Jalapeño, Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Burger

Makes 3 burgers.

Note: From “The Secrets to Great Charcoal Grilling on the Weber,” by Bill Gillespie.

• 1 lb. ground chuck (80/20 blend)

• 1 jalapeño, thinly diced with seeds (remove seeds if you want less heat)

• 3/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

• 3/4 c. chopped and cooked bacon

• 3 pretzel burger buns

• 3 tbsp. softened butter

• 3 pieces green leaf lettuce

• 3 slices tomato


Divide the ground chuck into 6 equal portions. Take each portion and form into a patty. Divide the jalapeño, cheese and bacon into 3 equal portions. Place the portioned ingredients onto the center of 3 of the burger patties, top with the 3 remaining patties, pressing the edges completely to seal. Wrap each burger in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator.

Prepare or preheat the grill for a two-zone cooking (coals banked to one side or one or two gas burners on and the others off) so you have a hot side and cool side. You are looking for a heat of about 400 degrees.

Remove the burgers from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place burgers on the hot side of the grill first and sear. Close the cover to the grill, adjusting the vents (if using charcoal) toward the cool side and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the burgers, cover and cook another 2 minutes.

Move the burgers to the cool side of the grill, cover the grill and don’t peek, to finish cooking an additional 10 minutes.

Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, spread the softened butter onto both the top and bottom buns. Place the buns cut-side down on the hot side of the grill, close the cover and wait about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until your buns are lightly toasted.

Assemble the burger with lettuce and tomato and serve immediately.

Maple-Sriracha Chicken Drumsticks

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: This recipe can be cooked over a charcoal or gas grill. You also need 2 hardwood chunks or 1 1/2 cups wood chips. (If using the latter, soak in water for 30 minutes, then drain.) In “Project Fire,” Steven Raichlen writes: “These crisp, smoky drumsticks call for a technique I call smoke-roasting. You indirect grill them at a high temperature (to crisp the skin), while adding hardwood to generate a smoke flavor.”

• Vegetable oil for the grill grate

• 12 large chicken drumsticks, about 3 to 4 lb.

• 1 tbsp. coarse kosher or sea salt

• 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tbsp. hot red pepper flakes

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 hardwood chunks or 1 1/2 c. wood chips

• 6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

• 5 tbsp. pure maple syrup

• 1/4 c. Sriracha sauce, or more to taste

• 3 tbsp. single malt Scotch whisky

• 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro, chives or green onions, for serving


Set up your grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high. Just before cooking, brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well.

Place the drumsticks in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and hot red pepper flakes, stirring to coat well with the seasonings. Drizzle with olive oil.

Arrange the drumsticks rounded side up in a single layer in the center of the grill, away from the heat source. Add the wood to the coals. If working on a gas grill, you can place the wood chips in a foil packet, poke holes in it and place it on the grill grate.

Close the grill lid. Indirect grill the drumsticks until the skin is crisp and well browned and the chicken is cooked through, 40 to 50 minutes. For maximum tenderness, cook the drumsticks to an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the maple syrup, Sriracha and whiskey and boil until the mixture is syrupy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

About 5 minutes before the chicken is done, brush each drumstick on all sides with the glaze. Repeat just before removing the drumsticks from the grill. Arrange the drumsticks on a platter and pour the remaining glaze over them. Sprinkle with cilantro, chives or green onions, and serve.


Mabel’s Pork Ribs

Serves 4.

Note: From “Michael Symon’s Playing With Fire: BBQ and More From the Grill, Smoker, and Fireplace.”

• 2 c. packed light brown sugar

• 1 c. strained dill pickle juice or sweet/hot pickle juice

• 2 (3- to 4-lb.) slabs pork spareribs

• 1 c. Pork Rub (see recipe)

• 2 c. Cleveland BBQ Sauce (see recipe), or your favorite sauce


Prepare and preheat your smoker or kettle-style grill to 300 degrees.

In a large saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar and pickle juice. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat to cool.

Remove the thin white membrane on the bone side of the spareribs to free it from the meat. Using a paper towel to grip it, peel off the entire membrane and discard it. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and season on both sides with the pork rub.

When the temperature in the smoker or grill reaches 300 degrees and the smoke is running clear, add the ribs bone-side down. After 1 1/2 hours, test the ribs for doneness by flipping a rack and pressing the meat between the bones. If the meat pulls away from the bones, it’s done. If not, continue smoking until it does, about 30 minutes more.

When the ribs are done, gently brush them with the glaze, being careful not to remove the beautiful bark that forms on the exterior of the meat. Cut between the bones and serve with a side of sauce.

Pork Rub

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Note: From “Michael Symon’s Playing With Fire.”

