Char-Broil Great Book of Grilling: 300 Tasty Recipes
Clocking in at 304 pages, Char-Broil’s Great Book of Grilling definitely lives up to the claim that it has tasty grilling recipes for every meal. It was developed by Creative Homeowner in partnership with Char-Broil, one of North America’s leading grill manufacturers. While I’ve always been a bit skeptical of product-based companies that come out with recipes or cookbooks specifically for their products, this one doesn’t feel like an advertisement wrapped in a cookbook.
On opening the book, I was surprised and delighted by the “Top 10 Picks” featured on the inside cover (both front and back). If there were anything I wished most cookbooks had, it’s a cheat sheet of sorts – the author’s favourite recipes. The recipes I should try first. This was exactly that and made it easy to find the top 10 recipes for a variety of categories, like Comfort Foods, Make-You-Want-To-Eat-Veggie, Summertime Party Recipes and World Cuisine Recipes.
Once you can pull your eyes away from the lists, the first section of the book provides a short introduction to grilling that covers terminology, equipment and essentials. This brief educational section would be useful for anyone new to grilling. It’s also a nice little refresher for people who haven’t grilled since last summer.
There are a lot of recipes in this book. 300 to be exact. They’re organized into convenient chapters:
- Cooking Outside
- Appetizers & Snacks
- Beef, Lamb, & Veal
- Vegetables, Sides, & Salads
- Marinades, Sauces, & Rubs
Each chapter is divided into sections, with the chapter’s title page listing the appropriate page numbers. As an organizational nut, I am very pleased and thrilled by how thoroughly indexed and, well, organized, it is.
Visually, the design is vibrant and appealing. Th photos complement the recipes quite well, though they aren’t as stylistic and beautiful as some cookbooks I’ve read. At times, the pages do feel a bit busy, making it hard to keep focused on the recipe. But that’s fairly normal for cookbooks that are providing so much with limited space. And this by no means applies to every page or recipe.
It’s a rather big tome of a book, making it a bit cumbersome if you want to take it with you to a party or out camping. That being said, if you’re looking for that one grilling book that will give you everything you need – and more than one summer’s worth of recipes to test out – this is it.
Try out the Memphis in May Ribs recipe below – it was a finalist in the annual Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking contest.
“Memphis in May” Ribs
Serves 4 – 5
3 racks baby back ribs (4 to 6 pounds)
1 cup Memphis Rib Rub*
1 cup Memphis-Style Finishing Sauce**
In a shallow dish, pour rub over ribs, massaging into both sides. Cover, and refrigerate
for 4 to 6 hours.
Remove ribs from refrigerator, and bring to room temperature. Preheat grill to 300°F to 350°F, and oil grill grates. Grill ribs, covered, for 1 hour, turning often. Continue cooking for 30 minutes, basting with finishing sauce. (If smoking ribs, maintain smoke at 200°F to 220°F, and smoke for 2 hours. Brush sauce over ribs several times during last hour of smoking, turning ribs occasionally.)
Remove ribs from grill, and serve with sauce.
*Memphis Rib Rub
1/4 cup paprika
2 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp ground cayenne
Combine all ingredients in bowl, and mix well. Freeze any unused rub in sealed container.
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup beer
Place all ingredients in saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Serve warm with ribs.