From low-and-slow barbecue to cooking pizzas or tempeh on the grill, there’s a bounty of cookbooks arriving this spring and summer to satisfy readers who have been itching to fire up the grill all winter. Here’s a rundown of what’s available.
What’s in a Name?
Some famous names take to the grill this season, including baseball Hall of Famer turned cattle rancher Nolan Ryan. In The Nolan Ryan Beef & Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes from a Texas Kitchen (Little, Brown, May), the famous pitcher shares personal stories along with favorite recipes for ribs, burgers, steaks, side dishes, and desserts. Virgil’s has become a famous name to many, especially those in New York City, as it opened its restaurant in Times Square 20 years ago. Fans of the Manhattan mainstay’s barbecue can try their hand at the recipes at home with Virgil’s Barbecue Road Trip Cookbook: The Best Barbecue From Around the Country Without Ever Leaving Your Backyard (St. Martin’s Press, Apr.), by chef Neil Corman with Chris Peterson. Food Network star Guy Fieri devotes his fifth cookbook, Guy on Fire: 130 Recipes for Adventures in Outdoor Cooking (William Morrow, May), to cooking and eating alfresco. And Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys (Workman, May), from bestselling barbecue book author and Primal Grill host Steven Raichlen, aims to help men be as comfortable in the kitchen as behind the grill, with recipes for burgers, seafood, pulled pork, and more that can be made indoors or out.
Grilling for Everyone
Weber grills are synonymous with backyard grilling, and Weber’s Big Book of Burgers: The Ultimate Guide to Grilling Backyard Classics (Oxmoor House, Apr.) by Jamie Purviance includes 160 recipes with some surprising approaches to burgers, sausages, sides, and drinks. For followers of the paleo diet, there’s Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman’s Guide to Cooking with Fire (Fair Winds, June). In it, Tony Federico and James Phelan feature recipes for cooking natural, locally farmed meat in a variety of ways, including primitive campfire, wood and charcoal, gas grilling, and smoking. For a taste of home—literally—there’s Taste of Home Backyard Barbecues: 405 Dishes for Sizzling Celebrations (Reader’s Digest, May) from the editors of the magazine of the same name, with recipes from home cooks from around the country. Ron Douglas, the bestselling author of the America’s Most Wanted Recipes series serves up America’s Most Wanted Recipes at the Grill: Recreate Your Favorite Restaurant Meals in Your Own Backyard! (Atria, May), which features his favorite restaurant remakes for the grill. Newbies can check out Thomas N. England’s Idiot’s Guides: Grilling (DK/Alpha, May), which has recipes for seafood, veggies, fruits, pizzas, and, of course, meat.
In ManBQue: Meat. Beer. Rock and Roll. (Running Press, Apr.), authors John Carruthers and Jesse Valenciana cover everything from grinding one’s own hamburger meat to tackling more... specialized ingredients like pig tongue and beef heart (click here to read more about the ManBQue organization). Bestselling cookbook authors Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby present The Big-Flavor Grill: No-Marinade, No-Hassle Recipes for Delicious Steaks, Chicken, Ribs, Chops, Vegetables, Shrimp, and Fish (Ten Speed, Mar.) for a grilling experience that mixes fresh ingredients for optimum flavor. In The Essential New York Times Grilling Cookbook: More Than 100 Years of Sizzling Food Writing (Sterling Epicure, Apr.), editor Peter Kaminsky gathers an eclectic selection of outdoor cooking recipes and stories that have been published in the newspaper over the years. Low and Slow: The Art and Technique of Braising, BBQ, and Slow Roasting (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Apr.) is an illustrated guide from the Culinary Institute of America and Robert Briggs that offers more than 100 recipes for various types of meat and vegetables, as well as barbecue history, culture, equipment, and more.
