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Michael Symon’s New Cookbook Arrives Just In Time For BBQ Season



Clarkson Potter sent us a copy of Playing With Fire AND is providing a prize pack for one lucky reader!

Michael Symon - Playing With Fire

Just in time for the start of BBQ season, Michael Symon (co-host of The Chew and celebrated Iron Chef and restaurateur) has released his fifth cookbook, Playing With Fire, which covers all things meat!

Playing With Fire focuses on barbecue and live-fire grilling, with 72 recipes inspired by his newest restaurant, Mabel’s BBQ, in his hometown of Cleveland. In preparing to open his barbecue restaurant, Michael Symon enthusiastically sampled smoked meat from across America.

These finger-licking, lip-smacking recipes draw inspiration from his favorites, including dry ribs from Memphis, wet ribs from Nashville, brisket from Texas, pork steak from St. Louis, and burnt ends from Kansas City, as well as the unique and now signature Cleveland-style barbecue that he developed to showcase the flavors of his hometown. Symon offers expert guidance on working with different styles of grills and smokers, cooking various cuts of meat, choosing aromatic woods for smoking, and pairing proteins with rubs, sauces & sides.

If you’re looking for a new guide to classic American barbecue with the volume turned to high, look no further.

Michael Symon

Michael Symon cooks with soul, having grown up in a Greek and Sicilian family. The Cleveland native shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh as an Iron Chef on Food Network and as a co-host on ABC’s The Chew. Michael is the chef and owner of more than 18 restaurants, including Lola and Mabel’s BBQ in downtown Cleveland, locals of B-Spot Burgers throughout the Midwest, and Angeline at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.

He’s always posting amazing creations on his social media accounts, so you should definitely make sure that you’re following him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But be forewarned, his feed will make you hungry.

I’ve long been a fan of Michael Symon and his cooking, so when Clarkson Potter sent us an advanced copy of Playing With Fire, I couldn’t wait to check it out. And let me tell you, the recipes had our mouths watering! Sadly, it’s still freezing outside here in the Northeast (heck, it just snowed last week), so we can’t fire up the grill just yet. But once it warm up, we’ll definitely be trying out some of these dishes for ourselves.

Michael Symon's BBQ Toolset Prize Pack

In celebration of the release of Playing With Fire (in stores April 3rd), we’ve partnered with Clarkson Potter for an exciting giveaway, where one lucky winner will receive the following:

  • A copy of Michael Symon’s Playing With Fire
  • A Cuisinart Deluxe 20-piece grill set
  • A barbecue pit mitt glove

To enter, simply leave us a comment below telling us what your favorite barbecue dish is. We’ll pick a winner at random on April 20th at 5pm EST. Contest only open to US residents.

Good luck!

Trent Carter is looking to keep the tradition of T&A alive and well in today's politically correct world with his popular Thong Battle features, among other things. He also covers even racier topics on our sister site, which is definitely not safe for work!



  1. Jerry

    April 7, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Nothing beats a good steak on the grill. I’ll have mine Pittsburgh rare.

  2. Jeffrey

    April 10, 2018 at 12:56 am

    My favorite grilled dish is salmon. I grew up hating fish and found out the reason was that my parents really didn’t know how to prepare it!

  3. Kim Niland

    April 11, 2018 at 7:20 am

    We still like to barbecue baby back ribs the best. We cook a lot of burgers too.

  4. Kelly D

    April 11, 2018 at 9:01 am

    I like Cajun Barbecue Shrimp.

  5. Meghan

    April 11, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Love to grill salmon and some veggies,

  6. Char

    April 11, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Sweeeet, I love salmon and shrimp. Seafood rocks, thank you so much!!!

  7. Jeremy McLaughlin

    April 11, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Favorite is grilled salmon.

  8. Carly S

    April 11, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    I recently tried pulled bbq jackfruit and it was great!

  9. Darlene Carbajal

    April 11, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I love ribs and steak!

  10. Steve Weber

    April 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    BBQ pulled pork sliders

  11. Stephanie Sullivan

    April 11, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Ribs all the way, baby! Yum.

  12. Ryan W

    April 11, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    I love to barbecue ribs

  13. Lauren

    April 11, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    A little different but I love salmon on the BBQ with grilled mushrooms!

  14. Nic

    April 11, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I want my baby back, baby back, baby back ribs!

  15. Daniel M

    April 11, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    always like steak

  16. Roberta Thompson

    April 11, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    I love a good steak on the grill but I fish a lot too so tuna and salmon are at the top of the list as well.

  17. Ashley

    April 11, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    I love me some ribs!

  18. carol clark

    April 11, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    i love steak

  19. tammy kubitz

    April 11, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    southwest grilled chicken salads

  20. Surinder gurm

    April 11, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Salmon and portobello mushrooms

  21. Tiffany dayton

    April 11, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    I love ribs.They are the best.

