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Primal Grill With Steven Raichlen: Fired Up, Down Under

Steven Raichlen, an award-winning author, journalist, cooking teacher and television host.
American Public Television
Steven Raichlen, an award-winning author, journalist, cooking teacher and television host.

Airs Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 3 p.m. on KPBS TV

Wood Grilling Tips

If you prefer grilling and smoking with actual logs, it is advisable to cultivate a local source as wood is expensive to ship. Use dry, well-cured woods only, and store them away from the house.

Always use hardwoods, such as alder, maple, pecan, locust, oak, hickory, apple, cherry, or mesquite. Avoid resinous softwoods like pine and fir as they produce too much soot and unpleasant—even dangerous—residues.

Wood chunks are more readily available, and are a cinch to light in a chimney starter: Simply ball up three or four sheets of newspapers in the bottom (or use a paraffin starter), fill the chimney with wood chunks, and light the papers. You should have blazing wood chunks in 15 to 20 minutes. Dump them in your charcoal grill and spread them out evenly over the bottom, adding fresh chunks as needed.

Keep in mind that wood can produce a hotter fire (and a lot more creosote) than charcoal, so always keep the grill uncovered. And as always, never desert your post. More tips

Grilling guru Steven Raichlen returns to offer viewers more easy-to-follow instruction, step-by-step techniques and mouth-watering barbecue dishes. This year, Steven goes global, with a sizzling exploration of grilling around the world — from Balinese lemongrass prawns and Brazilian fogo de chao (campfire barbecue) to South Africa's fiery piri piri chicken wings, Spain’s salt-grilled chuleton (rib-steak) and Thai-inspired grilled bananas for dessert.

"Fired Up, Down Under:" Ozzies (Australians) and Kiwis (New Zealanders) may live half a world away, but they're every bit as grilling-obsessed as we North Americans are. Case in point: an Australian favorite, the proverbial "shrimp on the barbie," grilled here with basil and prosciutto and flambeed with Pernod. Or apostles on horseback- New Zealand sea scallops marinated in wine and grilled with smoky bacon. Grilling doesn't get much more primal than lamb on a shovel (chops grilled over a wood fire on a shovel blade), a specialty of the Australian Outback. G'day and good grilling.

Primal Grill With Steven Raichlen World Tour