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on July 19, 2004
You can buy lots of books on how to cook barbeque, but very few from accomplished masters such as Paul Kirk. Only two things surpass his ego in this book: His willingness to share some great recipes and insights, and his recipes themselves.
Pretty much every sauce, marinade, and relish I tried from this book turned out great. It's no surprise to me that Paul Kirk is so accomplished with several bold and unique recipes. Don't miss the orange-chile marinade, which he used to win a barbeque contest in Ireland.
I should mention that the book has a strong Kansas City-style slant to the barbeque, although Paul Kirk does make an effort to include different regional styles.
In addition to the recipes, Kirk provides "Master Classes" on barbeque sauces, rubs, and marinades. I took this opportunity to develop my special secret rub with secret spices reflecting my partly Greek heritage. Following Kirk's "Master Class" on rubs, I concocted a rub that I hoped would create gold in my Weber kettle. Have I developed a killer rub to take the barbeque contest circuit by storm? Well, probably not, but it was fun giving it a whirl, and if I say so myself, the results were pretty good.
But if you ask me, most of the fun of barbequing is coming up with secret recipes, and putting your own stamp on things, and Paul Kirk has got me going.
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on April 15, 2004
I purchased my first smoker a few months ago but given the weather in Montreal I only started to use it last week, finally. I purchased this book on recommendations from others on this site and do not regret it at all! I have made several sauces and rubs and they are outstanding! I also had to go and purchase many of the ingredients that I did not have which took a while and at 5 different stores. I went through the book and made a list and after spending over 100.00 I had a complete collection of items I never had or heard of! This is my first book I have ever purchased for BBQ and I do not regret it. I have had compliments that I never had before and I am finally enjoying BBQing!
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on May 21, 2004
This great little book covers every aspect of preparation for barbeque. If you think barbeque is nothing more than tossing a few burgers on the grill, this book will open up for you a myriad of possibilities. Even experienced cooks can find plenty of good suggestions from which they can develop their own rubs, sauces & mops. I have the most fun putting together my own recipes based on his suggestions. If you aren't interested in devoting that much energy to perfecting your slow-cooking, stick with the recipes, which display an impressive variety. It doesn't hurt that this book is extremely affordable. I cannot recommend it enough.
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on November 10, 2002
When buying the book, I thought I was going to get the award-winning recipe. It turns out that some key ingredients were omitted, and kept secret. I might not blame the author, but the title of the book is misleading.
The book is very good, however, at going over the basics of creating your own sauce from scratch. This process, however, can take much time and effort before a really good sauce is produced.
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on July 11, 2001
This glorious paperback is a once-in-a-decade event in the world of cookbooks: somone who genuinely understands his subject clearly and succinctly explains it in a way that is easy for anyone to understand, even complete novices.
Several times, the author uses the term "master class". This term is usually reserved when an acknowledged master of the subject decides to transfer his skills and abilities to others via a special class. At first, I thought that the use of this term was a little overblown. How wrong I was.
He goes through these subjects: ingredients, rubs, marinades, mops, sauces, and other (salsa, relish, ketchup). Each subject is expertly covered, and tells you everything you need to know. He explains the principle and structure of each one, and then gives instructions on how to create it for yourself. Recipes are then presented for those who do not wish to do the experiments on their own. My only complaint is the table of contents: more detail would be a great help.
This book is the only one you really need when it comes to barcecue sauces. If you don't already have it, I suggest you get it and throw away the other barbecue books you have.
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on April 8, 2000
When I purcharsed this book I didn't have great expectations for its contents. However, with the credentials that Paul Kirk has I thought it might be interesting reading. I also expected it to contain 175 recipes with little or no explanation of how or why they work, oh and of course the first three chapters would be on how to start my smoker.
I admit, I was wrong! It starts with the basics and teaches you how to build from there. If you are a mustard lover this is definately a must buy. Every ingredient listed serves a purpose and he tells you why. Paul Kirk may not give you his secret recipe, but he sets you up to make your own. Oh, only the introduction covers the cooking methods so the whole book is dedicated to Barbecue Sauces. My only problem with the book is the pages should be laminated It's already getting stained. I love BBQ and this book.
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on August 25, 2003
While I haven't made all the recipes the ones I have turned out great. The writing is clear, the recipes easy to follow and there is lots of encouragement to get out and experiment. A good solid BBQ cook book.
The basis of the book is, start with this recipe and mess around. Don't worry too much about the exact details. Taste it and modify it to your liking. On that note its been a good book for the kids as they like to "try this!" I use the seven second burn method to limit the amount of pepper. (If after seven seconds you are still ok, you can add a bit more.)
Ok, we have been just whipping though the recipes in this book and have yet to have a miss. This is one great BBQ cookbook. The lemon baste and lemon merinade for chicken is outstanding! That's the last time I ever buy a commerical BBQ sauce.
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on June 22, 2000
This is by far my favorite barbecue sauce book on my cookbook shelf! Paul Kirk knows barbecue and how to make delicious sauce. I love his Sweet Kansas City Barbecue Sauce recipe. It has a sweet, robust flavor and a nice spicy kick. I have a favorite bottled barbecue sauce that I've bought for years, but this sauce made it seem bland in comparison! I also love his Chicken Rub recipe. I always have a batch of this ready for grilling. It's designed to season poultry, but it's great on beef and pork too! I am eager to try more of the great recipes in this book. He has recipes for rubs, mops, marinades and sauces and explains how and when to use them to create a flavor sensation every time. If you love barbecue like me, this is one book you won't want to be without.
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on July 25, 2003
If you occasionally throw a slab of ribs on a grill and just need a recipe or two for a marinade or rub, skip this book and buy Ron Lutz's book "Whatcha Need to Know to Barbecue Like a Pro" or just pick up a general-purpose cookbook. If you're into true Barbecue (temperatures below 250 degrees, 5+ hours' cooking time, and barrel smokers, water smokers, and the like) and you like guests to 'Oooh' and 'Aaaah' over your Barbecue prowess; or if you'd like to know enough to make up your own rub, mop, marinade and finishing sauce recipes, definitely buy Paul Kirk's book. He explains how to create your own recipes for each of these categories, then throws in a bunch of standard and exotic recipes to use as a starting point.
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on November 26, 2002
I picked this book up a couple of years ago for the purpose of having a few sauce recipes on hand to lend variety to my BBQ. This book is all that and much, much more! The depth of explanation about seasoning, rubs, marinades, mops, & sauces gives one the power to create not just follow. It's got the recipes if you're a follower and the knowledge to create a masterpiece BBQ on your own. So what if he is alledged to omit "secret" ingredients - this book will give you the know-how and the encouragement to come up with your own (isn't that what "secret" ingredients and great BBQ are all about?).
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