Tuesday, January 22, 2008

REVIEW: King of the Q's Blue Plate BBQ

Book reviews are rated on the ‘Stains Per Book’ method. We aren’t looking for pristine picture books on this blog. We want books that will be a resource. Dog eared pages and sauce stains are our earmark for success.

5 Stains Per Book (SPB) describes the ultimate book for our purposes. 1 SPB would denote a book that deserves to be left on the shelf.

King of the Q’s Blue Plate BBQ

By Ted Reader
Photography by Edward Pond
4 Stains Per Book (would have received a higher rating if there was a larger emphasis on sauces)
261 pages, Penguin Books ltd

I’ve been very lucky in that I have been able to review two books in a short period of time that receive my whole hearted endorsement. How much did I enjoy this book? I kept it on a desk near my bed amidst the novels I’m reading and frequently found myself referring to a recipe at two or three in the morning.

Let’s discuss what this book is not before we discuss what it is. This cookbook is not a basic primer on how to BBQ. Although anyone can find great value in it’s nearly 300 pages, the reader that will get the most out of King of the Q’s Blue Plate BBQ is the enthusiast. The book is also not dedicated to BBQ sauces. As we are a site that is focused on sauces the only book we can give 5 Stains to would be one that is dedicated to sauces.
I realize that this is a highly subjective criterion, but what review isn’t subjective?

So now that we got that out of the way, what is this book? This is the type of book that I would give as a gift to friends that are BBQ competitors. This is a book that I would list as ‘recommended reading’ once someone gets the basics down. I would honestly be surprised if I recommend a book more highly on this site.

There are 15 pages in the section listed as Rubs, Pastes and Marinades. The section listed as Sauces, Condiments and Stocks has an additional 12 pages. The recipes found here, such as Dirty Martini BBQ Sauce are right up our alley. We can only wish that the book was a bit less comprehensive and focused more on sauces.

Covered in this lavishly photographed tome is everything from breakfasts to desserts. Although I mentioned earlier that this book is an excellent resource for experienced hobbyists, Ted also covers basics such as cuts of meats, BBQ tools and what common terms mean in hard numbers.

Although this book covers more than true, low and slow BBQ, I highly recommend it for yourself or the serious BBQ’er in your life.

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