With the summer school holidays now firmly established, the season of backyard cookouts begins in earnest and with it comes those who dream of cooking big, those who would be happy not to burn the hot dogs, and those who want to know just what they are supposed to be doing. Here are five cookbooks and guides to answer all of those desires and more.
- Guy on Fire: 130 Recipes for Adventures in Outdoor Cooking by Guy Fieri (Morrow Cookbooks).
Food Network star Fieri offers an accessible, fun, everybody-can-do-it guide to cooking a number of types and styles of dishes outdoors. The recipes are comprehensive and can last far past the summer season.
- Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking by Ben Ford & Carolyn Carreño (Atria).
Ford (son of actor Harrison) presents a smart and grand book for cooks with big dreams who want to know what it takes to roast a whole pig (as well as those looking for a star-of-the-party baked beans recipe).
- Fire and Smoke: A Pitmaster’s Secrets by Chris Lilly (Clarkson Potter).
A champion pitmaster guides everyday cooks through the standards and on to intermediate cooking with a wide range of techniques and recipes—everything from the basics to the more au courant offerings of grilled pizza, desserts, and associated cocktails.
- The Meat Hook Meat Book: Buy, Butcher, and Cook Your Way to Better Meat by Tom Mylan (Artisan).
One of the buzzy cookbooks of the summer, Mylan’s chic guide to all things meat is a mix of recipes, stories about his butcher shop located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and lessons on how to buy meat and cut it at home.
- Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook by Pitt Cue Co. (Mitchell Beazley).
A gang of London chefs do BBQ, and much more, in this decidedly urban take on slow Southern food and the whole slow food movement—think Jamie Oliver but with a lot more attitude. It’s a book both to cook from and read through.