Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Barbecue / BBQ / Bar-B-Q books

Cookbook

  • Please log in to reply
52 replies to this topic

#1 macrosan

macrosan
  • legacy participant
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 19 August 2002 - 02:34 AM

Well, after three years of careful research, planning and preparation (errr ... procrastination) I am finally going to build my new barbecue tomorrow. Unless some major mental relapse takes place, this will be a brick BBQ with two-level grill trays, an enclosed "oven" below the charcoal tray, and a smoke hood.

My past experience of BBQing has been limited to throwing unprepared lamb chops, sausages and home-made burgers onto the grill tray, and removing them when some instinct suggested they were properly cooked. I now would like to be more adventurous with marinaded chicken, steak, kebabs, fish, vegetables and whatever else proper cooks do. I'd also like to experiment with wood briquettes of different kinds.

Who knows a really good BBQ cookbook, suitable for a novice ?

#2 Huevos del Toro

Huevos del Toro
  • participating member
  • 388 posts
  • Location:Dallas, Texas

Posted 19 August 2002 - 12:19 PM

You might consider "The Best Recipe: Grilling and Barbecue" by Cooks Illustrated. You'll get a lot of the "why", as well as the "what" of it.

Amazon has it as well as the Cooks Illustrated site.
--------------
Bob Bowen
aka Huevos del Toro

#3 hollywood

hollywood
  • participating member
  • 2,814 posts

Posted 19 August 2002 - 12:23 PM

Williams Sonoma has several nice books, one of which I think is a compilation of 3 smaller ones. Check their site. It may be on sale.
I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

#4 GordonCooks

GordonCooks
  • participating member
  • 2,550 posts
  • Location:Rochester, NY

Posted 19 August 2002 - 12:26 PM

the Dinosaur Bar-B-Q book - best local stuff going.

#5 Steve Plotnicki

Steve Plotnicki
  • legacy participant
  • 5,267 posts

Posted 19 August 2002 - 01:03 PM

Macrosan - The Thrill of the Grill by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby is a great book. They probably carry it at Books for Cooks.

#6 CathyL

CathyL
  • legacy participant
  • 1,052 posts

Posted 19 August 2002 - 01:26 PM

What Steve said about Schlesinger/Willoughby. Their other 2 books, "License to Grill" and "Let the Flames Begin," are also good.

If you want to try your hand at low-and-slow, the Jamisons' "Smoke & Spice" is a classic.

#7 kpurvis

kpurvis
  • participating member
  • 505 posts
  • Location:The Charlotte (NC) Observer

Posted 19 August 2002 - 01:50 PM

Well, after three years of careful research, planning and preparation (errr ... procrastination) I am finally going to build my new barbecue tomorrow. Unless some major mental relapse takes place, this will be a brick BBQ with two-level grill trays, an enclosed "oven" below the charcoal tray, and a smoke hood.

Um, at the risk of being one of those obnoxious Southerners, I have to ask: Are you building a barbecue pit, or a grill? If you want to make barbecue, get Bob Garner's "North Carolina Barbecue, Flavored by Time," or Robb Walsh's "Legends of Texas Barbecue," or the late Jeanne Voltz' "Smoked Butts, Barbecue Ribs and Other Great Feeds." All of them have good, clear directions and advice
For grilling, I'd second all the other books mentioned, especially the Cook's Illustrated one. (I can vouch for their method for grilled duck breast.)
Sorry to get picky. Here in the South, our palms get sweaty when people use "barbecue" and "grill " interchangeably. I'm envious, actually -- I've always wanted an outdoor oven.
Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

#8 Varmint

Varmint
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,136 posts
  • Location:Raleigh, North Carolina

Posted 19 August 2002 - 02:10 PM

Listen to what kpurvis has to say, as you know what happens when Southerners get rankled a bit. :biggrin: :raz:
Dean McCord
VarmintBites

#9 Jaymes

Jaymes
  • participating member
  • 7,398 posts
  • Location:Houston, Texas

Posted 19 August 2002 - 03:06 PM

...or Robb Walsh's "Legends of Texas Barbecue"

I'd agree with that. Many wonderful recipes and good advice, as well as interesting stories. Robb Walsh is, according to the book jacket, "a two-time winner of the James Beard award."

