BACKYARD 'CUE MASTER
Grill and smoke like a pro with help from these cookbooks.
WRITTEN BY RUKSANA HUSSAIN
PHOTOS PROVIDED BY PUBLISHERS
Summer has arrived, and fair-weather friends gather to enjoy food, friends, and family outdoors. What’s better than a barbecue or home smoker to tie it all together? Designed for the home cook, these culinary guides offer great inspiration, whether you’re a first-time smoker or a professional grill master. Beautiful visuals and detailed instructions help you perfect that fabulous meal. Revel in a few trusted ingredients but also try something new — you have all summer long to dabble.
101 Vegetarian Grill & BBQ Recipes
Published by Ryland Peters & Small, March 2016, Hardcover, $14.11 (Amazon)
“Vegetarian” might not be the first thing you think about with barbecue, but why should vegetarians miss out on all the fun? Especially when seasonal summer vegetables are flooding the local farmers’ markets. This cookbook features impressive, meat-free recipes for vegetarian and vegan barbecue food prep. Grilled artichokes with chile-lime mayo, sticky barbecue tofu skewers, mushroom barley burgers, and vegan marshmallow s’mores entice as you discover recipes for dips and bites, kebabs and burgers, and sauces and rubs. There also is a helpful introductory session for your first time attempting to grill veggies. Recipes are globally inspired and offer a variety of spice levels.
Be the BBQ Pitmaster
Written by Will Budiaman. Published by Sonoma Press, May 2016, Paperback, $14.95 (Barnes & Noble)
A smoker cookbook of 125 barbecue recipes for cook-off-worthy ’cue, this book throws you right into the nitty-gritty of the smoker trend. The book pulls from a gamut of American barbecue styles and offers insider secrets from many award-winning pit masters from all cultures and regions. Not one for the fainthearted, it clearly puts the cook in the driver’s seat and is intended for the avid fan of all kinds of American barbecue. Elevate your backyard barbecue with advice on selecting woods and meats, or become a pro with new spices and techniques when you tackle recipes such as all-day-long smoked beef brisket and smoked hot wings. If you love heated debates about regional sauces and marinade, dry rub versus wet, etc., this cookbook is your manna.
Barbecue: a Savor the South cookbook
Written by John Shelton Reed. Published by UNC Press, March 2016, Hardcover $17.39 (Barnes & Noble)
Reed’s barbecue cookbook celebrates more of the southern culinary tradition of barbecue. The author, who also is co-founder of The Campaign for Real Barbecue, traces the history of southern barbecue from its roots in the 16th-century Caribbean, showing how this technique of cooking meat established itself in the Coastal South and spread inland from there. He discusses how choices of meats, sauces, and cooking methods came to vary from one place to another, reflecting local environments, farming practices, and history. This recipe book provides the home cook with a healthy dose of practical recipes for many classic varieties of barbecue and for the side dishes, breads, and desserts that usually go with them. Featured meats range from barbecued chicken two ways to West Texas beef ribs. If you aren’t a southerner, consider yourself one now!
Churrasco: Grilling the Brazilian Way
Written by Evandro Caregnato. Published by Gibbs Smith, March 2016, Hardcover $25.49 (Amazon and Barnes & Noble)
Feeling adventurous with those skewers? Learn the ancient art of the grill from a true gaucho! Author and chef Caregnato specializes in cooking the churrasco way, a style of roasting meat over wood fires developed in Southern Brazil in the early 1800s by the immigrant gauchos (cowboys), taught to him by his father (who learned the traditional art from his father). Caregnato’s training covers a variety of ways to prepare succulent meat over an open fire, which he shares through 70 savory recipes, including all meats and sides. Among them is a leg of lamb preparation as well as a whole fish recipe and one for beef in horseradish-vinegar sauce. It includes detailed introductions on traditional barbecue cuts.
Written by Steven Raichlen. Published by Storey Publishing. May 2016, Paperback $12.89 (Amazon and Barnes & Noble)
This summer barbecue cookbook list would be incomplete without a mention of famed master griller Steven Raichlen. As luck would have it, his latest book addresses all things smoked food and shares 100 recipes, from classics to the more adventurous finds. Raichlen is the author of The New York Times bestseller Planet Barbecue! and The Barbecue! Bible, as well as several other cookbooks that have won James Beard and International Association of Culinary Professionals awards. His TV shows include the PBS series, Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke (currently going into its second season), so who better to motivate you? Anything and everything to do with smoking is addressed in this in-depth cookbook that offers the seven steps to smoked food nirvana … as you will experience with the Jamaican jerk chicken and a ravishing beef brisket recipe.
Ruksana Hussain is a Los Angeles-based editor and writer specializing in lifestyle features covering food, travel, culture, and more. Read her work at http://www.Ruksanawrites.com.