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Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Barbecue Hardcover – April 11, 2012
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About the Author
Leigh Beisch is a San Francisco-based photographer whose work can be found in Ribs, Chops, Steaks & Wings.
"Famous Dave" Anderson, founder of the successful barbecue restaurant chain Famous Dave's of America, is a grilling and bbq expert, best-selling author and motivational speaker.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Here is my take:
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.Read more ›
Ray is a very accomplished trucker-turned-barbecue-man. You can read the long list of his achievements at his site. What I like about Ray is his unpretentious and no-nonsense approach to barbecue. He has strong opinions and, true to his Chicago roots, he's not bashful about telling you what's on his mind. In other words, he keeps it really real, and I dig that.
It's interesting to me to see how Ray's books have continually matured through the seven years that he's been writing. Slow Fire really highlights that maturation. The first thing I noticed is that this is a beautiful book. The layout is pleasantly clean and the photography is gorgeous. You can immediately tell that this isn't your average barbecue cookbook.
As the title indicates, this book is intended for beginners. Barbecue is a paradox. It's a simple cuisine that can be deceptively complicated and intimidating. Over time cooks have managed to complicate what started as a very simple and humble cooking process, so much so that the average Joe is afraid to tackle it. This book cuts through the smoke and gets back to basics.
A beginner's book has to walk a fine line. It has to be simple and approachable while providing enough knowledge to build confidence, but not so much that it scares folks away. That is especially true in barbecue. One can very quickly get bogged down by expensive equipment, arcane terminology and philosophical arguments. That's not the case here.Read more ›
Some of the best information I found in this book was:
1. Discussion of the different types of tools you need to use while smoking meat
2. Discussion about the different types of wood you use to add smoke flavor and the type of flavor each adds
3. Information about different types of smokers - for those who are looking for a smoker
4. Whole section on high quality rubs and sauces you can use - I found that it was a useful knowledge in creating your own rubs and sauces
5. Guidance on how to cook different types of meats - ribs, pork, beef, birds, and other things.
6. Many of the recipes also contain additional smoking and meat preparation techniques to help you be an even better cook with a smoker.
I plan on using this book as a reference to help me with meat smoking for a long time.
The book begins by telling about different types of smokers and continues by explaining how different types of woods affect the flavor and color of your meats. It then provides recipes for a couple of basic rubs and several different types of barbecue sauces; a couple of red barbecue sauces, my personal favorite...a yellow (mustard) bbq sauce, Dr. Pepper bbq sauce, banana ketchup (you heard me right), and some others. I've tried both of the rubs and several of the barbecue sauces. The yellow barbecue sauce goes so good with pulled pork, it'll make you want to slap yo mamma; while the banana ketchup also goes good with pork. But it wasn't something I'd make a habit of. It is different though and worth a try.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perfect for the beginner. Explains the concepts. A nice selection of recipes and easy to follow step-by-step directions. Ingredients are easy to find.Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
Quick Delivery, I have a cookbook addition and I love this book.Published 18 days ago by Christopher Polfus
Got this on Kindle, good informative book. Kinda wish I had order the hardback version, which I may still do. ThanksPublished 1 month ago by Tom
Includes some excellent recipes and tips that I would consider beyond "beginner". Highly recommended.Published 1 month ago by Scott Roberson
This is a great book for those who are starting out and those who have some experience. The recipes are great, I've tried most of them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Patrick
I shared it with some friends now we have cook offs at work from time to time.Published 2 months ago by ANTHONY L JONES SR
This is my go-to guide for barbecue. I use an electric smoker, rather than fire, but the process is the same. My results have been uniformly great.Published 4 months ago by RCH