By Beth Clark • June 25, 2018
Now that summer is here, the grills are out and the mitts are on. Grilling and barbecuing both involve fire, grills, meat, spices, sauces, and a few other shared essentials, but they differ mightily in ways that purists take to heart. Barbecue is cooked slow and low over enclosed coals using indirect heat, whereas grilling is quick, hot, and uses direct heat with the lid open at least part of the time. Barbecue traditionally involves meats such as ribs, pork shoulder, and brisket that need to cook for a long time to tenderize. Grilling is best for meats that cook quickly, like boneless chicken breasts, burgers, steaks, and seafood.
Grilling is one of the most delicious and primal ways of cooking known to man, and storyteller chef Anthony Bourdain ate every grilled food imaginable…plus some that weren't. From the perfect 5-star ribeye to skinned iguana from a shack, his obsession with the grill reshaped how and what the world eats. Today would have been his 62nd birthday, and his recent passing will leave a hole in the culinary world bigger than Argentina, but his humor and gift for all things grill will live on through his literary legacy. (FYI, he was also a novelist.) We love them all, but our favorite Anthony Bourdain books include:
Bobby Flay opened his first restaurant in 1991 and his almost divine talent for grilling and barbecuing is at the core of his innovative southwestern cuisine. (Mesa Grill is still going strong, by the way, along with his subsequent restaurant endeavors.) According to Flay, "Grilling is hot and it's a lot more than just food on the fire." Indeed. Of the dozen Bobby Flay books currently available on ThriftBooks.com, start with these for barbecue and grilling that will make your soul as happy as your taste buds!
If you're not familiar with Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy Fieri is an iconic chef who tends to take things to the extreme, and he's not exactly the shy, quiet type (←> understatement of the century). Grill master that he is, barbecue is his true area of expertise, and the hotter the better!