Suggested reading

Note: there are no affiliate links contained on  I suggest these books only out of love of grilling.  I don’t make any money on them.


Grilling books abound, and in the rare instance where I won’t fire up the grill (such as during a hurricane or tornado, or, well, I guess that’s about it) I like to read about grilling and even more importantly look at beautiful pictures.  Click on any images for more information on Amazon.

The best of the best for grilling and barbecue reading:

Seven Fires, Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallman
In terms of stunning grilling inspiration, there is no finer book.  The traditions of Argentine grilling has much to teach us Americans (especially in terms of simple use of fire, tools, and meat for incredible results).  Their history of open fire cooking and mastery of beef is unmatched, and this is the first book to truly show and explain why this sub-set of the grilling world is so important.

“Argentinean chef Francis Mallmann presents a gorgeous volume detailing seven approaches to grilling. What will keep cooks coming back, however, are rustic dishes like burnt tomatoes with fennel and mustard vinaigrette; pork chops with honey gremolata; and boneless ribeye with chimichurri. Augmented with plenty of smoky photos, the only thing readers will lack is the smell of charcoal.” – Publishers Weekly

Smoke and Spice: Cooking With Smoke, the Real Way to Barbeque by Jamison and Jamison
“Barbecue is not about grilling food fast over high heat. That’s something else, delicious in its own right, but something else entirely. Barbecue is about marginal cuts of meat (for the most part), about smoke, about fires burning so low and slow you hardly ever see the flicker of a flame. Barbecue is about succulent pork ribs as dark as sin just falling off the bone and dripping with glorious sweet pork godliness. Or enjoying the effects that 12 to 18 hours of smoking has on beef brisket.

The trick is, how do you do it? How do you master a cooking technique all but ignored in favor of fast and hot? The answer lies in Smoke & Spice. Authors Jamison and Jamison provide all the information you’re ever going to need to run a real barbecue. Tips and techniques abound on every page–accompanied with countless recipes that stretch the barbecue imagination. And seeing that one cannot live on barbecue alone (though that’s a challenge well worth considering) there are just as many recipes included for all the good food that accompanies barbecue–from Scalloped Green Chile Potatoes to South-of-the-Border Garlic Soup to Buttermilk Onion Rings and even Bourbon Peaches. If smoke in your eyes makes your mouth water, this is the primer for you!” – Schuyler Ingle, review

Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste, and Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking by Adam Perry
“In his introduction, Lang immediately lays out some confrontational assertions: “Barbecue does not just mean the slow-cooked, smoke perfumed meats of the South. It also means the charred, juicy direct-grilled meats . . . what I’ll call ‘Yankee barbecue.’” He applies himself just as rigorously to this high-heat, backyard grilling as he does the indirect, leisurely methods of traditional barbecue, which leads to a nicely balanced book that may offend some purists but could well become the go-to resource for those who only care about the divine marriage of meat and fire, no matter the form. He goes on to outline the fundamentals in a remarkably thorough manner, covering grill types, differences in smoking woods, and blueprints for marinades, brines, and sauces. Each subsequent chapters focuses on a certain meat, including a discussion of their barbecue-friendly characteristics, tips on selecting the best cuts, and a wealth of recipes that should be comfortable for most dabblers in outdoor cooking. An enlightened guide that cares more about killer food than long-held beliefs.” –Ian Chipman

Peace, Love, & Barbecue: Recipes, Secrets, Tall Tales, and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue by Mike Mills
A one-of-a-kind collection of recipes, photographs, and behind-the-scenes stories from legendary pitmaster Mike Mills. In this unique combination of cookbook, memoir, and travelogue, Mike Mills, the unrivalled king of barbecue, shares his passion for America’s favorite cuisine–its intense smoky flavors, its lore and traditions, and its wild cast of characters.

Through conversational anecdotes and black-and-white photographs, readers meet a diverse circle of colleagues and friends and join Mills in a behind-the-scenes tour of the barbecue contest circuit, with stops at some of the best “shrines, shacks, joints, and right-respectable restaurants.”

Also included are prizewinning recipes that have earned Mills his fame and fortune as a barbecue maestro. These 100 recipes will enable anyone with a grill to achieve champion barbecue flavor right in their own backyard. The selection features Mills’ own secret concoctions and treasured family recipes as well as choice contributions from his pitmaster friends, and it covers all manner of barbecued meat and fish, sauces and dry rubs, as well as the sides, soups, and down-home sweets that complete any great barbecue feast.

With its folksy, fun-loving tone and its unique insider’s take on a hugely popular–and deeply American–subject, this volume will appeal to barbecue lovers, food mavens, and cooks of all stripes.” –

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