Best Smoker Cookbooks For Your Barbecue Talents

Cookbooks are an inspiration for pros and newbies alike. Even a seasoned pitmaster can find some ideas and benefits in the best smoker cookbooks. While newbies can learn some tricks and follow recipes to deliciousness. 

These cookbooks offer quite a bit to up your smoking game. Sometimes, it’s simple recipes and at other times, they take on famous meals or restaurant recipes. Occasionally, there are tips that help push the envelope of what a smoker can do!

So, let’s take a look at some of the best options!

Top Smoker Cookbooks – Reviews And Notes

1. The Complete Electric Smoker Cookbook

The Complete Electric Smoker Cookbook

This book is an excellent way to learn how to get the most out of your electric smoker. The Complete Electric Smoker Cookbook offers more than a hundred recipes and invaluable tips on working an electric smoker. 

As a complete guide and cookbook, it doesn’t just jump to recipes. It includes tips on choosing the right electric smoker, setting it up the right way, understanding the controls, and getting everything ready with the smoker before you fire it up for cooking.

There’s an interesting variation in recipes and the author has something for every taste. Whether you want to cook meat, seafood, or veggies, the book has excellent advice. There are even recipes for desserts!

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2. Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto [A Cookbook]

Franklin Barbecue

Here’s a New York Times bestseller and an interesting manifesto for low and slow cooking. Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto [A Cookbook] is the work of authors, Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay. 

Aaron Franklin and his wife Stacy started off by opening a Barbecue Joint in Austin, TX. Today, Franklin Barbecue is famous and has won several awards for the sumptuous barbecue. Together with co-author Jordan Mackay, Franklin explores the world of smoking meats for this book.

It includes remarkable recipes and tips to cook a wonderful meal. The book has great ideas to share. After all, it comes from well-acknowledged pitmasters! 

Apart from recipes, there are also tips and tricks on managing the smoker. The authors also share their invaluable opinions on several topics that should help pros and newbies alike. Some of these topics include building or modifying your smoker, gathering the right wood, and tips on sourcing the right meat.

This is a wonderful resource for everyone who loves smoking food. It truly has the qualities and tips of being an impressive meat-smoking manifesto.

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3. The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook

The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook

Want to do wonders with your new pellet smoker and grill? Let this book guide you to the deliciousness that awaits. Pellet smokers are increasingly popular and remarkably easy to use. They do have some differences compared to electric or reverse flow smokers, but they hold the key to a convenient way for smoking and perhaps even barbecuing food. 

The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for the Most Flavorful and Delicious Barbecue is the work of writer Peter Jautaikis. 

With this book, smoker-grill aficionado Peter Jautaikis shares information on some of his best tips and tricks. The included recipes are supported by step-by-step photos and tips to maximize the effect of each step of the cooking process. 

To further aid beginners with their cooking, the book talks about various aspects of pellet smokers. Inside the book, you’ll also find suggestions on choosing the right pellets and flavor, mastering the slow-roast technique, and getting into the groove with cold smoking. 

Those who are new to smoking or have just started with pellet smokers and grills will find this cookbook to be an invaluable companion.

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4. Project Smoke: Seven Steps to Smoked Food Nirvana

Project Smoke Seven Steps to Smoked Food Nirvana

Project Smoke: Seven Steps to Smoked Food Nirvana brings together the experience of the writer with the desire to explain and learn new techniques. It includes a guide to smoking food to bring newbies up to speed.

Then there are about a hundred excellent recipes to put that food smoker to good use. The book by Steven Raichlen covers some great recipes and offers a few unique ones. It covers the usual smoking techniques and also some rare and interesting elements to spice things up. 

Apart from conventional hot-, cold-, and rotisserie-smoking, the book also delves into smoking with tea and hay! 

As a collection of great recipes and techniques, this cookbook is a treasure.

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5. Smoke & Spice: Cooking With Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue

Smoke & Spice

This book is one of the old favorites with those who love smoking food. It was originally written in 1994 and it has been consistently updated to keep up with the times. That’s one of the reasons it continues to be so popular even decades after the first print.

However, the primary reason for its popularity is the usefulness of this cookbook. Authors Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison cover essentials of smoking food and offer some heavenly recipes. Covering 450 recipes, the book takes a look at the best barbecue regions in the US. 

Obviously, they’ve also included some of the more remarkable recipes from these regions. There are also secrets to the old favorites we all love and a look at some top dishes from various restaurants and food joints. 

The authors have a great way of presenting the recipes, making this cookbook a fun read.

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6. Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue

Smoking Meat The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue

Author Jeff Phillips has a website on the niche of smoking and barbecuing food, which is an excellent resource. The book benefits from the author’s talent for cooking food and knowledge of the niche. Readers can expect to find great recipes and tips that make it all work.

The book is invaluable as a how-to guide for smoking all kinds of meat, poultry and fish. Jeff Phillips covers many popular and delightful recipes for his book. Equally important, the steps are fleshed out to give readers a clear path on following the pitmaster who wrote the recipe. 

Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue also includes guidance and information on various steps you’ll encounter along the way. You’ll find information on topics like hot and cold brining, marinating, crisping, making sauces, and a lot more. 

While the book primarily deals with meat, it also includes recipes to smoke veggies for side dishes.

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7. Smoking Meat 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

Smoking Meat 101

As its name suggests, this cookbook is meant for beginners and it does its job pretty well. One mistake several cookbooks make is that they forget to cater to beginners at various steps. For example, some might suggest wrapping the food without explaining how to go about it. Sure, it’s a simple concept, but beginners might falter.

That’s why Smoking Meat 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide is a good place to start. This book by Bill West covers the basics to get a newbie started on a steady path. You could use its advice to buy a smoker, set it up, and learn its workings. Similarly, the recipes include all kinds of details to make things clear.

The book contains more than 75 recipes, including some very simple ones that can help beginners try their hand at simpler dishes to start. There are five “First Smoke” recipes that cover everything that’s necessary for a beginner to cook their first dish!

There are plenty of complex and sumptuous recipes as well, so you’ve got all the bases covered.

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8. Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons

Low & Slow

Master the art of cooking low and slow with this book. Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons. The book offers 130 recipes and includes step-by-step guides for each. The author covers different types of smokers (and how they affect cooking). These setup and cooking instructions are available for Weber Smokey Mountain, an offset smoker, or a kettle grill. 

Other topics include tips on starting and maintaining a fire, and recipes and tips for marinades, brines, and rubs. It’s an interesting book with a great approach and practical uses.

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9. Smoke It Like a Pit Master with Your Electric Smoker

Smoke It Like a Pit Master with Your Electric Smoker

Smoke It Like a Pit Master with Your Electric Smoker: Recipes and Techniques for Easy and Delicious BBQ by Wendy O’Neal is a good book with in-depth information. The writer includes step-by-step guides to the recipes backed with photographs for illustration.

The point of interest here is smoking food with an electric smoker. Delving into the niche makes it possible to work on some very specific recipes and techniques. Those working with an electric smoker can appreciate the insight this cookbook brings to the table. 

The smoking meat cookbook has tips and pointers on other specifics as well. These include wood chip pairings, finishing techniques, and temperature guidelines. Information on using and cleaning the smoker is available as well, which should make your job and smoker cleaning experience a breeze.

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10. The Brisket Chronicles

The Brisket Chronicles

Briskets have to be one of the most (if not the most) popular picks for smoking food. They’re delicious, lovely, and if you have a food smoker, you probably are planning to try your hand at smoking a brisket. 

The Brisket Chronicles: How to Barbecue, Braise, Smoke, and Cure the World’s Most Epic Cut of Meat by Steven Raichlen takes a deep dive in preparing the perfect brisket. It includes several great tips on cooking a mouth-watering brisket. 

Of course, it’s not just one recipe. The author discusses several variations, popular recipes, and preparations for briskets. There’s also some information and recipes for side dishes that go spectacularly well with briskets.

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11. Smoking Meat Made Easy

Smoking Meat Made Easy

Smoking Meat Made Easy: Recipes and Techniques to Master Barbecue by Amanda Mason sets the right tone to smoked food. The cookbook takes on a straightforward approach and has something for everyone. You’ll find the basics of smoking meat well-covered, which should be a welcome addition for beginners.

Experts and experienced cooks will find simple recipes that build on your choice of meat and a smoker. Recipes get progressively more complex, testing your skills and enabling a cook to gauge how far they’ve come with their cooking skills.

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12. Smokin’ with Myron Mixon

Smokin' with Myron Mixon

Smokin’ with Myron Mixon: Recipes Made Simple, from the Winningest Man in Barbecue: A Cookbook has a promise of the skills of the author’s illustrative career and skills. Myron Mixon is a well-known name in the world of barbecue. 

As the cookbook page says, “In the world of competitive barbecue, nobody’s won more prize money, more trophies, or more adulation than Myron Mixon.”

Mixon says he’s been BBQs since he was a child, often learning from his father. That lifetime of learning and skill shines through in Mixon’s own cooking. And well, I hope some of that skill shows up for readers of this cookbook.

With recipes and tips from a master of smoking food and BBQ, you can be more confident with the choice of your recipe and food. Mixon has taken a “keep it simple” approach for the recipes. Basically, keep your focus on the finer things, not the bells and whistles.

Apart from recipes and tips, the book also includes the basics to get things right. These include tips for choosing the right wood and formula for his famous marinades, rubs, and injections. And of course, the recipes include some of the author’s most celebrated dishes.

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Learning From The Best – The Cookbooks Make A Difference

Smoking food is an art that requires patience and skill. A pro knows his way around things and can intervene quickly if something goes wrong, but beginners may struggle even deciding where to get started! 

Getting some guidance and inspiration from the best smoker cookbooks can make things simpler and easier for beginners. Learn from the words from experts in these cookbooks illuminating the path and explaining everything from basics to advanced concepts.

Pros too can find some inspiration and useful tips by reading (or even critiquing) how published recipe authors handle their smoking lessons.