Author, journalist, lecturer and TV host Steven Raichlen is the man who reinvented modern barbecue.
Wine Country Grill
The deep connection between wine and barbecue dates back millennia and still runs deep as ever. In the rustic wine country of the Santa Ynez Valley where we tape Project Fire, grape vines are used as fuel and wine for marinades and sauces. Here's how the fruit of the vine meets the power of fire. First up: special Jidori-breed chicken breasts stuffed with country ham and dry-aged Sonoma Jack cheese grilled over a grape vine fire. Next, flank steak with Pinot Noir mushroom sauce grilled over charcoal and oak. Finally, chef John Cox from the Bear and Star restaurant smokes a whole bourbon-soaked wagyu strip loin that's been aged three years. GRAPEVINE-GRILLED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH PROSCIUTTO AND MONTEREY JACK; WINE-MARINATED FLANK STEAK WITH PINOT NOIR MUSHROOM SAUCE; BOURBON-AGED STRIP LOIN SMOKED OVER OAK.
Steak and Beyond
Be honest: What you really want to master is the perfect grilled steak. Make that many steaks by using a range of savvy grilling techniques. Leading off is a thick dry-brined New York strip with luscious anchovy crema. Tender quick-cooking lamb steaks come with herb-scented Moroccan Charmoula. In today's field trip chef Curtis Stone grills an 80 day-aged rib steak over a wood fire at Gwen Butcher Shop and Restaurant in L.A. DUELING BEEF RIB STEAKS: WAGYU VS 80 DAY DRY-AGED; DRY-BRINED RIBEYES WITH ANCHOVY CREMA; GRILLED LAMB STEAKS WITH MOROCCAN CHARMOULA.
Fish Hits The Fire
Fish on the grill. Four simple words that strike fear into the hearts of novice grillers. Well, fear no more, because Project Fire will walk you every step of the grilling process-from grilling whole fish and fillets to fire-roasting shellfish. Singapore-spiced halibut grilled in banana leaves. A whole fish with Indonesian flavors grilled by Rafael Lunetta, chef/owner of Lunetta in Santa Monica. Alaskan salmon riffs on Russian coulibiac, with a stuffing of grilled onions, mushrooms, rice and smoke. Finally, we grill pristinely fresh oysters with Asian-inflected aromatics. SINGAPORE- SPICED HALIBUT IN BANANA LEAVES; WHOLE GRILLED BRANZINO WITH INDONESIAN SPICES; NEW SCHOOL COULIBIAC GRILLED SALMON WITH SMOKED EGGS; GRILLED OYSTERS WITH ASIAN AROMATICS.
The Pac-Rim Grill
The Pacific Rim extends from California and the Pacific Northwest to Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia, where exotic herbs and spices, chiles, and umami-rich fish and soy sauce make for larger-than-life flavor. Look for big flavor grilled meats paired with a high proportion of vegetables-barbecue as health food. Steven begins with Vietnamese-inspired Jidori chicken skewered on fragrant lemongrass. From Thailand come sweet, smoky, garlicky baby back ribs, the ultimate street food. Next is your new favorite salad of summer, featuring pungent Asian herbs and fire-roasted shrimp and pineapple. Steven visits Los Angeles' Koreatown district, for grilled beef short ribs at Parks BBQ with Jenee Kim. Koreatown short ribs and banchan side dishes; Thai sweet chili ribs; Shrimp and pineapple salad with Vietnamese flavors; Lemongrass chicken bites.
Grill Top Cocktail Party
No one gathers around the stove to watch soup simmer or meat roasting in the oven. But fire up your grill and you instantly become the center of attention. In this episode, Steven reinvents the cocktail party, harnessing the power of live fire to take finger food over the top. He begins with West Indian rum-and citrus-glazed jumbo shrimp grilled on sugarcane. Italian-inspired "finger-burner" lamb chops are next, along with a great grilled dish from Spain: Catalan tomato bread (grilled bread rubbed with grilled garlic and tomatoes and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil). Smoked nectarine bellinis keep appetites sharp and conversation flowing. And sommelier Kristine Bocchino shares suggestions for three great wines to serve at the party. Plantation shrimp with spiced rum glaze; Finger burner lamb chops; Catalan grilled tomato bread; Smoked nectarine bellinis.
