Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

BBQ History

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The New Veal

The New Veal

After decades of pariah status, veal is making a comeback. Outrage in the 1980s at the cruel conditions under which young calves were raised made Americans lose their appetite for veal. It all but disappeared from restaurant menus and meat counters. Annual per capita consumption dropped from four pounds to about a third of a pound, the equivalent of one measly dinner of wienerschnitzel or veal Parmigiana or osso buco—literally too little to graph. ...

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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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Hot Stuff

The History of Worcestershire Sauce

The History of Worcestershire Sauce

What’s the ingredient most frequently used in barbecue sauces? Ketchup is a no brainer. But I’d put my money on a condiment that comes in a paper–wrapped bottle: Worcestershire sauce. (And according to Nielsen, it is one of the fastest growing sauces in sales dollars.) This thin, brown, sweet-sour condiment turns up in barbecue sauces of all stripes and types—from the tomato-based sauces of Kansas City to the butter sauces of New Orleans to the black dips of...

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The Unique Barbecue of Santa Maria, California: Worth the Visit

The Unique Barbecue of Santa Maria, California: Worth the Visit

This post is brought to you by Visit Santa Maria Valley, which provided advertising support. Ever since butchers Larry Viegas and Bob Schutz grilled the first tri-tip in the meat department of a Safeway store on the corner of Mill and Vine Streets in Santa Maria, California in 1952, the Santa Maria Valley has been one of America’s best kept barbecue secrets. California’s favorite barbecued beef, the tri-tip—the triangular tip of the sirloin—combines...

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Tempted by Tacos

Tempted by Tacos

Even baby boomers have a difficult time remembering when tacos—like pizza—weren’t a ubiquitous part of the culinary landscape. (Glen Bell opened the first Taco Bell restaurant in 1962 and went public with his franchise in 1970.) Now, Americans eat more than 4.5 billion tacos a year. Tacos rank among our most beloved fast foods, good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack after the bars close. The anglicized tacos of our youth started with a boxed kit containing fragile U-shaped taco shells, salsa, and a packet of seasoning...

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A Guide to Offset Barrel Smokers

A Guide to Offset Barrel Smokers

Water smokers, box, barrel, and pellet smokers do a fine job smoking meats and seafood. But nothing establishes your street cred as pit master who means business like an offset smoker. For years, these hunka-hunka smokers—a.k.a., offset barrel smokers, horizontal smokers, pipe smokers, or “stick-burners”—have dominated the competition barbecue circuit. Now, thanks to mass-market models available at stores like Home Depot and Lowes, they’re bringing their own particular aura of machismo to American and European backyards. The first offset smokers were likely built by oilfield workers in Texas and Oklahoma. Far from home and restaurants, it didn’t take much for barbecue-starved welders...

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Battle of the Hibachis

Battle of the Hibachis

It’s the antithesis of the modern North American stainless steel super grill (you know, that propane-fired monster with multiple heat zones, infrared sear station and industrial strength rotisserie). But when it comes to providing maximum grilling efficiency in minimal space, few grills can beat its direct, concentrated, blast-furnace heat. It’s the compact Japanese-style tabletop grill known in the West as the hibachi. Without it there would be no yakitori or robatayaki. Get the Yakitori Like They Make It in Japan recipe....

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Stick Meat—The Ultimate Guide to Kebabs

Stick Meat—The Ultimate Guide to Kebabs

Guest blogger Paula Marcoux—a former culinary historian at Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts—recently published a fascinating book on live fire cooking around the world called Cooking with Fire. It’s certainly one of my top ten grill books of the year. I asked Paula to share her thoughts about one of the world’s most ancient and universal grilled dishes: kebabs. -Steven One of the sweetest cooking tools I've ever seen is an earthenware kebab holder,...

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Valentine’s Day with Heart

Valentine’s Day with Heart

Today is Valentine’s Day. I’m giving my wife a heart-shaped card (or at least a card decorated with hearts). If I’m smart, I’ll throw in a heart-shaped box of chocolates. The one thing I won’t do is serve her a dish that’s a barbecue icon in Peru and Bolivia, and that’s turning up grilled, or otherwise, served at an increasing number of cutting-edge restaurants in North America. I’m referring to beef, veal, lamb, and chicken hearts. Exhibit #1. The grilled lamb heart salad served at Portland, Oregon’s new temple...

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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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