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The Heat is On: Grilling Expert Brad Prose Provides Chile Shopping and Prepping Tips

Author Brad Prose of Chiles and Smoke Grills up Steaks and Chiles

Author Brad Prose of Chiles and Smoke at the Grill

Chiles and Smoke cookbook by Brad Prose

"Chiles and Smoke" Cookbook by Brad Prose

Chili powder adds loads of flavor to your grilled dishes

Heat Things Up With Homemade Chili Powder

The best chiles to use for the most powerful flavor profiles from author Brad Prose of Chiles and Smoke

RICHMOND, CA, USA, May 1, 2023/ -- As summer approaches and the temperatures rise, grilling season is upon us once again. Whether a seasoned grill master or a newcomer to the world of outdoor cooking, or trying to kick your grilling game up a notch during National Grilling Month, there's one key ingredient that can make or break a dish: flavor.

Professional recipe developer, food writer, and author Brad Prose of the popular food blog, Chiles and Smoke knows that the secret to great food is great flavor. That's why he's spent years creating recipes that enhance the natural flavors of your meats and vegetables.

His new book, “Chiles and Smoke: BBQ, Grilling, and Other Fire-Friendly Recipes with Spice and Flavor” (Quarto Publishing) features a range of recipes that will make even the most expert grillmaster stand out from the rest. From the rich, savory taste of his signature Smoky Coffee Rub to the spicy kick of his Firecracker Brisket Rub, Prose’s seasoning blend recipes are sure to impress even the most discerning palates.

Using fresh chiles to create the most robust seasonings and rubs, Prose suggests jalapenos, chipotles, poblanos, anchos, habaneros, guajillos, hatch, serranos, bell peppers, shishito peppers and Korean chiles such as Gochujang and Gochugaro.

Prose offers a few tips to help one choose the best chiles when shopping and prepping:

Look for chiles that have smooth skin, without the white cracks. Those white lines are referred to as corking, a process that happens when the inside of the pepper grows faster than the outside. The flavor of corked peppers will likely be more intense, both sweeter and significantly spicier.

When choosing dried chiles, look for ones that are still pliable and soft. They should also have a nice aroma, smelling of spice and dried fruit. Bend them slightly. If they snap or shatter from being brittle, they are more likely to be stale and bitter in flavor. Be sure to choosing peppers that are whole, not broken apart.

There’s no telling how hot a pepper is going to be until you taste it. It’s easier to test fresh chiles for their heat by simply slicing off the tip and dabbing it on your tongue. You’ll know this is a very spicy chile if it’s already burning because it’s the least spicy part of the pepper. The closer you slice to the stem, the hotter it gets.

An easy way to remove excess heat is to remove the membrane and the seeds from the chiles before cooking with them. Slice fresh chiles in half and then scrape out the white membrane and seeds. Dried chiles are trickier, as they should be fully hydrated with warm water before attempting to remove the tops and seeds on the inside.

To pull out the maximum amount of flavor from dried chiles, Prose recommends toasting them slightly for a minute or so before soaking. You can use the oven, but he prefers a hot, dry skillet which provides a bit more control. Don’t let the chiles toast to the point of being black or they will be extremely bitter and burnt. Just cook them for 30 seconds or so on each side until you can start to smell them. Then, you can grind them up for chile powder or hydrate them with warm water and use them for sauces.

Looking to take grilling to the next level this summer? Explore the recipes in Chiles and Smoke. With a range of delicious flavors and a commitment to quality, this book is sure to become a staple in any outdoor cooking arsenal.

Brad Prose is a longtime professional recipe developer, food writer, and culinary photographer—more recently, he has struck out on his own as the founder and force behind Chiles and Smoke™. His combined passion for fine dining and BBQ shines through his presentations and cooking style. Making his mark in the wide world of BBQ, Brad produces high-quality, unique recipes to challenge and expand the home cook’s comfort zone. He inspires his readers to use new techniques, ingredients, and ideas, applying them to the everyday food we know and love. Find him online at

The Quarto Group (LSE: QRT) creates a wide variety of books and intellectual property products, with a mission to inspire life’s experiences. Produced in many formats for adults, children, and the whole family, our products are visually appealing, information-rich and stimulating. The Group encompasses a diverse portfolio of imprints and businesses that are creatively independent and expert in developing long-lasting content across specific niches of interest. Visit or via @TheQuartoGroup on Twitter.

Andrea Burnett
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