• 1/2 c. kosher salt

• 1/2 c. freshly ground black pepper

• 2 tbsp. celery seed

• 2 tbsp. ground coriander

• 1/4 c. sweet paprika


Mix together salt, pepper, celery seed, coriander and paprika, and store in an airtight container.


Cleveland BBQ Sauce

Makes 3 cups.

Note: In “Playing With Fire,” Michael Symon advises to baste grilled foods with sauce only during the final stages of grilling, to prevent the sugars in the sauce from burning.

• 2 c. cider vinegar

• 1 small red onion, peeled, quartered

• 1 large garlic clove, smashed

• 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, plus 1 tbsp. sauce from the can, divided

• 3 tbsp. bourbon

• 1 tsp. coriander seeds

• 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

• 1 c. brown stadium-style mustard

• 1/2 c. yellow mustard

• 1/4 c. pure maple syrup

• 1 tbsp. soy sauce

• 2 tsp. kosher salt

• 1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, onion, garlic, chipotle pepper, bourbon, coriander and paprika. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the flavors come together, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 tablespoon chipotle purée, brown and yellow mustards, maple syrup, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Strain the vinegar mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the mustard mixture (discard the solids) and whisk until smooth and combined. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Lemon-Rosemary Cauliflower Steaks With Manchego

Makes 4 servings.

Note: Large cauliflower forms dense heads that make fun “steaks” for grilling. They take to all sorts of seasonings and accompaniments, so it’s easy to build a satisfying meal around them. From “How to Grill Everything,” by Mark Bittman.

• 1 large head cauliflower (about 2 lb.)

• 6 tbsp. good-quality olive oil

• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

• Salt and pepper

• Grated zest of 1 lemon

• 1/2 c. grated or crumbled manchego cheese


Prepare or preheat the grill for medium direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean.

Trim the bottom from the cauliflower so it lies flat. Cut downward, top to bottom, in 4 equally thick slices. Stir the oil and rosemary together in a small bowl with some salt and pepper; brush on the slices on both sides.

Put the slices on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook until the cauliflower is tender and a bit charred in places, 10 to 15 minutes per side; a skewer or thin knife inserted at the thickest point should go in with little resistance. If the slices start to brown too much, move them to a cooler part of the grill. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with the lemon zest, then the Manchego, and serve.


Ko-Rican Pork Chops

Serves 6.

Note: Bill Kim calls his food Korican, i.e. half Korean, half Puerto Rican, which reflects his and his wife’s heritage. The Korican Sauce used as a marinade for thin pork chips is like a chimichurri. From “Korean BBQ,” by Bill Kim.

• 6 thin (1/4-in.) bone-in pork chops, about 1/2 lb. each

• 1 recipe Korican Sauce (see recipe)

• 1/4 c. Nuoc Cham Sauce (see recipe)

• 1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

• 1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

• 1 tbsp. sambal oelek


Place the pork chops in a large, shallow dish. Reserve 1/4 cup Ko-Rican Sauce and set aside, and pour remainder over the chops; turn the chops to coat evenly. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes or in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

While pork is marinating, make the Korean chimichurri sauce by combining the Nuoc Cham Sauce, remaining 1/4 cup Ko-Rican Sauce, parsley, cilantro and sambal oelek in a food processor and process for about 1 minute, until smooth. Set aside at room temperature.

Heat grill for direct heat cooking to medium high (400 to 450 degrees).

Remove chops from marinade and shake off excess marinade. Place them on grill and cook, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until lightly charred. Remove chops from grill and let rest for 5 minutes, then serve with the chimichurri.


Ko-Rican Sauce

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Note: The amount of salt and garlic in here is correct. From “Korean BBQ,” by Bill Kim.

• 2 tbsp. sweet paprika

• 2 tbsp. dried oregano

• 2 tbsp. chili powder

• 2 tbsp. Madras curry powder

• 1/4 c. salt

• 1/2 c. distilled white vinegar

• 26 garlic cloves, minced

• 1/2 c. olive oil


In a small bowl or airtight container whisk together all the ingredients. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. This sauce won’t fully harden when frozen, so you can spoon out as much as you need whenever you want to use it.


Nuoc Cham Sauce

Makes 1 cup.

Note: From “Korean BBQ,” by Bill Kim.

• 1/4 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed

• 1/4 c. fresh lime juice

• 1/4 c. fish sauce

• 1/2 c. water

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 2 green Thai chiles, minced, with seeds


In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, water, garlic, and chiles in a small bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. Or freeze in standard ice-cube trays, then transfer the cubes (2 tablespoons each) to plastic freezer bags and freeze for up to 2 months.