My Recipe Box
books that cook

Charred & Scruffed

Charred & Scruffed

By Adam Perry Lang

Artisan, $24.95

Acclaimed chef and pit-master Adam Perry Lang breaks new grilling ground in this book. Outdoor cooking enthusiasts will have a great time experimenting with innovative techniques like "scruffing" (roughing up meat to create nooks and crannies for seasonings to cling to), "hot potatoing" (flipping, turning, and moving meat to control the build-up of heat and create a delectable crust), and "clinching" (cooking meat directly on the coals for the crunchiest crust). In great detail, Lang describes his methods for layering on flavor throughout the cooking process with rubs, basting sauces, and finishing salts. In addition to well-written recipes for cooking over fire, Lang dishes up comforting sides such as Scruffed Carbonara Potatoes and Bubbling Bacon Butter Beans, and light, refreshing co-stars like Mango Cilantro Salad and Green Apple, Cabbage, and Caraway Slaw.

Tasting Notes

Clinched Strip Steak (page 92) These steaks are rubbed, scruffed, hot potatoed, basted, and cooked right on the coals. The result is a flavorful crust balanced by the fresh, bright flavors of his Board Dressing (below).

Board Dressing (page 27) Quite possibly Lang's most ingenious trick: Mix a sauce right on the carving board. Juice from the sliced, grilled meat gets smashed up with fresh herbs, olive oil, acid, and salt, providing a brilliant counterpoint to the meat's boldly seasoned crust.

Featured Recipes from Charred & Scruffed
Clinched Strip Steak Charred Radicchio with Sweet-and-Sticky Balsamic and Bacon Clinched-and-Planked Chicken Legs
Clinched Strip Steak   Charred Radicchio with Sweet-and-Sticky Balsamic and Bacon   Clinched-and-Planked Chicken Legs

Got your own ingenious grill tricks? Leave a comment below and share a grilling tip with us for a chance to win a signed copy of Charred & Scruffed. We'll pick a comment at random on Tuesday, August 7 and notify the winner via email. Good luck, grillers! (now closed).

Update: Congrats to AdeleR. She's the winner of our Charred & Scruffed giveaway. Thanks to everyone who posted a comment.

posted in: Blogs, grilling, Charred & Scruffed, Adam Perry Lang
Comments (29)

Connied writes: I personally do not do the grilling in my household, but my chef son does. Neither of us have ever heard of "scruffing", "hot potatoing" or "clinching", but we would like to try! Sounds like great stuff! Posted: 4:20 pm on August 6th

cookingjudy writes: When I grill shrimp I use a grill basket. I find this much easier and faster than using skewers. Posted: 11:55 am on August 6th

lynndg writes: Make one part of your grill extra hot for searing then finish on the other part. Posted: 3:06 pm on August 3rd

scootpdx writes: Interesting techniques! Posted: 9:53 am on August 2nd

EngellVal writes: 7testing_post Posted: 8:15 am on August 2nd

FEOBO writes: One of the best steaks I have ever had was grilled over a small fire ring while visiting family in Ohio. Their grill was broken so we improvised. We got some thick (about 2 inch thick)ribeye steaks from the local butcher (Turk Bros.) - some of the best quality steaks I have ever seen and the added benefit of supporting the local community rather than a grocery chain. We marinated them in a red wine with olive oil, onion, herbs and crushed peppercorns. We placed some foil under the fire ring to keep from burning the grass. We did not use charcoal, but instead a mix of wood (ash and osage). Once that was smoldering, we grilled the steaks directly on the fire ring grate. The charred, smoky flavor of those steaks was incredible. Posted: 6:47 am on August 2nd

tovahs writes: When I finish grilling, I close the lid with the grill still on for ten more minutes, letting all the remnants get charred... = way easier cleaning!
(Try grilling salmon with lots of fresh chopped ginger, garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce - marinate for an hour, grill...YUM.) Posted: 1:05 am on August 2nd

frankielouwho writes: One of my favourite ways to add a flavour blast near the end of grilling is to press on a blend of maple sugar, lemon zest, sea salt and chili flakes. It carmelizes really nicely and adds a bit of zing to chicken, salmon, pork, etc. Posted: 11:18 am on August 1st

user-4713770 writes: My neatest trick taught to several guy campers, soak a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil, tuck into a pile of charcoal to loosely with additional charcoal, light, no nasty lighter fluid smell to taint the grill or food. Posted: 6:41 am on August 1st

