Mastering the Grill: The Owner’s Manual for Outdoor Cooking, by Andrew Schloss, David Joachim and Alison Miksch, does a thorough job of explaining the science and mechanics of grilling, and includes over 300 step-by step recipes, many with full-color, mouth-watering photos. Hundreds of cooking tips and illustrations are included throughout, as well as many helpful charts.
The book contains information on how grills work, grilling tools and accessories, and fuels and fire starters. The types of grills are discussed, including campfire grills, fireplace grills, hibachis, barbecook grills, ceramic grill ovens, pit grills, smokers, gas grills, electric grills, contact grills and grill pans. Information is also included on best practices for cleaning, maintaining and repairing grills.
The authors explain the science of heat transference, including conduction, convection and radiant heat; and of grilling techniques, including direct and indirect heat, rotisserie grilling, adding smoke, cooking in coals, wrapping, and cooking on a plank. The authors also cover mastering and maintaining fire, and mastering ingredients, including meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, game, produce, dough, and cheese.
The book also includes information on protein and fats, grading, cuts of meat from different animals, how to judge the doneness of meat, produce and dough, resting meats for best results and a comparison of grilling with gas or with charcoal.
The extensive collection of over 300 well formatted recipes is easy to follow, and every recipe includes prep and cooking times and a list of necessary equipment. There are recipes for grilled burgers, dips, steaks, chops, ribs, roasts, vegetables and sides, pizza, chutneys, salsas, fruit and dessert. The authors also include a section on spices, rubs, marinades, mops, wet pastes, glazes, and sauces, along with information on which flavors work best with each ingredient. All recipes include a short introduction and instructions for cooking over gas, charcoal or wood.
There are basic recipes for burgers, pork chops, pizza, fish, chicken and more, along with recipes that are more complex. These include Porterhouse Au Povre, Rib-Eye Steaks with Fragrant Chile Rub and Salsa Butter, Texas Steakhouse Burgers, Chicken Fire Roasted Garlic-Herb Chicken, Spicy Thai Chicken Thighs, Smoked Salt Crusted Chicken with Olive Oil Drizzle, Pork Chops with Barbequed Sweet Peppers, Spicy Maple Pork Shoulder, Grilled Summer Vegetables with Brown Butter, Grilled Asparagus with Barbequed Lemon Wedges, Grilled Fruit Skewers with Honey Mustard, Grilled Banana Splits, Grilled Pain au Chocolat with Cherry Glaze, Mustard Grilled Planked Salmon with Horseradish Dill Sauce, Miso Tuna Burgers, Cajun Pecan Catfish, Grilled Garlic Scampi, Lobster Grilled with Seafood Butter, Smoked Crab Burgers, Grilled Vegetable Pizza, Smoked Chorizo Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Arugula, Preserved Lemon Relish, Roasted Corn Salsa, Salsa Butter, Fire Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, South Carolina Vinegar Mop, Sweet Chimichurri Rub, Ten-Pepper Rub, Black Expresso Rub, Mexican Adobo Rub, Tandoori Yogurt Rub, Papaya Marinade, and Buttermilk Ranch Marinade.
At a length of 415 pages, this is a weighty book and could be a bit awkward to handle. Depending on health concerns or personal taste, some cooks may want to cut the amount of sugar and salt in some of the rubs.