Tag Archives: grilling

Slow Fire | Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe


It’s hard to imagine another smell that says “summer” more than BBQ.

Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue

TITLE: Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue
AUTHOR: Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe
PUBLISHER: Chronicle Books

• • • • •

Featured Ingredient: BrisketBeef Brisket Chart
Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. The beef brisket is one of the nine beef prime cuts. The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals. As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing/moving cattle. This requires a significant amount of connective tissue, so the resulting meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue. [Wikipedia]

• • • • •

First Impressions
I’m a sucker of BBQ cookbooks, so, I’ll try my level best to be objective. It won’t be easy. Dr. BBQ (aka Ray Lampe), has near legendary status in the smoky sub-culture of BBQ. So, you’re learning from a true master of the grill. There are lots of beautiful color images by Leigh Beisch throughout the book. I just loved the books finished size. It made it very easy to keep it open while cooking. A big plus for me. Most recipes are contained to one page. Love the design artwork with the two-tone pages. There is a fair amount of reverse type. But, it is surprisingly easy to read.

• • • • •

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Tools & Techniques
Spices and Sauces
Ribs Rule the World
Pork, Glorious Pork
Beautiful Beef
The Birds
Anything But
The Necessary Side Dishes

• • • • •

It’s hard to resist Rhett & Link. I know what you’re thinking…

• • • • •

The Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Superchicken Wing Rub Windy City Rib Tips
Competition-Style Pork Butt Homemade Pastrami
Smoky Skirt Steak Fajitas Smoked Flat-Cut Brisket with Coffee
Superchicken Smoked Wings Smoked Scotch Eggs
Planked Salmon with Soy-Honey Glaze Cheesy Mac and Cheese


Let’s just say that most of Ray’s recipes made my mouth water. Instantly! Were there one’s that rose above the crowd? But of course. The Roadside Barbecue Spareribs (p.56) seems like a recipe that most would be grill masters could easily tackle. I love Cuban food. So, the Cuban-style Leg of Pork (p.79), was an instant winner for me. It looks delicious. No lie. I’m making that soon. Keep an eye out here for the finished product. I know about the State Fair. And, I know about Disney. As you approach Frontierland, you can see a steady stream of people walking and eating. More like gnawing. They’re tackling giant, beautifully cooked turkey legs. It’s almost like they’re in some turkey induced trance. Anyway, if the State Fair Turkey Legs (p.129) come even close to those, then I say, “We have a WINNER!” Finally, the Bacon and Blue Cheese Coleslaw (p.161) would make a fine addition to any meal whether it was barbecued or not.

• • • • •

Special Features
Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue I like the fact that recipe names are included in the table of contents. It makes it easy to see what you’re getting yourself into. I guess you could flip to the index. But, the index is never that great to navigate for something like that. There is a lot of info on tools, equipment and cooker types. That’s expected since BBQ isn’t like cooking in your kitchen. It requires special stuff. A great excuse for me to accumulate extra gadgets! There is a Table of Equivalents (p.176). I think it’s a conversion chart in sheep’s clothing. I really should stop obsessing about that.

• • • • •

Slow Fire, is a fun book. As, most BBQ/grill books are. There are some pretty intense ones on the market today. This one takes a much more laid back approach. That’s to my liking. The recipes here could keep your grill happy all summer long. Or, all year long depending on where you live. The recipes are of medium difficulty. Nothing that couldn’t be tackled by any would-be BBQ enthusiast. Ray is super creative. I like that. It’s not just another BBQ book. And, that’s good because it’s a pretty busy space. There are some truly unique recipes here that deserve your attention. This cookbook claims to be for beginners. And, lots of its elements are aimed at the novice. But, there is really something here for outdoor chefs of all experience levels. If you’re a near expert BBQer you needn’t turn your nose up at the thought of a beginner book. There is certainly something here for you too. So, dig out your pigtail, tongs and tin foil and get grilling!

• • • • •

Culinary Expertise: 5.0
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue

Resources, Links and Press
Dr. BBQ’s Official Website
Follow Dr. BBQ on Twitter
Dr. BBQ’s favorite BBQ Joints
Slow Fire review: Top Ribs

Ultimate Camp Cooking | Faverman & Mac


A kitchen as big as the great outdoors!

