Wicked Good Barbecue Cookbook Review and Give-Away!

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When I think of the Yankee foods of my childhood, I think of warm apple pie, crispy fried clam sandwiches, and of endless bowls of decadent, creamy clam chowdah. I most definitely do not think of barbecue. I’m not alone. Say “barbecue” to most New Englanders, and they’ll assume you mean grilled hotdogs and hamburgers. So, how exactly did two Yankees from Boston become world champions of BBQ, beating out pit masters from the BBQ belt of America — North Carolina, Memphis, and Kansas City? With 12 years of hard work, a can-do Yankee attitude, and a little help from friends.

In their new cookbook, Wicked Good Barbecue, co-authors, Andy Husbands and Chris Hart, winners of the revered Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue (the Oscars of BBQ competitions), share their secrets to making wicked good bbq. Are you ready?

It’s time and effort. Lots of each.

As they explain in their introduction, “We don’t want to scare anybody off, but most of these recipes are not the kind that can be whipped up an hour or so before they are to be served….” Instead, they wrote the book for people who want to be “challenged” — “the barbecue enthusiasts, food geeks, tailgaters, and anybody else who wants to impress the he** out of their family and friends and is willing to put in a little effort to do it.”

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The ribs that won the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue

Actually, the recipes in this book require a lot of effort. But Husbands and Hart, along with writer, Andrea Pyenson, write in a charming avuncular style, and patiently walk you through the steps needed to make award-winning bbq. They give you tips on which cooking devices are right for you ranging from vertical smokers to gas grills to terra cotta flowerpots. They explain the different styles of barbecue, tell you how much money to spend on a marinade injector (so you’d better get over your fear of needles) and specify which types of wood chips infuse meat with the most flavor (apple, cherry and oak are among their favorites.)

Chapters 1 & 2 “The Basics of Barbecue” and “Taking Home the Prize” include some of the lengthiest, most hard-core recipes in the book such as “Wicked Pulled Pork,” a delicious labor of love requiring marinade injections for the pork (so you’d better get over your fear of needles) as well as homemade Spicy Lexington Red Slaw, North Carolina Creamy Vinegar Dressing and Bacon Bit Buns.

Speaking of that divine, salty slab meat, bacon lovers will become giddy over the Six-Day Bacon of the Gods recipe and whoot over the Fire-Cooked Cornbread with Bacon Jam and Honey Butter.

pulled-pork-fw4995_073Wicked Pulled Pork. Yes, that’s bacon on the bun.

Pork aficionados craving a culinary challenge can tackle John Delpha’s intense, step-by-step recipe for Whole Hog, Porchetta Style, which starts with the purchase of a 30-pound dressed suckling pig, or make the boys’ D.I.Y. Corndogs with Spicy Mustard — you actually make your own hot dogs.

Cookbook Give-Away Time!

Now that I know you’re salivating for some wicked good bbq, it’s time o give away copies of the cookbook to three lucky Pork, Knife & Spoon readers.

To enter for a chance to win, share a grilling tip, technique, recipe, or favorite story in the comment section below. Deadline: Thursday, August 16.

If you tweet about it and mention @porkandknife, I’ll include that as another entry. Good luck!

Photos: Courtesy of Ken Goodman Photography.

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13 thoughts on “Wicked Good Barbecue Cookbook Review and Give-Away!

  1. I have helped a friend make the Spatchcock chicken it was the best smoked chicken ever worth the time it took to prepare it hope I can win my own book (the ribs are our next pick to smoke) MC

  2. Start with good pork, grown on grass ( not a dirt lot). Grass, mast and milk/ whey impart a deep, rich flavor. Heritage hog breeds ( Guinea Hogs, Red Wattles, Ossabows, Berkshires)are the best because they are heavy foragers/ grazers.

  3. These are mouth watering goodness of BBQ! ‘

    My tips for a wonderful BBQ is to grill some veggies first. That way, you can make a grilled veggies salad while the meat, hamburgers and ribs, etc are cooking. That would make a wonderful side dish.

  4. Moderate your smoke.

    How much and what kind of wood you use should vary depending on the meat, the cooker and who is eating.

    Apple and other fruit woods go well with poultry, Hickory & Pecan and other nut woods go well with Pork, while Oak & Mesquite go well with beef.

    Start with just a touch of smoke, then add more as you expand your cooking. This will enable you to find the right amount of smoke for your tastes.

  5. My husband smokes everything from cheese to vegetables to seafood to the majority of our Thanksgiving dinner. We outgrew our regular smoker fourteen years ago, so my husband decided to make his own. We found an old refrigerator – the kind that has one door and that tiny box inside that they called a freezer – gutted it, put in a stack & a temp gauge we could see from the outside and when he could only find 2 racks he snuck one of the racks from my oven along with several other items he needed and when he was all done we had one heck of a smoker! Like a kid with a new toy he just had to try it out right away. Thinking that anything else would take too long he bought a huge $25 block of cheddar and started up his new smoker. It worked perfect! He pulled up a chair and sat outside to babysit his cheese, turning it every way to get that great smokey flavor as deep as possible. I was outside as well, doing yard work, trimming bushes & cutting back rose bushes; after a bit I realized I hadn’t heard him move in some time so I walked over to where he sat guarding his cheese & found him – fast asleep. The second I woke him he jumped up & ran to open the smoker door to find …. it was empty. That entire block of cheese had melted right through the rack and then vanished. Well, we learned two very important lessons that day about smoking cheese that I’d like to pass on to you: First, old refrigerator make really great smokers and the second, yet most important lesson – Just as a watched pot never boils – no matter how big it is, unwatched cheese in a smoker, will disappear.

  6. When grilling veggies, I soak them in cold water for about half an hour before putting them on the grill so they do not dry out.

  7. When doing ribs, I like to put on a dry rub of paprika, black and red pepper, some salt and garlic with some brown sugar thrown in. (If people you are cooking for don’t like BBQ with some bite, do a post-rub with just brown sugar). Let that work overnight in the fridge then pull it out a few hours before you grill. Smoke it for 5 hours on low heat, brushing on your favorite BBQ sauce every 20-30 minutes. When I finally started to use soaked applewood or mesquite chips on the charcoal last year, it changed my entire world!

  8. Thank you, everyone. These were great tips!

    Congratulation to Cynthia, Wayne & Sir Porkalot! You’re the winners of the cookbooks.

    For those of you who didn’t win this time, there will be many more give-aways to come.

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