219 of 224 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2002
At first I almost called this a great basic grilling book. To be honest, I think this book has changed the definition of a "basic grilling book", simply because while it shows the burgers, etc. that most experienced grill cooks know, it also shows other foods that really are a natural for the grill - expanding the envelope of what really is basic. Many different foods are shown, but nothing is redundant and every subtlety in preparation is explained - giving each recipe a reason for belonging. (ie there aren't seperate recipes for hot dog, cheese dog, and chili dog because there aren't 3 different techniques involved).
The layout and format are simply outstanding - done, again, in what seems to be a "basic grilling book" format. Tons of color pictures showing various techniques. You want to know how to grill chicken breasts? Bam! It's right there. Bone-in chicken? Whole chicken? Chicken sate? Chicken wings? All there.
And for the more seasoned cook, there are new things as well. Recipes like rum-cured smoked salmon and turkey pastrami are a few non-everyday recipes that are quite excellent. And yes, I've tried many of the recipes and they've all come out quite well. In addition, there are plenty of notes and comments that will bring any cook to a higher level.
One note, however. I also bought his 'The Barbecue! Bible' book, and it appears that most of the recipes are also in that book as well, albeit not as nicely illustrated and laid out. I still, though, use both quite frequently (the photos on cutting up a whole chicken are just one of the things that are better in this book).
67 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2002
What the Barbecue Bible! was to inspiration, How to Grill is to technique. Written around 100+ grilling and barbecue techniques this book provides the Backyard Barbecue Chef with an arsenal capable of cooking just about any cut of meat to perfection. In his conversational style the author takes the reader through the process of selecting and preparing the meat, using rubs and marinades and best applying fire to food. After reading this book you will have the ability and knowledge to treat each cut of meat with a cooking technique that will best enhance the natural traits of the food.
Be warned that this book is a little biased toward the charcoal grill, but most of the recipes can be done on a gas grill if that is your taste. In addition it is primarily a book about grilling. The author only touches on advanced cooking techniques such as barbecuing and smoking. He does however treat rotisserie grilling very thoroughly. The section on materials is short but does provide the basic information you will need to know before cooking outdoors.
All told this book is an excellent guide to the fine art of grilling. It is an essential reference manual for both the beginner and advanced cook.
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2001
Like many people I once thought I knew everything I needed to know about grilling -- and how to do it. I own several grilling books, including Barbecue Bible by the author, and have had many successes. But until I got this book I never knew how great grilling could be. Things I have done and especially those I never thought of doing or attempting -- like a whole chicken or turkey or pineapple -- are explained in such great (and color!) detail that I am rethinking every possibility and doing it all better than before. There must be at least six photos or more for every technique -- and the details are helpful even when I am not following the recipes like skewering shrimp or chicken wings. The asparagus "rafts" were a real eye opener and have already saved dozens from a firey fate. Every time you grill you should check this book, not just to find a recipe but just to brush up or learn how to do anything on the grill. Thanks Steven!
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2005
Should really be called "How to Barbecue". While Stephen Raichelen has written many books on culinary creations, he has managed with "How to Grill" to demystify the process of actual barbecue. This is no mere book on how to enjoy your backyard cookout, HTG is a step by step text book detailing and illustrating all the steps you need to go through to produce mouthwatering 'Q, from the types of grill, (gas, smokers, kettles etc...) to the meats, vegetables, fruits, marinades and rubs, fuels, sauces, serving ideas, not to mention items you would never even think of grilling. To those who crave real 'Q and more importantly, the to those who simply love to create it, this is your reference book. I have spent hundreds of 12 hour days with this book creating my own rubs, making my own sauces, drinking beer, getting sunburt, smelling like smoke, lovingly tending to my ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, leg of lamb, whole pig, veggies, fruits or anything else you can image that just tastes better on a grill. Real BBQ is A LOT OF WORK!! But for some it is a labor of love that is always worth the effort when you have your guests sit down and take their first bite of pork spare ribs that taste like they're from the best rib joint in Memphis. Pulled pork right out of Lexington North Carolina, Brisket that would make any Texan sit up straight.Raichlen also has other BBQ books, such as BBQ USA, and the BBQ Bible, both are outstanding additions to HTG with more localized recipies, but if you own just ONE gril/BBQ book "How to Grill" is the one.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2005
Okay, honestly I'm culinary challenged, but this book surely helped me overcome that.
This book is packed with all kinds of good recipes. Everything from how to grill a whole hog, right down to the perfect burger (which really is perfect! I love his technique!) and even a short chapter on grilling deserts (grilled pineapple with cinnamon/sugar is insanely good, especially with vanilla ice-cream)
I have tried numerous recipes and none have failed. The only quam some might have is the challenge of finding some of the ingredients. Well, not only are there usually substitutions that he points out, but often-times you can just ommit the ingredient all-together and still get perfectly fine results.
