Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Planet Barbecue

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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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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Planet Barbecue

The Barbecue Sauces of Europe

The Barbecue Sauces of Europe

A sauce has the power to transform the simplest grilled seafood or chicken into an event. You now know about regional American barbecue sauces and the sauces of South America. Today, we look at some of the best grilling condiments you may have never heard of: the barbecue sauces of Europe. Salsa Verde (Italy): Don’t confuse this one with Mexico’s tomatillo-based sauce of the same name. Italy’s venerable salsa verde (“green sauce”) includes all the components of a good vinaigrette, and more: freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley; olive oil (the best and freshest...

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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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Planet Barbecue

Raichlen’s 10 Best BBQ and Grill Restaurants of 2013

Raichlen’s 10 Best BBQ and Grill Restaurants of 2013

Barbecue’s golden age? That would be when such barbecue legends as Charlie Vergos grilled ribs in Memphis, Arthur Bryant smoked burnt edges in Kansas City, and Big Bob Gibson slathered chicken with white barbecue sauce in Decatur, Alabama. But if you’re waiting for me to complain that barbecue just isn’t what it used to be, guess again. It’s better. A new generation of pit masters, like Tim Rattray in San Antonio or Hugh Mangum in Manhattan, has taken over. Only now, they’re cooking with heritage pork, grass-fed beef, and organic or natural chicken. They respect tradition to a point (consider Aaron Franklin’s textbook brisket). But they’re also broadening our notion...

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Masters of Smoke—Hometown

Masters of Smoke—Hometown

Steven with Billy Durney in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where he serves brisket that would make a Texan envious and beef ribs that tip the scales at 1-1/4 pounds each! Billy Durney remembers the exact moment he embraced barbecue as the true religion. "I walked into Louie Mueller’s in Taylor, Texas. One bite of brisket and I knew this is who I want to be and this is what to do with my life." So the security expert (and former bodyguard for Oscar-nominated actresses and Grammy-award-winning...

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Planet Barbecue

The Raichlen Thanksgiving Menu

The Raichlen Thanksgiving Menu

Talk about irony. Ever wondered how turkey, that centerpiece of the American Thanksgiving feast, came to be named for a Muslim country in the Near East? Turkey was, indeed, native to the Americas—hunted in the wild by Massachusetts Indian tribes and domesticated on the Yucatan Peninsula by the Mayans. But when it came to marketing this New World food in Europe, the 17th century explorers and merchants named it for what had been a source of exotic foods and luxury goods for centuries:...

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An Oyster Roast on Samish Bay

An Oyster Roast on Samish Bay

The drive on Chuckanut Drive from Edison, Washington, to Bellingham takes you along some of the most stunning coastline on the West Coast. To your right, cool spruce forests. To your left Samish Bay, with jaw-dropping views of the San Juan Islands, the smokestacks of Anacortes, and the snowcapped Olympic Mountains behind them. It also takes you to Taylor Shellfish Farms—a fifth-generation oyster farm founded in 1890, where buttery kumamotos, briny shigokus,...

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A Yankee Grills Bratwurst

A Yankee Grills Bratwurst

Sometimes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Some years ago, I found myself at a book signing with a much larger crowd than expected. We had bratwurst -- provided by one of my TV sponsors at the time, Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage, LLC. We had a grill -- that mammoth kettle-on-steroids known as the Weber Ranch (the one so many of you have e-mailed us about). What we did not have was manpower -- trained volunteers able to cook the brats without turning...

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