It's July, Why not Barbecue?

Image
Summer is time to Barbecue

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines barbecue as roasting or broiling food, such as meat, usually slowly and with exposure to low heat and smoke.

Even though there is a general definition of how to barbecue, we all do it a little differently.

The American barbecue tradition is deeply rooted in an area of the United States dubbed the ”barbecue belt,” stretching from Texas to Kansas City. But you can't leave out the barbecue in the South, from the Atlantic to the Gulf barbecue may be more American than apple pie. American barbecue usually breaks into four distinct traditions, Carolina, Texas, Memphis, and Kansas City.

Carolina barbecue is broken into two regional types, North and South Carolina. Both styles favor pork as the main meat. In North Carolina the meat is brushed with a vinegar and spice mix while being cooked, then the meat is served with a ketchup-based sauce on the side. In South Carolina pit masters usually cook the entire hog. South Carolina sauce and rub always uses elements of mustard. In South Carolina cooks use their rub and sauce before cooking. Once done the meat is usually served with beans and coleslaw.

Texas barbecue is usually made with ribs, brisket, or sausage. There is a simple salt and pepper rub that is applied before cooking, the flavor and taste of the meat is gained from the type of wood used to smoke the meat. The meat is cooked traditionally slow and low over oak or pecan wood for upwards of 12 hours. When finished the typical Texas barbecue is served with beans and cornbread. 

In Memphis barbecue, like the others, the favorite meat to barbecue is pork. Usually, you will find Memphis barbecue made with pork ribs or pulled pork. Traditionally the pork is rubbed with a dry rub before cooking. The rubs used in Memphis barbecue can vary and will usually contain more than 40 spices, but the two that have to be in the mix are paprika and garlic. As the meat is cooked, the pitmaster will watch over the process but not interfere. In Memphis barbecue, no sauce or spice is applied during the cooking process. The flavor of the meat is gained through the smoke of the wood, usually hickory. Finish off with a tomato-based sauce, always served on the side with coleslaw, cornbread, beans, green, and mac and cheese.

Kansas City barbecue has no specific meat that is preferred, it's more of a process and sauce that is traditional of Kansas City barbecue. Kansas City has a strong history of being a meatpacking hub, so any meat will do. Whatever meat is chosen it's covered with a spicy wet rub and cooked slow and low over hickory wood. The signature dish of Kansas City barbecue is burnt ends. After cooking, the meat is served with a sweet and tangy molasses-tomato mixture on the side as a dipping sauce. This thick sauce is what most people think of as the traditional store-bought BBQ sauce. When done cooking your Kansas City barbecue is served with beans and coleslaw.

A Little History of Barbecue
When early Spanish explorers came to the Americas they encountered indigenous tribes cooking meat over indirect flame. The people used green wood to keep the food and wood from burning. The meat was cooked on a rack over the hot smoke. The Spanish called this new style of cooking barbacoa. This was the original barbecue. As more explorers came to the Americas and pushed North, they took the barbecue cooking technique with them. In 1540, Hernando de Soto documented his encounter with a Chickasaw tribe near present-day Tupelo Mississippi. The tribesmen made a feast for de Soto and barbecued pork. Eventually, the barbecue style made its way as far North as the colonies in Virginia.  

From its early roots in the Caribbean and Central America to the present-day American obsession, barbecue has proven its popularity, and deliciousness, through the ages. 

Please enjoy this book list of BBQ reading that we hope will inspire your next great barbecue.
 

Let's Get Cooking!

Image
Rodney Scott's World of BBQ

Rodney Scott's World of BBQ: Every Day is a Good Day by Rodney Scott 

Rodney Scott was born with barbecue in his blood. He cooked his first whole hog, a specialty of South Carolina barbecue, when he was just eleven years old. At the time, he was cooking at Scott's Bar-B-Q, his family's barbecue spot in Hemingway, South Carolina. Now, four decades later, he owns one of the country's most awarded and talked-about barbecue joints, Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston.

