'Ques and A's

I live in Kansas City, where we take our barbecue seriously. Really seriously. We have competitions. We have a museum of barbecue. You can't swing a pair of barbecue tongs around without hitting several barbecue restaurants. We don't fool around here. 

So when I saw a cookbook called "Pitmaster," I had to know more. And having seen what these authors have to offer us, I'd say that they don't fool around either. Chefs and authors (Wicked Good BBQ, Grill to Perfection) Andy Husbands and Chris Hart have done their homework. They are both winning competition barbecue competitors, and Husbands has a barbecue restaurant also. 

Pitmaster is divided into six sections: Backyard Barbecue, North Carolina, Kansas City, Texas, The North, and Competition Barbecue. And each section does a phenomenal job of providing recipes and tried-and-true tips for creating amazing dishes. With interviews and articles by barbecue phenoms across the country, Pitmaster also takes you behind the scenes in each major barbecue outlet and walks you through what makes each region's food unique and special. 

Of course, they talk about the meats. There are recipes for brisket, pork, burnt ends, chicken, duck, goat, and of course, ribs and ribs and ribs. There are rubs and sauces, and sides of all flavors--potato salad, cole slaws, macaroni and cheese, beans, pickles, cornbread, fries, and hush puppies. And if that's not enough to round out the meal, they even included recipes for drinks and desserts. 

Words cannot do Pitmaster justice. All I can do is say that these guys have put together a legitimate barbecue cookbook and encourage you to pick it up and look at it yourself. The photographs are so mouth-watering, you can almost smell the smoke. And do I really have to spell out what a great gift this would make for the pitmaster or wannabe in your life? Buy Pitmaster, trust me. The rewards you'll get from your smoker will more than pay you back.


Galleys for Pitmaster were provided by Fair Winds Press through Edelweiss, with many thanks.