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BBQ Cookbooks!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Although consumers enjoy having many BBQ cookbooks on the market because we all love a good all-American meal, but retailers have been turning down titles because there just isn’t enough shelf room. BBQ books have become a popular new niche. So much so that stores have had to create screening methods to choose which books to sell. With the summer heat, Americans look forward to family parties or friendly gatherings outside, always with the BBQ on. I believe there will be a more in depth look at this in this weekends’ copy of the Wall Street Journal.
post #2 of 14
You are right that there is a plethora of barbecue cookbooks out there. What kills me is that most people do not distinguish between barbecue and grilling and most of the BBQ cookbooks don't make that distinction either.

What's interesting about this is that true "barbecue" is a cooking method originated by Native Americans that lived around the Gulf rim. Many believe that the Caribs were the first to introduce the method to Columbus and those Europeans that followed him in exploring the New World. The word itself stems from the Carib word "barbacoa" which meant to cook food in a covered pit dug into the ground. Unfortunately, the Caribs were the first to be wiped out by European disease as they were nomadic sea-going folk that traveled around the Caribbean, Mexico and Gulf regions. The European thought them too warlike and primitive to document much of their culture so any of their other cooking techniques and indigenous knowledge was lost long ago.

I'm all for grilling as a fast, no mess, tasty and convenient cooking method. But I really love it when we barbecue-low and slow with plenty of smoke. I've been experimenting with smoking foods using cracked nuts in the shell as a smoke source to some interesting and mostly successful results. My almond smoked whole chicken pretty tasty if I do say so myself. Some of the results have been kind of weird. Like walnut smoked whole beef tenderloin. I think there's just not enough fat in tenderloin to carry the smoke through and it cooks so quickly that the outside is the only place that gets any smoke flavor.

I'll be interested in seeing the article in the WSJ.


Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!



Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

post #3 of 14
I find it a source of constant interest how we differ from country to country in the use of cooking terms. For us BBQ would be 'pit' or 'hangi'. Grilling would be cooking under a top heat source, like a salamander or the top element of the oven. BBQing is anything cooked on a bbq.
post #4 of 14
Great plan on the nutshells. I been using Pee can shells for years. Gives a much mo betta flavor than burning the wood in my book. Smart thinking. I have been dying to try some hickory nut shells. You ever tried that? Might try cold smoking the tenderloin for a while afore you really get down to cooking it. Suspect that might improve the intensity of the smoke flavor.

post #5 of 14


First time I've heard of this - I'm going to try it. I have a smoker (New Braunfels) and I have a Pecan tree - What else do I need? Oh, yeah, food.

Forgot to add - two of the best grilling cookbooks I have are from Weber; "Big Book of Grilling" and "Real Grilling".

In these parts we don't call it BBQ unless it involves using BBQ sauce.
post #6 of 14
Get hold of Steve Raichlen's book " How To Grill". Pure magic. Even my sister-in-law can understand it, and she has problems with fried eggs!!
post #7 of 14
I saw a BBQ on Ainsley Clive. It was in Argentiana and there was a huge fire pit with whole sides of beef angled slightly lengthwise over it. So were "standing up" on a bit of a lean in at the top. I have never seen such magnificence in my life.
post #8 of 14
Well I got the same problemo/blessing with the pee can trees out back. Way I handle is to make the warden shell em and save the shells. She makes brownies and stuff whilst I got the shells. Now sounds like that other fella is talking about cracking intact nuts and burning them meat and all. Never tried it like that but sure cant see how it would hurt it none. Now if you forget to crack em..it like a little mini hand grenade when they blow up. Now course NB makes a bunch of cooking gizmos but since you say "smoker" will assume it an offset Black Diamond or whutever. If that be true just get you a stable fire and throw a double handful of the shell on there about once an hour. If that aint the kind you got kindly repoat back for further and differnt tips:) Actually a pit with a real captive environment can get more of a good scald on the smoke flavor cuz it makes it stay in contact with the meat longer. For example an R2D2 type water smoker (WSM for example) will prob give you more of the nut shell flavor than will a wide open running offset which generally requires a rapid air exchange to keep it from turning into a creosote factory. Am I making any sense here?

post #9 of 14
Hey, bigwheel, your expertise is showing. :lol:

I can't barbecue :cry: (live in an apartment in NYC) but I've seen recipes for using nut shells in stovetop smokers -- including one for pecan-smoked butter!

I'm wondering -- if you tried to use whole nuts, meat and all, wouldn't the oils in the nuts change the way the nut burns? More of a flame than just a smoldering, smoking ember? And make the whole thing burn hotter than otherwise?
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #10 of 14
Bigwheel, you were asking about hickory nut shells? I have about 10# of them that I have been using all year long. They make a really great smoke. Pretty assertive, but less so than hickory wood or mesquite.
post #11 of 14

If you wanted to share just one BBQ sauce recipe tip.....

.....a tomato based one, that really showed the essence of the American BBQ - what would it be?
post #12 of 14
Hey thanks Pete. I will try to keep my eyes peeled for some of them thangs. Now yall has got my mind running crazy over dried up Mesquite beans. Naww..surely couldnt work. I just recall whut pintos smell like when they run dry on the stove. Got to be sorta similar I would think:) Now we did used to smoke mesquite beans when we couldnt bum a Chesterfield off of grandad or a King Edward off of grandpa...and you know they was not unpleasant in that application. Just had a hard draw to em. Some believes grapevines work mo betta as imitation cigarettes..and they mighty good for smoking too in case you aint tried it. Smoking them beans is sorta like a twice filtered Winston..you can puff all you want but aint no smoke come out the other end. Hey we may have to patent this deal.

post #13 of 14
Well had speculated on that angle that the meats might produce some type of skunky flavor but aint never put it to the test. Hopefully the fella jump back in who do it like that. Sure it be ok or doubt he suggest of course. Now nearly all the ones I get got some nut meat still clinging. Guess you could say we value the inside mo than the outside which should be plugged into the equation somewhere. Each time I see one which got too much nut meat still clinging I give the warden a firm backhand across the teeth. You would think she would learn to be more dilligent by now huh?

post #14 of 14


Yep, offset smoker. I think New Braunfels got bought out by Char Broil and they kept the design but decreased the gauge of the metal. I know they are a lot cheaper now because they have shaved quality since they were bought out. Maybe it was called a Black Diamond back then - don't know, it's been a while.

Whatever, I've been using it for about fifteen years now and seem to be able to flounder around with it and get great results. I had about 50 people that were happy with what I cooked on both it and my Weber grill this past 4th of July. So I'm pretty sure I don't need many tips. The shells are an idea, but doubt if I'll use it. Even though this smoker is from a Texas company it works very well. Weird but true.

I used to have one of those pansy water smokers years ago but decided to quit steaming my food. :lol:
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