Tag Archives: BBQ

Slow Fire | Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe


It’s hard to imagine another smell that says “summer” more than BBQ.

Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue

TITLE: Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue
AUTHOR: Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe
PUBLISHER: Chronicle Books

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Featured Ingredient: BrisketBeef Brisket Chart
Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. The beef brisket is one of the nine beef prime cuts. The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals. As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing/moving cattle. This requires a significant amount of connective tissue, so the resulting meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue. [Wikipedia]

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First Impressions
I’m a sucker of BBQ cookbooks, so, I’ll try my level best to be objective. It won’t be easy. Dr. BBQ (aka Ray Lampe), has near legendary status in the smoky sub-culture of BBQ. So, you’re learning from a true master of the grill. There are lots of beautiful color images by Leigh Beisch throughout the book. I just loved the books finished size. It made it very easy to keep it open while cooking. A big plus for me. Most recipes are contained to one page. Love the design artwork with the two-tone pages. There is a fair amount of reverse type. But, it is surprisingly easy to read.

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What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Tools & Techniques
Spices and Sauces
Ribs Rule the World
Pork, Glorious Pork
Beautiful Beef
The Birds
Anything But
The Necessary Side Dishes

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It’s hard to resist Rhett & Link. I know what you’re thinking…

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The Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Superchicken Wing Rub Windy City Rib Tips
Competition-Style Pork Butt Homemade Pastrami
Smoky Skirt Steak Fajitas Smoked Flat-Cut Brisket with Coffee
Superchicken Smoked Wings Smoked Scotch Eggs
Planked Salmon with Soy-Honey Glaze Cheesy Mac and Cheese


Let’s just say that most of Ray’s recipes made my mouth water. Instantly! Were there one’s that rose above the crowd? But of course. The Roadside Barbecue Spareribs (p.56) seems like a recipe that most would be grill masters could easily tackle. I love Cuban food. So, the Cuban-style Leg of Pork (p.79), was an instant winner for me. It looks delicious. No lie. I’m making that soon. Keep an eye out here for the finished product. I know about the State Fair. And, I know about Disney. As you approach Frontierland, you can see a steady stream of people walking and eating. More like gnawing. They’re tackling giant, beautifully cooked turkey legs. It’s almost like they’re in some turkey induced trance. Anyway, if the State Fair Turkey Legs (p.129) come even close to those, then I say, “We have a WINNER!” Finally, the Bacon and Blue Cheese Coleslaw (p.161) would make a fine addition to any meal whether it was barbecued or not.

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Special Features
Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue I like the fact that recipe names are included in the table of contents. It makes it easy to see what you’re getting yourself into. I guess you could flip to the index. But, the index is never that great to navigate for something like that. There is a lot of info on tools, equipment and cooker types. That’s expected since BBQ isn’t like cooking in your kitchen. It requires special stuff. A great excuse for me to accumulate extra gadgets! There is a Table of Equivalents (p.176). I think it’s a conversion chart in sheep’s clothing. I really should stop obsessing about that.

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Slow Fire, is a fun book. As, most BBQ/grill books are. There are some pretty intense ones on the market today. This one takes a much more laid back approach. That’s to my liking. The recipes here could keep your grill happy all summer long. Or, all year long depending on where you live. The recipes are of medium difficulty. Nothing that couldn’t be tackled by any would-be BBQ enthusiast. Ray is super creative. I like that. It’s not just another BBQ book. And, that’s good because it’s a pretty busy space. There are some truly unique recipes here that deserve your attention. This cookbook claims to be for beginners. And, lots of its elements are aimed at the novice. But, there is really something here for outdoor chefs of all experience levels. If you’re a near expert BBQer you needn’t turn your nose up at the thought of a beginner book. There is certainly something here for you too. So, dig out your pigtail, tongs and tin foil and get grilling!

