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on March 23, 2012
I have been cooking over fire for over 50 years, mostly using Weber grills and after market products, many of which I have reviewed here. The books by Jamie Purviance ( I believe that there are now nine) have been and are the basic "go to" resources when I need either a recipe or some grilling advice. I suspect that buying "another cook book" other than by Jamie would provoke a "domestic tsunami" but, as I write this, I see the SO eyeing the book, and I'd probably draw some ire if I didn't buy it.

So, gentle reader, why should you shell out some coin for this one?

Well, if your idea of outdoor cooking is burning burgers on Memorial Day and the 4th, my advice is: Don't! But if you are at all like me, and grill a lot, I urge you to get and read this book, and here are some reasons why.

1. IT'S A LEARNING TOOL. If you smoke on a regular basis, you can skip this paragraph. But if you don't, one good reason to get this book is to learn how. As Jamie notes, and I underscore, smoke is a seasoning, and as with most seasonings, "less is more". Too much salt, garlic or smoke can ruin a meal, while just the right amount can take good food into the stratosphere! Jamie is a good teacher in this book, and if you read and follow the advice he offers, you will start getting some serious "atta boys!" (or "atta girls!") when the food hits the table (hopefully plated).

2. THE RECIPES ARE SIMPLE. One of the constants in the Purviance/Weber library is that there is an emphasis on simplicity. Not at the expense of flavor, mind, but in ease of understanding, preparation and cooking. At my advanced age, I am simply not interested in spending three days preparing a meal, nomatter how good the finished product is.

3. DOING NEW THINGS WITH OLD FAVORITES. In the winter, we like "comfort foods", like braised short ribs or osso bucco. When I see a new way to do one of these dishes (like beer braised and mesquite smoked short ribs) I start to salivate. Similarly, when I see something called "pacific rim pork roast" which uses low and slow to do a pork shoulder, I'm on it!

4. THE BOOK IS WELL ORGANIZED. Don't you hate it when you have to use the index at the back of a book to find information you need? This one is easy to use: it starts with a section on "smoking basics", then has recipes organized by sections like appetizers, red meat, etc. Each section starts with a list of the recipes contained there. It could not be set up any better. Oh yes! there are great pics of each dish.

5. YUMMY RESULTS. Is there any reason at all to buy a cookbook that does not produce food that is incredibly tasty? Not where I sit. And that, gentle reader, is probably the main reason that I have added each of Jamie's books to the kitchen shelf as soon as I see them here. Simply put, whether I am cooking for me, or the family or for friends, I have been able to rely on the Purviance/Weber team for reliable, tasty recipes which produce consistantly high level results.

Normally, I cook out all year long. OK, a bit less when there's a lot of snow on the deck, but about twice a week then, and a lot more when the snow and ice are gone. With what looks like an early spring (last week was amazing and I was at the grills 5 days out of 6)I have already planned several meals using this book, and knowing the SO, there will be requests (demands?) for more. Smoking food well requires a knowledge of fire maintenance and careful use of the smoking process. If you let Jamie be your teacher, the learning will be fun and productive.
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on April 4, 2012
Expand your outdoor cooking horizons and waistlines with Weber's "Smoke"! The latest cookbook from Jamie Purviance is the first (as far as I know) undertaking into the world of low and slow authentic BBQ. The book is helpful for those who want to transition from high heat grilling into low and slow smoky BBQ on a kettle, gas grill or smoker. To speed up this transition, the books composition is easy to follow and exciting to explore. An overabundance of vibrant photography and illustrations serves to help the reader soak up information like a sponge.

Even a BBQ enthusiast like me has found many useful tips, tricks and nuggets hidden between the lines. Moreover, the recipes are inspiring...traditional and non-traditional BBQ dishes that challenge beginners to experts. Also, the inclusion of Latin cuisine is my favorite theme about this book. I grew up with parents who cooked authentic Mexican cuisine and I have incorporated that into my BBQ for years. Jamie Purviance's experience in Latin cuisine brings a whole new level of flavor to the table...literally! If you haven't tried BBQ tamales, you're missing out...this book has the recipe!

Some hardcore pitmasters may be disappointed to find that this book is not like the "storyteller" BBQ books that have come out recently or that Jamie does not touch on long standing low and slow debates such as..."should the brisket go fat side up or down?" But for the casual backyard weekend warriors, the tutorial and recipes in this book will guide you to impress your family, friends and neighbors. Well done!
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on April 5, 2012
Weber's Smoke brings together decades of knowledge about smoke cooking and barbeque in a book that enables beginners through moderately-skilled backyard chefs to step up their games! I'm a professional BBQ cook with Velvet Smoke BBQ and Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) judge so I'm often asked for recipes and cooking tips. However, many of the recipes used out on the competition trail are long, laborious and technically difficult. Weber's Smoke balances the basics of grilling and smoking with professional tips that are easy to understand and perform on the grill you already have. There are a lot of smoking and barbeque books out there, but for one go-to book that delivers real results with proven recipes, this is the one! I also recommend Real Grilling, also from the Weber collection, for those interested in grilling techniques and even more awesome recipes. Good luck and good smoking!
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on February 24, 2014
Gave this to my husband, along with a smoker for a special occasion and he loves it. It has helped him figure out the smoker and how to use it to make great items. It is a very good beginner book to get you on your way to smoker heaven.
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VINE VOICEon December 14, 2012
SMOKE is a book about barbecue that will get you up and out to your grill. The recipes are easy, the techniques clearly explained, and the photographs are devilishly contrived to make your mouth drool. Get this one.

