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Cool Things to Do With Hot Peppers on the Grill

UP IN SMOKE
Cool Things to Do With Hot Peppers on the Grill
August 6, 2013
Dear Up in Smoke Subscriber,

Quick: Name something you can pick up at any produce stand or grow in your garden that can be used as a weapon. Hint—it’s not the club-like zucchini your neighbor leaves on your doorstep in the dead of an August night. The answer is—drum roll, please—a chile pepper.

Weapon? Yes, the colorful fruits of the chile pepper plant have actually become part of at least one country’s military arsenal. In addition to being the active ingredient in pepper spray used by law enforcement and vigilant women, chiles’ volatile compounds have now been incorporated into non-lethal grenades in India. If you have ever inadvertently touched your eye or other sensitive parts after handling chile peppers, you can imagine how a chile pepper attack would stop you, er, cold.

Where does that tongue-searing, sinus-clearing burn come from? Chile peppers contain a compound called capsaicin and related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids, which bind with pain receptors in the mouth and throat and send a message to the brain that something hot has been ingested. In humans, the heart rate increases and beads of sweat—called “gustatory perspiration”—appear on the forehead. Sweating, of course, is the body’s way of cooling itself, which is one reason hot peppers are so popular in the steamy tropics, particularly within 20 degrees of the equator. With record-breaking heat afflicting much of the U.S., you can test out this theory at your next barbecue.

Victims of chile pepper pain often reach for water, beer, or soda pop to quench the fires. But in fact, these liquids make things worse as they spread the hot oils around. Dairy products—milk, cream, yogurt, etc.—are a much more effective antidote as they break the bonds between the pain receptors and the capsaicinoids.

If you are a discerning taster, you’ll discover that beyond a chile’s heat are other flavors, sometimes described as sweet, floral, citrusy, etc. In fact, the high dry heat of the grill generally sweetens chile peppers, tempering their incendiary tendencies.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy chili peppers on the grill is as poppers (stuffed jalapenos). Try making these Bacon-Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers with my Best of Barbecue Chile Pepper Roasting Rack. Its unique design holds 18 peppers upright so the filling doesn’t spill out, and it comes with a handy tool for coring the peppers.

Make them at your next cookout along with this recipe for fiery Jamaican Jerk Chicken. You can find more recipes that feature chiles in my book Planet Barbecue! And in the meantime, here are 15 sizzling chile pepper facts and grilling tips for impressing people at your next cookout!

CHECK OUT THESE PRODUCTS FOR GRILLING CHILE PEPPERS!

Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen


Barbecue Sauce Road Trip

UP IN SMOKE
Barbecue Sauce Road Trip
July 23, 2013
BBQ Sauce
Dear Up in Smoke Subscriber,

Most people think the landscape of American barbecue sauce is as flat as the drive from Toledo to Omaha. Their description of it? Rusty red. Decidedly sweet and ketchup-y. Too thick to pour without pounding the bottom of the bottle with the flat of your hand.

The quintessential American barbecue sauce? Not on your life.

In fact, tell me the kind of barbecue sauce YOU like, and I’ll make a pretty accurate guess where you live. There are almost as many unique regional barbecue sauces as there are distinctive accents, y’all. Every aspiring pit master should be familiar with them. Or at least know how spill them strategically on his laminated map of the U.S. of A.

The sauce described above? That’s pure Kansas City. Where ketchup and molasses officially entered into holy matrimony. Sweet with brown sugar, piquant with vinegar, and punctuated with a generous dose of liquid smoke, this popular style of sauce was one of the first barbecue sauces to be sold in stores. (Believe it or not, 100 years ago, you could not buy commercially bottled barbecue sauce.) It has a flavor profile familiar to almost all Americans born after World War II—people who have eaten ribs or chicken grilled in the backyard slathered with KC Masterpiece.

Rich Davis
If this sweet smoky condiment comes to mind when you say “American barbecue sauce,” there is one man to thank: Dr. Rich Davis. The child psychiatrist turned sauce mogul had a lifelong fascination with barbecue and he tinkered with the family sauce recipe for decades. His sauce, KC Masterpiece, went on sale in 1977. (It was subsequently purchased by Clorox, which still manufactures it today.) Delectable in its own right, the stuff is infinitely customizable: On my website BarbecueBible.com and in my book Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, for example, you’ll find Dr. Davis’ Chinese-inspired “Great Wall Barbecue Sauce“—made with anise seed, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and, you guessed it, KC Masterpiece.

Commercially, it proved to be much more successful than another Davis creation—”Muschup”—a mustard and ketchup blend that did not resonate with the grilling public. Which goes to show that while lightening might strike once, it very rarely strikes twice in the same place.

Memphis BBQ
Now if you’re burning rubber in search of sauce, take I-70 east or west or I-35 north or south out of Kansas City, and you’ll find 7 more must-try regional barbecue sauces.

Are these the only sauces popular in the U.S.? No, and in a future Up in Smoke, we’ll look at the barbecue sauces served in Santa Maria, California, Upstate New York, and my winter stomping grounds, Miami. After that, we’ll take up the barbecue sauces of South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. For barbecue sauce is a big subject—so big you could write a book on it. In fact, I did! It’s called Barbecue Bible Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades (Workman Publishing), available as an e-book, too.

Too tired or busy to make barbecue sauce from scratch? Sometimes you just want to open a bottle. Which is why I created the Best of Barbecue sauce line, loosely based on regional American classics.

Best of Barbecue Lemon Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce is my family’s favorite—a tangy and smoky sweet-lemony sauce in the tradition of KC Masterpiece that goes great on everything from chicken to ribs to pork shoulder. GET IT NOW!

Best of Barbecue Chipotle Molasses Barbecue riffs on the chili-blasted sauces of Texas and the Southwest. Brisket and beef ribs would be sorry stuff without it. GET IT NOW!

Best of Barbecue Smoky Apple Barbecue Sauce pays homage to Missouri-Indiana apple country barbecue. Apple cider, brown sugar, and a hint of cinnamon make this a perfect sauce for barbecued chicken and baby back ribs. GET IT NOW!

Best of Barbecue Smoky Mustard Sauce is what results when a Yankee takes on South Carolina mustard barbecue sauce. I’ve yet to meet a pork shoulder, whole hog, chicken, or grilled salmon that wasn’t glorified in its presence. GET IT NOW!

Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen

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Green Meets Grill

UP IN SMOKE
Green Meets Grill
July 9, 2013
Dear Up in Smoke Subscriber,

A woman I know (she may be my wife) observes the following about barbecue and gender: “Let’s see, I pick the date for the barbecue, invite the guests, do the shopping, prep the ingredients, make the salads, and set the table. My husband lights the grill and chars a few steaks. Then I do the clean-up, package the leftovers, and send everyone on their way. So who’s really the family grill master?”

Well, ladies, this newsletter will lighten your load: Next time let us grill the salad.

Grilling Romaine
Grilled salad? Crisp cool greens over fiery coals? It sounds like an oxymoron. But you know the BarbecueBible.com credo: If something tastes great raw, roasted, or tossed, it probably tastes better grilled. And in my barbecue world, we cook the entire meal—even the salad course—on the grill. Plus, grilled salads just look and taste so compelling. In fact, one of my favorites is this grilled Caesar salad—inspired by Walt’s Wharf restaurant in Seal Beach, California. If you think a conventional Caesar salad tastes good, wait until you singe halved heads of crisp fresh romaine lettuce over a hot fire, infusing the leaves with sweet scent of wood smoke.

Grilled Pepper Salad
Another salad you have to try is one of the innumerable variations on a theme of grilled pepper salad. Argentineans dress up flame-roasted red bell peppers with garlic and anchovies (check out the recipe from a La Brigada in Buenos Aires), while Sicilians dust their pepper salads with pine nuts and capers.

Grilling Vegetables
You can roast peppers on a gas or charcoal grill, but my favorite method is caveman style: grilled directly on the embers without the grill grate. Char them until coal black on all sides. (Arm yourself with extra long tongs and heavy-duty grill gloves. This method is especially well suited to beginners (or the grilling impaired), because the blacker you roast the peppers, the sweeter they will be. Transfer the peppers to a metal or earthenware surface (never plastic or wood, lest stray embers burn them) to cool, then scrape off the burnt skins with a paring knife. Leave a few bits of black for color and flavor.

Of course, for a more substantial salad, you can always pair grilled greens or vegetables with grilled proteins, like steak, chicken, shrimp, tuna, etc.—a combination that’s particularly inviting on a hot summer day or night. And at least once this summer, you should try Thailand’s electrifying yam nua yang—spicy grilled beef salad—which is assertively seasoned with chiles, mint leaves, fish sauce and peanuts.

Greens meet grill. The next time you make a salad, fire up your grill. Who knows, maybe your wife will even let you take the credit.

Do YOU have a grilled salad you’re fired up about? Share photos and details on the Barbecue Board!

Last, don’t miss this Twitter chat this Thursday! Join me and Weber Grills to discuss Grilling Dos and Don’ts with Jamie Purviance on 7/11 at 8pm ET. Use hashtag #grillitright on Twitter to join the conversation.

Yours in righteous grilling,

Steven Raichlen

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Grilled Pound Cake
THIS JUST IN!

Here’s a special surprise for the mother of all grill masters: Enter Workman Publishing’s “Summer Berry Bonanza Sweepstakes” on the TheMom100.com site for a chance to win $100 in coupons from Driscoll’s Berries! Imagine what you could make with all those berries? Hmmm, how about this Grilled Pound Cake with Berry Salsa and Tequila-Whipped Cream!


Steven Raichlen’s Ultimate July 4th Menu!

UP IN SMOKE
Steven Raichlen’s Ultimate July 4th Menu!
Plus, Enter to Win a Sweepstakes

June 25th, 2013
Roasted Berry Crisp

Dear Up in Smoke Subscriber,

No, your eyes haven’t deceived you: You’re staring at a Smoke-Roasted Berry Crisp (pictured, above). It’s just one of the sweet yet smoky surprises we have for you this Independence Day. In honor of the Fourth of July, we’re also offering you the chance to win a sweepstakes with a grand prize (pictured, below) that includes my Best of Barbecue® spices, grilling tools, an eBook set of my books Best Ribs Ever; How to Grill; Barbecue! Bible: Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades; BBQ USA; and Secrets of the World’s Best Grilling (only available for the iPad), and much more. Click here to enter the BarbecueBible.com Sweepstakes now!

Sweepstakes
We had to do something special for Independence Day, the busiest day of the year for firing up the grill. If you want to keep step with tradition, try my three twists on America’s three most popular July 4th foods—burgers (try The Great American Hamburger), hot dogs (try these “Hot” Dogs), and steaks (try these Tucson T-Bones). And let’s not forget our primal hunger for ribs, ribs, ribs, prepared in a number of regional-specific ways across the U.S. With this First-Timer’s Ribs recipe and these 22 expert tips, you’ll always make perfect ribs.

But what you may not realize is how long our country has been celebrating July 4th with barbecue or how diverse the “traditional” July 4th menu really is.

History buffs know that our modern word “barbecue” comes from barbacoa, the Taino Indian word for a wooden frame built over a fire for smoke-roasting game and seafood. By the 17th century, barbecues were so popular in colonial Virginia, laws were passed to prevent the reckless discharge of firearms at pig roasts. (Even back then, we Americans had a dual obsession with guns and smoked meat.) Here’s how Englishman Isaac Weld described a Virginia barbecue in the late 1700s:

“It consists in a large party meeting together, either under some trees, or in a house, to partake of a sturgeon or pig roasted in the open air, on a sort of hurdle over a slow fire … it generally ends in intoxications.”

In fact, George Washington was no slouch when it came to “barbicue,” attending as many as he could. (His diary records one particularly memorable grill session in Alexandria, Virginia, that lasted three full days.) Decades later, when the triumphant general accepted the surrender of British General Cornwallis at Yorktown, spontaneous barbecues were staged all over the country to celebrate America’s independence.

Here at the Raichlen home on Martha’s Vineyard, my July 4th barbecue has deep personal significance. I’m always on tour during May and June, so it’s the first time in weeks I get to spend time with my family. We build most of our menu around local and seasonal foods: clams dug in Cape Pogue Bay that morning; organic chicken from The Farm Institute, in Edgartown, Massachusetts; asparagus from Morning Glory Farm, also in Edgartown; and blueberries picked from the bushes that line our driveway.

