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on June 7, 2009
This book contains a variety of recipes along with ample history of Big Bob Gibson's barbecue.

At present, I have tried from the book:
(1) the pork shoulder recipe, served with the Memphis style sauce
(2) the whole butterflied chicken, served with Bob Gibson's famous white sauce.

Both were outstanding and each was easily worth the price of the entire book, particularly the white sauce-WOW.

both followed classic barbecue techniques and did not require excessive preparation or a half dozen steps.

In addition to covering the most common types of barbecue, the book also includes side dishes, an occassional dessert, and a variety of sauces--most derived from something done at Big Bob Gibson's or by Chris Lilly in competition.

There are lots of great barbeque books out there, what this book brings is (1) recipes that have routinely won awards at barbecue competitions-lots of awards, (2) some unique Bob Gibson sauces that are terrific (3) a enjoyable history of the man and the restaurant.

I look forward to trying more recipes in the future.

NOTE: I tried these on the big green egg, which is well suited for long cooking sessions. Even though the book does not address ceramic cookers, the recipes are not equipment specific. But the obviously amazing results possible (and amply described) with a true barbecue pit and 100% hickory make it clear there is another level of barbecue out there.
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on August 10, 2009
Chris Lilly is one of the best BBQ chefs in the country. However, I am disappointed with his efforts here. This book is true to the title. Most pages are about the history of Big Bob Gibson's BBQ joint. Lots of pictures. This part is interesting, but not helpful to someone who wants to cook. The recipes are some basics and some off-the-chart stuff with unusual ingredients. He doesn't disclose a lot of Gibson's recipes, but gives something close. He has 4 or 5 recipes for a whole hog, but nothing (or very little coverage) for some basics like a beef chuck shoulder and other cuts. He assumes you will BBQ indirectly on a Weber kettle. All in all, this is not a basic book. His coverage of rubs is great, but doesn't teach anything about other essential topics. After you've mastered BBQ smoking, get this for historical interest.
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on May 27, 2009
Chris Lilly is simply the best there is. The man really knows his stuff and shares his award-winning secrets in this beautifully written book. Full of historical and personal anecdotes, it reads like a memoir at times. I couldn't put it down. The recipes are easy-to-follow with readily available ingredients, and complete with suggestions on cooking method, time, and type of wood to use. This BBQ book is so much more than one might expect, going beyond your smoked meats, rubs, marinades, and glazes, and sides of beans, potatoes, and coleslaw (and those delicious recipes are all included along with the whole pig roast for the purist). Keep turning the page and you'll discover appetizers or sides like Scallops with Burnt Ends; Grilled Fruit Skewers with Spicy Maple Cumin; Stuffed Red Bell Peppers with Maple Baked Beans, too.

Once a "rookie Q'er" who may have sat on a stump staring at a pit a few more times than he may care to count to learn the ropes, Chris Lilly now commands that very pit, pushing the envelope, and keeping it fresh and interesting at every turn. Buy the book...then buy it again for your friends. Y'all be glad you did!
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on June 22, 2009
I did not grow up in northern Alabama, but in southern Alabama, and so I was not familiar with the Big Bob Gibson's BBQ legacy. I read about the book in "Garden and Gun" magazine and knew I had to see what the fuss was about. If you love to barbecue this book is worth the money and time to read it. Not only will it give you a new approach to outdoor cooking, it will inform you as to the cultural heritage of southern barbecue.

First of all the book is well written, interesting and informative. Secondly, the recipes are the best I have EVER reproduced from a book. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about "white sauce" on barbecued chicken (or anything else cooked outdoors) but when I followed the recipe the result was absolutely astounding. The longer the white sauce soaks in the chicken, the better it gets - like magic. My wife followed the recipe for a rub and bourbon sauce for pork loin and the result was the best tasting pork I have ever eaten. The sauce was fantastic, the rub gave the pork a delicious flavor that anyone could be proud of, but the step-by-step instructions regarding the cooking process resulted in a properly "barbecued" ("low and slow") pork loin - and smoked...on a propane gas grill! My wife is an excellent cook, but previously her "grill skill" was somewhat underdeveloped. Now she is becoming quite accomplished in the sacred art of barbecue.

