Best Barbecue Books for Dad


Just in time for Father’s Day, here are some of our favorite new barbecue cookbooks that plate up classic and original recipes, secret techniques, and an extra helping of personality. For more on all things barbecue, pick up our Southern BBQ & Grilling special issue.




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

Aaron Franklin and his wife, Stacy, are the co-owners and co-founders of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas. When they opened up shop in a small trailer on the side of the interstate in 2009, they had no idea of the barbecue success to come. These days, the spot is so popular customers stand in line for hours hoping to make it to the door before the sold-out sign is posted. In his first cookbook, Franklin Barbecue, Aaron shares the secrets behind his great barbecue and the process and knowledge he has cultivated over the years. With tips on how to source the best beef and build your own backyard smoker, as well as step-by-step instructions for making the restaurant’s legendary brisket and ribs, Franklin Barbecue is the definitive resource for aspiring pitmasters. And while some recipes are included, this cookbook is more about the process of perfecting barbecue. From breakdowns of smoke behavior and wood choice to how to properly trim and wrap your meat, Franklin Barbecue acknowledges the fact that sometimes the process is greater than the recipe. (Ten Speed Press, 2015)




The Kentucky Barbecue Cookbook
by Wes Berry

While Kentucky might not be the first state that comes to mind when you are searching for great ‘cue, author and barbecue enthusiast Wes Berry argues that the Bluegrass State has been unfairly overlooked. In
The Kentucky Barbecue Book, Wes travels the state sampling diverse and regionally distinct fare. Long- established restaurants, new barbecue joints, church picnics, and county festivals all find their place in his ode to the pit, shared with care, humor, and devotion. Wes’s passion for the low-and-slow tradition has led him to visit more than 175 Kentucky barbecue locations as well as judge barbecue competitions.
The Kentucky Barbecue Book touches on all styles of barbecue found in the state, including lesser-known mutton. In addition, Wes features many locations
that still use the traditional process of hot hardwood coals inside cinderblock pits, a method that is quickly disappearing. Don’t miss this passionate exploration of the recipes, traditions, and people who have helped shape Kentucky’s uniquely regional slow-food dish. (University of Kentucky Press, paperback edition, 2015)




Pure Pork Awesomeness
by Kevin Gillespie with David Joachim

Atlanta chef Kevin Gillespie is known for his bold take on dining in his churrasco-style restaurant, Gunshow. He continues this in his new cookbook,
Pure Pork Awesomeness, by sharing his brazen love for all things pig. Barbecue runs in Kevin’s family—he grew up with a grandfather, father, and brothers who all had a passion for the pit—and along the way Kevin has taken it upon himself to try to revive the open
pit barbecue traditionally used in the South. But in Pure Pork Awesomeness, Kevin’s main focus is celebrating all the delicious forms that pork can take, all over the world. Organized by cut, Kevin’s cookbook shares his experiences and triumphs with every piece of the pig. Whether as the main focus of a dish or in
a supporting role, there is no end to the versatility of this meat, and Pure Pork Awesomeness is the go-to cookbook for enjoying pork in all its varieties. (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2015)




12 Bones Smokehouse:
A Mountain BBQ Cookbook
by Bryan and Angela King, Shane Heavner, and Mackensy Lunsford

Asheville, North Carolina’s 12 Bones Smokehouse has grown into an institution over the years, known best for daring takes on barbecue classics, such as their Blueberry Chipotle Baby Back Ribs. Everything at this ‘cue stop is made from scratch—the meats are smoked long and slow over hardwoods, and even the pickles are homemade. To the 12 Bones Smokehouse family, simple ingredients plus time and care make the best food. Now, in their new 12 Bones Smokehouse cookbook, owners Bryan and Angela King and Chef Shane Heavner are sharing the recipes that made their restaurant so popular. With more than 60 recipes for smoked and grilled meats, sticky sauces, classic and original side items, and desserts, this cookbook is for pit aficionados and beginners alike. And while they don’t adhere to one particular style, they do pay homage to tradition, with plenty of history going into each recipe. Don’t forget to study the cookbook’s “10 Commandments of Grilling” to make sure you’re on the right track. (Quarto-Voyageur, 2015)




America’s Best BBQ
by Ardie A. Davis and Chef Paul Kirk

With over 100 years experience in the field and 21 cookbooks between them, barbecue historian Ardie A. Davis and award-winning pitmaster Paul Kirk are just the pair to win the trust and recipes of America’s barbecue legends. In America’s Best BBQ (revised edition), they hit the road again to add 15 new barbecue joints and even more recipes to their sweet and smoky guide. The pair offer cooking tips and techniques and top-secret recipes from the most famous barbecue joints in America. Covering styles from Texas to Memphis, the Deep South, Kansas City, Oklahoma, and beyond, this book is your go-to for barbecue of all stripes. (Andrews McMeel, revised edition, 2015)


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