Dr. BBQ's Big-time Barbecue Cookbook
By Ray Lampe, aka Dr. BBQ
The Dr. is in and he has the prescription to cure your hunger.
This is the first BBQ cook book I owned. I was given it as a gift along with my first cooker and it started me on my way to finding the flavors I love.
As cookbooks go it didn't read like any other cookbook I have read. As I started to read it, it was like sitting down with Dr. BBQ and listening to him talk about something he loves with a passion. He talks about what BBQ is and what it isn't. Places he has found good barbecue and what made it good. He takes you on a quick journey through the history of BBQ and helps to understand the process behind it. Dr. BBQ also touches on some of the great controversies of BBQ like wood vs pellets vs gas.
That is like the appetizer of the book. Then he gets into the prescriptions to cure your cravings. The scripts cover sauces, mops, appetizers, main courses, side dishes, desserts, using left over Q and other delights you can make on a cooker. I have not made all the recipes in the book but the ones I have cured my family's and friend's hunger and cravings.
The sauce recipe I use now is his mustard base sauce but with some tweaks that I accidentally discovered. I also use his smoked pork recipe that my family and friends love so much.
Often when asked by friends who want to start cooking BBQ what cookbook to get, this is the one I recommend. It is a great resource and easy to read. It is not in full color, which makes the food pictures not quite as appetizing, but that makes it feel unpretentious like the BBQ recipes it contains.
Over all I would give Dr. BBQ's Big-time Barbecue Cookbook a full rack of ribs.*
*When I do reviews, books or otherwise, I will rate the items with ribs (they are my favorite BBQ dish). A full rack is great and a single rib is poor. I will tend to stick to a full rack, half rack or one rib.