Book Review: Planet Barbecue!

What a Book!

What a Book!

There are cookbooks, and then there are teaching cookbooks. Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue! is a teaching cookbook. I prefer teaching cookbooks. Sure, I want recipes and beautiful pictures, yet I want to learn. I want to learn the history and background. This allows me to better understand the theories and ingredients involved which I can apply to my other food creations. Steve satisfies all of the above. Mr. Raichlen explores the fires of 60 countries in six continents and shares with us 309 recipes.

Along with great photos and refreshing recipes, there’s the history and background. We’re also introduced to a score of pit masters. Meet Stalic Khankishiev from Uzbekistan and his famous mutton kebobs, or Toshihiro Wada, the most famous yakitori master in Tokyo. We learn varying techniques such as How to Make a Salt-Crusted Beef Tenderloin or How to Prepare Armenian Stick Bread.

Of course, there are great recipes! From Kansas City-style spareribs and Keith Allen’s North Carolina pork shoulder to Kangaroo kabobs with  grilled olive tzatziki and Tandoori chicken from Uzbekistan, there’s plenty to choose from…plenty of sauce and rub recipes as well.

Don’t think that such recipes will require outrageous ingredients that are impossible to locate. It’s amazing how few ingredients many of the recipes require…all readily available. The techniques are also simplistic in nature.

If you’re ready to take your grilling skills to the next level, then Planet Barbecue! is the book for you. At the very least, it should be on your reference shelf!


If you’d like to learn more or want to buy the book, click here.


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