  22. Robin M

    April 12, 2018 at 1:20 am

    baby back ribs

  23. Lauren

    April 13, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    I like grilled chicken.

  24. Tina W

    April 16, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    When it comes to grilling my first choice will always be tri-tip. It’s the one thing I rarely find at a restaurant done as well as I can do at home. Also: awesome sandwiches with leftovers the next day.

  25. Nathan D.

    April 18, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    My favorite is classic surfnturf: steak & shrimp

  26. Cassandra M

    April 18, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    my favorite bbq is ribs!!!

  27. Aaron

    April 19, 2018 at 11:27 am

    My favorite is a burger.

  28. Dan H

    April 19, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Bbq ribs are the best

  29. Carol

    April 19, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    I like steaks.

  30. Jennifer H.

    April 19, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    I like grilled chicken and pineapples.

  31. John H.

    April 19, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    I like brats!

  32. Julie R

    April 20, 2018 at 1:06 am

    I like barbecue chicken!

  33. Leah Shumack

    April 20, 2018 at 7:14 am

    My favorite thing to barbecue is steaks!

  34. latanya

    April 20, 2018 at 9:04 am

    I love a good grilled burger

  35. Danielle M

    April 20, 2018 at 9:10 am

    I love to grill vegetables and I really like grilled pineapple! My family loves to grill burgers, but we will grill anything!

  36. Mary West

    April 20, 2018 at 9:14 am

    I love grilled bbq chicken and a baked potato cooked on the grill!

  37. Mary Beth Elderton

    April 20, 2018 at 9:14 am

    OUr always all time favorite is hamburgers on the grill. I also like to wrap some veggies in foil and throw them on, maybe toss some fresh pineapple rings on for dessert.

  38. Sandra Preti

    April 20, 2018 at 9:17 am

    I love grilled seafood and veggies — I like to put them in some tacos in the summer…yum!

  39. Ryan Spencer

    April 20, 2018 at 9:17 am

    My favorite BBQ dish is Grilled BBQ Ribs!

  40. monique s

    April 20, 2018 at 9:28 am

    My favorite bbq dish is ribeye steak. So yummy

  41. Katie Bellamy

    April 20, 2018 at 10:32 am

    My hubby grills the best burgers!!

  42. Natalie

    April 20, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Grilled chicken and sweet potatoes is my favorites on the grill

  43. Nancy

    April 20, 2018 at 11:05 am

    We love grilled steak. Also I like to top whole sweet onions with butter and seasonings, wrap them in foil, and roast them on the grill with our grilled steaks.

  44. Amber Cheras

    April 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    My favorite barbecue dish is Chipotle Maple Barbecue Beef Brisket.

  45. Mary Jacobowitz

    April 20, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I love steak and grilled zucchini and yellow squash.

  46. Helen

    April 20, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    My husband likes his steak, and he will put corn on the cob and potatoes on the grill too.

  47. Adrianne B

    April 20, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    My fave bbq dish is dry rub ribs!

  48. Darlene Owen

    April 20, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    My favorite BBQ is BBQ shrimp and chicken

  49. wen budro

    April 20, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    My favorite thing to barbecue is steak and ribs. There’s nothing better. Yum!

  50. Amy Tebow

    April 20, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    My favorite is hamburgers!

  51. sylvia

    April 20, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    I love a good bbq chicken! Throw some diced potatoes and onions in foil and grill up some corn on the cob. Perfect meal!

  52. Austin Hanczarek

    April 20, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Favorite BBQ dish is some baby back ribs, steak and veggie kabobs, Mac and cheese……some potato salad. That is a great dish to me.

  53. Stephanie

    April 20, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    My favorite barbecue dish is chicken breast with fresh veggies and mac and cheese.

  54. Saundra McKenzie

    April 20, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    I love beef kabobs with green peppers , onions, and squash.

  55. John

    April 20, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    I love BBQ beef brisket

  56. Ken Ohl

    April 20, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    I love steak and corn on the cob on the grill

  57. Shakeia Rieux

    April 20, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    My favorite is bbq pork ribs, potato salad and bbq baked beans.

  58. Helga ROMOSER

    April 20, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    My favorite BBQ dish is BBQ pork ribs.

  59. wendolyn browne

    April 20, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Babyback ribs!Or brisket!

  60. desiree

    April 20, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    were are having bbq ribs and chicken

  61. Janet Boyanton

    April 20, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    I like BBQ ribs. Of course I won’t complain about steak or brisket either.

  62. Richard Brandt

    April 20, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    I love a BBQ prime rib sandwich with grilled BBQ onions!

  63. LeAnn Harbert

    April 20, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    I like grilled chicken that has marinated in Italian dressing.

  64. James Jenkins

    April 21, 2018 at 12:58 am

    My favorite is a thick, juicy, freshly ground hamburger!

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