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The Barbecue! Bible: Over 500 Recipes Paperback – January 6, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There's a world of grilled food out there, and Steven Raichlen seems to have wandered through all of it the State Department deemed "safe." No Afghanistan, for instance. No Iraq. But not to worry. Any decent conflict produces refugees, and nothing travels quite so easily as your own way with food. So Raichlen availed himself of restaurant cooks in this country where and when he had to--all to get right down to the meat of it.

"Barbecue," as Raichlen points out, is a confusing word in the U.S. because it means so many things, up to and including slow-cooked barbecue with its smoky aroma and succulent charm. The word stands in for the tool itself. It's an event. It's food. It's the style of cooking.

To set the record straight, 90 percent of Raichlen's recipes (there are more than 500, from drinks to appetizers to main courses, salads, and desserts, not to mention sauces and dry rubs) are for grilled foods--and that can mean cooked on a hot grill, a moderately hot grill, a relatively cool grill, or an indirectly heated grill (which is more like an oven than a grill, but that's another story). Raichlen gets into some barbecue recipes: pork ribs, for example, or beef brisket, or chicken. But the reader would be better advised to look elsewhere for instruction specific to barbecue (cooking for long periods of time with smoke at low heat). The results will be more appealing.

But grilling. Well, Steven Raichlen has a lock on grilling. This book is absolutely overwhelming it is so deep, so comprehensive, so far-reaching, so all-encompassing. This isn't one of those chefs with taste memories from a grill in Barbados, now let's try to jazz it up and be clever kind of books. No. This is a book by an author who squatted in the market in Vietnam eating whole grilled eggs dipped in a special sauce, and he gives you the recipe and the technique. You could go set up your own egg-grilling stand in a Vietnamese market with this book. You could open shop in Central or South America. Or North Africa. Or the Middle East. Or Korea. Anywhere food is grilled--be that meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetables--Raichlen's been there and brought home the goods. The real goods.

But there's another angle, too. Raichlen freely shares his travel experiences with you, making this a valuable travel book. And he freely shares his techniques, too, telling you exactly how he learned and all about who taught him. His book is worth it just for the section on salads and sauces. Start there and work your way from cover to cover. Hey, take all summer trying. You won't regret it. Your life will never be the same. You'll probably find yourself thinking that if one grill in the backyard is good, two is no doubt better. See? You're already on your way. Let Steven Raichlen be your guide. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

