Hot Stuff

Our 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2020


One of our favorite New Year’s rituals here at Steven Raichlen, Inc., is to look back on the past year and identify the most searched barbecue topics, trends, and recipes on our website. This roundup, which includes the two blogs we publish weekly as well as nearly 1000 of Steven’s recipes, helps us understand how to be an even better resource for you in the future.

Here they are, the top 10!’s 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2020

1. 8 Steps to Making Your Own Bacon at Home

8 Steps to Making Your Own Bacon at Home

Once again, it was our guide to making bacon from scratch that received the most page views, indicating to us that grillers and smokers are up for new challenges. Most people are surprised to discover that making bacon at home is not difficult; it’s a series of simple steps that yields very rewarding results.

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2. Cold Smoked Salmon

Cold Smoked Salmon

Cold-smoking—an especially great technique for fish and cheese—seemed intimidating before the proliferation of devices like cold smoke generators and mazes or tubes, which enable you to smoke at temperatures below 100 degrees with modest investments of money or time. If you’ve never tried cold-smoking, this salmon, a staple in the Raichlen household, is a wonderful place to start.

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3. Salmon Candy

Salmon Candy

Salmon smoked at higher temperatures takes the third position in our lineup of popular recipes. This one, for salmon “candy,” produces an addictive product with a chewier texture and the sweetness of maple syrup. It makes superlative snack food and accompaniment to cocktails.

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4. First-Timer’s Ribs

First Timer's Ribs

Originally published in Steven’s book, Best Ribs Ever, this recipe is a crash course in how to add layers of flavor to something as simple as pork ribs. Tricks that take some pit masters years to learn—from rubs, to mops, to sauces—are revealed here.

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5. Whole Smoked Beef Tenderloin with Ember-Roasted Peppers

Whole Smoked Beef Tenderloin with Ember-Roasted Peppers

Visits to this recipe always spike around the holidays, and this year was no exception. If you like your beef tenderloin perfectly cooked to a sanguine medium-rare (about 125 degrees), you’ll appreciate the explicit instructions (including reverse-searing) in this reliable recipe. And the horseradish sauce? You won’t eat beef tenderloin without it again.

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6. Bourbon Brown Sugar Smoked Pork Loin

Bourbon Brown Sugar Smoked Pork Loin

Here it is—one of our most popular recipes of the decade. This pork loin plays pinball on your taste buds, offering the sweetness of brown sugar, the tang of mustard, and the rich smoke flavor of bacon (the bacon also helps keep the meat moist). And just for polish, there’s a Tennessee whiskey glaze.

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7. Barbecued Pork Belly

Barbecued Pork Belly

Americans are discovering what many Asian cultures have known for centuries—pork belly can aspire to much more than cured bacon. This unctuous cut has really come into its own during the past five years. This particular pork belly, rubbed with spices and bronzed with wood smoke, is a must-have in your barbecue repertoire.

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8. Grilled Prime Rib with Garlic & Rosemary

The words “prime rib” and “foolproof” seldom appear in the same sentence. In fact, there are few cuts of meat that strike more fear in a cook’s heart than prime rib. Not only is it expensive, it’s a special occasion meat for most of us, meaning our experience with it is limited. Here is a recipe that will eliminate the fear factor. Studded with garlic and rosemary, it’s enough to make any carnivore swoon with pleasure.

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9. Made-from-Scratch Bacon

Made-from-Scratch Bacon

Bacon makes a second appearance in our “Top Ten,” a testament to its continuation of its enormous popularity. The hardest part will be finding a 3 to 4 pound hunk o’ pork belly. (Whole Foods has been a dependable source for us.)

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10. Bacon-Smoked Brisket Flat

Bacon-Smoked Brisket Flat

And of course, brisket made our list, too. But in 2020, few people found the need for a whole packer brisket (which can weigh up to 18 pounds), meaning brisket flats surged in popularity. Never smoked one before? Check out this recipe. Bacon (there’s that word again) helps keep it moist.

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