Project Fire Book Review

Project Fire Book Review

Title: Project Fire: Cutting-Edge Techniques and Sizzling Recipes from the Caveman Porterhouse to Salt Slab Brownie S'Mores
Author: Steven Raichlen
Published: May 1, 2018, Workman Publishing Company
No. of Pages: 336
Cover Price: $37.50 Hardcover, $22.95 Paperback, $10.95 Kindle

Steven Raichlen is considered the “Julia Child” of Barbecue, Grilling, and Outdoor Cooking. Judging by the sales of his many excellent cookbooks (some are on the bestseller list which is rare for cookbooks as opposed to other genres), most cooks own one or ten of these and most likely learned to set up their various outdoor cooking facilities from him. Raichlen believes that outdoor cooking has evolved to where it is now and will continue to evolve. He suggests we “Think of Project Fire as the companion to Project Smoke — my book on smoking—picking up where my previous books leave off. You have some exciting grill sessions to look forward to.” So, for those who are interested in the best and newest outdoor cooking techniques will want to immediately pick up Project Fire.

As is the norm for a Steven Raichlen cookbook, there are dozens of ideas for mouthwatering food. For instance, he teaches new grillers step-by-step how to grill the perfect steak. His method really works. The recipes are new and unique, and they are for dishes that most of us actually will want to make. I just ordered a salt slab to make the Salt Slab Squash. In the meantime, I’ve made the incredible Red Curry Crab Poppers (a must for your next gathering) and a Bacon and Egg Quesadilla for breakfast. I often use my cast iron skillet on the grill, and it came in handy when I made Grilled Eggs with Prosciutto and Parmesan, which is quite gourmet as far as outdoor cooking is concerned. The book has recipes for some excellent new barbecue sauces, too. The pièce de résistance is, of course, Salt Slab Brownie S'Mores to be made in my kitchen as soon as my salt slab arrives. Most of the recipes have simple ingredients and use equipment we already have on hand.

One of the best things about Project Fire (and Raichlen’s other cookbooks) is that he doesn’t try to make the recipes harder than they really are – he lays them out as simply as possible so they are easy to follow, and he isn’t pretentious about his recipes – they are for all of us, whether we like fancy or plain. He also suggests variations, which is good for those who have picky eaters or don’t like something specific.

The book contains some excellent photographs, but it would be better if there was a photograph of each recipe. The photos of the how-to sections, however are complete and are really helpful. This new book proves that you can’t have too many outdoor cooking cookbooks, and as long as Raichlen releases new ones, we’ll want to get those books and learn the newest ways to cook outdoors. This one is highly recommended and a must-have for anyone who loves food and loves to cook outside.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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