Best BBQ recipes Book
By Loren Bouchard, the Writers of Bob's Burgers, and Cole Bowden
I have seen a lot of TV show and movie cookbook tie-ins over the years. Some of them are good (the Treme book) and some of them are goofy (every single cookbook).
But it's rare to see a TV cookbook that matches the charm and wit of its source material. manages to do just that, probably because it was written by creator Loren Bouchard and the writers of the Fox cartoon, which centers around the adventures of a family that runs a small-town burger restaurant. The recipes themselves were created by blogger Cole Bowden, whose Bob's Burgers Experiment tracked one man's attempt to make all of the punny burger specials displayed on the chalkboard at Bob's Burgers.
The experiment was a success, from what I can tell. The Hit Me With Your Best Shallot burger, a patty topped with caramelized shallots, chèvre, and arugula, was a big hit at my house. And although the book is more of a collection of burger-topping ideas than a thorough burger cookbook, the ideas are good ones. Besides, who can resist the charm of burgers named Final Kraut Down, or Baby You Can Chive My Car?
The Takeaway: Fans of Bob's Burgers will love it. Everyone else will probably be confused, but that's okay.
By Steven Raichlen
You may know Steven Raichlen from his PBS shows, Primal Grill, Barbecue University, and Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke, the show on which this book is based. is probably the most versatile book in this group, spanning skill levels from basic to advanced, with recipes that range from super pared-down classics to more interesting, innovative options.
The book also features international recipes, and I really enjoyed the smoked jerk chicken I tried (despite the fact that I had to sub habaneros for the called-for Scotch bonnets).
If you're looking for hardcore technique advice, go with Meathead Goldwyn's new book (below) or, heck, last year's fantastic Franklin Barbecue cookbook. But if you've got a bit of smoking technique under your belt and want a ton of recipes, this will be your new go-to.
The Takeaway: With lots of recipes for all tastes and skill levels, this is a grilling and barbecue workhorse.
Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling
By Meathead Goldwyn and Greg Blonder
Meathead Goldwyn is a barbecue blogger; Greg Blonder is a culinary science researcher. Together they have written a myth-busting meat-smoking book that comes at barbecue from a scientific angle.
What that means is that the typically (to me) opaque and confusing world of smoking is thoroughly explained. Goldwyn has an entire chapter called "The Science of Heat" that breaks down everything from which wood to use to troubleshooting your flame to getting that perfect, thin blue smoke.