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Cookbook Reviews
Mastering the Craft of Smoking Food PDF Print E-mail

by Warren R. Anderson

This is a brand new book, published April 22, 2006, that is probably the most complete, detailed book available on smoking food. It's not a barbecue book, it's a smoking book. Written by Warren Anderson, a food enthusiast and long-time food smoker, It covers both cold and hot smoking and includes detailed instructions for building your own smoker, or using commercial smokers. Warren shares everything he has learned through years of smoking food. A chapter covers smoking woods, where to get them and the characteristics of different types of woods. The chapter on cures and marinades covers brines, dry and wet cures, and marinades. Detailed recipes and instructions are included for making smoked bacon, ham, pastrami, jerky, cheese, turkey, fish, shellfish, sausage, nuts, and even smoked Peking duck. It's interesting that the Amazon review is critical of the book for being TOO detailed. According to Amazon, the descriptions and techniques "read like a technical manual, although Cook's Illustrated fans might welcome the excruciating detail. Though directed toward nonprofessionals, this book isn't likely to please armchair chefs." So, if you are an "armchair chef", this book may not be for you, but as Amazon says "for those who plan to make a habit of smoking food, Anderson delivers". If you are serious about smoked food then this book is for you.
The Big Book of Barbecue Sides PDF Print E-mail

by: Rick Browne

Everyone knows that a barbecue meal consists of more than just the barbecue. Delicious side dishes are necessary to make a complete barbecue meal. Rick Browne is the host of the PBS show Barbecue America and author of Barbecue America and Grilling America. His latest book delivers 130 classic and contemporary side dish recipes, many prepared on the grill. The chapters include salads, breads, pasta, vegetables, rice, beans, salsas, potatoes and fruits. If you want to impress your friends and family with a complete barbecue meal, including delicious side dishes, then check out Rick's new book.

Olde Thyme Corn Pudding

One of the dishes shared with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock was a creamed corn dish prepared by the Indians. This is a slightly modern version with a bit more flavor and fresher taste.

Serves 4 to 6

1 (16-ounce) can corn
1 (16-ounce) can cream-style corn
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk or half and half
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients, including salt and pepper to taste, and put in a buttered 2-quart casserole.

3. Bake for about 40 minutes. The pudding should be lightly brown and firm in the middle. Serve hot.\

Tip: Fresh corn, if you have it, tastes much better in this pudding. Just slice the kernels from 4 ears and use instead of the 16-ounce can corn.

Grill! PDF Print E-mail

by Pippa Cuthbert & Lindsay Cameron Wilson

Seems like you can never have enough books on grilling. This latest entry includes over 80 recipes including appetizers, main courses, salads and desserts. All prepared on the grill of course! There are also recipes for sauces, chutneys, dips and accompaniments. In addition to recipes, there are tips for grilling, tools of the trade, and hints for grilling different types of meat and fish. The author is careful right from the start to differentiate between barbecue and grilling. This is a grilling book!

Recipes include:

  • Soy-ginger chicken in banana leaf
  • Butterflied Thai coconut chicken breasts
  • Whisky, garlic and brown sugar salmon
  • Caramelized lamb chops
  • Pork ribs with mustard bourbon sauce
  • Chorizo burgers with avocado cream
  • Marsala-poached and grilled pears

If you just can't get enough of grilled foods, add this one to your collection.

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures & Glazes PDF Print E-mail

by Jim Tarantino

In 1992, Jim Tarantino published the cookbook Marinades. At the time, it was the definitive guide to making and using marinades, pastes and dry rubs. Now, in 2006, Jim has released a revised and expanded version of his classic. While the original was 220 pages and included 190 recipes, the new edition is 350 pages and includes over 400 recipes.

However, the new version is much more than recipes. The expanded content now includes brines, cures and glazes. The section on making them has been greatly expanded. New content includes a timeline table with guidelines for how long to marinate or cure different cuts of meat.

The new version not only includes numerous recipes, but now organizes them into the categories of Basic Recipes, American South & Southwest, Latin America & The Caribbean, The Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa. There are marinades here for every conceivable taste. Each recipe now includes a timetable for it's use.

If you like the flavor that marinades add to your barbecue then you should have this book. If you have the original, the new edition is well worth the price of an upgrade.

BBQ Joints: Stories and Secret Recipes form the Barbeque Belt PDF Print E-mail

by David Gelin

BBQ Joints takes you on a guided tour of classic joints in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. But, this book isn't about the joints. It's about the colorful characters who run them. Meet the personalities behind the pits. Hear their family stories. Share their secret recipes.

BBQ Joints is not only a travel guide, it is a how-to on barbecue, filled with recipes as well as instruction on building a BBQ pit of your very own.

Sample recipe:

Woody's Barbecued Rice

From William "Woody" Wood, pitmaster at Woody's Bar-B-Que in Waldenburg, AR

Grand Prize Winner: Riceland Rice Cookoff
First Place: Arkansas Rice Festival

2 cups rice, uncooked
4 cups chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes and green chiles
8 green onions, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons Bar-B-Q dry rub (preferably Woody's)

Combine ingredients in an aluminum drip pan and seal tightly with foil. Place on enter rack and cook at 350 degrees until rice is done and liquid is absorbed (about 40 minutes). [All ingredients may be mixed together and cooked in rice cooker or on stovetop over medium heat.] Fluff and let set 5 minutes before serving.

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