Americas Best BBQ

0 Comments | December 9, 2012

America’s Best BBQ is a MUST HAVE cookbook for any true barbecue enthusiast.

It is a collection of 100 recipes from the best of the US’s smokehouses, pits, barbecue shacks, rib joints, roadhouses and restaurants, compiled by barbecue experts Ardie Davis and Chef Paul Kirk, each with over 50 years experience in BBQ.

These authors actually visited each of the restaurants whose recipes they include in the book, so you just know the recipes are authentic and delicious.

They also each give you a list of their top 10 favorite barbecue joints.

America’s Best BBQ is not just a ribs book. You will find recipes for all kinds of meats, including rattlesnake, something I think I could do without forever.

The authors describe the recipes as being for “out-of-this-world appetizers, tender and smokey meats cooked low and slow, sweet and spicy sauces and rubs, homemade sides and even a few decadent down home desserts – if you’ve saved room.” That about says it all.

Here is a small sampling of the recipes you will find in America’s Best BBQ:

  • Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Carmelized Onion BBQ Sauce
  • Brisket Nachos
  • Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
  • A Variety of BBQ Sauces and Rubs
  • Jalepeno Hush Puppies
  • Seafood Stuffed Lobster
  • Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread
  • BBQ Beef Brisket
  • Smoked Prime Rib


We have 3 full recipes from the book for you right here on the site:


If you are new to barbecue and smoking there is a terrific section at the back of the book detailing the equipment you will need, the woods to use, tips for cleaning the grill, cooking with gas or wood, cooking times for various meats, and how to tell when it is done to perfection.

The only negative I would say about the book is that some of the recipes don’t include details for the restaurant’s “secret sauce”. Many of them do, but some restaurants like to keep that secret to themselves. I can understand that, but it sure would be nice to have them.

Here are two reviews from

America’s Best BBQ Review #1:

It’s not often that I find a cookbook that is actually fun to read. They are usually very utilitarian, with little literary meat on the bones. This is clearly not the case with America’s Best BBQ. I don’t know what I enjoyed more, the authentic and varied recipes, or the barbecue stories and lore that they are steeped in.

While the book is historical, it also has an incredible variety of recipes. It includes everything from starters like Volcanic Goat Cheese, Rocky Mountain Oysters, and Fried Cheese Stick Grits, to Burgoo, to mutton ribs, and all the barbecue standards in between. The range of recipes is excellent. Even better, most of the recipes are from the originators themselves.

I found the following statement from the introduction very interesting.

“Each joint in this book is, in our view, one of the best in America. They are all on the same playing field, with varying strengths and weaknesses. That aside, we have each named our Top Ten joints in the back of the book.”

Barbecue is very competitive and often chock full of ego, as is the restaurant industry generally. It’s very refreshing to see the authors give their honest opinions about what they feel are the best.

If you love barbecue, its history, and great recipes, I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

America’s Best BBQ Review #2:

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To call this book a cookbook would be like equating Ted Williams with all other baseball players. America’s Best BBQ contains recipes collected by the authors in their travels and networking. The book itself is more like a piece of Americana, a glimpse of a subculture that most of us only know superficially.

Davis and Kirk not only share some incredible recipes, but also introduce us to fascinating people and interesting places the reader might want to visit in his or her travels.

I really like the design and look of the book. It takes on its own ambience as one of the barbecue joints within might. There’s plenty here to whet the reader’s appetite and sate his curiosity. Open to any page and find classic neon, well-worn signs, incredibly vivid food photographs, simulated spots of BBQ sauce, brown paper, and more pig icons than you’ve ever seen in one place.

Like barbecue cooking, this book is meant to be enjoyed slowly so that one can taste all of the flavors proferred by the authors.

At the end of the book is a lengthy discourse detailing the pros and cons of gas vs. charcoal grilling with a tableful of tips for both schools of cooking. This section is so informative that I read it twice.

America’s Best BBQ is obviously a work of love by the authors, a down home friendly book. I don’t have interest in trying rattlesnake meat or bull testicles, but within the covers there’s probably something of interest for most readers.

Also from Author Ardie Davis:

America’s Best BBQ is just one of our cookbook reviews. Find them all here.


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