Board index Barbecue Board Testimonials Can't Thank Steven Enough

Can't Thank Steven Enough

Share your war stories, your successes, and how Steven's books have changed your cooking from charburgers to grilling magic.
Post Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:47 pm
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
When I bought my last gas grille one year ago, it had a smoker drawer and infrared rotisserie. I decided I wanted to take advantage of these features, but realized I didn't have a clue. About 5 or 6 years ago I'd looked for books on grilling and I found they were short on the basics, This time around I found How to Grille. It was just what I was looking for: great explanations of the basics and underlying concepts with recipes that were relatively simple to prepare, but eat like a million bucks.

Corny as it sounds, this book has changed my life. In the year plus I've had my new grille, I've yet to make a bad meal. I've gone from grilling mostly steaks, burgers, & dogs on the weekend on my old grille; to making a wide variety of foods. Now it's not just on the weekend, but during the week too. I'd tried to make ribs several times in the past with disastrous results. Now I think nothing of doing 3 different recipes. I've had great rack of lamb, leg of lamb, beer can chicken, turkey, prime rib, fillet mignon and brisket, These are all things I'd never have dared to try without guidance.

The great part of How to Grille is it also tells you the background information: what the different cuts of meat are, how to tell when the food is done, equipment and accesories. Before HTG I never really knew when my steaks or burgers were done. Now I bring them into the house knowing they are just right . One "downside" to the book is now when we eat out, my wife will often say "Your ____ is much better, let's not come here again."

The best part the book has played is in the social aspects. We'll usually try to have someone else over to share our meals on the weekend. We have a good time entertaining and the people leave thinking I'm some sort of genius on the grill. I NEVER take credit for the results. I tell people all about Steven's great books. Then I simply tell them the secret: I get a great cut of meat from our butcher shop and follow a great recipe from Steven without screwing any of it up.

My parents are retired and keep telling me they don't eat as much these days because everything tastes the same to them. We have them over on the weekend to try out something new, and they put away a tremendous amount of food. A lot of the things I'm trying are new to them, and they always comment on how tasty the various spices are. It is really gratifying to see them try new things and go back for more.

I live in Massachusetts. I knew I was getting truly hooked because though I stopped direct grilling in November, I kept doing things I could indirect grille all Winter. I smoked a turkey for Thanksgiving, New Years and Easter. Even though it was cold and rainy last weekend I made my first brisket. Like everything else from HTG, it was delicious. I also got many tips on brisket from this board-so thanks to everyone here too, I realized today just how bad I really have it. I'd decided to take this weekend off because I was exhausted from this past work week. Midway through Saturday morning I was already regretting the decision. I was thrilled when my wife came home with 2 great looking 1 1/2" thick NY Strip Steaks. After Steven's training I came back in with two delicious, perfect;ly done steaks.

In conclusion: Steven I can't thank you enough for all of your great books. They've had a huge positive effect on how we eat and entertain. I've got all of your books, please keep them coming. For those of you who have endured my long testimonial, here are a couple pictures of the end results.

Jim

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Edited to move pictures off ImageShack
Last edited by jfm0830 on Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:02 pm
Grillslinger BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 2392
Location: Irving, TX

Great pictures! Join us over in the genereal discussion more often. Remember no matter how much you learn, there's always more to discover! I enjoyed reaqding your post. Welcome to the board!

Post Tue May 10, 2005 4:51 pm
siliconghost medium
medium

Posts: 184
Location: Vermont
I have to agree. I just bought two of Stephen's books (How To & BBQ USA). They are bar far two of the best BBQ books I have seen at my local Barnes & Noble and Borders.

The pictures in the How To book really are incredible. That book is a joy to read from cover to cover. It's not just for reference like most cook books.
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Post Thu May 12, 2005 3:05 pm
Jackalope well done
well done

Posts: 367
Location: Grayslake, Illinois
Right behind everyone else on these posts - can't give enough credit to Steven - and as well, all the members of the Board who enjoy his show, techniques and advice. I have always loved to grill, but thatnks to the show and this site, I have really gone places with a little fire and a lot of appetite! :D

Post Sun May 15, 2005 7:09 pm
Guest

You all kill me!!! You sound like Steve Raichlin invented barbecue, and follow him with cult-like status. I agree he knows his stuff, but to worship the ground he walks on? Please! There have been others before him better, and others will follow who aill be better as well. So, what gives? Why the cult-like following of a single man? Did he give you the Life-changing experience (LCE) for free? NO! You had to pay for the books, the DVDs, the BBQ-U stay, etc...I'm quite sure he didn't write the books with your personal LCEs in mind, either. So, get a grip, folks, and put things back in the right perspective.

