Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

macrosan

Barbecue / BBQ / Bar-B-Q books

Recommended Posts

macrosan   

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 ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CathyL   

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kpurvis   
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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Varmint   

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jaymes   
...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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
macrosan   

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chefb   

"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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kpurvis   
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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CathyL   
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kpurvis   

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."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sladeums   
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
APPS411   

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
macrosan   

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilija   

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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Chris Hennes
      I just got a copy of Grace Young's "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge"—I enjoyed cooking from "Breath of a Wok" and wanted to continue on that path. Does anyone else have this book? Have you cooked anything from it?

      Here was dinner tonight:

      Spicy Dry-Fried Beef (p. 70)

      I undercooked the beef just a bit due to a waning propane supply (I use an outdoor propane-powered wok burner), but there's nothing to complain about here. It's a relatively mild dish that lets the flavors of the ingredients (and the wok) speak. Overall I liked it, at will probably make it again (hopefully with a full tank of gas).


    • By CanadianSportsman
      Greetings,

      I've cooked several recipes from Keller's "Bouchon" the last couple of weeks, and have loved them all! At the moment (as in right this minute) I'm making the boeuf Bourguignon, and am a little confused about the red wine reduction. After reducing the wine, herbs, and veg for nearly an hour now, I'm nowhere near the consistancy of a glaze that Keller specifies. In fact, it looks mostly like the veg is on the receiving end of most of it. Is this how the recipe is meant to be? Can anybody tell me what kind of yield is expected? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, kindly. 
    • By Paul Fink
      This unfortunately titled book changed my life. I always enjoyed cooking and idealized Julia Child &
      Jacque Pepin. But I was a typical home cook. I would see a recipe and try to duplicate it little understanding about what I was doing.
       
      Cooking the Nouvelle Cuisine in America talked about a philosophy of cooking. It showed me that there is more depth to cooking. A history. A philosophy.
      The recipes are very approachable and you can make them on a budget from grocery store ingredients. I read it as a grad student in Oregon, in the late 80's I had access to lots of fresh ingredients. And some very nice wines, cheap! I was suppose to be studying physics but I end up learning more about wine & cooking.
    • By Smokeydoke
      Here is the discussion thread.
      Here is the Amazon link.
      My first recipe was Mushroom Mapo Tofu p. 132  I was blown away by how good this tasted. Very spicy! Very authentic. I didn't miss the meat at all. I told Mr. Smokey I'd add ground pork next time and he said it didn't need it. Mr. Smokey refused pork? Ha!
      Definitely a keeper and maybe a regular rotation spot.
      If I had anything negative to say, it would be the dish wasn't very filling. The recipe is suppose to serve four but the two of us finished it off, no problem, and Mister wasn't full afterwards. A soup, or an appetizer could be paired with the dish to make a heartier meal.
      Note: I did receive a complimentary copy of the book to review, but all opinions of the book and recipes are mine.


    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      Started in on Rob's book tonight.  Nice pictures, interesting philosophy.  The bit about grapevines reminded me ever so much about my balcony.  My grapevine has been growing ten or twenty years, planted by the birds.  Never a grape, ever.  Only recently did I learn that unlike European grapes, the native grapevines are sexual.  This one is undoubtedly a boy.  He provides lovely leaves and shade, and something for the tomatoes to hang onto.
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×