Published: May 27, 2015
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I truly believe that you don’t need to have the best food photography or be a world champion barbecue pitmaster to have a great barbecue and grilling cookbook. In “Feeding the Fire: Recipes & Strategies for Better Barbecue and Grilling” Joe Carroll writes one of my new favorite barbecue cookbooks. The book not only focuses on great recipes but also provides the reader with some additional barbecue knowledge to make you the best pitmaster on the block.
Joe Carroll makes stellar barbecue and grilled meats in Brooklyn, New York, at his acclaimed restaurants Fette Sau and St. Anselm. In Feeding the Fire, Carroll gives us his top 20 lessons and more than 75 recipes to make incredible fire-cooked foods at home, proving that you don’t need to have fancy equipment or long-held regional traditions to make succulent barbecue and grilled meats.
Feeding the Fire teaches the hows and whys of live-fire cooking: how to create low and slow fires, how to properly grill chicken (leave it on the bone), why American whiskey blends so nicely with barbecued meats (both are flavored with charred wood), and how to make the best sides to serve with meat (keep it simple). Recipes nested within each lesson include Pulled Pork Shoulder, Beef Short Ribs, Bourbon-Brined Center-Cut Pork Chops, Grilled Clams with Garlic Butter, and Charred Long Beans. Anyone can follow these simple and straightforward lessons to become an expert.
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In Feeding the Fire Carroll explains that all barbecue is united by a simple template which includes Meat + Smoke + Patience equals Barbecue, but the details of the types of wood that you use, cut of meat that you use and the seasoning make it all the difference. The “lessons” or chapters in the book include how to select and successfully navigate the butcher counter to understand the range of labels (prime, choice, natural, organic, heritage, dry aged, and more) at any sort of market.
Another chapter of the book that the reader will find in the book includes how to pick and match the type of wood to the type of meat, how you can use, a chapter on how you can bring the “smoke” inside. In this chapter the authors explain how someone living in the city can still experience the flavors of the grill and the smoker with a stovetop smoker and how you can raid your pantry for new tastes such as smoking meats over whole spices, tea leaves and dried herbs.
Another chapter in the book focuses on how you can keep your side dishes simple but still create some amazing dishes to complement the main dish and another chapter includes how to keep and retain moisture for chicken which can easily dry out and one of my favorite chapters focus on brining and salting various meats. Joe Carroll shares a recipe for bourbon-brined center cut pork chop will blow your mind.
Review and Rating of the Barbecue and Grilling Cookbook Feeding the Fire: Recipes & Strategies for Better Barbecue and Grilling
As Caroll explains in the book that “all barbecue is united by a simple template of Meat + Smoke + Patience = Barbecue but the details of wood, charcoal, cut of meat, and seasoning make all the difference. After reading the book, you will surely be able to master the techniques to elevate your grilling beyond the typical backyard cookout and you will be also be able to develop your own distinctive style of barbecue. As you work through the various “lessons” in the book you will not only learn how the important elements to create the best barbecue in town.
Carroll really goes in depth in some topics not always covered by other great barbecue and grilling cookbooks and that is one of the many reasons for me why I really enjoyed this book. The other reason why I also enjoyed this book is because of the recipes. Carroll really gives the reader some unique recipes that can be done at your next barbecue or grill out that will impress your friends and family for sure.
Feeding the Fire, is a must have for anyone who is looking to impress their friends an family with some great recipes but also wants to seriously up their barbecue game. This book will provide you with the knowledge to do so!
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