This book is also great because it's geared towards a very broad audience. A novice should have little problem churning out mouthwatering meals, also a grilling guru (or "grill jockey") will likely stumble across new techniques to help their dishes taste even better. Also, this book starts off be teaching the most basic grill techniques, such as setting up a 3-zone fire, indirect grilling...etc.
It gets better... Everything in this book is made from scratch. Not only will you learn how to apply the right BBQ sauces, rubs, marinades, mop sauces...etc to your dishes, you also learn how to make each and every one! The basic BBQ sauce is hardly "basic" like the name implies, it is the single tastiest BBQ sauce I have tried!
I highly recommend this book!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2003
I love it!!! I've always thought of myself as a grill master. I was the guy you see at every cook out with a drink in my hand next to the grill telling the cook what they're doing wrong. Boy I'm glad I've never had Steven over to my place for a cook out. He would have laughed himself silly. He lets you know how to grill correctly so some jerk like me doesn't hassel you when you're behind the grill. Very good buy and a great gift. Grilling rules!!!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2001
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If you are like me, you just bought a grill and started throwing burgers and chicken and dogs on it. But you weren't too happy with the charred and dry result. This book is grilling 101, and it teaches you how to do everything right. So the recipes ARE basic but they are good and if you follow the directions, they will turn out fine. Most important, you will get the skills to move on to bigger and better things. A real cook has knowledge of the quirks of what he is cooking and what the techniques he is using do, and this book will teach it.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2002
I've got a bunch of grill books, some fancy, some basic, but this one is the best I've seen yet. Steven Raichlen has been around the world gathering an incredible amount of grilling/barbecuing knowledge. But what's knowledge without application? It's all in the book. I've made several of the recipes from How To Grill including the bourbon brined pork steaks, mustard crusted T-bones, brazilian shrimp and yes, beercan chicken. It's hard to imagine life before beercan chicken. All recipes have been simple to prepare and wonderful to eat. The step-by step photos are enormously helpful. Congratulations to Mr. Raichlen and his photographer, Greg Schneider, for making such a foolproof book that you'll use alot. The Barbecue Bible is good too. It includes more exotic recipes and examples of world barbecuing, but not many photos or illustrations.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2001
I'd had relative success grilling in the past. But now I am the master! (say it like Darth Vader) Beer can chicken is the best chicken I've ever had. Was so good that now my sister wants the book. Kansas City style beef ribs? Your whole body goes limp after the first bite! Ribs were so good my dad from the Kansas City area (where they know how to BBQ) had to buy a copy. I didn't like to cook ribs before, because I didn't really know how. Now I look forward to doing it again. Corn on the Cob with Herb Butter is excellent! Smoked a brisket that was wonderful. I'm still working up the cajones to try a Prime Rib - I'm sure it'll turn out great with Steve's help!
The pictures and instructions with every recipe are great. General grilling & smoking instructions are priceless. Good overview of the different grills & tools available.
This book has given my grill the Midas Touch - everything it touches, comes out Good as Gold. Can I give it 6 stars??
80 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2004
This is only an okay cookbook, rather than the be-all, end-all that other reviewers might lead you to believe. It does have some nice information in it but I had several problems with it that led to me returning the book to the store:
-The author claims in his introduction to have gathered as many questions as possible about grilling to help ease worries and generally enlighten people on the "secrets" of grilling. I found this information to be far too brief/summarized and I'm surprised at how much was left out. It seems strange to me that the author is so hyped up about high-fat meat (many of the recipes in the book specifically demand higher fat cuts of meat, or that you don't trim too much of the fat off), but he's gone and written a book for beginners and there isn't one word here about flare-ups, something that anyone is going to experience when cooking high-fat meat, and that will probably be intimidating for beginners.
-Speaking of high-fat meat...this is not a health-conscious cookbook. Not that it really needs to be, but the author doesn't even go so far as to provide calories-per-serving information on any of these recipes. I know that this can be tricky to do with grilling, but it would have been nice to at least get calorie information for the various sauces. Additionally, rather than provide tips on how to keep the flavor/moistness in low-fat cuts or trimmed meat (which, again, will prevent flare-ups and grease buildup), the author disregards these options and just tells the reader to use high-fat meat over and over again.
-The author claims in the introduction that the recipes in this book are organized as lessons to help you learn how to cook them. I didn't find this to be true exactly. Most of the recipes involve extremely time-intensive prepwork or expensive ingredients, such as saffron. I couldn't believe how many recipes in this book called for saffron, which I'm pretty sure is the most expensive spice you can buy in a regular grocery store (50 dollars an ounce last time I checked). If you really were trying to teach yourself how to grill these sorts of things for the first time, would you really want to risk saffron on your experiments? This just didn't make sense to me at all.
That being said, there were a few pretty nice recipes in this book, and some of the basic cooking information for specific kinds of meat is handy. It's just not as spectacular as others are making it out to be; I went into this book with high expectations from these reviews and came out let down.
For experts or for people who have been grilling the wrong way for many years, this might be an interesting book. I don't think I'd recommend it to true beginners. It's not the encyclopedic source of information it claims to be.