Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Posts Tagged ‘charcoal’

Under the Hood

How to Buy A Smoker, Part 2

How to Buy A Smoker, Part 2

If you own a charcoal grill with a tight-fitting lid, you already have a smoker. Simply set it up for indirect grilling, add wood chips or chunks to the coals, and you’re in business. (If you own a gas grill, you can add subtle smoke flavor to your food by using a smoking pouch or smoking box, but the grill’s rear vents will allow most of the smoke to escape.) There are some drawbacks, however. Because kettle grills are designed for grilling, it’s difficult to maintain an even heat at lower temperatures....

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Hot Stuff

Celebrate National Bratwurst Day!

Celebrate National Bratwurst Day!

Bratwurst have become a staple of American cuisine, with grilled brats topping the list of favorite summer foods for many. So much have brats made their impression in this country, we now have a National Bratwurst Day dedicated to this tube-shaped food. August 16th is the official day - our friends at Johnsonville have even created a storybook character dedicated to this celebration and titled the day Bratsgiving. How will YOU be celebrating? Here are some facts about the...

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Under the Hood

How to Buy A Smoker, Part 1

How to Buy A Smoker, Part 1

If you’d like to take the next step toward grilling enlightenment, fall is a good time to do it. Along with back-to-school promotions, many retailers are anxious to reduce their inventories of grilling hardware, meaning potential deep discounts for you. (A few years ago, my assistant, Nancy Loseke, scored a Weber Ranch for half price.) The first step is to select the right smoker for you. There are dozens of types and hundreds of individual models. The right smoker depends on your experience, goals, budget, and how many people you usually cook for—collectively called your smoker personality. Beginner:...

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Hot Stuff

Budget Grilling: Three Barbecue Bashes on the Cheap

Budget Grilling: Three Barbecue Bashes on the Cheap

Whether you’re entertaining houseguests for a long weekend, hosting twenty of your closest friends for a cookout, or trying to stick to a family food budget, here are ideas for backyard barbecues that won’t break the bank or burn through your money. Invite the gang over for breakfast or brunch: Not every party has to start after 5 p.m. In fact, breakfast or brunch often works out better for everyone—especially families—as most of the afternoon and evening are free for other things. And it can...

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Under the Hood

Ten Indispensable Tools for Great Grilling

Ten Indispensable Tools for Great Grilling

The first major grilling holiday of the summer—Memorial Day—is in the rearview mirror. Did you have all the tools you needed? Or were there some gaps in your tool kit? As anyone who has substituted the thin side of a dime for a proper screwdriver knows, the proper tools make all the difference. Here are ten I consider essential for grilling and smoking. Grill brush or scraper: It’s something you do every time you light your grill and get it ready for grilling. And every time when you’re finished. Scour the...

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Barbecue University™

Tips from Bush’s BBQ Bootcamp

Tips from Bush’s BBQ Bootcamp

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year: the time when we shed our scarves, break out the patio furniture, and gear up for some glorious summer grilling. If you’ve been avoiding your grill since the first signs of winter, or simply need a brush-up on your technique, below are a few of my favorite grilling tips to help you kick off the season the right way. (Below is Part 1 of 2, for Part 2 click here.) 1. Control the fire, don’t let it control you ...

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Grills We Love

Grills We Love: Arteflame

Grills We Love: Arteflame

If the mythic gods of fire had an earthly temple, the Arteflame grill could serve as its baptismal font. Its design, at once primeval and modern, symbolizes mankind’s relationship with the awesome power of fire. Company founder Michiel Schuitemaker, a charismatic, self-described “serial entrepreneur,” developed this singular grill to fill a need: When hosting barbecues, he longed for a stylish but functional grill that didn’t force him to turn his back...

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Techniques

Smart Smoking: Build a Long-Lasting Charcoal Fire

Smart Smoking: Build a Long-Lasting Charcoal Fire

Planet Barbecue’s most accomplished pit masters are what Steven calls “process-oriented.” In other words, the convenient push-button ignition and regulated fuel flow of gas and pellet grills and smokers hold little allure for them. They take immense pride in building a noble fire with wood and/or charcoal and maintaining it for the duration of the smoke session, sometimes dusk to dawn (or until the beer runs out). But the other night—as in the middle of the night—it occurred to me, as I pulled...

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Barbecue University™

Crash Course: 4 Ways to Control the Heat on a Charcoal Grill

Crash Course: 4 Ways to Control the Heat on a Charcoal Grill

How do you control the heat on a charcoal grill? Despite the volatile nature of a charcoal (or wood) fire, there are four effective ways to control the heat. Adjust the airflow: Most charcoal grills have vents on the bottom. Open the vents wide and you get more air and thus a hotter fire. Partially close the vents and you get less air and a cooler fire. Make sure the vents are open when you light your charcoal and set up the grill. If you have trouble starting a charcoal...

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Barbecue University™

Crash Course: How to Light a Charcoal or Wood Grill

Crash Course: How to Light a Charcoal or Wood Grill

Photo by Rob Baas. 3 Ways to Light a Charcoal Grill In the United States, you often hear the complaint that a charcoal grill takes too long to light. The truth is that if you have the right tools, charcoal is quick and easy to light, requiring little—if any—more time than it takes to preheat a gas grill. Here are three tried-and-true methods. A chimney starter: A chimney starter looks like a large coffee can or an upright metal box with a perforated partition inside. The charcoal goes in top; a crumpled...

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