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on June 12, 2013
Northern Alabama is one of the great capitals of American barbecue. Big Bob Gibson's BBQ restaurant in Decatur, Alabama is like ground zero for this style of cooking. With this excellent cookbook Chris Lilly shares with the reader how they do BBQ at Big Bob Gibson's.

Mr. Lilly instructs you how to build fires, construct BBQ rubs, and make delicious sauces. However, like a good teacher he encourages you to do whatever works best for you.

Recipes include traditional BBQ items like pork shoulder, beef brisket, brined chicken, turkey breast, and pork ribs. There are also some unusual recipes like head of beef, grilled rabbit, and barbecue goat.

Chris Lilly includes some excellent side dishes like coleslaw, turnip greens, and Brunswick stew. Desserts are also included like "Big Mama's Apple Nut Cake" and apple rolls.

Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book has totally changed my eating and cooking habits. I can no longer enjoy chicken without Alabama White Sauce. If you're looking for a Holy Grail of BBQ cookbooks there isn't one. However, if I had to have just one barbecue cookbook in my collection then Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book would be it!
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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 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 14, 2012
I purchased this book along with a few others and this is by far my favorite. It's not packed with recipes, but everything I've made from it has turned out wonderfully. It's also a good read, the introductions to the recipes are interesting and the sections on the history of the restaurant (along with the photos) really take you back.

There are a few recipes that aren't really practical for the home cook, but are amusing nonetheless: whole grilled pig, whole grilled goat, a pig cooked in an imu. Not really anything I'd ever be able to make, but good for a read.

Highly recommended.
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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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on May 1, 2012
I was the designated meat-fire-cook since I was a kid at home....40+ years now. I started serious BBQ and smoking about 10 years ago. I had one way/recipe that was good (south Texas beef fajitas, over mesquite wood) All was a variation of that.

I bought Chris Lilly's book in 2009 and raised my BBQ to a whole new level of good. The first time I made the Memphis-style Championship Sauce, my son tried it and said, "I want to take a bath in that!" I always make extra sauce with a smoked shoulder, to give away to friends, because there is never any shoulder left.

My son-in-law (RIP) and I made the mushroom-crusted beef tenderloin that summer and decided right there, this would always be our Thanksgiving center-point from there on.

Get this book if you are a beginner or have been burning meat out-of-doors for lots of years.

I hope that my travels, someday, take me near one of the Big Bob's restaurants. To quote a favorite movie, when they bring the menu, I will answer, "I'll have the lot."
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on June 26, 2012
I have so much respect for Chris Lilly. Not only is he an accomplished BBQ competitor, but he's portrayed as being a genuine, intelligent, and giving person who sincerely wants to help others achieve similar success. Not only does the book provide great recipes, but it also educates you along the way so that you can branch off and start your own creations with confidence when you're ready. He also provides background information on the restaurant and philosophies of Big Bob Gibson, which ultimately ties everything together and gives you some insight into why BBQ is done the way it is today. In summary, this is one of the best books I've ever purchased (on any subject), and there is no way you can go wrong by buying this book.
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on May 14, 2012
in a very good way. I was expecting the book on friday. Not knowing what to expect, I just knew I was gonna smoke on the weekend. I pulled out a beef tenderloin before the book arrived. I found a great mushroom crusted recipe and smoked a delicious meal for my family. The meal was simple to follow and the flavor was over the top. Took leftovers to work and had a few people asking a lot of questions. samples went quick. Thanx for the opportunity to show off. Can't wait to try the pork recipe in a couple weeks.
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on October 7, 2016
Very good recipe book with interesting variations of many different meats. I typically search through the web for recipes but stumbled on this book after borrowing from a friend. Turned out fantastic and decided to buy for myself. You won't be sorry for your purchase.
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on March 13, 2011
The thing about this book is the emphasis on simplicity.
Ingredients are not esoteric and therefore easily available.
The taste of BBQ items are not overpowered by too many herbs and spices or other fanciful ingredients.
So far I have not been disappointed with any of the food cooked out of this book.
In short, the goal is for good hearty food. After all, is this not the idea of good eating and living and what BBq is meant to be?
As a non- American I appreciate that the book refrains from using US brand names in the use of cooking.
Over time I have marked the book heavily with metric conversions. A fairly common fault of the majority of US cook books is the US system of measuring. A minor annoyance for us outsiders.
Although the book concentrates on the Webber ( probably due to its mass saturation and hence greater appeal as well as a better financial return for the book) I cook on the Big Green Egg which leaves the Webber for dead.
I think highly enough of the book to have it rebound into a hardcover version. Well deserved five stars.
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