Check out Myron Mixon’s BBQ Rules: The Old-school Guide to
Smoking Meat for the basics of backyard pit barbecuing. Master this and your house will be the party destination. In barbecue, “old-school” means cooking on a homemade coal-fired masonry pit, where the first step is burning wood to make your own coals, followed by shoveling those coals beneath the meat and smoking that meat until it acquires the distinct flavor only true pit-smoking can infuse. The book is divided into four parts—Meat Helpers, The Hog, Birds, The Cow—and features recipes and methods, including:
- Pit Smoked Pulled Pork
- North Carolina Yella Mustard-Based Barbecue Sauce
- Prize-winning Brisket
- Smoked Baby Back Ribs
- Thick and Smoky T-Bone Steaks
Steven Raichlen (author of The Barbeque! Bible) just released PROJECT SMOKE: Seven Stops to Smoked Food Nirvana, Plus 100 Irresistible Recipes from Classic (Slam-Dunk Brisket) to Adventurous (Smoked Bacon-Bourbon Apple Crisp). Oh, yum! Please invite me over if you try that last one.
For smaller scale BBQ, try The Total Grilling Manual: 264 Essentials for Cooking With Fire for grilling everything on every type of fire. Whether you’re a novice griller or a seasoned veteran, The Total Grilling compiles the best 250+ skills from a number of top grilling and outdoor cooking experts, all accompanied by step-by-step guides, recipes and photographs. Trying to decide charcoal or gas, do I want to try wood burning and what do I need to smoke food? Check out the sections on equipment and fuels. Tips and Stories brings you the legends and lore of top grillers and the Recipe section covers everything you need for a full meal from your grill.
If you think you’re past the basics, try out Master of the Grill: Foolproof Recipes, Top-rated Gadgets, Gear, and Ingredients Plus Clever Test Kitchen Tips and Fascinating Food Science from America’s Test Kitchen. These folks test and compare all the options firsthand and bring you only the best. Covering meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, pizza, and more, the Test Kitchen gives you the recipes every cook needs – the juiciest burgers, barbecue chicken that’s moist not tough, tender grill-smoked pork ribs, the greatest steak (and grilled potatoes to serve alongside). Then they add regional specialties such as Cowboy Steaks, Alabama BBQ Chicken, and Kansas City Sticky Ribs. Colorful photography captures the beauty of the recipes and step-by-step shots guide you through everything you need to know.
Getting hungry? It’s time to get grilling!