In this cookbook, co-written by award-winning writer Lolis Eric Elie, Rodney spills what makes his pit-smoked turkey, barbecued spare ribs, smoked chicken wings, hush puppies, Ella's Banana Puddin', and award-winning whole hog so special. Moreover, his recipes make it possible to achieve these special flavors yourself, whether you're a barbecue pro or a novice. From the ins and outs of building your own pit to poignant essays on South Carolinian foodways and traditions, this stunningly photographed cookbook is the ultimate barbecue reference. It is also a powerful work of storytelling. In this modern American success story, Rodney details how he made his way from the small town where he worked for his father in the tobacco fields and in the smokehouse, to the sacrifices he made to grow his family's business, and the tough decisions he made to venture out on his own in Charleston.
 

Image
American Grill

American Grill: 125 Recipes for Mastering Live Fire by Tyler Florence 

In this ultimate grilling guide, chef, bestselling author, restaurateur, and beloved star of Food Network’s Tyler’s Ultimate embraces his love of deluxe American comfort food to teach readers how to char, caramelize, and marinate to perfection.

Tyler Florence’s American Grill is the grilling cookbook for foodies, with techniques and recipes for upping your skillset and learning how to make a perfect steak, grill vegetables, fruit, fish, and more.

With delicious reimaginings of all your favorite staples from mouthwatering Barbeque Chicken Lollipops to spicy Calabrian Chile Buffalo Shrimp Skewers to sizzling Grilled Ratatouille, American Grill is the perfect cookbook to up the ante and create smokin’ hot recipes.
 

Image
Asada

Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling by Bricia Lopez 

Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral, the James Beard Award–nominated authors of Oaxaca, are back with the first major cookbook about how to create asada—Mexican-style grilled meat—at home.

In millions of backyards across Southern California, an asada means a gathering of family, friends, great music, cold drinks, good times, and community—all centered around the primal allure of juicy, smoky grilled meat with flavors and spices traditional to Mexico. The smell of asada is a cloud of joy that lingers in the streets of Los Angeles.

With Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling, Mexican food authorities Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral offer more than 100 recipes that show you how to prepare the right dishes and drinks for your next carne asada gathering. Asada will both guide you in crafting mouthwatering food and also inspire the right laidback atmosphere.

Everyone says they love a spicy margarita and asada tacos, but very few understand the culture that informs these flavors. Divided into the eight crucial elements of any carne asada: botanas (appetizers), carnes (meats), mariscos (seafood), side dishes and vegetables, salsas, aguas frescas, cocktails, and dessert, Asada walks you through every step. From Lopez’s secret “michelada marinade” to game-changing salsas that will elevate any grilled meat, this cookbook is the ultimate guide to making and beginning to understand the magic of asada.
 

Image
Franklin Barbecue A Meat Smoking Manifesto

Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay 

When Aaron Franklin and his wife, Stacy, opened up a small barbecue trailer on the side of an Austin, Texas, interstate in 2009, they had no idea what they’d gotten themselves into. Today, Franklin Barbecue has grown into the most popular, critically lauded, and obsessed-over barbecue joint in the country (if not the world)—and Franklin is the winner of every major barbecue award there is.
 
In this much-anticipated debut, Franklin and coauthor Jordan Mackay unlock the secrets behind truly great barbecue, and share years’ worth of hard-won knowledge. Franklin Barbecue is a definitive resource for the backyard pitmaster, with chapters dedicated to building or customizing your own smoker; finding and curing the right wood; creating and tending perfect fires; sourcing top-quality meat; and of course, cooking mind-blowing, ridiculously delicious barbecue, better than you ever thought possible.
 

Image
Black Smoke

Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue by Adrian Miller 

Across America, the pure love and popularity of barbecue cookery have gone through the roof. Prepared in one regional style or another, in the South and beyond, barbecue is one of the nation's most distinctive culinary arts. And people aren't just eating it; they're also reading books and articles and watching TV shows about it. But why is it, asks Adrian Miller—admitted 'cuehead and longtime certified barbecue judge—that in today's barbecue culture African Americans don't get much love?

In Black Smoke, Miller chronicles how Black barbecuers, pitmasters, and restauranteurs helped develop this cornerstone of American foodways and how they are coming into their own today. It's a smoke-filled story of Black perseverance, culinary innovation, and entrepreneurship. Though often pushed to the margins, African Americans have enriched a barbecue culture that has come to be embraced by all. Miller celebrates and restores the faces and stories of the men and women who have influenced this American cuisine. This beautifully illustrated chronicle also features 22 barbecue recipes collected just for this book.
 

