39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Had this one for a while,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Smoke & Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue (Non) (Paperback)
I bought this book after getting my first smoker (Weber Smoky Mountain - I highly recommend) and while it gives a good run-down of how to smoke (what temps to shoot for, amount of time to smoke, types of smokers, what woods to use) the recipes are hit-or-miss. The rubs I've tried have been good (pork rib - don't recall the name, pork shoulder - Renowned Mr Brown, and beef brisket - Dandy Dan's Brisket), but not great and the sauces all tasted VERY sour. While I understand vinegar is a big component to many regional sauces it shouldn't be the biggest flavor component - the Memphis Magic sauce says it should be smoky and spicy where it tastes like spicy/hot tomato vinegar. The Vaunted Vinegar sauce tastes like cayenne and vinegar. There is no balance. Both are off the charts in two directions - sour and hot/spicy.
The only side I've made has been the Ms White Delights slaw which was too runny/not creamy. The sides are typical BBQ sides - slaw, potato salad, etc and most don't require the smoker. However, there are some that do, but I don't like to start my smoker for anything less than a few hours and the cook times for many of the smoked sides is 20 minutes to 1 hour.
I would say that the book is good for a beginner (temps, times, smoker types, and wood suggestions), but beyond that it loses it's value quickly.
For rubs, start with a basic 8+3+1+1 method (8 parts sugar, 3 parts paprika, 1 part salt and 1 part of whatever you want) and make it your own - it's much more fun that way.
For wood, typically you'll see fruit woods (cherry, apple, etc) with pork; oak and hard nut woods with beef, alder with fish (light smoke won't overpower the fish).
Temps should fall around 200 - 215 degrees for beef/pork and between 150 - 160 degrees for fish.
Cook times are about 1 1/2 - 2 hours per pound to reach the internal temp required to be safe.