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Culinary Expertise: 5.0
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue

Resources, Links and Press
Dr. BBQ’s Official Website
Follow Dr. BBQ on Twitter
Dr. BBQ’s favorite BBQ Joints
Slow Fire review: Top Ribs

Monday Books: Father’s Day


There are three things that almost every dad will enjoy…

Father's Day Cake 2009 by Jim, the Photographer

BBQ, beef and beer. Those three items could land on the Father’s Day wish list of most dads in the land. Buying gifts for your father isn’t hard. Anything with a cord, motor, pull start or switch should do. But, how about something for the taste buds? A cookbook you say? Well, why not. Most men are backyard grillers and with the gift of BBQ, beef and beer all three come together in perfect harmony.

I realize finding that just right book could present a challenge. Thankfully, I am here to do the heavy lifting for you. I’ve sifted through some possible Father’s Day gift candidates and I’m leaving you with the best of the bunch. Your dad will be doing handsprings when he opens his packages on Sunday morning. I know I would be.


Weber's Way to Grill: The Step-by-Step Guide to Expert Grilling How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques Bobby Flay's Grill It! The Cook's Illustrated Guide To Grilling And Barbecue


Steak Morton's Steak Bible: Recipes and Lore from the Legendary Steakhouse Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut Steak with Friends: At Home, with Rick Tramonto


Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink 300 Beers to Try Before You Die! 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die CloneBrews, 2nd Edition: Recipes for 200 Brand-Name Beers

Twelve great books to show your dad how much he’s appreciated. With any luck you might be able to grab a beer with him as he stands by the barbecue and grills the steaks. Now, that’s a Father’s Day!

Cookbook Man Cookbook CalendarBest Selling Cookbooks

Cookbook Daily: Smokin’ with Myron Mixon

Cookbook Daily

BUY IT - Smokin' with Myron Mixon: Recipes Made Simple, from the Winningest Man in Barbecue

If there was ever a guy whose looks alone personified barbeque, it’s Myron Mixson. I mean, come on. Just look at the cover of that book. If that doesn’t make you want to grab a giant hunk of meat and fire up the smoker I don’t know what will.

Myron Mixon is a true legend in the barbeque game. He has won more awards, money and accolades than anybody on the competitive barbeque circuit. I mean anybody.

Now some of his knowhow can be your secret weapon at the next neighborhood cook off. Imagine having some of the best techniques and recipes sitting there in your back pocket ready to impress your friends and family. Now you can!

But seriously, here’s a chance for you to benefit from Myron’s many years of smoking experience. This book is packed with more than seventy five of his proven award winning recipes. If you like showing off your smoking prowess as much as I do, then this is one book you absolutely can’t be without.

Author: Myron Mixon
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (May 10, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0345528530


Did you miss a Cookbook Daily? You can check out past posts right here?

If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

Trader Joe’s, A Tiger in the Kitchen and BBQ

Random Reviews

Walter Jetton's LBJ Barbecue Cook Book

Here at the Cookbook Man website we’re all about cookbook reviews. After all, with a name like that you would expect tons of cookbook related material. Right?

We also realize that there are lots of great reviews written by some awesome reviewers each and every week. And, to be completely honest about it, it’s tough to review twenty or thirty cookbooks a week. So, from time to time we’ll bring you some of the other reviews that have been posted around the web.

There’s a couple of standouts in this edition. Check out Walter Jetton’s LBJ Barbecue Cook Book. This book was first published back in 1965. It’s really unique. It’s currently out of print, but, there’s a link to some used copies if you want to add it to your collection.

Also, we’ve posted a link to another review of Matt Armendariz’s recently released book, On A Stick!. This book is loaded with fun recipes for highly portable food.

Here are the links. We hope you enjoy them!