Ultimate Camp Cooking

TITLE: Ultimate Camp Cooking
AUTHOR: Mike Faverman and Pat Mac
PUBLISHER: Andrews McMeel Publishing
CUISINE: Grilling/Outdoor

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Featured Ingredient: The S’MoreS'More By sanchom
I don’t know a campout that’s complete without S’Mores. It is one of the simplest recipes you can make. But, it takes patience and technique to pull off a perfectly melted campfire treat. Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. Three ingredients that when combined in just the right proportion and at just the perfect temperature makes a summertime memory like no other.

• • • • •

First Impressions
It’s a nice size, easily portable. And, has a comfortable, well-worn texture to it. It almost feels like an old Boy Scout handbook. I think the cover may possibly be waterproof. I’m not going to experiment, I’ll leave that to you. The recipes are contained on one or two pages at most. That means there is no need to flip pages to continue a recipe. If you’re actually using this on a camping trip, any recipe that’s more than two pages may be too complicated anyway. I always like to give photo credit. In this case an entire page (p.199) is dedicated to the topic. Go there if you’re interested.

• • • • •

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Ultimate Camp Cooking Basics
Entrees (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Vegetarian)
Side Dishes
Soups and Salads
Metric Conversions & Equivalents (Yes, its own chapter!)

• • • • •

Now to get you in the mood for a campfire makin’, S’more eatin’, good time…


• • • • •

The Best Of The Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Brie Cheese Wrap Omelet in a Bag
Ponderosa Steak Sandwich Jerk Chicken
Chicken Camp Casserole Chicken Pot Pie
Camp Roast Pulled Pork Taco Bar
Beer Brats Cedar Plank Salmon
Pat Mac’s Chili Monkey Bread


Are there some recipes that rise above the campfire flame? Indeed there are. The Dutch Oven Benedict (p.38) seems like it would be an awesome start to a day of hiking, fishing or exploring. It’s pretty rich. You’re going to want to move around a little after eating it. A dinner consisting of Drunk’n Flank Steak (p.91) and Dad’s Potatoes (p.142) would be a perfect end to a day in the great outdoors. It’s certainly a BIG upgrade from the typical food you get on a camping trip. Unless, that trip includes an RV of some type and a personal chef. Let’s finish the day off with an individual Camp S’More Pie (p.193). A creative take on a true outdoor classic.

Special Features
If you’ve never been camping, or cooked outdoors there are some great tips here. Ultimate Camp CookingThe Basics section has ideas for meal planning, packing and camp site cleanup. If you need suggestions on how to handle a bear in your camp, you can quickly flip to page 22-23. You may want to read this section ahead of your trip. My “favorite” feature, the Metric Conversion Table rears its head. In this cookbook it has its very own chapter! The reality is that this time the chart may actually be useful. I’m assuming you’re not bringing the resources of your entire home kitchen out into the wilderness with you. And, there’s a better than even chance you won’t have a cell signal. So, if you have the need to convert, you’re all set. I’m not quite sure what’s up with the Fahrenheit to Celsius to British gas mark table, but, if you happen to be camping in the UK you’re covered. The stories from Mike and Pat make for some entertaining reading. If you’re bored on your camping trip or it’s raining and you’re tent-bound, you’ll have some material.

Ultimate Camp Cooking is a fun read. It’s obvious that the authors enjoy what they’re doing. One look at the cover image and you’ll know that they won’t be taking the subject too seriously. And, as much as the cookbook seems like a novelty, there are some great recipes inside. There are only three appetizers, but there are a ton of main courses. Four vegetarian dishes, but, loads of great sides. It seems like a mix that would work well if you have limited cooking resources. The hardest part to any of these dishes is the cooking process itself. Things are cooked outside and not necessarily grilling. Once you have the fire built, the recipes go together easily. It might not produce five star restaurant food, but, it is certainly five star camping food. Your camp site cuisine will be the envy of all. Your neighbors will be drooling over their box of Cheez-It’s and bag of Dorito’s when they spy your dinner. While you’re finishing off your Stuffed French Toast (p.82), enjoying a beautiful morning, they’ll be looking despondently at their cold Pop-Tart. Sad…

Culinary Expertise Required: 4.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Ultimate Camp Cooking

Resources, Links and Press
Ultimate Camp Cooking Website
Monkey Bread Gone Bad – Video
Mac and the Big Cheese on Facebook
Enjoy Utah! – Cookbook Review

Beerlicious | Ted Reader


Is beer really an essential part of the BBQ process? I’ll let you decide.

Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin' and Chillin'

TITLE: Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin’ and Chillin’
AUTHOR: Ted Reader
CUISINE: Barbecue

• • • • •

Featured Ingredient: Hops
Hops are the female flower clusters (commonly called seed cones or strobiles), of a hopHops | By Duncan Harris species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine. Hops were cultivated continuously around the 8th or 9th century AD in Bohemian gardens in the Hallertau district of Bavaria and other parts of Europe. However, the first documented use of hops in beer as a bittering agent is from the 11th century. Before this period, brewers used a wide variety of bitter herbs and flowers, including dandelion, burdock root, marigold, horehound (the German name for horehound means “mountain hops”), ground ivy, and heather. [Wikipedia]

First Impression
First off, if you show me a cookbook that has the word beer in the title, I’m immediately interested. Second, if there are recipes using just about every descent brew on the planet, I’m hooked. Such is the case with, Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin’ and Chillin’. Ted Reader has done an amazing job of combining the fine art of grilling and the fine art of beer drinking into one fun read. There are lots of great beer and non-beer images. It will get your mouthwatering from start to finish.

• • • • •

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
BBQ Seasoning Rubs and Sauces
Lamb, Veal, Game
Crustaceans and Fishes
Desserts and Breads

• • • • •

The guys over at Beer America TV know their brews. In this episode they head out to central NY to the Southern Tier Brewing Company to review their Imperial Red. Check out what they think.


• • • • •

Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)


Orgasmic Onion Burger Seasoning Pabst Blue Ribbon Hillbilly Basting Sauce
Beer Injected Bacon-Wrapped Scallops Ron’s Beer Brined Artic Char
Nut Brown Gaucho Flank Steak Roll-up Big Wheel Buttered Smoked Brisket
Cooper’s Lamb Ribs Yellow Snow Rib Sandwich
Pilsner Urquell Van Gogh Chicken Heeb’s Venison Beer Sausages
Rob McCann’s Grill-Baked Oysters with Beck’s Leffe Brune Smoked Extra-Meaty Back Ribs
Amsterdam Natural Blonde Ultimate Hot Dog Kronenbourge 1664 Poached and Grilled Halibut


When a book is crammed this full of dishes I NEED to make there will be a few that rise to the top. And, this is the case here. The Head to Foot BBQ Terrine with BBQ Sauce Jelly looks amazing. It also looks like an all-day (or two day) affair that will take some expertise and time to pull off. That being said, WOW! What a dish. The Shiner Bock Skirt Steak Churrasco is a recipe you can make for a descent sized crowd without being totally underwater. Skirt is a great flavorful cut and you can cook it up while still amusing your guests with your witty repartee. I love grilled turkey. And, the Harvest Grilled Turkey described here seems be a dead on winner. Again, you can’t whip this together at a moment’s notice. But, if you plan ahead you should be rewarded. The way I see it, if it takes a little longer to make, it leaves more time for beer drinking. Not a bad thing.

• • • • •

Special Features
This book is loaded with some useful extras. There is a detailed chapter on BBQ equipment Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin' and Chillin' and grilling prep. This includes the discussion of charcoal types, steak cuts, internal temps and more. Even if you think you have a good grip on these things, this chapter is a great refresher course. An overview of grilling techniques makes sense here. There is more to a great BBQ then just slapping some meat on a hot grate (that’s not bad either). Smoking, braising, planked cooking and rotisserie methods are reviewed. OK, I’ll admit the list of Top 10 Places That I’ve Had a Beer may be a little hokey. It may not be terribly useful, but, it is fun and entertaining to read through. It did get me thinking about my own personal top ten. So, without any further ado here’s my list:

10 – Capt. Lou’s (with a Lake Michigan Perch Basket), South Haven MI
9 –
The Beer Station, Paris France
8 –
Any Grateful Dead Show Parking Lot
7 –
Seven Seas Villa, Mammee Bay Jamaica
6 – While Tending the Grill

5 –
Linda’s Tavern or The Comet, Seattle WA
4 – “
The Patio”
3 –
Any Major League Baseball Park
2 – The Siesta Key Oyster Bar, Siesta Key FL

1 –
With Good Friends!

You should sit down and make your own.

• • • • •

This book is fun. That’s the bottom line. Page after page of recipes that you’ll drool over make it tough for any grill (or beer) lover to resist. All types and styles of beer are used here. Great photos accompany the dishes and it’s over the top book design make you wonder what will turn up next. This isn’t your casual backyard grilling cookbook. The recipes will take some effort. But, if you’re willing to put in the time, you will most certainly be rewarded. I was hooked when I flipped the page and saw a smiling face holding a cold bottle of Rolling Rock!

Culinary Expertise Required: 7.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Would you like you own copy of Ted Reader’s ode to ale and grill? Of course you would. You can click the link below and you’ll be one step closer.


Links, Resources and Other Press
Ted Reader’s Website
Ted Reader’s Smoked Chicken Cheese Hotdog Recipe
Toronto Life – Ted Reader Article
Ted Reader Makes The World’s Biggest Hamburger


Great Grilling: Cookbooks To Tame The Flame

Great Grilling! Beef Kabobs

Summer is here by most measures. That means it’s time to dig out or uncover the Cookbook Man’s favorite cooking apparatus. The barbeque grill!

Don’t you just love going for a summer stroll and smelling the deep, rich aroma of a BBQ cooking away in some mysterious place in your neighborhood? That smell is hard to resist. Even if you’ve just eaten, that olfactory alert makes your mouth water (at least mine does).

Lucky for us there are lots of great books packed with awesome recipes to assist us on our outdoor cooking exploits. These roadmaps span the range of grilling expertise. There are some people who just want to flip a few burgers and enjoy a cold beer. That’s certainly one definition of grilling. Others aren’t happy until they have perfected a whole grilled red snapper stuffed with fresh seasonal herbs. Like I said, something for everyone.

Those who will act as our guides on this summer grilling adventure have long mastered the art. Bobby Flay, Steve Raichlen and Jamie Purviance share with us what they have learned from years of taming the flame. Try and pay attention.

So, light the Kingsford or uncork the propane, grilling season is upon us!

Enjoy a few of my favorites!

How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques
Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way
Weber’s Time to Grill: Get In. Get Out. Get Grilling
Bobby Flay’s Grill It
The Cook’s Illustrated Guide To Grilling And Barbecue

Cookbook Daily: Weber’s Time to Grill

Cookbook Daily


Spring is here! I’m sure after being cooped up indoors and having to endure the long cold winter, die hard grillers across the country are chomping at the bit to get that fire started.

Once the weather breaks and the outdoor cooking season begins, we all want to whip up our favorite BBQ recipes right from the start. That’s only natural. But, how about trying something a little different this year?

Author Jamie Purviance has put together a great collection of grilling possibilities. Weber’s Time to Grill: Get In. Get Out. Get Grilling, is stocked with over 200 recipes for all grilling skill levels. There is everything here from your basic burger to Lemon Stuffed Snapper with Roasted Tomato Sauce (and, everything in between).

If you’re ready to embark on a little outdoor cooking adventure like I am, Jamie’s grilling guide is the perfect place to start and keep things interesting all summer long.

Author: Jamie Purviance
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Oxmoor House
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0376020601

Want It? We Can Help.


How about a little grilling music to get things started!

If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

If you left the room for a minute, you may have missed these other Cookbook Daily features:

Eva’s Kitchen
If It Makes You Healthy
Italian, My Way
Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi
Modernist Cuisine
Appetite for Reduction

iGrill: A Glimpse of the Grilling Future


Toys are fun. Toys that can actually make your life easier, well…


A FedEx box arrived. Everybody likes it when a FedEx box comes to their house. Especially, if it’s not even close to Christmas, your birthday or any other gift giving occasion. This being the end of February, it was to late for a Valentine’s Day whatever and a little on the early side for a vacuum packed corned beef and cabbage.

