Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Matt Pelton
Publisher: Hobble Creek Press
“The mark of a great barbeque is meat that is tender, with a good balance of smoke, spice, sauce, and meat flavor. This delicate balance is hard to reach at first, but with practice, you will be able to achieve it fairly quickly,” Matt Pelton writes in his book, Up in Smoke – A Complete Guide to Cooking with Smoke.
At one hundred and twenty-eight pages, this paperback targets individuals who want to perfect their barbecuing skills or cooking enthusiasts interested using smokers or pits. World-champion chef, the author has won competitions and shares his tips and recipes to make mouth-watering, smoked or barbecued foods.
After a preface and introduction, the book is divided into ten chapters involving barbeque/smoking techniques. Both large and small colored photographs are throughout the book, sometimes depicting finished recipe results. The end includes an alphabetical index of only the recipes, measurement/conversion charts, advertisements for three other books by the author, and his biography.
The first five chapters discuss the beginning of this growing style of cooking, the difference between smoking, barbecuing, and grilling, unleashing flavors using woods, types of pits, and fire control. The writer compares gas and charcoal grills with direct-heat-style cookers, drum or pellet smokers, offset stick burners, and the Santa Maria pit.
There are chapters providing recipes and techniques on smoking fish, jerky, ham, turkey, bacon, and cheese along with barbecuing pork, beef, chicken, turkey, and wild game. Recipes are added on rubs, sauces, brines, and marinades. In addition to including a chapter of other dishes that work well with barbecued items, there is one on getting into competition cooking.
Some of the techniques involve Cola Smoked Fish, Black Pepper Jerky or Ham, Whole Hog, Fresh Bratwurst, Beef Clods and Chuck Rolls, Spatchcocked Chicken, and Mutton. The more interesting preparations or toppings to entice the reader are Beef and Game Rubs, Carolina-Style Sauce, Tandoori Chicken Marinade, and Lemon-Lime Brine. Most unusual of the side dishes is Atomic Buffalo Turds using jalapeno peppers, string cheese, and bacon.
With over seventy recipes listed, there are plenty of creations for any barbeque enthusiast to try and perfect. As the author states in this book, barbecuing is more than temperatures and processes, it is adding “love” to get the barbecued creation to sing when it is done.
Thanks to Cedar Fort for furnishing this book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.