By Susan M. Selasky
Detroit Free Press
Sniff the air. Smell those sizzling ribs or burgers? Outdoor grilling season has arrived.
Three out of four households own a grill or a smoker. In 2008, more than 16.7 million grills and smokers were shipped – an 18 percent increase since 2003, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.
And there’s no shortage of new cookbooks devoted to the age-old method of cooking foods over a hot flame. More than a half-dozen new books on grilling came out this spring.
They range from those aimed at beginners needing Grilling 101 lessons and how-to tips to ones geared to average grillers who want to add more spark to their grilling repertoire and hone their skills.
If you already consider yourself an expert griller, there are books for the more adventuresome, including ones with directions for smoking and cooking over a wood fire, and ones with recipes from famed barbecue joints. Peach Pork Butt, anyone? Or perhaps barbecued goat?
But a common theme is that it’s back to the basics of outdoor grilling without a lot of uncommon or expensive ingredients or methods.

How to make the most of your barbecue
With a host of new cookbooks and plenty of magazines offering features on grilling, there’s no excuse not to get outside and get started. It’s time to shine the burger flipper, clean the grill and make sure the propane tank is filled or charcoal is at hand.
To help get you started, here’s more dish from cookbooks, along with helpful tips gleaned from Food & Wine magazine’s annual all-things-grilling issue. It highlights equipment and wine pairings for grilled foods, plus stories about grilling from such far-away places as Argentina and, closer to home, a Portland, Ore., Thai restaurant.
Included are 20 smart tips for everyday grilling, with thoughts and ideas from chefs and grilling experts. And, of course, there are plenty of mouth watering recipes.
Here are our five favorite tips:
• Baste burgers with butter while they are on the grill. That helps the natural sugars caramelize.
• Soak vegetables in ice water before grilling to keep them moist and crisp.
• Tenderize meat in onion juice or in onions pureed in a food processor with ingredients such as parsley, salt and your favorite spices.
• Grill your sauce on a stick. Thread tomatoes, onions, garlic and chiles on a skewer and grill. When the main dish is done, puree the grilled sauce ingredients and season with salt.
• Use a citrus squeeze. Superstar chef Emeril Lagasse recommends having lemons, limes and oranges on hand for spritzing over meat, seafood and vegetables.
New this year from the folks at Weber-Stephen Products Co. (makers of Weber grills) is an e-mailed recipe of the week. You can sign up at www.webernation.com.
Jamie Purviance, author of “Weber’s Way to Grill: The Step-by-Step Guide to Expert Grilling” (Sunset, $24.95), offers these simple steps for grilling ease:
• Set up two or three heat zones, with a hot side and a cool side. “This way you are not locked into one heat if things aren’t going right,” says Purviance.
• Oil the food, not the grill. The food will be less likely to stick and you will use less oil.
• Keep the lid closed. That keeps the grate hotter for searing foods, prevents flare-ups because less air is getting in, and traps some of the smoke.

Grilling techniques
What: “Soaked, Slathered & Seasoned: A Complete Guide to Flavoring Food for the Grill” by Elizabeth Karmel (Wiley, $19.95).
What’s in it: Karmel, the author of “Taming the Flame,” writes in this book that “The reason I fell in love with outdoor cooking is that it is the best way to prepare food, bar none.” And her passion shows in this book, which is filled with plenty of recipes, ideas and ways to infuse flavor into grilled foods.
Best aspect: It’s well organized with main chapters based on the book’s catchy title. The “Soaked” chapter dives into flavored liquids in which to submerge foods. “Slathered” is all about what to brush or spoon on when the food is almost cooked. The “Seasoned” section features rubs, spice blends, compound butters, vinaigrettes and even pestos and tapenades.
Recipe to try: bloodshot mop made with Spicy Hot V8 Juice. It’s used on brisket, steaks, ribs, beef, pork and chicken. Karmel writes, “Mops are a competition barbecuer’s secret weapon.”
Also worth mentioning:
“Cook’s Country Best Grilling Recipes” by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen (America’s Test Kitchen, $29.95). More than 100 recipes adapted for the home griller from barbecue joints around the country.
“Techniques for Smoking” and “Techniques for Grilling,” by Ardie A. Davis (Harvard Common Press, $12.95 each). These two handy spiral-bound books have interesting recipes and a variety of techniques to master for expert grilling and smoking.

