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a BOLD new range of power


Letters to the Editor

A Note from your Editor:

What is wrong with my burger? No matter what I do it never tastes as good or as juicy as the other guy’s down the block. I put plenty of secret sauce on it and the beef is almost 50% certified angus! What gives? Ronald Mc.D {Oakbrook, IL} Ron, Read our article on where to get your meat from, and start serving something other than soy between the buns. Try that for starters and check out next month’s article on building the perfect burger. p.s. slow down on all that sauce.

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. For decades, Americans have had a love affair with cooking over an open flame; But this infatuation has roots deeper than the typical suburban backyard. From the tribesman of the African Plains to the Gaucho’s in South America, cooking over fire has grown from a necessity, vital to human life, to a method of killing off germs and preserving game, to a weekend leisure activity. Our ancestors must have known from the moment fire was discovered what a magical thing meat cooked over fire could be. It has since embedded itself in the DNA of man and is constantly evolving and adapting. This magazine celebrates all that is good about grilling and eating. It’s been a tasty journey. I invite you to join me at the table.

- Ed

After cooking conventionally for years for my family holidays, I'd like to switch things up. I was considering grilling a turkey for thanksgiving instead of roasting but am concerned the cold weather in Chicago will not cooperate with my plans. What is your advice on grilling in the colder months? Can I switch it up without failing my family for the holidays? Marie C. {Chicago, IL} Marie, Try lining the inside of your grill with a double layer of extra thick tin foil; This will create a cold resistant barrier as the air between the sheets and your lid will act as insulation. I would also consider brining the bird to lock in the juiciness and flavor! - Ed 4

That was some of the best steak i’ve ever tasted, and the story-telling was even juicier! BAM! Seriously though, the article on steak brought a tear to my eye and I’m not exactly what you’d call a softy... Except around the waistband! BAM! All kidding aside, great article, I look forward to more good reads, you’ve taught this old dog a thing or two and found a subscriber for life! BAM! Emeril L. {New Orleans, LA} Thanks big guy, we love you too. - Ed



Table of Contents


4 Letters

Steak Florentine

It’s Thyme for Herbs


An tastefully written piece about two buddies and love for a steak.

Barbara Anino discusses what herbs should be paired with what food. We’ve even provided you a handy chart!

Feature article all about America’s favorite messy summer meal, and some recipes from expert chefs.




The Butcher Block MediumRare reports on the hometown meat market and why your butcher should be your new best friend.


A Cut Above


We’ll take the confusion out of your knife drawer while recommending the right tools for the job.

You need it; You want it; Where to get it.


Smoking 101

Barbecue Brews

Taking the mystery out of infusing any type of food with delicious smoke flavor.

Contributing reporter Michelle Casini’s article on five of our favorite suds and what they taste best with.




This is it! this is what you’ve been waiting for. Dig in my friend, you’ve earned it.

STEAK 5 by Mario Casini

My buddy Mike is a good guy. A

great guy. Salt of the earth type you might say. That’s why for his birthday I decided to cook for him instead of going out to yet another boring restaurant. After all, what better way to say “hey, this is what I think of you man”, and what better dish to grill up than the not so well known but soon to be famous steak Florentine?

My first experience with this succulent piece of heaven happened in where else but Italy. While on vacation my soon thereafter wards most favorite-est cousin had taken me to a restaurant in the foot hills of Lucca, in a town called Pescia. The chef prepared what had to be the thickest porterhouse steak I’d seen aside from a John Candy movie on a wood burning fireplace smack in the middle of the restaurant. In the years following I have always tried to re-create this style of cooking. I have had some luck but in my mind, if you ever want to try THE BEST STEAK OF ALL TIME, take a journey across the Mediterranean. Your stomach will thank you. You will thank me.

