cover image Project Smoke

Project Smoke

Steven Raichlen. Workman, $22.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7611-8186-6

Raichlen begins this work, a companion cookbook to his latest TV series, with a sage observation: “Smoking is easy, but it isn’t always simple.” Employing a variety of charts and instructional photos, he offers a path to glory with his “Seven Steps to Smoking Nirvana,” where such topics as proper choice of wood and correct steps for lighting a fire are meditated upon. For good measure, he adds his 10 commandments of smoking (such as “Low and slow is the way to go”). Then, the recipes. To be clear, this is all smoke all the time with everything; even the coleslaw, the cocktails, and the ice cream get the smoke treatment. Give Raichlen a round of mozzarella and he’ll lay it onto lit coals, imparting a smoky flavor to the cheese before it has time to melt. Pork shoulder and beef ribs are among the many classic grillables offered, and Raichlen discusses the merits of wrapping a brisket in foil during smoking—a technique known as the Texas crutch. (May)