Best Barbecue Cookbooks

There’s more to a barbecue than throwing some sausages on the grill. Here are some of the best barbecue cookbooks of all time.

Hosting a barbecue can go one of two ways: it can either be a wonderful day that's filled with laughter, beers, and sunshine with some of your very best friends or it can be one of the most stressful experiences of your entire life. The coals aren’t hot enough. There aren’t enough buns to go around. Someone’s brought a vegan. There are a plethora of things that can go wrong at a barbecue and avoiding those pitfalls when you’re trying to do your best pitmaster impression isn’t easy.

Knowing that you need a live fire to cook is one thing, but knowing what to cook on it is another question entirely. To help you learn how to become a better barbecuer and discover some brilliant, chargrilled recipes – as well as some top tips and tricks for keeping those coals nice and scorching – I’d recommend checking out one of the many excellent barbecue cookbooks that are out there. From legendary American ‘cue experts to chefs living right here in Britain, all of these cookbooks have been written by people who have a genuine passion for barbecue. These are the best barbecue cookbooks you can buy. Get grilling, Mob.

Live Fire

Live Fire

This cookbook from award-winning food writer Helen Graves should be at the very top of your Weber wishlist. Not only does Live Fire feature a range of recipes that make the most of seasonal produce (that’s meat, fish, and veg – thank you very much) but it also contains interviews with chefs and home cooks from multiple diaspora communities that are cooking with live fire across the UK. It’s a worthy celebration of the grill and the potential it has to unite us.

Rodney Scott's World of BBQ

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Rodney Scott is a barbecue legend. Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston is one of the biggest and best barbecue meccas in the United States and Rodney has made a name for himself as the master of whole hog cooking. This cookbook, Rodney Scott's World of BBQ, touches on how best to cook an entire pig but also contains recipes for everything from pit-smoked turkey, barbecued spare ribs, and smoked chicken wings to hush puppies and banana pudding. It’s those easy-to-follow recipes that will bring you to the book in the first place but it’s Rodney’s inspirational story that’ll leave you feeling inspired after you've finished it.

Charred: The Complete Guide to Vegetarian Grilling and BBQ

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Being a vegetarian at a barbecue can be rough. Most barbies tend to be meat-heavy affairs where the most you can expect to eat as a vegetarian is a couple of corns on the cob. Well, the good news for any vegetarians reading this is that cooking over fire can be an excellent (and, moreover, easy) way of bringing the best out of a range of vegetables. Charred is Genevieve Taylor’s vegetarian grilling and barbecue bible – a rollicking good read filled with over 70 exciting veggie-friendly recipes.

Pitt Cue Co. The Cookbook

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Pitt Cue Co. might not be open anymore – owner Tom Adams made the decision to relocate to Coombeshead Farm a long time ago – but in its heyday, it was the best barbecue restaurant that London had ever seen. Pitt Cue Co. The Cookbook is your best chance to try and replicate that experience at home. It’s filled with info from expert chefs on equipment and methods as well as recipes for tender, fall-apart meat and all the sauces and rubs that go with them

Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto

Franklin Barbecue A Meat Smoking Manifesto

Aaron Franklin is an obsessive. His fans – who regularly queue up for hours outside of his barbecue joint in Austin, Texas just to get a taste of his brisket – are obsessives, too. That's why it should come as no suprise that Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto is a cookbook for the obsessives out there. With chapters dedicated to building or customizing your own smoker as well as how to find and cure the right wood and create the perfect fire, this is an excellent purchase to make if you want to become known as the person in your friendship group who is very good at barbecues.

Peace, Love and Barbecue

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As mantras to live by go, Peace, Love and Barbecue is a pretty good one. Part memoir, part cookbook, and part travelogue, this book from Mike Mills is filled with just as many delicious barbecue recipes as it's filled with memorable anecdotes. A great barbecue cookbook that doesn’t ask the world of you or expect you to have a huge set-up in your back garden. These are user-friendly recipes that will make you a much more confident griller. What more could you ask for?

Berber and Q Cookbook

Berber and Q Cookbook

I’ve already written about my love for the Berber and Q Cookbook in our list of the best restaurant cookbooks but I couldn’t ignore the fact that it’s also earned its place on this list of the best barbecue cookbooks. Featuring over 120 barbecue recipes (including Berber & Q's legendary cauliflower shawarma), it's filled with grilling techniques garnered from New York, the Middle East, London, North Africa and beyond. A must-have.

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