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Steven Raichlen's Project Fire Season 3 Debuts This Month

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    Steven Raichlen's Project Fire Season 3 Debuts This Month

    Hey all,

    The third season of Steven Raichlen's Project Fire will debut on public television here in the United States this month. The earliest air date for episode 301 is April 15, but of the PBS local listings I've checked, most stations are planning air it on Saturday the 17th. (Episodes air weekly.)

    American Public Television has released the episode descriptions for the first seven episodes of this 13-episode season here: https://aptonline.org/catalog/STEVEN...-FIRE-Season-3

    (Note: Steven has incorporated a "mystery ingredient" segment in which he will come up with a BBQ dish with no prior knowledge of the ingredient, sort of an "iron chef" kind of thing. The episode descriptions above will reveal that ingredient.)

    While still holding true to Steven's focus on international and regional BBQ, this season will be more of a marked departure from what we're used to in previous seasons of Project Fire and Project Smoke. Grilling vegetables will feature prominently this season. Additionally, there will be a strong emphasis on exploring "healthier" BBQ.

    A quick 90 second preview video of season three is here on Steven's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaQKmgtljJg

    Project Fire Season Three was filmed in mid-September 2020 in the Baltimore area.

    #2
    Shot at the Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, Baltimore County so I know it will have some beautiful background scenery.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks, He is not my fav to watch, seems so scripted, but has good info
      Good to know.
      Thanks again.

      Comment


      • HawkerXP
        HawkerXP commented
        Editing a comment
        You're just mad he rarely uses a pelletpooper! .
        Last edited by HawkerXP; April 16, 2021, 06:33 PM. Reason: AND he doesn't drink PBR!

      #4
      This weekend!

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        #5
        Or, how about right now? I feel silly as I have watched 100% of Steven's shows online.

        Maryland Public Television has episode 301 online and ready to watch! https://video.mpt.tv/video/episode-3...h-food-arp1vp/

        Comment


          #6
          Thanks!

          Comment


            #7
            Originally posted by Donw View Post
            Shot at the Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, Baltimore County so I know it will have some beautiful background scenery.
            THX for this. Being a WashDC person, I've heard of Reisterstown. I, too, do love the mid-Atlantic scenery.

            Comment


              #8
              Man, he is so hard to watch and listen to. Thankfully my remote let’s me choose other channels to watch or else I’d give up BBQ and start knitting.

              Comment


              • klflowers
                klflowers commented
                Editing a comment
                He kind of puts me to sleep, but he can cook

              • JimLinebarger
                JimLinebarger commented
                Editing a comment
                Would you rather watch Rick Bayless?

              • Jared49
                Jared49 commented
                Editing a comment
                No, I’m not a big fan of Rick Bayless either. He’s one that could put you to sleep, too.

              #9
              I enjoyed the first episode, but then again, I would probably enjoy anything Steven does. It was good to see new stuff after two years.

              One of the things I was most interested in see was would they acknowledge the pandemic?

              Granted, we're just one episode in (and this one may not have been the first one filmed), but while Steven never wears a mask, the crew are all clearly wearing masks, unless they are talking on camera. The pandemic is never referenced, but anyone watching this could easily guess in what year it was filmed. Furthermore, it looks like there are less crew present than in previous years, probably for obvious reasons.

              Another curious thing that stood out was the number of sponsors (shown in the opening segment) are clearly down from previous years. Of course, sponsorships and ad revenue are down all over. (We have a public television station at the University and it is painful.) I'm most disappointed to see that the Pit Barrel Cooker Co is not sponsoring this year. (Big Green Egg appears to be the primary sponsor so I guess we'll be seeing a lot of green kamados this season.)

              I thought the "mystery ingredient" segment worked well, but it had the minor problems I knew it would. It comes off as just a bit gimmicky, although fun.....mainly as there is no good way to "show" Steven planning or figuring out what to do. When they show the actual preparation of the dish, it feels as if Steven had planned this for months. Perhaps future shows will iron this out a bit more.

              I did enjoy the on-camera time and short interviews with Nora Singley (Culinary Producer/Food Stylist) and Chris Lynch (Field Chef. They've been with Steven since the early Project Smoke days (at least) and it was cool to see them formally on-camera.

              (But what about the food, Michael?)

              The paella, while interesting, was just a bit too much vegetable for me. For my tastes, I would have liked some clams or some other mild seafood to balance out the vegetable onslaught. (I'm being a little unfair here as as this was intended to be vegetarian dish.) The grilled beef salad looked good, especially the marinade. I may try that marinade on some fraken-style ribs (beef tenderloin is a bit too expensive for my tastes and skill). The mystery dish actually worked for me....I think I am going to try it, or at least a variation of it. Something new and fun to try.

              Comment


                #10
                As I have said before he took me out of the cremating of burgers, dogs & some of the worst chicken ever cooked. As one thing leads to another, ultimately to Myron Mixon then to here. I like watching , cooks some fascinatingly different “stuff”. Really appreciate what he does & has done.

                Comment


                  #11
                  I watched Episode 302: Planet Steak last night. Apparently, Maryland Public Television is making the episodes live on the Friday before they will typically air on PBS stations.

                  One of the fears about Season Three of Project Fire was that it was going to be all about vegetarian grilling. Clearly, it won't be, although many of the recipes will be drawn from Steven's recent book, Grilling Vegetables.

                  This particular show highlights one of the reasons I enjoy Steven's work. He takes a meat we think we know and shows us eclectic ways in which it can be grilled, especially with international influences with which we probably aren't familiar.

