Sadly, my condo doesn’t allow grills. But I do have a stovetop smoker, which Disbrowe includes in her Smoking 101 section, as an option for grill-deprived folks like me — along with a detailed rundown of other smokers, smoke sources, essential tools, and tips for harnessing the right amount of heat to get the taste you’re after.
Some menu contenders: burnt orange margaritas; pimento cheese with smoked pecans; grilled herbed chicken breasts with radicchio; scallop spaghetti with charred lemons and crème fraiche; berry galette with smoked pink peppercorn crust; and burnt marshmallow Krispies.
While the coals are still smoldering, I’m going to propose that we follow her suggestion to have a “bulk” smoking session for spices, herbs, chiles, nuts, grains, olives, and other shelf-stable ingredients we can have at the ready for future meals. Smoky granola with chocolate and cherries doesn’t sound like a bad way to start the day.
MORE NEW BARBECUE BOOKS:
There may be no food that better represents the American South, or that is more passionately debated, than barbecue. No wonder, then, that every spring comes with a new crop of barbecue books to poke the embers of that ongoing conversation. Here are a handful of new titles to look out for this season:
"Whole Hog BBQ: The Gospel of Carolina Barbecue With Recipes From Skylight Inn and Sam Jones BBQ" by Sam Jones and Daniel Vaughn (Ten Speed, $29.99): The third-generation pitmaster of Sam Jones BBQ and the legendary, much-lauded Skylight Inn in Ayden, North Carolina, joins forces with the country's first barbecue editor to tell the story of North Carolina pulled pork.
"Weber's Ultimate Grilling: A Step-By-Step Guide to Barbecue Genius" by Jamie Purviance (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26.99): Weber's longtime master griller and teacher offers an extensive primer, with helpful charts on mastering the "four T's" — temperature, time, techniques and tools — followed by creative takes on recipes, from starter to dessert.
"Franklin Steak: Dry-Aged. Live-Fired. Pure Beef" by Aaron Franklin and Jordan MacKay (Ten Speed, $29.99): As a follow-up to his best-selling "Franklin Barbecue," the renowned Austin pitmaster and brisket king dives deep into the art, science and story of America's most prized beef cut.
"The Brisket Chronicles: How to Barbecue, Braise, Smoke, and Cure the World's Most Epic Cut of Meat" by Steven Raichlen (Workman, $19.95): A best-selling author, TV host and world-traveling barbecue expert turns his attention to this beloved beef cut, with innovative recipes for both outdoors and indoors.
"BBQ&A With Myron Mixon: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Barbecue" by Myron Mixon (Abrams, $20.99): The four-time world barbecue champion, best-selling author and TV personality from Unadilla gives answers to the questions he's most often asked, along with recipes, visuals and tips to support them.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
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