Grilling Like a Champion by Rudolf Jaeger

Grilling like a champ is a comprehensive examination of the subject of grilling, chock full of informative articles and great recipes. The book is beautifully laid out with copious amounts of photographs. Recipes are presented in colorful spreads with large type. Grilling information is presented in small chunks that are easy to digest and reference. This really is ideal both for those without a lot of grilling background as well as the weekend warrior.

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Contents: Part 1 – The Basics: Different grilling methods; Types of grills; Suitable fuels for grilling and smoking; The right temperature for grilling; Suitable types of wood for grilling; The correct way to light charcoal; Grilling accessories; Shopping list for Barbecuing and grilling; Important considerations for buying meat; Grilled fish – healthy and varied; List of core temperatures for grill meat; Bringing and brine: it can be so simple; Spices are the icing on the cake; G riling around the world. Part 2 – The Recipes: Meat (pork, beef, lamb, sausage); fish; Poultry; Side dishes; Dessert. Part 3 – Appendix: Index according to grilling method; Index – Alphabetical.

Part 1 is quite comprehensive – everything from cleaning the grate to guidelines on the ideal temperature to achieve raw, well done, or medium cooking results. Important scientific concepts, such as how grills heat meat, add dimension to the grilling and help cooks make intelligent decisions. The different types of grills are discussed, the advantages are of each, and factors/tips/cheats/cautions when using them. Materials/accessories that should be purchased are contrasted with those that aren’t quite as useful – and why. There is a great chart in here about what to buy for a grilling party, listed by drinks, what you need at the grill, what you need from your kitchen, and foods/companions/marinades. Different meat types are gone over in detail so you know how to make the meat taste the best it can – from purchasing to preparation to cooking to cooling to presentation and then storage. The fish section is especially informative. Finally, there is a neat section on international grilling – from Hawaii to Korea.

Each recipe comes with several photos, some large and a few small ones during the process.  The title is in orange and large icons denote which type of grills can make that recipe. Ingredients are listed in large block form, with sauces or rub ingredients listed separately. Preparation is in short paragraph form with bullet points. Many recipes have small pictures that show each step! Those with tips have them listed in call out boxes in italics for easy reference.

Recipes include: beer butt chicken, red mullet over zucchini with jumbo shrimp, octopus, leberkas, Tuscan tenderloin pot, garlic baguettes, rye bread, noodle casserole, even lasagna! There is definitely a German bias here – these aren’t you usual hotdogs and hamburgers recipes.

In all, this is an excellent reference with inspiring recipes to get out of the same old rut of ribs, hamburgers, and hot dogs. Beautifully laid out, with MANY photographs (pretty much every recipe has at least 4 photos), large font for easy reference, complete meal options – this is really suitable for all home cooking.

Reviewed from a digital copy provided by the publisher.

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