Atlanta Restaurant Scene

The best barbecue cookbooks of the summer

"The best new barbecue cookbooks explore  the devoted lives , complex preparations, creative possibilities and diverse practices that gravitate around smoke and meat.

‘Praise the Lard’ by Mike Mills and Amy Mills (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25)

A cookbook from the legendary father-daughter team behind 17th Street Barbecue in Illinois, Praise The Lard might be the one must-have barbecue book of the year.

The tongue-in-cheek religious themes for the chapters (“The Holy Trinity: Seasoning, Smoke, and Sauce”) are no joke. This is a barbecue bible for devotees who want to know the nitty-gritty gospel of traditional pork barbecue. Why does a true barbecue pro always have extra string mops and PVC pipe on hand? The Mills can tell you. A section titled “The Gospel According to Mike Mills” might be worth memorizing.

The book is written with alternating anecdotes from father and daughter that give a personality and voice to the authoritative advice doled out in the pages.

The centerpiece is focused on one of the most challenging of the barbecue arts: smoking a whole hog. The 20-page chapter contains enough detail, advice and encouragement that you’ll be able to do as the book commands — “Go forth, armed and ready with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to take on the whole hog challenge.” Amen."

> Read more about the best barbecue books for this summer from AJC food and dining contributor Wyatt Williams


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The Food & Dining Team offers reviews, previews, food news and fun bites food trends for metro Atlanta’s vast food and dining scene.