Barbecue Secrets


21 May Barbecue Secrets

BBQfullcover_press.inddBarbecue Secres DELUXE! The Very Best Recipes, Tips & Tricks from the Barbecue Champion
By Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk

Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk knows a bit about the “Q”. He’s won barbecue titles in Alberta, claimed top honours at the Canadian National Barbecue Championship and caused a ruckus in the US. After all, he was part of the only Canadian team in US history to leave Oregon State Open Barbecue Championship with first prize.

While the press calls him “evangelical” and “contagious”, I’m dubbing him “Master of the Q”. If it involves fire and food, Rockin’ Ronnie has it covered.

Not only does Shewchuk give a history of barbecue techniques, he explains the differences between the long, slow Southern-style barbecue and quick-cook grilling. His Outdoor Cooking Equipment Primer provides concise yet invaluable information on the basic grills and Qs, summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of each. Turns out I, like most of my friends, own a gas grill, which I have mistakenly referred to as “The Barbecue” for most of my adult life. Rockin’ Ronnie pulls no punches when he says the tasteless, odorless gas “is a liability in the flavour department.” His cure for the summertime gas grill blues? Wood chips.

His simple tips ensure your food arrives on the plate looking as good as it tastes. You’ll learn how to make grill marks worthy of a Keg commerical and get fish to the table in one piece (Psst. Close the lid to create an oven so you don’t need to flip it). If you have a real barbecue — the kind where you slow cook meat for hours on end — he offers advice on which hardwoods to use and how to tend to a roast that cooks for half a day. He even has charts and tips for planking.

Once the how-tos are over, Shewchuk gets to the heart of the matter —the food. More than 200 recipes cover everything from rubs to brines, dipping sauces to marinades. Of course, he has recipes for barbecue sauces. High-fat flavoured butters and mayonnaise are balanced out by healthy salsa recipes. Chapters include every course imaginable: appetizers, side dishes, burgers, pork, poultry, beef, lamb, fish, desserts and even cocktails. In between are a few stories and photos that will make you drool.

While recipes include classic barbecue fare, you’ll find Thai-inspired burgers, Korean rib-eyes, Tuscan game hens, oooey-gooey planked brie and tandoori salmon. Sure, you can finish the meal with oven-baked Triple Chocolate Brownies, but why not stick with the theme and try planked grapefruit with Grand Marnier and honey?

Whether you like a traditional approach, fuss with fusion or want to grill like a gourmet, this book has something for you. If you’ve been grilling for years this book will breathe new life into your relationship with the Q. If you’re new to the concept, ease into things with something simple like the Grilled Pineapple. I tried it last night. It was on the table in 10 minutes and gone in five.

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Grilled Pineapple with Caramel Sauce
Printable Recipe

Makes 6 servings

Excerpt published with permission. From Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuck’s Barbecue Secres DELUXE! The Very Best Recipes, Tips & Tricks from the Barbecue Champion (Whitecap Books, 2009)

This easy and delicious summer recipe is the perfect end to a grilled dinner.


  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • coarsely ground black pepper*
  • caramel ice cream topping or Mexican cajeta sauce (available at most Latin specialty shops or gourmet food stores)
  • 1/4 cup [50 mL] whipping cream (only if you’re using cajeta sauce)


  1. Prepare your grill for direct medium heat.
  2. Peel and core the pineapple. Cut it into spears about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick and sprinkle them with a little coarsely ground black pepper.
  3. Grill the pineapple spears for about 4 minutes per side or until they’re slightly charred.
  4. Warm the sauce in the microwave or double boiler. If you’re using cajeta sauce, you’ll need to whisk in a little cream to loosen it up.
  5. Drizzle the pineapple slices with the warmed sauce and serve.


* Personal note: I liked the black pepper but if you’re not that adventurous or are sensitive to heat, omit it. The pineapple is wonderful either way.

Dieters can even skip the caramel sauce, but it paired well with the caramelized sugars in the pineapple.

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No Comments
  • Marta
    Posted at 11:11h, 21 May Reply

    I should read this book, I’m not much of a BBQer… not for lack of trying, but for lack of talent!
    Pineapples I can grill, and drizzle with melted dark chocolate, and devour in an instant!
    Thanks Christie for the review :)

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:49h, 21 May Reply

    Oh my stars that looks good! I love the black pepper addition. Wow! You’re making me very hungry today, Charmian … the book sounds wonderful and that pineapple looks to die for.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:49h, 21 May Reply

    Oh my stars that looks good! I love the black pepper addition. Wow! You’re making me very hungry today, Charmian … the book sounds wonderful and that pineapple looks to die for.

  • cheryl
    Posted at 18:00h, 21 May Reply

    All right, it’s now officially inexcusable that I’ve never grilled pineapple.

  • danamccauley
    Posted at 19:02h, 21 May Reply

    Mmm – I love grilled pineapple. I also have heard many, many people rave about Ronnie’s recipes. I look forward to getting a copy of the book myself.

  • Steph @
    Posted at 21:45h, 21 May Reply

    This looks SO darn good! I’ll be picking up some pineapple on my next shopping trip… I’ll have to check out that book, too.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 21:50h, 21 May Reply

    Marta, I used to leave the grilling to my husband, but now he’ll be lucky if I let him light the propane.

    Diva, the book is very helpful and far more versatile than I expected. If you do try some of his recipes, let me know what you think.

    Cheryl, I’m sure your grilled pineapple status will change very soon.

    Dana, I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard of Rockin’ Ronnie before this book. But now that he’s on my radar, his name is everywhere — and deservedly so.

    Steph, pick up two pineapples. It says it serves 6 — and it may after a full dinner — but I had this as a snack and it barely served the two of us. Oink, oink.

  • Elyse
    Posted at 02:24h, 22 May Reply

    Oh man, that grilled pineapple is calling my name!! This book looks totally fabulous. Just in time for summer! I’ll definitely have to check it out.

  • Kevin
    Posted at 12:30h, 31 May Reply

    Grilled pineapple is really good, but then add caramel…mmm…

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