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Joshua Bousel

Joshua Bousel


Sharing his love between three beautiful grills and two handsome smokers (oh, and lets not forget a wife and a couple cats), Josh has a passion for grilling and barbecue that seems to grow bigger everyday.

Starting with a bi-weekly backyard barbecue series called The Meatwave in 2004, this pastime quickly became an obsession that turned into a full fledged recipe blog a few years later. He then brought those grillmaster skills to Serious Eats in 2008, delivering the best in grilling recipes every week. Taking the plunge from backyard to pro, he started up a competition team in the spring of 2012 and quickly added the "award-winning" label to his barbecue.

At this point, Josh has slow smoked and eaten so much pork, he's legally recognized as being part swine.


  • Website
  • Location: Astoria, NY
  • Favorite foods: Barbecue, Tex-Mex, Fried Chicken, Hamburgers
  • Last bite on earth: Smoked sausage and brisket, with a side of fried chicken.

The Perfect Chicken Schnitzel

It's no coincidence that chicken schnitzel—pounded chicken breasts that are breaded and fried—is such a popular dish around the world: Perfectly cooked schnitzel, like the version here, is juicy and tender, with a golden, crunchy exterior that is almost impossible to resist. More

Grilling: Moroccan-Spiced Rack of Lamb

Inspired by the deep, rich, and balanced flavors of Moroccan dishes, this delicious grilled rack of lamb is rubbed with a complex spice mixture that includes paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper, and then crusted in a bright and fresh pesto-like blend of fresh cilantro, parsley, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. They're flavors that can both stand up to and enhance the strong flavor of lamb. More

Fried Sweet Cheese Pierogi

Of all the pierogi that New York has introduced me to over the years, it's the sweet cheese version that has really stolen my heart. Tangy, creamy, sweet, and cheesy, it straddles the line between savory and sweet, making it perfect to eat no matter the occasion. Here's how to make 'em at home. More

Grilling: MOINK Balls

If you're a barbecue blog reader, chances are you've already encountered the MOINK ball—a food concoction attributed to Larry Gaian of Embers and Flame that consists of a frozen beef meatball wrapped in bacon and then grilled or smoked (seasoning the MOINK with a rub and finishing with a brushing of sauce is common, but not required). We held onto the MOINK's inherent simplicity and took it up a notch with this homemade mix. More

Gift Guide: For the Pitmaster

The pitmaster requires his or her own special tools for manning a smoker cooking low and slow, getting those toughs cuts of meat to tender and delicious perfection. There's no limit to the gear designed for the pitmaster, but this list has some of the items that are truly useful and will set your little smoker's heat aflame. More

Gift Guide: Grilling Gadgets

Grilling is big business, and there seems to be a gadget to perform every task you can dream of on the grill. Cutting through those frivolous gifts, this guide is a lot of (mostly) honest grilling accessories that almost all outdoor cooks would love to own More

Gift Guide: For the Backyard Cook

Backyard cooking is more than just about a grill and some burgers—it's the proud tradition of finding ways to cook almost anything using a live fire. That requires the proper tools and earns the cook a right to boast of his or her achievements. From the welding gloves that are essential when working with hot fires to t-shirts that let everyone know just how proud a griller you are, see our 2013 picks for the backyard cook. More

Chicken Schnitzel

@imsscott The bread and brine usually provide enough seasoning to do the trick. I do sometimes add a sprinkle of salt after being fried, but it's often not even needed. When I didn't brine, I did more consistently salt the chicken at the end.

The Perfect Chicken Schnitzel

@Greg Ha, ha. Yeah, I made this a couple weeks ago and didn't even think about the passover timing of when the article would actually be posted. Sorry for the pain, but schnitzel time is just a few days away!

@RobC I do like the parmesan in my breading, but it's not really a traditional schnitzel anymore. I tend to add parmesan when doing breaded chicken fingers and serve them with a marinara.

Chicken Schnitzel

@skitch & @nmharleyrider I do like mine on the slightly darker side—the breading has a toastier flavor that I think makes the schnitzel tastier overall. The darker right edge is because my cheap stovetop puts out a very uneven heat—there's a 50°F+ difference between the top and bottom side of the burners—so even with a lot of diligence, it can be still be difficult to get a perfectly even schnitzel.

Even with a darker crust, there were no issues with moisture, this schnitzel was super juicy and delicious.

