best books on barbecue, grilling and meat

Great books on barbecue, grilling & meat – listed!

Whether you’re looking to build your own library of give a gift, check out this list of books about barbecue, grilling, meat and general cookery, split into easy to follow sections.

There’s nothing quite as treasured as a sauce-flecked cookbook stained with the evidence of kitchen trial and error. Sure, there are hundreds more titles than what I’ve listed here, but these ones are the ones I prefer and most that I own or use, too.

Below each title you will find a link to purchase the book both on Amazon and Book Depository (who for my non-US peeps, have free worldwide shipping!). Plus, because they’re affiliate links, they also help to support the running of this site.

Scroll through to reach the different sections (which are):

  • Beginners Guides to BBQ
  • BBQ Recipes and Cookbooks
  • Barbecue: pictorial, regional & historial
  • Meat & Beef books
  • General Cooking

Beginners guides to BBQ

Smokin’ with Myron Mixon

The ‘Winningest Man In Barbecue” definitely knows what he is talking about, and that hair commands some serious respect, too. This book has some great simplified tips for those starting out. Amazon. Book Depository.

Low & Slow

Laid out in a way that makes basic BBQ very easy to understand, this book also covers multiple types of smokers and cookers. Amazon. Book Depository.

Slow Fire

Authored by Ray “Dr BBQ” Lampe, another great beginners guide to the art of low & slow cooking. Amazon. Book Depository.

Smoking Meat

Step by step instructions that focus more on that how and why than recipes, this book makes for a great beginners option. Amazon. Book Depository.

BBQ recipes & cookbooks

Franklin Barbecue

Arguably the most famous name in modern barbecue, this book is now a core foundation title of any self respecting barbecue enthusiast’s collection. Amazon. Book Depository.

Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book

Penned by world-champion pitmaster and all round nice guy Chris Lilly, this is a recipe book any low and slow enthusiast should own. It also features his signature chicken with Alabama white sauce. Amazon. Book Depository.


You don’t end up with a nickname like meathead for no good reason. Responsible for the most successful grilling and BBQ tips site on the entire internet, Meathead takes a scientific approach and explains the why, not just the how. Amazon. Book Depository.

The Smoking Bacon & Hog Cookbook

If you’re a fan of all things pork, this is the one for you. Written by a guy who has won the American Royal Invitational, this is everything you want to know about hog smoking. Amazon. Book Depository.

Smokin’ in the Boys Room

Women make for some badass barbecuers, too. You’ve seen the title from the winningest man in BBQ, now check out the recipes from the Winningest Woman, Melissa Cookston. Amazon. Book Depository.

Barbecue: pictorial, regional & historial

Legends Of Texas Barbecue

More storybook than cookbook, this is my all time favorite book detailing the history of Texas BBQ. A great with with great historical pictures, too.  Amazon. Book Depository.

Texas BBQ

A gorgeous coffee table book of iconic barbecue imagery by legendary photographer Wyatt McSpadden. Amazon. Book Depository.

The Prophets of Smoked Meat

One man’s journey through the hundreds of BBQ joints across Texas. It’s a role that landed him the title of BBQ Editor at Texas Monthly, the first of his kind anywhere in the world. Amazon. Book Depository.


The One True Barbecue

An exploration of traditional whole hog cookery and origins of Traditional American barbecue. Amazon. Book Depository.

Meat & Beef Books

Whole Beast Butchery

One of the best ways to truly understand meat and how it cooks is to discover where it comes from, and even do some light butchering at home. Amazon. Book Depository.


The undisputed bible of salting, smoking, curing and creating the art of Charcuterie at home. Amazon. Book Depository.


Written by local Austin meat-hero Jesse Griffiths, this book is the “chefs guide to preparing and cooking wild game & fish”. A great one for hunting enthusiasts. Amazon. Book Depository.

Serious Barbecue

Adam Perry Lang is the king of all things charcoal. If it can be grilled, this is the man to do it. A beautiful book with great recipes. Amazon. Book Depository.

The Whole Beast

This is the title for nose to tail aficionados. Penned by British chef Fergus Henderson, it has some more “out there” recipe like stuffed pigs trotter. Amazon. Book Depository.

Texas Cowboy Cooking

A collection of recipes from the famous Perini Ranch of Buffalo Gap, in Texas. Most of their steaks are done over mesquite coals, but there’s some great dessert recipes in there too. Amazon.

General Cooking

Smoke & Pickles

One of my favorite chefs, Ed Lee somehow managed to mash up classic Southern ingredients and recipes with traditional Korean flavors (just look at those amazing Asian inspired hot wings and waffles on the cover!). Amazon. Book Depository.

Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey

John Currence has focused on three of everyone’s favorite food groups. This New Orleans born chef singlehandedly transformed the food scene in Oxford, MS. Amazon. Book Depository.


Chef Sean Brock recently aged a ham by hanging it in the rickhouse of a bourbon distillery. Obviously, there’s a lot we can all learn from this man. He’s also very into reviving heirloom and traditional Southern ingredients. Amazon. Book Depository.

The Food Lab

This is a seriously chunky book. Lopez-Alt has a super scientific approach to cooking, and questions everything from when to best salt your meat to what is the precise timing of a perfectly boiled egg. Amazon. Book Depository.