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Top Five Cookbooks for the Cooking Fanatic

October 1, 2009 Le Cordon Bleu St. Louis 0 Comments

The smell of ribs smoking on the grill, the tangy sensation of barbecue sauce on the tongue, and spicy meat combinations are frequent characteristics of St. Louis, Missouri cooking. The tastes of St. Louis barbecue are world famous, and many people have tried to replicate those flavors at home in their own backyards. This has lead to a proliferation of great cook books meant to help people create delicious summer feasts.

Let’s take a look at the top five cookbooks dedicated to the kind of cooking Missouri has become famous for.

License To Grill
This classic from barbecue experts Chris Schlesinger and John “Doc” Willoughby doesn’t just focus on the recipes themselves—although there are more than 200 of them included in the cookbook—but also on the philosophy and techniques for producing the best barbecue results. They even include foods such as lamb, eggplant, and tomato that aren’t normally part of St. Louis food service, but which can still pack a tasty punch on the grill.

Texas on the Halfshelll
This unique barbecue cookbook takes things to a hardcore level and actually includes instructions on how to build a smoker out of a 55 gallon drum, Texas-style. Written by Phil Brittin and Joseph Daniel, the book pushes St. Louis cooking aficionados out of their comfort zone and helps them expand their frontiers with some serious Southern barbecue recipes. This cookbook is a great resource for those looking for tips in food service or simple St. Louis style cooking.

BBQ Joints: Stories and Secret Recipes from the Barbecue Belt
Combining a healthy dose of local folklore and the cooking equivalent of “fish stories,” this easy to read book by David Gelin is also jam packed with the kind of recipes that get passed down from generation to generation. Some of the suggestions in this book will be a revelation for anyone who has wanted to get full exposure to the different styles of barbecue cooking.

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures & Glazes
The experienced barbecue enthusiast knows that it’s not just how you cook the meat, but how you prepare it beforehand that can make all the difference in the resulting flavor. In this cookbook, Jim Tarantino exposes little-known secrets of preparing meat through the use of more than 400 recipes. Not only is traditional American barbecue included in its pages, but the book also makes forays into the barbecue styles found on almost every other continent.

The Big Book of Barbecue Sides
Man cannot live by meat alone, and any successful barbecue joint or backyard picnic also serves a healthy share of sides to go along with the main meat course. While St. Louis, Missouri cooking might accentuate beans and slaw, this book by Rick Browne brings out some unique options like corn pudding, homemade salsas, and even pasta to help complete the barbecue experience.


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