WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT
INTRODUCING THE OUTDOOR ARSENAL
THE EQUIPMENT RUNDOWN
THE RULES OF THE BARBECUE
1. BACKYARD BASH
Crispy Zucchini Planks with Parmesan and Aioli
Roasted Garlic, Sriracha, and Chipotle Aiolis
Homemade Hot Sauce
Pimento Cheese–Stuffed Jalapeños
Cast-Iron Beef Tenderloin with Blackberry Jalapeño Sauce
GET TO KNOW A BUTCHER
California Brick Chicken with Apricot-Mint Chimichurri
Salt and Pepper Spareribs with Romesco Sauce
SETTING THE BAR ON SPARERIBS
Grilled Lamb Chops with Olive-Orange Tapenade
Miso Side of Salmon with Pickled Carrots and Daikon
Lava Rock Shrimp with Honey-Lime Chipotle Sauce and Mango Jicama Salsa
Smoky Bean Chili
Guy’s Straight-Up Burgers with a Pig Patty and Donkey Sauce
Black and Blue Burger with Bacon and Avocado
Philly Cheese Steak Egg Rolls
Turkey and Blistered Green Chile Burger Melt
THE FIERI FAMILY TURKEY TAKEOVER
Seared Tuna Burgers with Sesame and Spicy Mayo
“Danger Dogs”—Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs with Spicy Fruit Relish
Soft-Shell Crab Sandwiches with Homemade Slaw and Tartar Sauce
Grilled Baby Artichokes
Ahi Poke and Toasted Seaweed Salad
Charred Octopus and White Bean Salad
Salted Bourbon Caramel Milkshake
Blueberry Peach Crisp
Rock and Roll Mai Tai
The Big Island Punch
Raspberry Picante Paloma Pitchers
2. EXTREME TAILGATING
Bacon-Wrapped Scallops Glazed with Maple Butter
Grilled Chicken Wings Two Ways
BEE STING WINGS
Andouille-Stuffed Pork Loin with Creole Mustard
TRADITIONAL OVEN COOKING METHOD
St. Louis Ribs with Tequila BBQ Sauce
ON RIBS: BABY BACK VS. ST. LOUIS
Korean Glazed Sticky Short Ribs
THE SECRET OF THE SILVERSKIN
Crispy Asian-Style Fried Chicken
Apricot Glazed Chicken Thighs with Pickled Red Onions
Brazilian Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs with Peri Peri Sauce
Spicy Cracked Chile Crab
Tri-Tip Dip Sandwich with Horseradish Mayo
Grilled Sausage Kebabs Three Ways
Grilled Lamb Sandwiches with Harissa Mayo and Quick-Pickled Cucumbers
GUIDO HAD A LITTLE LAMB
Lamb and Feta Sliders with Mint Tzatziki
Grilled Tequila Lime Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema
Fresh Corn and Flour Tortillas
COMPETITION BARBECUE BY THE MOTLEY QUE
AMERICAN ROYAL: INVITATIONAL AND OPEN
MOTLEY QUE CREW BBQ TIMELINE
MOTLEY QUE & A
RAMBLINGS FROM RILEY ON THE ROYAL
Motley Que Championship Pork Butt
Motley Que 2011 American Royal Ribs
Motley Que American Royal Invitational First Place Chicken
Motley Que American Royal Brisket
BBQ Brisket Hash with Roasted Red Pepper Hollandaise
Red Wine Beef Stroganoff with Buttered Noodles
MY BEEF WITH LORI’S NOODLES
Smoked Chicken Tacos with Roasted Red Pepper Salsa
Smoked Chicken, Sausage, and Andouille Gumbo
Chicken, Pork, and Sausage Jambalaya
3. AT THE LAKE
Chicken-Fried Steak with Mushroom Gravy
“WHATEVER YOU HAVE” BREADING
Bone-In Double-Cut Pork Chops with Brie and Apples
Pancakes, Sweet and Savory
Maple Nut Granola and Other Variations
Queso Fundido with Fresh Tortilla Chips
Beef Ribs with Orange BBQ Sauce
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Spicy Tahini Sauce
CAMPFIRE DUTCH OVENS
HOW TO TREATA YO PITA
Chorizo and Polenta Casserole with Crispy Kale
Volcano Chicken with Maui Onion Straws
Chicken Paillard Salad with Mustardy Vinaigrette
Lamb Curry with Chickpeas and Spinach
Spicy Carbonara with Pancetta and Parm
Pork Chile Verde
Blackened Trout with Shrimp Sauce
TROUT FOR AUNT PATTY
HUNTER’S FIRST TROUT
