Where there's smoke, there's fire, and where there's fire, there's probably a grill and a barbecuer. Our passion for grilling is growing 84% of American families own grills, 56% grill year round, and in 1997 alone these grills were fired up a whooping 2.7 billion times! And now there's a whooper of a cookbook that's big enough to handle the crowds and please barbecuers from beginners to buffs. The Barbecue! Bible , Steven Raichlen's gift to grillers, has over 500 recipes collected in 25 countries on five continents during three years of tireless travel on the barbecue trail. The result is a world-class compendium that ranges from Brazilian churrasco and Mexican carne asado to Indonesian sates and Moroccan mechouie, not to mention our home-grown wonders found in Memphis, Kansas City, the Carolinas, and Texas.

No longer just the province of the backyard carnivore, wolfing down franks and burgers galore, grilling cuisine now includes bread, salads, a variety of veggies, fabulous fish, lobsters, shrimp, clams, and plenty of poultry. Lamb, pork, and sausages get their due and beef eaters will have no beef with Mr. Raichlen's savory selection of recipes for brisket, ribs, roasts, t-bones, and teriyaki. Befores (thirst quenchers, leaded and non) and afters (from Uptown s'mores to Cardamom caramel ice cream ), fill out the menu and leave nothing to be desired except room for more. In addition, our globe-trotting gourmet has amassed all the info you'll ever need on equipment, techniques, the Ten Commandments of Perfect Grilling (this is a bible, after all), an insider's list of the world's top 25 Grill Emporiums and Barbecue Joints, a glossary of special ingredients, and a list of mail order sources for exotic spices condiments and produce. As Raichlen says, Above all, have fun. Remember that grilling isn't brain surgery. And that's the gospel! Sybil Pratt is an avid cook.

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