

World BBQ

Tonight: Fabulous Fish Tacos

Tonight: Fabulous Fish Tacos

Whether you’re observing the last Friday of Lent by abstaining from meat or simply looking for lighter dining options now that spring’s officially launched, take a cue from south-of-the-border: serve grilled fish tacos tonight. (The community fish fry will get along just fine without you.) In coastal Mexico, from the Baja peninsula to the Yucatán, fish tacos are not so much a recipe as an appetizing equation: fish + wrappers + condiments = fish tacos. Consequently, they’re infinitely customizable. There’s the protein: impeccably fresh fish, minimally...

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Planet Barbecue

Jamaica: Where Smoke and Fire Meet the Caribbean

Jamaica: Where Smoke and Fire Meet the Caribbean

As spring slowly approaches, imagine yourself in sunny Jamaica, where spicy jerk is the star of the barbecue scene. We're continuing with our series of grilling destinations around the world (see what Argentina and Singapore have to offer) as featured in my book, Planet Barbecue! When it comes to barbecue, Jamaica has only one trick up its sleeve. But, oh, what a trick. I’m talking, of course, about Jamaica’s national dish—and cultural icon—jerk. Once you’ve tasted this fiery smoke-roasted...

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Try This: Smoked Mexican Barbacoa

Try This: Smoked Mexican Barbacoa

You could call it Mexico’s version of soup and a sandwich. But you would be seriously understating barbacoa’s charms. Few Americans—with the exception of some who hail from South Texas—have ever tried barbacoa (Or even heard of it.) And those who have can’t be sure if they’ve had an authentic experience or not. Because like so many dishes in the barbecue pantheon, barbacoa has been reinterpreted by contemporary cultures—in Mexico alone, from Puebla to the Yucatán, it has morphed into something...

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Planet Barbecue

Singapore: Crossroads of Asian Grilling

Singapore: Crossroads of Asian Grilling

Next week and beyond, Chinese and many other Asian cultures will celebrate Lunar New Year (more commonly known as Chinese New Year), and Singapore—one of the biggest multicultural foodie destinations in the world despite it being such a tiny island—will join in on the festivities. Here’s an excerpt from my cookbook Planet Barbecue! that’ll make you want to try grilled food from all over Asia. What would you call a place where you could breakfast on grilled bread with...

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Planet Barbecue

Argentina: World’s Champion Beef Eaters

Argentina: World’s Champion Beef Eaters

This year we’re introducing a mouth-watering new series on the blog: smoke-and-fire hotspots all around the world, as featured in my cookbook Planet Barbecue! Today we’ll focus on Argentina, arguably the biggest steak culture in the world. Next up will be Singapore, just in time for the Lunar New Year. The stats are in and the winner is ... Argentina. No other country consumes more beef. Last year, Argentineans consumed an average of 154 pounds per person—compared to 89.8 pounds...

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Steak Gets Stuffed: Stuffed Steaks from Around Planet Barbecue

Steak Gets Stuffed: Stuffed Steaks from Around Planet Barbecue

When it comes to steak, most people argue for simplicity. Buy the best beef you can afford—preferably prime, dry-aged, or grass-fed. Season it liberally with coarse salt and cracked black pepper, and grill over a hot fire (preferably wood) until the outside is just this side of charred and the inside is rare but warm. You’ll let it rest for a few minutes, of course, before digging in. Other grilling cultures around the world see steak differently. They don’t hesitate to stuff it with bold compatible...

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How to Make a Schwenker (German Swinging Grill)

How to Make a Schwenker (German Swinging Grill)

What’s the world’s best grill? In the U.S. the debate usually circles around charcoal versus gas. But as you travel around Planet Barbecue, you find a stunning array of wood burning grills. This week’s blog post—written by Paula Marcoux—focuses on a grill that enjoys cult status in Germany, but is virtually unknown elsewhere: a unique hanging grill called the schwenker. As for Paula, the culinary historian and former Colonial food ways manager at...

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Gazpacho Hits the Grill

Gazpacho Hits the Grill

Photo by Richard Dallett. Triple digit heat across the Midwest and Europe. Drought in California. Wildfires throughout the West. 2015 is shaping up to be one of the most torrid summers on record, and that’s before you factor in the heat of the grill. For years, I’ve relied on a simple remedy from the garden to beat the heat—a sort of a cross between a cold soup and salad. The Spanish call it gazpacho. I call it the most refreshing...

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12 Bad Dogs: The Hot Dog Goes Global

12 Bad Dogs: The Hot Dog Goes Global

National Hot Dog Day is Thursday, July 23. Now you know. Time to teach that old dog some new tricks. And doing the teaching: my cousin, David Raichlen. (Perhaps you know his chocolate chipotle ribs in my book Best Ribs Ever.) Anthropology professor at the University of Arizona by day (he’s currently in Tanzania researching hunter gatherers), and barbecue addict nights and weekends, Dave introduced me to a cross-cultural food phenomenon taking southern Arizona by storm: the Sonoran hot dog. Said dog comes wrapped and cooked in bacon, jammed onto a soft sweet roll under a deluge of charros (stewed beans), grilled green onions and jalapeños,...

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Sweet Corn Around the World: 10 Globally Inspired Recipes

Sweet Corn Around the World: 10 Globally Inspired Recipes

I grew up in Iowa where we harbored rather provincial ideas about sweet corn. As far as we were concerned, there was just one way to do it: fill a speckled enamel pot with water and a spoonful of sugar, put the pot over a quick flame, then trot out to the garden to pick and husk the corn. We’d boil the ears for three minutes, then remove them to a platter with tongs. At the table, we’d jab the ends of the ears with twin-pronged corn holders, impale a cube of cold butter on the end of a fork, and run it over the steaming, tightly packed kernels. A sprinkle of table salt and black pepper, and you were...

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