Customer Reviews


69 Reviews
5 star:
 (52)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Competition Barbecue Manual.
A few days ago, I interviewed a thin, oversized book entitled `The Big Grill' published by a minor, undistinguished publishing house. The book had all the look about it of a volume destined to go directly from the publisher to the discount stacks, and I found nothing in the book which changed that opinion. The only puzzling aspect of the book is that the thumbnail...
Published on June 13, 2004 by B. Marold

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Instructions too complex.
The book has some great ideas for someone with experience who wants to enter competitions. For the average backyard BBQ person it is too involved. It would be better if it was more straight forward for that segment. The recipes are good and not hard to follow.
Published 14 months ago by Louis Kovitz Jr


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Competition Barbecue Manual., June 13, 2004
This review is from: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue (Paperback)
A few days ago, I interviewed a thin, oversized book entitled `The Big Grill' published by a minor, undistinguished publishing house. The book had all the look about it of a volume destined to go directly from the publisher to the discount stacks, and I found nothing in the book which changed that opinion. The only puzzling aspect of the book is that the thumbnail biography of the author on the back jacket listed some very serious credentials for the author, Paul Kirk. By chance, I soon ran across this volume by the same Paul Kirk, published by the very serious Harvard Common Press, with very high powered blurbs on the back jacket from the likes of John Thorne and Tony Bourdain, plus several luminary barbecue restaurateurs. Like the case with my poor review of one of Nigella Lawson's lesser efforts, I was anxious to find a genuine source for all this admiration. Therefore, I do this review of a book that is dramatically different and better than `The Big Grill' potboiler.
A superficial look at the size and the cover of `Championship Barbecue' may give you the impression that the book is similar to Steve Raichlen's encyclopedic collections of barbecue recipes. While Raichlen's excellent `BBQ USA' gives a great history of the subject and a thorough collection of recipes from around the country, Kirk's `Championship Barbecue' is almost entirely the story of how to participate in and win barbecue contests, a skill he seems to have mastered early and excelled in often.
The very first thing which struck me about Kirk's description of what it takes to win at a barbecue contest is how similar it is to lessons learned by traditional chefs doing haute cuisine. Kirk repeats the mantra told by everyone from Daniel Boulud to Paul Robuchon that a lot of the secret comes from practice and attention to details. This is why he can freely teach people his recipes and techniques with little fear that it will give them the means to beat him at the next competition. To have even the smallest chance of matching Kirk's performance requires years of practice and experience, plus the stamina and discipline to check a smoker every 90 minutes overnight, thereby giving up a perfectly good night's sleep in order to insure 16 to 24 hours of smoking at a consistent temperature.
The only thing Kirk does not tell us is the recipe for his latest rubs and sauces, as he changes them for each year's competition. He is more than generous in telling us just about everything else. The book starts with three chapters, about fifty pages, on competition planning, equipment, rules, and preparation before he even gets to the recipes. The next hundred pages cover pantry preparations such as marinades, mops, sops, slathers, seasonings, rubs, sauces, salsas, relishes, and dipping sauces. Some recipes are borrowed (or stolen) from friends, but most are the author's own creations. My favorite recipes were for the most basic staples such as catsup, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. The chapters where recipes cover completed dishes are:
Hog Heaven begins with a long essay on pork primals, brines, woods, whole hog smoking, and the recipes. While Kirk is based in Kansas, which is beef country, most big competitions have pork contests and some of the biggest contests such as the Memphis in May invitational are all pork. Note that Kirk is crystal clear on the difference between barbecue and grilling and he includes a lot of grill recipes which correctly are fast cooking over high heat, while barbecue is slow cooking with smoke over indirect heat.
Steer Crazy covers beef recipes, both for barbecue and grilling. Some recipes include veal and sweetbreads, but the main attractions are burgers, kabobs, sirloin, strips, filets, ribeye, and brisket. At the beginning of the chapter, Kirk clearly indicates which cuts are best for grilling and which cuts are best for `cue and which cuts can go both ways.
Lamb and Cabrito covers lamb and goat cookery. Cabrito is a method of roasting a whole goat that originated in Mexico. Lamb recipes cover Greek, Lebanese, Japanese, Indian, Caribbean, Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, French, and plain old barbecue.
Putting on the Dog covers all things you can stuff into a pig's intestines, otherwise known as sausage. It includes kielbasa, chourico, andouille, Italian, Texas Hill sausage, bratwurst, lamb, gyro, apple, and venison, oh my.
Plentiful Poultry covers birds, including burgers, wings, jerk, grilled, smoked, fajitas, quesadillas, Cornish, turkey, duck, dove, and quail.
Smokin' with the Fishes covers fillets, lots of catfish, grouper, mackerel, lots of salmon, lots of swordfish, lots of tuna, crabs, lobster, oysters, octopus, shrimp, and squid. Most recipes for fish are for the grill, but there are some smoker recipes for some of the firmer fish and game fish such as mackerel, salmon, and trout.
On the side is... sides dishes, mostly salads, casseroles, and bakes with potatoes, macaroni, and beans. Southern and Yankee cornbread and hoe cakes round out the list. I am really surprised to discover here that it is the Yankee, not the Southern cornbread that contains the sugar.
The book ends with an excellent section on sources for grills, spices, wood, and charcoal. Early in the book, there are also contacts for the three major barbecue competition certifying organizations. Be very clear that this book is great even if you never take the first step towards entering a barbecue competition. What makes great competition barbecue will make great home barbecue.
With two big caveats, almost all the recipes are pretty simple. The first gotcha is that a grill or smoker setup, even with Kingsford briquettes can be a pretty big chore, especially if outdoor space is tight. The second gotcha is that even reasonable quality barbecue needs a lot of attention to maintain a constant temperature with natural materials.
If you are up to the fire outdoors, this is the book for you!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, December 11, 2004
By 
Robert I. Katz (Port Jefferson, New York USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue (Paperback)
This is a great book. Any cookbook can give a list of recipes, and one can almost always find a few good ones, whether the book is from a celebrity chef or whether it's put out by the local lady's club in an effort to raise some money for charity. What sets the really great cookbooks apart is that they give a method, a set of techniques, which if followed, allow the reader to understand the recipes, to play with them, to embellish them, and to invent his own. Books like Julia Child's The Way to Cook and Madeline Kamman's In Madeline's Kitchen come to mind. They make you a better cook. Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue is definitely in this company. He gives the theory and technique of barbecue--the essence of which is slow, low temperature cooking with smoke. The book is divided into sections, talking about marinades, sops, mops and bastes, rubs, sauces. In each section he tells why a particular ingredient should be used, always encouraging the reader to use the information and invent his own. Following are absolutely terrific sections on the barbecing of pork, beef, fowl, seafood and side dishes. The idea (perhaps conceit would be a better word) that this book is a guide to turning the reader into a barbecue champion is not meant to be taken literally. Paul Kirk states early on that what sets him (and other champions) apart, is not just the recipe and not just the technique, it is the consummate care with which the technique is applied. Still, by inviting the reader to reach for the stars, he encourages us to be the best that we can be. While not many of us will ever have the talent to be barbecue champions, I have no doubt than anybody who loves food and who wants to try, can make absolutely wonderful meals with the help of Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Barbecue Education, November 6, 2005
By 
Derrick Peterman (San Jose, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue (Paperback)
I bought this book under unusual circumstances. The day before I bought it, I complained to my sister I have way more recipes from cook books and newspaper clippings that I could ever possibly make. And I'm trying to eliminate more meat from my diet. So with a glut of recipes and a desire to eat less meat, it would only make sense for me to buy a book with 575 recipies devoted to grilling and slow smoking of dead animals. But I'm really glad I did!

