75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
If I could only own one book on BBQ, this would be the one,
By A Customer
This review is from: Smoke & Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue (Non) (Paperback)
Smoke & Spice is a recipe book for traditional low temperature long duration barbecue. If you are looking for a book on gas or charcoal grilling, look elsewhere. If you are looking for a `how to' book on smoking, look elsewhere also. If you are looking for a picture book, this isn't it. If you are looking for a compilation of every style of open fire cooking from around the world, or recipes with dozens of ingredients and complex processes, you would be well advised to look at one of Steven Raichlen's books, as he seems specialize in "everything including the kitchen sink" grilling books.
However, if you are looking for a book at covers the bases of traditional American barbecue, sauces and rubs, `Smoke & Spice' is the book to have. Most of the recipes here are for smokers fired to temperatures ranging from 180-250 degrees, which is the traditional barbecue method. Having traveled extensively and sampled barbecue from the various regions with the traditional methods, rubs and sauces myself, it is clear that the authors are well acquainted with the various regional styles. Sauces and rubs are very faithful to the traditional regional recipes. The updated edition also offers a number of recipes for non-traditional barbecue and complimentary side dishes, both traditional and non-traditional.
While I have many other books on barbecue, recipes I've collected on my own and my own recipes I have developed, I have found that Smoke & Spice contains the recipes that I keep coming back to. Most of the rubs and sauces have no more than a half dozen ingredients, which is the case with most traditional recipes. The great flavor of traditional BBQ comes from long slow cooking over a smoldering smoky fire using ingredients that can be found in any store, and that is what is presented here. My copy of this book is spattered with sauce and is covered with notes, and that's the highest compliment I can pay to any cookbook.
Finally, to correct misinformation offered by another reviewer, the health risks in open fire cooking are from high temperature grilling, not low temperature smoking as addressed by this `Smoke & Spice'. Grilling produces smoke from fat dripping on hot coals or metal that contains benzopyrene, a potent mutagen and carcinogen, which then sticks to the meat. Offset firebox smokers, water smokers and Kamado style ceramic cookers that cook at temperatures lower than 250 degrees and normally use drip pans do not burn meat drippings and thus do not pose the same health risks as gas and charcoal grills do.