Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Eight New BBQ and Grilling Books That You Will Want for Summer 2021

[FTC Standard Disclosure] I receive review copies of many BBQ and grilling cookbooks each year; however, none of them are guaranteed coverage and we don't accept any compensation from the publisher other than the review copy (typically, only in PDF format). The links given are Amazon Affiliate links so I will receive compensation if you purchase through Amazon.

There are eight new BBQ and grilling books on my radar for this summer. That's a lot since I'm a jaded, grizzled BBQ veteran and usually, there are only 3 or 4 books each year that catch my interest. 

To be clear, I have not yet checked these books out, except for BBQ Revolution. These are books that I am interested in based on a combination of:

  • Author's reputation in the industry
  • Experience with author's previous works
  • Experience with author's body of work
Here are the eight new BBQ and grilling books that I want to check out this summer. I am listing them in order of release date.

Preview of Rodney Scotts World of BBQ

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

Rodney Scott
March 16, 2021
$24.99 Clarkson Potter

James Beard Award-winning Pitmaster, Rodney Scott, learned BBQ the old-fashioned way - techniques and recipes handed down generationally. Rodney worked in his family's restaurant in South Carolina and cooked his first whole hog when he was just 11 years old. Now he is world-renown and owns Rodney Scott's BBQ in Charleston, Birmingham, and Atlanta.

In his book, Scott shares what he has mastered, including pit-smoked turkey, barbecued spare ribs, smoked chicken wings, hush puppies, Ella's Banana Puddin', and whole hog. He gives the recipes and tips that will help you recreate the Rodney Scott experience in your own backyard. 

Why Buy?: If watching Rodney Scott's episode on the Netflix series Chef's Table: BBQ doesn't make you want to run out and buy this book, then you might already be culinarily dead inside.

Preview of Barbecue Sides by Adam Perry Lang

The Artisanal Kitchen: Barbecue Sides: Perfect Slaws, Salads, and Snacks for Your Next Cookout

Adam Perry Lang
March 20 2021 
$12.95 Artisan - a division of Workman Publishing

Adam Perry Lang is a classically trained chef turned pitmaster, winning accolades for his famous Daisy May's BBQ in NYC and current owner of APL restaurant in LA. His first book, Serious Barbecue, is one of the books that helped me learn to BBQ when I was first starting out. I own his first three books and each one of them is a resource to which I frequently refer.

In Barbecue Sides, Chef Lang focuses solely on the Achilles heel of many an accomplished pitmaster - the side dishes. Lang helps you elevate your side dish game with first-rate side dishes, such as; Bubbling Bacon Butter Beans, Smoked -Corn Flan, Mango Cilantro Salad, and Green Apple, Cabbage, and Carraway Slaw. The one that caught my eye the most is Scruffed Carbonara Potatoes, cooked right in the coals. 

Why Buy?: Chef Lang's track record of three previous masterpieces tells me that this book will be one that you use frequently.

The Four Fundamentals of Smoking

Chris Sussman
April 6, 2021
$19.49 Page Street Publishing

Full review forthcoming! 

Chris Sussman, aka The BBQ Buddha, shares my love of the kamado grill, so it is fitting that the first time we met in person, it was at Eggtoberfest, the food festival celebrating all things Big Green Egg. He is a skillful cook but we take different approaches - me being more technological/data-driven while Chris is a more intuitive cook, using visual, olfactory, and tactile cues. We share two related paths to the same destination (delicious BBQ, duh!), that's why I treasure any chance to get inside his culinary mind and this book is exactly that. His book gives you skills, not just recipes.

The Four Fundamentals of Smoking is loaded with 50 drool-worthy recipes on popular cookers such as, Big Green Egg, Traeger, and Weber. The recipes include Bourbon Glazed Smoked Baby Back Ribs (yes please!), North Carolina Style Pulled Pork (a personal favorite of mine), Sichuan-style Pork Bell Burnt Ends (OMG), Mango-Glazed Wings, and No Wrap Smoked Beef Short Ribs. 

Why Buy?: Chris's book will coach you to create amazingly tender, mouthwatering smoked and grilled food using the senses that nature gave you.

BBQ for Dummies

Carey Bringle
April 13, 2021
$24.99  For Dummies

Carey Bringle is an award-winning pitmaster on the competition circuit, has appeared on BBQ Pitmasters, and is the owner of one of my favorite Nashville restaurants, Peg Leg Porker. From his grandfather who grew up cooking whole hog to his uncle who competed in the first Memphis In May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, Carey's roots in Tennessee BBQ run deep. 

BBQ for Dummies gives recipes for smoking meat, seafood, chicken, pork, and vegetables. More importantly, it is like a master class in BBQ with Carey advising you on choosing the right wood, picking a smoker, and the tricks of the trade, such as; marinades, rubs, injections, and sauces. 

Why Buy?: If I know Carey, this book will come across as feeling like you're having a beer with him in his backyard while he humbly shares his mouth-watering recipes and masterful techniques without any BS. Well, maybe a little BS when he tells stories but the food info will be straight up (haha).

Food by Fire

Derek Wolf
April 27, 2021
$27 Harvard Common Press

I first met Derek Wolf of Over The Fire Cooking when Alexis and I were trying to sneak out of a Knobb Creek/Big Green Egg event at Whiskey Kitchen in Nashville a few years ago. In that short time, he has exploded on the BBQ social media scene with over 1.5 million followers. Derek has a unique style of grilling, using a lot of primitive open fire techniques but with a modern culinary flair.