The book is a treasure.

#10 macrosan

macrosan
  • legacy participant
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 19 August 2002 - 03:31 PM

Thanks everyone. Just to clarify terminology for my Southern adviser :smile: this will be a BBQ with a grill-tray (chromium rods) above a tray containing charcoal. What exactly is the definition of a "pit", which conjures up images of a huge hole in the ground with a whole ox being turned on the spit above by a team of servants :laugh:

#11 chefb

chefb
  • legacy participant
  • 68 posts

Posted 19 August 2002 - 03:42 PM

"How to cook meat" by the same authors as "thrill of the grill"
Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby
Check out their restaurant in Mass. "East coast grill" these guys rock.

#12 kpurvis

kpurvis
  • participating member
  • 505 posts
  • Location:The Charlotte (NC) Observer

Posted 20 August 2002 - 05:28 AM

this will be a BBQ with a grill-tray (chromium rods) above a tray containing charcoal. What exactly is the definition of a "pit", which conjures up images of a huge hole in the ground with a whole ox being turned on the spit above by a team of servants

You know, that's an interesting question. I've been involved in plenty of debates on the difference between grilling and barbecue (standard rule here in North Carolina is that barbecue is a noun, not a verb -- "if it's hot dogs and Matchlight, it ain't 'cue"). But the difference between a barbecue pit and a grill isn't one I've heard tossed around.
I suppose a grill could be anything made of metal and designed to hold coals. A pit was originally a hole in the ground filled with coals burned down from hardwood. But when people started building those big brick edifices in their backyards, it started to be common to refer to them as pits. Down here, when restaurants advertise "real pit barbecue," it usually means they are cooking over large brick constructions. (I've always thought they bear an odd resemblance to the old-fashioned baptismal founts you used to see in the backwoods. I don't even want to go where that line of thought might take me.) Anyone who's stopped at Lexington No. 1 and wandered back to the smokehouse has seen that kind of pit.
I think we started using the term "barbecue pit" to make sure we're not talking to somebody who uses "barbecue" to mean a hibachi and a burger.
I'm going to the Southern Foodways Symposium in October, where the topic this year is barbecue. I could throw out the question of what constitutes a pit and report back.
And for the moment, I'm just counting myself grateful -- when I threw that reply out yesterday, I figured somebody would have a musket to my head this morning.
:smile:
Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

#13 CathyL

CathyL
  • legacy participant
  • 1,052 posts

Posted 20 August 2002 - 03:45 PM

And for the moment, I'm just counting myself grateful -- when I threw that reply out yesterday, I figured somebody would have a musket to my head this morning.
:smile:

But you were so polite about it! No muttering about damn ignorant Yankees, no threats to string the offenders up and gut 'em with a hog knife... :biggrin:

Is that the John Edge thingy you're going to in October?

#14 kpurvis

kpurvis
  • participating member
  • 505 posts
  • Location:The Charlotte (NC) Observer

Posted 21 August 2002 - 07:18 AM

Yes, Cathy L., that's the Southern Foodways Symposium. "The Oxford food symposium" has a whole different meaning in the South.
And I never say the "Y" word. I just call them "the regionally challenged."
Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

#15 ChocoKitty

ChocoKitty
  • participating member
  • 209 posts

Posted 21 August 2002 - 08:40 AM

For absolute beginners, I like "How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen. The book helped me navigate my new grill, and now I feel reasonably comfortable around it. The recipes are very simple and the book is more focused on techniques rather than just recipes.

#16 researchgal

researchgal
  • legacy participant
  • 243 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 21 August 2002 - 02:09 PM

Also try the Complete Meat Cookbook Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. It has some great recipes and lots of info on technique for grilling meats.

I almost forgot--Weber (as in the grill company) has a grilling cookbook that is very good as well.

#17 sladeums

sladeums
  • participating member
  • 411 posts

Posted 22 August 2002 - 11:39 AM

the Dinosaur Bar-B-Q book - best local stuff going.


I'd second that, I don't see this one mentioned too much.
I picked it up at the library a while back and was very pleased with many of the recipes.

