Book Reviews


6 April 2017

One of the best books I have bought so far for barbecue / smoking and definitely the best for curing. To put my views into perspective, I have progressed from plain grilling to a smoker barbecue for low and slow cooking of brisket and pork belly etc, and I have made my own bacon.

There were, however, some loose ends in my understanding. E.g. what is the difference between the gammon curing and ham curing process (I knew one was cooked). Why do USA smoked bacon recipes have a two hour hot smoking element and UK recipes have only cold smoking?

The book kicks off with a full explanation of the processes involved, and has a flow chart for each of the main techniques, stage by stage, so they can be compared side by side. It really brought all the loose ends together and gave me a solid understanding of what means what, and how to do each process. Everything else is detail.

The book is broken down into smoking (hot and cold), drying, and curing (dry and wet). Each of these is then broken down into the main meat groups. The end of the book goes into some recipe ideas, applying the specific techniques presented earlier in the book. So there will be some recipes including smoked bacon which you learned how to make earlier on. I especially liked the recipes for using smoked turkey and goose which I haven't been brave enough to try yet on my smoker.

The list of recommended suppliers appendix lists BRITISH suppliers and resource web sites. I am not being Brexit means Brexit here, it is just so refreshing to have a book that is addressed to the customers it is sold to.

I get a real feeling of confidence in this book, and I don't get a nagging feeling that something has been brushed over. It is comprehensive and authoritative. It would have got four stars but my copy has started to come apart from the binding to the spine. Probably because I have been reading it in bed to be honest. I am not returning it as I am using it now and this won't be a coffee table item but firmly out at the work face. When it falls apart I will sellotape it back together again.

Disclaimer: I did not get a free or discounted book to write this review. I PAID for it out of my own money that I EARNED at work so I am writing it according to how pleased I am with my PURCHASE.

Good book. Recommended. Don't read it in bed.