To prepare: • Start with a porterhouse or t-bone steak approx. 2” thick. Buy the best steak you can, this means USDA prime. If you can’t find prime, get choice and age it if you can. • Salt the steak generously and let it sit for a couple of hours in the fridge. About a half hour before you’re ready to throw her on the grill, cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the ends onto the marrow of each side of the bone. • Next, mash up a half-a-sprigs worth of rosemary leaves and rub them gently into the meat along with some garlic. Leave whatever sticks. • Grill er’ up! Wood burning style grills are preferrable, but if you haven’t got access, just use some wet oak chips to give that smoky flavor. We’re looking for a medium rare steak here, pink in the center with nice grill marks [remember to season your grates with some olive oil and get your grill nice and hot. If you need to cook it a bit longer but are satisfied with the amount of charring, a good tip is to put the steak bone side down, this will pull heat into the bone and radiate through it, finishing the cooking while leaving the outside to your liking.] • Let. it. sit. 5 minutes before you serve. This will give you time for the final touches. Drizzle with a touch of your best extra virgin olive oil, cracked salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon and garnish with some rosemary. Buon Appetito!





By Barbara Anino


he methods for grilling with herbs are as varied as the plants themselves. Toss them in marinades, thread them through skewers or pop them in foil packets. For a smoky flavor, add whole bunches of herbs, such as sage or rosemary, to hot coals. Soak them in water for a few minutes and after the flames have died down, lay damp herbs across the coals. Replace the rack, cover the meat and you’ll soon be enjoying bold, uncommon flavor. To further infuse food with flavor, lay fresh herbs directly on the grate and place the meat on top of them. Woody herbs hold up especially well on the grill. Try thyme, lemon verbena or tarragon. Snip off a few sprigs, gently squeeze the leaves to release their flavor, and layer over chicken, fish or pork chops. Discard the sprigs before serving. Softer herbs, like sage, mint, oregano and lemon balm, work better in a foil packet or marinade. For foil packets, I snip sprigs of whole herbs, gently rinse and dry them, then place them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Then I add meat or vegetables or both, olive oil or butter and seal the ends tight before grilling.

What Goes with What?

Not sure which herbs pair with your favorite foods? Refer to this chart for some hints.


Chicken, Pork, Potatoes


Pork, Duck, Sausage


Steak, Roasts


Tomatoes, Chicken, Sandwiches


Pizza, Garlic Peppers, Steak, Chicken


Tuna, Zucchini, Pasta Salad

Spearmint Lamb

Bay* Roast


Turkey, Chicken


Potatoes, Fish


Sausage, Apples

Lemon balm Lobster


Potatoes, Burgers, Fish

Dill italian basil

italian parsley

Salmon, Potatoes * Experiment with these herbs either fresh or dried 7


Ribs! Ribs! Ribs!

What better way to celebrate the

summer grilling season than to grill up some tasty ribs? Easier said than done, ribs are the trifecta of the grilling experience for me, the perfect storm. They are time consuming to prepare properly, spending hours in the smoker, followed by a good sear on a hot grill while being basted in a yummy tomato based barbecue sauce, only to be devoured within minutes and usually causing a huge mess along the way. But oh, what a ride...

Pork ribs are a cut of pork popular in North American and Asian cuisines. The rib cage of a domestic pig, meat and bones together, is cut into usable pieces, prepared by smoking, grilling, or baking – usually with a sauce – and then served. There are several different types of ribs available, depending on the section of rib cage from which they are cut. Variation in the thickness of the meat and bone as well as levels of fat in each cut can alter the flavor and texture of the prepared dish. Baby back ribs (a.k.a. loin ribs, back ribs, or Canadian back ribs) are the most popular ribs in the U.S. When people say Ribs, this is what they are referring to. They are taken from the top of the rib cage between the spine and the spare ribs, below the loin muscle. The designation “baby” indicates the cuts are from market weight hogs, rather than sows. They


