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on August 17, 2016
Great book for a recreational smoker like me. One of the things I like the most is that it pretty much only has the tried and true recipes, which means you tend to get one recipe for each cut and type of meat. That way it limits your choices and encourages you to tweak the recipes if they are not to your liking rather than browse a wide array of possibilities.

The other great part is that it talks a lot about the practical things you need to do for a successful smoke, as well as addressing many of the pitfalls and challenges.
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on March 25, 2010
If you take your barbecuing seriously this book is a great addition to your collection. Chris Lilly cooks, hands-down, the best pulled pork I have ever tasted. I have literally heard hundreds of people tell him the same thing when tasting his pork and ribs at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. No matter how much you think you know about barbecue this book will still have something to offer you. Plus, he has plenty of barbecue championships and awards to prove it.

The book contains more than just great barbecue recipes. It intersperses that with the history of Big Bob Gibson BBQ, from the restaurant's beginning as a backyard labor of love to its present level of success as a world-renowned maker of barbecue food, sauces and rubs and competitive barbecue team. The story of Big Bob Gibson and his restaurant help barbecue chefs of any experience level remember the most important lesson of great meat - patience. Like great barbecue, Big Bob's personal quest to perfect his craft proves that the best results take time, effort and practice.

Any cook book can provide recipes and any chef can follow directions. But Chris Lilly gives you more than just recipe directions in this book. He masterfully explains the other things; the little details that recipes can't teach you but that are crucial to their success. He tells you what only a true pit master would teach you.

Don't let this endorsement scare you if you consider yourself a novice or too inexperienced to benefit from such sage advice. There are recipes in this book I have made with grade school children helping me. They are simple to read and understand but take a time and practice to master. This is a great resource for starting that quest.

I can't stress this enough. If you want a barbecue cook book, I can't imagine how this book could possibly disappoint you!
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on March 30, 2017
Looking for a BBQ cookbook. This is a great one. Chris Lily knows what he is talking about and explains technique in an easy to understand/ follow. I get this for everyone I know who gets into smoking. Also check out Dr. BBQs books.
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on June 7, 2009
This book contains a variety of recipes along with ample history of Big Bob Gibson's barbecue.

At present, I have tried from the book:
(1) the pork shoulder recipe, served with the Memphis style sauce
(2) the whole butterflied chicken, served with Bob Gibson's famous white sauce.

Both were outstanding and each was easily worth the price of the entire book, particularly the white sauce-WOW.

both followed classic barbecue techniques and did not require excessive preparation or a half dozen steps.

In addition to covering the most common types of barbecue, the book also includes side dishes, an occassional dessert, and a variety of sauces--most derived from something done at Big Bob Gibson's or by Chris Lilly in competition.

There are lots of great barbeque books out there, what this book brings is (1) recipes that have routinely won awards at barbecue competitions-lots of awards, (2) some unique Bob Gibson sauces that are terrific (3) a enjoyable history of the man and the restaurant.

I look forward to trying more recipes in the future.

NOTE: I tried these on the big green egg, which is well suited for long cooking sessions. Even though the book does not address ceramic cookers, the recipes are not equipment specific. But the obviously amazing results possible (and amply described) with a true barbecue pit and 100% hickory make it clear there is another level of barbecue out there.
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on January 14, 2012
By far the best book for learning how to BBQ successfully. Well written, entertaining and insightful. Not a "do it this way" guide, more a "we do it this way because..." and "if you want to do this, we recommend this approach, because...". We've gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from reading this book and working through the recipes which have been uniformly outstanding. If you are looking for diverse, high quality, delicious recipes for rubs, sauce and mops this book will not disappoint. It also provides you with the knowledge to develop your own signature rub and/or BBQ sauce if that's something you feel the need to do. We will never, ever buy BBQ sauce from a grocery store again. The preperation time for an average rub is 10 minutes and an average BBQ sauce is 30 minutes. Once they're made they tend to be good for a couple of weeks making it easy to prepare these for later in the week. This book is very much focused on traditional "low and slow" BBQing. As a result cooking times can be long, 2 to 12 hours depending on the size of the cut, but the flavor and tenderness of the resulting meat is to die for.If you have never used indirect heat (typically 225 degrees)and smoke to cook food before you are in for a treat. This book provides the guidance many of us need to get the most from our existing outdoor grill or BBQ. If you decide to invest in a new BBQ the information provided here will help you to find one which best suites you and your lifestyle.

P.S. We highly recommend the recipes for the Memphis Red and White BBQ sauces. We were wary of the latter but once we tried it.......
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on July 29, 2017
A fantastic book. Any 'backyard chef' deserves to own a copy.
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on July 15, 2013
This book is a good read for those who enjoy grilling - it gives the history of Big Bob Gibson's BBQ joint along with signature recipes and select grilling tips. The recipes that I've made are tasty but one thing I have found myself running into is that some recipes call for certain types of Big Bob's Sauce that are available at retail stores. Unfortunately for me none of the grocery stores in my area carry any Big Bob products so for those recipes I just have to guess as to what type of sauce I'm supposed to be using. Some of the sauces do have recipes at the back of the book so you can make them yourself but some, like Big Bob's Habenaro Red Sauce, don't have recipes. The substitutions I've made have turned out good but I can't help but feeling I could be missing something by not using the exact ingredients.
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on February 22, 2010
I'm new to "low and slow" BBQ and recently purchased a Weber Smoker Mountain smoker. I have a handful of BBQ books and this is by far my favorite. Chris Lilly weaves interesting history, gorgeous pictures and classic recipes into a very concise and user friendly manual. You even get the feeling he's (almost) giving away family secrets. I have smoked up a few of his recipes to date (Gibson's baby back ribs, whole chickens with white bbq sauce) and they came out great. We even made his bbq sauce from scratch and his fantastic red-skin potato salad.

What's remarkable is the simplicity of many recipes. Plus, this book doesn't overwhelm you with 20+ ways to cook ribs, etc. Instead, the focus is on a handful of the most popular, or successful recipes, from each major meat category - plus quite a few classic side dishes and his famous sauces and rubs. Along with the Weber smoker online community, I feel this book allowed me to quickly jump into bbq with pretty good results.
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If you're just starting out, then this book is for you. Would make a great bachelor's gift or a gift for the newlyweds. Seasoned professionals or those who've been BBQing for years probably wont get much use of out this book.........but if you're young and want some pointers and need some basics..........then this book is for you
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on November 16, 2012
This is a most extraordinary cookbook.
While it expertly teaches the tricks of the trade of barbecuing and shares many wonderful recipes, it also tells the fascinating story of barbecue legend Big Bob Gibson.
And that's some story!
Excellent recipes, great photos, helpful tips for budding Pit Masters and a really interesting read.
But the best thing, my thirteen year old son discovered his love of cooking with this book.
He's tried many of the barbecue recipes and will make one or two of the salads to go with the meal.
The joy of sharing a meal with family and friends that he's cooked himself can be seen by the broad smile on his face as the compliments roll in from the guests.
It's also seen Decatur Alabama added to the list of places to visit if we ever make it to the USA.
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