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.
Edited to move pictures off ImageShack