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The Be All And End All of Barbecue/Grilling Books

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John Tracey Feb 12, 2001 08:02 AM

That's what I'm looking for. Does it exist? Can you direct me to it? Or at least some suggestions? I know nothing about grilling and even less about barbecue. But I'm getting a grill this year, and I want to be ready.

  1. a
    andy huse Feb 12, 2001 09:57 AM

    I'm an avid BBQ guy and prefer to smoke my food. It's low maintenence and really doesn't take that long. The flavor is isurpassable. Okay, on to THE BOOK.

    I have just the book for you. "The Barbecue Bible" by Steve Richlen (sp?). I got it about a year ago and actually READ the thing! This chef travelled what he calls the BBQ trail, all over the world (from Indonesia to Brazil, to Kansas City to Korea, Nairobi to Istambul, Tokyo and Ho Chi Mihn City. The book has great articles on a culture, its cuisine, ingredients, and techniques.

    Best for you, it has a complete guide to grills, techniques, tools, materials, etc. From fuel to wood to tongs to filet-ing a fish, carving a chicken and stuffing a steak. There are something like 500 recipes, from drinks, apps, and desserts, to slow smoked boston butt and seared whatever.

    Give this book a try--- the recipes are awesome, and many can be made with ingredients you can get anywhere. Others require more special treatment--- like asian spices or herbs. Plenty of veggies and sides.

    Another very good BBQ real is "Smoke and Spice" that emphasizes smoking and slow-cooking, but is no less comprehensive in advice and recipes. The recipes are very good and cover a lot of territory, though they're not really international. More American/sothern/southwestern. Give this one a try if you're even marginally interested in slow cooked or smoked food--- I read it once at work and it inspired me to start grilling/smoking in the first place! Now, 4 or 5 years later, i'm an expert! or at least i have more skills than necessary!

    good luck! grilling really is an adventure. Nothing compares to serving a smoked turkey for lunch. or flavoring chili with smoked hamburger, or making a breakfast gravy with smoked chicken, or smoked glazed pork chops, or, or, or....

    5 Replies
    1. re: andy huse
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      Seth Zurer Feb 12, 2001 10:28 AM

      Lolis Eric Elie's Smokestack Lightning is an incredible collection of essays and photographs about barbecue all over the US. It's not really about recipes, but in terms of getting a flavor of the variety and culture associated with barbecuing just within the US, it's unbeatable. Plus, it guided me to Bob's Smokehouse outside of San Antonio for the bar none best brisket I've ever eaten anywhere.

      1. re: Seth Zurer
        c
        Cathy Elton Feb 13, 2001 10:05 AM

        I second the recommendation of Smoke & Spice. It's great. Of course, there's a big difference between grilling and barbecue. This book is about barbecue, ...smoking, not grilling.

        1. re: Cathy Elton
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          Pepper Feb 13, 2001 06:10 PM

          I have been less than thrilled with Raichlen's grilling book--it emphasizes grilling over gas, for one thing, and the recipes are kind of tailgate, if you know what I mean.

          ``Thrill of the Grill,'' the first of the grilling books by Chris Schlesinger and Doc Willoughby, is much better grounded, and the recipes are way more interesting to boot.

      2. re: andy huse
        j
        John Tracey Feb 12, 2001 11:26 AM

        Thanks Andy, that looks like a good starting point. (According to Amazon, the same author has another book on grilling out already -- dedicated to marinades and rubs and the like -- and a new book due in April.)

        John

        1. re: andy huse
          b
          Brandon Nelson Feb 19, 2001 04:22 PM

          Bueno Dias,

          Got to second the recommendation on "The Bible" it's a good first step. It's also a fun read. I can't stand cookbooks that read like auto service manuals. Boring! The recipes touch a lot of bases everything from steaks seasoned with only salt and fire, to grilled snails.

          Chow!!!

        2. j
          Jennifer Feb 12, 2001 10:29 PM

          I like Grill Book by Kelly McCune--no matter what you bring home from the grocery store you'll find a simple recipe in this book.

          I use my grill more than my stove. I love my rotissiere for whole chickens, leg of lamb, tenderloins.

          1. s
            Simon Majumdar Feb 13, 2001 03:10 AM

            The company I am in cahoots with is publishing a wonderful book in association with Weber Grills .

            I have no real knowledge of grilling ( hey this is England we only get one day of sunshine a year ) but I have tried many of the dishes and they are phenomenal.

            It is Called THE ULTIMATE BARBEQUE BOOK by Matthew Drennan.

            The book is out in March in the US

            1. d
              David Jacobson Feb 13, 2001 10:30 AM

              For grilling: Thrill of the Grill and License to Grill by Chris Schlesinger and Born To Grill by Cheryl and Bill Alters-Jamison. For smoking: Smoke & Spice by Cheryl and Bill Alters-Jamison. Also Paul Kirk's book on Sauces and Rubs

              4 Replies
              1. re: David Jacobson
                r
                rjka Feb 13, 2001 11:23 AM

                While "Thrill of the Grill" is a good addition to a bookshelf on barbecue, I found its recipes a bit too focused on exotic items and not enough on the basics to be a barbecue bible.

                1. re: rjka
                  d
                  David Jacobson Feb 14, 2001 02:34 PM

                  Well, not really sure what you mean by basics, true there's no hot dog or hamburger recipes, but there's brisket, ribs, steaks, chicken, fish recipes galore and the technique and methods sections are very well done, IMHO

                  1. re: David Jacobson
                    r
                    rjka Feb 14, 2001 03:33 PM

                    Was that a snide remark about hot dog and hamburger recipes? The point I was trying to make (if I spin it in a more positive light)was this is an inventive book but it focuses on exotic sauces and condiments for some more unusual items,i.e. beef hearts. There are in my recollection 2 ribs recipes and maybe 1 brisket repcipe-not exactly "galore". My point being that this is a good addition to a bookshelf, but not really a bible for grilling.

                    1. re: rjka
                      d
                      David Jacobson Feb 15, 2001 11:35 AM

                      No snideness intended. "Thrill" may not have a lot of depth of rib recipes etc., but it does touch most of the bases and cover both grilling and to a lesser extent, smoking. I haven't seen a book that really covers both in depth, bARwhich is why it was one of several book I recommended. I don't think it's perfect, recipes that say they seve 4 always seem to serve 6-8. Anyway your mileage may vary, but it's the one book I always take to the beach house with me and the first book I reach for for ideas.

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