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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Book in good shape, arrived on time. Oct. 17 2012
By julie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best May 19 2003
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. With a wide range of recipes from simple to complex you will be able to find just the right combination for you grilling expertise. Also the suggested menus are a real help in planning your barbeque. So fire up your grill and have some fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best cookbooks I own July 30 2002
By A Customer
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 delighted with the results from Chris Schlesinger's recipes.
I can think of no other cookbook author where I have thought - "boy, someday when I am in Boston I am going to this guy's restaurant!"
The book is well written and very informative on grilling techniques and preparation.
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By A Customer
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. Their books are great to read and this book is no exception. If you are wanting to try something different than the standard fare of burgers, give this book a try.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not too thrilled! Oct. 24 2001
By A Customer
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 of cooking. Keep it simple is the best
thing to do with a good piece of meat or wonderful fresh vegies.
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By A Customer
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. The pork rub (for shoulder/ribs) is great. I would recommend "License to Grill" as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great cookbook Nov. 19 2000
By A Customer
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 inclined), and it's well written. You can actually sit down and read this book. The commentary on the recipes is amusing and insightful. Yes, the barbeque section could have been more extensive and some of the recipes call for ingredients that are not likely to be in the cupboard - but those are minor criticisms. If you like outdoor cooking, this one is a must-have.
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