Just holding this book makes me feel happy inside. Nothing says summer more to me than the smell of the grill on a stuffy hot day.
My husband is a really good cook, and his expertise is smoking and grilling. There is a difference between smoking and grilling. All of the recipes in this book would be prepared on a gas or charcoal grill (not smoked). The book is titled Weber's Real Grilling, but it is not product specific.
What I love
I love that every recipe has it's own picture. If I'm going to invest the time and money into a recipe, it better be good. I would say that I rely on online rated recipes 99% of the time. Unrated recipes in cookbooks make me uncomfortable. However, I can pretty much taste something just by looking at the picture. The ingredients are also very simple so the recipes generally taste like you expected.
The recipes are also "normal". I could identify these items by looking at the picture or tasting it. The presentation is simple, but not recipes that I have memorized.
I love the taste of the food.
The book is a little bigger than the size of am 8.5 x 11 piece of paper and has 304 pages. Thought went into the binding of this book. When I open the book to a recipe, the book stays open and the pages remain in place without pushing on the spine. The spine is not coiled or altered in any way so it fits nicely on the bookshelf.
The recipes are printed on a nice quality paper with a color photo of the dish with some photos taking the full page. Mouthwatering.
There is one recipe per page which makes coming back to a recipe really easy. Some recipes have a suggestion or tip from the author at the bottom of the recipe. The recipe starts with prep time and grilling time. There is a list of ingredients, then on the right side the steps followed by the serving size.
Who is this book for?
This book is ideal for meat eaters. There's a serious amount of meat in this book. There is a small section for sides and desserts. I think it's pretty easy to come up with a side dish that works well with grilled piece of meat. I have found that it works best if my husband prepares the meat and I prepare the sides. It is too stressful to bounce from inside to outside. If it's too hot to cook inside my husband will cook everything outside. Still, that becomes more of a challenge than simply grilling a piece of meat. The meat has so much flavor that no one will notice if you open up some canned items like baked beans and a vegetable, pop them in the microwave, and call it dinner.
The recipes are very simple to understand. Since the recipe would be for only one item, like a chop or steak, there's not a lot of steps to get flustered by. I think a beginner would be able to make these items as long as they have the time to monitor the grill. There's a fine line between grilled and burnt.
Here are the items that are covered in the book:
A word from the author, Jamie Purviance. He has three children and a working wife. So clearly, these recipes are designed for modern times.
I'm thinking you wouldn't have purchased a grilling book if you didn't have a grill. However, the author does go over information about how to choose a gas or a charcoal grill. He also gives details about how to clean a grill.
I think this is an important section. I think most people ruin their meat with fires that are too hot. The instructions for each recipe indicates which one of these cooking methods to use which should improve cooking.
Rubs, Marinades, and Sauces
The tougher the meat, the more important the rub or marinade is. Rubs, marinades and sauces are very expensive in the stores. These can be made in no time and specifically to your own tasted. It tastes a lot better without cotton seed oil and high fructose corn syrup.
Ten Essentials for Better Grilling
A paragraph for each of the essentials. These are simple rules of grilling that seem to be right on the mark.
There are 20 recipes in this section. Grilling pizza is the first one in the list. We've made many grilled pizzas. We hesitated at first because we thought the dough would fall through the grate but it doesn't. There are other famous appetizers like wings, quesadillas, shrimp, meatballs, and soups.
This is my favorite section. There are 51 recipe and I would eat every single one of them. There are recipes for many different cuts of meat, including veal and lamb. The chapter discusses how to pick the meat and what to expect from different cuts.
There are 41 recipes in this chapter. You'll find delicious recipes for ribs, chops, ham, tenderloin, and roasts. Pointers are also included in this chapter for grilling times and how to prepare the meat.
Not a fan of poultry, but I do love it on the grill. There are 41 recipes in this section that include chicken cut every which way, turkey, and duck.
Like things that swim? There are 27 recipes for items such as scallops, shrimp, halibut, salmon, red snapper, sea bass, striped bass, swordfish, trout, and tuna. My husband can't stand seafood so we haven't explored this chapter. The chapter covers cutting the fish and grilling techniques.
Veggies and Sides
There are 25 sides listed in this chapter and nearly all of them are starches. We've found that there isn't anything that you can't cook on a grill. The grill adds a unique flavor to the vegetables which can make canned corn taste gourmet. There is a grilling list with approximate grilling times. Most vegetables take 10 minutes or less to cook with the exception of potatoes which take up to an hour. The recipes in this section are very unique and aren't ones that I've cooked inside before.
Sadly I have not tried any of the 16 dessert recipes listed, but they do sound delightful. The instruction cover a grilling guide for fruit. There are a few recipes like Lemon Italian Ice and Fresh Strawberry Ice that do not use the grill, but would go perfect with a grilled dinner.
If you're looking for it, you'll find it here.
One of the reasons why I choose my recipes on line is because the nutritional value is already calculated for me. The recipes do not list the calories or nutritional value. The recipes are made mostly of meat so the calories shouldn't be too hard to figure out. The sodium level will be pretty high for recipes marinated in things like Worcestershire sauce.
When it rains, you're out of luck. It's best to check the forecast before planning to grill. Nothing is worse to be drooling over a photo in the book, spend the day marinating meet and then be unable to cook it due to the weather. Worse case scenario, the meat could be cooked inside....but it won't be as good.
It's a summer thing. This book will get tons of use in the summer and will be forgotten in the winter. It might take all summer to get through all of these recipes!
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