The Washington Post

Fired up about this season’s grilling cookbooks

So there we were, testing our way through this season’s grilling and barbecue cookbooks, when a question flared up like embers sizzling with marinade drippings: If we can land a man on the moon, why can’t Those Who Grill agree on standard temperatures for low, medium, medium-high and high?

For this roundup of new recipes — some of which can be made indoors and don’t involve heat at all — Bobby Flay’s medium ranges from 350 to 375 degrees with a four-second hand test; Barton Seaver skips specifics and offers a 2-to-3-second hand test for medium; Michael Chiarello goes with just the numbers (his medium, 400 to 450 degrees); and Bon Appetit editor Adam Rapoport equates a simple label of “medium fire” with “medium-high” for the gas grill.

It’s enough to send a committed recipe follower back to the kitchen stove. What happens, though, is that you spend time flipping through the introductory material about what each author brings to the fire-building party. And if you’ve already established a grilling method that works for you, this will cut into only your cocktail/refreshing beverage hour.

No matter. We think these recipes are all worth your time.

Bonnie S. Benwick has the job most envied among cocktail-party conversations. If they only knew ... Cook with her each week at Dinner in Minutes: washingtonpost.com/recipes.
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