Michael Symon’s Playing with Fire: BBQ and More from the Grill, Smoker, and Fireplace

We rated this book:


Not for the average home cook, but if you are dedicated to grilling and smoking, Playing with Fire by Michael Symon should have a reserved space on your cookbook shelf. The book is excellent, and Symon successfully translated his restaurant recipes into a home-cooking kitchen. Yet his serving sizes are huge, and most recipes are aimed for a crowd. If you can accept this, you will thoroughly enjoy this cookbook. Symon’s recipe writing is very good, and so is the recipe layout. The recipes are not complicated and ingredients should be readily available, though you may have to search for such items as pig ears and pig tails. Symon starts with an excellent though brief introduction on equipment (barbecue grills and smokers), complete with good sketches. To use his cookbook, you need both a high-end grill and a smoker. Though the scale is not restaurant size, the starting quantities of meats are huge (e.g. twelve to fifteen pounds of brisket, seven pounds of pork shoulder), and some recipes are bizarre: chicken in hay, fireplace chicken on a string. The photo illustrations are superb, and the one-page pitmaster profiles give interest to this cookbook. The index is well cross-referenced and is very good.

Chris Hayden

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.

Reviewed By:

Author Michael Symon • Douglas Trattner
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 240 pages
Publisher Clarkson Potter
Publish Date 2018-Apr-03
ISBN 9780804186582
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2018
Category Cooking, Food & Wine


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