Cookbooks Reviews For The Week Of August 8, 2011

A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family  Buy This Book
Author: Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Voice; Original edition (February 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1401341284

I Love Trader Joe’s College Cookbook: 150 Cheap and Easy Gourmet Recipe  Buy This Book
Author: Andrea Lynn
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Ulysses Press (June 7, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1569759359
LA Weekly

Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen  Buy This Book
Author: Sara Foster
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Random House (April 5, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1400068592
Seattle PI & blogcritics.org

Walter Jetton’s LBJ Barbecue Cook Book  Buy This Book
Author: Walter Jetton
Publisher: Pocket Books; 1St Edition edition (1965)
Full Custom Gospel BBQ

The Cooking Light Gluten-Free Cookbook  Buy This Book
Author: Editors of Cooking Light Magazine
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Oxmoor House; Original edition (August 2, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0848734351
Portland Press Herald

On a Stick!  Buy This Book
Author: Matt Armendariz
Paperback: 184 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books (May 3, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1594744890
The Culinary Enthusiast

If you have reviewed a cookbook recently and would like us to feature your review, just drop us a line and we’ll check it out. You can click here to do that.

Great Last Minute Father’s Day Cookbooks

Beef Kabobs Grilling

Father’s Day=BBQ. That’s the formula that plays out in a lot of households around the country every June. And, to be perfectly honest, it’s a formula that works for me. If your Dad wants to grill, I say, by all means let him. If he wants throw a big old pork shoulder on the smoker, get out of his way. It’s his day and you certainly wouldn’t want to ruin his good time.

If you happen to be scrambling around right now hunting down that unforgettable Father’s Day gift you’re probably not alone. But, maybe I can be of some assistance. Here’s a list of books that any Dad would be proud to own!

Dad’s Own Cookbook
Fire It Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything
Falling Off the Bone
Sam the Cooking Guy: Just Grill This!
The Good Stuff Cookbook: Burgers, fries, shakes, wedges, and more
Pig: King of the Southern Table

I don’t think that any of those books will sit on a shelf collecting dust. Now get out there and show your Dad a good time!

Cookbook Daily: Weber’s Time to Grill

Cookbook Daily


Spring is here! I’m sure after being cooped up indoors and having to endure the long cold winter, die hard grillers across the country are chomping at the bit to get that fire started.

Once the weather breaks and the outdoor cooking season begins, we all want to whip up our favorite BBQ recipes right from the start. That’s only natural. But, how about trying something a little different this year?

Author Jamie Purviance has put together a great collection of grilling possibilities. Weber’s Time to Grill: Get In. Get Out. Get Grilling, is stocked with over 200 recipes for all grilling skill levels. There is everything here from your basic burger to Lemon Stuffed Snapper with Roasted Tomato Sauce (and, everything in between).

If you’re ready to embark on a little outdoor cooking adventure like I am, Jamie’s grilling guide is the perfect place to start and keep things interesting all summer long.

Author: Jamie Purviance
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Oxmoor House
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0376020601

Want It? We Can Help.


How about a little grilling music to get things started!

If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

If you left the room for a minute, you may have missed these other Cookbook Daily features:

Eva’s Kitchen
If It Makes You Healthy
Italian, My Way
Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi
Modernist Cuisine
Appetite for Reduction

Cookbook Daily: Smoke and Spice

Cookbook Daily

Smoke & Spice

I love smoked food! And, this book tells you how to make the real deal. REAL AUTHENTIC BBQ just like some of the best pit masters around the country.

Now, I’m not suggesting that if you buy this book you’re going to wake up the next morning with a medal round your neck that says “1st Place – Brisket Division”. That would be scary and it’s not going to happen.

But, if you’re looking for a place to start on that trail to barbeque stardom then this is a pretty good roadmap. It has all the methods the big boys use to achieve great results from tough meat and low heat.

Cheryl and Bill Jamison go through some of the basic smoking fundamentals for newcomers to the art. Plus, advance techniques for those with some experience. They have also added 100 additional recipes to the latest addition.

If you’re a seasoned veteran of the smoke pit or just want to get started learning a fantastic method of outdoor cooking, then Smoke and Spice is a must for your collection.

Author: Cheryl and Bill Jamison
Publisher: Harvard Common Press
Paperback: 528 pages
ISBN-10: 1558322620
ISBN-13: 978-1558322622

Want It? We Can Help.


If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

iGrill: A Glimpse of the Grilling Future


Toys are fun. Toys that can actually make your life easier, well…


A FedEx box arrived. Everybody likes it when a FedEx box comes to their house. Especially, if it’s not even close to Christmas, your birthday or any other gift giving occasion. This being the end of February, it was to late for a Valentine’s Day whatever and a little on the early side for a vacuum packed corned beef and cabbage.

