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Lobel's Prime Time Grilling - Review

Recipes & Tips from America’s #1 Butchers (2nd Edition)

by Stanley, Leon, Evan, Mark and David Lobel

Lobel's Prime Time Grilling by Stanley, Leon, Evan, Mark and David Lobel

When it comes to grilling, many of us are more preoccupied with flavoring the meat (dry rub or marinade?) and preparing the grill (charcoal or gas?) than we are with the meat itself. We may be satisfied to grab a Cryovac package of ground beef or boneless chicken breasts and rely on seasonings and the grill’s smoky essence to achieve our desired result. To the Lobel family — a team of two brothers and their sons, whose Madison Avenue butcher shop, Lobel’s Prime Meats, is world famous — bypassing the butcher misses the whole point of grilling and undermines the flavor to boot. In Lobel’s Prime Time Grilling, these master meat carvers urge you to grill like a butcher: choose prime, hand-cut meats, as well as the right preparations and cooking methods to match, to truly maximize the taste and pleasure of grilled foods.

Organized by cuts of meat, each chapter begins with sage advice on what to look for when selecting a cut and how to ready it for the grill. Basic tips such as “ground beef explained” and “how to guarantee juicy and moist boneless, skinless chicken breasts” are most welcome for those of us who haven’t been paying enough attention to our meat. A mixture of ground sirloin and ground chuck, for example, can elevate the average burger to a flavorful, juicy affair. The recipes, which are primarily carnivorous (you won’t learn how to grill vegetables from the Lobels), exploit seasonings from around the globe and invoke novel combinations.  Standouts include stuffed cheeseburgers with mushroom-gorgonzola filling, Cowboy steak with chipotle mayonnaise, butterflied leg of lamb with cumin and garlic, Tuscan-flavored split chicken, curried pork kabobs with pears and grilled mustard duck breast with cracklings. With new tips on smoking meats and a quick reference index of cuts, Lobel’s Prime Time Grilling may just be the antidote to the age of Cryovac.

Reviewed by Rachel Levin

(Updated: 07/15/11 BH)

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