Free Download PDF Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling

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For succulent results every time, nothing is more crucial than understanding the science behind the interaction of food, fire, heat, and smoke. This is the definitive guide to the concepts, methods, equipment, and accessories of barbecue and grilling. The founder and editor of the world's most popular BBQ and grilling website,, Meathead applies the latest research to backyard cooking more than 100 thoroughly tested recipes.
With the help of physicist and food scientist Prof. Greg Blonder, PhD, of Boston University, he explains why dry brining is better than wet brining; how marinades really work; why rubs shouldn't have salt in them; the importance of digital thermometers; why searing doesn't seal in juices; how salt penetrates but spices don't; when charcoal beats gas and when gas beats charcoal; how to calibrate and tune a grill or smoker; how to keep fish from sticking; cooking with logs; the strengths and weaknesses of the new pellet cookers; tricks for rotisserie cooking; why cooking whole animals is a bad idea; which grill grates are best; and why beer-can chicken is a waste of good beer and nowhere close to the best way to cook a bird.
He shatters the myths that stand in the way of perfection. Among the many busted old husband's tales:
Myth: Bring meat to room temperature before cooking.
* Myth: Soak wood before using it.
* Myth: Bone-in steaks taste better.
* Myth: You should sear first, then cook.
The book blends chemistry, physics, meat science, and humor. Lavishly designed with hundreds of full-color photos by the author, this book contains all the sure-fire recipes for traditional American favorites and many more outside-the-box creations. You'll get recipes for all the great regional barbecue sauces; rubs for meats and vegetables; Last Meal Ribs; Simon & Garfunkel Chicken; Schmancy Smoked Salmon; The Ultimate Turkey; Texas Brisket; Perfect Pulled Pork; Sweet & Sour Pork with Mumbo Sauce; Whole Hog; Steakhouse Steaks; Diner Burgers; Prime Rib; Brazilian Short Ribs; Rack Of Lamb Lollipops; Huli-Huli Chicken; Smoked Trout Florida Mullet -Style; Baja Fish Tacos; Grilled Lobster, and many more.

From the Publisher

Skinny Steaks from Meathead

Makes: 2 Servings | Takes: 10 minutes

Reverse sear works best on thicker cuts. For thin steaks and ultrathin steaks like skirt steak, you need a very different technique. As with thick steaks, the goal is the same: a dark brown exterior and a tender, juicy, medium-rare interior. For steaks 1 inch thick or less, the secret is to use very high heat and keep them moving.


1. Prep. Trim the surface fat and silverskin from the steaks, if necessary sprinkle with salt and dry bring in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours before cooking.

2. Just before you cook it, pat the meat dry with paper towels (moisture creates steam and prevents browning). Sprinkle with pepper and press it in with your hands.

3. Fire up. Get your grill screaming hot. If you are using charcoal, pile the coals just beneath the cooking surface. On a gas grill, drop the grate as close to the burners as possible. Leave the lid off. You won’t really be using the indirect zone, but it is nice to have in case you need a safe zone away from the flames.

4. Cook. Put the meat over the hottest part of the grill. You need to stand by the grill and flip every minute so the hot surface cools, inhibiting heat buildup and preventing the interior from overcooking. Aim for a uniform dark brown without grill marks and 125 to 130° F in the middle.

Things move fast, so be on your toes. You are a human rotisserie. Be the rotisserie.


2 steaks, each about ¾ inch thick

Kosher salt (about ½ teaspoon per pound)

Freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil

Smoked Potato Salad from Meathead

Makes: 8 servings | Takes: 1 ½ hours

Yes, there are a bazillion ways to make potato salad, but this recipe ups the ante by smoking the potatoes. You can also use your favorite potato salad recipe and replace those plain-ol’ boring boiled potatoes with these smoked potatoes.


1. Prep. Place the potatoes in a saucepan and add cold water to cover them by at least 1/2 inch. Add 2 pinches of salt. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set it nearby. Bring the water in the saucepan to a boil and cook the potatoes until they hit about 150°F in the center. You do not want to cook them all the way through. Test more than one chunk. Drain and cool them immediately in the ice water. Drain them again after they’ve cooled for about 15 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and coat them lightly with the oil.

2. Fire up. Get your smoker up to 225°F or set up the grill for two-zone cooking and shoot for about 225°F on the indirect side. Place a grill topper in the indirect zone and lightly oil it.

3. Cook. Gently slide the potatoes onto the topper and space them out so they do not overlap. Close the lid and smoke the potatoes for about 45 minutes, then transfer them to a platter and let cool to room temperature.

4. In a serving bowl, whisk together the Dressing ingredients. Fold in the potatoes, trying not to smush them. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stash the salad in your fridge for a couple of hours before serving to let the flavors meld; overnight is even better.

5. Serve. Remove the salad from the fridge 30 minutes before serving to let it warm slightly.


10 small red potatoes, peel left on and chopped into bite-size pieces

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons cooking oil

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 teaspoon dried dill

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Publisher‏:‎Mariner Books; Illustrated edition (May 10, 2016)
Hardcover‏:‎400 pages
Item Weight‏:‎3.35 pounds
Dimensions‏:‎8.2 x 1.3 x 10.1 inches
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