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The Thrill of The Grill:Techniques, Recipes, and Down-Home Barbecues (Recipe-Easel) [Spiral-bound]

Chris Schlesinger , John Willoughby
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1997
With well over 100,000 copies sold, Thrill of the Grill has proven itself a favorite among those inclined to wield the fork and tongs. Ideal for the haphazard counter spaces of the great outdoors, the Thrill of the Grill Recipeasel -- including 100 recipes and covering everything from technique to sauces and appetizers -- lets any backyard chef turn out extraordinary fare with ease and finesse.

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From Amazon

In his jacket photo, ace grill chef Chris Schlesinger has the look of Howdy Doody with a stomach full of barbecue. It's a speechless kind of look. Schlesinger, however, is not a speechless kind of guy. Starting with the motto, "Brown food tastes better," Schlesinger and his writing partner, John Willoughby, show the reader exactly why that is. The ride lasts nearly 400 pages.

It's hard to imagine a pre-Thrill of the Grill time in American culinary life, so mighty has the impact been. It's a book with a built-in virus of insidious and infecting qualities that will have even the least interested among us out at the grill, getting the fire glass-melting hot, trying a few ideas like Grilled Shrimp with Pineapple-Ancho Chile Salsa, or Grilled Chicken Rubbed with Ethiopian Berbere (hot, hot, hot), or Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Yucatan Orange-Herb Paste, or maybe Beef Heart Grilled and Marinated in the Peruvian Way (or maybe not).

Actually, that right there--beef heart--is rather telling. Who else in their right minds would include grilled beef heart in their cookbook? These guys, Schlesinger in the lead, breaking trail, will go anywhere, do anything, and bring it all home to grill and eat.

The sheer love of food pours off these pages--the way it tastes and feels, the way super spices fire up your nervous system, the way the juices run down your forearm and off your elbow--and that's the way it should be. Relaxed. Determined. Thrilled. And with Thrill of the Grill tucked under one arm, you are sure to have the time of your life every time you fire up your grill and start cooking.

