Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Of Food and Fellowship: Southern Living Ultimate Book Of BBQ

“To say barbecue in the South is a big deal is an understatement. It’s about sharing an age-old tradition with family and friends -enjoying the fundamentals in life: food and fellowship.”

-Taken from Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ

Chris Prieto, BBQ Cookbook

Photo courtesy of Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ

Now I don’t know about you, but I like that quote. I like it more than I can tell you. A person can digress over a great many things concerning BBQ, from technique to recipe, but at the end of the day, it’s all about sharing something good with the people around you. And BBQ is good! It is a sad affair indeed, the lonely pit master who has not one person in his lot to share with his smokey wares. Good BBQ cannot be hoarded. Nay, it ought to be shared.

Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling and Smoking

Which brings me to this cook book from the good folks at Southern Living. They have shared quite a bit in this one. I’ve had the good fortune to peruse its pages over the last few days, whilst taking up residence in my man chair, with a lovely beverage at hand of course. Thumbing through the book, and being a man, I was at once taken by the pretty pictures. It was bitter-sweet however. Because here at this blog we try our very best to snap the finest pictures we can, taking great pains with light and subject, but after seeing the food photography in this book, our pittance might as well have come from the fumbling shutter of a preschooler. My but it was good. I did rather fancy the photos.

It is well written too. And diverse. It says in the book, “if you ask 10 different southerners their thoughts on the best barbecue, you’re bound to get 10 different answers“. And it’s true. That’s BBQ alright, and the book seems to captures that essence pretty good. It looks to have it all, from BBQ basics, to expert cooking tips from pit blokes like Troy Black, Myron Mixon and Robb Walsh. But the main force behind the book, is pit master Christopher Prieto. This is his first cook book. You might have seen him on the television show, BBQ Pit Masters, which is a great show, BTW. Or if you’re really lucky, you live in North Carolina, and eat his BBQ in person. And to this end, you have our sincere envy. As the owner of Prime Barbecue, in Raleigh, NC, Christopher and his team will be happy to cater to you there, or in surrounding areas. Come to Minnesota young Christopher! We need you here!

Anyways, the Ultimate Book of BBQ is a lovely compilation of more than 200 recipes of utter BBQ succulence, that I think are Christopher’s. From ribs to chicken to brisket to salmon to soup to collard greens. No point in scratching your head, it has it all. It’s the ultimate book of BBQ after all. In point of fact, here is an excerpt recipe for some Cackalacky Sauce, as seen in the above photo, that you might want to try. No, we have no idea what a cackalacky is either. Must be a North Carolina thing. But check out this tasty sauce!

North Cackalacky Barbecue Sauce
Vinegar-based sauces, like this slightly spicy sauce, are traditional in eastern North Carolina and don’t require refrigeration.
Yield: about 1 2⁄3 cups Total: 30 Minutes
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1⁄4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. hot sauce
1 1⁄2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1⁄2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1⁄8 tsp. ground red pepper
2 tsp. table salt
1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1⁄2 cup apple juice
Stir together all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 2⁄3 cups, about 25 minutes.

Chris Prieto, BBQ Cookbook

Photo courtesy of Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ

We appreciated the wide spectrum of flavors the recipes went after. You’ll find something to suit the snobbiest BBQ tongue. Like wise, we liked how it was all laid out, nice and tidy like, through-out the book – like a good cook book should. One chapter is devoted to the pleasures of Low & Slow, our personal favorite. But there is another chapter devoted towards the glories of Hot & Fast. One chapter for sauces, rubs and marinades. Another chapter just for sides, with such recipes as Grilled Watermelon with Blue Cheese, and Appalachian Cider Baked Beans. Man! They even had a chapter entitled, Rainy Day BBQ, of which I got perhaps, overly excited for. Nothing like hearing the rain drops splatter off a sizzling pit whilst sweet plumes of hickory smoke curl into the gray drizzle. But this wasn’t so. The chapter ended up being a collection of slow cooker recipes, and stove top wonders, which I suppose have their place in a BBQ book. I don’t know. I guess we do have a disturbing proclivity around here for foul weather BBQ. But even so, mercy, did them photos ever look good, crock pot or not!
Let’s see one more recipe from the book before we wrap this review up. Let’s see a rub. If a pit master has a signature flavor, most of it probably stems from the rub. Man, we love a good rub. Here is one of Christopher’s rubs, as seen in the photo above.

Season All Rub
Use Christopher Prieto’s signature rub on anything you want to throw on the grill or smoker: fish, steaks, pork, or chicken.
Yield: about 2 cups Total: 5 Minutes
3⁄4 cup paprika
1⁄2 cup turbinado sugar
1⁄4 cup seasoned salt
1⁄4 cup coarse black pepper
2 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 Tbsp. granulated onion
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. chipotle powder
Stir together all ingredients until well blended. Store in an airtight container up to 1 month.

