Library notes: Fire up the grill for barbecue

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 28, 2020

By Paul Birkhead
Rowan Public Library

A good rule of thumb is to never go grocery shopping when you are hungry. Well, the same can be said for writing a newspaper article about delicious food before lunch. It is not a good idea. What is a good idea is stocking up on some books about barbecue from Rowan Public Library.

When researching the subject of barbecue, it doesn’t take long to realize that there are just as many different spellings of the word as there are methods of preparation. What seems to be universal is the passion folks have on the topic. Three of the most vocal proponents of live-fire cooking are Myron Mixon, Steven Raichlen, and Andy Husbands. Myron Mixon is celebrity chef and four-time barbecue world champion. His most recent book is “BBQ&A with Myron Mixon” and it is full of recipes and techniques. Steven Raichlen is a chef, television host, and author of more than 30 books. One of his most popular titles, “The Barbecue Bible,” can be found at the library as well as two of his newest: “Project Smoke” and “The Brisket Chronicles.” Andy Husbands is a chef, television personality, and restaurateur. He has recently authored “The Smoke Shop Cookbook” with recipes from his award-winning chain of The Smoke Shop BBQ restaurants.

Celebrity pit masters aren’t the only ones that can help you step up your game. Some new titles by other authors that you should definitely check out are: “Fire + Wine: 75 Smoke-Infused Recipes from the Grill with Perfect Wine Pairings” by Mary Cressler, “Whole Hog BBQ” by Sam Jones, “Operation BBQ” by Stan Hays and “Praise the Lard” by Mike Mills.
Ready to grill but want something a little different this time? Make sure to flip through the pages of “Korean BBQ” by Bill Kim or even “Pizza on the Grill” by Elizabeth Karmel. Both are chock full of delicious recipes to try. Going meatless? There are books for that, too, including the delightfully-titled “VBQ: The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook” by Nadine Horn. Last but not least, a grilled dessert might be in order. You can find a few of those in Martha Stewart’s “Grilling.” Naturally, Stewart is going to have her say about the proper way to barbecue.

If these print titles have piqued your interest, but you’d rather explore what’s available from the library in eBook form, don’t forget to pop over to Overdrive, via the NC Digital Library. Titles in that collection that focus on barbecue in North Carolina include: “12 Bones Smokehouse” (out of Asheville) by Bryan King and “Bob Garner’s Book of Barbecue” (Garner is an N.C. native and is a regular on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Weekend).

If you consider yourself a pit master or just beginning to learn the art of live-fire cooking, remember that Rowan Public Library has many resources to take your barbecuing to the next level. While the buildings are currently closed to the public, we still offer curbside pickup by appointment and our online resources are available 24/7. Go to for more information.

Paul Birkhead is a librarian at the Rowan Public Library.

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