Steven Raichlen was born in Nagoya, Japan and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated in 1975 from Reed College with a Bachelor of Arts in French literature. He received a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellowship to study medieval cooking in Europe, and was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to study comparative literature. He trained at Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools in Paris.
Since 1998, Raichlen's books have focused on the culture and practice of global grilling. His 28 books include The Barbecue Bible (1998, revised in 2008), How to Grill (2001), BBQ USA, Miami Spice, and Healthy Latin Cooking. His books have been translated into 15 languages. Raichlen also wrote Planet Barbecue!, the story of his travels to more than 50 countries in search of the best barbecue, published by Workman Publishing in 2010.
Raichlen has been known to further careers of barbecue pitmasters thanks to his writing, including Wayne Mark Schafer, of Baltimore's Pit Beef fame Big Fat Daddy's, who was featured in Raichlen's NY Times article and 425 Fiery Recipes book.
In 2012, he released his first novel, Island Apart, about a Chappaquiddick hermit's developing relationship with a cancer patient.
Raichlen created the TV show Barbecue University (aka BBQ U), which aired for four seasons from 2003 to 2006 on American Public Television. From 2008 to 2010 he hosted Primal Grill, again on American Public Television. Primal Grill focused on the "how-tos" of live fire cooking, employing different grills for each technique. In 2015, he created Project Smoke on public television, focusing on traditional and cutting-edge techniques in smoked food. Raichlen also hosts a French-language TV show called Le Maitre du Grill on Zeste in Quebec.
Awards and honors
Steven Raichlen has won five James Beard awards for his cookbooks. High-Flavor, Low-Fat Cooking won the 1993 award for Best Light and Healthy Cookbook, and his follow-up, High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking, won the 1996 award for Best Vegetarian Cookbook. In 1999, Healthy Latin Cooking won the award for Healthy Focus. He also earned the 2001 James Beard Foundation/KitchenAid Book Award for his Healthy Jewish Cooking His 780-page book, BBQ USA, won the 2004 award for Tools and Techniques.
In 2003, Bon Appetit named Raichlen “Cooking Teacher of the Year," the same year that The Barbecue Bible, based on his four years of research while traveling 150,000 miles through 25 countries on five continents, won an IACP Julia Child Award.
- A Taste of the Mountains Cooking School Cookbook ISBN 978-0671544287 Poseidon Press, 1986
- A Celebration of the Seasons: A Cooks Almanac ISBN 978-0671624989 Poseidon Press, 1988
- Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Cooking. ISBN 978-0944475317. 1992.
- Miami Spice : The New Florida Cuisine. ISBN 1-56305-346-2. 1993.
- The Caribbean Pantry Cookbook: Condiments and Seasonings from the Land of Spice and Sun. ISBN 978-1885183101. 1995.
- Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking. ISBN 0-14-024124-8. 1995.
- Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Chicken. ISBN 978-0670865802. 1996.
- Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Pasta Cookbook. ISBN 978-0670865819. 1996.
- Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low Fat Italian Food Cookbook. ISBN 978-0670874439. 1997.
- Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low Fat Appetizers. ISBN 978-0670871353. 1997.
- Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low Fat Desserts. ISBN 978-0670871360. 1997.
- The Barbecue! Bible. ISBN 1-56305-866-9. 1998.
- Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Mexican Cooking. ISBN 978-0670883882. 1999.
- Barbecue! Bible : Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters, and Glazes. ISBN 0-7611-1979-5. 2000.
- Steven Raichlen's Healthy Latin Cooking : 200 Sizzling Recipes from Mexico, Cuba, Caribbean, Brazil, and Beyond. ISBN 0-87596-498-2. 2000.
- Healthy Jewish Cooking. ISBN 978-0670893126. 2000.
- How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques, A Barbecue Bible! Cookbook. ISBN 9780761120148. 2001.
- Beer-Can Chicken: And 74 Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill. ISBN 0-7611-2016-5. 2002.
- BBQ USA: 425 Fiery Recipes from All Across America. ISBN 978-0761120155. 2003.
- Steven Raichlen's Big Flavor Cookbook: 440 Irresistible and Healthy Recipes from Around the World. ISBN 978-1579123291. 2003.
- Indoor Grilling. ISBN 978-0761133353. 2004.
- The Best of Barbecue University by Steven Raichlen. DVD/Video. 2005.
- Raichlen on Ribs, Ribs, Outrageous Ribs. ISBN 0-7611-4211-8. 2006.
- Planet Barbecue! ISBN 9780761148012. 2010.
- Bold & Healthy Flavors: 450 Recipes from Around the World ISBN 978-1579128555. 2011.
- Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys ISBN 978-0761166443. 2014.
- Island Apart ISBN 9780765332387, 2012.
- "Steven Raichlen". encyclopedia.com. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
- Steven Raichlen's BBQ USA: 425 fiery recipes from all across America limited preview on Google Books
- Sullivan, Kate. License to Grill, Fredericksburg.com, 5/8/2008, retrieved 9/21/2008
- Barbecue Bible
- Star Chefs
- Barber, Cathy (18 May 2010). "Steven Raichlen's 'Planet Barbecue!' reveals the fascinating world of the grill". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- New York Times Article Featuring Big Fat Daddy's
- Larsen, Peter (June 20, 2012). "BBQ expert Steven Raichlen brings first novel to O.C.". Orange County Register. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- "Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke". WGBY-TV. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- Barbecue Bible Web Site
- James Beard
- "About Steven Raichlen". Barbeque University. Retrieved October 31, 2013.