Once I tore into it, I discovered what could possibly be the coolest BBQ gadget of all time. The nice folks at iDevices had sent me the most talked about cooking tool at this years Consumer Electronics show. The iGrill. This would be fun.

Like every guy on the planet. I love to grill. It’s been said that the urge to grill is woven into the DNA of every man alive. I won’t dispute that. I know from my own personal experience that I can smell a grill being lit or a juicy burger cooking from a half mile way. And, once I smell that smell, the urge to participate is overwhelming.

The contents if the iGrill box is pretty simple. Thermometer unit, probe and a short instruction sheet. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Oh, they even include 4 AA’s in the box. What a pleasure not to have to root around in my kitchen drawer for batteries that still had some life in them.


You’re looking at the whole thing right there. Simplicity.

Once unpacked, I was determined to put the iGrill through it’s paces. I thought about a roast of some kind for it’s maiden voyage. Maybe chicken. It probably should be something that didn’t need flipping or too much moving around on the grill. A beer can chicken would work great.

I downloaded the latest iGrill software from iTunes and was ready to check things out.

I seasoned up a 4 pound roasting chicken with some Memphis rub from a recipe in the BBQ Bible by Steven Raichlen. This is a fantastic mix of spices. Great on beef, chicken or pork. I thought this would give my chicken a little extra zip. You should try it.

Beer Can Chicken - Uncooked

I inserted the temperature probe into the breast making sure not to have it touching the bone. I found a can of Old Style. Opened it, drank half and used the remaining beer and can for the recipe.

I started pre-heating the grill and paired my phone with the iGrill base unit. A simple procedure. The phone found the iGrill with no problems. I placed the chicken on the grill and was ready to have some fun.

The iGrill’s phone interface is great. Simple to use and super easy to understand what’s going on under the hood of your BBQ.


Check out the display options. From left to right. The first is what I called the master display. You have target temperature, current food temperature, a time until complete approximation and a graph on top of the temperature history. Lots of info. Next there is a traditional meat thermometer display. It has the temp in digital form and an old school thermometer reading that we all know and love. Lastly there is a timer. I wish it had the option of count up as well as count down. I like seeing how long something has been cooking, not just the time to completion.

As the cooking got underway, the temp started working it’s way up. Things were going great until I hit a small snag. I powered on my phone and couldn’t get the app to connect. It wouldn’t show any of the three screens above. I went out to the grill to check the base unit. It had the temperature displayed just fine.

My Bluetooth connection said it was working. I re-started my phone. After it finished re-starting the display came right back on and with the correct temperature. If I kept the phone on it was fine. If I turned the phone off without first closing the app and turned it back on again it was OK. But, if I closed the app, then turned off the phone. No connection. If I re-started the phone all was fixed and all of the up to date temp details were accurate.


It’s a little glitch in the program. I’m not even certain if it might just be an isolated incident. In any event, it’s something that I am sure will get smoothed out in a future update of the software. And, the problem isn’t big enough to consider not purchasing the unit. Even with that minor blip, the operation of the device and it’s reporting of the temperature was right on. The convenience of not having to wonder what was really happening to your soon to be meal was liberating.

Beer Can Chicken

When my chicken reached my target temp I was ready to see if the internal temperature of my bird matched the what the device was reporting. After sampling a couple of different locations on the chicken with an instant read, I am happy to report that the temperature was right on the money.

The Bottom Line

If you like grilling and you like gadgets the iGrill is for you. It had a small hiccup in the Bluetooth handshake, but, I think that’s something that will get resolved quickly. The accuracy was great and the clear, readable displays let you “look under the cover” of the grill as it’s cooking. This would be perfect for monitoring something on the smoker. It seems the smoker is even more mysterious than the BBQ. I’m going to give that a whirl next. Can someone say pulled pork.

I know one gift giving occasion that is on the horizon that the iGrill would be perfect for. Father’s Day. And, it’s closer than you think…