Sure, grilling gurus like Bobby Flay and Steven Raichlen have files stuffed with fabulous recipes. But what's their single best recipe, the one that everyone begs them for? Here, nine of America's preeminent grillers, all with new cookbooks out this year, share their most sought-after dishes—from a hauntingly smoky gazpacho to spicy cumin-crusted pork steaks. Rounding out this special grilling section: F&W's Charlotte Druckman picks the must-have new tools of the season.
Karen Adler & Judith M. Fertig
Both residents of barbecue-mad Kansas City, Adler and Fertig are the authors, most recently, of The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue. Even when they're grilling vegetables, as for this hearty salad drizzled with lemon vinaigrette, these BBQ Queens prefer using a gas grill with lots of powerat least 40,000 BTUs.
Shewchuk is the chief cook of the Canadian champion barbecue team Rockin' Ronnie's Butt Shredders. His first book, Barbecue Secrets, is full of great tips. For this recipe, for instance, he suggests cooking the cumin-crusted pork steaks until they're firm before turning them so that they won't stick to the grate.
Teacher, host of TV's Barbecue University and author of 26 cookbooks (among the most recent, Indoor Grilling and BBQ USA), Raichlen makes this gazpacho by laying the vegetables directly on hot coals (F&W adapted the recipe for a gas grill). This cooking method imparts a hauntingly smoky flavor to his vibrant soup.
Lampe is a national barbecue champion, a teacher and the owner of a roadside barbecue stand in Lakeland, Florida. His first book, Dr. BBQ's Big-Time Barbecue Cookbook, gives advice on how to bump up the flavors in grilled dishes, as in his sweet and sticky chicken wings (slash the inside of the joints so they cook through and the seasonings penetrate).
Karmel grew up eating pulled pork in North Carolina. Now the creator of the consulting company Girls at the Grill and a competitor on the Swine and Dine BBQ circuit team, she has just published her first book, Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot-and-Quick Grilling and Low-and-Slow BBQ. In it, she explains the benefits of grilling fish on a wood plank (this method prevents scorching and sticking) and shares her recipe for salmon in a fragrant blend of juniper berries and pink peppercorns.
Cheryl Alters Jamison & Bill Jamison
Authors of 10 cookbooks (most recently Good Times, Good Grilling, about grilling for parties), the Jamisons recommend pounding skinless, boneless chicken breasts to an even thinness so they'll cook evenly. The flavor of these tangy breasts brushed with a luxurious nutty butter completely justifies this small amount of extra effort.
TV chef, owner of Bolo, Mesa Grill and the newly opened Bar Americain in New York, and author of half a dozen cookbooks (most recently Bobby Flay's Grilling for Life), Flay prefers grilling head-on shrimp in the shell because they're less likely to dry out. His recipe here is an irresistible blend of garlicky, spicy and smoky flavors.