Tyrokafteri (Hot Pepper and Cheese Dip)

@hiedi Other varieties of red hot peppers would work like fresnos or red jalapeños.

Grilling: Foil-Wrapped Potatoes With Shallots, Lemon, and Thyme

@La Maison Sacre Because these are done in a packet, there is no flavor advantage to the grill like you mentioned. The point of this method is its versatility—it can be done on the grill, in the oven, oven an open fire, etc. The grill or fire will provide more heat, which is an advantage in the length of cooking and in giving the potatoes at least a bit of browning.

@Tipsykit37 Definitely yukon golds then, they had the best texture and flavor if going by innards alone.

Fried Sweet Cheese Pierogi

@cooking42 Yes, you can strain cottage cheese to remove some of the moisture.

Fried Sweet Cheese Pierogi

@billiev That was supposed to say "sour cream." It's fixed now.

Grilled Sriracha Hot Wings

@AdultCrash To add a little more heat, I would add either cayenne pepper or some chopped Thai chilies.

10 Quick and Easy Ketchup Variations

@quirkzoo I left off curry ketchup because I already did a more extensive post on it.

Homemade Sriracha

@mrs_vanity I've seen them in random supermarkets, mostly ones that skew towards a Latin American audience. I got mine at Trade Fair on 30th Ave in Astoria, which is just near where I live.

Grilling: Rotisserie Chicken

@Chris Curmudgeon That's going to be my next test. I saw others who did direct and got some beautiful dark drown skin. My only worry is flare-ups, but maybe that isn't much of concern if the lid is closed most of the time anyway.

Mushroom Gravy

@clme849 You can leave the sherry out and it'll be totally fine.

@sweetpaprika Yes, the stock is strained. It's in step 1.

Taco Queso Dip

@TwoWheeler This was my favorite of the entire lot of six dips I made, and everyone who tried felt the same too.

Sauced: Speculoos Spread

We've been putting it on waffles and toast.

Sauced: Speculoos Spread

@Autumn Produce Yup, that's the one.

Chorizo, Mushroom, and Onion Queso

@Patrick Kiefer You can just go all in with monterey jack and it should be good. It won't be as stringy or salty, but it'll still be a fine dip. Low moisture mozzarella would also be a good substitute.

Pimento Cheese Dip

@canihavesome Thanks! You can't go wrong with the original pimento cheese.

Green Chili Queso Dip

@eam492 It's actually the same ratio used in the cheeseburger dip. It's intentionally thicker to make it more of a dip than sauce, but if yours is too thick, just add some extra milk and that should fix things up.

Mine was thick, but while it was hot, it was dip-able, even with the thin Xochitl tortilla chips I was using. It did cool down and thicken up quickly though, so I would recommend serving it in a crock pot to keep it as a usable consistency.

Grilling: Spicy Cumin Wings

@tampa_joey You're right, just a typo I've now corrected.

Spicy Cumin Wings

@Alecge I'd do them at 425°F the entire time. That's how I do my oven wings and they consistently turn out crunchy and juicy.

@nelson57 Thanks for pointing that out, it's fixed now in the recipe.

Chorizo, Mushroom, and Onion Queso

@opinionatedchef The evaporated milk helps achieve the right smooth constancy. You can read all about why to use it in this post.

Leftovers reheat quite well. I kept my dips in the fridge for about a week and just reheated the amount I want to eat in the microwave as I needed it.

Sauced: 6 Cheese Dips for Your Super Bowl Party

@guycooking No Velveeta in any of these recipes. I had bought some for testing, but never ended up having to use it.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Cherry Peppers

@wee eats I used fresh.

Green Chili Queso Dip

@fixitkent & @threeleggeddog Not sure what's going on, when I made it, it had a nice green chili flavor with a touch of smoky heat, and the cheese was smooth and dip-able. Maybe my poblanos were a bit more potent?

I worked on five more cheese dips this weekend that have a lot more flavor than this one, and those recipes should be up next week. So maybe you'll have better luck with those.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Cherry Peppers

@itshissong The grill was around 400°F. You could also serve them uncooked, they're tasty either way.