Post Mon May 16, 2005 12:49 pm
siliconghost medium
medium

Posts: 184
Location: Vermont
Anonymous wrote:
You all kill me!!! You sound like Steve Raichlin invented barbecue, and follow him with cult-like status. I agree he knows his stuff, but to worship the ground he walks on? Please! There have been others before him better, and others will follow who aill be better as well. So, what gives? Why the cult-like following of a single man? Did he give you the Life-changing experience (LCE) for free? NO! You had to pay for the books, the DVDs, the BBQ-U stay, etc...I'm quite sure he didn't write the books with your personal LCEs in mind, either. So, get a grip, folks, and put things back in the right perspective.


Steve admits that many of his recipes are not his own. He just did (and continues to do) a fantastic job of pulling everything together from many sources in his books. My comment was based on the fact that his books are better than many that I have seen at my local book stores. Plain and simple. I personally have never seen any of his shows and wouldn't even recognize him if he were standing beside me in a checkout line.

He puts out quality books and has this great message board for bbq fans to come together. Gotta give the man some credit for at least those two things alone. I post a question on this board and within minutes receive several responses. To me that type of community is invaluable when it comes to barbecuing.

Of course he's making a killing off of the books, DVDs, TV series, etc. More power to him. He's doing something right.

PS..if you think my VT license plate below is real, I have a bridge to sell you! If it were real I would agree that I could be considered some psycho fan of Steve :D It's all in good fun, so chill out.

- SG
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Post Tue May 17, 2005 12:19 am
Ghost_of_winter medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 240
Location: NW Indiana
Anonymous wrote:
You all kill me!!! You sound like Steve Raichlin invented barbecue, and follow him with cult-like status. I agree he knows his stuff, but to worship the ground he walks on? Please! There have been others before him better, and others will follow who aill be better as well. So, what gives? Why the cult-like following of a single man? Did he give you the Life-changing experience (LCE) for free? NO! You had to pay for the books, the DVDs, the BBQ-U stay, etc...I'm quite sure he didn't write the books with your personal LCEs in mind, either. So, get a grip, folks, and put things back in the right perspective.

I think that Steve is only trying to help folks learn to something that he LOVES to do and that is grill and smoke. Does he claim to be the inventor of this? nope in fact he has said numerous times that he is inspired by others. Besides who said that you have to try and show others your passion and love of something for free? I bet you wouldn't. Now you owe me 5 minutes for the time I took reading your crass and foolhardy post.....
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Post Tue May 17, 2005 8:53 am
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Warning-long post read at your own risk.

You go away for a few weeks and the whole place goes to... I was surprised when I came back here to find Mr Anonymous reply to my testimonial post. My first reaction was to leave well enough alone, you guys did a great job setting things straight. Then I decided I'd reply so that someone visiting here for the first time would know I meant it when I used the terms "It changed my life".

I've owned & used grills for 25 years now. I'd usually cook hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks on the weekends during the summer and once or twice a month on weeknights. I have a long commute so I have very little time at night to cook outside. I'd bought various grilling cookbooks and they all suffered from several problems. Some of the recipes were far too elaborate and required too much advanced prep time. They often assumed a certain knowledge of cooking technique and would throw out terms I didn't understand. About every 5 years I'd get some more books with the same results.

In October of 2003 I stopped by Sears to pick up a grille basket for doing some steak tips. While in there I noticed they were having an end of year sale on grilles. I soon fell in love with this 6 burner Kenmore Elite Grille with a smoker drawer and infra red rotisserie. So in addition to a grill basket I came home with a 300 lb. grill. My wife shook her head and said: "I'm glad I didn't send you out looking for a gas grill, imagine what you might have come home with."

