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These Grilling Cookbooks Are Fire!

These Grilling Cookbooks Are Fire! 1

Ever since we first read the classic Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto we’ve been looking to discover the greatest grilling cookbooks of all time.

And after consultation with our favorite foodies and grill experts we think that we found them!

If you love grilling over a live fire and outdoor cooking makes you feel good (and gives you an excuse to eat tasty cuts of meat with your family) these are the barbecue cookbooks that you’ve been looking for.


Michael Symon’s Playing with Fire: BBQ and More from the Grill, Smoker, and Fireplace: A Cookbook by Michael Symon

Michael Symon's Playing with Fire: BBQ and More from the Grill, Smoker, and Fireplace: A Cookbook by Michael Symon

There are only 100 recipes in this grilling cookbook but that’s enough recipes to master the classic American barbecue and get grilling quickly without getting lost in too many recipes.

We find the graphical layout to be super helpful if you’ve not tackled recipes like this before for BBQ and it touches on a surprisingly wide range of techniques too.

Make sure you’ve got a great grill for cooking these recipes. It can make a difference!

You can find it online here and here.


Smokin’ Hot in the South: New Grilling Recipes from the Winningest Woman in Barbecue by Melissa Cookston

Smokin' Hot in the South: New Grilling Recipes from the Winningest Woman in Barbecue by Melissa Cookston

This awesome cookbook is all about mastering cooking over a high heat without getting caught up in a whole lot of detail.

Melissa’s approach is to focus on the essentials and let the rest take care of itself.

You’ll learn how to master sauces, rubs, and marinades and you’ll be cooking faster than you’d have believed possible when you picked up the cookbook.

If you want to start simple with grilling – you could consider an indoor grill too.

You can find it online here and here.


How To Grill Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Flame-Cooked Food by Mark Bittman

How To Grill Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Flame-Cooked Food by Mark Bittman

If you want to take your cooking to the next level and you want recipes, tips, and tricks that will make you into the kind of chef that works grilled magic on the BBQ then this is the book for you.

There are more than 1,000 recipes here and each recipe has distinct flavors.

It’s the ultimate guide to grilled and smoked food (did you know smoke helps to preserve food too?) and it touches on everything from brisket and streak to sauces from around the world. Our backyard cookouts owe a lot to this book.

You can find it online here and here.


Bobby Flay’s Grill It!: A Cookbook by Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay's Grill It!: A Cookbook by Bobby Flay

This may be the most beginner-friendly recipe book on our list. It’s also a great resource for those who prefer vegetables to meat and vegans, in particular, will get a lot out of the celebrity chef’s recipes.

Having said that, we sometimes found that these recipes contain techniques that are a bit out of date but that doesn’t affect the flavors of the food you cook, so don’t worry too much about it.

You can find it online here and here.


Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling by Meathead Goldwyn

Meathead The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling by Meathead Goldwyn

Meathead is a fantastic way to learn to be the kind of chef that makes food in smoke and on a grill surface.

The only complaint we have is that the digital version seems to have almost as many ads as it does pages of content.

We strongly recommend opting for the paper version of this book for that reason.

You can find it online here and here.


The Thrill of the Grill: Techniques, Recipes, & Down-Home Barbecue by Christopher Schlesinger

The Thrill of the Grill Techniques, Recipes, & Down-Home Barbecue by Christopher Schlesinger

This classic book of recipes was first published back in 1990 and it has stood the test of time very well, indeed.

We think of it as the grandaddy of the grilling approach and everyone should own a copy.

You can find it online here and here.


How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques, A Barbecue Bible! Cookbook by Steve Raichlen

How to Grill The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques, A Barbecue Bible! Cookbook by Steve Raichlen

Steven Raichlen has written a lot of barbecue books but we think this one’s the best one to start with.

It’s super beginner friendly and the full-color, step-by-step instructions make it impossible to go wrong, really.

You can find it online here and here.


Weber’s Greatest Hits: 125 Classic Recipes for Every Grill by Jamie Purviance

Weber's Greatest Hits 125 Classic Recipes for Every Grill by Jamie Purviance

If you don’t own any other Weber cookbooks this neat little project from the master grillers is very much worth owning.

It does, however, contain repeat dishes and stories from some of their other cookbooks. So if you do own others, it might be best to go for something else on our list.

You can find it online here and here.


Charred: The Complete Guide to Vegetarian Grilling and Barbecue by Genevieve Taylor

Charred The Complete Guide to Vegetarian Grilling and Barbecue by Genevieve Taylor

If you love the flavor of barbecue but you would prefer it best if there was no meat involved then look no further than charred.

The flavor of each vegetarian recipe within is awesome. However, there are only 70-ish recipes inside which is a bit short for our tastes.

You can find it online here and here.


Charcoal: New Ways to Cook with Fire: A Cookbook by Josiah Citrin and Joann Cianciulli

Charcoal New Ways to Cook with Fire A Cookbook by Josiah Citrin and Joann Cianciulli

This is a very creative cookbook as you can tell by the cover photos.

However, though the cooks have put together a great collection of recipes – they do require some really unusual ingredients. That makes this a great book for a master of the grill rather than a beginner.

You can find it online here and here.


Final Thoughts

Barbecuing as a griller surrounded in smoke and the scent of a great delicious steak is, perhaps, the most American thing of all if you want your burgers, chicken, steak, etc. to taste like they’ve been cooked by a professional pitmaster this summer, then you need the books above.

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