There’s one dish you might be surprised to find on our menu: planked salmon. July was once prime salmon season in New England during the Colonial period, and July remains prime time for the gorgeous wild Sockeye, Copper River, and King salmon of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

So here’s the Raichlen family menu for July 4th, 2013!

Clams
We hope it inspires your family’s menu. In the meantime, we wish everyone a star-spangled—and safe—Independence Day.

Grilled Littleneck Clams with Linguiça

Planked Salmon with Maple-Mustard Glaze

Barbecued Chicken

Lemon-Sesame Asparagus Rafts

Smoke-Roasted Berry Crisp

Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen

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FREE Barbecue! Bible® eBook, Plus More Discounts!

Up in Smoke
FREE Barbecue! Bible® eBook,
Plus More Discounts!

June 11th, 2013
Dear Up in Smoke Subscriber,

We’re in the heart of grilling season, and Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 16th! To celebrate, we have blog posts on what three barbecue masters plan to teach their kids about live fire cooking and 10 tools you need for Father’s Day. Plus, Workman Publishing has some very special deals for our BarbecueBible.com community, too.

All month long, Workman is offering a FREE eBook download excerpted from my book Barbecue! Bible®. See below for details.

Grilling with Veggies
One Free Veggie Primer from Barbecue! Bible®

Whether you’re hungry for artichoke, mushrooms, potatoes, or eggplant, vegetables belong on the grill. This sampler teaches you how to grill them perfectly every time.

To receive your free download, sign up for Workman’s Blue Plate Special by clicking here. You’ll be sent a newsletter once a month informing you about a hunger-inducing selection of discounted eCookbooks. You can unsubscribe at any time, but we’re confident the newsletter will whet your interest and appetite. Check it out here.

But that’s not all! Throughout the month of June, we’re also slashing prices on the eBook editions of three of my most popular cookbooks as part of Workman’s Blue Plate Special. No matter what device you use to connect to the Internet or your favorite online retailer, you’ll be able to purchase these books, all month, for the can’t-be-beat price of $2.99 each. Tell your friends. Tell your family. But definitely don’t tell any competitive grillers near you. And don’t forget to get one or more of these eBooks for Father’s Day as a gift for your dad, your husband, or for yourself!

If you already own hard copies of my books, chances are they’ve gotten a little sauce-stained or seared around the edges. This is a great opportunity to back them up with mobile versions you can consult at the grocery store, the office, or wherever your travels on Planet Barbecue may take you.

Three Cookbooks for $2.99 Each*

How to Grill How to Grill
A classic and international bestseller. My step-by-step, photo-by-photo primer that covers all the essential techniques of barbecuing and grilling.GET THE BOOK
Amazon | Apple | B&N | Kobo | Google | Sony
Sauces Barbecue! Bible® Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters & Glazes
My round the world collection of barbecue sauces, rubs, and other flavor-builders—plus, learn how to balance acid, oil, and aromatics in your homemade sauces and marinades.GET THE BOOK
Amazon | Apple | B&N | Kobo | Google | Sony
Best Ribs Ever Barbecue! Bible®Best Ribs Ever
One hundred of the most lip-smacking, mouth-watering, crowd-pleasing, fall-off-the-bone recipes for every kind of rib.GET THE BOOK
Amazon | Apple | B&N | Kobo | Google | Sony
And finally, in celebration of the fact that one of my James Beard Award–winning cookbooks, BBQ USA, recently became available as an eBook, here’s a recipe for Bourbon-Brined Chicken from the heart of Kentucky. BBQ USA

Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen

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Chat with Steven LIVE!
On June 26th from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST, join @SRaichlen and host @JohnTEdge on Twitter to learn more about regional grilling and BBQ around the USA — and get your questions answered LIVE! Click here to find out more.


World's Best Grilling
*A note to readers outside the United States: At the present time, your ability to purchase the featured eBooks will vary depending upon your IP address and the given retailer. If you are having difficulties purchasing a discounted eBook, please try ebooks.com; if you are having problems downloading a free eBook, please send an email to webmaster@workman.com. BARBECUE! BIBLE® is a registered trademark of Steven Raichlen and Workman Publishing Co., Inc.


Celebrate National Hamburger Day!

Up in Smoke
CELEBRATE
NATIONAL HAMBURGER DAY!

May 28th, 2013
Dear Up in Smoke Subscriber,

No doubt you enjoyed a burger or six over the long Memorial Day weekend, but don’t put down the buns just yet, because the celebration isn’t over. It’s National Hamburger Day today, May 28th!

Not that Americans require a proclamation to enjoy burgers. Half of us eat burgers at least one a week, either at home or in restaurants, which translates to several billion burgers per year. But they’re not your Daddy’s burgers: The original American hamburger concept is more than a century old, yet industry watchdogs report some exciting new trends:

    • Consumers want their burgers made with higher-quality meats than the mince associated with hamburgers’ humble origins. Terms like “grass-fed,” “Angus,” “organic,” “free range,” and “never frozen” are now part of the burger conversation.

 

    • It’s not just about beef anymore. Chicken, turkey, pork, bison, lamb, salmon, and tuna — not to mention vegetarian options like Portobello mushrooms, tofu, quinoa, and beans — have expanded the definition of what the term “burger” means.

 

    • Burgers are getting bigger: An American hamburger circa 1957 weighed less than 2 ounces and was mercilessly smashed to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Today, it’s not uncommon for the raw weight of a patty to exceed 8 ounces.

 

    • While I’m something of a purist myself, I acknowledge the growing popularity of novel toppings, add-ins, and fillings, like fried quail or duck eggs, foie gras, mac and cheese, bacon relish, caramelized onions, shredded brisket or pastrami, homemade ketchup or pickles, Korean kimchi, arugula, caviar, spicy wasabi or chipotle mayo, imported cheeses, Parmesan crisps, prosciutto, etc.

 

    • The soft, pillowy buns sold in eight-packs are being displaced in homes and restaurants by artisanal breads, rolls, and flatbreads sturdy enough to hold a hefty payload of flavorings. Most supermarkets sell diminutive buns in response to another ubiquitous burger trend, the “slider.”

 

    • Several chefs have developed über-extravagant burgers using luxury ingredients. For example, 666 Burger in New York City prices a burger with lobster, truffles, and gold leaf at, predictably, $666. In contrast, New York’s Serendipity’s $295 Japanese Wagyu beef burger, which comes with a diamond-encrusted toothpick, seems like a relative bargain.

