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Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto Hardcover – April 7, 2015
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New York Times Best Seller
“Aaron Franklin makes the finest barbecue I’ve ever had, barbecue worth waiting for. His work and his words express a truly rare level of commitment and expertise. With Franklin Barbecue, he shares it all—in a book that, fortunately, you don’t have to wait for.”
— Anthony Bourdain
“I used to think Aaron Franklin was a genius: There was his rise from backyard dabbler to king of Texas pitmasters; his mind-altering brisket that made normally rational people (myself included) wait hours for the chance to eat it; and his insistence that game-changing barbecue doesn’t come from miracles but rather elbow grease. Then he wrote this book and gave all his secrets away. Now everyone—from me to you to your neighbor who can’t grill a chicken breast—will be able to make award-winning barbecue. He’s not a genius anymore; he’s a god.”
— Andrew Knowlton, restaurant and drinks editor, Bon Appétit
“The most refreshing barbecue book to come along yet. Rather than preaching about ‘one true way,’ Aaron Franklin guides you through all the wood and smoke so that you can find your own style. And instead of just listing ingredients and rattling off generic recipes, these pages tell the story of a place and a barbecue tradition steeped in history. This isn’t just a book about barbecue;
this book is Central Texas barbecue.”
— Daniel Vaughn, barbecue editor, Texas Monthly, and author of The Prophets of Smoked Meat
“Pure genius! Aaron Franklin has distilled years’ worth of barbecue knowledge into this book. In it, he exposes the sacred insights of a top pitmaster—information that can otherwise only be learned from long nights spent staring at a fire, shovel in hand, constantly prodding and pinching your meat to figure out that ‘just perfect’ point of doneness. This book is a game changer: read it, and your barbecue will improve overnight!”
— Adam Perry Lang, chef, restaurateur, and author of Serious Barbecue
“A complete meat-and brisket-cooking education from the country’s most celebrated pitmaster. More than just a recipe book, this is a master course in the fine art of meat smoking, Texas-style.”
— Library Journal
About the Author
AARON FRANKLIN is a native of Bryan, Texas, and the co-owner and co-founder (along with his wife, Stacy) of Franklin Barbecue. Franklin Barbecue opened its doors in 2009, and has since gone on to win many awards, including "Best Barbecue in Texas" from Texas Monthly and "Best Barbecue in America" from Bon Appétit. Franklin is also the host of the PBS series BBQ with Franklin. He and his wife live in Austin with their daughter.
JORDAN MACKAY is the wine and spirits critic for San Francisco magazine, and the coauthor of the James Beard Award-winning Secrets of the Sommeliers. He lives in San Francisco.
Top customer reviews
You might think since I've given away the "secret" to Franklin's BBQ, there's no reason to buy the book, right? You're wrong. In this book he imparts his story, which is interesting, he gives you several clues on which things matter and which things don't so you can start your journey with more knowledge than he did. You won't buy this book and then suddenly be able to cook the best BBQ on the planet, but you'll have a deeper understanding of the craft and you'll know where you should experiment and where you should learn from his mistakes.
I found this book immensely valuable in my journey toward becoming an excellent pitmaster. I pre ordered the book and devoured it's info in just less than 48 hours after opening it. I did so because I ate at Franklins and it was the best BBQ I ever had, I made a bet that Franklin's book would be as excellent as his BBQ and I was right. There's a lot of great information here, but it's not like most BBQ books. It's much more about the process than the recipes (though it does have some). If you want a shortcut, look elsewhere but I think you'll ultimately be disappointed in the results. If you truly want to become a pitmaster and you're willing to put in some work, this is an excellent book to guide you in the right direction.
Informative and entertaining, I've found myself laughing out loud a few times. Buy this book, make good BBQ.
Take the information in this book, use it, tweak it, and figure out how it can apply to your particular situation and there is little doubt in my mind you will be able to turn out some awesome meat. With the foundation Franklin lays out here you will be able to build your own recipes.
The print is very small but I plowed through about 175 pages the first night I got it. Very informative and the writing style is very readable.
The cooking section of the book is great. Franklin covers the process of smoking meat from trimming, to the rub, the cook, and wrap. He cooks at 275, and pulls a brisket off the smoker by feel, and not by temp - that's news to me. He provides recipes for rubs, and slathers, and sauces, and side. If you use a Weber Smoky Mountain or a Rec Tec, the cooking section will be applicable.
The only thing that could have made this book better would have been a coupon to go to the front of the line at his shop. But, then again, no cutters!
What it IS is a great deal of insight into the making of a great BBQ pit-master as well as a sometimes funny/sometimes sad story of the start up of any small business. It's interesting, funny, informative and honest. Franklin makes no bones about the mistakes and failures that preceded his current success and cult status. As a long time fan of BBQ in general and an amateur pit-master of many years standing, I admire Aaron and envy his gradual evolution into the successful entrepreneur that he is today. He is a testament to the ability of stubbornness, desire, talent, HARD work and self-created luck that make America great!