ljkrfnc writes: We grill chicken legs, wings and thighs that we marinate in soy sauce, garlic, onions and peppers finely chopped. Posted: 9:16 pm on July 31st

son_of_brooklyn writes: I save bacon grease and,using wadded up paper towels,rub that on the grill after first heating and cleaning.
Posted: 3:55 pm on July 31st

topdawg writes: When I grill pizza, I use charcoal and indirect heat. It is slower, which allows you to put on your toppings without rushing to much, and ends up with a very nice brown crust. Posted: 11:43 am on July 31st

darcil writes: After rubbing olive oil on my steaks I let them sit until they reach room temperature before tossing them on the grill. Then I love to place some fresh herbs on steaks as they cook to add another layer of flavor! Posted: 11:39 am on July 31st

thepiranha writes: When grilling portobello mushrooms, always grill with the gills down first, then flip so the gills are up. That way, you won't lose any of the delicious juices. Posted: 10:02 am on July 31st

robomax writes: when grilling chicken with rotiserie,wait till chicken starts to sweat before adding your rub or seasoning.rub soaks into skin&makes a nice crispy & flavourful skin with moist meat. Posted: 9:48 am on July 31st

mamarose1900 writes: I like to make a paste out of the rub, an acid, and olive oil. It's easy to spread on the meat and faster because I don't have to do two steps: rub the spices, then coat it with the oil. And it's tastier because it allows me to add an acid.

Note to shabby2chic-that's a dangerous practice. You could end up with serious burns spraying oil on a hot grill. If your grill is hot, use a wad of paper towels to spread a thin layer of oil. If you want to use spray, spray it before you heat the grill. Posted: 8:40 am on July 31st

cklawrence writes: I use wood chips on a regular basis with our gas grill to give it a better flavor, my favorite is apple wood, especially for ribs.

Also, brining is a great way to add flavor and moisture for chicken or turkey! Posted: 8:30 am on July 31st

carolina_p writes: we have a gas grill, but the best steaks are those cooked over a wood fire. throwing herbs into those coals produces a delicious smoke and for extra flavor, i make small slits in the steak for slivers of garlic. Posted: 8:24 am on July 31st

JenniferJill writes: To get accurate cooking times, pre-heat your grill just as you would your oven. Posted: 8:23 am on July 31st

aaartichoke writes: Toss fresh herbs on the grill to add flavor and aroma. Posted: 8:11 am on July 31st

chender writes: When grilling vegetables, it's worth it to use metal grill baskets so you don't lose the thin slices between the grate. It's a lot easier just flipping the basket that is totally enclosed than trying to use tongs to turn each piece of zucchini, etc. over, one at a time. Posted: 8:10 am on July 31st

ilarrazarai writes: I like to put my steak into direct fire for couple minutes and continue with indirect fire until done. Posted: 7:55 am on July 31st

bdelf writes: To speed clean-up of the grill, I spray it with a fine mist of water then use the grillbrush. The steam that's created helps lift off any residual grease and burnt-on residue. Posted: 7:21 am on July 31st

bdelf writes: To speed clean-up of the grill, I spray it with a fine mist of water then use the grillbrush. The steam that's created helps lift off any residual grease and burnt-on residue. Posted: 7:21 am on July 31st

Lily32 writes: I use thick cuts of meat. I sear the meat on high both sides and then move the meat to the upper shelf, lower the heat cook till done. Meat comes out nicely charred on the outside and juicy on the inside. Yum. Posted: 7:20 am on July 31st

AdeleR writes: I like to throw extra bunches of the herbs onto the coals or lay the food on a bed of the herb bunches when grilling. I also like to use my herb vinegars as part of the marinade. Posted: 6:59 am on July 31st

imagigi writes: I have an infra red grill.once it's hot I place the meat on to sear and then turnit down to finish.Works great on all meats. Posted: 6:25 am on July 31st

Smidkiff writes: When marinadng meat, I poke a few holes with a knife so that the marinade gets All throughout the meat. Then when the grill is ready, I have a small bowl of canola oil and I use a rolled up paper towel or bar towel and my to he to oil the grill so the meat doesn't stick and you don't get flare ups like when usIng aerosol spray oil. Posted: 5:51 am on July 31st

shabby2chic writes: Once I get the grill heated up, I like to spray it carefully with pam or other nonstick spray to help prevent sticking. Posted: 3:50 pm on July 30th

Log in or create a free account to post a comment.

Cookbooks, DVDs & More