 

  • But the height of hamburger hubris? That distinction goes to Hubert Keller of Fleur at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. For many years he had a $5,000 burger on his menu–stuffed and sauced with black truffles, served on a black truffle-brioche bun, and accompanied by a vintage bottle of Château Pétrus. (At this writing, Keller appears to have taken it off.) Outrageous, huh? I’m confident no one reading this would be guilty of this kind of conspicuous consumption, but it does suggest some ways to give your burgers new cachet.

Trendy/spendy references aside, the hamburger is still America’s most famous contribution to Planet Barbecue’s grilling repertoire. Check out 12 surefire ways to build world-class burgers in your own backyard!

And of course, an homage to burgers would not be complete without my recipe for The Great American Hamburger, pictured here. Grill and eat it in honor of the almighty burger!


Photo reprinted from The Barbecue! Bible. Photo copyright © Ben Fink.
Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen

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Introducing Our New Website

Up in Smoke
INTRODUCING OUR NEW WEBSITE

May 14th, 2013
Just in time for barbecue season:
THE ALL NEW BARBECUEBIBLE.COM.
In 1994, I began work on a book that would plunge me headlong into the amazing world of live-fire cooking and change my life: The Barbecue Bible (Workman, 1998). At the time there were no websites, of course. There was barely an Internet.

How times have changed!

Today, most of us get our news and information via Google or Yahoo, and when we need facts or explanations, we consult not an encyclopedia, but Wikipedia. We form communities not only with our neighbors, but thanks to online forums, with people with similar interests all over the world. Websites have become our front porches and town squares and the Internet has brought Planet Barbecue! to our laptops and cell phones.

When I wrote The Barbecue Bible, I did my research the old-fashioned way—in libraries and archives, via telephone and fax. Today, when I need to know more about Balkan burgers (like pork and veal cevapcici) or South African sosaties (kebabs made with apricot, lamb and pork), I simply reach out to our Barbecue Board or Facebook or Twitter followers. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman often observes, the world has become flat and interconnected in ways that just 20 years ago we would never have dreamed.

Which brings me to some of the most exciting news in my barbecue world: the complete redesign and relaunch of our website: barbecuebible.com.

Our team at Workman Publishing has worked hard to bring you a dynamic new site with more smart conversation and information, more up-to-the-minute barbecue news, more profiles of the people and restaurants you care about, more tips and techniques you need now, and of course, more recipes and hunger-inducing photos.

The first thing you’ll see on the site is a clean new look and color scheme—with a lot more photos and visuals. Two new blog posts each week with several you can view at one time.

The second thing you’ll notice is the new prominence of our Barbecue Board. Our moderators and contributors are the soul of this community, so we’re featuring them front and center on the home page. In the coming months we’ll be profiling our more active members, starting with the formidable Brad Olson (nom de flame “Screaming Chicken”), whose more than 60,000 (!) posts have delighted and edified all of us.

So what else is new?

  • A new recipe format: Complete with photos, headnotes, and ingredient and technique icons—and an ever-changing roster of sizzling new recipes from Steven, staff, and the Barbecue Board.
  • A new Wiki: A community-generated encyclopedia of grilling and smoking terms that we plan to build into the world’s most comprehensive source of barbecue information.
  • A new barbecue store: Featuring the essentials and latest innovations from my Best of Barbecue and Planet Barbecue tool, fuel, and flavorings lines, and of course, the complete library of Raichlen grilling and food books.
  • Direct feeds to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr: So you can keep the dialogue going on your favorite social media.
  • New community manager: Last but not least, I’d like to introduce our new community manager, Christine Porretta, whose passion for food and social media will make barbecuebible.com a friendlier, more responsive place. She’ll be posting regularly on the Barbecue Board, closely following the discussions and topics, and ensuring I personally see and answer your questions.

In a nutshell, our goal is to make barbecuebible.com your go-to place for all things barbecuing and grilling.

One of ironies of being an author is that you’re always thinking so hard about your next project, you rarely return to the earlier books. So since I started this issue of “Up in Smoke” with The Barbecue Bible, I thumbed through a first edition: I’d like to share with you two of my all-time favorite recipes from that book.

HONEY SESAME SHRIMP ON THE BARBIE
A classic from Down Under.

Adapted from: The Barbecue Bible (Workman, 1998)
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer

1-1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

For the marinade/glaze:

2 cloves garlic, minced
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
2 trimmed scallions, finely chopped (set 2 tablespoons scallion greens aside for serving)
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice wine, sake, or dry sherry
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Sriracha (Thai hot sauce), or to taste
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

You’ll also need: bamboo skewers

1. Wash the shrimp and blot dry.

2. Prepare the marinade: Combine the garlic, ginger, scallions, sesame oil, rice wine, soy sauce, honey, hot sauce, sesame seeds, and five-spice powder in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Stir in the shrimp and marinate for 30 minutes.

3. Skewer the shrimp on bamboo skewers. Transfer the marinade to a saucepan and boil until thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Let cool.

4. Preheat the grill to high.

5. Grill the shrimp until cooked, 2 to 3 minutes per side, basting with the boiled marinade. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and sprinkle with the reserved scallion greens. Serve at once.

MUSTARD LIME STEAK
A great example of how a few commonplace ingredients, thoughtfully combined, can utterly transform a simple dish.

Adapted from: The Barbecue Bible (Workman, 1998)
Serves 4.

4 New York strip or sirloin steaks (each about 1 inch thick and 8 to 10 ounces)
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dry mustard, such as Colman’s
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 to 2 limes, cut in half)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Place the steaks on a baking sheet and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle half the dry mustard on one side, patting the steaks with the flat part of a fork to spread the mustard evenly over the meat. Pour half the Worcestershire sauce on top and pat in with the fork. Squeeze lime juice on top and pat in with the fork. Drizzle the steaks with half the olive oil and pat in with the fork.

2. Turn the steaks over and season the other side with the mustard, Worchestershire sauce, lime juice, and olive oil the same way. Let the steaks marinate for 20 to 30 minutes while you preheat the grill.

3. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.

4. Grill the steaks until cooked to taste, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Give each steak a quarter turn after 2 minutes to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 2 minutes.

6. Thinly slice the steaks on the diagonal, as you would london broil. Let the slices marinate in the meat juices for a minute or two, then serve at once.

Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen

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Tax Day Commeth

UP IN SMOKE
TAX DAY COMMETH

April 15th, 2013
April 15th. It’s not the happiest day on the calendar, particularly if Uncle Sam takes a bigger bite of your earnings than you expected.

Well, barbecuebible.com to the rescue. This month, we’re focusing on budget grilling—and in particular, two cuts that deliver a big bang for the buck: turkey legs and country-style spare ribs.

We have some other exciting news: in May, we’re re-launching our barbecuebible.com site—with a way cool new design, a lot more community participation, and a new focus on the tools, fuels, flavors, techniques, and recipes you need to take your grilling and smoking to the next level. More smoke. More fire. More actionable information.

The taxman commeth. Grilling well is the best revenge.

APPLE SMOKED TURKEY DRUMSTICKS
The turkey drumstick is one of the great bargains of barbecue—richly flavored, as all poultry dark meat is, and like so much great barbecue, designed to be eaten with your bare hands. Note: Pink salt, also called “Prague powder,” is a curing salt that can be purchased through butcher shops or online at amazon.com. You can leave it out of the recipe, but the drumsticks will not take on that ham-like quality that makes them so popular at American amusement parks.

Makes 8 drumsticks

1 quart apple juice or cider
3 quarts cold water
3/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon pink curing salt such as Prague powder or InstaCure
3 whole cloves
3 allspice berries, crushed
2 bay leaves, broken into pieces
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
8 turkey drumsticks, each weighing 1 to 1-1/2 pounds

You’ll also need: 5 cups wood chips or chunks, preferably apple, soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained

Make the brine: In a large stockpot, combine the apple cider, kosher salt, brown sugar, curing salt, allspice, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the 3 quarts cold water. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Add the turkey drumsticks, making sure they’re completely submerged in the brine. You can hold them down with a dinner plate or a resealable plastic bag filled with ice.

Brine for 24 hours.

When ready to smoke, drain the drumsticks and discard the brine. Remove any clinging solid spices. Blot the meat dry.

Preheat your smoker to 250°, following the manufacturer’s instructions, or set up your grill for indirect grilling. Place a drip pan in the center and preheat the grill to medium-low, 225°-250°.

Place the turkey drumsticks in the smoker or on the grill. Add 1-1/2 cups wood chips to the coals. Smoke the turkey until darkly browned and very tender, 4-5 hours, adding fresh charcoal as needed and wood chips every hour for the first 3 hours. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 165°. (Make sure the instant thermometer probe doesn’t touch bone or you’ll get a false reading.) Do not be alarmed (on the contrary—be proud) if the meat under the skin is pinkish: That’s a chemical reaction to the cure and the smoke called a “smoke ring.” Serve hot or at room temperature. In the unlikely event you have leftovers, store in the refrigerator (will keep for at least 3 days).

GARLIC-GRILLED COUNTRY-STYLE RIBS
WITH LIME SODA BARBECUE SAUCEBaby back ribs were once considered a trash cut, but today they cost up to $20 a rack. Yikes! But one pork rib remains a bargain—the country-style rib, a long meaty chop cut from where the pork shoulder meets the neck. These Puerto Rican-style ribs give you a one-two punch of garlic and oregano (from the rub) and a sweet lemon-lime barbecue sauce (a great way to use up flat 7UP or Sprite).

Note: Added advantage—this is one rib you can direct grill, so it’s great to make on a weeknight.

Serves: 4

For the ribs:

2 to 2-1/2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Lemon-Lime Barbecue Sauce:
1 cup lemon-lime soda, such as 7UP or Sprite
1 cup ketchup
1 cup of your favorite sweet red barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Arrange the pork ribs in a baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer.

Combine the salt, oregano, granulated garlic, pepper, and sage in a bowl and stir with your fingers to mix. Sprinkle the rub over the pork chops on both sides, patting the spices onto the meat with your fingers. Drizzle the chops with oil on both sides, rubbing it into the meat.

Let the ribs cure in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour, while you light the grill.

Make the barbecue sauce: Place the soda, ketchup, and barbecue sauce in a saucepan and whisk to mix. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat and let it simmer gently until thick and richly flavored, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to high.

When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the ribs on the hot grate at a diagonal to the bars. Grill the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature when read on a meat thermometer is at least 145°.

Transfer the chops to a platter or plate. Serve at once with the lemon-lime barbecue sauce.

Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen, Grill Master and Editor-in-Chief
Nancy Loseke, Features Editor

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Hot from the Smoker

UP IN SMOKE
CORNED BEEF
HOT FROM THE SMOKER

March 7th, 2013

As a nice Jewish boy growing up in Baltimore, scant attention was paid in my household to “St. Patrick’s Day,” a liturgical feast day vigorously celebrated by people of Irish descent and wannabe countrymen—especially in Boston, where I lived and worked for many years. (Boston hosted the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1737.) Come March 17, the anniversary of the sainted bishop’s death, I strenuously avoid the green-tinted beers and fake brogues. But beef brisket? I’m a sucker for brisket in all its iterations.

So how did an ornery cut of meat beloved by German transplants to East Texas and Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe become the food most associated with Ireland’s patron saint? The tradition started on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the late 1800s. Unable to afford traditional Irish bacon (which is the “back” meat, similar to Canadian bacon) eaten on the holiday in their homeland, Irish immigrants began substituting brisket for bacon. Brisket was much beloved by their equally poor Jewish neighbors. But as is so often the case with food cultures—Italian-American cuisine, for example—the Irish made brisket their own by curing it with salt and spices, then boiling it with cabbage and other vegetables. (The word “corn” is actually a medieval term that refers to large grains of salt.)

This year, bypass the vacuum-sealed pouches of “corned” beef at the supermarket and make your own. And for the barbecuebible.com twist, cook it on a smoker! It’s a simple two-step process that yields a spectacular result.

First, you cure the brisket for 5 days in a wet brine flavored with pickling spices. Next, you smoke the meat slowly using hardwood chips or chunks. Once you taste it, you’ll never again be tempted to boil corned beef. If you have neither the time nor the inclination to “corn” your own beef, feel free to buy a brisket that’s already been cured: Soak it in several changes of cold water to remove excess salt, then drain and smoke as directed below.

