Smoke and Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

Smoke and Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbeque is a book written by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison. The Jamisons live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They are leading authorities on regional cooking in America. They have written over 15 travel books and cookbooks. They won the James Beard Book Award for the first edition of their book, Smoke and Spice. This attractive book is an enjoyable read in three sections dealing with barbecue and smoking basics as well as successfully completing an entire meal.

Book Features

The book is well-written, a fun read. While it has some amazing recipes, the book is mainly a deep look at all the elements of superb barbecues. Still, the book is missing photographs or illustrations that would be so helpful in offsetting and illustrating the text. The book is a good source that references top companies and websites for all things barbecue.

Section One

Covering the basics of the art of barbecue, Section One discusses simple directions on getting started barbecuing as well as the proper equipment, where to find it, how to construct and use it.

Section Two

Section Two has many recipes as well as instructions and commentary on the different elements and principles of barbecue. Spices and herbs are important for the flavors of barbecue cookery. Dry rubs are explored. Pastes are presented. Marinades are mentioned. Bastes or “mops” are explained.

Then, chapters are dedicated to the following items for barbecuing:

– Pork
– Beef
– Chicken
– Seafood
– Vegetables
– Pasta, salads and pizza

Learning how to make each type of meat is especially helpful with the times, temperatures and other instructions like cuts of meat. Especially helpful are the different ways of cooking a main ingredient. The core and heart of the book presents the meat of the barbecue. Of course, smoking cheese and smoked stuffed mushrooms are popular, too.

Section Three

Thoughtful as to how to round out the meal and add complementary sides and deserts, Section Three completes this book. Now, the side dishes are not fancy. Still, the instructions for doing everything from the grill are helpful. When not doing barbecue, another recipe book may have more exciting recipes for sides. Additionally, the sauces seem to be heavy on the vinegar taste.

The Book Overall

Still, seeing the start to finish of successful barbecue cuisine is what this book offers. The importance of cooking low and very slow is explained. The Jamisons provide much information on the details of how to make a complete barbecue meal.

With the principles shared, the readers are encouraged to experiment and find what works for them. The art of the barbecue can be addicting. Barbecue smokers want to take the time and improve their skills. Especially beginners will find excellent help from the instructions included in this volume exposing the “real way to barbecue.”