Get Rough With It

A new look at grilling.

by John-Bryan Hopkins

Summer is here!  Time for me to fire up my grill and work on my technique.  A couple of weeks ago, I found Charred and Scruffed: Bold New Techniques for Explosive Flavor on and off the Grill.  It really changed the way I look at grilling.  Actually, it’s revolutionary.  In a world where everyone seems to be going back to basics, Adam Perry Lang has reinvented what it is to grill.  Lang’s down and dirty third book of barbecue is not for a grilling neophyte.  He completely restructures the way we used the coal and its heat to make our meals delicious.

As the proprietor of New York’s Daisy May’s BBQ and co-owner (with Jamie Oliver) of London’s Barbecoa, propane is not in this chef’s vocabulary. His methodology employs high heat from fired-up coals combined with a raised grate and lots of flipping, or else “clinching” – a boxing term he reinterprets to mean placing cuts of meat directly onto the coals. The “scruffing” referred to in the book’s title involves roughing up the meat to create extra tears and ridges thereby increasing the surface area where flavorings can seep in. It’s a technique that works equally well with most vegetables. •

Did you know?

Conventional charcoal briquettes may contain a number of unhealthy ingredients like coal dust, sodium nitrate and borax.

There’s also no need to use petroleum lighter fluids, which can leave an unhealthy residue on your food and are just not necessary. Use a charcoal chimney to start the coals instead.

Look for Rainforest Alliance Smartwood certified Char-Broil products for the cleanest and best flavor.

For more fun food facts, go to, your source for a daily dose of food information.

Leave a Reply