Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Barbecue University™

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™

How to Make the Smoked Beef Tacos of Your Dreams

How to Make the Smoked Beef Tacos of Your Dreams

A buddy of mine—Dallas-based food and travel writer extraordinaire Mike Hiller—recently posted a photo on Facebook of a taco that stopped me in my tracks: It was composed of tender shards of chorizo-spiced beef plate ribs and flame-roasted salsa verde and topped with crunchy chicharrones (fried pork rinds). He encountered this sexy taco while judging an event called Chefs for Farmers. The taco’s creator was talented chef Cody Sharp of Dallas’ Wheelhouse restaurant. Mike made online introductions,...

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Barbecue University™

4 Ways to Use Coffee To Up Your Barbecue Game

4 Ways to Use Coffee To Up Your Barbecue Game

O Coffee how we love thee! Strong coffee and espresso have helped us survive long overnight smoke sessions and clear early morning mental fog enough to prep a brisket for an all-day cook. Perhaps it is the reliance on caffeine that inspired the first barbecuers to use coffee in their recipes. Whatever the reason that introduced coffee to the barbecue scene, it has been a happy marriage between the two. Have YOU tried coffee in your barbecue routine? There are several...

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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™

Sweet Corn Steps Up to the Plate

Sweet Corn Steps Up to the Plate

A company well-known for canned and frozen vegetables recently announced America’s favorite vegetable is . . . drum roll, please . . . broccoli. Sorry, but I’m not buying it. And not just because they only polled 4,000 people. What I am buying is sweet corn—from roadside stands, the farmers’ market, and when they’re selling fresh local ears, even the supermarket. Just-picked sweet corn is in season in many states right now, making it one of the best things about August and the dog days of summer. Corn has its...

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Barbecue University™

The Cold Grate Method for Grilling Steaks

The Cold Grate Method for Grilling Steaks

If your idea of a perfect steak is crusty on the outside, grilled to a uniform rare to medium-rare, masterfully seasoned with a hint of wood smoke, and tantalizingly juicy when you cut into it, listen up. There’s a new grilling method you’ve probably never heard of. The secret? A cold grate. I was first introduced to this singular technique by David Parrish, the founder of Adrenaline Barbecue Company (aka, ABC) of Concord, North Carolina. David,...

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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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