Skip to main content

Feasting: Project Smoke Premieres on PBS

Feasting is our column dedicated to cooking, grilling, eating and discovering what’s on the menu across America and the world.

There are hundreds of cooking shows out there, from the traditional to those that go a little out of the box. And though BBQ is the subject of many, there was never a program that focused solely on smoking. Until now, that is, as Project Smoke just premiered July 4th weekend on PBS.

Project Smoke
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hosted by Steven Raichlen – a five-time James Beard Award-winner, author of the internationally best-selling Barbecue Bible cookbook series and the man credited for reinventing modern BBQ – the 13-week series focuses on both traditional and cutting-edge smoking techniques with episodes on everything from cold smoking to using wood, spices, herbs and even hay.

“Smoking is the new grilling,” Raichlen says. “Project Smoke focuses on the iconic smoked foods, such as Texas brisket, Carolina pulled pork and Scandinavian smoked salmon, plus dishes you would never dream you could smoke, from cocktails to dessert.”

Related: Feasting: BBQ With Franklin Premieres on PBS

Each 30-minute episode is sure to make your mouth water as you learn to smoke everything from prime rib, Jamaican jerk chicken and homemade pastrami to smoky Manhattans and cheesecake. Set in Arizona’s stunning Sonoran Desert, Raichlen has an awesome collection of smokers on deck so you can watch him work his magic on everything from an upright barrel smoker to a wood-burning grill. And with an emphasis on grass-fed beef, heritage pork, wild seafood and organic poultry and produce, where their food comes from matters just as much as how they cook it, which we can always stand behind.

Project Smoke
Image used with permission by copyright holder

So what are some of the amazing recipes you’ll learn watching Project Smoke? The first episode covers Smoking 101 with essential techniques to make things like smoke-roasted chicken with horseradish dip and smoked baby back ribs with prickly pear barbecue sauce. Episode 2 focuses entirely on shoulders and bellies from house-cured pastrami to barbecued lamb shoulder. And if seafood is more your style, the Surf Meets Turf episode features dishes like smoked shrimp cocktail with chipotle orange cocktail sauce and smoked planked trout with caper dill sauce.

Hungry yet? To find out when the series airs in your area, check listings on

Food photos by Richard Dallett

Amanda Gabriele
Amanda Gabriele is a food and travel writer at The Manual and the former senior editor at Supercall. She can’t live without…
You won’t believe these 6 ways to clean burnt pots and pans
You'll be surprised what a few household items that you already have can do for your dirty pots
Getting ready to clean a burnt pot

We've all had to say goodbye to an unfortunately burnt-beyond-repair pot. However, not all crispy pans are a lost cause. So before you cast out that crusty iron pan or that over-browned brownie sheet, we've got some tips that might keep them around a few more rounds.

With just a few everyday household products, you will be surprised at what a little bit of nature (and a lot of elbow grease) can do. Here's how to bring those burnt pots back to life. These methods aren't that hard to do, but they do take a little patience and some elbow grease. Fortunately, the reward is extremely satisfying! So, here is how to how to clean burnt pots and pans.
The vinegar and baking soda method

Read more
What is Chinese barbecue? An essential guide
If you're a meat lover, you need to give char siu a try
Char Siu

There's a common sight on the streets of Chinatowns — row upon row of glistening meat displayed in restaurant windows. The meats are varied, ranging from whole bronzed ducks to huge sides of crispy roast pork, a tantalizing sight to any meat lover.

There's also another item — a red-colored, fragrantly sweet pork that's delicious by itself or served with a bowl of white rice. This is char siu, Chinese barbecue pork, a delicacy that's beloved throughout the Chinese community.
Selecting the pork

Read more
Love an Aperol Spritz? Try out these spritz alternatives
Love an Aperol Spritz? Try out these spritz alternatives for a sparkling summer

Aperol spritz cocktail Goskova Tatiana / Shutterstock

The Aperol Spritz is a ubiquitous cocktail over the summer months. With its combination of sweet and bitter and a bright, distinctive color, it has something for everyone -- so it's no surprise it's taken the world by storm over the last few years. But while this drink is a great choice for a summer sipper, maybe you're looking to expand into something a bit different. In that case, it's time to explore the wider world of spritzes.

Read more