Book Review: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces
Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces
Paul Kirk - The Baron of Barbecue
The Harvard Common Press 1998
I get asked at least once a month to recommend a good BBQ cookbook. My fall back book for the beginner is Cheryl Alters Jamison's Smoke and Spice. It's a great book full of information on smokers, techniques, fuels and how to barbeque in general.
But, if you know how to build and control a fire, which meats to select and how to regulate your smoke, Paul Kirk's Champion Barbecue Sauces is the book for you.
Paul's book is one of my favorite cookbooks and I go back to it time and time again. This little book will help you create unique flavor prints for your barbeque. It will also help you create the classic barbecue flavors. Paul's, I can call him Paul because he told me to, book will help you take your BBQ to the next level.
The reason that I turn to this book often, is that it's not a just a barbecue cook book. It's a recipe book. When I read a recipe, I usually will cook it by the book once. If I like it, I usually make it again, but tweak it to my tastes and what I have on hand in the spice cabinet. This book has many tried and true recipes, but what I really like is that it helps you create. This book gives you the ability to create your own rubs and sauces by providing some basic guidelines and jumping off points for the adventurous cook.
Chapter 2 in the book walks you through the process of creating your own rub. It teaches you how to observe the "masters and competitors" when they create, how to analyze what they use and why, how to break it all down to the basic ingredients, and how to put it all back together for your own use. He teaches you how to balance salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. To me, that's cooking!
In the other chapters of the book, he covers marinades, mops, sops and bastes, barbecue sauces, and finally salsas, relishes and ketchups.
I highly recommend this book, not only as a barbeque cookbook, but as a basic cookbook. Everything you learn in this book on how to put spices, seasonings and other ingredients together translates into other cooking methods. This book will make you a better barbecue and all around cook. Go buy it.