Call it globalization's upside. Call it melting pot extreme. It's what you get when traditional American barbecue meets authentic ethnic grilling and it's happening across the United States and around the world. This episode is about cross-culture mashups, from California paella, to a deli-inspired heirloom pork loin stuffed with pastrami, gruyere, and sauerkraut. In Venice Beach, Michelin-starred chef Josiah Citrin dazzles with aged duck, deftly seasoned, then smoked and grilled over a wood fire at his restaurant Charcoal Venice. Honey and coriander smoke-roasted duck; So-Cal paella; Pork loin Reuben.
One Good Turn
One of the oldest methods of live-fire cooking, rotisserie grilling (aka spit-roasting) combines the smoky sear of direct grilling with the gentle, moisture-preserving heat of roasting. And that's before you add three other benefits: internal and external basting, no flare-ups, and the hunger-inducing fragrance of wood smoke. Game hens scented with garlic, cumin, and fiery Peruvian chiles acquire golden, crackling-crisp skin while turning on the spit. Meaty spare ribs take a cue from Hawaii's huli-huli chicken (huli means "to turn"). A sweet-salty, lacquer-like glaze of pineapple juice, soy sauce, and honey makes them irresistible. Finally, a spectacular whole spinning cinnamon-and sugar-crusted pineapple direct from Brazil. Los Angeles sommelier Kristine Bocchino recommends three wines to make the meal taste even better. Peruvian game hens with creamy salsa verde; Huli-huli spare ribs; Brazilian rotisserie pineapple.
The time of day or night matters little to the world's hardcore pit masters, who think nothing of firing up grills or smokers or wood-burning ovens for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a late night snack. I often start my day with a barbecue breakfast, such as farm eggs grilled in a cast iron skillet with cream, crusty bread crumbs, Parmesan, and crisp shards of prosciutto. For lunch, we have wood-fired pizzas from the popular eclectic Industrial Eats in Buellton, California. Spice-crusted pastrami beef ribs make a spectacular supper, and for a midnight snack, Steven makes South African grilled Cheese sandwiches, smoky and salty with bacon and sweet and fruity with mango chutney. Industrial eats pizzas; Grilled eggs with prosciutto and parmesan; Pastrami beef ribs; South African grilled cheese.
Long before there were gas grills and charcoal, before rotisseries and planchas, there was fire. Today's show is all about primal ways to use it. Los Angeles's meat-centric Italian chop house, chi SPACCA, sets the stage with a monster pork tomahawk dusted with fennel pollen and pepper and grilled over almond wood by chef Ryan DeNicola. Next, salmon steaks come-talk about primal-smokily grilled on a shovel over a blazing campfire. Double-thick pork chops are grilled caveman-style: directly on blazing embers, to be finished with a sizzling poblano pan-fry. For the ultimate decadent dessert: cedar-plank grilled chocolate brownie s'mores. We're grilling extreme. Fennel pepper grilled pork tomahawk; Salmon grilled on a shovel; Caveman pork chops with poblano pan-fry; Cedar plank brownie s'mores.
The first tailgating party took place in 1869 at a Princeton-Rutgers football game. Picnickers grazed from food arranged on the buckboards of horse-drawn wagons-the precursor of one of America's most favorite pastimes: tailgating. Today the party goes global, starting with lettuce-wrapped, smoked pulled lamb from the wood-burning smoker at Odys + Penelope in Los Angeles. Next, honey soy chicken wings ingeniously smoked on skewers-eat them like lollipops. Brisket tacos, served with avocadoes and wood-grilled salsa, make a magisterial main dish. And true to the global tailgating theme, potato salad gets the Peruvian treatment with yellow chile-spiked cheese sauce. Smoked pulled lamb in lettuce leaves; Honey soy chicken wings; Brisket tacos; Peruvian potato salad.