Once I tore into it, I discovered what could possibly be the coolest BBQ gadget of all time. The nice folks at iDevices had sent me the most talked about cooking tool at this years Consumer Electronics show. The iGrill. This would be fun.

Like every guy on the planet. I love to grill. It’s been said that the urge to grill is woven into the DNA of every man alive. I won’t dispute that. I know from my own personal experience that I can smell a grill being lit or a juicy burger cooking from a half mile way. And, once I smell that smell, the urge to participate is overwhelming.

The contents if the iGrill box is pretty simple. Thermometer unit, probe and a short instruction sheet. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Oh, they even include 4 AA’s in the box. What a pleasure not to have to root around in my kitchen drawer for batteries that still had some life in them.


You’re looking at the whole thing right there. Simplicity.

Once unpacked, I was determined to put the iGrill through it’s paces. I thought about a roast of some kind for it’s maiden voyage. Maybe chicken. It probably should be something that didn’t need flipping or too much moving around on the grill. A beer can chicken would work great.

I downloaded the latest iGrill software from iTunes and was ready to check things out.

I seasoned up a 4 pound roasting chicken with some Memphis rub from a recipe in the BBQ Bible by Steven Raichlen. This is a fantastic mix of spices. Great on beef, chicken or pork. I thought this would give my chicken a little extra zip. You should try it.

Beer Can Chicken - Uncooked

I inserted the temperature probe into the breast making sure not to have it touching the bone. I found a can of Old Style. Opened it, drank half and used the remaining beer and can for the recipe.

I started pre-heating the grill and paired my phone with the iGrill base unit. A simple procedure. The phone found the iGrill with no problems. I placed the chicken on the grill and was ready to have some fun.

The iGrill’s phone interface is great. Simple to use and super easy to understand what’s going on under the hood of your BBQ.


Check out the display options. From left to right. The first is what I called the master display. You have target temperature, current food temperature, a time until complete approximation and a graph on top of the temperature history. Lots of info. Next there is a traditional meat thermometer display. It has the temp in digital form and an old school thermometer reading that we all know and love. Lastly there is a timer. I wish it had the option of count up as well as count down. I like seeing how long something has been cooking, not just the time to completion.

As the cooking got underway, the temp started working it’s way up. Things were going great until I hit a small snag. I powered on my phone and couldn’t get the app to connect. It wouldn’t show any of the three screens above. I went out to the grill to check the base unit. It had the temperature displayed just fine.

My Bluetooth connection said it was working. I re-started my phone. After it finished re-starting the display came right back on and with the correct temperature. If I kept the phone on it was fine. If I turned the phone off without first closing the app and turned it back on again it was OK. But, if I closed the app, then turned off the phone. No connection. If I re-started the phone all was fixed and all of the up to date temp details were accurate.


It’s a little glitch in the program. I’m not even certain if it might just be an isolated incident. In any event, it’s something that I am sure will get smoothed out in a future update of the software. And, the problem isn’t big enough to consider not purchasing the unit. Even with that minor blip, the operation of the device and it’s reporting of the temperature was right on. The convenience of not having to wonder what was really happening to your soon to be meal was liberating.

Beer Can Chicken

When my chicken reached my target temp I was ready to see if the internal temperature of my bird matched the what the device was reporting. After sampling a couple of different locations on the chicken with an instant read, I am happy to report that the temperature was right on the money.

The Bottom Line

If you like grilling and you like gadgets the iGrill is for you. It had a small hiccup in the Bluetooth handshake, but, I think that’s something that will get resolved quickly. The accuracy was great and the clear, readable displays let you “look under the cover” of the grill as it’s cooking. This would be perfect for monitoring something on the smoker. It seems the smoker is even more mysterious than the BBQ. I’m going to give that a whirl next. Can someone say pulled pork.

I know one gift giving occasion that is on the horizon that the iGrill would be perfect for. Father’s Day. And, it’s closer than you think…