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The Thrill of the Grill: Techniques, Recipes, & Down-Home Barbecue Paperback – June 14, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (June 14, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688088325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688088323
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In his jacket photo, ace grill chef Chris Schlesinger has the look of Howdy Doody with a stomach full of barbecue. It's a speechless kind of look. Schlesinger, however, is not a speechless kind of guy. Starting with the motto, "Brown food tastes better," Schlesinger and his writing partner, John Willoughby, show the reader exactly why that is. The ride lasts nearly 400 pages.

It's hard to imagine a pre-Thrill of the Grill time in American culinary life, so mighty has the impact been. It's a book with a built-in virus of insidious and infecting qualities that will have even the least interested among us out at the grill, getting the fire glass-melting hot, trying a few ideas like Grilled Shrimp with Pineapple-Ancho Chile Salsa, or Grilled Chicken Rubbed with Ethiopian Berbere (hot, hot, hot), or Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Yucatan Orange-Herb Paste, or maybe Beef Heart Grilled and Marinated in the Peruvian Way (or maybe not).

Actually, that right there--beef heart--is rather telling. Who else in their right minds would include grilled beef heart in their cookbook? These guys, Schlesinger in the lead, breaking trail, will go anywhere, do anything, and bring it all home to grill and eat.

The sheer love of food pours off these pages--the way it tastes and feels, the way super spices fire up your nervous system, the way the juices run down your forearm and off your elbow--and that's the way it should be. Relaxed. Determined. Thrilled. And with Thrill of the Grill tucked under one arm, you are sure to have the time of your life every time you fire up your grill and start cooking.

Plan on buying a couple of copies. This is one of those cookbooks that will get so grease- and sauce-splattered it will become unreadable. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

The "new wave" of grill cookery pits smoky tang against searingly hot seasonings. And fans of the capsicum genus will find plenty of it here: tabasco, serrano, jalapeno and habanero permeate recipes, with fresh ginger and garlic running a close second. Schlesinger, co-owner of the East Coast Grill in Cambridge, Mass., and coauthor Willoughby, a contributor to Cook's Magazine , seek raw, strong savor in what they serve. Some preparations are basic: grilled toast canapes, chicken hobo pack (a Boy Scout campground favorite) and barbecued bologna--"the cutting edge of new barbecue"--are well suited to beginning grillers. More intricate are the accompaniments suggested. Not all cooks, for example, will want to concoct their own banana-guava ketchup. And the authors' version of Valley-Girl-speak--they provide "Totally Awesome Rosemary-Grilled Rabbit with Cumberland Sauce," and their grills, they say, "just wanna have fun"--may amuse or annoy. Yet their enthusiasm for good times and good grilling is catching. Photos not seen by PW. Advertising; author tour; first serial to New Woman.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

At least I found it to be a little more intricate than what I was looking for.
M. Smith
Taste is always a matter of opinion, but I found that many of the recipes here are simply not for everyone.
Derrick Peterman
I can't recommend this book enough for anyone who loves to grill and wants to expand their repertoire.
Tom Kemeny

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey W. Schultz on August 10, 2000
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I'm not going to try to add anything to the already wonderful comments on this cookbook. However, I would like to point out that the spiral version is nothing like the hard-copy version. The format is completely different, with the recipies being printed on 5x5" cards that are spiral bound and are designed to flip over a built-in easel to aid in cooking while cooking.
There are no pictures of any of the end results. I must admit that I get inspired by looking at pictures, so the lack of them really reduces the usability/desirability of this book.
I had seen the hard-copy,which I loved, before purchasing the spiral bound version which got exchanged for the hard-copy version.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
The negative reviews of this book seem to fall into two categories: those who were expecting a book on barbecue and those who quibble with minor errors in the text. Admittedly, this book is not the bbq bible it has been hailed by some to be. Its main focus is on GRILLING. If you want a barbecue book (slow cooking with smoke), get something else. If you want fabulous grilled food with interesting and different flavors, this book is for you. The second criticism - that there are errors in the text - is also valid. Along with the previously mentioned shrimp problem, he occasionally calls for "skinless, boneless chicken breasts" that should be grilled until the "skin is brown and crisp." But really, live a little! Don't slavishly follow the recipe and panic when there's an inconsistency. His whole point is to be creative when you grill! And any inconsistencies are far outweighed by the ease and quality of the recipes, the entertaining writing style and the outstanding flavor of the food.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have at least a dozen grilling/barbecue cookbooks and if I could only keep one this would be it. It's a classic IMHO. It covers grilling and barbeque and does justice to both. The pork rub (for shoulder/ribs) is great. I would recommend "License to Grill" as well.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 1999
Format: Spiral-bound
I checked this book out of the library for my husband to learn to use his new grill. Last night we tried our first recipes, caribbean-style grilled seafood soup served with 1) cornbread salad with lime juice and cilantro, 2) grilled zucchini with thyme, 3) red onions with rosemary and balsamic vinegar and 4) east coast lemonaide. What a feast! What novel flavors and easy to follow instructions. Now it sits on my kitchen book shelf with the only three other cook books I found worth owning 1) Joy of Cooking, 2) Macrobiotic cooking for health, harmony, and peace, and 3) Chef Chu's distinctive cuisine of China.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Derrick Peterman on November 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
Afraid I'm in the minority here. While I use this book and am glad to have it, I've had mixed results from the recipes. In some cases, it seems the flavor combinations were chosen more for experimental reasons or to make a culinary statement, rather than because they taste good. Taste is always a matter of opinion, but I found that many of the recipes here are simply not for everyone. And it should be noted that a lot of the recipes have little to do with grilling or barbeque, as the book is a bit unfocused.
On the plus side, the text is more enjoyable to read than most cook books, with all sorts of interesting insights and recollections on most recipes. The southern, folksy demeanor of Schlesinger really makes this fun to read.
But cookbooks are usually bought for the recipes, and there are problems. The West Indies chicken calls for way too much rub, and I simply found it to be "an acquired taste". I simply didn't have the courage to try the Jerk Seasoning, which was basically a Scotch Bonnet chile paste with a whisper of other ingredients. Surprisingly, neither cloves nor allspice was one of them. I suppose one shouldn't criticize before trying it, but it's hard to imagine anyone other than the most bound determined fire-eater choking that one down. Does anyone really have time to simmer the tomatoes for 4 hours for the All-American Barbeque sauce, when so many other great sauces can be made in far less time and with less effort? Personally, I found some of the fruit and spice combinations to simply not work.
This is not to say that good recipes cannot be found. Some of the simple ones work well, such as the grilled bananas or the Greek-inspired lamb marinade.
Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wonton Excess on May 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was the first 'serious' bbq book I bought and it has been through so much abuse since I got it that it's a credit to the bookbinding art in this country that it is still whole. I would have given it 5 stars were it not for some annoying formatting in the book that puts some recipes on too many pages; it would have been possible to reformat it to make the recipes easier to flip through. But that is a very minor complaint in comparison with the outrageously good information that this book provides.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 1999
Format: Spiral-bound
This is a great cookbook for someone who wants to expand their grilling beyond 'dogs and burgers. Written with a wry sense of humor and good advice on drinks to accompany the act of grilling and the meal itself, it's lots of fun and makes a good gift. Emphasis is on southern-style BBQ but there's some Asian influences, and the author plays around with exotic ingredients in the marinades (green mango, for example.) Also receipes for side dishes.
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