Image
VBQ The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook

VBQ: The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook: Over 80 Recipes, Seared, Skewered, Smoking Hot! by Nadine Horn 

Calling all vegans: it’s your turn at the grill!

BBQ, make way for VBQ: smoky, succulent, and completely plant-based barbecued fare. Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer have transformed the art of grilling into a veggie lover’s feast―complete with Grilled Bok Choy and Peppered Tofu Steak and everything in between. Here are over 80 recipes to satisfy every craving for food that’s fresh and fiery:

  • BBQ classics: Eggplant Hot Dogs, Cauliflower Cutlets, Pulled Mushrooms Sandwiches
  • Savory sides and sauces: Crunchy Coleslaw, Grilled Potato Salad, Cashew Sour Cream
  • Global inventions: Eggplant Gyros, Tandoori Tofu Skewers, Vietnamese Pizza

Over 100 mouth-watering photos prove it: VBQ takes everything you love about BBQ and adds a kick of color, creativity, and flavor. Plus, Horn and Mayer’s illustrated guide to tools and techniques takes the guesswork out of using a chimney starter, getting the perfect char on your asparagus and tofu, and more.
 

Image
Americas Best BBQ

America's Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America's Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants by Ardie A. Davis and Chef Paul Kirk 

Hungry for something different? Then try America's Best BBQ. Here, two of the world's top barbecue experts present their favorite barbecue recipes from across America.

Only Ardie and Paul, the go-to sources on barbecue, can earn the trust—and the secret recipes—from some of the nation's barbecue legends.

Tasty sides include tips, tricks, techniques, fun memorabilia, full-color photos, and firsthand recollections of tales from the pits culled from over a century of combined barbecue experience.

With more than 100 recipes for mouthwatering starters, moist and flavorful meats, classic side dishes, sauces and rubs, and decadent desserts, this book should come with its own wet-nap.

  • Whether it's spicy or sweet, Texas or Memphis, this is the best collection of American barbecue recipes.
  • Ardie's BBQ alter ego, Remus Powers, PhB, has earned profiles in many barbecue books, tons of magazines, and more than a few national newspapers. He's graced the Food Network and PBS, appearing in various documentaries on 'cue and great American cuisine.
  • Paul has appeared on The Today Show, Discovery Channel, CBS This Morning, Talk Soup, and Anthony Bourdain's A Cook's Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal. He was also featured in AARP's Modern Maturity Magazine, Saveur, and The Calgary Herald, and he has written articles for Food and Wine, Fine Cooking, and Chili Pepper magazine.
     
Image
Souths Best Butts

The South's Best Butts: Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection by Matt Moore 

In The South’s Best Butts, food writer and Southern gentleman, Matt Moore, waves away clouds of smoke to give barbecue-lovers a sneak peek into the kitchens and smokehouses of a handful of the Barbecue Belt’s most revered pitmasters. He uncovers their tried-and-true techniques gleaned over hours, days, and years toiling by fire and spit, coaxing meltingly tender perfection from the humble pig—the foundation of Southern BBQ. More than a book of recipes, Matt explores how the marriage of meat, cooking method, and sauce varies from place to place based on history and culture, climate, available ingredients and wood, and always the closely guarded, passed-down secrets followed like scripture. Because no meat plate is complete in the South without “all the fixin’s” to round out the meal, Matt cues up patron-sanctioned recipes from every establishment he visits. One thing is for certain… this book will change the way you cook, smoke, grill, and eat, but be warned: Your own butt may suffer in the process.
 

Image
Horn Barbecue

Horn Barbecue: Recipes and Techniques from a Master of the Art of BBQ by Matt Horn 

Master the art of genuine smoke-cooked barbecue with 70 mouthwatering recipes, smoking techniques, and BBQ wisdom from star pitmaster Matt Horn.

Not only will you learn how to make classics of Texas- and Carolina-style BBQ, like brisket and pulled pork, you will expand your BBQ repertoire to include “West Coast Barbecue,” the signature style that has made Horn famous, with recipes like Smoked Tri-Tip, Burn Barrel Chicken, and Jalapeno Cheddar Links.

Rookies who just bought their first backyard smoker (or who want to smoke on a standard grill) as well as seasoned BBQ veterans will find a whole world of new ideas in this authoritative guide to cooking low and slow over smoky, smoldering woods.

