Since cavemen discovered that fire makes good food great, grilling has been one of the most popular methods of cooking. From slow-cooked, aromatic meats to charred, juicy burgers and tender vegetables, everything tastes better hot off the grill. And it’s not just gourmet chefs who can create scrumptious meals out of the perfect marriage of meat and fire; home cooks everywhere have enjoyed the simple pleasures of outdoor cooking for decades.
Aaron Chronister and Jason Day are two such home cooks whose mastery of the grill has catapulted them from their backyards to international fame. Originally just two guys who loved to barbecue, Aaron and Jason founded Burnt Finger BBQ–a competitive barbecue team that has garnered regional and national acclaim since its founding in 2008.
But it was with the invention of the ‘Bacon Explosion’ that one of Aaron and Jason’s culinary creations became a household name. A bacon-stuffed, bacon wrapped smoked Italian sausage, the Bacon Explosion became an internet sensation just months after Aaron and Jason launched their website, BBQAddicts.com. It instantly attracted attention from Fox News, Jay Leno and Good Morning America (just to name a few), and the New York Times article about the Bacon Explosion was the second most emailed story for the entirety of 2009. Aaron and Jason now have a cult following, but their skills at the grill are not limited to bacon alone.
In BBQ MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER, Aaron and Jason round out their repertoire, presenting mouth-watering, easy-to-follow barbecue recipes for any occasion. Including a thorough discussion of equipment, methods and techniques for cooking well beyond the "Holy Trinity of BBQ" (ribs, pork and brisket), BBQ MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER shows that you can also make a perfect meal out of the "Ugly Stepchild of Barbecue"–chicken. Light-hearted in tone and full of easy-to-follow instructions, BBQ MAKES EVERYHING BETTER is the complete barbecue cookbook.
Find recipes and tips for:
-Burgers, Bacon, Fatties
-Party food and tailgates
-Barbecue and booze
-Leftovers and lighter fare
“This book is the tome of ultimate Evil” says my friend. “Forget about the Dark side having cookies, they have the Bacon Explosion.” Or as my wife put it, “That is a coronary bypass waiting to happen.” and thus my dreams of bacon wrapped pork, wrapped bacon ended.
However I did manage to make something from the bacon chapter. (Yes, they have a chapter dedicated to bacon! No, not pork. Just bacon.) Smoked Moink balls (Using Apple wood, Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, and Welches Concord Grape jelly) were a hit. They are really easy to make, and delicious. It was easy to handle too, I could prepare pretty much everything hours before smoke time. The Moink balls take very little grill space, so there is a lot of room for other party appies as well.
As well I made a slightly modified ‘Sweet Potato Fire Fries’ (cut the cayenne pepper for those with more sensitive palates, but served it with a chipotle mayo dip for those who like heat.) using both sweet potato and yams. I discovered that the Yams sweeter nature cause it to blacken much faster, but they did turn out quite tender and flavorful.
This book does come at a hefty price tag of $36 Canadian ($30 US) but you do get a pile of tips, tricks, and recipes from seasoned BBQ Pros. From decadent burgers, to tandori chicken, from cooking with alcohol (ie. Captain Morgan Pirate bones) to delicious deserts, this book has it all. The recipes themselves have clear and straight forward instructions, with the occasional grilling tip or suggested beer pairing. The one thing this book could use would be more color photos.