Health-conscious Southern California boasts some of the most vibrant grilling in North America. Start with hyper-local ingredients. Add clean bold California flavors and plenty of hot fire and wood smoke. Up first, the classic California fish taco, reimagined with wood fire-grilled, sushi-quality tuna and ember-roasted salsa. Next: char-grilled Santa Barbara lobsters sauced with Caribbean-inspired orange mojo. No So-Cal barbecue would be complete without tri-tip, and Anthony Endy, executive chef at the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort (where Project Fire is filmed), updates it with a verdant South American chimichurri. Wood-grilled Castroville artichokes with charred lemon aioli bring the show to a fiery close. Grilled Tuna Tacos; Santa Barbara lobsters with orange mint mojo; Santa Monica tri-trip with three-herb chimichurri; Grilled artichokes with charred Meyer lemon aioli.
In this episode, Steven looks at fundamental techniques that he has used over the years.
Grilling with Wood
It's the world's most ancient grilling method, and to my mind, it remains the best. It's practiced on six continents by traditionalists and cutting-edge chefs alike. Propane offers convenience and charcoal burns hot, but the ultimate fuel for grilling is wood. Wood smoke contains more than a thousand flavor-producing compounds: It's the one fuel that delivers both heat and taste. From wood-grilled bruschetta with fire-blistered tomatoes to swordfish with raisin chimichurri and magisterial sear and slide beef tomahawks, today's show brings you the primal campfire pleasure of grilling over a wood fire.
Brisket 24 / 7
Brisket is simultaneously the easiest and hardest meat to barbecue. Easy, because it requires only three ingredients: salt, pepper, and wood smoke. Hard, because, unless you master the fire, airflow, and temperature, the stall, the wrap, and the rest, you wind up with a mouthful of misery. Today's show is all about brisket, complete with fail proof methods for smoking it right every time. From not so traditional Texas barbecue and a distinctive bacon-smoked brisket flat to an electrifying Vietnamese brisket salad. You'll even learn how to make breakfast-worthy Tex-Mex brisket tacos.
Gulf Coast Grill
Steinhatchee, Florida, population 1500, perches on the north shore of the historic Steinhatchee River where it joins the Gulf of Mexico. What better place to tape a show on the spirited seafood-rich grilling of the Gulf Coast? From Louisiana, with its blackened redfish-today grilled "on the half shell" (you'll see why on the show) . To the Florida shrimp boil, here, deconstructed and flame-charred on the grill. And, yes, there will be oysters and clams-invigorated by the sweet scent of wood smoke. Today, we're exploring the grilling of one of the most colorful coastal regions in North America.
Green Meets Grill
Forget about red meat and black and blue steak. Today, we're grilling green. Grilling green with vegetables we love to cook over live fire, like asparagus, corn, and mushrooms. Green with foods that are less likely candidates for grilling. This show celebrates meatless grilling in all its verdant glory. From a new egg salad-really-LAVISHED with grilled fresh hearts of palm. To a squash, black bean, and queso fresco pizza you grill directly over the fire-no pizza stone required. And what better way to grill cheese than with portobello mushrooms and grilled bread served in a swirl of blazing cognac?
T-bones? On it. Porterhouse? Got you covered. And, yes, we can handle a rib-eye. But how about upping your grill game with steaks you may not be familiar with, such as secreto or spinalis dorsi? The first is a secret and hyper-flavorful steak cut from a hog's belly. The second features the most delectable part of a rib roast reborn as a steak, and you're about to learn how to grill it with bourbon and a Catalan grilled vegetable sauce called romesco. I'll ALSO show you how to grill a brisket steak fragrant with sizzling shallot sage butter. Today on Project Fire: secret steaks!
