In the South, barbecue is king. Barbecue grills are ubiquitous fixtures in backyards across the region, and every Southerner looks forward to the “firing-up” season. This book is a follow up to the best-selling The Big Book of BBQ and is filled with expert techniques and know-how enables every cook to start grilling like an award-winning pit master in his own backyard.
All Fired Up: Smokin’ Hot BBQ Secrets From The South’s Best Pitmasters by Troy Black and Southern Living is a BBQ cookbook I have been anxiously awaiting its publication. The Big Book of BBQ is one of my favorite BBQ cookbooks. And I was hoping to use the new cookbook to help increase the knowledge I got from the first one. I was not disappointed.
If you’re a novice backyard pitmaster you’ll find the beginning of the cookbook a valuable tool. Troy’s chapter on “Tools of the Trade” has a lot of great information. With sections on his Top 10 Tools, how to set up your grill and/or pit to how to set up for direct and indirect cooking you’ll gain knowledge that will help you be a better outdoor cook. The information provided in this chapter is all pretty basic, but just like anything else in life it doesn’t hurt for experienced cooks to refresh their memory on those basics.
If you’re so experienced that you couldn’t possibly learn anything don’t feel there’s anything to learn from the basics then read the chapter for the tips and sidebar notes from some of the best pitmasters in the South. These little bits of wisdom from experienced BBQ cooks are mingled throughout the book along with “Troy’s Tips.” Both of these features not only add some fun and but add some flavor and history to the recipes.
To get your mouth-watering and ready for the real BBQ Troy serves up 20 pages of sauces, marinades, relishes, and rubs in the Slathered and Sauced chapter. No matter what your tastes might be you should be able to find a recipe to try in this chapter. I’m already planning a meal so I can use the Cantaloupe and Bacon Relish recipe with some smoked chicken. Or I might give the Grilled Salsa a try for an interesting appetizer.
Next up a chapter on Authentic BBQ. Filled with recipes for pulled pork, brisket and ribs, this chapter will give you a hankering for some down home BBQ. The ribs recipes look exceptionally good. Using ingredients like sorghum for a beef rib glaze or peach nectar for pulled pork Troy brings BBQ to life with great flavors and techniques to help you produce a great meal for friends and family.
If backyard grilling is more your cup of BBQ sauce then Troy has that covered too. One of my favorite sections of the book is the Pig Out pork chapter. Very few cookbooks devote an entire chapter to one of the more misused, or should I say abused cuts of pork–the tenderloin. Just like in the other chapters of the book Troy provides great tasting recipes for the main meal and then recipes for using up any leftovers.
Chapters on seafood, chicken along with sides, appetizers and desserts offer a good base for an entire meal of great tasting menu items right from your grill or smoker. One of the features of the book I appreciated was the variety of recipes available. If you can’t find something you like in this cookbook you’re in big trouble.
If you want your guest to get all fired up about your cooking then adding All Fired Up: Smokin’ Hot BBQ Secrets From The South’s Best Pitmasters would be a great way to go for you. Great recipes, great photos and great stories are always a good combination for a barbecue cookbook.
- 3⁄4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup kosher salt
- 2 cups boiling water
- 3 cups ice cubes
- 4 bone-in pork loin chops (about 2 lb.)
- 1 medium-size sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 11⁄2 cups ketchup
- 1⁄2 cup peach preserves or jam
- 2 large peaches (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut
- into 3⁄4-inch chunks
- 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Garnish: fresh oregano sprigs
- Combine sugar and salt in a large bowl; add boiling water, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in ice cubes to cool mixture. Add pork chops; cover and chill 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sauté onion in hot oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat 2 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, 45 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. Add ketchup, peach preserves, and peaches. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add vinegar; season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Remove pork from brine, discarding brine. Rinse pork well, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Pour half of peach mixture into a bowl; reserve remaining mixture. Season both sides of pork with desired amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Grill pork, covered with grill lid, 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of each chop registers 145°, basting pork occasionally with peach mixture in bowl. Remove pork from grill; let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with reserved peach mixture. Garnish, if desired.