Veteran barbecue champions Andy Husbands and Chris Hart present an international array of recipes for both charcoal and gas grilling in Grill to Perfection: Two Champion Pit Masters’ Recipes and Techniques for Unforgettable Backyard Grilling (Page Street, Apr.). For those seeking a different flavor, Caribbean Potluck: Modern Recipes from Our Family Kitchen (Kyle Books) by Susannah and Michelle Rousseau has a section on grilling Jamaican foods. Majorleaguegrilling.com blogger Arthur Aguirre dishes out secrets to his award-winning recipes in America’s Best Barbecue: Recipes and Techniques for Prize-Winning Ribs, Wings, Brisket, and More (Skyhorse, Apr.). Rubs, glazes, and sauces are included, along with heartier fare like ribs and poultry. Food historian Paula Marcoux presents not only recipes but also DIY instructions for building your own cooking-over-fire implements and structures in Cooking with Fire: From Roasting on a Spit to Baking in a Tannur, Rediscovered Techniques and Recipes That Capture the Flavors of Wood-Fired Cooking (Storey, May). (Click here for five grilling tips from Marcoux, derived from Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield.) And Dina Guillen’s Plank Grilling: 75 Recipes for Infusing Food with Flavor Using Wood Planks (Sasquatch, Mar.) explains how home cooks can use alder, maple, cedar, and hickory planks in a variety of grilled meals, including fish, steak, and DIY bacon.
For a Smoking Good Meal
Smoke is essential for barbecue, and the bible on smoking, Smoke & Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue (Harvard Common Press, May) by Cheryl and Bill Jamison, was released back in 1994. Twenty years later it’s back in a fully revised anniversary edition with 50 new recipes and full-color photography and design. Pitmaster and Memphis Barbecue Company restaurateur Melissa Cookston goes whole hog in Smokin’ in the Boys' Room: Southern Recipes from the Winningest Woman in Barbecue (Andrews McMeel, Apr.), which combines stories of growing up with recipes from her restaurant and her Southern Delta background. In Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook (Octopus/Mitchell Beazley, June) Tom Adams, Simon Anderson, Jamie Berger, and Richard H. Turner share recipes from their London barbecue hotspot (click here to read about PW editor Jonathan Segura’s experience testing recipes from the book). Matt Pelton, two-time Dutch Oven World Champion, offers details about slow cooking in Up in Smoke: A Complete Guide to Cooking with Smoke (Cedar Fort, Apr.). Included are flavor profiles of different woods, along with the types of barbecue pits to choose from. In Fire and Smoke: A Pitmaster’s Secrets (Clarkson Potter, Apr.), author Chris Lilly combines the smoky flavors of slow cooking with the speed of grilling. For a different take on smoking, The Kamado Smoker and Grill Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Hands-on Techniques for Mastering the World’s Best Barbecue (Ulysses, Aug.) by Chris Grove offers readers 52 ways to use egg-shaped ceramic cookers for great grilled meals. For those looking to create smoke without a smoker, or to try indoor and cold smoking, Larry Gaian’s The Everything Guide to Smoking Food (Adams Media, May) has the info, as well as 150 recipes, including regional barbecue styles. Readers with health concerns can look to Sizzle and Smoke: The Ultimate Gide to Grilling for Diabetes, Prediabetes, and Heart Health (American Diabetes Association, June), in which author and chef Steven Petusevsky shares lean meats and vegetarian dishes that deliver smoky, natural flavor.
What’s Your Specialty?
Grilling doesn’t always have to mean steak and burgers—there’s always another American favorite, the hot dog. But who wants an ordinary hot dog when you can have an Haute Dog? Russell van Kraayenburg, founder of the blogs Chasing Delicious and The Boy’s Club, has put together 100 ways to elevate the commonplace wiener in Haute Dogs: Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns, and Condiments (Quirk, Apr.), which offers global twists on hot dogs and explores their history, as well. And for when ketchup and mustard won’t do, there’s Wieners Gone Wild! Out-of-the-Ballpark Recipes for Extraordinary Hot Dogs by Holly Schmidt and Allan Penn (Running Press, May), which includes 40 recipes that call for everything from clams to Velveeta (not in the same recipe, thankfully).
If you like to grill, but don’t just want meat, there are plenty of other options. In Patio Pizzeria: Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads on the Grill (Running Press, Apr.), Karen Adler and Judith Fertig show how home chefs can take pizza night outdoors, including vegan and gluten-free options. Vegans can also get some new ideas in Vegan al Fresco: Happy & Healthy Recipes for Picnics, Barbecues & Outdoor Dining (Arsenal Pulp, May), in which Carla Kelly shares recipes for multigrain burgers and other outdoor-ready fare. Vegetarian Grilling: 60 Recipes for a Meatless Summer (Skyhorse, July) by Karen Schulz and Maren Jahnke suggests ways to grill hearty vegetarian meals, such as veggie burgers, skewers, and tofu creations. And The China Study All-Star Collection: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes from Your Favorite Vegan Chefs (BenBella, May), edited by Leanne Campbell, includes a section on grilling, with recipes from vegan chefs and authors.