by Mario Casini

have meat between the bones and on top of the bones, and are shorter, curved, and sometimes meatier than spare ribs. The rack is shorter at one end, due to the natural tapering of a pig’s rib cage. The shortest bones are typically only about 3 inches and the longest is usually about 6 inches, depending on the size of the hog. A pig side has 15 to 16 ribs, but usually two or three are left on the shoulder when it is separated from the loin. So, a rack of back ribs contains a minimum of 8 ribs but can include up to 13 ribs, depending on how it has been prepared by the butcher. A typical commercial rack is 10-13 bones. If there are fewer than 10 bones, butchers call them “cheater racks”. There are, of course other types of ribs, Spare ribs, also called “spareribs” or “side ribs”, are taken from the belly side of the rib cage, below the section of back ribs and above the sternum (breast bone. Spare ribs are flatter and contain more bone than meat. There is also quite a bit of fat which can make the ribs more tender than back ribs. The origin of the name “spare ribs” is not certain, but could be related to the spare amount of meat after the belly is removed. St. Louis Style ribs (a.k.a. St. Louis Cut) spare ribs are St. Louis Style when the sternum bone, cartilage, and rib tips have been removed. The shape is almost rectangular. Kansas City style ribs are trimmed even more closely than the St. Louis style ribs, and have the hard bone removed.

Rib tips are short, meaty sections of rib that are attached to the lower end of the spare ribs, between the ribs and the sternum. Unlike back ribs or spare ribs, the structure of the rib is provided by dense costal cartilage, not bone. Rib tips are cut away from the spare ribs when preparing St. Louis Style spare ribs. This article focuses mainly on the traditional baby back rib, however the preparation techniques are not limited solely to it and can be used on other cuts. Here are the steps I take to prepare and cook my ribs. The first thing to do is prepare the rub. This is common to American style ribs but if you prefer to get the full pork flavor without any enhancements, skip the rub and the sauce and cook your ribs like they do in Argentina over a bed of coals from hardwood trees such as mesquite or oak. You can use a commercially available sauce, modify one to suit your tastes or make your own from scratch! There are plenty of resources to find recipes, I’ve included some here but the internet is a great place to start your quest for the perfect sauce.

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 Dry Rub: 8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed 3 tablespoons kosher salt 1 tablespoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning 1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme 1/2 teaspoon onion powder Once the rub is done, you can put it in a shaker or old mason jar to save any leftovers.

Mop Sauce: 3 1 3 3

tablespoons unsalted butter cup apple cider tablespoons bourbon or more apple cider tablespoons soy sauce

Melt the butter in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cider, bourbon, and soy sauce. Keep warm until ready to use.

Sauce: Lemon Brown Sugar BBQ 2 cups ketchup 1/2 cup brown sugar on zest 1 teaspoon grated lem on juice (or to taste) lem sh fre ns poo les tab 6 es ass mol ns poo les tab 2 shire sauce 1 tablespoon Worcester smoke 1-1 /2 teaspoons liquid d (Coleman’s) 2 teaspoons dry mustar 1 teaspoon onion powder und black pepper gro 1/2 teaspoon freshly ify lly available sauce, mod You can use a commercia or make your own from tes tas r you one to suit scratch!

Spicy Apple BBQ Sauce 1 cup ketchup 2 cups apple juice 1/3 cup molasses 1/4 cup cider vinegar 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 2 tbsp granulated sugar 1-1/2 tsp chile powder 1/2 tsp celery seed 1-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cloves Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper Directions: Place the ketchup, apple juice, molasses, vinegar, brown and granulated sugar, chile powder, celery seed, cinnamon, and cloves in a large heavy saucepan and gradually bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking to mix. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce until thick and richly flavored, about 40 minutes, whisking often. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. The sauce should be highly seasoned. Pineapple Barbecue Sauce - Steven Raichlen Ingredients: 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 medium onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced 1-2 scotch bonnet chiles, seeded and minced 2 cups pineapple juice 1/4 cup white wine 1/4 cup dark rum 1/3 cup dark brown

sugar, or to taste 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar 1 tbsp Worcestershire 1/2 tsp coarse salt (kosher or sea), or to taste 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/4 tsp ground allspice 1 cup finely diced fresh or canned pineapple 3 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves

