It probably comes as no surprise to hear that BBQ books are our favourite type of cooking book. They're great aren't they? Packed with recipes and tips and tricks from the best in the business... not to mention the emotional connection BBQ holds for so many of these writers. This could be an endless list but we've narrowed down some of our favourites.
Fire Food: The Ultimate BBQ Cookbook
DJ BBQ is a barbecue legend. His actual name is Christian Stevenson, but we’re going to stick with DJ BBQ. Way cooler. He describes what he’s got going on as “meats and beats” which is an aspirational job description for probably everyone, ever. We could list all of his books but we’ve plumped for his second, Fire Food: The Ultimate BBQ Cookbook (get it on Amazon). Pointing out the blindingly obvious here, but this one is all about cooking on live fire; the gas BBQ has received a metaphorical middle finger. DJ BBQ kicks it off with a few sections on what he means by “Fire Food” and some tips on how to set up to cook like this. A must-read for everyone, especially if you’re new to this type of cooking. All that is followed up with a bank of recipes from across loads of different categories from classic BBQ dishes, seafood, veggies and loads more.
Pit Cue Co: The CookBook
Pit Cue Co closed the doors of its London restaurant at the start of 2021, but that doesn’t change the fact that this book is a staple for BBQ fans. They were a BIG player in bringing BBQ to the masses here in the UK, so think of this book as a sort of parting gift helping you to learn more about barbecue. It’s jam-packed with recipes for meats, slaw, sauces, puddings and a whole lot more including their iconic pickle backs, burnt ends mash, crispy pickled shiitake mushrooms and pulled pork shoulder. Some of the recipes might be a bit complicated or fancy, so maybe not one for your everyday BBQ but definitely fit for a special occasion. Order a copy.
Skewered: Recipes For Fire Food On Sticks From Around The World
Marcus is the editor of The BBQ Magazine and runs UK BBQ School helping folk to BBQ better. Food on sticks, on fire. Sounds simple but that kind of thinking can royally f*** your skewered dishes up. A book dedicated to this cooking technique will be a lifesaver for some. You can skewer anything – fish, meat, veggies, or fruit. Marcus has put together his favourite recipes from around the world which you can easily replicate at home. He talks through tools, temperatures, and timings so you can’t go that far wrong. Get hold of it here.
Rodney Scott’s World Of BBQ: Every Day Is A Good Day
You might recognise Rodney Scott from Netflix’s 'Chef’s Table: BBQ'. Banging show by the way, 100% recommend. Whole hog has been a deep part of his family’s history. He cooked his first whole hog at 11 which is pretty wild. What were you doing at 11? He now runs Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ (which you’ll have seen all about in the Netflix show – seriously go watch it). His book (available here) details everything you need to know about BBQ including what makes his now world-famed whole hog so special. Even if you’re a novice, Scott gets you fired up and inspired about barbecue.
Charred: The Complete Guide To Vegetarian Grilling And BBQ
Two words: Veggie BBQ. We usually always opt for meat with our barbecue BUT we can appreciate the desire for a different option, and a lot of these recipes sound ridiculously tasty. There are sections on stuffed veg, burgers, salads, and kebabs. There’s even a section on “low and slow” cooking. Not something you’d usually associate with veggie BBQ recipes. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, or to get inspiration for veggie dishes, get hold of a copy of Charred.
Besides Steven Raichlen coming across as some smoke crazed mad man (in a nice way), this book is great. Raichlen is an award-winning American journalist, a TV show host and writer. He was added into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2015… so he knows a thing or two. This is your bible for smoking as a cooking technique. He’s talking smoker selection, fuel, rubs and general technique. You won’t be short of inspiration either; he’s packed Project Smoke with 100 recipes detailing how to smoke dishes from appetisers through to desserts.