Roasted Shrimp and Crab Etouffée
ROUX THE DAY
Catfish (or Any Fresh-Caught Fish) and Peppers en Papillote
THE CATFISH CRUCIFIXION
Turkey and Quinoa–Stuffed Peppers with Roasted Tomatillo Avocado Sauce
Lamb Barbacoa Tacos
Farro Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Chipotle Corn Salad with Grilled Bacon
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Roasted Poblano Skillet Cornbread
Banana Split with Rum-Roasted Pineapple
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Rum Blueberries
Bourbon Blueberry and Peach Cobbler
Guy’s Lemongrass-Ginger Julep
4. CAMPGROUND COOKIN’
Smoked Salmon Hash
Ham and Grits with Red-Eye Gravy
Stout-Braised Short Ribs with Pearl Barley
IF YOU WOULDN’T DRINK IT, DON’T COOK WITH IT
Zing Zang Flank Steak
Warm Taco Salad with Spicy, Smoky Ranch
Green Onion and Flank Steak Yakitori
Crispy Veal Schnitzel with Garlic-Onion Gravy
Grilled Huli Huli–Style Chicken
THE LEGEND OF THE HULI HULI CHICKENFEST
Slamma Jamma Chicken Parmigiana
CHICKEN PARM AND ELVIS DURAN, Z100
Pastrami Burger with Caraway Coleslaw
White Turkey and Bean Chili
CAMPING SANDWICH COMBOS
Waldorf Chicken Salad Panini
Pork Katsu Sandwich with Bacon Mayonnaise
Camping Baked Potatoes with Herbed Sour Cream
Roasted Vegetable Camping Pouches
HEAVY-DUTY ALUMINUM FOIL
Basmati Rice Pilaf
Old-School Baked Beans with Molasses
CAMPFIRE BAKING IN A CAST-IRON DUTCH OVEN
Griddle Hominy Cakes with Guacamole
Camping S’more Madness
5. HOLIDAY COOKOUT
Caramel Apple French Toast
Crab Cakes with Southwestern Relish
Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa
Black Bean Avocado Salsa with Corn
Crunch Crazy Asparagus Spears
Fire-Roasted Margherita Pizza
MY FIRST WOOD-FIRED OVEN
Spicy Ahi Tuna Flatbread
Asian BBQ Pork Belly Flatbread
Shaved Brussels Sprout and Bacon Pizza
Grilled Corn Chowder with Chipotle Cream and Spicy Saltines
Holiday Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs
THE GREATEST FOOD FIGHT FRANCE HAS EVER SEEN!
Bouillabaisse with Seared Halibut and Garlicky Rouille
Santa Maria Tri-Tip with Achiote Oil
Brandied Green Peppercorn Hanger Steak
A TALE OF SURVIVAL, NO SNACKS ALLOWED
Mac-n-Cheese with Roasted Chicken and Bacon
Grilled Lamb with Mint Mojo Sauce and Homemade Herbed Pita
Jimbo’s Hambo with Fruit Salsa
Prosciutto, Provolone, and Pepper–Stuffed Pork Chops (AKA “Triple P” Pork Chops)
Turkey Cordon Bleu
Skirt Steak Fajitas
Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Mushroom Gravy and Fried Shallots
Smoky Black Beans and Chorizo
Creamy Cheddar Brussels Sprout Gratin
Cheesy Twice-Baked Potatoes
Peas and Prosciutto
Roasted Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpeas
Spicy Red Lentil Salad with Pickled Vegetables
Roasted Roots and Radiatore Pasta Salad
Shaved Fennel and Arugula Salad with Grapefruit
RECIPES BY CATEGORY
ALSO BY GUY FIERI
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
What It’s All About
Here we go . . . cookbook number five . . . something I’ll tell you I never imagined happening for me. We’ve traveled the country together, back, forth, and back again with three installments of the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives series. What a trip! And I feel like we’ve walked down memory lane together through Guy Fieri Food, which at the time, I figured, encompassed my entire life (in and out of the kitchen) in one big funky tattooed behemoth of a book. But here we are, back at it, and let me tell you, we’re just getting started.
