Learn to Grill at Barbecue University with Steven Raichlen
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An entire meal, Raichlen says, can be cooked – appetizer to dessert – on the grill; thus he offers his Caesar Salad with Grilled Romaine Lettuce and Smoke-Roasted Pears for dessert.
Full of sage advice, Raichlen provides clear and thorough explanations:
- “How do you control heat on a charcoal grill? Set up a 3-zone fire: Thick layer of coals in back for searing meat, medium layer of coals in the center for cooking, and no coals in front – where you move your food, if it starts to burn.”
- “When do you put sauce on ribs? At the end, or the sauce will burn.”
- “How do you keep fish from falling apart or sticking to a grate? Cook fish on a cedar plank or wrap it in grape leaves.”
In addition to acquiring seasoning techniques and sauce-making tips, participants learn how to light a gas grill safely, light a chimney starter, and do basic butchering.
Although Raichlen uses different recipes in each session, a perennial favorite is Beer Can Chicken, a recipe that uses a can of beer (or soda) to keep the bird moist. The can sits on the grill, with the opening of the chicken carcass placed over the open can, holding the chicken upright.
Outside on the deck, amidst a panoramic view of mountains and valley, Raichlen stands surrounded by 24 grills and says, “I’m going to show you how to use all major categories of grills, everything from smokers to charcoal grills to wood burning grills, hibachis and ranches. We’re actually even going to spit-roast a whole hog on a rotisserie.”
Later, staff members bring out a large butchered hog plus a military-size rotisserie skewer. Raichlen pulls a willing volunteer from the crowd to sew the hog onto the skewer.
By the time we finished grilling, the enticing aroma from 24 grills has all of us hungry. Inside, The Broadmoor kitchen prepares a barbecue lover’s feast from recipes introduced that day.
Back home, I’m experimenting with what we learned. And I’ve heard from the Australian pilot, Grant Robertson, who says he’s tried many of Raichlen’s recipes: He reads the recipes, starts the grill and, then watches one of Raichlen’s DVDs to see if he’s forgotten anything!
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