Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Grilling Techniques

Barbecue University™

Courage! First Timer’s Brisket

Courage! First Timer’s Brisket

What? It couldn’t possibly be 5:00 a.m. already, could it? (I’d gone to bed around 1 a.m.) But my phone alarm affirmed it was time to face one of the biggest challenges of my barbecue life: cooking not one, but three whole packer briskets for the finale of a week-long family reunion. And if I’ve learned anything from being Steven Raichlen’s assistant for many years, it’s this: When smoking, allow more time than you think you’ll need. Especially if...

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Barbecue University™

Winning Baby Backs for Your Backyard Bash

Winning Baby Backs for Your Backyard Bash

If ribs epitomize barbecue for most Americans, the baby back epitomizes ribs. Cut from high on the hog, just next to the spine, baby backs have tender meat—more so than spareribs—abundant fat, and a convenient shape and size that makes one rack perfect for feeding two people if side dishes are served. (A rack contains 8 ribs at a minimum and 13 at a maximum.) You’ve heard the phrase “fall-off-the-bone tender.” Never, in my opinion, have five words done more harm to the notion of what constitutes good eating. Show me ribs...

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Barbecue University™

Grill the Perfect Steak Time After Time

Grill the Perfect Steak Time After Time

When Americans are polled about their favorite foods for grilling, steak always heads the list. A slab of beef is the perfect food for the grill: Its broad surface area soaks up wood and smoke flavors, and it cooks quickly. The most common mistake made in grilling steak is overcooking it; the second most common is undercooking. And in my experience, most grill masters fear both. Because, let’s face it: A great steak can set you back more than a few bucks. If you’re insecure when grilling a pricey steak, you’re...

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Barbecue University™

Teach a (Hot) Dog a New Trick

Teach a (Hot) Dog a New Trick

There were no picnics when I was a child. Just what we called wienie roasts—impromptu affairs that required only a quick stop at the market to buy an 8-pack of hot dogs and buns and miscellaneous accoutrements. Once at our favorite riverside park—usually deserted as our outings were almost always on weekdays—we’d gather dry wood so Dad could build a fire in one of several WPA-built stone fireplaces, hard evidence of Roosevelt’s “New Deal.” The hot dogs...

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Barbecue University™

Ultimate Vegan Barbecue: The Secret to Grilling Tofu

Ultimate Vegan Barbecue: The Secret to Grilling Tofu

Shhh. Don’t tell anyone—especially not our hardcore carnivore friends—but I have been know to eat grilled tofu. Willingly. Even with gusto. So it’s with pleasure that I introduce fellow Workman Publishing authors Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer, the writers behind VBQ—The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook. The authors are not only vegetarians. They're vegan, which in some BBQ circles makes them heretics. But listen up, because they also have the chops when they fire up the...

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Eat Your Words

Cool Smoke: The Art of Barbecue

Cool Smoke: The Art of Barbecue

From time to time we offer guest blogs on Barbecuebible.com. This one comes from Tuffy Stone, author of Cool Smoke: The Art of Great Barbecue. Classically trained French chef, restaurateur and head cook on the "Cool Smoke" competition barbecue team, Tuffy is a versatile pitmaster. We've asked Tuffy for the low-down on how he uses 2-zone techniques. ______________________________________________________________________________________ The Art of Barbecue...

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Barbecue University™

Performance Enhancers for Gas Grillers

Performance Enhancers for Gas Grillers

It’s understandable if gas grillers, despite their overwhelming numbers, sometimes feel left out of the barbecue discussion. Pit masters who use wood and/or charcoal seem to get all the love, and sometimes, verbally bully gas grillers. Yet, 64 percent of American grillers own gas grills. Steven and I are among them. We own gas grills for the same reasons you do. They’re convenient, easy to light, don’t get your clothes dirty, and put dinner...

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Planet Barbecue

Seoul Food: Pork Belly Breaks Out of the Bacon Mold

Seoul Food: Pork Belly Breaks Out of the Bacon Mold

In 2004, the small food, wine, and travel publication I worked for devoted an issue to Korean-style barbecue. Little had been written about this cultural phenomenon, and we were confident our readers would share our excitement. We worked hard for weeks, our research culminating in a soju-soaked food crawl through L.A.’s Koreatown. We were guided to the best markets and barbecue restaurants by a hip young Korean-American named Jonathan Kim. (He went on to found one of the largest Asian food emporiums in the...

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Barbecue University™

Grilling with Cherry Wood and Fresh Cherries

Grilling with Cherry Wood and Fresh Cherries

When it comes to flavor, nothing can beat the aroma of wood smoke. You may be familiar with using hickory, apple or oak wood, but have you tried smoking with cherry wood? Cherry can be used the same way you would other varieties: toss soaked wood chips on the coals of your charcoal grill or add them to the smoker box of your gas grill. I came to appreciate fragrant cherry wood during my sojourn to the Pacific Northwest—Cherry Wood Chips are...

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Barbecue University™

Indoor Grilling

Indoor Grilling

Here in Miami, we break out the warm hoodies and jackets when temperatures dip into the fifties. But I realize other parts of the country, particularly the Northeast, are enduring real cold this winter. (The wind chill in Vermont last week was an unfathomable -100 degrees.) There’s certainly no shame in taking the party indoors when temperatures fall below zero. Or maybe you’re one of millions of condo or apartment dwellers who are prevented from...

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