Charred and Scruffed: Bold New Techniques for Explosive Flavor On and Off the Grill By Adam Perry Lang, Artisan, 2012. Paperback. $25; 266 pages
This is not a grilling book for the faint of heart, or for those who prefer to grill with convenient gas. But hardcore coal-heads will read it, taste the food, and consider their eyes opened at last. Lang dips into the downright radical: He cooks directly on coals, a technique he calls “clinching.” He roughs up the surface of ingredients—scruffing—to give them more room for char and flavor. He flips meat a lot as it grills. And he finishes these coal-kissed masterpieces with sauces: Some prepared on the cutting board with meat juices, others, which he calls “spackles,” roasted slowly and acid-spiked.
GIVE THIS TO: Grill fiends who like pushing the envelope. —Tim Cebula