Michael Symon is a renowned chef, especially notable in the world of grilling and smoked meats for his boldly flavored recipes. In his new book Michael Symon's Playing with Fire, Symon combines a lifetime of barbecue obsession with his experience running a barbecue kitchen to improve and inspire your home smoking. The book not only includes dozens of his mouthwatering recipes, it also has sections on smoking techniques, equipment and profiles of pitmasters from every region of the United States.

Dinner Special book cover Michael Symon's Playing with Fire by Michael Symon

Below, Michael Symon shares three recipes from his book and a quick note about each of them. The beauty of Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mostarda is its simplicity and ease of process. The result is tender, smoky pork accentuated with a sweet and savory topping. To be blunt, the idea of Smoked Prime Rib absolutely blows our mind! Symon takes the grandaddy of meat cuts and gives it a high and fast treatment (verus most barbecue recipes, which tend to be low and slow) so as to not overcook it. And finally, Campfire Mole Chicken cooked directly on the embers of a wood fire in a grill or fire pit makes for a great group cooking project on a summer evening. The chicken picks up extra smoke flavor as it's cooked in a savory, spicy sauce thickened with charred tortillas.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mostarda

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mostarda: This is a great recipe for people who are just getting their grill game going. Not only is it easy as pie to master, but the combination of grilled pork and mostarda is a showstopper. Mostarda is a sweet-and-savory condiment made with fruit, herbs, and spices that goes great not only with grilled meats but also rich cheeses. Mostarda can be stored for months in the refrigerator, so go ahead and make a big batch so you always have some on hand when you fire up the grill.


Smoked Prime Rib

Smoked Prime Rib: In my humble opinion, the only thing better than roasted prime rib is smoked prime rib. The seductive flavor of the wood smoke and spice mingles with the flavorful beef to create a dish of epic proportions—trust me. When I’m looking for a real showstopper of a dish to impress guests, this is one of my go-to recipes. This technique calls for a higher smoker temperature and shorter cook time because you don’t want to push the meat past medium like you do with regular barbecue, since prime rib is a naturally tender cut.


Campfire Mole Chicken

Campfire Mole Chicken: I absolutely love the flavor and aroma of real Mexican mole. It has an exotic quality to it from the nuts, chiles, spices, and bitter Mexican chocolate. The result is a deeply complex sauce that is rich, multidimensional, and unforgettable. I know the ingredient list looks long and intimidating, but I think you’ll agree that the results are worth the effort. Save this recipe for a special dinner with family or friends. I like to serve this dish over steamed rice with plenty of fresh cilantro and Spicy Marinated Onions.

Chip Walton

Chip Walton is a digital producer for The Splendid Table. He is obsessed with cooking, craft beer, homebrewing, home fermentation, hot peppers, barbecue, Instant Pots and beagles.