is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Charred & Scruffed by Adam Perry Lang

Share on:
cover of charred and scrubbed cookbook

Workman Publishing2012, paperback, 265 pages, many recipes, many color photos.

Perry Lang is a serious classically trained chef, a veteran of Le Cirque and Daniel, and, as the proprietor of Daisy May’s BBQ USA in NYC and as a competitor on the barbecue circuit, he knows a lot about barbecue and grilling.

This new book shows off his macho cooking philosophy and several clever concepts, chief among them, board dressings, which I describe in detail on a whole page devoted to the subject. That page includes a video of APL in action. He mixes oil and minced herbs on the cutting board and then cuts the meat rolling it around in the herbed oil. So simple, but this is a super way to add flavor to grilled foods, and I use it often now that he has taught me how.

Scruffing is his word for what I call gashing, a technique for roughing the surface of meat to create more surface for marinades to penetrate and for more browning. I write about it on my page about marinating and every cook should add this method to his or her repertoire.

Pleasantly, his attitude is very laid back, informal, educational, and fun. His standard “Four Seasons Rub” is simply salt, cayenne, black pepper, and garlic salt. He is photographed at work not in his professional kitchen dressed in chef’s whites, not at poolside in the Hamptons, but in T-shirts on cheap grills, usually a Weber kettle, in what appears to be a humble back yard.

As enamored as I am over his methods there are a few iconoclastic things he does that I cannot abide. One is using a microplane to grate lump charcoal and use the powder as a seasoning. I am not convinced that all lump charcoal doesn’t havea few chunks of chemically treated lumber in the bag, and I don’t get the draw of putting pure carbon on my food. I work hard not to carbonize my meat!

He also takes a beautiful bone in beef rib roast and pounds the bejeezus out of it with a baseball bat until it is sort of flat like a huge thick steak. I just don’t get it. Rib roasts are already tender, they don’t need help. And if you want steaks, it’s a snap to cut perfect even thickness ribeyes from the roast. Yes, it is dramatic and it will get him on TV, but you won’t see me doing this anytime soon.

He’s also fond of what he calls clinching, just laying the meat on hot coals. I don’t wantto get into it here, but I think there are better ways to sear meat.

I see this book as a source of ideas and inspiration more than a cookbook of recipes. For example, one recipe is for a spectacular looking thick frisbee size steak he says is called a “mansteak” in England. He says it comes from the rump and surrounding musckes, but gives no info about how to order it. I’ve never seen one, and my butcher had no idea how to cut one.

Still, there is a lot to learn from Chef Perry Lang, this is unlike any of the hundreds of cookbooks I own, and no other barbecue book has inspired me and gotten me thinking like this one.

Check the price and buy Charred & Scruffed from Amazon

Haven't found what you want?
Click the buttons below to search our complete database of reviews:

Product Information:

Published On: 6/17/2018 Last Modified: 2/24/2021


High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!

Millions come to every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.

Post comments and questions below


1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.



Click to comment or ask a question...


These are not paid ads, they are a curated selection of products we love.

All of the products below have been tested and are highly recommended. Click here to read more about our review process.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our “buy now” links. This has zero impact on the price you pay but helps support the site.