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Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Grill It! (Hardcover)
Grill It by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby may not be the only grilling book you will want to own or read, and I certainly would not recommend it as such, but if you can only afford one book, this would be my choice. These authors are the same two that brought us The Thrill of the Grill, a very nicely done work in its own right, but they have out done themselves with this one.

To begin with, just about every bit of basic information, and some not so basic, you will need to know about grilling is found between the covers of this one. The book begins with types of grills available, with plus and minuses noted on each, types of fuels and the plethora of tools now available to the backyard enthusiast.

Chapter headings in this book include Firing up, Steaks, Chops and Ribs, Water-Dewellers, Put a Lid on it, On a Stick, Salads from the Grill, Sides and Snacks and Sips and Sweets. The book in not necessarily stuck in the same old order that you normally find in such works. This one sort of goes back and forth, giving you grilling techniques along with wonderful recipes and recommendations as to variations. This may sound a bit complicated, but it isn't. In fact, this is one of the most useful works I have read on the subject.

Other than the general headings mentioned above, each section also addresses glazes, spices, accompaniments, and is extremely strong on describing techniques. We have full meals, veggies, fruit, baking salads, steaks, chops, fowl, sea food and so much more fully described and photographed. This work is also very strong on ethnic delights, from South American, Turkish, Oriental, Moroccan, Mexican, and everything in-between. There are literally hundreds of dishes represented here; each is accompanied by wonderful photographs and excellent, easy to follow instructions.

One of the many things I like about this book is the author's attitude toward cooking. They encourage experimentation and are not hung up on "exactness." There attitude seems to be "try it and if it works, great, if it does not work, well then try this....." I guess this fits my attitude also, so I was able to understand exactly what they were saying.

Now as to specific recipes; I certainly have not tried ever one of the ones presented in this book...yet. I have personally cooked up several which include many of the vegetable dishes, Cuban-Style Smoked Ribs, Mediterranean Spiced Rubbed Port Chops, three Moroccan-style dishes using scallops and most of the Turkish dishes using lamb. I have also used several of the fish and shell fish recopies and techniques in this work. This list is not all inclusive, but is a good example of what we have tried. There was not one of these dishes that was not absolutely delicious and not one that did not receive rave reviews from friends and family! Now I am not an expert cook as my wife is; am not a gourmet cook as my wife is, so if someone like me can turn out the dishes that I have prepared using this book, then anyone can.

(A note of caution here and/or advice: When cooking the meat dishes, the success or failure of your dish will greatly depend upon the cut and quality of meat uses. Do not skimp in this area!)

Unlike so many cookbooks of today, the ingredients given in this one are, for the most part, available locally, and if they are not, can easily be found on line, particularly some of the spices. It should also be noted that the fare presented here goes from the quite simple to the quite complex and there is something in this book to please just about every taste.

What I would suggest, which is what I did; first check this one out form the library and try a couple of the dishes and give the book a going over. If you like what you cook and find (which you will), then go ahead and purchase the thing. We have a vast collection of cookbooks gathered during the last fifty or more years and I have to say that for outdoor cooking, this one is probably he best of the bunch in that category.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 14, 2009 9:48:56 PM PST
Karen Joan says:
Now I am HUNGRY.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2009 6:02:41 AM PST
lol, me too Karen. Food is a big part of my life...good food, that is. Thanks for stopping by.

Posted on May 8, 2011 12:45:35 PM PDT
A On Wheels says:
Is this book considerably updated from The Thrill of the Grill? I'm just trying to figure out how they might differ. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2011 4:57:02 PM PDT
Hi Wheels. I don't own Thrill but have read it. Personally I think that the book being reviewed here, Grill it, is better...but then I am a bad one to ask as I have a problem with impulsive buying of cookbooks. I will note though, as noted by a couple of the other reviewers of Thrill, that in that book the authors discourace covering you grill while cooking. I have found this to be not correct in the way I cook and I use the cover constantly to regulate the heat...guess it is a matter of style.

There are different recipes in each book, but since the range is so wide and so large it does not really matter. I (we) modify stuff so much as we cook that in our case the "makings" are sort of moot after a few times cooking a particular dish.

Thanks so much for stopping so talking books and/or cooking and eating!

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D. Blankenship

Location: The Ozarks

Top Reviewer Ranking: 39