Following a thorough introduction to smoking, including types of smokers, how to turn your existing grill into a smoker, barbecue tools, best meat cuts for smoking, and answers to the most common questions about smoking, you’ll learn how to make crave-worthy things like:

  • Pork Ribs, Beef Ribs, Pork Shoulder, and Burnt Ends
  • Matt’s grandmother’s amazing recipe for Smoked Oxtails
  • Southern-style classics, like Hot Link, Smoked Catfish, and Smoked Jambalaya
  • Texas-style Beef Brisket, in Matt’s unique style
  • Easy-to-make sides, such as Smoked Pit Beans, Cornbread, Hoe Cakes, Collards, and Candied Yams
  • Crowd-pleaser desserts, from Banana Pudding to Peach Cobbler to Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Horn, one of Food & Wine’s ten “Best New Chefs” for 2021, is the most exciting new talent in American barbecue in years. His Horn Barbecue restaurant in Oakland, California, recently awarded a rare “Michelin Bib Gourmand” designation, has lines outside that run for blocks and hundreds of rave reviews in the media. The draw? Cooked-to-perfection meats rubbed, mopped, basted, and sauced the way good BBQ should be, plus comforting sides and fixins’ and inspired desserts and drinks. Now the restaurant’s secret recipes, and many more from Matt’s own personal repertoire, are revealed in the pages of this exciting, user-friendly, and beautifully photographed book.

So what sets this cookbook apart from the rest? Matt’s original barbecue style. Other barbecue cookbooks focus on one regional tradition, such as Texas or the Carolinas. Matt draws on both of those traditions—and recipes from them appear liberally in this book—but he draws on other traditions as well and adds his own California-style spin to the mix, by working in lots of veggies and fruits and by featuring things like poultry and seafood, which are non-traditional BBQ proteins.

Matt also tells his own inspiring story of how he learned to make BBQ and open a restaurant, and about how his journey echoes and continues the glorious lineage of Black barbecue in the US—an amazing yet often unknown history.
 

Image
Big Moe's Big Book of BBQ

Big Moe's Big Book of BBQ: 75 Recipes from Brisket and Ribs to Cornbread and Mac and Cheese by Moe Cason 

Pitmaster Moe Cason shares 75 of his family-favorite recipes, from his beloved brisket to his world-famous mac-n-cheese.

Having competed in more than 250 national and international barbecue competitions, “Big Moe” Cason is the country’s undisputed king of brisket and pitmaster extraordinaire. In his debut cookbook, he reveals the secrets of creating amazing flavor with fire and smoke with 75 family-favorite recipes.

The 75 mouth-watering recipes gathered in these beautifully photographed pages showcase time-tested techniques and recipes, from smoked bone-in Tomahawk steaks to a 14-hour turkey brine. Savor a secret-ingredient mac-n-cheese that wowed Steve Harvey, a generations-old family recipe for sweet-and-savory cornbread, and perfectly seasoned collard greens. Cason offers expert guidance on different types of smokers and grills, filling the pantry with time-tested spice rubs and marinades, selecting the perfect cut of meat, and more. Recipes include:

  • Fall-apart tender Texas brisket
  • Sweet and spicy pork ribs
  • Smoked pork shoulder
  • Hawaiian Burgers with pineapple, soy sauce, and feta cheese
  • Spicy mac-n-cheese
  • Collard greens
  • Cornbread
  • Homemade black-eyed peas

Filled with unique and flavorful recipes, this delectable cookbook will help you unlock the secrets of amazing barbecue flavor.
 

Image
Franklin Smoke Wood Fire Food

Franklin Smoke: Wood. Fire. Food. by Aaron Franklin 

Aaron Franklin, bestselling author and proprietor of Austin hotspot Franklin Barbecue, turns to backyard live-fire grilling and smoking in Franklin Smoke. Along with award-winning food writer Jordan Mackay, Franklin addresses the mysterious area where smoker and grill intersect, describing when and how to best combine the two. This complete resource, which features inspiring and helpful photographs, proves that lighting a backyard fire is no big deal on a weeknight—and that you can (and should!) cook this way for fuller flavors and a deeper engagement with the elements. 

