Compiling a summer reading list is always a chore—too many options, not enough time to get through them all. Prime beach reading courtesy of Howard Stern? One of the classics that’s been collecting dust on your shelf? Or perhaps the “Game of Thrones” anthology to help fill the void now that the television adaption has (almost) been laid to rest? They’re all worthy options. But instead of “A Song of Ice and Fire” why not consider a cookbook of fire and smoke? Whether you’re the proud owner of a Viking Ultra, keep a portable Weber in the back of your pickup, or enjoy the rustic simplicity of setting fire to a pile of logs, these essential grilling guides will help you make the most of your outdoor cooking plans this season.
“Michael Symon’s Playing with Fire: BBQ and More from the Grill, Smoker, and Fireplace” by Michael Symon, $20.40 on Amazon
Michael Symon did his homework prior to launching Mabel’s BBQ which has outposts in his hometown of Cleveland as well as Las Vegas. The former “The Chew” co-host crisscrossed the U.S. tasting the nation’s best ‘cue and taking notes along the way. “Playing with Fire” highlights the valuable lessons he learned in barbecue hot spots such as Austin, Memphis, and Kansas City with over 70 recipes that cover everything from ribs and brisket to sauces and rubs.Buy Now
East meets Midwest in this 2019 James Beard Award nominee for best cookbook. Born in Seoul but raised in Chicago, Chef Bill Kim combines the best of Korean BBQ and the flavor sensibilities of the Windy City with a unique selection of recipes that revolve around his seven master sauces. Along with fire-kissed mains such as Kori-Can Pork Chop and Honey Soy Flank Steak, Kim also covers drinks, snacks, sides, and desserts to help you prepare the ultimate fusion feast.Buy Now
“Feast by Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins and the Great Outdoors” by Emma Frisch, $14.95 on Amazon
If you’re planning on taking your grilling skills beyond the backyard, then “Feast by Firelight” is a worthy investment. Dining while camping is often a hassle, but Emma Frisch makes the process simple. Her collection of tasty, easy-to-execute recipes includes tips on how to plan ahead and pack efficiently, ensuring a magical, stress-free meal under the stars.Buy Now
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Meathead Goldwyn is a man who truly lives up to his name. Few people are as well-versed in the art of bringing meat to flame and here the founder and editor of AmazingRibs.com offers an all-in look at the essentials of grilling and barbecuing. “Meathead” is equal parts recipe book and BBQ bible.Buy Now
“Mallmann on Fire: 100 Inspired Recipes to Grill Anytime, Anywhere” by Francis Mallmann, $18.25 on Amazon
If anyone deserves the title of grill master, it’s Francis Mallmann. With “Mallman on Fire,” the famed “Chef’s Table” subject takes the reader on a trip across the globe through dramatic visuals and essential recipes for live fire cooking, covering everything from beef, pork, fish, and fowl to vegetables, desserts, and even bread.Buy Now
Food columnist Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” series never disappoints so it’s no surprise that this installment is a must-buy for any grill owner. If you’re looking to expand your burger, dog, and steak repertoire, “How to Grill Everything” offers 1,000 different options for flame-cooked eats with simple-to-follow recipes that even grill novices will be able to master.Buy Now
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“VBQ – The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook: Over 80 Recipes – Seared, Skewered, Smoking Hot!” by Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer, $13.56 on Amazon
When it comes to barbecue, meat tends to hog the spotlight. But if you’re looking for animal-free options to throw on the grill, “VBQ” offers over 80 vegan-friendly alternatives that will satisfy flesh-eaters and Morrissey alike.Buy Now
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