Accompany the corned beef brisket with potatoes and cabbage—either boiled or smoke roasted. (See recipes for both in How to Grill.) Or serve thin slices on good rye bread slathered with a righteous mustard. Leftovers make great corned beef hash, of course.

Oh, what the hell: Top o’ the morning to ya!

SMOKE-ROASTED CORNED BEEF BRISKET

corned beef
Serves 4 to 6

For the brine/cure:

4 quarts cold water
1-1/2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
10 allspice berries
10 whole cloves
2 bay leaves, coarsely crumbled
1 cinnamon stick, coarsely broken
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon pink curing salt (see Note below)
1 4- to 5-pound beef brisket, fat closely trimmed, preferably grass-fed

For the smoking:

1 large aluminum foil-roasting pan
6 large whole carrots, peeled and trimmed
6 to 8 strips of thick-cut bacon
6 cups hardwood chips, preferably oak, soaked in cold water to cover for 1 hour, then drained

Put 2 quarts of water in a large nonreactive stockpot. Add the kosher salt and brown sugar. Lightly crush the allspice, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, coriander, peppercorns, and mustard seed in a mortar with a pestle or in a spice grinder. Add to the brine, along with the ginger and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the salt and sugar crystals. Stir in the pink salt and the remaining 2 quarts of cold water. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for several hours. Submerge the brisket in the chilled brine, weighting it with a glass pie plate or heavy dinner plate. Cover and refrigerate for 5 to 7 days.

When ready to cook, drain the brisket—scrape off any clinging spices—and discard the brine. Lay the carrots crosswise in the roasting pan and put the brisket, fat side up, on top. (The carrots make a natural roasting rack.) Drape the top of the brisket with the bacon strips.

If using a smoker, light it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 250°F. Toss 1-1/2 cups of wood chips on the coals. If using a charcoal grill, set it up for indirect grilling using only half as much charcoal as you usually would—about 6 to 8 nice lumps of charcoal per side. Toss 1-1/2 cups wood chips on the coals.

Smoke the corned beef until very tender, 6 to 8 hours or more, replenishing the coals as needed to maintain 250°F. Replenish the wood chips for the first 4 hours of smoking time, then tightly cover the roasting pan with heavy duty foil for the remainder of the cook. When done, the internal temperature of the brisket on an instant-read meat thermometer should be 195°F. Let the meat rest, still covered, for at least 20 minutes. Uncover carefully, remove the bacon, and slice the brisket against the grain into 1/4-inch slices. (Discard the bacon and carrots, if desired.)

Alternatively, let the meat cool to room temperature, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate it overnight or for up to three days before slicing.

Note: Pink salt—also called Prague powder or InstaCure—is a curing agent that inhibits bacterial growth and gives cured meats their characteristic reddish-pink color. It contains 93.75 percent salt and 6.25 percent sodium nitrite as well as a coloring agent to distinguish it from table salt. It is available through some butchers and businesses that sell sausage-making supplies. You can also buy it online from sausagemaker.com. You can eliminate pink salt from the recipe without affecting the flavor, but your corned beef will not retain its color.

Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen, Grill Master and Editor-in-Chief
Nancy Loseke, Features Editor
and the staff at Workman Publishing


Barbecuer’s Gift Guide 2012

UP IN SMOKE
BARBECUER’S GIFT GUIDE 2012
December 14th, 2012

It’s that time of year again—time for us to roll out our annual Barbecuer’s Gift Guide, featuring must-have products for anyone obsessed with grilling, barbecuing, or smoking. Feel free to forward this list to a generous friend—or print it out, circle your favorite items, and leave your subtle hint in plain sight. Here’s hoping you get everything your grill-loving heart desires, and wishing you Happy Holidays and a Smokin’ New Year.

1. FLIP-TIP™ DIGITAL THERMOMETER

An instant-read meat thermometer makes a great stocking stuffer—it’s the first accessory a grill-owner should acquire. Not only will it pay for itself the first time it saves you from overcooking an expensive hunk of meat—the holiday prime rib, for example—but it will protect you from the very real hazards of undercooking proteins like poultry or ground meats. Steven’s new Flip-Tip™ Thermometer features a thin, multiple position probe, easy-to-read face, and an adjustable silicone depth gauge for consistent temperature readings.

grilling4all.com

2. MOISTLY GRILLED® GRILL HUMIDIFIER

We often glorify the “high, dry heat of the grill.” But grilling can blast the moisture out of many foods, as anyone who has eaten a cardboard-textured grilled chicken breast or pork chop can tell you. The Companion Group, longtime innovators of grilling and outdoor products, came up with a remedy: twin cast iron “humidifiers” with vented lids. You fill the reservoirs with liquid—beer, apple juice, broth, wine, or water. Food retains more of its natural juices and flavor.

amazon.com

3. SECRETS OF THE WORLD’S BEST GRILLING

Just released in August by Workman Publishing, this ebook is like a private lesson from Steven. Downloadable to your iPad or your computer through iTunes, Secrets of the World’s Best Grilling gives you an interactive tour of the world’s greatest grilling cultures. Each chapter begins with a slide-by-slide tutorial and/or video. Steven shares his favorite recipes—Spiessbraten, Lamb on a Shovel, Gaucho-Style Beef Ribs with Chimichurri, and many more. A must-have addition to your barbecue library.

itunes.apple.com

4. A-MAZ-N PELLET SMOKER

Todd Johnson, founder of A-MAZ-N Products, LLC, was searching for an efficient but inexpensive way to smoke meats, fish, nuts, and cheeses. His solution? A device that can turn almost any lidded grill into a hot or cold smoker. The A-MAZ-N Pellet Smoker runs on sawdust or sawdust pellets; one pound can provide up to 11 hours of smoke. It can even be used with a conventional smoker or pellet smoker when more smoke flavor is wanted.

amazenproducts.com

5. ALL-PURPOSE GRILLING BASKET

In many parts of Planet Barbecue!, grills don’t have grates, and food is cooked in a grill basket. With the Best of Barbecue® All-Purpose Grilling Basket Grill, you can grill bread, chicken breasts, pork chops, eggplant slices, sandwiches, wings, and more—the name of this great product says it all. Even delicate fish fillets, once pinioned between its stainless steel wire panels, resist sticking to the grill grate.

