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Comment: Ex-library copy. Copyright 2004, softcover. Shelf/use wears. Text pages are clean.
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Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue Paperback – March 18, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kirk, a chef who has been barbecuing since the early 1980s, is unabashedly proud of his ability to make up a recipe in his head, never test it and win a contest with it. In this guide to outdoor cooking, he attempts to instill his own confidence in readers, through a series of lessons on "what to bring to a barbecue cook-off," "controlling your fire" and "developing a grand champion mindset." Of course, if readers are just looking to host a casual backyard barbecue, they’ll find plenty of tips here, too. After covering the fundamentals of competitive barbecuing, Kirk shares recipes for marinades, slathers, rubs, sauces; he then delves into dishes such as Sweet Smoked Pork Loin, Spicy Texas Ranch Burger, Lemon-Ginger Lamb Chops, Chicken and Apple Sausage, Honey-Raspberry Chicken Breasts and other carnivore’s delights. Kirk’s thorough treatment of barbecuing will enlighten aspiring barbecue champions and backyard gourmets alike.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Prizewinning barbecue chef Kirk shares his successful recipes culled from years of experience sweating through worldwide barbecue competitions. Kirk holds that the secret to good barbecue lies in the basics: the best ingredients and the proper equipment. Not content with everyday bottled and canned sauces, he recommends that serious, caring barbecuers make their own, even Worcestershire sauce. He inventories the whole territory of marinades, mops, sops, and rubs, those flavor imparters that most barbecue competitors guard jealously. In addition to the expected red meats, Kirk lists recipes for lamb and goat and expounds on sausage making. Smoking fish, as well as uncommon poultry such as dove, give this volume a universal appeal. Noting that he has won competitions on the basis of generally ignored vegetable dishes, he gives his recipes for potato salads, slaws, and bean dishes. For those eager to test their barbecue prowess in public, Kirk and coauthor offer advice based on Kirk's own experiences of how to win barbecue contests. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press (March 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558322426
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558322424
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
A few days ago, I interviewed a thin, oversized book entitled `The Big Grill' published by a minor, undistinguished publishing house. The book had all the look about it of a volume destined to go directly from the publisher to the discount stacks, and I found nothing in the book which changed that opinion. The only puzzling aspect of the book is that the thumbnail biography of the author on the back jacket listed some very serious credentials for the author, Paul Kirk. By chance, I soon ran across this volume by the same Paul Kirk, published by the very serious Harvard Common Press, with very high powered blurbs on the back jacket from the likes of John Thorne and Tony Bourdain, plus several luminary barbecue restaurateurs. Like the case with my poor review of one of Nigella Lawson's lesser efforts, I was anxious to find a genuine source for all this admiration. Therefore, I do this review of a book that is dramatically different and better than `The Big Grill' potboiler.
A superficial look at the size and the cover of `Championship Barbecue' may give you the impression that the book is similar to Steve Raichlen's encyclopedic collections of barbecue recipes. While Raichlen's excellent `BBQ USA' gives a great history of the subject and a thorough collection of recipes from around the country, Kirk's `Championship Barbecue' is almost entirely the story of how to participate in and win barbecue contests, a skill he seems to have mastered early and excelled in often.
The very first thing which struck me about Kirk's description of what it takes to win at a barbecue contest is how similar it is to lessons learned by traditional chefs doing haute cuisine.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book. Any cookbook can give a list of recipes, and one can almost always find a few good ones, whether the book is from a celebrity chef or whether it's put out by the local lady's club in an effort to raise some money for charity. What sets the really great cookbooks apart is that they give a method, a set of techniques, which if followed, allow the reader to understand the recipes, to play with them, to embellish them, and to invent his own. Books like Julia Child's The Way to Cook and Madeline Kamman's In Madeline's Kitchen come to mind. They make you a better cook. Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue is definitely in this company. He gives the theory and technique of barbecue--the essence of which is slow, low temperature cooking with smoke. The book is divided into sections, talking about marinades, sops, mops and bastes, rubs, sauces. In each section he tells why a particular ingredient should be used, always encouraging the reader to use the information and invent his own. Following are absolutely terrific sections on the barbecing of pork, beef, fowl, seafood and side dishes. The idea (perhaps conceit would be a better word) that this book is a guide to turning the reader into a barbecue champion is not meant to be taken literally. Paul Kirk states early on that what sets him (and other champions) apart, is not just the recipe and not just the technique, it is the consummate care with which the technique is applied. Still, by inviting the reader to reach for the stars, he encourages us to be the best that we can be. While not many of us will ever have the talent to be barbecue champions, I have no doubt than anybody who loves food and who wants to try, can make absolutely wonderful meals with the help of Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue.
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If you are new to BBQ smoking in my opinion there is no one book you can buy. Everyone that writes one has a point of view. What I have found is you really need a core of three books I have found helpful and then possibly two more. Also there is a lot on the web, but there is one site I have found particularly helpful.

I have tried smoking before with bullet grills with some success, but it takes a lot of minding. I finally broke down and bought the Texas Traeger pellet grill just for smoking. I love it. Now the problem is most cookbooks on smoking do not address this type of smoker head on so if you want to lean how to really use one I have found you need to look at a variety of sources.

Paul Kirk's cookbook makes my type five.

Once you understand temperature in relation to smoke and timing you can translate any indirect recipe to a pellet grill or any other type of smoker. There are some tricks/tips that will enhance the cooking, but in the end it all comes down to temperature and time.

Here are the books that I have found most helpful in descending order. I would invest in all five if you are serious about this. I look at two things; technical information and recipes.

Slow Fire by Ray "DR. BBQ" Lampe - Excellent from a technical standpoint. A great foundation in terms of understanding smoking (slow cooking) and good basic recipes. It is the first book I would buy.

Backyard BBQ The Art of Smokology by Richard W. McPeake - Great in terms of technical. If you study this book along with Lemke's you will really get a handle on the technical aspects of smoking. The recipes are pretty basic, but that is OK if you are new at this.
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