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Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons Paperback – April 28, 2009

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Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons + Low & Slow 2: The Art of Barbecue, Smoke-Roasting, and Basic Curing + Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary Wiviott is a barbecue life coach. From the popular online tutorial that started it all to his lively cooking demonstrations and teaching diehards how to set up a smoker in Chicago's notoriously brutal winter weather, he is committed to spreading the gospel of low and slow barbecue. He is no stranger to the most popular national barbecue forums and food communities, including TheSmokeRing.com, Slow Food USA, and the Society for the Preservation of Traditional Southern Barbecue. Gary is also the founder of LTHForum.com, the Chicago-based culinary chat site. Colleen Rush is the author of The Mere Mortal's Guide to Fine Dining: From Salad Forks to Sommeliers, How to Eat and Drink in Style Without Fear of Faux Pas (Broadway, 2006). She knew very little (okay, nothing) about barbecue before meeting Gary-thought nothing of using lighter fluid-but has since reformed her ways and makes a damn fine pulled pork sandwich.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762436093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762436095
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Mike S. in Texas on August 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Wivott's book has useful information and is a valuable introductory text, making it a wise purchase with your first smoker; however, I have to agree that the condescension and unyielding purist approach are unjustified. You will definitely save yourself time learning how to start and operate a decent fire, but Wivott sanctimoniously offers merely one of many schools of thought on cooking while demanding complete reverence, and the recipes contained within really aren't a religious experience, they're just pretty good. Add to that the limited scope (a previous reviewer was correct, the book contains about five basic recipes), and the clear dominance of Wivott's palate throughout, and the book is simply an okay guide, nothing more. It is a good place to start if you are new to barbeque, and a great place to start if you've never cooked in your life. Unfortunately, it's written only for the latter. It would be easy to dismiss my thoughts as a reader who simply "didn't get it," but I honestly don't think that's the case. As a teacher, Wivott tries to save the reader many of the lessons he has learned the hard way by insisting we do it right every time, straight from the beginning, with proper technique and without asking questions. I just happen to think barbeque should be a fun, organic experience, and so should the learning curve. I hated taking piano lessons as a child, which is unfortunate, because that is exactly what this feels like.

A final technical note: I purchased Low & Slow after buying the largest Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, but the only model in production when the book was written was the 18.5" version. With as specific as the instructions in the book are, if using the 22.5" WSM, you'll find you already have to vary from the program.
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64 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Fester on June 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I buy far too many cook books. I have everything from the Cooks Illustrated line-up to some Food Network/ PBS shows, etc.

This has to be the best instructional cook book I have read.

This book is not a sum total of recipes, nor is it a compilation of how the technique was developed... It is a lesson plan. It is very much a course in how to barbecue and after you have learned each lesson you will truly know how to read what is going on with your fire and food.

You won't have to go search a website to find out the amount of time you should leave ribs on and at what temperature. You won't have to purchase some digital thermometer or fancy temp control. No more guessing, speculating, or making things much more difficult than they need to be.

After all, should barbecue be that difficult? This is the book that will teach you how, it will give you the skills. You can use this with a weber smokey mountain, an offset, or... a kettle grill!

Now, there are also some great recipes in the book to boot! You'll learn some flavorful marinades and you'll learn the basics of a marinade so that you can whip one up from scratch! The same with brines and with rubs! Being able to create these things successfully from scratch is what separates the ok bbq'er from the great and confident one.

There is also a whole section on what to do with leftovers. I had some smoked chicken left over and used one of the recipes... now I smoke the chicken just to make left overs. By the way, it is the best chicken I've bbq'ed. And it is so fast and easy now that I've done it a couple times.

I can't say enough good things about this book! It is a steal for the price, GET IT!

On a side note, it is really damn fun to work your way through the lessons as well :)
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By C. Ewald on May 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow...this book is awesome. I never really knew how to use a smoker, and this book is the bomb with easy to understand instructions. The best smoked meat I've ever had is now what I cook! There are also fabulous recipes for sauces, sides and so much more! This book would make a great Father's Day gift, but I bought one just for me!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jose E. Sola Colon on September 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Most of the BBQ books that I have read, are just a collection of BBQ recipes. For me this is the best BBQ book that I have read. An excellent method that guide you on how to handle your charcoal and then guide you in preparing a BBQ chicken recipe all the way to preparing an excellent pull pork. One of the best things is that all recipes are designed depending on the capacity and type of your BBQ. One drawback is that only explain the use of three different type of smoker and that Gary is truly a fan of charcoal grilling. If you have a gas bbq, this is not the book for you. At the contrary, the recipes are all well organized and quite simple to prepare apart from the use of extremely hot ingredients and mixes of peppers. I recommend this book to everyone that want to know the secrets of preparing good smoke BBQ.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. L Strickland VINE VOICE on September 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, I guess I'm going to have to apologize to Gary Wiviott! When I first got this book, I was turned off by what I perceived as his condescending tone, his know-it-all approach and his waste of charcoal. After going through the first four "lessons" in the book, I now realize that this book flat out WORKS for preparing fantastic BBQ! I prepared spare ribs yesterday following his instructions and recipes and they received rave reviews from my family. A couple of weeks ago, I prepared baby back ribs that were better than anything I've ever had in any restaurant! My chicken BBQ been great too!

Sorry Gary Wiviott! I was wrong, you were right!

For anyone who is not already aware, the book is organized as a series of 5 lessons in making great BBQ. The lessons were originally created for the fantastic Weber Smokey Mountain smoker and were published for free on his web site. This year, Gary expanded the lessons to include directions for an offset smoker and for a kettle grill. He also added numerous excellent recipes for various rubs, washes, marinades, and sauces as well as side dishes and recipes for using the leftovers. The only thing he doesn;t cover is brisket, but once you master the techniques he teaches, you won't have any trouble with brisket.

My next cook will be the pulled pork cooking a Boston butt roast. Based on my experience with the chicken and ribs, the pork butt is going to turn out great!

I have a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker, a Weber Kettle grill and a Weber gas grill. I have only followed the instructions for the Smokey Mountain. So, i can't comment on his other instructions, but I woulod bet that they are right on as well!

When you get the book, my advice is to ignire all the blustering.
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