Plan on buying a couple of copies. This is one of those cookbooks that will get so grease- and sauce-splattered it will become unreadable. --Schuyler Ingle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The "new wave" of grill cookery pits smoky tang against searingly hot seasonings. And fans of the capsicum genus will find plenty of it here: tabasco, serrano, jalapeno and habanero permeate recipes, with fresh ginger and garlic running a close second. Schlesinger, co-owner of the East Coast Grill in Cambridge, Mass., and coauthor Willoughby, a contributor to Cook's Magazine , seek raw, strong savor in what they serve. Some preparations are basic: grilled toast canapes, chicken hobo pack (a Boy Scout campground favorite) and barbecued bologna--"the cutting edge of new barbecue"--are well suited to beginning grillers. More intricate are the accompaniments suggested. Not all cooks, for example, will want to concoct their own banana-guava ketchup. And the authors' version of Valley-Girl-speak--they provide "Totally Awesome Rosemary-Grilled Rabbit with Cumberland Sauce," and their grills, they say, "just wanna have fun"--may amuse or annoy. Yet their enthusiasm for good times and good grilling is catching. Photos not seen by PW. Advertising; author tour; first serial to New Woman.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Just kind of fooling around one day with some underripe mango and pineapple, I came up with this recipe, one of my all-time favorites. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag Nov. 11 2003
Afraid I'm in the minority here. While I use this book and am glad to have it, I've had mixed results from the recipes. In some cases, it seems the flavor combinations were chosen more for experimental reasons or to make a culinary statement, rather than because they taste good. Taste is always a matter of opinion, but I found that many of the recipes here are simply not for everyone. And it should be noted that a lot of the recipes have little to do with grilling or barbeque, as the book is a bit unfocused.
On the plus side, the text is more enjoyable to read than most cook books, with all sorts of interesting insights and recollections on most recipes. The southern, folksy demeanor of Schlesinger really makes this fun to read.
But cookbooks are usually bought for the recipes, and there are problems. The West Indies chicken calls for way too much rub, and I simply found it to be "an acquired taste". I simply didn't have the courage to try the Jerk Seasoning, which was basically a Scotch Bonnet chile paste with a whisper of other ingredients. Surprisingly, neither cloves nor allspice was one of them. I suppose one shouldn't criticize before trying it, but it's hard to imagine anyone other than the most bound determined fire-eater choking that one down. Does anyone really have time to simmer the tomatoes for 4 hours for the All-American Barbeque sauce, when so many other great sauces can be made in far less time and with less effort? Personally, I found some of the fruit and spice combinations to simply not work.
This is not to say that good recipes cannot be found. Some of the simple ones work well, such as the grilled bananas or the Greek-inspired lamb marinade.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Love it, love it, love it June 19 2000
By A Customer
The negative reviews of this book seem to fall into two categories: those who were expecting a book on barbecue and those who quibble with minor errors in the text. Admittedly, this book is not the bbq bible it has been hailed by some to be. Its main focus is on GRILLING. If you want a barbecue book (slow cooking with smoke), get something else. If you want fabulous grilled food with interesting and different flavors, this book is for you. The second criticism - that there are errors in the text - is also valid. Along with the previously mentioned shrimp problem, he occasionally calls for "skinless, boneless chicken breasts" that should be grilled until the "skin is brown and crisp." But really, live a little! Don't slavishly follow the recipe and panic when there's an inconsistency. His whole point is to be creative when you grill! And any inconsistencies are far outweighed by the ease and quality of the recipes, the entertaining writing style and the outstanding flavor of the food.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Big Disappointment Aug. 1 1999
By A Customer
In a recent article in Business Week, The Thrill of the Grill was referred to as the bible for those who enjoy backyard cooking. After reading it I was very disappointed with it's contents. If you are looking for simplicity in cooking don't bother with this book. The recipes use exotic ingrediantes and take considerable time to prepare. The cooking istructions are also confusing and unclear. For example, instructions for cooking Grilled Rum-Soaked Shrimp With Mango-Lime Relish starts with peeling the shrimp and making a 1/4 inch- deep incision on the top of each shrimp... Instruction #4 calls for placing the shrimp on the grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until the shells turn bright red. I admit my cooking education is limited, but how can the shells turn bright red if I have peeled the shrimp and they don't have any shells? Am I supposed to retain the shells and place them on the grill next to the shrimp? If the reader of this review continues to want this book, I would suggest that you visit your local bookstore first to peruse this biblical work before buying.
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2.0 out of 5 stars This aint no BBQ book! Dec 5 1999
After having read a couple supposed "impartial" reviews of this book on the net and in other print mediums, where it was hailed as the Bible of BBQ, I ordered this book and its sequel "License to Grill". My opinion? I WASTED MY MONEY. This book has very very little to do with BBQ. If my memory is correct, it has about 5 recipies or so dealing with real BBQ. Im not talking grilling, im talking barbequeing... and those shopping for a BBQ probably know the difference. As grilling books go, its alright. (thus why i didnt give it only 1 star), but the book would have been better titled as "The carribean grill". The whole book is about grilling carribean style. This applies little to someone seaking a true BBQ book. This book is WAY overhyped in the BBQ/grilling community. (this review based upon my reading of about 8 BBQ cookbooks, a dozen webpages, several FAQs)
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I'm not going to try to add anything to the already wonderful comments on this cookbook. However, I would like to point out that the spiral version is nothing like the hard-copy version. The format is completely different, with the recipies being printed on 5x5" cards that are spiral bound and are designed to flip over a built-in easel to aid in cooking while cooking.
There are no pictures of any of the end results. I must admit that I get inspired by looking at pictures, so the lack of them really reduces the usability/desirability of this book.
I had seen the hard-copy,which I loved, before purchasing the spiral bound version which got exchanged for the hard-copy version.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Book in good shape, arrived on time.
This book arrived on time, as described. It is out of print thus new copies are hard to find and expensive. This used copy was good enough to give as a gift.
Published 23 months ago by julie
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best
I bought this book many years ago and continue to use it any chance I get. Recipes are easy to follow and the pictures associated with them inspire you to give them all a try. Read more
Published on May 19 2003 by Michael A Kraus
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best cookbooks I own
My copy of Thrill of the Grill is dog-eared and stained from years of use, indoors and outdoors. I have given this book as a gift many times and everyone is always extremely... Read more
Published on July 30 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Flavors, Great Recipes and Fantastic Writing
This book is a great adventure in grilling! The flavors are wonderful and fun to experiment with. John Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger are fantastic authors. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too thrilled!
I have read and own many grilling books much better than this one.
Too many "far out" recipes for the average griller and I am very
experienced with this kind... Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars My first grilling cookbook and still the one must have
I have at least a dozen grilling/barbecue cookbooks and if I could only keep one this would be it. It's a classic IMHO. It covers grilling and barbeque and does justice to both. Read more
Published on June 29 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars A great cookbook
This is definitely one of my favorite cookbooks, one that I constantly go back to. It's a very good introduction to real barbeque, has some excellent drink recipes (if you're so... Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars You are not a serious griller if you don't have this book
This was the first 'serious' bbq book I bought and it has been through so much abuse since I got it that it's a credit to the bookbinding art in this country that it is still... Read more
Published on May 29 2000 by Wonton Excess
5.0 out of 5 stars Five starts aren't Enough
This is best of all cookbooks. Not only are the grill recipes excellent, but all others make you want to travel to Boston to attend the authors' restaurant. Read more
Published on Dec 20 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Grilling way beyond BBQ
After seeing some negative reviews, I had to respond. I have __never__ used a cookbook with as many recipes in it that opened my eyes and titillated my palate as this one. Read more
Published on Dec 12 1999 by Dan Gauger
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