Cookbook Crush: Michael Symon's Playing with Fire

Up your grilling game with recipes from Michael Symon’s latest cookbook, Playing with Fire.
By Janet Taylor McCracken ,

Photography by Peter Ardito

Most grilling recipes don’t start with “light a fire in your fireplace, fire pit, or grill,” but then again, Michael Symon, Iron Chef and cohost of The Chew, is more enthusiastic about live-fire cooking than most chefs. In Playing with Fire, inspired by his newest restaurant, Mabel’s BBQ in Cleveland, Symon teaches you how to grill food in, on top of, or dangling over the coals. 

He starts with a handy buying guide to grills, plus some barbecue tips and tricks, then moves on to the meat of the matter: the recipes. Symon covers everything from salads to slabs of rib. But may we suggest starting with the grilled chicken thighs with blackberry barbecue sauce, or Mabel’s pork ribs glazed with a surprisingly delicious combo of brown sugar and pickle juice? 

No matter what you choose, one thing is for sure: Your cookouts are about to get a whole lot better.

Recipe: Try Michael Symon's Grilled Lamb Souvlaki

Photography by Peter Ardito

Read next: More of Our Favorite Grilling Books

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