America's Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America's Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants Paperback – May 12 2009
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About the Author
A charter member of KCBS and former three-term member of the Board of Directors, Ardie A. Davis founded the American Royal International BBQ Sauce, Rub, and Baste Contest and the Great American Barbecue Sauce, Baste, and Rub Contest. In 2012, he received the Pioneer of Barbeque award at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue. He is the author of several barbecue cookbooks.
Paul Kirk, a charter member of the KCBS and member of the Board of Directors, operates the Baron's School of Pitmasters. The author of seven barbecue cookbooks, he has won more than 475 cooking and barbecuing awards, among them seven world championships, including the prestigious American Royal Open, the world's largest barbecue contest.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book is a bit unique for a BBQ book. It's so pretty that it's almost a coffee table book. That surprised me, since most BBQ books are no nonsense, functional endeavors.
"America's Best BBQ" offers up "selected" recipes from famous, semi-famous and even some obscure BBQ restaurants. But don't expect your favorite BBQ joint to give up their signature dishes. However, the recipes that are included are interesting. And since there are many restaurants in here, the whole adds up to a lot of decent looking recipes.
Frankly I was a little disappointed at first. I had hoped to find some "signature" dish recipes. But once I got over that, it was clear that the book covers a lot of ground and offered up some pretty unique perspectives and interesting ideas.
* It's really pretty
* There are a lot of varied and even surprising ideas
* It gives me ideas of new place to try when I travel.
* Don't expect your favorite restaurant to give up their signature dishes.
* Some of the recipes are vague and assume you know a lot about BBQ.
All in all, a good, interesting book for anyone wanting to BBQ or looking for a new BBQ joint to try out.
Davis and Kirk not only share some incredible recipes, but also introduce us to fascinating people and interesting places the reader might want to visit in his or her travels.
I really like the design and look of the book. It takes on its own ambience as one of the barbecue joints within might. There's plenty here to whet the reader's appetite and sate his curiosity. Open to any page and find classic neon, well-worn signs, incredibly vivid food photographs, simulated spots of BBQ sauce, brown paper, and more pig icons than you've ever seen in one place.
Like barbecue cooking, this book is meant to be enjoyed slowly so that one can taste all of the flavors proferred by the authors.
At the end of the book is a lengthy discourse detailing the pros and cons of gas vs. charcoal grilling with a tableful of tips for both schools of cooking. This section is so informative that I read it twice.
America's Best BBQ is obviously a work of love by the authors, a down home friendly book. I don't have interest in trying rattlesnake meat or bull testicles, but within the covers there's probably something of interest for most readers.
While the book is historical, it also has an incredible variety of recipes. It includes everything from starters like Volcanic Goat Cheese, Rocky Mountain Oysters, and Fried Cheese Stick Grits, to Burgoo, to mutton ribs, and all the barbecue standards in between. The range of recipes is excellent. Even better, most of the recipes are from the originators themselves.
I found the following statement from the introduction very interesting.
"Each joint in this book is, in our view, one of the best in America. They are all on the same playing field, with varying strengths and weaknesses. That aside, we have each named our Top Ten joints in the back of the book."
Barbecue is very competitive and often chock full of ego, as is the restaurant industry generally. It's very refreshing to see the authors give their honest opinions about what they feel are the best.
If you love barbecue, its history, and great recipes, I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
The book is divided into sections as a menu is: Starters, Main Dishes, Sides and Condiments, and Desserts. The Starters chapter includes recipes for traditional and regional favorites such as onion rings, Brunswick stew, burgoo, and Rocky Mountain oysters. Main Dishes, of course, is all about the 'cue: ribs, pulled pork, barbecued pig snout, and more. The Sides and Condiments section is not only cole slaw--white, pink, red, you name it--but also baked beans, cornbread, hushpuppies, and potatoes. Dessert recipes include Lexington banana pudding, bread pudding, apple crisp, and fried peach pies.
I highly recommend this book!