Schuyler T Wallace
Author of TIN LIZARD TALES
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on August 8, 2014
My wife purchased this for me for father's day. I believe my family was tired off the fame old on the grill. For you grill geeks it's a blue 22.5 kettle gold performer from of course weber. With Stubbs charcoal for smoking otherwise it's kingsford.
So far it's been beef ribs pork ribs, pork loin, pork shoulder, beef brisket, and if you don't like meat rack of lamb. Every single entree has been incredible. My parents even said oh wow your brother doesn't make lamb this good. Just for everyone out there for comparison sake I have to trek you my brother is a chef working for a resort. So either it was really good our they were just making me feel good. My 17 year old did eat and entire rack.
So if you want the good to disappear and everyone to compliment you on your skills this is the book to get
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on September 5, 2012
I've had this book for about a month now. I've done the beef ribs, brisket, and pulled pork recipes. All turned out great. I've been smoking since the mid nineties, but just for family and don't claim to be any kind of pro. I learned not long ago that items like pork shoulder turn out better if you wrap them in foil for the second half of the cooking time, as this book recommends. I also recently saw that brisket is better if smoked in a tray, as this book recommends. I followed that for the first time with the recipe here and it was my best brisket ever. The beef ribs were great too, I just wish I had a better rack to start with, it was over trimmed, leaving too little meat on it. I won't do it again until I get better product. I look forward to trying the Hawaiian style pork shoulder (order some Hawaiian red salt with this purchase, good as a gift) , pork ribs, and smoked fish dishes.

The format of the book, physically, is great, it has nice binding that lays flat nicely, after you press it down, and it used a thick paperback cover with wrapped edges, so it feels sturdy, but costs us less to buy. All the pages are glossy color with good photos of the food. My only quibble is that I wish the ingredient lists were in a little bit larger font, but their compactness makes it really easy to take a picture of them with a smartphone so you have it when grocery shopping.

The structure of the recipes and ancillary information on smoking is great, especially for a beginner. The author tells you how to smoke on any type of grilling device, charcoal, gas, water smoker; and which is best for each recipe. There is also good advice on the types of charcoal, smoking woods, and the smoking process itself to help you obtain best results.

I strongly recommend this to any beginner or backyard amateur looking to expand their range and hone their skills.
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on September 7, 2015
Jamie Purviance has hit another home run with the Weber's Smoke cookbook, full of the usual wide assortment of recipes for all tastes. The only thing I regret is that this book only covers smoking on a kettle. I have the 18" Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) smoker, and really wish he would do a book specifically for it. I spent a few years struggling to properly smoke meats on a kettle, and only the WSM can properly control the temperature as it needs to be. On a kettle, I found I was constantly having to tweak the upper and lower vents to get it to smoke at a proper temperature. I have, however, "baked" some items on the kettle, similar to how his recipes "smoke" items, with great success. Other than that, you really can't go wrong with any of his books. If you are tired of the standard hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken, by all means grab this or any of his other cookbooks.
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on December 29, 2013
I got this book for my boyfriends smoker. It was his first time smoking meat, so it actually gave him great ideas on the various types of rubs and flavorings he can do for his meats. Unfortunately, some of the estimated time of completion is wayyy off. I think it has more to do with how experienced the person is with using the equipment, so DON'T go by the time estimation given by the book and look up advice from online forums. We actually had to turn up the heat and put in an extra 2-3 hours for the brisket to come out somewhat decent.

Other than that, it is a GREAT book. Just be sure to use other resources from other sites when it comes to preparation.
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on July 18, 2013
I have been cooking outdoors since I was a kid helping my dad and mom make some great meals. I have used Weber Grills and recipes for the past 10 years and they are excellent recipes and great flavor. I have vertical smoker, weber kettle grill, and weber gas grill, along with my dutch ovens from Camp Chef. Why would you buy this book? (If you only do burgers, hot dogs and the occasional quick chicken save you money, but if you are interested in expanding your culinary horizon this is a great book.

1. Great book to get started on old fashioned smoking. Solid information on smoking foods and cooking foods, utilizing almost any grill type.

2. Easy recipes and great instructions.

3. Very well organized book and keeps things clear and understandable.
Weber's Smoke: A Guide to Smoking ROCKS!
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