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Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Barbecue Hardcover – April 11, 2012
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About the Author
Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe has been barbecuing professionally for over 20 years and is a cook-off champion. He has written 5 cookbooks, including Ribs, Chops, Steaks & Wings. He lives in Florida.
Leigh Beisch is a San Francisco–based photographer whose work can be found in Ribs, Chops, Steaks & Wings.
"Famous Dave" Anderson, founder of the successful barbecue restaurant chain Famous Dave's of America, is a grilling and bbq expert, best-selling author and motivational speaker.
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Top customer reviews
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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.
Here is my take:
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.
Smoke & Spice by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison - OK technical, but once you have that down good recipes and good guidance on time and temperature,
Championship Barbecue by Paul Kirk - Good technical compliment to the first two above. This however is more a smoke and grilling cookbook as more than half the recipes are grilled ones. He also has a habit of trying to replicate indoor recipes to the grill. I have no idea why you would do that. A lot of the recipes seem like let me throw this against the wall and see what sticks. That said he has some good smoked ones and his mustard slaughters really work, Thought everything using them would taste like a hot dog, but they enhance the flavor with no mustard taste. Obviously I am a little conflicted by this book.
BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen _ more of a grilling cookbook, but he has some good smoker recipes. I am a fan of his for grilling; I have five of his cookbooks. Again from a smoking perspective this is the last of the five, but it and his others are great if you grill as well.
Last do poke around the website amazingribs.com. It is not just about ribs and has a wealth of information.
Do not assume that any of these recipes will be spot on in terms of your particular grill. As all the authors say you have to learn your grill so do not try any recipe for the first time for company. As many of the authors say smoked BBQ will be ready when it is done.
Again it is all about learning about time and temperature for your particular grill.
The book begins by telling about different types of smokers and continues by explaining how different types of woods affect the flavor and color of your meats. It then provides recipes for a couple of basic rubs and several different types of barbecue sauces; a couple of red barbecue sauces, my personal favorite...a yellow (mustard) bbq sauce, Dr. Pepper bbq sauce, banana ketchup (you heard me right), and some others. I've tried both of the rubs and several of the barbecue sauces. The yellow barbecue sauce goes so good with pulled pork, it'll make you want to slap yo mamma; while the banana ketchup also goes good with pork. But it wasn't something I'd make a habit of. It is different though and worth a try. The barbecue sauce recipes I did try from this book were all good and, of course, those and the rubs can be modified to suit your own personal taste. But the book gives you a good point from which to start. And they are good enough that you will be turning out good quality barbecue if you don't change them at all. I guess I spend so much time talking about barbecue sauces because anybody who knows me also knows that I have to eat some kind of sauce, hot or bbq, on everything I eat.
The book then goes on with chapters, each containing several recipes for preparing different types and cuts of beef, pork, poultry, and a special chapter on nothing but ribs. Like I said, the recipes and techniques are pretty basic and easy to follow. They're nothing fancy but I don't need fancy. I want barbecue that I'd be proud to serve my friends. And that's what you'll find in this book. I highly recommend trying the recipe for the competition-style pork butt on one of your first cooks. You'll be wanting to do one every weekend. Even my wife, who is not that fond of pork, will eat the crap out of this stuff !
Lastly, there is a chapter about side dishes and desserts to serve with your barbecued product. I have tried a few of the side dish recipes. And, while most of them have been just okay for my taste, you might find them quite good. Me...I prefer to make my side dishes with recipes I already have or others I find elsewhere. But face it, this is a book about barbecue and that's where it excels. In fact, I like this book so much, I was compelled to add my "five star" review to all the others. Beginner or old pro, there's something you can learn in this book. So, if you're into barbecue and smoking meats, BUY THIS BOOK !
I do tweak them a little, that's where the phrase "to your liking" comes from. For the ladies, this would make a great Christmas gift for your husband, father or boyfriend or even yourself. It has the basics for the most popular cuts of meat for poultry, pork beef and fish. The process for a successful cook is within the book. I especially use the Boston Butt cooking method of inject, rub/marinate, slow cook to 160, wrap with liquid and cook to 200, turns out perfect every time. Hope this helps!
My favorite parts are the good simple rubs with the classic BBQ meat cuts like ribs, pork butts, chickens, etc...
My guests give the "Fired Up Fajita Rub" on pork butt the highest praise. And I am jacked to try the coffee brisket flat recipe! (a great way to start out with brisket).
Ray Lampe is a true BBQ master who doesn't feel the need to sing his own praise - very refreshing in the BBQ world. I'll be learning from him for years to come.
Most recent customer reviews
The book didn't even talk about techniques on smoking, it was all about recipes...Read more