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Case Number 19876: Small Claims Court

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Primal Grill: Volume Three

MicroCinema // 2010 // 155 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // October 9th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Roy Hrab's grill is primed for some primal grilling.

The Charge

…the hottest series on public television.

The Case

Primal Grill: Volume Three presents five episodes from Season Three of chef Steven Raichlen's public television cooking series. There are actually thirteen episodes in the third season, but for reasons not explained, only five have been released on this DVD. The third season of sees Raichlen demonstrate recipes he picked from around the world when writing his book Planet Barbecue.

The episodes (and recipes) are:

• "Primal Grill"
Mussels on pine needles, salmon on a stick, fire-grilled garlic bread, and "Caveman" T-Bone steaks.

• "Asia's Crossroads"
Singapore beef sates, Guamian Chicken Salad, Malaysian swordfish in banana leaves, and Cambodian corn.

• "Spanish Smoke"
Shrimp, salt-grilled rib steak, calcots (a variety of green onion) with romesco sauce, and Catalan cream.

• "Out of Africa"
Piri Piri wings, sosaties (lamb and pork skewers), and Kenyan spit-roasted lamb.

• "Primal Grill for a Crowd"
Mexican fish tacos, Kobe-beef sliders, Bosnian pljeskavica (a large patty made with ground beef and ground pork or veal), and orange-brined turkey.

The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is solid; the colors of the dishes, flames, and glowing embers of the grills are clean and bright. The Dolby 2.0 stereo mix is crystal clear.

The extras include five bonus recipes: Chicken in a salt crust, German Spiessbraten (spit-roasted, stuffed pork tenderloin), Sweet and Sour Duck, Wood-oven Pizzas, and Vegetable Mixed Grill. There is also a collection of behind-the-scenes clips.

Primal Grill is a decent, by the numbers cooking show. Raichlen goes about his business in a very methodical, systematic, and sometimes stiff manner. Occasionally, he speaks in a strange mechanical way that betrays some discomfort with being in front of a camera. As a result, the show seriously lacks the dynamism of standard Food Network fare (e.g., Bobby Flay or Guy Fieri).

Further, Primal Grill is geared more towards grilling and barbecue connoisseurs than the general public. I say this because while the recipes appear to be really tasty and pretty easy to prepare, there is a catch to the "ease" of preparation. Raichlen makes use of the full array of outdoor cooking technology, ranging from gas and charcoal grills, a wood burning oven, bee-hive oven, hibachi, kamado, smoker, spit-roasting capability, and even a fire pit. Like me, most viewers will likely only have access to one or two of these instruments (unless you're a fanatic who spends all your money on these things). As a result, it's questionable how many of these recipes the average viewer will be able to attempt in practice. For example, I won't be making a fire pit and buying wooden stakes to make salmon on a stick anytime soon, but I will definitely be trying the Piri Piri Chicken.

Overall, there is no arguing with results and most of the dishes on Primal Grill look delicious. If you fancy yourself a grillmeister, it's worth a look.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 74

Perp Profile

Studio: MicroCinema
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 155 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Instructional
• Reality TV
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Recipes
• Featurette


• IMDb
• Official Site

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