I told myself that if I bought this grill, I was somehow going to bring out all of its potential. I couldn't just do burgers and dogs. So I made another trip to the large book stores in search of my ideal grill cookbook. One that started with the absolute fundamentals. Not one that had a few tip in the first ten pages and went right into advanced topics. When I got to the "R's" I saw a book called "How to Grille". That looked promising. Then I read the introduction, where the author described his motivation for writing the book. To paraphrase: he was speaking before a group of people he assumed were knowledgeable grillers and it turned out they had lots of questions about basic techniques and setup. Sold, I bought the book and used a steak recipe to break in the grille. It was the best steak I'd ever cooked on the grill. My wife noticed the difference and admited maybe it was worth the money..

The book covered all the basics from start to finish and better yet had wonderful pictures of everything. I really like the way it will cover a topic in a more general way, then follow up with a recipe using the techniques. A lot of the recipes are quite easy to prepare but look and eat like a million bucks. When I saw the TV show for the first time last summer, I was just as impressed. It packed a lot of information in a very short time. It wasn't about the host or who he knew, nor did it do side trips to the market or some restaurant I'll never get to go to. The food was what was theatrical and there was no BAM factor. I have no problem if some people enjoy that, but I just want to spend the time learning how to cook the food. Less time for sideshows means more time for basics.

I already told the rest of my story above, but I'm going to sum up a few things here:

?- Do I have posters of Steven in my room, or wear his picture on a t-shirt? - No

-Do I have a shrine with candles surrounding his cookbooks? - No

- Do follow him around the country from appearance to appearance? - No

- Would I go to a local appearance he might make? - Absolutely.

- If someone asks where the great food came from do I recommend one of Steven's books - Yep, every time.

- Am I buying the DVD? - Yes sir, I just ordered it. I'm a visual person. Using your imagination is good when reading a murder mystery, but when I'm trying a new technique or food I like to see what it is supposed to lok like or how to do it. That is what made HTG so great.

- Is this an ego thing with me? - Nope I always tell people I use a great butcher and a great recipe and all I do is not screw anything up.

-Does Steven write all his own recipes - No, nor does he anyone else. Credit is given for where they come from.

- New England is often known as the land of the bland boiled dinner. Thanks to the Steven's books do I eat all kinds of foods from around the country and the world - Yes

-Could I have learned that from other books or TV shows? Perhaps- They try but none of them got through to me and the way I needed to learn.

- Do I now grille year round in New England? - Yes

- Do now look forward to trying new recipes from the books because the others have turned out well? - Yes

- Do stress about grilling new things for larger groups? - No

- Am I disappointed when travel or extreme weather keep me from grilling? -Yes

- Are my wife and I entertaining 3 or 4 times a month instead of 3 or 4 times a summer? - Yes. BTW that is her doing she wants to share the great eats.

- Are my parents, who tend to just pick at the same old same old, trying new things and packing away tremendous amounts of food? Yes.

- Am I getting to know some of my neighbors better? -Yep

- Have I met a great and helpful community through this message board?- Yes

-Am I finally done with all of the questions- Yes Finally ;-)

So in conclusion I think if you look at my original post in this thread and this post. I think I am certainly entitled to call the purchase of How to Grille a life changing experience. If our secret friend doesn't I'll let our respective arguments, not to mention the others that replied here make there own cases.

Jim
Last edited by jfm0830 on Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Tue May 17, 2005 1:32 pm
Grillslinger BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 2392
Location: Irving, TX

Anonymous wrote:
You all kill me!!! You sound like Steve Raichlin invented barbecue, and follow him with cult-like status. I agree he knows his stuff, but to worship the ground he walks on? Please! There have been others before him better, and others will follow who aill be better as well. So, what gives? Why the cult-like following of a single man? Did he give you the Life-changing experience (LCE) for free? NO! You had to pay for the books, the DVDs, the BBQ-U stay, etc...I'm quite sure he didn't write the books with your personal LCEs in mind, either. So, get a grip, folks, and put things back in the right perspective.


Bobby Flay? Is that you?

Post Thu May 19, 2005 2:19 pm
Smokin Joe medium
medium

Posts: 107
Location: SW Florida
To Mr. Clueless - I too was a weekend burger guy. Steven's show and his books have inspired me. They have provided me with the know how, skill, and confidence to now make many great dishes that I never would have even tried before. My picky 5 year old loves my food and the wife is always asking what my next creation will be. You sir, kill be with your arrogance and ignorance.
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Grillin' in the Sunshine State


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