It all began with a simple question: What do championship barbecuers love to cook when they’re not bound by competition rules?
What’s a guy supposed to do when one of America’s Best BBQ judges along with one of America’s Best BBQ competitors asks why you’ve never reviewed one of their books. The answer is quite easy, you review their book.
I own and have read all of Paul Kirk’s books and his collaboration with Ardie Davis on America’s Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America’s Best Smokehouses Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants is one of my favorites. It’s a great insight into the variety of BBQ establishments and the types of food found in these places.
Competition BBQ is all about pork ribs, brisket, pork butts and chicken all cooked the same way, but with unique twists that makes the “boxes” they turn in different in hope of setting them apart from all the other competitors. With their next collaboration, America’s Best BBQ-Homestye: What the Champions Cook in Their Own Backyards, Ardie and Chef Kirk take a look at what competition BBQ champions eat in their own homes and backyards. It’s an eye-opening peak at what these great cooks like to eat when they aren’t competing against one another.
” This book serves two purposes: introducing you to the champs and introducing you to some of the of the best barbecue you’ve ever eaten.”
One of the first topics Ardie and Paul tackle is “What is Barbecue? Whether you’re cooking “low and slow” or grilling “hot and fast” the authors don’t take a side on what to call it.
They have accepted that anything cooked outdoors, whether on a grill or a smoker, is barbecue. They even go so far as to not have a problem with calling the backyard cookout event a “barbecue.” I suppose if these two experts don’t have a problem with any of this, no one should.
Just like all the other BBQ and grilling cookbooks the authors include a chapter on “BBQ Basics.” There isn’t anything really new discussed in this chapter but the information is presented in a way that makes it much more interesting. Having some of the biggest names in the BBQ world giving little tricks and tips is a really cleaver touch. It was fun to read. The average backyard grillmaster may not be familiar with the names, but having the experts there adds a level of credibility that many books don’t have.
BBQ for breakfast is a great way to start the day and it’s a great way to start the “cooking” part of America’s Best-Homestyle. When you’re at a competition BBQ event there is a pretty good chance that BBQ will be part of your breakfast. But BBQ isn’t just for breakfast on the competition BBQ circuit it is part of the daily routine at home too. Whether it’s a “Screaming Redneck Breakfast Sandwich” or Chef Kirk’s take on a traditional English breakfast with “The Baron’s Barbecue Bubble ‘n’ Squeak” you’ll have more choices for creating amazing BBQ breakfasts.
Appetizers, starters, snacks or small plates. It doesn’t really matter what you call them because they don’t stick around long enough to worry about it. The chapter on “starters” puts some interesting twists on some traditional BBQ appetizers along with adding a few new dishes to what is already a flavorful and fun part of any meal.
“Every year, about 1,000 barbecue contests are held all over the United States and Canada and throughout the world…”
This book was written by a couple of the biggest an boldest names in BBQ so it’s fitting that this cookbook is full of big, bold flavors. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner you’ll get great examples and recipes that will enable you to cook like the pros. Eating at home is just as much an adventure as eating out and America’s Best BBQ-Homestyle will give you tips, tricks and recipes to help you with the adventure.
Ardie and The Baron share one of the recipes from their cookbook. This is a great recipe from the BBQ Freaks in Puerto Rico.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- ⅓ cup rum (añejo)
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup tamarind pulp
- 3 cups beef stock
- 4 quarts water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup salt
- 30 whole cloves
- 4 whole nutmegs, cracked
- 8 center-cut pork chops, about 2½ inches thick
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- Granulated garlic, for seasoning
- Dried thyme, for seasoning
- Place the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the onion and garlic begin to brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the rum and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Stir in the honey and tamarind pulp and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the beef stock and continue cooking until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain through a sieve. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large stockpot, bring to a boil the water, sugar, salt, cloves, and nutmegs. Stir occasionally and cook until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove the brine from the heat and add the pork chops. Let cool for 30 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Prepare a hot grill for direct cooking, with a cool zone to one side.
- Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse with cold water, and pat dry. Season to your liking with salt, cracked black pepper, granulated garlic, and dried thyme.
- Use long-handled tongs and a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil to lightly oil the grate, then place the pork chops over the fire, about 6 inches over the glowing coals. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Move the chops to the cool zone, cover the grill, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn, cover the grill, and grill until just cooked through, about 5 minutes more. The meat should register 145°F on a meat thermometer.
- Transfer to a serving platter and allow the chops to rest for 10 minutes. While the meat is resting, warm the glaze. Serve the pork chops whole or sliced with the glaze.