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Perfect Grilled Meats: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-146

Perfect Grilled Meats: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-146

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Perfect Grilled Meats: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-146

47 pages
50 minutes
Jan 1, 1996


Since 1973, Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletins have offered practical, hands-on instructions designed to help readers master dozens of country living skills quickly and easily. There are now more than 170 titles in this series, and their remarkable popularity reflects the common desire of country and city dwellers alike to cultivate personal independence in everyday life.
Jan 1, 1996

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Perfect Grilled Meats - Matt Kelly

Perfect Grilled Meats

by Matt Kelly


A Short History of Grilling

The Cookers

The Fuel

The Wood

The Equipment

The Fire





Musings Over the Fire

Sources for Ingredients

A Short History of Grilling

Barbecuing seems as quintessentially American as apple pie, an element integrated into the core of our national identity. The charcoal cooker on the patio or in the backyard became so ubiquitous in the 1950s and 1960s that it almost seemed like a post-war invention of the American culture.

But barbecuing is one of the oldest forms of cooking, invented shortly after man discovered fire. Early humans determined that meat broiled over open flames was more appetizing and healthier than raw meat. They also found that cooked meat lasted longer than its raw counterpart.

While the beginnings of grilling food were simple, the traditions that have been developed and passed down have varied greatly. Cooks realized that other flavors could be imparted to the meat by soaking meat in a combination of liquids, i.e., marinades. Herbs and spices were used to flavor meat, both as part of marinades and also in dry rubs.

Different cultures also developed new ways of preparing the fire, from big wood-fired pits to little charcoal braziers, refining their grilling techniques to make the best use of the open flame.

The Asians, who have been barbecuing for centuries, use a variety of methods, including grilling directly over an open fire, spit-turning the meat, and barbecuing in an oven. Since many of their dishes call for bite-sized pieces of meat, much Asian barbecuing is done with skewers.

In the Caucasus area between the Black and Caspian Seas cooking styles have had a variety of influences, including Russian, Turkish, and Iranian. Roast suckling pig and baby lamb are considered delicacies. In the Georgian countryside, the prepared lamb is placed in a pit over a smoldering bed of charcoal and left to roast slowly for several hours.

In India, Tandoori cooking involves cooking food in a large clay oven that has been heated by charcoal. The foods are usually marinated before they are lowered into the oven. With a well-made tandoori oven, the food comes out crisp on the outside, but moist and tender on the inside.

In Syria, lamb is dressed and rubbed with handfuls of spices and herbs, and slowly rotated on a spit over hot coals. As the lamb browns, it is basted with hot fat.

I like barbecuing because it can produce food that tastes unique from any other form of cooking. It is also very elemental: your food cooks directly over fire — a very basic and simple approach to cooking and living.

The Cookers


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