Anyways, there you go. A little review of the latest cook book to come by the pit. Pros: It’s well articulated, deliciously diverse, and beautifully photographed. Also impressively inspired from one, Christopher Prieto. This bloke can smoke! Cons: A bit pricey at $25 bucks a copy, but what isn’t these days. Other than that, we liked pert near every thing about it. So if you’re looking for inspiration for your next BBQ, or a great gift for your pit master, you’d do well to check out Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ. Read it. Barbecue something good. Then share it at once with some one that you love, and enjoy some of life’s fundamentals: in food and fellowship. Amen.

Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling and Smoking

 bbq book
 *This site is an Amazon affiliate for this book. A sincere thanks for your support! 

25 responses

  1. This book has made quite a splash here in the UK, I’m yet to get my hands on a copy, but will do for sure now. Hope you are doing well, and looking forward to a wonderful summer of BBQ.

    April 15, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    • Hey, good to hear from you Marcus! Missed you my friend. I didn’t know it was already released across the pond. Hope it does well over there. Looks to be a good one. Now you and me need to get some books out there too… Someday right!


      April 15, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      • Yeah been pretty busy, but looks like I’m having to go pro BBQer as have lost my day job 😦 but every cloud has a silver lining. Already got my first ebook out….looking to do more soon.

        April 16, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      • Sorry to hear that, Marcus. I do hope you find your silver lining to glitter brightly and prosperously. Your bbq work is first rate, so I know it will.

        April 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      • Thank you 🙂 appreciate it

        April 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm

  2. There is Southern BBQ and then there is Texas BBQ 🙂 But that quote is spot on, and it’s always good to hear about cookbooks that are liked by others in the real world!

    April 15, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    • Well put, Kate. Well put indeed! Yeah, that quote got me thinking. It was a good one. Good to hear from you!

      April 15, 2015 at 5:39 pm

  3. Great post and thanks for posting the recipes. Immediately added that BBQ sauce to Evernote, I will be making that this summer. I love a good BBQ sauce and a vinegar based sauce is my favorite.

    April 15, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    • Very cool. I agree. The more BBQ I eat, and the more I educate the BBQ senses on my tongue, the more I seem to be appreciating a good vinegar based sauce. Just some thing about it.

      Good to hear from you. Hope all is well out in your world.

      Take care,

      April 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm

  4. Cool post! These recipes sound good almost as good as southern hospitality… 😉

    April 16, 2015 at 6:33 am

    • That’s right! Agreed! Which state are you from again? You’re somewhere over there!

      April 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      • Good Ole Virginia! Born and raised.

        April 16, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      • Thats a purrty state, a states go. Very nice!

        April 16, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      • I agree. You can go from ocean to mountains in about 3-4 hours… The climate is a little humid and warmer below Richmond.
        Pssst… We’ll be up over in Chicago next weekend. 😉

        April 16, 2015 at 1:47 pm

  5. I grew up spending summers in Eastern North Carolina. Love that vinegar base, chopped. pork there. In that area of NC, a “BBQ” is something you pull behind a truck, that cooks a whole hog. Gotta’ love the way they think there!

    April 16, 2015 at 11:16 am

    • Ahh I envy your childhood summers. Must have been good memories. I gotta say, I admire any pit that requires its own trailer. Those blokes know how to live. And when you’re talking bbq, you have to put North Carolina pert near if not at the very top of the list. They got it figured out. And if someone doesn’t believe that, well their stomach is misguided
      Ps. The lakes have for finally broke up around here, and my lines are wet again. Feels good. Mighty good.

      Thanks TJ. Blessings my friend!

      April 16, 2015 at 2:34 pm

  6. Hmm. As soon as I can finish Hawkings “A Brief History of Time” (and that may take years to get my little brain wrapped around) this could be my next target. Thanks for the heads up. Sounds like a great prelude to a long awaited summer of BBQ.

    April 16, 2015 at 11:58 am

    • Wow, your brain is bigger than mine me thinks. I tried reading the Universe in a Nutshell. Went ok for a while, then I gave up and just went fishing. Good books tho if you can grasp them. This BBQ book is easy to grasp. It isn’t as good as the first one you recommended to me, but it’s a solid effort none the less, in bbq how to.

      April 16, 2015 at 2:23 pm

  7. laurie27wsmith

    Love the sauce recipe, hat a great book.

    April 16, 2015 at 4:59 pm

  8. Great minds think alike. I just made a full rack using ATK’s recipe for Grilled Glazed Baby Back Ribs, but I glazed mine with Noh Foods Of Hawaii Hawaiian BBQ Sauce
    MMM! Very ONO!
    Even DH liked them and he isn’t a fan of any kind of rib.
    I’ll tell ya more about it later.

    April 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm

  9. “Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.” Pretty much sums up my whole philosophy of cooking ‘Q.

    April 17, 2015 at 6:10 am

  10. There’s nothin’ like getting up early in the morning with a cup o’ coffee and a beautifully photographed cookbook. It’s my weakness. I’d love to be able to snap pics like that. You take some pretty appealing pics yourself.

    April 19, 2015 at 9:09 am

  11. Pingback: Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ | Smoking Chicken

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