Text by Charles Miller
You might think that a steak lying amid hot coals spells disaster. Not so for Steven Raichlen. The expert griller actually cooks meat directly on blazing hardwood charcoal on purpose; he calls it caveman grilling. He pairs the impressively charred results with his “hellfire hot sauce,” made from fresh chiles, cilantro, and garlic, which sizzle away in a cast-iron skillet perched atop the same coals. It’s improbable, but it works. The same might be said for Steven’s career path.
He went from earning a degree in French literature to studying medieval cooking in Paris to reviewing restaurants in Boston, but his lifelong fascination with grilling led to his best-selling 1998 cookbook, The Barbecue Bible. There are now more than 1 million copies of that book in print, and Steven’s since written 28 others. He’s racked up five James Beard cookbook awards and starred in three television series about grilling (fittingly, one is in French). He clearly cooks outside more than in, so I headed to Miami to see how his two cooking spaces-one indoors, one outdoors-work together.
In this Behind the Kitchen Door tour, Steven shares both his kitchens with us–plus that recipe for steaks cooked directly on the coals, if you’re brave enough to try it.
Leave a comment on Steven’s Must-Have Grill Tools Giveaway Post for your chance to win his favorite grilling gear, including tools he’s designed himself.