Kirk shares a number of his barbecuing insights, which have definitely improved the results of my periodic attempts at ribs and chicken. The chapter on mustard slathers is a technique I've never seen before and the results I had using mustard slathers with salmon and ribs following Kirk's advice turned out pretty good. The fish marinades for salmon, tuna, and swordfish all turned out well. The marinades had good flavors, but showed the proper restraint that is important when cooking fish. The Jack Daniel's Marinated Salmon was awesome, although I smoked it with pecan rather than grill it as Kirk suggested.

And that illustrates the beauty of the book. Paul Kirk really encourages experimentation, and then provides an excellent guidebook to do just that. There's just a tremendous amount of creativity and originality in this book, and I found it infectious. There is seemingly no flavor Kirk ignores. The fact that all the recipes turn out good to great is even better! I'm not sure this is the best source for an authentic Tuscan Grilled Tuna, and I didn't try this recipe out, but I suspect it's pretty good, and I'm glad Kirk shared it with us.

I judge a cook book on how it improves my cooking, and this has made a big difference in my results with barbecue ribs and chicken, and also for grilled fish, and for that reason, it is highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of useful recipes, July 5, 2011
By 
This review is from: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue (Paperback)
When I buy barbecue books, what I'm really looking for are recipes (and not a lot of superfluous historical information or personal musings). After reading the reviews here, I took a chance and ordered this book sight unseen. Happily, the book lives up to its reputation. It is loaded with recipes that span way beyond just your "traditional" style barbecue -- and also includes lots of grilling recipes and advice. While the book does contain a ton of helpful information beyond just recipes, it is presented in an easy reading manner in context with recipes at hand. I tried the Jerk Chicken recipe over the weekend recently and it was a big hit. There is no shortage of things to try here. One tiny quirk I found is that there is a section where he talks about different styles of smokers. He specifically says that a Green Egg can go as low as 300 degrees and up (versus 225-250 range for low and slow that other smokers can achieve). If you own and use an Egg, you will know that this is completely false. So I'm not sure if he has ever used a Green Egg or not, but that should be corrected in future printings as it is completely untrue (I routinely run my Egg at 225 for 10 hours+ for pulled pork and brisket). That little annoyance aside, if you are looking for a good collection of quality barbecue recipes -- along with a good dose of tips, insights and competition advice -- then this book is for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Three to Five Books To Own on Smoking, #4, May 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue (Paperback)
If you are new to BBQ smoking in my opinion there is no one book you can buy. Everyone that writes one has a point of view. What I have found is you really need a core of three books I have found helpful and then possibly two more. Also there is a lot on the web, but there is one site I have found particularly helpful.

