Best BBQ Books: Essential Reading for Pitmasters and Grilling Enthusiasts

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Introduction: Why BBQ Books Matter

Barbecue is an amazing way to bring people together over good food. From the tender and juicy brisket to the smoky and savory ribs, BBQ is a beloved cuisine that has captured the hearts (and stomachs) of many. But like any craft, mastering the art of BBQ requires time, patience, and expertise. This is where BBQ books come in. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a grilling novice, a good BBQ book can help you improve your skills, learn new techniques, and elevate your BBQ game. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best BBQ books out there that can help you become a BBQ pro.

Detailed Discussion on Best BBQ Books

1. Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay

Aaron Franklin is a legend in the BBQ world, and his book, “Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto”, is considered by many to be the bible of BBQ. The book features detailed instructions on how to smoke different kinds of meat, from brisket to sausage, as well as tips on fire management, wood selection, and seasoning. The book also includes mouthwatering recipes for rubs, sauces, and sides that will take your BBQ game to the next level.

2. The BBQ Bible by Steven Raichlen

“The BBQ Bible” is a comprehensive guide to grilling and smoking that covers everything from the basics of fire building to advanced cooking techniques. The book features over 500 recipes from around the world, including classic BBQ dishes like ribs, pulled pork, and brisket, as well as international grilling recipes that will broaden your palate. The book also includes grilling tips, equipment recommendations, and a handy temperature guide for perfect cooking every time.

3. Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling by Meathead Goldwyn and Greg Blonder

“Meathead” is a BBQ book that takes a scientific approach to cooking. Written by Meathead Goldwyn, the founder of, and Greg Blonder, a physicist and food scientist, the book explores the science behind cooking techniques and helps readers understand the “whys” behind the “hows.” The book covers topics like heat control, meat science, and the importance of timing, and includes recipes for everything from brisket to grilled pizza.

4. Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen

“Project Smoke” is another great book by Steven Raichlen that focuses specifically on smoking techniques. The book features over 100 recipes for smoking different kinds of meat, from classic brisket to less traditional options like smoked duck and mac and cheese. The book also includes tips for building smokers, techniques for cold smoking, and recipes for delicious smoke-infused sides like smoked mac and cheese and smoked cocktails.

Concluding Thoughts on Best BBQ Books

Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a newbie to the world of grilling and smoking, there’s always something new to learn in the world of BBQ. Investing in a few good BBQ books can be a great way to up your game and become a BBQ pro. So if you’re looking to take your barbecue skills to the next level, we highly recommend checking out the books on this list.

FAQs about Best BBQ Books

1. What are some other good BBQ books out there?

Other great BBQ books include “Peace, Love, and Barbecue” by Mike Mills and Amy Mills, “Smoke and Spice” by Cheryl and Bill Jamison, “Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades” by Steven Raichlen, and “The Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ” by The Editors of Southern Living.

2. Do I need to be an experienced pitmaster to benefit from BBQ books?

Not at all! Many BBQ books are designed for beginners and include step-by-step instructions and easy-to-follow recipes. Even if you’re a seasoned pro, there’s always something new to learn in the world of BBQ.

3. Can I find BBQ books online?

Yes, there are many great BBQ books available online, both as physical copies and e-books. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online book retailers are great places to start. You can also check out websites like and for reviews and recommendations.


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