Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Barbecue University™

Barbecue University™

Add Flavor to Brisket with One of These Dry Rubs

Add Flavor to Brisket with One of These Dry Rubs

When you scratch the surface, you’ll find barbecue is riddled with controversies. One of them is how aggressively to season brisket before throwing it on the smoker. Some pit masters, like Wayne Mueller of Louis Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas, take a minimalist approach, seasoning solely with equal parts of coarse salt and pepper—an elemental rub sometimes called a “Dalmatian rub” because it’s white with black speckles. Others (myself included), add hot red...

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Barbecue University™

How to Cold Smoke Cheese at Home

How to Cold Smoke Cheese at Home

If you’re looking for an easy project to expand your grilling and smoking repertoire, there’s nothing more gratifying than cold smoking cheese. It’s easy, requires very little in the way of equipment, is relatively inexpensive, and is a fantastic addition your pantry. (Not to mention, it makes a great gift.) Wintertime is the perfect time to try your hand at cold-smoking; you should have no trouble maintaining temperatures below 90 degrees in your smoker or grill, especially if you live in a northern state. If you’re...

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Barbecue University™

Perfect For Winter: Grilled Soups

Perfect For Winter: Grilled Soups

From Kentucky’s beloved burgoo to Virginia’s Brunswick stew to cowboy chili, America has a long history with soups cooked over live fire. And yet, mention grilling soup to nearly anyone, and they’ll look at you like you’ve ingested too much smoke—and not necessarily the kind generated by hardwoods. If you spent any time with your grill or smoker this past year, you surely grilled or smoked meat and charred vegetables for a salad or side dish. So it’s not a leap to imagine using one or the other or both to create...

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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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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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