Grilling: Zucchini with Parmesan and Garlic Chili Oil

Zucchini is my go-to veggie for the grill. The way it browns and softens over the coals makes it irresistible in both looks and taste. I've always thought a little olive oil, salt, black pepper, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes is all you need to make it perfect, but recently wanted to expand on the classic. I introduced some new flavors with Parmesan cheese and garlic chili oil (my Sauced column this week) which only left me loving it more. More

Oven-Fried Chicken Wings al Pastor

Al pastor on its own is pretty awesome, but on chicken wings—now that's something special. Guajillo and chipotle chiles give the baked wings an earthy heat, while pineapple, cilantro, and lime add freshness to create a combination that's hard to beat. This also marks our first post of Wing Week! Every day this week we'll be sharing a different non-Buffalo wing recipe for your Super Bowl parties next week. More

Habanero-Brined Roasted Turkey

For the family who worships fiery food, this is a way to relish spiciness for Thanksgiving. Soaked in a habanero-filled brine, this turkey packs a punch you won't soon forget. If the family isn't totally on board for a spicy turkey, then pare down the brine recipe and use it for a chicken instead. More

Snapshots from Sunday's Slice Meet-Up

Yesterday we had a Slice meet-up for A) the heck of it and B) well, to celebrate Slice's 7-year anniversary (October 13, for those keeping score at home). We met at DBA bar in the afternoon with the idea that Slice would order some pies in and that Slice'rs would bring a pie (or pies) from their local fave — or even make one of their own — to share. After a slow start, a nice-size crowd showed up — about 16 total, with five pizzerias represented — Rosario's on the Lower East Side of Manhattan; Sam's of Cobble Hill,... More

Grilling: Keftedes

What seemed like a ton of onion, garlic, oregano and mint in proportion to the meat at first, ended up being just the right amount of flavor to make these meatballs taste distinctly Greek. Although they didn't necessarily need the accompanying tzatziki and lemon to make them delicious, put altogether, they were outstanding. More

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2010 in Photos

The Eighth Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party rolled into town this past weekend, bringing along seventeen different pitmasters from all over the country—representing the the diversity that is American barbecue. As each pitmaster focused their attention on only their one strongest item, the barbecue found at the event truly represented the best of the best. More

Guide to Grilling: Gauging the Heat

To become a true "Master of the Flames," you'll need to know how to own a fire. Gauging and controlling the temperature is crucial in delivering the just right heat to your food—luckily, one of the easiest way to determine this is always at hand (literally). Just hover your hand above the cooking grate and count the seconds it takes until you're positive your skin will melt off. With the findings, you can determine if the heat is at high, medium, or low, and which foods should be cooked at each. More

Dinner Tonight: Velvet Chicken

The "velvet" in the title alludes to the chicken's texture after it emerges from the pot. While some poached chicken recipes come out stringy and tough, this one is cooked in a liquid that's barely simmering for 30 minutes. The result is perfectly cooked chicken that's beautifully tender and aromatic thanks to a particularly flavorful cooking liquid. More

Serious Heat: A Guide to Chile Substitutions

What to do when you don't have the right chile. You know the drill. You've clipped or printed out a recipe that's supposed to be tonight's dinner. Except, the grocery store betrays you—not having those few essential items you need. As an editor at Chile Pepper magazine, for me that usually means a certain chile necessary to test or develop a recipe. For example, in certain regions, some chiles like cayenne are impossible to find fresh. The key to finding an adequate chile replacement is knowing its heat level, sweetness, and smokiness. We pooled our resources to come up with a substitution guide for whole chiles. While it focuses on whole fresh or dried chiles, you can always use a... More

The Best in the West: Nugget Rib Cook-off in Sparks, Nevada

"Pitmasters here represent the entire nation." [Photographs: Joshua Bousel] I had the most perfect Labor Day planned, a lazy afternoon next to the smoker filled with pork, some beers, and close friends. That was until I received an invitation to visit the The Best in the West: Nugget Rib Cook-off in Nevada. After a second pause contemplating whether I wanted to alter my ideal holiday, I thought better of my reservations, and before I knew it, I was on a plane headed for a weekend of pure barbecue bliss. If you're an East Coaster like myself, the Nugget Rib Cook-off may not sound familiar, but for the pitmasters and attendees alike, it's the biggest event of the year. The six-day... More

Saag Paneer

I couldn't find one saag paneer recipe that resembled another. I went for a rather simple, almost comfort-food version, but you can jack the spices way up if you'd like.... More