Steven Raichlen: Ultimate Pit Boss
Back to School
“I spent a lot of time attending school in my younger days. After graduating high school, I went to college for four years, graduating from Hofstra University on Long Island. As if that wasn’t enough, I attended Brooklyn Law School for another three years after that!
Honestly, after those experiences, I never wanted to see another school again and was ready to start my career. But now, around 40 years later, I’m ready to go back to school! Yes, I’ve re-acquired “the bug” to go back to school.
“Barbecue University, here I come!” Barbecue University? Seriously?
Mastering His Fiery Craft
A passion for primal flavor in food cooked over a live fire ignites a backyard grill mania.
Known as the man who reinvented modern barbecue, Steven Raichlen is an accomplished author, journalist, cooking instructor, and TV host. As inspiration for his books, he has traveled the world in search of all things barbecue and considers cooking with fire an art form.
Esquire calls him “America’s grill master.” Raichlen even competed in a barbecue battle with Iron Chef Rokusaburo Michiba broadcast on Japanese TV and won. In addition to his books, he developed his own line of barbecue sauces, rubs and accessories.
If you’re questioning whether Raichlen is up to the task of running a university, let’s take a look at his credentials:
- He is the author of the New York Times bestselling Barbecue! Bible cookbook series, which includes his newest, The Brisket Chronicles, as well as Project Fire, Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades; Project Smoke; The Barbecue Bible; and How to Grill. His books have been translated into 17 languages!
- He is the winner of 5 James Beard awards and 3 IACP-Julia Child awards.
- His TV shows include the public television series Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire, Project Smoke, Primal Grill, and Barbecue University, as well as the French language series Les Incontournables du BBQ and Le Maitre du Grill.
- He has written for the New York Times, Esquire, Wall Street Journal, GQ, and nearly all the major food magazines.
- He has lectured on the history of barbecue at Harvard, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian.
- In 2015, he was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame.
A Love for Fire and Food
Growing up, Raichlen was interested in cooking. Jokingly, he says that his mother was a terrible cook, “so in a way, it was a matter of self-defense.”
After graduating from Reed College with a degree in French literature, he earned a prestigious fellowship to study medieval cooking. He says, “Grilling is our most ancient and universal cooking method, so virtually every recipe tells us something about human history and culture. Of course, there’s also the fact that live fire cooking is so much fun and that grilled and smoked foods taste so terrific.”
Latest Live-Fire Endeavor
With all of his public activities, Raichlen has attracted a loyal following. And in his latest book, The Brisket Chronicles, which was released on April 30th, he shares more than 60 foolproof, mouthwatering recipes for preparing the tastiest, most versatile, and most beloved cut of meat in the world—outside on the grill, as well as in the kitchen.
It all starts with the big kahuna: an authentic Texas barbecued brisket, aka 18 pounds of smoky, fatty, proteinaceous awesomeness. And from this revelation of pure beefy goodness comes burnt ends. Corned beef. Ropa Vieja. Bollito Misto. Pho…and slowly it dawns on you: Brisket must be the tastiest, most versatile, and most beloved cut of meat in the world.
Take brisket to the next level: ’Cue it, grill it, smoke it, braise it, cure it, boil it — even bake it into chocolate chip cookies. Texas barbecued brisket is just the beginning: There’s also Jamaican Jerk Brisket and Korean Grilled Brisket to savor. Old School Pastrami and Kung Pao Pastrami, a perfect Passover Brisket with Dried Fruits and Sweet Wine, even ground brisket — Jakes Double Brisket Cheeseburgers.
In dozens of unbeatable tips, Raichlen shows you just how to handle, prep, and store your meat for maximum tenderness and flavor. Plus, plenty more recipes that are pure comfort food, perfect for using up leftovers: Brisket Hash, Brisket Baked Beans, Bacon-Grilled Brisket Bites — or for real mind-blowing pleasure, Kettle Corn with Burnt Ends. And side dishes that are the perfect brisket accents, including slaws, salads, and sauces.
Learn from the Master
Before we sign off, let’s get back to Barbecue University, where there will be plenty of smoking, grilling, and spit-roasting during the 4-day 3-night semester in the last week of May at the luxurious Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The reviews from prior years are incredible. Take a look at Raichlen teaching students how to expand their barbecue horizons: