Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Grilling Techniques

Barbecue University™

The Majesty of Grass-Fed Brisket from Farmhouse BBQ

The Majesty of Grass-Fed Brisket from Farmhouse BBQ

Grass-fed versus grain-fed is one of the great (“grate?”) debates in barbecue. Conventional wisdom holds that grain-fed beef, being fattier and better marbled, makes a more luscious brisket. Conventional wisdom has not tasted the brisket of Vance Lin and Lindsay Williamson of Farmhouse BBQ in the Asheville area of North Carolina. I first met Lin and Williamson at a Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, where they hauled their monster smoker and turned out brisket so succulent and cut-with-the-side-of-a-fork tender, it rivaled any brisket I ever tasted in Texas or Brooklyn. They are firm believers in...

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Barbecue University™

13 Tips for Winter Grilling

13 Tips for Winter Grilling

It wasn’t so long ago that people routinely retired their grills after Labor Day, stowing them in a corner of the garage or basement to commiserate with the golf clubs until better weather. My, how times have changed. Whether it’s due to larger investments in grills and outdoor kitchens, a protracted appetite for the smoky flavors of summer, or the continued need for barbecue bragging rights, live fire cooking outdoors has become a four season...

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Hot Stuff

Steak and Potatoes: Florentine Steak and Garlic Fingerlings

Steak and Potatoes: Florentine Steak and Garlic Fingerlings

Several weeks ago, we posted the first installment in our new series, “Steak and Potatoes.” We thought now was an appropriate time to post another as everyone is weary of Thanksgiving leftovers and hungry for a good piece of steak! Tuscany’s cuisine is primarily based on the concept of “cucina povera,” which translates to “poor kitchen.” Pasta, beans, local vegetables, and olive oil are the primary building blocks of Tuscan cuisine. Which is why it’s ironic that one...

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Barbecue University™

7 Steps to Grilling Nirvana

7 Steps to Grilling Nirvana

Grilling is the world’s oldest and most universal cooking method, practiced in virtually every country and culture on six continents (seven if you consider the cookouts staged by grill-obsessed scientists in Antarctica). Today’s grillers face a staggering number of decisions, from which grill and accessories to buy, to selecting the best fuel and cooking method. (There are actually five different grilling methods, each with its own unique cooking properties. And that’s before you get to specialized grilling techniques, such as plancha grilling and planking.) Of course, you need to know...

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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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