Book Review: Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling and Smoking

Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling and Smoking was published by Southern Living and written by Chris Prieto. He is the owner of Prime Barbecue in Wendell, North Carolina and is also an award-winning pitmaster. For years, he had been perfecting how to cook slow smoked meats which started from his desire to look for the “soul” of real barbecue. This is his first book where he shared his expertise and know-how after he had finally achieved what he considered as an excellent barbecue.

Based on the book, aside from the type of meat, what you use for grilling also has an impact on the flavor of the barbecue. Commonly used for grilling are charcoal, gas, electricity or wood like Mesquite. Mesquite is a leguminous tree that has a sharp aroma and gives the meat a golden gleam. This tree is native to the southern United States most notably in Texas and is one of the smoking chips people love. Texas is the birthplace of barbecue and is also the place where the author started his quest into cooking and the world of barbecue. That is why this book has a plethora of barbecue knowledge for a cook at any level.

This 368-page book shows the author’s passion for barbecue providing in-depth step by step instructions on how to cook an amazing barbecue that beginners and experts alike can recreate. The comprehensive guidebook is filled with proven cooking techniques, expert advice from this award-winning pitmaster and secrets for year-round smoking, grilling and barbecuing in an easy to follow format. The book not only provides recipes for outdoor cooking but for indoor cooking as well. It features different recipes you can do with a stovetop, slow cooker or an oven great for indoor barbecue should you crave for one on rainy days.

The book has an excellent index with over 200 high rated recipes. It features different recipes for different types of food. There are recipes for beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey, seafood and even vegetables. Even those that don’t eat meat will still find this book useful because it provides great recipes for grilling vegetables. Also in this book are recipes for side dishes, salsas, rubs, sauces and even homemade pickles. Another good thing about the book is that the ingredients in the recipes provided are accessible and can be found easily in local markets. Thus, no need to go to specialty stores.

Aside from mouthwatering recipes, the book features high-quality photos detailing the procedure from preparing up to cooking. The book also explains the logic behind the steps or why you are doing things in a certain way giving you a thorough understanding and easily guiding you through the whole process.

With this book, you will not only be getting recipes but knowledge as well about anything barbecue. From the history of barbecue, barbecue by region, different types of meat, types of smoking wood as well as ways to prepare the fire. This is the ultimate barbecue guidebook that teaches you everything you need to know.