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May 1998 Issue
Cooking in the Great Outdoors
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome! With the warm months of summer quickly approaching, many of us will once again begin cooking outdoors. There is nothing like a summer barbecue to fill the air with the wonderful scents of good food.

Cooking outdoors is one of my specialties and definitely one of the oldest styles of cooking known to humanity. Hopefully, readers may learn something new here to complement their own outdoor cooking styles. Much of the information presented here is from my cookbook (yet to be published!).

Of particular interest is the section on smoking meat, fish and fowl. Through the years, I have learned that woods used for smoking are similar to spices in that they are used as seasonings to add particular flavors. When used in this manner, one learns that using a little of this and a little of that is better than overpowering a meal with only one type of wood. So, I have prepared a list of the commonly used woods and other items that will create smoke flavors to improve the flavor of the meats, fish and fowl that you choose to prepare.

First, a few words about the tools you will need… For barbecuing steaks, fish and fowl, any type of outdoor grill will suffice. However for smoking foods, it is necessary to use some type of grill that has a cover. A Weber Kettle is suitable, as are many of the commercial smokers on the market. I do not prefer electric smokers, but if you happen to have one, feel free to use the following recipes with the smoker you have. The other tools you will need are a spatula for turning fish steaks and fillets, and tongs for turning meats and fowl pieces. A hand mitt and apron are amenities that one can use or not.

The recipes presented this month are but a small yet diverse collection of the recipes in my book. What I did not include are the teriyaki recipes and other fish recipes that are equally impressive. However, the recipes presented here should give one a good feel for how to do an excellent barbecue for those outdoor occasions. The recipe for smoked salmon is more of a lox recipe, however if adjusted to produce a longer smoke, this recipe will produce the more typical type of smoked salmon. A warmer smoke is more suitable for other types of fish as well such as halibut and various types of tuna and barracuda.

Feel free to email me at with your comments and requests. Be well and good eating!

Now, on to the recipes!

Cooking in the Great Outdoors
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