When it came time to start writing book number five, I really had to chew on it for bit. What do I write about? We’ve covered so much. But then, on second (or umpteenth) thought, it came to me: I just need to write what I know. I can write about my love of funky joints . . . check. I can write about my life story in the kitchen . . . check. And now, I can write about how I cook on an everyday basis with my family with my friends and with anyone who’s lookin’ to get down and dirty and make a great meal, anywhere, anytime.
Here in California, no doubt, we’re blessed with great weather. So, since I first set off on my culinary path, I’ve always been about getting outside and cookin’ it up in the great outdoors. Of course, I dig a great summer grill session in the sunshine. But I’m talking about much more than that, cooking as an adventure. From the simple backyard BBQ to tailgating to throwing a Dutch oven over the campfire, cooking outdoors is an art that’s often either taken for granted or sometimes, very unfairly, overlooked as too difficult.
As humans, we love to be outside . . . we’re meant to be that way. I mean, that’s where we invented fire in the first place! As kids, we play outside. As adults, we vacation outside. We go to restaurants and ask to eat outside. So, let’s take the mystery out of cooking outside. Hot, cold, windy, wet . . . I say bring it on. Got fire? We can do this.
Whether it’s been as a kid packing into the Marble Mountains and wondering how on Earth my dad was able to bust out chicken and dumplings over a campfire or trying to figure out how to create the biggest, baddest tailgate party Raider Nation has ever seen, I’ve always been about making it happen outside. Having space. Doing the unexpected. And making it delicious.
You want to cook up a great summer grilling party? I’ve got you covered. Want to take the family camping but don’t want to have to live on granola bars? Read on. Got a hankerin’ for some real-deal BBQ? Check it out. Time to throw down the mother of all tailgate parties? Let’s get ’er done!
Guy on Fire is about helping you master your own outdoor cooking adventures while you maximize your outdoor entertaining. Learn to be properly prepped and geared up, understand a few new (or super old school) cooking techniques, grab some key tricks of the trade, and then take a stab at some of my tried-and-true recipes that at first glance may not even seem like they are doable outdoors. But trust me, every dish in this book is something that I’ve busted out under the open sky, and I’m as excited about the stories that I’ve created making these dishes as I am about the food.
You don’t have to live in the land of eternal sunshine to love cooking outside. Let me show you how to make awesome food happen anywhere, anytime, and all in the great outdoors. It’s what I know. Now, let’s get FIRED UP!
Love, Peace & Taco Grease,
“Ryder, this is where it all starts.”
Introducing the Outdoor Arsenal
Rustic cooking in your backyard, at a tailgate, in a rented cabin on a lake, or around a campfire doesn’t have to mean dumbed-down or second-rate cuisine, and the first key to that is preparedness. Get the right arsenal together and you’re on your way. Here I’ve compiled a rundown of some of the most useful equipment for outdoor culinary adventures.
Don’t be afraid. While I’ve been known to haul all of the things on this list with me on monster camping trips, that’s not necessary, and depending on whether you’re cooking at a campground, in a trailer, or just in the backyard, what you need on hand will change. Use this list as a guide and to help you remember what to bring once you’ve planned your menus and studied your recipes.