The trick is in treating fire as an ingredient, not a medium. Franklin and Mackay detail strategies for executing meals over the full lifespan of a fire, employing low- and high-heat techniques as well as indirect cooking and smoking. Whether you’re an old pro looking for new tips or have just purchased your first grill or smoker, the book shares expert techniques designed for any type of backyard grill, from inexpensive kettle-style grills, Big Green Eggs, offset cookers, and hand-built fire pits.

Featuring detailed chapters on tools, techniques, and methods of grilling and smoking a variety of ingredients, Franklin Smoke answers all of your burning questions—from “How do I smoke a whole turkey?” to "What kind of wood should I use?”—while offering delicious new ways to incorporate both fire and smoke into your everyday cooking.
 

Image
Guga

Guga: Breaking the Barbecue Rules by Gustavo Tosta 

A bold new cookbook from the most adventurous BBQ guru on YouTube.

There are lots of barbecue gurus out there, but Guga (aka Gustavo Tosta) does it just a bit differently and bit more boldly. Through his popular Guga Foods YouTube channel, Guga teaches his fans how to make out-of-this-world barbecue, as well as incredible sides, sandwiches, tacos, sauces, and more. In Guga: Breaking the Barbecue Rules, Guga shows readers how to make traditional barbecue recipes like smoked brisket, Texas-style ribs, and steak, but he also adds his larger-than-life flair to recipes like picanha (a Brazilian specialty), Korean-style chicken wings, and sweet-and-spicy pork belly. In addition to barbecue recipes, this beautiful cookbook contains recipes for sides like smoked mac and cheese, Japanese potato salad, and elotes (grilled Mexican street corn), fried bacon bread knots, and even Brazilian deep-fried bananas. Guga will teach even the most seasoned barbecue connoisseurs some new tricks, and beginning enthusiasts will learn how to take barbecue to an entirely different level. This is not just another barbecue book!

Here's what's inside:

  • 100 amazing recipes that will inspire even the most seasoned BBQ fans, including recipes for beef, pork, poultry, and fish, as well as recipes for sandwiches, sides, sauces, rubs, and more!
  • Beautiful photography throughout the book.
  • Expert cooking tips and tricks that Guga’s fans have come to love and appreciate.
  • Simple, straightforward instructions for techniques like dry-aging, smoking, deep-frying, and more.
     
Image
The Backyard BBQ Bible 100 Recipes for Outdoor Grilling

The Backyard BBQ Bible: 100+ Recipes for Outdoor Grilling by Oscar Smith 

It’s time to fire up the grill and cook some fire-licking good food.

The Backyard BBQ Bible is your guide to getting the best out of your barbecue – whether it’s a modest charcoal stand-alone or a gas-burning beast with all the bells and whistles.
 
Inside you’ll find more than 100 recipes designed for cooking in the great outdoors. We’ve covered the very best ingredients that taste even better when cooked over a grill – chicken, beef, lamb, pork, seafood, and veggies, as well as options for side dishes and even desserts.
 
So fire up and get cooking!
 

Image
The Green Barbecue: Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes to Cook Outdoors & In

The Green Barbecue: Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes to Cook Outdoors & In by Rukmini Iyer 

Fire up the barbecue and grab your tongs―these 75 plant-forward recipes guarantee a flavorful and fun cookout!

If you thought “meat-free” and “barbecue” were opposing concepts, think again: Rukmini Iyer’s collection of delicious grill recipes is delightfully plant-based. As a vegetarian, Iyer is always crafting knockout veggie-centered dishes that highlight the unique flavors and textures of plant-based cooking. At the grill, her creativity comes to life, from appetizers and salads to hearty mains and sweet treats. Her showstopping vegan and vegetarian BBQ dishes will take any cookout from standard to standout.

Whether you’re looking for light bites, barbecuing on the go, preparing a flexitarian feast, or simply broadening your BBQ horizons, these recipes are simple and simply fantastic. Iyer’s menu includes: Griddled Cherries with Warm Goat Cheese, Crispy Barbecue Tofu Lettuce Wraps, Simple Sage & Onion Cannellini Burgers, Cinnamon Griddled Pineapple, and more. Complete with vibrant photos and inventive tips for using leftovers, this is a must-have for the plant-obsessed home cook.

Descriptions adapted from the publisher.
By Brad on July 8, 2024