Tuesday, December 1, 2009

BBQ Book Review - Celebrating Barbecue

Title: Celebrating Barbecue
Author: Dotty Griffith
Published: 2002 by Simon & Schuster

Dotty Griffith tackles all of the major BBQ genres in this all-inclusive book. About 20 pages aapiece are given over to explanations of the four major groups; Carolina, Memphis, Texas and Kansas City styles. Unlike the many background stories in Legends of Texas Barbecue, there is much more emphasis on the recipes of each region than the histories of these places, or words of wisdom from the local pit masters, but there is plenty of good information about each style in each chapters concise introduction.

Recipes in the book are almost exclusively for truly smoked meat. The author takes care to present the preparation of each item in an authentic way besides the minor infraction of oven roasted ribs. Regional variations are accurately reflected in each recipe version, and its obvious that the research has been done carefully to arrive at the final version presented.

The final few chapters of the book focus on lesser known genres like pig snouts in St. Louis, Owensboro mutton and tri-tip beef in California done Santa Maria style. It all wraps up with sides and desserts that sound just as authentic as the main courses offered. This book is the most complete recipe book that I've seen of all the major styles. It's inclusiveness leads to brevity in some areas, but if it's basic BBQ knowledge your're looking for, this book is a great place to start.

- BBQ Snob

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Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.