This author's attention to detail in the instruction of the most closely guarded secrets of the "Southern old guard" grill masters is what sets this book apart from any other out there. Recipes range from meats to veggies to deserts. Big Bob's methodology has changed the way that we cook outdoors and it has given us a skills set that we can use to pamper family and friends and proudly pass to our grandchildren. If you are from the foothills of northern Alabama and have ever visited Big Bob's (in the 80 years of its existence) then this book is a "must have." For the rest of us uninitiated flatlanders I most highly recommend this book.
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on June 26, 2009
This is a great book on the basics of BBQ and also the history of BBQ. Good information on spice combinations and what spices and rubs work best for pork, beef, seafood, and chicken etc. Great launching pad for creating your own special sauces and rubs from the basic to the flamboyant.
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on May 14, 2012
in a very good way. I was expecting the book on friday. Not knowing what to expect, I just knew I was gonna smoke on the weekend. I pulled out a beef tenderloin before the book arrived. I found a great mushroom crusted recipe and smoked a delicious meal for my family. The meal was simple to follow and the flavor was over the top. Took leftovers to work and had a few people asking a lot of questions. samples went quick. Thanx for the opportunity to show off. Can't wait to try the pork recipe in a couple weeks.
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on July 5, 2009
I enjoyed this book a lot. I cooked Big Bob's famous chicken recipe with the white sauce...Awesome! I just started cooking bbq and this book is a great read for history, tips, and above all recipes. I also just finished cooking one of the pork shoulder recipes for the 4th of July and all I have to say is there were no left overs. I will definitely be busy for the next year trying all these recipes. Low and Slow is the way to go and Chris Lilly is the master.
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on March 25, 2010
If you take your barbecuing seriously this book is a great addition to your collection. Chris Lilly cooks, hands-down, the best pulled pork I have ever tasted. I have literally heard hundreds of people tell him the same thing when tasting his pork and ribs at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. No matter how much you think you know about barbecue this book will still have something to offer you. Plus, he has plenty of barbecue championships and awards to prove it.

The book contains more than just great barbecue recipes. It intersperses that with the history of Big Bob Gibson BBQ, from the restaurant's beginning as a backyard labor of love to its present level of success as a world-renowned maker of barbecue food, sauces and rubs and competitive barbecue team. The story of Big Bob Gibson and his restaurant help barbecue chefs of any experience level remember the most important lesson of great meat - patience. Like great barbecue, Big Bob's personal quest to perfect his craft proves that the best results take time, effort and practice.

Any cook book can provide recipes and any chef can follow directions. But Chris Lilly gives you more than just recipe directions in this book. He masterfully explains the other things; the little details that recipes can't teach you but that are crucial to their success. He tells you what only a true pit master would teach you.

Don't let this endorsement scare you if you consider yourself a novice or too inexperienced to benefit from such sage advice. There are recipes in this book I have made with grade school children helping me. They are simple to read and understand but take a time and practice to master. This is a great resource for starting that quest.

I can't stress this enough. If you want a barbecue cook book, I can't imagine how this book could possibly disappoint you!
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on June 10, 2015
Some of the reviews said, "These recipes are delicious!" Other reviews said, "These recipes are too basic!" I have tried none of them, but I did read the book cover to cover the first night I received it! I am a very experienced cook, though not an experienced smoker. I thought the recipes were well laid out, they seemed easy to follow, and they used common ingredients. The recipes for baked goods seemed like they would produce delicious results. I really want to try the pound cake, bread pudding, and cornbread salad. The recipes for sauces and rubs seem delightful as well. I thought the recipes seemed just right. Some were easy, others complex, and still others were right in the middle. There were LOTS of recipes for every meat imaginable, including rabbit and goat. On a final note, for someone who loves to read a good cookbook as well as any novel, I found plenty of wonderful reading within these pages as well as many beautiful pictures. Cheers!
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on June 10, 2009
I probably own virtually every cookbook written about cooking barbecue long and slow. This one is the best of the lot. I always figure my money is well spent if I get one tip out of a cookbook. This one provided me numerous ones. I use a Weber 22 1/2 charcoal grill a lot and their tip about lining up your charcoal in a ring around the grill allows you to minimize the times you lift the lid and lose your heat. Great tip!
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