BBQ Book Review: Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint

BY: Richard Wachtel
Published: December 26, 2012

This week, I will be reviewing the Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint written by World-Champion Pitmaster Chris Lilly.

In the past, I have gotten a chance to interview Chris and Kenn, tried their famous Alabama Barbecue White Sauce, and now I have a chance to review this legendary barbecuce cook book filled with some amazing recipes. I have heard a lot of great things about this book and now I will get to add to them. [Click here to read some great barbecue pitmaster interviews in our Meet the BBQ Pro Series] 

Before we start our review, let’s get some background about the book: “From dry rubs to glazes, sauces to slathers, [Chris] Lilly breaks down the seasonings and award winning combinations that will make your mouth water. You’ll learn the unique flavors of different woods, and you’ll get insider tips on creating the right heat, be it in a state-of-the-art grill, home oven, or backyard ground pit. Then, get the scoop on succulent pulled pork, smoked beef brisket, pit-fired poultry and, of course ribs…. Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book honors the legacy of Big Bob Gibson and of the greatest barbecue, a bona fide labor of love you’ll be must closer to mastering….”

Big Bob Gibson Barbecue Cookbook

Now that we have the background of the book and a great in-depth description out of the way, its time for my review of this book.

I don’t know about you, but one of the many aspects of what makes a great barbecue cookbook is the stories behind the recipes and how the recipes have been passed down from generation to generation and this cookbook is no different. In this book you really get an amazing sense of the rich history and the legacy of the recipes. Handed down from generation from generation these recipes really place you right in the heart and soul of the Big Bob Gibson family. An excellent example of this is Big Mama’s Apple Nut Cake. This recipe came from the wife of Big Bob Gibson and the reason why she loved to make this recipe is because she enjoyed “aromatherapy ..”  One of my favorite recipes from the book was the “Stacked Cornbread Vegetable Salad Salad,” I had a chance to try this recipe when I went to the Kingsford Invitational. The recipes in this book range from traditional barbecue recipes such as how to make pulled pork to a rack of lamb with mixed herb seasoning. The recipes were very diverse but Chris did a great job in taking you step-by-step in how to master them.

Another aspect of the cookbook that I enjoyed was the food photography, the food really popped off the pages and it made me really hungry and also want to try all of the recipes at once.

Final Thoughts: I have reviewed a fair share of barbecue books over the past two years, and there have only been a few barbecue books that have truly impressed me. Don’t get me wrong every book is unique and every book seems to have a lot of thought and effort put into the book, but only some books really stand out and this book will be added to the list. From its great photography, unique recipes and great story telling, I know that whenever someone asks me in the future what barbecue book they should purchase I know that I will be recommending the Big Bob Gibson’s Barbecue BBQ Book. If you just barbecue on the weekends like myself or if you are a serious barbecue competitor you will surely find a lot of great tips and recipes to really elevate your next adventure or help you achieve your next Grand Championship this book is a must have.

I wanted to share with you one of my favorite recipes from the book. I hope that you will enjoy this recipe and want more so that you get your own copy! What makes this one of my favorite recipes is that it involves scallops and also leftover brisket slices. This recipe combines also combines both barbecuing and grilling techniques, with slow-smoked brisket slices wrapped around fresh scallops and cooked on a hot grill.


Scallop Burnt Ends

  • Dry Rub
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • Scallop Burnt Ends
  • 12 Sea Scallops
  • 12 Slices of Fully Cooked Beef Brisket (Preferably from the Point)
  • Reserved Beef Drippings
  1. In a small bowl, combine the dry rub ingredients and mix well.
  2. Remove the small adductor muscle from the side of each of the scallop. Wrap each scallop with a slice of brisket and secure with a wooden toothpick. Season the exposed scallop lightly with the dry rub.
  3. Build a charcoal and/or wood fire for direct grilling. Apply a light coat of oil to the grill grate. Grill the scallops directly over the hot coals (approximately 400F) while basting with reserved beef drippings. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until the scallop slightly firms or the internal temperature is 130F.


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Born and raised in Long Island New York Richard Wachtel has developed a passion for all things about barbecue and grilling, social media and also just having fun. Now living right outside the Nations Capital: Washington D.C., Richard Wachtel loves to read, write and learn about all things barbecue and grilling and digital marketing.

Category: Barbecue & Grilling Cookbooks, Kingsford Charcoal Recipes and Adventures, Latest News, Reviews