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New books on barbecue celebrate primal fire and smoke

By Bob Townsend - For the AJC

It’s grilling season — the time when new cookbooks, gadgets and grills pitched to Father’s Day gift-giving are unveiled. But while there are all sorts of how-to manuals and gizmos again this year, there’s also a noticeable and welcome trend toward getting back to the roots of barbecue.

Of my four favorite new books on barbecue, only one comes close to being a traditional cookbook. What they all have in common is the assumption that barbecue is a noun that refers to a specific kind of food, and the proper way to prepare that food is with fire and wood smoke and some variation of the primal “barbecue pit.”

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