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Serious BBQ by Adam Perry Lang - The Book


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Click the Image to buy this book on Amazon

 

 

I bought this book right after it was re-introduced in the new edition but I didn't really get a chance to dig into it deeper than simple skimming until today.  I thought I would open a thread for discussion of this particular book so we can have some in-depth conversations about the book and the ideas presented within its pages.  

 

This book is different from most of the BBQ and grilling related cookbooks I have on my shelf.  That's saying something when I look over the books I actually have here.  When it comes to defining what makes it different, we have to take a look at Adam Perry Lang himself to help create this differentiation.  I have books by Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe, Chris Lilly, Myron Mixon, Jamie Purviance, Steven Raichlen, and a host of other big guns in the world of barbecue and grilling.  Each has its great stuff, but "Serious BBQ" is still different.  I think the major difference that separates this book from the others is the author's approach to the food.  Lang didn't grow up in a BBQ family.  His interest in this topic came later in his life.  When I read about Adam Perry Lang's background in cooking, I'd expect to see his book endeavors alongside the other fine food authors in the world of the culinary arts.  Lang was educated at the Culinary Institute of America and began his career in the world of five-star dining.  This is what makes his interest in barbecue and his approach to the food significantly different than those I'm used to seeing.   

 

In the opening sections of "Serious BBQ" Lang talks about the equipment, tools, ingredients, fuel, and a host of other materials needed to produce great barbecue.  He also spends a little time talking about semantics, which I found refreshing.  Yankee vs Southern BBQ!  As a pure born and bred southern boy, I'm proud of my heritage but I'm also not in the least interested in arguing about the term "Barbecue" and what it means.  It's all about the food that goes on the plate, and Lang's agreement with this is quite on spot.  There is also an interesting section on dispelling myths about BBQ and grilling that is right on target.  In my humble opinion, the most important part of the opening section of this book is the discussion of the meat itself.  He does a great job of describing what defines specific cuts of meat.  Understanding THAT is what helps you determine how it should be cooked.  FAT and COLLAGEN.  Understanding those two elements in a piece of meat will lead you to cooking success!  Why do you cook a pork shoulder for a long time at a lower temperature?  Why don't you cook a rib-eye the same way?  

 

The most interesting distinction that surfaces in this book is Adam Perry Lang's unique and outside-the-box approach to bringing flavor to the meat.  All of the other BBQ and grilling books I have approach the preparation and seasoning of the meat in basically the same ways with the same classes of seasonings, rubs, and injections.  Lang's fresh ideas on seasoning, marinating, brining and injecting have my complete attention right now and I plan to study his ideas in depth over the next several months with some experimental cooking of my own.  A lot of his techniques of cooking the meats described in this book are quite opposite of some ideas we would normally consider to be perfect practices.   Just the descriptions of these techniques and ingredients had my mouth watering.

 

 

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I saw him on Jimmy Kimmel's Show and he was showing how to BBQ Short Ribs. He knows his meat and he definitely has his own style. What I found interesting was when he foiled the Short Ribs he put on a wrapping sauce of brown sugar, honey, and melted butter. I was sold. I did try it and it was really good. Even my kids loved it.

I did buy the book. Yesterday I tried one of his Brisket Recipes and it came out great. I look forward to trying other recipes from his book.

Another book to consider is Chris Lillly"s book.

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Thanks for starting this thread, John. This book has been on my mind for the past week or two. I'll be picking it up for sure. I like his use of "board sauces". I have to wonder how much of a flavor difference his herb brush makes.

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John, I appreciate your commentary regarding this book. I'm no expert in the world of BBQ but after reading this book, it certainly helped build my confidence. So far I've tried 3 recipes from this cookbook; the honey ribs, pulled pork, and brisket. All have been the best I've ever made.

 

Another aspect of his recipes I like is the layering of flavors. For example the pulled pork has an apple juice injection, grated apples in the bbq sauce and apply jelly.

 

I was really hesitant to try a whole packer, but after reading the recipe I decided to go for it and the results were amazing.

 

Here is a pic of the finished product

20130817_203200.jpg

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It's a very good book. In fact, it was the 3rd BBQ book I picked up since joining Kamado Guru. There was a thread about it last summer with a lot of folks wishing they could find a copy. I did find one for $40 or so. Which was a very reasonable price for the out of print original book. I can also recommend this book highly. It helped me as a grilling newbie. Grab it!

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John, I appreciate your commentary regarding this book. I'm no expert in the world of BBQ but after reading this book, it certainly helped build my confidence. So far I've tried 3 recipes from this cookbook; the honey ribs, pulled pork, and brisket. All have been the best I've ever made.

Another aspect of his recipes I like is the layering of flavors. For example the pulled pork has an apple juice injection, grated apples in the bbq sauce and apply jelly.

I was really hesitant to try a whole packer, but after reading the recipe I decided to go for it and the results were amazing.

Here is a pic of the finished product

20130817_203200.jpg

That brisket looks perfect!

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