Meathead: The Science of Great BBQ & Grilling

By: on June 18, 2016
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Meathead Goldwyn. I guess when your mama curses you with that lemon of a name, your best option is to make huge vats of lemonade. Or, in this case, huge piles of grilled meat. Goldwyn, founder of BBQ & grilling website AmazingRibs.com, has teamed up with physicist and food scientist Prof. Greg Blonder to pen Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling. It's a book not just on how to cook delicious food out back, but on why the how is the how. What happens when you co-mingle of fire, heat, and smoke with your food, and the science behind doing it just right.

Meathead guides readers through the concepts, methods, equipment, and accessories of exceptional grilling, with explanations of:

  • Why dry brining is better than wet brining
  • How marinades really work
  • Why rubs shouldn't have salt in them
  • The importance of digital thermometers
  • How salt penetrates but spices don't
  • When charcoal beats gas and when gas beats charcoal
  • How to calibrate and tune a grill or smoker
  • How to keep fish from sticking
  • Cooking with logs
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the new pellet cookers
  • Tricks for rotisserie cooking
  • Why cooking whole animals is a bad idea
  • Which grill grates are best
  • Why beer-can chicken is a waste of good beer and nowhere close to the best way to cook a bird

Huh. I don't currently know how, why, or when any of that stuff. Not to mention that Goldwyn and Blonder are calling these pieces of what I consider common knowledge "old husband's tales" that are complete BS:

  • Bring meat to room temperature before cooking.
  • Soak wood before using it.
  • Bone-in steaks taste better.
  • You should sear first, then cook.

Meathead is printed in full-color with lots of photos, and recipes for rubs and sauces, in addition to full meat meal how-tos. Some examples include: Last Meal Ribs; Simon & Garfunkel Chicken; Sweet & Sour Pork with Mumbo Sauce; Brazilian Short Ribs; Rack Of Lamb Lollipops; Baja Fish Tacos; and Grilled Lobster.

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