Food by Fire is loaded with recipes where the only equipment needed is a fire and a skillet or skewer. Some of the main dish recipes include Her Brush Basted Bone-in Ribeye, Leaning Salmon Plank with Lemon Dill Sauce, Al Pastor Skewered Tacos, Dirty Chipotle NY Strips, and Salt-Baked Red Snapper. Some of Wolf's side dishes include Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus, Cowboy Broiled Cheesy Broccoli, and Charred Brussel Sprouts. 

Why Buy?: Food by Fire is currently in the Top 5 for the categories of Cast Iron Cooking, Camping and RV cooking, and Meat Cooking. It is there for a reason. 

Hot and Fast BBQ on Your Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker: Master the Quickest Method to Smoking Mouthwatering Meats

Bill Gillespie
May 4, 2021
$21.99 Page Street Publishing

Bill Gillespie is a heavy hitter in the BBQ world. He is a best-selling BBQ author and an award-winning Pitmaster, including wins at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue and the Americal Royal Invitational. I own two of his previous books, Secrets to Great Charcoal Grilling on the Weber and The Smoking Bacon and Hog Cookbook, and both of them are full of delicious recipes.

In Hot and Fast BBQ, Bill teaches the ins and outs of the hottest food trend in BBQ for the past 5 to 7 years. Low and slow isn't the only way to make incredible BBQ but there are techniques and nuances to make it work. Bill will show you how to make juicy brisket, amazing prime rib, BBQ ribs, and other BBQ staples using the hot and fast method.

Why Buy?: Hot and fast BBQ cooking has taken over the competition BBQ circuit but it takes a lot more than just turning up the heat. This is especially good for people cooking on a Weber Smokey Mountain cooker. 

Weeknight Smoking on Your Traeger and Other Pellet Grills: Incredible Wood-Fired Meals Made Fast and Easy

Adam McKinzie
May 11, 2021
$21.99  Page Street Publishing

Adam McKinzie is the creator and publisher of the popular website This Jew Can Que and the associated social media accounts. Adam is a teacher by trade and he uses those skills in his posts to not only "show off food porn" but to educate and enlighten his 200,000 followers. I'll fully admit that I'm a fiddler when it comes to cooking, I like to spritz, flip, and baste things. In contrast, Adam's philosophy simplifies steps with very little action needed during the cook. That means less opening and closing of the grill and more stable temperatures and that's always a good thing in BBQ.

Weeknight Smoking on Your Traeger focuses on using the hot and fast technique on pellet grills, which are ever-growing in popularity. Adam promises smart and delicious recipes that will be ready in about an hour, making it ideal for today's busy schedules. Some of the recipes are Colorado-style Tri-Tip Steak, Beef "Dino" Ribs, Texas-style brisket, Pork Shoulder Steaks with Herb Gremolata, and Smoke-Fried Chicken Wings.

Why Buy?:  Take a look at Adam's Instagram account and I think you'll find yourself wanting to buy this book. This book is especially ideal for those using Traeger or other pellet grills.

BBQ Revolution:  Innovative Barbecue Recipes from an All-Star Pitmaster

Meat Benjamin
May 18, 2021
$30 Havard Common Press

Full review forthcoming! 

Mitch Benjamin is the founder of the Meat Mitch competition BBQ team and the Meat Mitch line of sauces and rubs. His sauces have won on the biggest stages, including The American Royal BBQ Sauce World Championship and the Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Sauce Competition. In 2015, he opened Char Bar Smoked Meats and Amusements and won Best New Restaurant in Kansas City, a place that knows its barbecue. 

I've already gotten my hands on a draft copy of this book and I can tell you that it's something special. I'm working on a full review but just look at all of the recipes I have tabbed to try. I had to start back at the top again so there are two layers.

BBQ Revolution has so much information that it could have been broken into several books. 

  • The competition section is a wonderful blueprint for someone wanting to get into competition BBQ. In addition to recipes, Mitch gives you timelines, supply lists, and strategic information. Solid stuff. I wish I had that when I started in comp Q. 
  • There is a section featuring food from the restaurant that had me drooling with recipes like The Burnt Heaven featuring sugar smoked pork sausage, burnt ends, spicy coleslaw, fried jalapenos, and more. The Charred Bits and Grits?  Shut up and take my money, Mitch.
  • The leftovers chapter has me wanting to try the Pig Mac, the bao buns, Poutine with Smoked Meat Gravy and the Brisket Esquites Salad sounds killer. 
  • As a bonus, he includes recipes from guest pitmasters like Jess Pryles, Matt Pittman, and The BBQ Ninja. I need to ask the BBQ Ninja about getting an alligator into a dress. 
  • If you're a seafood lover, there are more seafood options in BBQ Revolution than most. Grilled Corn and Dungeness Crab Dip with Jalapenos....'nuff said.
  • The Amusements section is great too. Pop-tarts, for real? Yep.

Why Buy?: BBQ Revolution has me inspired for the season and I am excited to cook from it.  BBQ Revolution is packed with so many delicious recipes from the competition circuit, a successful restaurant, and the backyard, that it will keep you and your smoker busy all summer long...and then some.