All of the Schlesinger/Willoughby books are helpful for technique.
...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

#18 APPS411

APPS411
  • participating member
  • 111 posts

Posted 22 August 2002 - 12:47 PM

I third that!
Definitely pick up the Dinosaur Bar-B-Q book.
It's got some great ideas and some real good info on BBQing. Started out as a small bar owned by bikers in Syracuse. They have won awards in a few southern competitions for their BBQ.
Also bottle and sell some of the best BBQ sauce that I have ever tasted. Must try it. Super fresh tasting. I buy it by the case!

#19 GordonCooks

GordonCooks
  • participating member
  • 2,550 posts
  • Location:Rochester, NY

Posted 22 August 2002 - 02:25 PM

the Dinosaur Bar-B-Q book - best local stuff going.


I'd second that, I don't see this one mentioned too much.
I picked it up at the library a while back and was very pleased with many of the recipes.

All of the Schlesinger/Willoughby books are helpful for technique.

Dinosaur started in Syracuse and opened in Rochester - They do 7 mil annually (includes outside catering) Those are some heavy-duty numbers.

#20 Peter B Wolf

Peter B Wolf
  • participating member
  • 1,056 posts
  • Location:Chicopee Massachusetts

Posted 22 August 2002 - 06:04 PM

Well, after three years of careful research, planning and preparation (errr ... procrastination) I am finally going to build my new barbecue tomorrow. Unless some major mental relapse takes place, this will be a brick BBQ with two-level grill trays, an enclosed "oven" below the charcoal tray, and a smoke hood........

Macrosan,
I have not yet done any planning except some crude scetches and measurements, as I found some real old bricks, now cleaned up, plus I have a few griddle, grill and other grates from a demolished JennAir Range I want to use and also build my own. Any hints or specs or plans as to how, what kind of chimney and in which area of the back yard to place that thing would be of great help. Please be so kind. You can email me if you so wish and are willing to do so.Thank you.
Peter

#21 macrosan

macrosan
  • legacy participant
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 23 August 2002 - 01:33 AM

Peter, mine isn't that grand ! I couldn't find any commercial size grill trays, so I've bought the biggest "kit" I could find on the retail market (30" wide). I have built the BBQ against the main chimney breast of the house, and I'm trying now to find a commercial hood/extractor made in stainless steel to fix above the BBQ, venting the smoke into the chimney stack.

Apart from that, it's a simple U-shaped brick structure. Nothing special.

Thanks to everyone for all your suggestions for books. I'm getting two of them, and I have a lot of reading to do :smile: I will report back in a month or so on how I found the books.

#22 infernooo

infernooo
  • participating member
  • 364 posts

Posted 06 June 2007 - 03:40 PM

Hi everyone!

Well I have had a LONG look through amazon, and there seem to be lots of recommended and not-recommended books on barbecuing....

I understand that many pit masters and champions keep secrets to themselves, but I assume there must still be some good books out there on the subject.

I am looking for a highly recommended book listing barbecuing procedures and great recipes (the recipes are primarily the focal point). I am mainly interested in:
* Brisket
* Pulled Pork
* Ribs
* Baked Beans


I also understand there are numerous styles of barbecue (sweet, tomatoey, mustardey, vinegarey, ketchupey), but I like them all, so it doesn't matter which style[s] the book is based on or if it covers multiple styles.

I already have the following books:

How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques by Steven Raichlen (Good)

Barbecue! Bible : by Steven Raichlen (Good)

Dr. BBQ's Barbecue All Year Long! Cookbook - by Ray Lampe aka Dr. BBQ (Not very good).


Thanks!

Edited by infernooo, 06 June 2007 - 05:19 PM.


#23 Slamdunkpro

Slamdunkpro
  • participating member
  • 79 posts
  • Location:Springfield, VA

Posted 06 June 2007 - 04:04 PM

Two good references are Smoke and Spice by Cheryl & Bill Jamison and Barbecue Secrets by Ron Shewchuk.

Realize that the recipes for real Q are pretty simple on the order of "Brisket - rub with spice mixture, place in smoker, pull when done. It can be that simple; in fact I've got a couple of BBQ books that are written pretty much like that.