Today's show takes you back. Way back. To a time when our ancestors did their grilling in the fireplace. Or on fire-heated stones around the campfire and directly on the embers. I call it PRIMAL grilling, and it's about to make you a barbecue rock star. We're talking ember-grilled bread and ember-roasted vegetable salad. Chicken grilled in midair hanging over a smoky wood fire. And amaretti-stuffed pears grilled on primordial slabs of salt. Get ready to rock your grill with primal grilling techniques as old as humankind itself.
Tex Meets Mex
I'm always fascinated by the food cultures that arise on national borders. Consider that fusion of Texas barbecue and Mexican spice we call Tex-Mex. In today's show, we explore how American barbecue techniques can enhance three classic Mexican dishes: snapper en pipian, in a grilled vegetable and pumpkin seed sauce; pork shoulder pibil, smoke-roasted in banana leaves in the style of the Yucatan, and a Project Fire first: a dessert quesadilla lavished with bananas and dulce de leche. Today on Project Fire, Tex meets Mex on the grill.
The Best Bbq You've Never Heard Of
You don't need a degree in smokeology to name the big three of barbecue: Kansas City ribs, Carolina pulled pork, and Texas smoked brisket. But what about some of the lesser-known styles of regional American barbecue? Like Cornell chicken, created by a Cornell University poultry scientist and today served in upstate New York and just about nowhere else on the planet. Or a specialty of the city where I grew up-Baltimore pit beef-crusty on the outside, rare inside, with plenty of horseradish to pump up the heat. Or the sweet, smoky barbecued salmon enjoyed in Anchorage, Alaska. Today on Project Fire: the best barbecue you've never heard of.
Florida Tailgate Party
You don't need to be a diehard Gators fan to get pumped up at a tailgate party. For sports lovers of all persuasions, a good barbecue makes the perfect prelude to the game. In this show, we explore how my home state, Florida, re-imagines three tailgate classics. Get ready for pork shooters stuffed with shrimp, cheese and Andouille sausage. Miami wings blasted with fire water. And luscious, smoky hamburgers like you've never experienced. (The secret? Lace them with CHOPPED barbecued brisket.) It's game on at Project Fire.
The pork shoulder, aka Boston butt (named for the wooden barrels they were once shipped in), gives us Carolina pulled pork. The majestic beef shoulder (yes, there is such a cut) becomes a Texas barbecued beef clod. As for lamb shoulder, Moroccans cook it in a fire-heated UNDERGROUND clay oven to make their legendary mechoui. This show explores the richest, meatiest, most flavorful cut you find in the meat department: the shoulder. Today, on Project Fire we shoulder on.
Long before there was modern fusion cuisine, people cooked Chino-Latino. It originated with Chinese laborers who immigrated to Cuba and Trinidad and elsewhere in the Caribbean to work the plantations. They developed a unique mashup of Asian and West Indian cooking-the subject of today's show on Chino-Latino grilling. Get ready for tangerine teriyaki chicken, butter rum grilled plantains, smoky baby back ribs with guava barbecue sauce, and Korean brisket tacos. And here's the shocker: the brisket grills from start to finish in less than three minutes.
Miami may be the southernmost metropolis in the United States. But often my hometown feels like living in a foreign country. English is not the predominant language here, and our food culture is firmly anchored in Latin America and the West Indies. Our Miami Spice menu begins with a Project Fire first: the grilled mojito cocktail. Next comes Florida lobster grilled with rum butter baste and mango salsa, then plate-burying island spice beef plate ribs. Our grand finale? Turkey adobo with garlicky mojo de ajo. Today on Project Fire, we're grilling WITH Miami Spice.
Raichlen Rules Steak
It's every carnivore's dream and every griller's triumph. Through the ages, it's been the ultimate symbol of luxury and largesse. It offers an irrefutable argument for simplicity. But if you crave embellishment, it's the perfect foil for all the rubs, marinades, butters, and sauces you can throw at it. It's easy to grill, but you can spend a lifetime perfecting the fine points. Steak! And now this epic meat is about to receive the Raichlen treatment in a show that looks back on HOW steak HAS EVOLVED through 3 ICONIC TV series: Primal Grill, Project Smoke, and Project Fire.