It's always refreshing to see something new and different from the rest. An original idea or a different take, sometimes even something just a little bit out of the ordinary. I've been writing this review column for nearly a decade and I've enjoyed the privilege of reading many great books about barbecue. Yet, I've never come across a book anything at all like "Startin' the Fire: Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Competition BBQ Team (Except the Recipes)" by George Hensler ($12.99, Rio Grande Books, 102 pp.). I've seen great books on how to cook barbecue, I've seen many excellent books on great places that serve barbecue and I've even seen a couple of books about barbecue competitions. But a how-to on starting a competition barbecue team? Nope, not until now.
To the credit of Hensler, he is upfront with his readers about how this book came about. He admitted right away that this doesn't come from decades of experience on the competition barbecue circuit but rather is drawn off his skills an organizer and a planner. And judging from what he included in this book, this is a guy who got it right away.
Hensler included a couple of bonuses in his book. The first is all the barbecue team logos interspersed throughout the pages. Some you may know, some you may not. But you're sure to enjoy the creativity and, who knows?, it may inspire a new logo for a team of your own. The second bonus is the playlists for different periods in a competition. Once you see these, I'm pretty sure you'll be visiting iTunes to add these to you iPod (don't make me explain iTunes and iPod to any of you!).
I'm a K.C.B.S. Certified Judge and if you want to get into competition barbecue then buy this book! It is small but packed with solid information you will need to get started. Although some of this information may seem simple- If you've never been in a real money (your entry fee, your expenses, your sweat) contest, your first investment needs to be this book! I'm not a relative nor have I ever met George, but I know barbecue and Judging contests and you will gain a wealth of information. This book does not teach technique or recipes (there are many other books for that) but teaches the "ropes" of competition. Great Job George! Bruce Buckwalter KBCS Certified Judge
At this point, I am not all together ready to start into competition BBQ cooking. I had heard about the book, and thought I would give it a read. Now that I am finished, I feel I could jump right in and start my own team. This book is a complete "nuts to butts" accounting on how to get started in this very exciting hobby/sport. The information is presented in a very easy to read format and includes some pretty funny stories as well. You never know, you might see me out there on the competition circuit sooner rather than later, thanks to George's book!
This book is essential for the new BBQ team. You have an excellent heads up as to what to bring and what to do at at contest. I have been on a BBQ team for over 3 years and we started completly on our own learning by trial and error. This book would have shortened our learning curve immensely. I strongly reccomend this book to the new guys. It is worth every penny. This is an easy read and humorous to boot. Start the fire!
I am not sure how i feel about this book. The author could have written it in as little as 20 pages, and still had time for the fluff that he included. On the other hand, he includes lists and facts that as a newbie I would never have known to think about. I would definitely suggest reading this book if you want to consider getting into competition BBQ. But dont think it will teach you everything you need to know.