A high level of confidence in your equipment will relieve you of a significant amount of stress while cooking or entertaining outdoors. You’re entering an uncontrolled environment, and the elements can be against you. If you find yourself in a strong wind with dirt blowing around, struggling to work with a bunch of flimsy utensils and not enough heat on your fire, you may wish you just packed a sandwich. So, don’t go out and buy the cheapest spatula or tongs specifically for camping or the occasional backyard grilling just because you think you’re only going to use it twice a year. I can tell you from experience that it’s always better to have one really good sharp chef’s knife than two or three dull ones. You can build a set of quality equipment for the outdoors over time, but in the meantime go ahead and bring your trusted, familiar tools from home so you can prep the right way.
The flip side of this argument is that there’s nothing more frustrating than losing your tools in the shuffle. Therefore, when we take stuff up to our cabin at the lake, we mark all those tools with zip ties around their handles so that they always make it back home instead of getting left in the cabin tool drawer.
Bottom line: Sturdy, reliable equipment sets you up for a positive culinary experience. Cheap does not always pay off.
THE EQUIPMENT RUNDOWN
The little camping stoves with the canister attached that looks like a spray paint can are nice for an omelet station at a buffet at the Ritz Carlton, but the type that I recommend are high BTU (British thermal units) camping stoves that typically have two or three burners and legs to stand on. These stoves are critical because they’re sturdy and more windproof, their legs allow them to create their own platform, and they can handle more than one pot. Just remember, if you don’t have a good burner, you don’t have the option of going to the neighbors’ house to use their stove.
The best part of a gas grill is its reliability and consistency. There’s a wide range of power, but the higher the BTUs, the better. Having a grill with more than one zone is also helpful. If your only choice is on or off, it’s difficult to do more complex types of cooking that require different temperature zones. With three to five knobs, you have the ability to shut down some areas and use indirect heat.
Probably the most underestimated piece of equipment is the charcoal barbecue. There’s been a trend through the years toward easier and simpler grilling, but the benefits of a charcoal barbecue, in my opinion, surpass the advantages of a gas barbecue. I prefer using a charcoal barbecue because I believe the radiant heat allows for a better sear and infuses a deeper flavor into the food than a gas grill.
The majority of people don’t use a charcoal barbecue because of fear and a lack of knowledge about how it can be used. Their first challenge is lighting the coals. The fact that we still sell lighter fluid today is barbaric to me because it has residual flavor and is unsafe. The chimney——or even a coffee can—is the best way to get your coals going. You can throw the chimney on top of a burner or in the campfire to start the process without using paper, or you can load it with paper and light it. But the point is that it will help you get reliable coals burning.
Be careful—as indestructible as they may look, charcoal grill lids can become dented. A tight-fitting lid on a charcoal barbecue is critical because there will be many times when you’ll want to go low and slow and need to shut down that barbecue to lower the heat. For the same reason, your charcoal grill also needs to have an effective dampening system that’s in good condition. The dampers, or vents, allow you to control the amount of oxygen feeding the flames.
The grates need to be cleaned after every use with a good grill brush. If anything is flaking or rusting, it’s time to buy new grates. The great thing is that replacement grates for the most common varieties of barbecues, like the Weber, are easily accessible at home improvement stores.
Sauté Pan Grilling
You don’t have to have both a camp stove and a grill in your setup. If you want to use your sauté pan directly on your barbecue, build a pile of hot coals in the middle of the grill that almost reaches the bottom of the grate and you’ve got an impromptu sauté station. An alternative is to take four or five sternos (the cans used to warm a chafing dish) and place them together in a platform made of bricks to make another impromptu stove.
There are inexpensive, portable grill and smoker combos, and if you’ve never experimented with a smoker, camping can actually be a great opportunity to give one a go. I think I’m like a lot of people in that food is of major importance when I’m camping. You may not experiment much with outdoor cooking at home, but when you’re sitting around the fire or picnic table, you’ll be much more inclined to decide it’s the perfect time to start smoking some chicken (see Motley Que American Royal Invitational First Place Chicken). Why? ’Cause you’re camping, and most likely . . . you’ve got nothing else to do. This book is a testament to that fact because, across all the chapters, I created a big percentage of these recipes while camping.
Master Tool and Equipment List
I hope this will spark some ideas for the equipment you may want to have.