                  The first recipe is a hanger steak coupled with an onion-mustard-cream sauce that I absolutely am going to try. It's like a mustardy au poirve sauce.

                  (I must admit that Steven does do two things in this segment that will make some people cringe, even me. First, he still refers to the myoglobin that bubbles up on steak as "blood." Second, in answer to a viewer's question, he goes in detail about the poke test. It is unclear if he is advocating for it or primarily just explaining it for people who wonder what it is. Still, the absence of his ever-present Maverick instant-read thermometer is noticeable here.)

                  The second dish harkens back to the first episode, which focused on healthier BBQ. It is a really interesting Cambodian steak dish, very reminiscent of Korean food in which the steak is sliced thin, and served in lettuce leaves with a variety of fresh vegetables and sauces. It does look quite good. I think the marinade or sauce would make an excellent board sauce for flank steak.

                  There is no secret ingredient dish this episode. Instead we are treated to a very straightforward demonstration of reverse-searing a porterhouse on a Weber Kettle. At first I was a little surprised as in "that's all we're doing?" (There is a really nice grilled poblano crema that he makes that looks like it would go killer on fajitas.) But it is good to remember that a good portion of his audience is new to BBQ. I didn't even know what a reverse-sear was until I joined here.

                  I did think it was neat that the dishes cycled through three popular grills types: gas, kamado, and kettle.

                  Production-wise.....we do see more shots of the crew this time. (I think I was mistaken about there being less crew than in previous seasons. Project Smoke had twenty people involved and the crew photo for Season Three of Project Fire has nineteen.)

                  Something that caught my eye is that the colors seem slightly muted when Steven is preparing the food. In the crew shots, you can see a white tarp suspended over the set. (It's also often reflected on the grills and is obvious on the Weber Kettle.) I don't recall this being used in previous seasons. I wonder if the shadows were just really harsh when they were filming. They filmed in September, when the sun is higher in the sky; they historically have filmed the shows in February.

                  I also liked the return of the bloopers after the end credits.

                  And the setting is luscious, almost too green. Don't you wish your lawn looked like this?

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                    #12
                    Episode 303 aired last night: Best Ribs Ever. Now, this is the sixth season of Steven's shows that I have watched (I have never been able to see Primal Grill) and he has done several rib episodes, so I was wondering what was left. Turns out....quite a bit, actually.

                    The first dish is some Korean grilled short ribs. The highlight here is in how to butterfly the ribs so they lay very flat and will cook quickly. The marinade looks really good and is what you'd typically expect for a Korean marinade, with the interesting addition of kiwi fruit. (Don't worry, some gochuchang balances it out.) I am probably going to do this dish as, while I am not a big fan of sauces on beef, I really do like the flavor many Asian marinades gives. Steven serves this with grilled whole green onions, white onion slices, garlic, and rice.

                    The second dish takes us back to the States and is a very straight-forward smoke of some baby back ribs. Both the rub and the sauce have the interesting addition of celery seed. The segment's main focus is really on the bourbon-brown sugar BBQ sauce. Steven constructs it showing that a good American-style BBQ sauce is balanced and doesn't go too crazy in any direction.

                    There is one really odd moment in this segment that caused my jaw to draw a bit. I do not own a pellet grill, but my understanding is that, after the initial ignition, they should never be billowing out with smoke. But when Steven goes to remove the ribs the pellet grill (clearly a Green Mountain) is just overrunning with smoke:

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                    It is possible that this was done after a grill-swap out and it actually may have been in the ignition phase at the time. Or maybe they did it for effect. Still, it was an odd thing to see.

                    The third segment is a return of the mystery box segment, in which Steven ostensibly does not know what he is about to cook. I still think it is a fun premise, but the realities of an edited and scripted TV show do break the illusion in places. (That all of the ingredients just happen to be right there in front of him, primarily.)

                    Still, this was the best segment of the show. The rub used was really interesting. Also, fennel leaves and stalks are used in place of smoking wood on a Big Green Egg. The accompanying grilled salad looks fantastic and I am absolutely going to make it.

                    Nothing really of note from a production standpoint. It was nearly completely overcast during the filming of this episode, which does mute things from a lighting perspective a bit. We do see the usual shots of the crew and for the first time, see Steven himself in a mask.

                    Until next week.....

                    Comment


                      #13
                      I just watched the latest episode. Liked the beef short rib segment. I will try it asap. Amazing looking beef btw. Never see that quality around here.

                      For the pork ribs, something funny going on there. He cooks good sized racks of STL Spares in just four hours on a Green Mountain pellet smoker. And no wrapping. Only way to get those done in four hours is at a pretty high heat. Yet they have huge amounts of smoke billowing out of that cooker. No way that cooker puts out that much smoke at high heat. I cook on a Recteq Bull which is very similar and can only dream of smoke like that. The ribs looked great though.

                      The “Mystery Box” is a little hokey. Great lamb rib recipe though. Again, the result looked outstanding. Gotta try that one too.

                      Hey, the guy can turn out some great Q but man he is like watching paint dry.
                      Last edited by Jfrosty27; May 1, 2021, 01:35 PM.

                      Comment


                        #14
                        (From another edition of I have too much times on my hands...also known as can you tell I do forensics professionally?)

                        It doesn't appear that they did a grill swap out, as i first thought. Here's some screen captures of the gaffers tape that they put over the Green Mountain logo. The larger one is taken when he just puts the ribs on and the insert is right after the big smoke plume. They appear, at least from the left side, to be identical.

                        TV production being what it is, they must have needed to power down the grill between the food swap outs for some reason.

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