grilling4all.com

6. EPICOA ROTISSERIE [FORMERLY CARSON ROTISSERIE]

Jaws dropped when we introduced this Brazilian-style rotisserie last June during the third day of BBQ U. Collapsed, it looks like a sleek stainless steel suitcase. Set it up, with its motorized skewers loaded with food, it looks like the meanest, leanest grilling machine you’ve seen in a long time. Invented by an American with a passion for soccer and churrasco (Brazilian spit-roasted meats), the Epicoa will make eyes pop and mouths water at your next tailgate party. Available in both 5- and 7-skewer models. You can even order a unit painted with your team’s colors.

epicoa.gostorego.com

7. PREMIUM GRILLING GRID

If you’ve made too many burnt offerings to the barbecue gods—in the form of food fallen through the grill grates—this handsome stainless steel grilling grid will put a halt to the needless sacrifice. Grill mushrooms, sliced vegetables, asparagus spears, chicken wings, or even delicate fish fillets without fear.

grilling4all.com

8. AFIRE KOKO CHARCOAL

All-natural Afire KOKO Charcoal briquettes will appeal to the griller who’s interested in recycling and sustainable products. Not only are no trees harmed in the making of this charcoal, but it contains no chemicals or fillers. Coconut shells—a by-product of coconut milk, coconut oil, shredded coconut, etc.—are burned until carbonized, then compacted under high pressure. Each briquette has a center hole to encourage airflow and hotter burning. Available in 4.5 and 24 pound packages.

afireinc.com

9. PLANET BARBECUE GIFT SET WITH BOOK

“Just when you thought Steven Raichlen taught you everything there was to know about grilling, he returns with Planet Barbecue!” -Tom Colicchio

If you or the griller on your gift list has slid into a rut, the Planet Barbecue Gift Set offers a big-flavored blast from the best of the world’s barbecue cultures. The set includes five thrilling rubs, four explosively-flavorful spice pastes, and of course, Planet Barbecue!—over 300 recipes from 60 countries.

grilling4all.com

10. SKEWER STATION

Everyone loves shish kebab. Unfortunately, people often thread foods with different cooking times on the same skewer. Shriveled cherry tomatoes, undercooked onions, and overcooked meats do not a great grill session make. Enter the Skewer Station, which enables you to segregate kebab components and cook each ingredient to perfection. A great conversation starter for your next barbecue.

surlatable.com

11. FRESH-PRESSED OLIVE OIL CLUB

Olive oil is not like wine: It does not improve with age. That is why I have come to rely on a club that promises me impeccably fresh, healthy olive oil year round. In a few days, I will receive at my doorstep three bottles of olive oil from Italy, pressed about two weeks ago. The Italians call oils this fresh oil novello. This club sends its scouts—some of whom spend up to five months overseas—to find the world’s best olive oils. A membership is a perfect gift for a gourmand or health-conscious griller.

freshpressedoliveoil.com

12. BARBECUE UNIVERSITY®

And finally the ultimate gift for that grilling fanatic in your family: a trip to Barbecue University—the 3-day extravaganza of food and fire that attracts barbecue and grilling fanatics from around the world. Held at the luxurious Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado, this exclusive retreat is truly the gift that keeps on giving: Alumni often tell us that BBQ U® was not only a game-changer, but one of the best recreational experiences they’ve ever had. The first session starts June 5 and the second session June 9. Enrollment is limited. Gift certificates are available.

barbecuebible.com/bbqu

Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen, Grill Master and Editor-in-Chief
Nancy Loseke, Features Editor
and the staff at Workman Publishing

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Giving Thanks

UP IN SMOKE
GIVING THANKS
November 16th, 2012

I must confess, my first Thanksgiving in Miami was strange. I’d moved to the land of the sun and the palm tree after fifteen years in New England. Thanksgiving was by its very nature a cold weather holiday—requiring frost on the windows, breath condensing in the air, and a blazing logs in the fireplace.

It was and still is weird to sit down to turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie when the sun blazes and the temperature is 85°.

This has been a very weird autumn for many of us: weird politics, weird economy, and especially weird weather. So before I tell you how to grill a turkey Miami-style, I’d like to take a moment to think about some of the things we have to be thankful for:

    • First responders, who risked life and limb to help us through hurricane Sandy.

 

    • The men and women in our armed forces who serve abroad and sacrifice so much so we can be safe at home.

 

    • The right to vote and our fellow Americans who braved waiting lines of 4 to 6 hours to exercise that right.

 

    • The friends and family who gather with us at our Thanksgiving table or invite us to theirs.

 

    • The food on the table for Thanksgiving–and for every day of the year.

 

  • Our grills, which enable us to brew coffee when the power is out, cook a hot meal when our kitchens are flooded, and provide a fleeting sense of normalcy when the world around us is in chaos.

Please consider joining us in making a contribution to the Red Cross for victims of Hurricane Sandy?

And now back to that turkey. We season it with a garlic- and cumin-scented Spanish-Caribbean marinade called adobo. The marinade goes under the skin 24 hours ahead, which helps keep the bird—even the breast meat—supernaturally flavorful and moist.


MIAMI SPICE TURKEY
Serves 8 to 10

Note: this recipe is fairly quick and easy, but you need to start it the day before, so plan your time accordingly.

For the marinade:

5 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus salt for seasoning
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus pepper for seasoning
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 10 to 12 pound turkey, thawed if previously frozen
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted

3 cups hickory or other hardwood chips, soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drained.

The day before, prepare the marinade. Place the garlic, cilantro, salt, cumin, oregano, and pepper in a food processor and finely chop. Work in the lime juice, orange juice, and olive oil and puree until smooth. If using a blender, add all the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Remove the giblets and any lumps of fat from the front and main cavities of the turkey. Season the inside with salt and pepper. Loosen the turkey skin from the meat. Start by worming your finger into the neck cavity between the skin and the breast meat. Insert one finger, then two, then three, then your whole hand, gently loosening the skin from the meat to create an air pocket. (Work gently: you don’t want to tear the skin.) While you’re at it, slide your hand down to loosen the skin from the thighs and drumsticks. The process will feel very weird at first, but it becomes old hat with a little practice. It’s worth mastering, because you can also use it to marinate chickens, ducks, and game hens.

