As daffodils and tulips begin to push their way through the frigid top soil, bookstores across America prepare for the coming warmth of spring and summer with welcoming displays of the seasons new crop of BBQ and grilling cookbooks. Sifting through the countless new titles can be an intimidating task, especially when your looking to take home a gem within the mounds of new titles. In each of the past two springs barbecue fans have been greeted at bookstores with two such gems from World Champion Pitmasters Andy Husbands and Chris Hart. In 2012 they released Wicked Good Barbecue, which in my opinion, is the class of all low and slow/competition quality Cue’ tutorials to come out in years and in 2013 their follow up effort, Wicked Good Burgers, gave burger fans a reason to expect more than just a patty and slice of cheese between a generic hamburger bun. I’m pleased to report that just as welcome of a sight as the season changing from winter to spring is the sight of Husbands and Hart’s latest effort, Grill To Perfection: Two Champion Pit Masters Share Recipes and Techniques for Unforgettable Backyard Grilling, available April 1st!
Before we dig too deep within their new book, I think it is important to know a little bit about the authors whose years of experience and creative minds give us more than 80 fantastic new recipes in Grill to Perfection.
Andy Husbands biggest claim to fame in the culinary world is being a member of the elite group of chefs who have been nominated for a James Beard award – Husbands is a James Beard “Best-Chef” semi-finalist. He is the chef and owner of Tremont 647, in Boston, where he has been satisfying diners for more than a decade with his American cuisine. Husbands appeared as a contestant n the sixth season Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey on Fox and is a member of the award winning iQUE competition BBQ team.
Chris Hart sealed his spot in the ranks of barbecue royalty in 2009 when his iQUE competition BBQ team left Lynchburg, TN as world champions and winners of the Jack Daniels Invitational World Championships. For more than a decade Hart and the iQUE team has been dominating competition barbecue in the Northeast with a breathtaking 35 Kansas City Barbecue Society Grand Championships. In 2011, Hart competed on the Food Network’s barbecue competition themed show, Best in Smoke.
Now that we’ve introduced the authors lets dig into the pages of Grill to Perfection.
The nine pages that make up the Introduction are perhaps the most important pages in the book, highlighting everything from types of grills to building a fire to cleaning your grill. A basic understanding of these pages will make executing the recipes that are broken down into chapters which highlight five backyard grilling techniques – Hot Direct Grilling, Medium Direct Grilling, Low Direct Grilling, Hybrid Two-Zone Grilling and Low & Slow Two-Zone Grilling – that much easier. Don’t forget to check out their list of tools they always have on hand when grilling (pg. 10).
All great cookbooks are built on a foundation of exceptional recipes and Husbands and Hart don’t disappointing in Grill to Perfection. In Grill to Perfection you will find recipes that run the gambit from backyard classics like Charcoal-Grilled Ribs (pg. 145) to inspired out of the box recipes like Elvis’s Grilled Banana Split (pg. 138). The diversity of the recipes in Grill to Perfection are sure to help take this summer’s backyard barbecue’s to the next level. Among the can’t miss recipes are the Honey-Grilled Hot Pepper Jelly (pg. 68), the Backyard Clambake on Your Grill (pg. 102), the Grilled Striper Fillet with Summer Corn Succotash (pg. 116), and the Pumpkin Bread in a can with Chocolate Sea Salt Butter (pg. 173). In my opinion, it is very difficult for a cookbook to become great without recipes being accompanied by outstanding photos and Ken Goodman once again captures the essence of many of the recipes with his mouth watering photography.
One of the most inspired and unique recipes in Grill to Perfection is the recipe for Thai-Flavored Pork Belly Skewers (pg. 99), an appetizer that is sure to make the guests at your next barbecue leave asking when you’ll be inviting them back. Click here to find the recipe in the Pork Barrel BBQ Online Recipe Book.
No matter if you are a seasoned veteran of the backyard grill or a rookie who just got their first grill and are ready to start your barbecue journey this summer, you will find Grill to Perfection both educational and inspirational. When you find yourself perusing that display of this years barbecue and grilling books do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Grill to Perfection, it is certainly a gem!