Red-Eye BBQ Sauce

cal commerce suppor ting lo ains that have re u’ yo g in y ch know or the g box grocer instead of bi in how your food tastes n) to st re imes no et m so lit tle inte d an cour se (humane steps it took of beef on your table. Of buy from put that hunk y other good reasons to be able t an there are m will more of ten than no gras s and , ey butchers, th choice of gras s fed beef ch is fed hi a to of fer you en of fer wagyu st yle w mas saged ev grain, some gras ses and beer, then imal superb ity an only top qual roam freely giving the ous than my ri to and allowed flavor. That is more lu xu you! e d is an om g in pr I bl h ar m eek, this muc typical workw

Ingredients: 1 slice bacon, fInely chopped 1/2 med onion, fiinely chopped 3/4 cup brewed strong coffee or espresso 3/4 cup ketchup 1/4 cup Worcestershire 1/4 cup heavy cream 3 tbsp brown sugar 2 tbsp Dijon mustard Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions: chop an onion and in a heavy saucepan cook over medium heat until lightly browned(3 min) stirring often. Stir in remaining ingredients and gradually bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce until thick and richly flavored(10 min) whisking from time to time. Add salt and pepper to taste.



A Cut Above by Mario Casini

A good knife in the kitchen can be your best friend. It can cut, slice, dice, chop, cleave, mince, julienne, hack and slash your way to a perfect dish. Outlined in this magazine are some essentials to have in your kitchen along with other necessary and not so necessary gear for cooking and grilling.

When looking for knives, you should look past the fancy names and high price tags and consider your budget, what you’ll be doing and try focusing on starting with a knife or two of better quality, then expanding on your collection down the road. Knives should be tried out always. It should fit nicely in your hand with a good balance and feel. Some like light weight Japanese style knives, others prefer a heavier German steel that almost glides it’s way into your cut. The choice is yours, do be mindful of the material the blade is made of whichever brand or style you choose. Knives are tempered for durability and the maker will also add a certain amount of carbon during the steel-making process. Carbon will add hardness to your blade, allowing it to retain a sharper edge longer, but is sometimes more difficult to sharpen. You will ideally only hone these knives when needed and take them to a professional for proper sharpening. Some brands even offer professional sharpening through the manufacturer which is preferred for certain types of edges. Material choice is another consideration. Generally, most knife blades you find will be made of steel, the best of which will always have fulltang construction which ends at the base of the handle, often made of durable, tactile synthetics, metal, stag or bone. Ceramic is quickly becoming a hot choice in knife construction, it is lightweight and holds an extremely sharp edge with less need for sharpening; Their main drawback being they are typically more expensive than their steel counterparts. Good luck in your search for the perfect knife. Take your time and test them out, and once you get them home - please, only hand wash them, not dishwasher safe! 10

WÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON Sharpening steel 4468 / 26 cm (10") • Keeping knives sharp is easy if you hone them often on a sharpening steel

WÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON Carving knife 4504 / 20 cm (8") • Perfect for the larger cuts of meat, fruit and vegetable. • The hollow edge creates pockets of air which prevent extra thin or soft slices from sticking to the blade.

WÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON Sheep's foot paring knife 4006 / 8 cm (3") • The straight edge offers close control for decorating as well as peeling, mincing and dicing.

WÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON Santoku 4172 / 14 cm (5") • Styled after the Japanese Cook´s Knife this blade is just right for preparing not only fine Asian but also Western cuisine. • The hollow edge creates pockets of air which prevent extra thin or soft slices from sticking to the blade.

WÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON Paring knife 4086 / 9 cm (3 ½") • The most versatile of all parers: for mincing shallots, onions and herbs as well as cleaning and cutting vegetables.

This is a perfect knife set for beginners or professional chefs alike. Look for these features in any knife you are considering. • Forged from one piece of specially tempered high carbon steel to ensure outstanding strength • Innovative handle design for comfort and control • Perfectly balanced for effortless cutting • Seamless hygienic fit of the handle • Triple-riveted handle shells, full tang handle • Well designed, safe bolster

WÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON Cook´s knife 4596 / 20 cm (8") • No kitchen should be without this manual food processor. It is the most essential of all knives used in the kitchen. Slicing, mincing, dicing of all kind of food. Perfectly balanced, an extension of your hand. • Ergonomic handle design developed in consultation with professional chefs. 11


Pyrex速 thermometer Williams-Sonoma $4.95

Heavy-Duty tongs Sur La Table $19.50

Grillers tool set

[includes knife, spatula and fork] Williams-Sonoma $29.95

Metal rope skewers Bed Bath and Beyond $10.95 (set of two)

Basting brushes $2.95

Butter Baby速

Crate&Barrel $14.55

[photo on left]

Burger Press

Bed Bath and Beyond $19.95 [photo on right]

The Original Chimney Starter速 Ace Hardware $15.05


Wood comes in three forms for smoking: chips, chunks, and logs. Chips and chunks will handle the needs of most backyard grillers; logs are used by people with professional rigs and large front-loading charcoal grills. For a light wood flavor, simply toss the chips or chunks on the coals-a technique used mainly in direct grilling in the style of Europe or South America. For a more pronounced smoke flavor -the sort associated with traditional American barbecue- soak the chips or chunks in water (or a mixture of water and beer) for 1 hour, then drain before adding them to the fire. This soaking causes the wood to smolder rather than burst into flames, so it generates more smoke.


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By varying the wood, you can subtly vary the flavor: heavy woods, like mesquite and pecan, have a stronger smoke flavor than fruit woods, like apple or cherry. The best all purpose woods for smoking are hickory and oak. However, the difference is very subtle. Almost any hardwood can be used to for smoking with sublime results. Note: NEVER attempt to smoke with softwoods or pressure treated lumber. To smoke on a charcoal grill, set up your grill for indirect grilling and toss the wood chips or chunks on the piles of glowing embers. To smoke on a gas grill, check first to see if your grill has a smoker box


Wood smoke is an integral part of true barbecue.


(a long, slender drawer or box into which you can put wood chips for smoking). If it does, fill it with wood chips and light the burner under or next to it on high until you see smoke, then lower the heat of the grill to the desired temperature. If your gas grill lacks a smoker box, make a smoker pouch: wrap the soaked chips in heavy duty foil to make a pillow shaped pouch. Poke a few holes in the top with a pencil or knife tip, and place the pouch under the grate over one of the burners. Preheat on high until you see smoke.

ďƒ„ Continued on pg. 15

This is an excellent wood for smoking large pieces of meat for great lengths of time. You will find it assertive but always pleasant. Oak is probably the most versatile of all hardwoods. The smoke flavoring goes exceptionally with a brisket. It will generally produce a medium to heavy (but seldom overpowering) flavor.

Briskets, Roasts, Chops, Steaks


This wood produces a medium fruity taste and is the choice of many professional chefs. Briskets, Roasts, Pecan will burn cool and offer a richness of character. You will not be disappointed. It Chops, Steaks, can be likened to a smoother version of hickory. It may be used for longer lengths of time Fish, Poultry for smoking larger pieces of meat, such as briskets and pork roasts.


It has been said that hickory is the King of woods and is prevalent in the Southern regions of the country. Care should be used when cooking with this wood. It will produce a sweet to strong, hearty taste. Hickory is perfect for ribs and pork shoulders. It also enhances any red meat or poultry. It is milder than mesquite, however.