TOOLS FOR THE FIRE
Adjustable-height campfire grill grate or grill ring
Long lighters (a whole quiver of them for backup)
Cast-iron Dutch oven
Variety of durable pots and pans and lids, including sheet pans, roasting pans and wire rack
Especially in competitions, rubber barbecue gloves are critical. Silicone oven mitts and hot pads are superior to cloth because they can be cleaned. But the use of gloves does not eliminate the requirement to wash your hands—they’re not “magic gloves.”
TOOLS FOR FOOD PREP
Multiple plastic or synthetic cutting boards, preferably no wood, color coded for use with different foods
Measuring spoons and cups
Okay, why a box grater? Wouldn’t it be easier just to buy shredded cheese? Well, here’s the thing: You can do a lot with a box grater as a cutting tool while camping. For example, you can box-grate a carrot or onion on an unstable surface a whole lot easier than you can dice it with a knife.
All-in-one salt and pepper grinder
Spray bottle for water
Squirt bottles for condiments, oils, and vinegars
Coffee maker and enamel kettle
First off, for safety I like to heat the water in an enameled coffee kettle with two handles. Nobody does instant coffee anymore, so I won’t even address that, but premium ground coffee can be easily brewed in a French press (my favorite) or a cone drip. It’s beneficial to have an air pot, which is like a big thermos, to pour the coffee into because you won’t have a continual heat source to keep it warm. Another good tip for outdoor coffee prep is to prewarm your mugs or cups by filling them halfway with a little hot water from the pot first.
Good digital thermometer
Lights and headlamps
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Immersion stick blender (if power is available)
Blender (if power is available)
SERVING AND STOWING EQUIPMENT
If you’re buying disposable plates, it’s worth the extra bucks to buy good ones. It takes only one mishap of dropped food to make the purchase worth it. There are really solid compostable or recyclable plates on the market today, so no excuses.
Nothing makes eating outdoors more enjoyable than proper metal utensils. You can eat off paper plates, but nobody likes a plastic fork—and no “sporks”’ allowed. And finally, paper towels give more bang for the buck than paper napkins. (Always bring twice as many as you think you’ll need.)
I’m not a big fan of mixing outdoors and glass: Broken glass is difficult to clean up, and people often go barefoot and wear flip-flops around a campsite. But most people don’t like to drink wine out of a red Solo cup, so my recommendation is to get Govino Shatterproof cups. Another of my favorite all-purpose cups is the Tervis, which is like a thermos. You put something hot or cold in there and it keeps it hot or cold (and saves on ice). The Tervis also comes with a lid, which is nice when you’re out there in the elements.
Coolers (see sidebar, below)
Coolers and Food Storage
The ideal is to have multiple coolers that serve different functions—for example, one for raw proteins, one for uncontaminated ice to use in drinks, and one for storing food and beverage containers.
PLEASE do not EVER use ice for iced beverages that any cans, bottles, or packages have ever had direct contact with. These items may have been kept in warehouses and on loading docks and could easily contaminate your ice. You should see what a freak I am about “clean” ice.
My preferred coolers are the industrial ones with the more durable metal latches. But in general, coolers should have secure-fitting lids and proper draining ability. You may not realize that coolers are labeled by how many days they will hold ice. So when shopping for a cooler you might notice $5 increments in price between types, but that extra $5 may mean the difference between keeping your ice solid for one day versus six. So read the small print—investing correctly in a good cooler can be worth the money just in ice savings alone.
Bigger is not always better. Don’t get coolers that are too big for your needs. Similar to the efficiency of a refrigerator, coolers are more effective when they’re full and iced properly. And remember, large coolers are heavier and more difficult to move.
Frozen water bottles can be used in place of block ice or ice cubes if you prefer. Just fill your bottles three-quarters of the way with water and freeze them. If you fill the dead space in your coolers with frozen bottles, they will be more efficient, you don’t have to drain them, and your items won’t get wet from melting ice.
For the most economical and flexible way to store food in coolers, use quality, resealable gallon-size freezer bags.
If possible, store your coolers (cleaned thoroughly, of course) with the lid slightly open so that mold won’t develop.