Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Vegetables

Gazpacho Hits the Grill

Gazpacho Hits the Grill

Photo by Richard Dallett. Triple digit heat across the Midwest and Europe. Drought in California. Wildfires throughout the West. 2015 is shaping up to be one of the most torrid summers on record, and that’s before you factor in the heat of the grill. For years, I’ve relied on a simple remedy from the garden to beat the heat—a sort of a cross between a cold soup and salad. The Spanish call it gazpacho. I call it the most refreshing...

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Not Your Usual Barbecue: 10 Offbeat Foods You Should Grill Right Now

Not Your Usual Barbecue: 10 Offbeat Foods You Should Grill Right Now

Guilty as charged. Of grilling the same familiar foods over and over—you know, steak, salmon, bratwurst. We all do it (even me), when the wide wondrous Planet Barbecue beacons. It’s time to break out of your comfort zone: to try some different foods on your grill and new techniques for grilling them. To get you started, here's my top 10 list of offbeat foods to fire up your grill for right now. Halloumi: This snappy salty white cheese from Cyprus is designed not to melt at high temperature. Which...

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Greens, Meet Grill: Grilled Salads

Greens, Meet Grill: Grilled Salads

Reprinted from The Barbecue! Bible. Photo copyright © Ben Fink. When I was growing up, barbecue meant meat. Preferably steak. And more steak. The idea of grilling a bell pepper or a portobello mushroom, or (gasp!) lettuce would have seemed as foreign as landing a man on the moon. Meat went on the grill outdoors. Salads were prepared in the kitchen. Period. Well, we did land a man on the moon, and we do now grill salads. We’re not alone. For centuries, Italians...

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Sweet Corn Around the World: 10 Globally Inspired Recipes

Sweet Corn Around the World: 10 Globally Inspired Recipes

I grew up in Iowa where we harbored rather provincial ideas about sweet corn. As far as we were concerned, there was just one way to do it: fill a speckled enamel pot with water and a spoonful of sugar, put the pot over a quick flame, then trot out to the garden to pick and husk the corn. We’d boil the ears for three minutes, then remove them to a platter with tongs. At the table, we’d jab the ends of the ears with twin-pronged corn holders, impale a cube of cold butter on the end of a fork, and run it over the steaming, tightly packed kernels. A sprinkle of table salt and black pepper, and you were...

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Potatoes Hit the Grill

Potatoes Hit the Grill

First came the smoked potatoes with black garlic jam and ramp (wild leek) aioli at Bar Tartine in San Francisco. Then the hickory-smoked potato soup—tarted up with buttermilk and sherry vinegar—at Mintwood Place in Washington, D.C. And who could forget the smoked mashed potatoes at Wiley Dufresne’s iconoclastic eatery, WD-50 on New York’s Lower East Side? Call it the latest outbreak of a smoke fever sweeping a nation hungry for barbecue that goes beyond meat. Or call it the next big thing...

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The Great Grilled Corn Debate

The Great Grilled Corn Debate

The world of barbecue is rife with “grate” debates. Gas versus charcoal. Dry ribs versus wet. Then there’s the “corntroversy” over the best way to grill sweet corn, which is in peak season in August: Does it taste better grilled with the husk on or off? Advocates of the husk-on school maintain that grilling corn with the protective green sheath intact protects the tender kernels from the harsh dry heat of the grill. Husk-offers—of which I’m a partisan—point out...

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Barbecue—The New Health Food?!

Barbecue—The New Health Food?!

Photo credit: Reprinted from The Barbecue! Bible. Photo copyright © Ben Fink. Barbecue—the new health food. Sounds like an oxymoron (if not heresy). Yet, travelling Planet Barbecue as I do several months a year, I’ve seen that, in many cultures, grilled meats are some of the leanest, meanest, healthiest entrees around. A lot of us have made resolutions to shed a few pounds in the wake of New Year’s. As for the best way to do this,...

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Planet Barbecue

Down the Hatch! Celebrate New Mexico’s Flame-Roasted Chiles

Down the Hatch! Celebrate New Mexico’s Flame-Roasted Chiles

On Saturday and Sunday, August 31 and September 1 -- Labor Day weekend -- 30,000 heat seekers will converge on tiny Hatch, New Mexico, for the 42nd annual Hatch Chile Festival. The town of Hatch, population 1680, is the self-proclaimed “Chile Capital of the World” -- and who are we to argue? A few years ago, I visited New Mexico during chile season, which lasts only a few weeks during August and September. As I noted in BBQ USA, “Every barbecue region in America...

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Planet Barbecue

Corn Meets Grill

Corn Meets Grill

Travel the world’s barbecue trail and you’ll find a number of constants. Every culture has its version of grilled ground meat, for example, from Middle Eastern kofta to Pakistani chapli kebab to the classic American hamburger. Meat on a stick is another constant, morphing from Peruvian anticuchos to French brochettes to Azeri lula, Indonesian sate, and Turkish shish kebab. Summertime, with its farmers markets and roadside produce stands,...

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Hot Stuff

Turn Up the Heat with Chile Peppers! 15 Hot Facts & Grilling Tips

Turn Up the Heat with Chile Peppers! 15 Hot Facts & Grilling Tips

The iconic movie character Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks) famously observed life “was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” The same is true for any capsicum that’s not the mild-mannered bell pepper. Even a single chile plant can produce fruit of varying potency, from mild to tongue blistering. So eating chiles is akin to Russian roulette. On YouTube we watched in horror as one culinary thrill-seeker, Jamie Kocher, ate a bhut jolokia, more commonly known as the...

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