When you're ready to fire it up, will you be prepared to create great meals?
By SUSAN SELASKY
KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
DETROIT -- Nearly 70 percent of Americans were expected to fire up the grill over the holiday weekend, according to the 16th annual Weber Grill Watch Survey.
To keep that grill stoked throughout the summer, a shelf-full of recently released cookbooks are available.
Most of the books featured on this page start out with the grilling basics, followed by advice on the proper equipment and tools, mixed with other grilling info. Each book features a section on flavoring foods with rubs, marinades and sauces, and using wood chips to add smoky flavor.
Whether you're new to grilling or consider yourself a grilling guru, these cookbooks are sure to be dog-eared and stained with barbecue sauce by summer's end.
"Weber's Real Grilling" by Jamie Purviance (Weber-Stephen Products Co. and Sunset, $24.95)
Out of the entire lot, we found this book to be the best bargain.
Author Jamie Purviance, who's authored and co-authored several other Weber books, writes, "Grilling should be simple and fun."
Also check out the Web site www.realgrilling.com, which features step-by-step photos and instructions for techniques such as preparing pork ribs and making pizza dough.
"The New Gas Grill Gourmet" by A. Cort Sinnes (Harvard Common Press, $16.95)
Who would have thought we needed a book specifically for grilling over gas. But because 71 percent of households own gas grills (according to the Weber GrillWatch Survey), it makes sense that A. Cort Sinnes delivered this revised and updated version with more than 300 recipes . This book is ideal for first-time gas grill owners.
In the book Sinnes writes that most of the recipes require the indirect cooking method, meaning to grill the foods away from the heat source.
"Bobby Flay's Grilling for Life: 75 Healthier Ideas for Big Flavor from the Fire" by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson (Scribner, $22)
In the book's introduction Flay writes that he's not a nutritionist, but a chef. He writes that he's not trying to create a new diet fad.
"What I am looking to do is to show how a healthy lifestyle can be enhanced by delicious meals from the grill," he writes.
FOOD NETWORK FANS
"Food Network Kitchens Get Grilling" (Meredith Books, $24.95)
Any Food Network fan will like this book. It comes from the folks who do the behind-the-scenes work for the Food Network's cooking shows.
The book features recipes for traditional burgers, hot dogs and Texas beef brisket. And there are also many other higher-end recipes like the Thai Curried Scallops in Banana Leaves and Spice-Rubbed Quail.
"The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue" by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig (Harvard Common Press, $18.95)
The two self-proclaimed barbecue queens of Kansas City offer up this whimsical look at the outdoor cooking skills of women.
They write, "We grill and smoke like girls," which they explain means that they look at the whole meal and grill or smoke more than one thing at a time.
The book is chock-full of recipes, tips, techniques and tons of variations of recipes. And the "Crowning Glories " are a cute and useful feature for readers suggesting serving options for many of the recipes.