Add 1/4 cup of the marinade to the main cavity and 1 tablespoon to the front cavity. Stand the turkey upright in a deep bowl and pour most of the remaining adobo under the skin. Work over a roasting pan to catch any runoff from the marinade. Transfer the turkey to a large plastic bag with any excess marinade, including the stuff that gathers in the bowl. Place the bag in a bowl and marinate the turkey overnight in the refrigerator, turning it several times to marinate evenly.

Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium.

Remove the turkey from the bag and drain off the marinade. Place the bird, breast side up, on the grate over the drip pan. Drizzle a little melted butter (about 1 tablespoon) over the breast and spread it over the skin with your fingers. Toss 1-1/2 cups wood chips on the coals of your charcoal grill or in the smoker box of your gas grill.

Roast the bird until cooked, 2-1/2 to 3 hours, replenishing the wood and charcoal after 1 hour. Use an instant-read thermometer to test for doneness—the turkey is ready when the thigh meat is 180°. Continue basting the outside of the turkey with the remaining butter and any juices that accumulated in the roasting pan every 30 minutes or so. If the skin starts to brown too much, tent the bird with foil.

To serve, transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Be safe and healthy.

Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen, Grill Master and Editor-in-Chief
Nancy Loseke, Features Editor
and the staff at Workman Publishing

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Game On!

UP IN SMOKE
GAME ON!
October 23rd, 2012

THE 12 STEPS TO TAILGATING ENLIGHTENMENT
PLUS… FIRECRACKER CHICKEN WINGS FOR SMOKING THE COMPETITION
tailgating
There’s nothing like a picnic in a parking lot to get a sports fan’s blood pumping. Visit any college stadium on a fall Saturday, and you’ll find parties on steroids sprung spontaneously up from the asphalt. Not that you need a customized RV, inverter-powered plasma screen TV, or military strength Margarita blenders and sound system for a great party. As far as I’m concerned, all you really need is a grill. (OK, maybe 2 grills.) You also need passion, for that’s what separates the diehard tailgaters from the amateur. Happily, passion for tailgating is contagious.

Americans have been tailgating for a long time. Ever since 1869, to be precise, when the Princeton and Rutgers football teams met to compete in a farm field turned gridiron. Students brought lunches to the game in baskets and served them off the tailgates of farm wagons.

Flash forward to today, when more than 20 million Americans now tailgate. (Not including the ones who ride your bumper on your workday commute.) And like football, tailgating has become a competition sport of its own—especially in the last quarter of the season. Which is why we’re sharing our 12 Steps to Tailgating Enlightenment, plus a sizzling new recipe for Firecracker Chicken Wings.

May the best team win!

The 12 Steps to Tailgate Enlightenment:

    1. Be organized and plan ahead. Make a master list of ingredients, cooking equipment, and serving supplies before you leave home. Map out your tailgate area on paper before you arrive at the stadium.

 

    1. Plan the entire meal on the grill, emphasizing foods that can be eaten out of hand while standing. Start with quick appetizers you can grill on the spot, like grilled garlic bread or quesadillas. Finish with a grilled dessert, like the Uptown S’mores in Barbecue Bible.

 

    1. Do as much of the advanced prep work as you can at home. Store the items by course and dish in marked containers to bring to the game.

 

    1. Segregate food and beverages in separate coolers. There’s nothing worse than plunging your hand into a raw chicken when you think you’re grabbing a beer.

 

    1. Segregate hot foods and cold foods in separate coolers. Use reusable gel packs for the latter.

 

    1. It’s OK for your guests to bring side dishes if they desire. It’s OK to ask them. Just coordinate ahead of time to make sure what they bring meshes with your menu.

 

    1. Arrive early if parking is a free-for-all, or send in a scout to reserve a good parking spot. Remember the old adage in the hotel business: location, location, location.

 

    1. Shop restaurant supply stores for food storage containers and disposable aluminum foil pans and trays. I buy the latter by the case: you can’t beat them for cooking, serving, and clean-up.

 

    1. Build your menu around a large chunk of meat that serves lots of people but that needs little tending such as a pork loin roast, tri-tip, brined turkey breast, or ham. All can be cooked over medium heat (350°F) in two hours or less, and all make great sandwiches.

 

    1. No Wisconsin tailgate party would be complete without bratwurst. I take a rather heretical approach: I indirect grill the brats at medium heat for about 30 minutes, tossing soaked hickory chips on the coals to generate wood smoke. You still get a crackling crisp casing and indirect grilled brats are much less temperamental and prone to flare-ups.

 

    1. Practice “leave no trace” tailgating. Recycle your bottles and dispose of your trash. Extinguish any lit charcoal in a metal bucket filled with water. Remember, charcoal can burn for 12 hours—even if the fire looks dead.

 

  1. Don’t forget to bring game day tickets, including any required parking passes or stickers. (Yeah, we’ve forgotten those once or twice, too.)

FIRECRACKER CHICKEN WINGS
Serves: 6 as an appetizer, 4 as a light main course

3 to 3-1/2 pounds chicken wings

For the rub:

1 tablespoon hot or smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon celery seed (optional)
2 tablespoons sesame oil or vegetable oil

For the sauce:

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3 red jalapeno peppers (or other hot peppers—preferably red—or to taste), stemmed and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup Sriracha—Thai hot sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons honey (optional)
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

You’ll also need: 1-1/2 cups hardwood chips, soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes.

Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high (400°F).

Cut the chicken wings into 2 sections, the drumette and the flat, discarding the wing tip (or save it for stock). Place the wings in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the paprika, pepper, salt, onion and garlic powder, and celery seed over the chicken and toss to mix. Add the sesame oil and toss to mix.

Arrange the chicken wings on the grate over the drip pan away from the heat. Leave a little space between each wing. Toss the wood chips on the coals (or place in the smoker box of your gas grill.) Indirect grill the wings until darkly browned and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the wings. To check for doneness, make a slit in the thickest part of the largest drumette: there should be no traces of pink in the meat, though you might get a pink smoke ring near the bone.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in skillet. (Bubbles will dance when you dip a chile slice in the butter.) Add the chile slices and cilantro to the butter and cook over medium-high heat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Stir in the Sriracha and bring to a boil.

Transfer the chicken wings to a large shallow bowl. Pour most of the butter mixture over them and toss to mix. Pour the remaining butter mixture on top and serve at once.

Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen, Grill Master and Editor-in-Chief
Nancy Loseke, Features Editor


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