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May 13th, 2009
Book Review – 25 Essential Techniques for Grilling
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Every wednesday I review a cookbook to help weed out the good the bad and the ugly. This week I am reviewing 25 essential techniques for grilling by Ardie A. Davis. I love barbecuing and grilling and this book is right up my alley.
|Ardie A. Davis
Ardie is an award winning expert with his own barbecue university. Artie founded the Greasehouse University. The degree program at the Greasehouse University is is a doctor of barbecue philosophy and is overseen by the Kasas City Barbecue Society. Artie is now a famed judge on the barbecue circuit. Story short, Ardie knows barbecue.Artie starts the book off like every good barbecue book going over the basics of smoking. He goes over the tools required, the methods needed and basics of starting to smoke. His essentials include the basics of choosing wood. As you know the wood gives the unique flavor of each dish. Ardie suggests wood for each meat and further goes on to suggest woods to stay away from. For instance, mesquite on chicken would be too bitter and alder on beef would be too mild. As a barbecue expert you may already know this and brush it off, but as a newbie, this information is awesome.At first look one would think that this book is a beginner picture book as it has a hard cover and does not have the the thickness of many other cookbooks. But this book is a great reference book for both experts and beginners. Ardie Davis covers everything from starting the grill to glazing the food after you take it off the fire. The recipes that are included in this book are great and are far from beginner.
Ardie start the book by listing the three main ways for flavoring grilled foods. Before grilling, during grilling and after grilling. Before you add seasoning and marinades. During grilling there is the carmelization of the sugars from the food itself. There is also the different flavors from the charcoal and wood. There is also the sweet, sour and spicy flavors from barbecue sauce. Lastly there are the flavors from after grilling from finishing sauces, butters and chutneys.
Ardie lists some of the tastiest recipes that I have read in a cookbook. My favorite is the grilled chickenwing drums with billy’s mumbo rub and sauce. This may be because I am fascinated with wings right now as I am preparing for the wingtacular, but the recipe and pictures look amazing. The sugary glaze produces a carmelized wing that without tasting sounds amazing.
The other recipe that amazes me is the dirty steak recipe. I have never heard of this before reading it in this book but you can grill a steak directly on the coals. Using basic seasoning the steaks are placed directly on the white hot coals and grilled for 2-3 minutes on each side. This method made famous by Ike Eisenhower and told by Ardie Davis is fascinating.
The third recipe that excited me was the lime and chile grilled corn on the cob two ways. Two ways you ask? Well you can grill corn shucked or unshucked. One produced great grill marks and the other gives you a more tender and moist product. Grilled corn is awesome. I have always pondered if you should grill corn with or without shucking it. Ardie solved my questions by saying that it is perfect to do it either way.
This book is awesome and answered many of the questions that I have had about grilling. This book is written excellently and the pictures are awesome. No matter if you are a just beginning to grill or have been grilling for 35 years, this book is for you. The book discusses the basics of grilling and further discusses recipes that even an experienced griller would love. This book is rather inexpensive and would be a great addition to any bookshelf.