By now many of you have navigated to my guide to regional American BBQ styles. But there’s so much more to know about BBQ, even more than what I provided about the meats and an overview of the regional techniques.
For example, one could easily spend years just learning about and perfecting the various side items that go along with American BBQ – baked beans, pickles, corn bread, grits, collared greens and what have you. But those are just the basic ones. What about molasses cake, or ginger cake? Well, in my quest to dig deeper into the world of BBQ, I came across a really informative, useful and practical book.
Be The BBQ Pitmaster, by Will Budiaman, hit me with a thorough history of American BBQ, detailed discussions of the various regional techniques (well beyond what I covered in my guide), tips for wood selection, smoking instructions, analyses of various types of smokers, an exacting survey of the various ingredients and spices involved in BBQ, and even recipes from well known pitmasters in each region. I actually met one of those pitmasters last year at Meatopia (Tyson Ho, of Arrogant Swine), so I can personally vouch for the expertise that’s captured within the book.
It’s seriously a one-stop-shop for all your BBQ research and cooking application needs. The book obviously comes chock full of delicious-looking photos and recipes, but it’s also intuitively laid out and presented in such a manner that keeps the reader constantly engaged from cover to cover.
It starts with an overview of BBQ, and then dives deep into each regional style, with chapters neatly organized accordingly. Recipes are included that correspond to each region within these chapters. The book is an invaluable resource and recipe guide that will benefit both the novice and the seasoned smoker alike. And while I am unable to keep and maintain a smoker here in my microscopic NYC apartment, I will certainly be tackling some of the other recipes within the book.
This book is a seriously informative food guide. That’s why I felt compelled to write a review about it here for you meat mavens. I feel like, since you guys like this blog, then you’ll probably like this book.
Check it out. It’s available in both ebook and physical formats:
Be the BBQ Pitmaster: A Regional Smoker Cookbook Celebrating America’s Best Barbecue
By Will Budiaman
Sonoma Press, May 2, 2016
Paperback: $14.95 (250 pages)