Good Q in many cases comes down to expierence and practice.

Best of luck!

#24 Lilija

Lilija
  • participating member
  • 772 posts
  • Location:New Jersey

Posted 06 June 2007 - 04:23 PM

I love The Barbecue Bible, and BBQ USA, both by Steven Raichlen. Both have many great recipes, thoroughly explained techniques, origins, and stories. The latter might be more on target for you, but both are great.


Edit to add: The Barbecue Bible focuses on ingrendients, and styles he discovers throughout the world, along with side dishes, and drinks. BBQ USA has a similar layout, but it focuses, in great detail, on American barbecue, in it's many incarnations.

Edited by Lilija, 06 June 2007 - 04:26 PM.


#25 infernooo

infernooo
  • participating member
  • 364 posts

Posted 06 June 2007 - 05:19 PM

Thanks!

Lilija: I forgot to mention in my original post, I've got the following books already:

How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques by Steven Raichlen (Good)

Barbecue! Bible : by Steven Raichlen (Good)

Dr. BBQ's Barbecue All Year Long! Cookbook - by Ray Lampe aka Dr. BBQ (Not very good).

#26 Lilija

Lilija
  • participating member
  • 772 posts
  • Location:New Jersey

Posted 06 June 2007 - 06:56 PM

Heh, besides those, I learned a lot from (I might be dating myself here...) the barbecue chapter of "Frugal Gourmet Cooks American" or something like that.

Still, at least take a look at the USA one, then, there's an entire chapter on beans alone. I have both, and I don't feel that they overlap much.

#27 Slamdunkpro

Slamdunkpro
  • participating member
  • 79 posts
  • Location:Springfield, VA

Posted 06 June 2007 - 09:21 PM

Raichlen's books are more grilling books vs. true BBQ books. Big difference.

Edited by Slamdunkpro, 06 June 2007 - 09:22 PM.


#28 snowangel

snowangel
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 8,140 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted 07 June 2007 - 09:26 AM

Any chance you can get to the library and check out any of the books you are considering? It's an excellent way to make sure, in advance, that you'll use and enjoy the book. Not long ago, I was at Half Price Books and saw a book on BBQ (can't remember the name). Upon opening it to a random page, when I saw that they recommended bringing the butt to room temp and slapping it on a 350 degree smoker, I ran (not walked) way. Honestly, I was tempted to buy the book and spare an unsuspecting customer from such blasphemy!

And, don't forget to check out these topics on eGullet:

Behold My Butt
Smokin' Brisket
Ribs - Baby Back and Spare
Baked Beans

The collective wisdom and advice in these topics is invaluable and quite a compendium. When it comes to the ribs, butt and brisket topic, almost every problem is addressed, as it doing the meat on a wide variety of smokers and grills.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#29 infernooo

infernooo
  • participating member
  • 364 posts

Posted 07 June 2007 - 05:26 PM

Hi snowangel!

Thanks for the advice... unfortunately the libraries here stock very little internationally produced cookbooks, and I have never seen a Barbecue book (barbecue in the USA sense of the word, not the AU sense).
However, I have been looking through Amazon where you can look inside some books, but there are still so many of them :-).

p.s. yes have read all of those threads and bookmarked specific posts - I'm the kind of person where I can never have too much information on a topic :-).

Thanks again!

#30 Daddy-A

Daddy-A
  • legacy participant
  • 3,240 posts
  • Location:Burnaby, BC

Posted 08 June 2007 - 07:30 AM

Here are the books I use most often for reference:

Barbecue Secrets by Canadian BBQ champion, Rockin' Ronnie Shewchuck.
A good all round reference book, with some excellent recipes for sides, sauces and slaws.

Cooks Illustrated Guide to Grilling and Barbecue
You can't go wrong with CI. All the basics are covered. If I had to suggest one book, this would probably be it

Barbecuing, Grilling & Smoking from the California Culinary Academy
My favorite resource for brines and cooking temperatures. I reference this one all the time

The best reference is of course, your own notes. You are taking notes, right? :wink: When you smoke that perfect rack of ribs, you'll have all the information documented, and will be much more likely to repeat.

A.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Cookbook