Guga Releases First Cookbook

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Get ready to break the barbecue rules with Guga, the creator of the famous Guga Foods YouTube channel with over four million followers.
His new cookbook, “Guga: Breaking the Barbecue Rules” is set to release on April 25th and features over 90 bold and delicious recipes.
From traditional barbecue recipes like smoked brisket, Texas-style ribs, and steak to Guga’s unique creations like his famous Doritos steak, Korean-style chicken wings, and sweet-and-spicy pork belly, this cookbook has it all.

You’ll also find recipes for mouth-watering sides like smoked mac and cheese, elotes, and Brazilian deep-fried bananas.
Guga offers expert cooking tips and straightforward instructions for techniques like dry-aging, smoking, and deep-frying. In this article, we’ll introduce you to three of his most popular recipes: Birria tacos, Doritos steak, and smoked picanha.


Stop eating boring chicken!

These thighs are not only easy to make, they have incredible flavour and can even be made into a weeknight meal if you want to shorten the marinating time. If anyone in your family doesn’t like chicken, I promise this one will be a winner winner chicken dinner with them!

Prep: 10 minutes MARINATE: 10 hours COOK: 30 to 40 minutes REST: 5 to 10 minutes SERVES: 5

3lb to 5lb (1.35kg to 2.25kg) skin-on chicken thighs

2–3 sprigs fresh rosemary, divided

Sprig of fresh thyme

8 tbsp salted butter

2 tbsp Guga’s BBQ Rub (p. 200), divided

5 medium lemons


4 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp salt

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp sriracha sauce

TIP: You can use a vacuum sealer or vacuum chamber to speed up the marinating process. The marinade will penetrate deeper and the chicken will taste even better.


Pat the thighs dry with paper towels. Trim away any excess fat, but leave the skin intact. Set aside. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined. Place the chicken thighs in the bowl with the marinade, toss to coat the thighs in the marinade. Cover and transfer to the fridge to marinate overnight or up to 10 hours. (Marinating overnight will yield the best flavour, but if you’re in a hurry, you can reduce the marinating time to one to two hours.)
When the marinating time is complete, remove the thighs from the marinade and place them skin sides down on a cooling rack. Set aside. Prep the basting “brush” by using butcher’s twine to tie a rosemary sprig and thyme sprig to the brush end of a regular basting brush. Make a basting butter by adding the butter and 1 tablespoon of Guga’s BBQ Rub in a small bowl. Microwave it until the butter is melted. Stir. Season only the flesh sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon of Guga’s BBQ Rub. (The thighs should be nice and wet with the marinade, so the rub should stick well. Do not season the skin sides.) Place the thighs in the fridge while you get the grill ready.


Set up the grill for two-zone cooking. Preheat to 400°F (204°C). Cut the lemons in half and set them aside. Place the chicken thighs, skin sides down, over indirect heat. Cook for 15 minutes, and then open the lid and use the herb “brush” to baste the thighs with the basting butter. Carefully flip the thighs to be skin sides up. Grill for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 175°F (79°C). (If the skin is sticking to the grill grates, give the thighs another 5 to 10 minutes on the grill and they should release.) When the thighs reach temperature, move them to the direct heat side and sear for one minute per side. Keep flipping them until they are nice and golden brown. (A little char is okay.) Transfer to a serving platter. Place the lemon halves over the indirect heat and grill until they develop nice grill marks. Transfer to the platter with the chicken thighs. Set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with the remaining rosemary twigs. (Encourage your guests to squeeze as much lemon juice as they desire over the chicken because it will be very delicious!)


If the skin gets too sticky, it may be because you’re using lower quality chicken thighs. I recommend using organic chicken thighs, which will have less fat than conventional chicken thighs. If the fat under the skin isn’t rendering properly, that’s likely why they are sticking to the grates. If they do get stuck, try using a fish spatula to remove them, and do all you can not to damage the skin because that will be the best part!


Forget about using only salt for this one! For smoking picanha, you’ll want to season the meat with your favorite rub, or you can use one of my rubs. This is a thick piece of meat, so seasoning it properly is crucial to getting a great tasting smoked picanha.

PREP: 10 minutes COOK: 1 hour 10 minutes REST: 10 minutes SERVES: 5

3–5lb (1.35–2.25kg) picanha (top sirloin cap)

Coarse kosher salt

Guga’s BBQ Rub (p. 200) or other

BBQ rub of your choice


Pat the picanha dry with paper towels. Using a boning knife, remove the silver skin from only the meat side of the picanha. Flip the picanha over to expose the fat side. Score the fat cap and underlying silver skin in a criss-cross pattern to about the same width you will be cutting your slices, but try not to cut too far into the meat. I like to cut my slices to about ¼ inch wide (0.65cm). (If the fat cap and the underlying silver skin aren’t scored, the end of the picanha will curl into a ball.) Lightly season all sides with kosher salt, and then liberally season all sides with Guga’s BBQ Rub.


Preheat the smoker to 250°F (121°C). (This temperature will yield a medium-rare to medium result, with the edges being be more medium. If you prefer a fully medium-rare result, reduce the smoker temperature to 200°F [93°C].) Place the picanha in the smoker. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 135°F (57°C), about one hour. While the picanha is smoking, set up the grill for direct cooking and preheat to 500°F (260°C). (Make sure the fi re is hot!). When the picanha reaches the proper temperature, remove it from the smoker and pat it dry with paper towels. Using long tongs, hold the picanha on the hot grill surface. Sear the meat sides first, and then sear the fat cap. Expect fire, lots of iffier. Remember that fat burns quickly, but you don’t want to burn the fat. You are looking for golden-brown colour. (If you don’t have a grill, move the meat to the rack closest to the fi re box in the smoker to get the sear. If you are already using your grill to smoke the picanha, you’ll need to make sure you set up your grill for two-zone cooking.) Immediately wrap the picanha tightly in aluminum foil. Set it aside to rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice the rested picanha against the grain and into ¼-inch-wide (0.65cmwide) slices. (Congratulations! Heaven has just opened up!)


From my hometown in Brazil, Uberaba, Minas Gerais, I bring you the world-famous Pão de Queijo, also known as Brazilian cheese bread. This bread is made in just about every Brazilian churrascaria (a Brazilian style steak restaurant). It’s easy to make and is really an amazing recipe!

2 cups whole milk

½ cup vegetable oil

5 cups tapioca starch

2 tsp fi ne table salt

2 large eggs

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Combine the milk and vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Bring just to a boil, and then remove from the heat. Combine the tapioca starch and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Begin mixing the tapioca starch and salt with a hand mixer or stand mixer while slowly adding the milk–vegetable oil mixture. Add the eggs and continue mixing until the ingredients are combined. Add the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Stir until a dough is formed.


Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).

Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil. Spray a light layer of nonstick cooking spray onto the foil. Using two spoons, form the dough into small balls, and then place the balls on the prepared baking tray.
Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown. (This bread will last up to 6 months in the freezer.)

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