With the great weather that Seattle had last week, many a weekend warrior dusted off their grills to put food to flame. I love summer because a great meal is as easy as opening up the backdoor, lighting a fire, and getting dinner (or lunch) rolling. Although I will say that I’ve grilled in the rain, cold and in pitch black conditions, but I’m okay with this. That’s why they make grill lights and fleece; to cook outdoors when the elements go bad. Or so I’ve heard. But as we get going with the long nights that summer offers, here are some great grilling books that I find myself turning towards of late.
Two cool grilling books for the summer:
- Adam Perry Lang’s BBQ 25
I first learned of Adam Perry Lang during a podcast he had with one of my favorite sportswriters, Bill Simmons. Adam and the Sports Guy talked (audio link) about grilling, barbecue, and the art of cooking over flames. On this show, he brought up his book Serious Barbecue, which I quickly purchased. I find myself turning to it often, for its comprehensive recipes and approachable prose. Adam’s platform is to find any means to augment the flavor of his food; always a noble goal.
Thereafter, I found out that Adam Perry Lang released a new book BBQ 25. In this book, he focuses on the 25 recipes/techniques that one would most often use when grilling; by his estimates about 95% of the grilling that occurs would fit within these 25. I dig this book because of it’s simple design. The pages are laminated to take abuse, they lie flat when opened up, and have an assortment of tips to do some freestyle cooking. It’s an excellent resource because it provides a framework to barbecuing. Adam provides the outline, you provide the interpretation. Get this book and proceed with outdoor cooking confidence.
- Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue
Here is another guy that knows how to work with smoke and fire. Steven Raichlen is this faucet of grilling knowledge. He pours it out constantly. Which I find awesome. I’m sure by now you’ve come across his shows, his cookbooks or his cooking tools; the dude created the concept of ‘Barbecue University‘ that made him a star. I’m a fan of his and enjoy the simplicity and elegance of how he does his thing.
Raichlen also released a new book, Planet Barbecue. In this book, he traveled around the world and learned the techniques and nuances to the local cultures’ execution of barbecue. I was at a dinner party recently where we were served a Jamaican Jerk Pork Loin; it was delicious, tangy, spicy, with distinct and unique flavor. I was dialed in.
Another cool thing about Steven Raichlen is that Kim Ricketts and her Book Events team will be hosting him at the Palace Ballroom, June 17th. It’ll be a Q&A with Tom Douglas, bites to eat, and a book signing. I’ll be there and look forward to learning from a grilling master. You should go too.
As you start having outdoor dinner parties, feel confident in two resources that bring the noise when it comes to grilling. I’m excited to use a bunch of these recipes over the next 100 days. See you around the picnic table.