Most helpful positive review
78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Exceptional! A Must-Have Addition To The Grilling Library!
on March 11, 2011
According to the back cover, this is Weber/Jamie Purviance's eighth grilling book. By my count ( I own 'em all!), the seven previous books total about 1,400 recipes, excluding those for rubs, marinades and sauces. So, you ask, does this book add enough to the grilling experience to justify its purchase?
O my! Indeed it does!
So let me walk you through this gem of a book, to see if I can convince you to shell out the dinero for it. My bona fides? As I calculate it, this is easily my 50th year cooking over live fire with Weber equipment, and I hope that this gives me some basis for opining on this book. Let's go.
The first section you will see as you page through it is called "Grilling Basics". It includes the usual stuff on charcoal vs gas, how to light a grill, etc. More importantly, it also contains such sections as "a well stocked pantry" as well as a list of equipment that is essential for the griller. Also included is a section called "prep school', which has detailed photos and instructions on such things as choping an onion, dicing a jalapeno chile, prepping seafood and prepping poultry. It's a cool primer on things one needs to master before the meat hits the flame.
Next you will see sections and recipes for rubs, marinades, sauces and dressings. While the first three are both important for good, flavorful results, and expected recipes in any good grilling book, the "dressings" are a first, as far as I can tell. I really like them, because most will work as salad dressings, as well as for finishing grilled entrees. All of the rubs, marinades, sauces and dressings are marked with the type of food they are best used with, i.e., beef, poultry, etc.
The major portion of the book is broken down into sections on red meats, pork, poultry, seafood, eggs (read breakfast food) veggies and desserts. Within these sections, and on opposite pages as you read, are recipes noted as "easy" and "adventurous". I should note that the latter does not mean complex or difficult. For example, you will find steak fajitas with a 15 min prep time, 20 min marinating time and 4 -6 min grilling time. On the opposite page is the recipe for steak & cheese tamale casserole, with a 30 min prep time and a grilling time of 1 hour. Similarly, later in the book, you will see "easy" chile rubbed pork tenderloin, opposed by "adventurous" grilled pork pasole (stew). Total time for the former is about 40 min and for the latter, a bit over 1 hour. I would not consider any of the "adventurous" recipes as overly difficult or beyond the grasp of one who is new to the grill; they just have a bit more complexity to the appearance and the flavor of the finished dish.
I like the breakfast section a lot, mainly because most do not associate grilling with breakfast. But as a MUCH younger guy, I remember doing pancakes and sausage in a skillet over charcoal on one of those post grills that are in some parks here. Pretty good results with some mimosas while the unlimited hydroplanes raced on the Detroit River. It's a very neat section.
For those with personal communication devices, Weber has a way to get a shopping list for each dish to you while you are in the market. The contact information to type in appears at the bottom of each recipe. That obviates the inevitable "oops!" when you start to prep and find that a critical ingredient is not in the pantry. A very neat inclusion.
In sum, then, I like and recommend this book without a single reservation. In a similar manner, I also endorse the whole line of Weber/Purviance books, all of which have five star reviews here. I have lived with and worked with these books for many years, since the "Big Book" came out in 2001. I freely admit to being a dedicated Weberholic; I have cooked on their grills for decades, used their after market equipment and have relied on their books. I have rarely been disapponted, and when I was, it was usually something I had done to mess up the grits.
When I light the fire (and I do so all year long, even in our Michigan winters), it's with the hope and expectation of putting really flavorful food in front of family and friends. I like to surprise them with new and innovative food, and this book will surely let me do that for a good long time.