Come on baby, light my fire!
The "Grand Guru of Grilling," the "Boss of Barbecue" or whatever moniker you might choose for Steven Raichlen, the esteemed (some might even say "sainted") author of The Barbecue! Bible is back and better than ever. To welcome in this grilling season, Smoky Steven gives us How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques. With more than 1,000 full-color photos and 100 all-new recipes, this book is a veritable master class in grill skills - a prequel, if you will, to his Bible. Raichlen addresses all the questions you have about live fire cooking and some you probably never even thought of. In two separate sections, he virtually takes you by the hand, and shows you how to choose the right grill and how to use it for direct and indirect grilling, smoking and rotisserie cooking. The seasoned grill jockey may not need all this info, but I found it reassuring.
The fire-fueled festivities really get underway with the individual lessons. Each focuses on a particular technique and recipe and is accompanied by a fabulous, inspiring photo of the finished dish and detailed, step-by-step technique photos for grill set-up, food prep and on-the-grill care. You'll find traditional favorites - North Carolina Pulled Pork, smoked Memphis-Style Beef Ribs, Good Old American Grilled Chicken - but you'll also find new treasures - a show-stopping, whole Barbecued Cabbage, Grilled Quesadillas and Pizza, Bluefish in Banana Leaves, even Grilled Chipotle Cremes Brulees. In Raichlin's grilling gospel, fun is mandatory, and the fun of making and eating fine, fire cooked food is what you'll learn from this grillmeister's masterpiece.
Sybil Pratt has been cooking up the column for more than five years.