Red Meats, All Ribs, Poultry


This tree indigenous to the Northwest United States produces a mild and fruity type of taste. Others say it makes meat taste slightly sweet and fruity. It is mild enough for chicken and turkey. It may also be used for flavoring a ham.

Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Ham


This tree originates on the West Coast of the United States and generally produces a light, delicate to sweet-mild taste. It is the traditional wood used for smoking salmon, particularly in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Alder works on most any fish.

Salmon, Other Fish, Poultry


Cherry produces a similar taste to apple. produces a very mild and fruity flavor. You will probably find the meat tasting somewhat sweet as well. If you can find cherry, it will be mild enough for chicken, turkey and fish. Use it with flavoring a ham.

Salmon, Other Fish, Poultry


Maple is generally located in the Northeast United States. It is mildly smoky and mates well with poultry, ham and vegetables. When used, it will produce a sweet and light taste.

Poultry, Ham, Vegetables

Mesquite Extra care needs to also be used with this mystical wood. Over the past decade, it has

gained particular favor in the area of fajitas. The flavor can become strong very quickly. It is best used for grilling where the smoke does not actually penetrate the meat. Small portions may be used when smoking if other wood is utilized as the primary heat source.


Grape wood is traditionally from the California vineyards. It offers a more delicate flavor than the typical hardwoods and is most often recommended for use with both fish and poultry. The smoke is a light flavor similar other fruit woods.

Chicken, Beef, Fish

Chicken, Fish 13

RIBS! (Continued from pg 8) Next, prepare the ribs. If you got your ribs from a butcher, he may have removed the membrane for you. If not, place a rack of ribs meat side down on a baking sheet. Remove the thin, papery membrane from the back of the rack by inserting a slender implement, such as a butter knife or the tip of a meat thermometer, under it. The best place to start is on one of the middle bones. Using a dishcloth, paper towel, or pliers to gain a secure grip, peel off the membrane Set aside 1 tablespoon of rub for serving. Sprinkle the remaining rub over both sides of the ribs, rubbing it onto the meat. Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate them while you set up the grill. Alternatively, If you have a smoker you can smoke the ribs first for a few hours and finish them off on the grill. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium (325° - 350°F). Place a large drip pan in the center of the grill under the grate. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the ribs bone side down in the center of the grate over the drip pan and away from the heat. If your grill has limited pace, stand the rack of ribs upright in a Rib Rack. If cooking on a charcoal grill, toss half of the wood chips on each mound of coals. If cooking on a gas grill, put half the chips in your Smoker Chip Box. Cover the grill and cook the ribs for 45 minutes. Mop the ribs on both sides with the mop sauce. Re-cover the grill and continue cooking the ribs until well browned, cooked through, and tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, 45 minutes to 1 hour longer, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours in all. When the ribs are cooked, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about 1/4 inch. Mop the ribs again every 15 minutes and, if using a charcoal grill, replenish the coals and wood chips as needed. If using a gas grill, replenish the wood chips as needed.

Just before serving, brush the ribs on both sides with some of your favorite BBQ Sauce and move them directly over the fire. Grill the ribs until the BBQ sauce is browned and bubbling, 1 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a large platter or cutting board. Let the ribs rest for a few minutes, then cut the rack in half or into individual ribs. Sprinkle a little of the reserved rub over the ribs and serve at once with the remaining BBQ Sauce on the side. Enjoy!

Smoking 101 (Continued from page 13) Note: the traditional drawback to gas grills is that many don’t get hot enough for smoking. Preheat the grill to high until you see smoke -lots of it- then turn the burner knobs to reduce the heat to the desired temperature. Alternatively, position wood chunks under the grill grate directly over one of the burners or pilot lights and preheat on high until you see smoke. That's all there is to it. Follow these steps and your dinner guests will swear you've prepared them a gourmet meal over an open fire!


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A magazine for food and grilling lovers