The title of the latest assemblage from the author of James Beard Award-winning Raichlen (Miami Spice; High-Flavor Low-Fat Cooking) doesn't begin to convey the international scope of the nearly 500 grilling recipes he gathered while on a three-year, 25-country pilgrimage. Starting with appropriate drinks to accompany grilled food (try a Smoky Martini, flavored with a single drop of Liquid Smoke), Raichlen next turns to appetizers as varied as Shrimp Mousse on Sugarcane, which he discovered in Vietnam, and Grilled Snails, which Patricia Wells told him about during a trip to France. Entrees bold enough to stand up to such beginnings include Korean Sesame-Grilled Beef and cumin-scented Peruvian Beef Kebabs (adapted for American tastes with sirloin rather than beef heart). Raichlen's blendings of tastes and traditions are exemplified in Argentinian Veal and Chicken Kebabs, savory with pancetta, red bell pepper and prunes. Revered American traditions are captured with such recipes as Elizabeth Karmel's North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork and The Great American Hamburger. Raichlen also includes a host of non-grilled salads and vegetables to serve as worthy foils to the intense flavors of food hot from the fire. Sesame Spinach is a favorite dish from Japan, and A Different Greek Salad takes its zip from romaine and dill. This will be a must-have collection for any home cook hoping to expand his or her grilling horizons.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition edition (January 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563058669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563058660
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
Among the hosts of books out there claiming to be some kind of bible or another, The Barbecue Bible, by James-Beard-winning author Steven Raichlen is one that lives up to the name. The product of years of travel--over 150,000 miles through five continents--this phonebook-thick study of fire-cooked foods is part travel diary, part history book, part cookbook, and part anthropological study. Notwithstanding the difficulty in defining exactly what cooking styles the term "barbeque" encompases, (the author uses the broadest definition) this book is primarily about grilling. Packed with over 500 recipes including sauces, rubs, side dishes, desserts and exotic drinks from around the world, Raichlen's first hand experience and pithy, "how to" lessons on technique make for easy preparation and a thoroughly interesting read. Covering nearly every posible style imagianble--from Jamaican Jerk to Indonesian Saté to North Carolina pulled pork--you'll find yourself skimming the recipes for content alone. But then, how many cook books feature recipes that begin with phrases like "The Berbers are a rugged, rug-weaving people who live in Morocco's Atlas Mountains" (when introducing a Berber marinade). The layout is clean and easy to follow, with minimal reliance on photographs, so you won't find the standard "prettier than I could ever make at home" images you see in most cookbooks. The relatively few photos that are used serve to connect recipes and techniques to there cultural origins--like images of a real South American pit barbeque, or a North African market. In all, this startlingly comprehensive book offers a wealth of knowledge and is a must have for anyone interested in improving their flare on the grill.
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Format: Paperback
I live near the ballpark and before games people come over for BBQs. I got this book as a present and I can't give it enough accolades. Everything that I have tried in it has gotten me rave reviews. The first recipe scared me because the maranade looked like this green scary stuff, but after cooking the Jamaican Jerk Pork it was gone in ten minutes and they were asking for more. This book has more than just great dishes like the Steak from Hell and the Bulgarian Burgers (which are excellent and suguest you try), but it has a plethora of tremendous sauces and dips from the miso sauce for the eggplants to the Oxsana guacamole. I never really cooked vegetables on the grill before this but now I do all sorts of things. The recipes are easy to follow too because I'm a single guy and have no clue on cooking. This is definitely a necessity for anyone who BBQs.
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Format: Paperback
I received this book as a Christmas gift from my husband, and it is one of my favorite cookbooks! It has everything from appetizers, drinks, salads, main dishes and even desserts! My absolute favorite dish is the Grilled Pork with Fiery Salsa. It takes a bit of work, but the results are worth it! If you don't like your salsa so fiery-use a chile such as jalapeno instead of the habarenos as the recipe suggests-we have tried it both ways, and it turns out great everytime! (We are fire eaters though). The North Carolina Vinegar Sauce is just as good as I have had in the Carolinas. The variety of barbecue sauce recipes is an appealing part of this book as well. Many recipes are preceded by little vignettes about their origin-it is a combination travel book as well as a cookbook. With this book your taste buds can go from Jakarta to Greece and on to Morocco in one week if you wish. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves to cook, eat or just read about the different foods of the world.
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Format: Hardcover
Let's face it, in our gender-stereotyped world, grilling is usually for the guys. Burgers, chicken, an occasional steak. Before I discovered the "Barbeque Bible," my cooking repetoire consisted of baked pizza, tacos, and hamburgers. Now I'm impressing guests with Grilled Pizza, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Memphis Style Ribs, Thai Sates, Bahamian Chicken, and even authentic grilled Indian food. I'm actually able to "hang with" my wife in the cooking department, and can outgrill most men. This book provides authentic recipes so that you can make everything from scratch. After a few recipes, you may never use prepackaged seasoning and sauces. What I like most is the excellent index; if you are feeling like something from the islands, there are dozens of recipes. In the mood for Asian? Take your pick of many excellent and exotic recipes. In short, this book can be the way to move to a "higher plane" of grilling; you will probably become a "grill snob" in only a few short weeks! Hamburgers? You've got to be kidding!
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Format: Paperback
I can't believe some of the criticism this book has provoked. Too many ingredients per recipe? Has 'no direction'? Skips the basics? Bah! It's best to keep in mind what Raichlen is aiming for: an accurate description of different grilling techniques the world over. He draws his recipes from virtually every reach of the earth, including Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East -- obscure recipes that otherwise may not have been available without this wonderful, all-inclusive compendium. I find it hard to believe that 'all the recipes taste the same', when a Guadeloupean Crayfish in a Curry Beure Blanche is about as similar to an Iranian Saffron and Lemon Chicken as, well, fish is to fowl. (Both, by the way, are delicious...)
As far as covering the basics, he goes into concise and complete detail on all manner of technique -- everything from how to cook your basic hamburger, to how to properly segment a chicken, to how to arrange the coals in your grill. At the beginning of every major chapter, he describes how different foods should be cooked. If you look at each individual recipe that includes chicken breast, it will not include a description on how to cook chicken breast: it was covered earlier! Read the book!
In short, this book comprises an eclectic range of tasty grill recipes, all explained in detail. There is also a great deal of food history included, as well as some very helpful glossaries. This is an essential book for any griller, whether you want to learn how to get your steaks just right, or want to branch out into less familiar territory.
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