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Grilling/Barbque-ing Cookbook recs?

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Hi Hounds -
My goal for the spring/summer is to acquire some grillin' n barbecue'n skills (I do know the difference between the two). I'm a longtime gas griller making the switch to charcoal.

Wondering if you fire-loving chowhounders have recommendations for great cookbooks that explain the art of grilling or barbecuing or have particularly great recipes. I own Chris Schlesinger's Thrill Of The Grill...

King Carnivore (Boston)

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  1. I have been happy with Weber's big book of grilling.

    1 Reply
    1. re: roxhills

      I second that--the Weber book is my Bible.

    2. Here is my Bible:


      I've gone through almost every single recipe in this book, including some that sounded disgusting (the peanut butter, bacon and other stuff sandwich) and they all were really good. The book provides some good info on BBQ techniques, how to's, etc.

        1. i'm not sure if there is a single best grilling cookbook. most books make some initial assumptions about what sort of cooker you have--many will assume that you have a weber, or similar kettle. a common opening line is "build a fire for indirect heat." this makes perfect sense to a weber user but requires some transposition if you're using a big green egg or a good-one, e.g.

          if you're a weber guy there are loads of recipes on the food network site as well as epicurious--those supplemented by the weber book for technique would be enough. while its glossy nature is potentially off-putting, the williams-sonoma <complete grilling> is actually pretty good --if you're looking for clean-hands, upscale urban recipes consistent with the temperature range and fire duration of a standard kettle grill.

          for the several years that i used a good-one--a very heavy combo grill and smoker--i made good use of <smoke and spice> by cheryl and bill jamison. this one is aggressively (almost to a fault) down home and doesn't have any pretty pictures.

          i now use a big green egg--though i have a back-up console weber for parties. i became too enamored of the high-heat i could generate on the good-one. this estimable cooker would burn for hours under 200 but could be superheated too. even high heat grill paint kept coming off and eventually rust became a problem--well, i also melted the fire grate trying to perfect a charred/rare steak.

          there is quite a community of big green egg users on line and a nice compilation of bge recipes, too.

          1. all the books in the bbq bible series by steven raichlen. global in scope, every flavor under the sun. the original bbq bible is an excellent start, as is bbq bible:sauces, rubs, and marinades. the guy is a cordon bleu trained chef who spent 3 years traveling the world eating 'cue.

            edit for spelling

            1. Hi everyone - thanks for your suggestions. I got a bunch out from the library, here are some of my thoughts so far:

              Steve Raichlen - bbq bible: comprehensive and interesting world flavors. Give it an A (thanks turkishlamb!)

              Mario Batali's Italian Grill - recipes sound delicious and look beautiful but many are not too practical - I'd give it a 'C'

              Last night we cooked pizza on the grill - from Elizabeth Karmel's Pizza On the Grill - actually we cooked 4 different pizza's - all fantastically delicious. This one gets an A.

              Elizabeth Karmel also has a book out called Taming The Flame - originally intended to help women learn to grill - hsa tons of tips and info and intersting looking recipes.

              Lastly, there's Smoke and Spice by Bill and Cheryl Jamison. Haven't cooked anything out of it yet, but my mouth just waters after reading it.

              King Carnivore

              1 Reply
              1. re: KingCarnivore

                Steve Raichlen had a show on PBS called Primal Grilling, where he showed some great recipes and techniques. If you google the name you will get a link and he has recipes on there. He also has other grilling cookbooks that are great. I have his Beer Can Chicken and Other Off Beat Recipes for the Grill book and it is really good. It's a good addition to his BBQ Bible. I also agree with the others that recommend the Weber's big book of grilling.

              2. Since you already have The Thrill of the Grill, I recommend Dave Dewitt & Nancy Gerlach's Barbecue Inferno, which, as the name would imply, specializes in hot chile-oriented grilling and barbecuing. If that's your thing. It's definitely mine.