Ready, set, grill
What: “Weber’s Way To Grill: The Step-by-Step Guide to Expert Grilling” by Jamie Purviance.
What’s in it: More than 160 triple-tested recipes, along with plenty of color photos. Purviance presents his well-honed grilling craft in an easy-to-understand manner, with every detail explained.
Best aspect: The several “Way To’s” on things you should know about grilling steaks or burgers or preparing seafood and shellfish. It even talks about how to grill pizza.
Recipe to try: soda-brined pork loin with cherry-chipotle glaze
Also worth mentioning:
“Emeril at the Grill: A Cookbook for All Seasons” by Emeril Lagasse (HarperStudio, $24.99). Lagasse features grilling tips and recipes that have been kicked up a notch or two for both indoor and outdoor cooking.
“Grilling Basics: A Step-by-Step Guide to Delicious Recipes” by Linda Johnson Larsen (Larsen, $19.95). Most recipes are spread over two pages with color photos and step-by-step advice. There are plenty of factoids in a fun layout featuring ways to make the recipes easier or things to consider before making the recipe.

Grilling adventures
What: “Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint,” by Chris Lilly (Clarkson Potter, $24.99). Lilly is a world-champion pit master and vice president, executive chef and partner of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Alabama. He is married to the great-granddaughter of BBQ legend Big Bob Gibson.
What’s in it: A combination of stories and instructions for cooking foods on an outdoor grill or smoker.
The interesting description of how Bob Gibson started out cooking barbecue back in 1925 is a good read and there are plenty of recipes for the adventuresome who want to master true “Q” learning techniques from Lilly.
Best aspect: Lilly offers plenty of pit master tips and detailed explanations of how to choose wood, seasonings and rubs. There are many color photos, including one of a whole barbecued pig. Not all the recipes take hours to cook; some fit into the quick category. There are more than a dozen recipes for traditional sauces, glazes and mops, with most being vinegar-based.
Recipe to try: brined chicken with white sauce. The white sauce is a mayonnaise-and-vinegar-based sauce that is tangy and gets a bit of a spicy kick from plenty of ground black and cayenne pepper.
Also worth mentioning:
“America’s Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America’s Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses and Restaurants,” by Ardie A. Davis and Chef Paul Kirk (Andrews McMeel, $19.99). This is a fun read with background stories on some legendary barbecue joints across the country. It would make a nice gift for barbecue aficionados who want to glean some special barbecue know-how and tips.

Soda-brined pork loin with cherry chipotle glaze
Serves: 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes (plus brining time)/ Total time: 2 hours
You will need a foil pan large enough to hold the pork for this recipe.
Ingredients:
4 cups Dr Pepper (not diet)
½ cup kosher salt
1 boneless center-cut pork loin, 3 to 4 pounds

Ingredients for glaze:
1 jar (9 ounces) tart cherry preserves
½ cup Dr Pepper
½ cup water
1 to 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle in adobo
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

