Despite its (very British) title, that book I was hired to write a few years back now, The Man’s Book of the BBQ (buy it here!), is actually a celebration of grilling, not specifically smoking and slow-cooking and saucing. But that’s cool, because guys like Raichlen and Mixon are going to say all there is to say anyway. But if you want to know the science of the grilling temperature beyond that narrow bandwidth, you’ve got to go to one place: AmazingRibs.com — the bible of the barbecue and beyond.
So it was that I got to interview Meathead Goldwyn, the exuberant expert who runs the site. I also combed multiple FDA & USDA pages and Chef Steps findings, and hoo boy! There is a lot of conflicting data out there about 20º F differences between whether that food is going to kill you or be delicious or be dry and tough.
But you don’t have to! Here are my conservative compilations after consulting with the master, who was just the nicest guy and I would have loved to sit rapt in his wisdom for even longer, but I had to surrender the conference room.