I have tried smoking before with bullet grills with some success, but it takes a lot of minding. I finally broke down and bought the Texas Traeger pellet grill just for smoking. I love it. Now the problem is most cookbooks on smoking do not address this type of smoker head on so if you want to lean how to really use one I have found you need to look at a variety of sources.

Paul Kirk's cookbook makes my type five.

Once you understand temperature in relation to smoke and timing you can translate any indirect recipe to a pellet grill or any other type of smoker. There are some tricks/tips that will enhance the cooking, but in the end it all comes down to temperature and time.

Here are the books that I have found most helpful in descending order. I would invest in all five if you are serious about this. I look at two things; technical information and recipes.

Slow Fire by Ray "DR. BBQ" Lampe - Excellent from a technical standpoint. A great foundation in terms of understanding smoking (slow cooking) and good basic recipes. It is the first book I would buy.

Backyard BBQ The Art of Smokology by Richard W. McPeake - Great in terms of technical. If you study this book along with Lemke's you will really get a handle on the technical aspects of smoking. The recipes are pretty basic, but that is OK if you are new at this.

Smoke & Spice by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison - OK technical, but once you have that down good recipes and good guidance on time and temperature,

Championship Barbecue by Paul Kirk - Good technical compliment to the first two above. This however is more a smoke and grilling cookbook as more than half the recipes are grilled ones. He also has a habit of trying to replicate indoor recipes to the grill. I have no idea why you would do that. A lot of the recipes seem like let me throw this against the wall and see what sticks. That said he has some good smoked ones and his mustard slaughters really work, Thought everything using them would taste like a hot dog, but they enhance the flavor with no mustard taste. Obviously I am a little conflicted by this book.

BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen _ more of a grilling cookbook, but he has some good smoker recipes. I am a fan of his for grilling; I have five of his cookbooks. Again from a smoking perspective this is the last of the five, but it and his others are great if you grill as well.

Last do poke around the website amazingribs.com. It is not just about ribs and has a wealth of information.

Do not assume that any of these recipes will be spot on in terms of your particular grill. As all the authors say you have to learn your grill so do not try any recipe for the first time for company. As many of the authors say smoked BBQ will be ready when it is done.

Again it is all about learning about time and temperature for your particular grill.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Championship Barbecue, August 25, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue (Paperback)
I really like this book. It has become my go-to book for grilling. I have two copies. One is at our trailer and the other is at home. If you have one barbecue book, this should be the one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PAUL KIRK IS THE MASTER OF OUTDOOR COOKING!, January 6, 2008
This review is from: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue (Paperback)
Paul Kirk shares secrets that other books skip over. He gives reasoning behind techniques as well as temperatures and times for every meat you ever wanted to cook outdoors. He starts from the beginning (choosing a butcher)and covers all the steps from meat preparation and safety to controlling temperatures. I have several outdoor cooking books. This one is the best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recipes, Good Instruction, April 30, 2007
This review is from: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue (Paperback)
I'd rate this as a great recipe book, and a good but not great BBQ instruction book. The author is not shy about telling you how good he is and he wants you to be just as proficient at cooking up great food.

The book's recipes cover all kinds of meats, including beef, pork, lamb, chicken and even goat, plus there was a chapter on fish, an unexpected bonus. Whole sections are dedicated to rubs, mops, sauces, and all other manner of BBQ flavorings. The author includes some helpful information for hot grilling foods as well, because its not every day you can spend 16 hours smoking a brisket or 6 hours slow cooking spare ribs.

The only drawback to this book in my eyes is that its explanation of cooking techniques are adequate but not great. A few pictures or diagrams might have helped, as I found myself puzzled trying to figure out a few of his explanations for specific methods. Overall, however, I'm glad I bought this book and look forward to using it for years to come.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great methods and tips, July 18, 2005
By 
Chris Baker (Overland Park, KS) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue (Paperback)
This is my new favorite BBQ book. I haven't been able to put it down for 4 weeks now, I keep going back to it for references and to check on ideas. I have turned dang near everything in my fridge and pantry into eaither a rub, slather or sauce, and ALL of them have been great. This book gave me the inspiration for each recipe I came up with. Lately I have been considering expanding my weekend backyard hobby into competing at contests just to see how I stack up. This book made me even more determined to enter. I'm now registered with he KCBS and planning to compete at a local event next month. This book gave me so many ideas, and taught me several things I did not know before. Thanks Paul Kirk, now I know why they call you the Baron of Barbecue!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great variety of recipes, September 28, 2005
By 
hdgator (Atlanta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue (Paperback)
This book has some very useful information about the art of barbecuing and contains a huge variety of recipes for a huge variety of dishes. I was actually expecting more recipes for BBQ sauces and rubs which is why it did not get the top rating. I believe this book will take years to sample all of the interesting dishes but think that it will be worth the effort.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.