For grilling:
Vegetable oil

Method:
Pour the soda into a large glass measure and slowly add the salt (the mixture may foam up quite a bit). Stir until the salt dissolves completely, 1 to 2 minutes. Place a large, disposable plastic bag inside a large bowl and carefully pour the brine into the bag.
Trim excess fat and silver skin from the pork. Submerge the pork in the brine, seal the bag, place in a large bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients.
Remove the pork from the bag and discard the brine. Pat dry with paper towels. Lightly coat the pork with the vegetable oil and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over high heat.
Brush the cooking grates clean. Sear the pork over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the surface is well marked but not burned, 8 to 12 minutes, turning once.
Place a large disposable foil pan over indirect high heat and pour the glaze into the pan. Carefully transfer the pork to the pan and turn to coat with the glaze. Grill the pork over indirect high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until barely pink in the center and the internal center temperature reaches 145 degrees to 150 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes, turning in the glaze every 8 to 10 minutes. If the glaze gets too thick or starts to scorch, add a little water or more soda to the pan. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes. Cut the pork crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices and serve with the remaining pan sauce on the side.
From “Weber’s Way To Grill” by Jamie Purviance (Sunset, $24.95).
Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
416 calories (22 percent from fat ), 10 grams fat (3 grams sat. fat ), 31 grams carbohydrates, 48 grams protein, 190 mg sodium, 141 mg cholesterol, 28 mg calcium, 0 grams fiber.

Bloodshop mop
Makes: 2½ cups
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
This mop is good for slathering on whole brisket, steaks, ribs, beef, pork and chicken.

Ingredients:
1 bottle or can (12 ounces) beer, preferably Budweiser
1 cup Spicy Hot V8 Juice
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Method:
Pour the beer into a medium nonreactive bowl; whisk to remove the carbonation. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture into a plastic squeeze bottle or a jar until ready to use. The mop will keep in the refrigerator up to 1 day, tightly covered. Shake before using.
From “Soaked, Slathered and Seasoned: A Complete Guide to Flavoring Food for the Grill” by Elizabeth Karmel (Wiley, $19.95).
Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
Analysis per 1 tablespoon: 14 calories (0 percent from fat ), 0 grams fat (0 grams sat. fat ), 3 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams protein, 213 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 9 mg calcium, 0 grams fiber

Rib-eye steaks with espresso-chile rub
Serves: 4 (generously)
Preparation time: 30 minutes (including meat standing time)
Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons cumin seed, toasted
2 tablespoons dark-roast coffee or espresso beans
1 tablespoon ground ancho chile pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 rib-eye steaks, each about 8 ounces and 1-inch thick
Extra-virgin olive oil

Method:
In a spice mill, pulse the cumin seed and coffee beans until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl, add the remaining rub ingredients and stir to combine.
Lightly brush the steaks with oil and season evenly with the rub, pressing the rub into the meat. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat.
Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the steaks over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to your desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare, turning once. (If flare-ups occur, move the steaks temporarily to indirect high heat.) Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm.
From “Weber’s Way to Grill” by Jamie Purviance (Sunset, $24.95).
Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
464 calories (58 percent from fat ), 30 grams fat (13 grams sat. fat ), 1 gram carbohydrates, 45 grams protein, 208 mg sodium, 113 mg cholesterol, 19 mg calcium, 1 gram fiber.

Brined chicken with white sauce
Serves: 8
Preparation time: 1 hour (brining time); total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

For brine:
1 cup apple juice
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
¼ tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon honey
½ tablespoon dark brown sugar
½ tablespoon soy sauce
½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Chicken:
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)

For serving:
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q white sauce (see below)
Have ready hickory, pecan or oak wood for the grill if desired.

Method:
In a large bowl, combine all the brine ingredients and mix well. Submerge the chicken in the brine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
Preheat the grill to 400 degrees. Remove chicken from the brine and wipe off the excess salt, if any. Place the chicken breasts on the grate over direct heat and grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until cooked through. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 160 degrees.
Submerge each chicken breast in a bowl of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q white sauce. Remove from the sauce and serve.
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q white sauce: In a large bowl, combine 2 cups mayonnaise, 1 cup white vinegar, ½ cup apple juice, 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish, 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Use as a marinade, baste or dipping sauce. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
From “Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint” by Chris Lilly (Clarkson Potter, $24.95).
Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
181 calories (26 percent from fat ), 5 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat ), 3 grams carbohydrates, 29 grams protein, 272 mg sodium, 78 mg cholesterol, 15 mg calcium, 0 grams fiber.


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