Smoking meat and other foods is so much fun and as time goes on, we find even more enjoyable ways to smoke and enjoy things from the smoker.
Some people get creative and try different things just to see how it works. Other people prefer to have guidelines to help them on the way so they can work from other people’s successes.
Cookbooks are really great for this because you can get new ideas as well as tried and true recipes that you can follow to test new things on the smoker yourself.
If you have a smoker and you’re ready to put it to use, you should consider getting a cookbook or two to help you with the details.
What is the best smoking cookbook? The best smoking cookbooks usually feature an extensive beginning section that details the nature of smoking meat and how to do so. Good smoking cookbooks will also have a large variety of detailed recipes. It’s important to try and find a cookbook that is written by an experienced and established chef or pitmaster.
In this guide, we will share with you the 7 best smoking cookbooks ever.
We’ve sorted through the market and the endless array of options so that you don’t have to. We narrowed down the multitude of choices to bring you the top 7, which leads us to the details of this guide.
Keep reading to learn the best smoking cookbooks ever and more!
How to Choose a Smoking Cookbook
We’ve got some great options to share with you but before we get started, let’s take a look at some thoughtful insight into choosing a smoking cookbook.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of options to choose from and what appeals to you might not appeal to another person in the same way.
Check out these tips for choosing the best smoking cookbook for you.
Variety of Recipes
One thing that you will want to consider is that recipe books can contain a variety of recipes. You don’t want to purchase a smoking cookbook that only focuses on one type of meat or only contains a few recipes in it.
Look for cookbooks that have several recipes to choose from and a good variety of options in different categories.
You want flavor combinations, meat options, and even some alternative ideas that you might be able to smoke with delicious results.
The next thing that you might want to take a look at is the details of the recipes. Are the recipes easy to follow? Do they take a ton of ingredients that you never have on hand?
You want recipes that look like you can follow them without them being overly complicated and you also want recipes that seem feasible to use and follow.
If they call for strange ingredients that you will never find at your local grocery store, you might need to avoid them.
Recipe detail refers to understanding the ingredients but also being able to easily understand and follow those instructions.
While you can only see so much in a sample, be sure to look at the recipes available to view and check out whether they are clear and concise and whether the steps provided make sense to you as well.
Another thing that you might want to consider is how much experience you have using the smoker as opposed to the experience level needed for using the various cookbooks.
Thankfully, most cookbooks will break it down so that a beginner can handle it but you will find that some cookbooks are made for experienced smokers as well.
Just be sure that you are prepared for the experience level as the details, tools required, and even the language in the instruction might change depending on the level of cookbook you’re using.
Finally, before you rush out and buy just any smoking cookbook, take a look at the general insight and determine if it will work for your smoker.
Do you have an electric smoker or perhaps a wood or pellet smoker? These are important because the processes might vary slightly depending on which type of smoker you have.
Be prepared to have to make adjustments for the type of smoker that you have as the recipes are most likely written based on the type of smoker that the prepared used when creating the cookbook.
The 7 Best Smoking Cookbooks
Alright, we’ve talked a little bit about what to consider when buying smoking cookbooks, it’s time to get to the meat of the matter (pun intended).
There are some really great and intuitive smoking cookbooks out there and some unique options as well.
You will find a wide array of prices and styles to choose from and we hope you can find 1 (or 7) that you really like and want to try. Below, you will find our top picks for the 7 best smoking cookbooks ever.
|Rank||Book Title||Best Feature|
|1.||The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide: Smoking Meat 101||Best overall smoking cookbook|
|2.||Project Smoke||Over 100 recipes|
|3.||Smoking with Myron Mixon||Easy-to-follow, simple recipes|
|4.||Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling||In-depth analysis of the science of smoking meat|
|5.||Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto||Written by incredibly accomplished author|
|6.||Smoker Cookbook: The Ultimate Smoking Meat Cookbook||Includes recipes on smoking fish and vegetables|
|7.||America’s Best BBQ||Creates a comprehensive list of America's best BBQ and smoking recipes|
1. The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide: Smoking Meat 101
This first option is our top overall pick.
It’s a really great option and while it’s written and designed for beginners, any smoke master can put it to use.
It has a great variety of recipes and it breaks it all down into a simple, easy-to-follow process.
They have an introduction that goes over the fundamentals of smoking.
It can be pretty helpful and you might just learn something new there.
The fundamentals section also goes into talking about flavor and smoking meat and so on. It’s not a huge section but it is informative.
Then, you move on to the recipes and you see a big variety of categories that include poultry, pork, beef, seafood, other meats and vegetables, and rubs, sauces, and more. Tons of options and detail!
The nice thing is they even have a section on making your own rubs and sauces so you can easily change up flavors and try different things.
You will find more than 75 recipes for smoking options here. It’s a great starter smoking cookbook but useful for all.
- Perfect for beginners with helpful information
- More than 75 recipes
- Includes a good variety of meats and other foods
- Includes troubleshooting tricks
- Simple and intuitive to follow
- The recipes are pretty basic and might involve going over simple information.
2. Project Smoke
Project Smoke is an incredibly popular choice so it makes sense that it falls into one of our top spots here.
It’s the #1 best seller for this category and it has phenomenal ratings from those who have purchased the book.
You can find it in hardcover, paperback, or even Kindle format.
This cookbook is a complete guide that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to smoke just about anything from appetizer options to meal options to sides and desserts.
It has a little bit of everything with more than 100 recipes. It teaches you how to turn smoking into an art and become the best pitmaster around. Plus, it’s easy to follow!
The book is focused on recipes but also has a lot of intuitive information that covers tools, fuel, wood options, and more. It even discusses things like rotisserie as well as hot smoking and cold smoking.
The information is great and there are some unique but delicious options as well.
- The best-selling cookbook in this category
- Become a master at the smoker
- More than 100 recipes
- A variety of foods from appetizers and sides to meals and desserts
- Goes over basic information and provides technique and tips
- Some users feel like it’s hard to find just where you need to be in the book as there is no index and a lot of detail
3. Smoking with Myron Mixon
If you’re looking for a slightly more affordable cookbook, check out this option of Smokin’ with Myron Mixon.
It’s a really great smoking cookbook that is again highly-rated across the board.
It falls into our budget pick but is well-made and comparable to many of the pricier options on the market.
This book takes the outlook of making smoking simple and the recipes come from “the winningest man in barbecue”. You really can’t beat that, can you?
Myron Mixon has won a lot of awards and prizes for his smoking capabilities. He has spent years building his skills and talent at the pit, leading him to many grand meat smoking championships.
In this book, he lends some of his secrets and lessons he’s learned over his many years of experience.
Myron shares the basics, right down to the best wood. You will find all of the details for a ton of recipes with more than 75 recipes, all of which he has won awards using himself. He shares plenty of tips and advice, as well as photos.
- Created by a multi-grand champion of BBQ
- Makes a challenging activity simple
- Shares techniques and tips
- Recipes from his own award-winning uses
- More than 75 recipes with tons of information
- This recipe book is advertised as simple and some users feel like it is too simple and not exciting enough
4. Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling
Next up is another incredibly popular choice.
You will find this as another of the most highly-rated smoking cookbooks on the market.
You really can’t go wrong with this delightful book from Meathead Goldwyn.
Meathead takes a focus on explaining the food and how different foods interact with wood and smoke for results.
He teaches a lot about concepts, methods, equipment, and accessories, while also going over the process of barbecuing for great results.
You will find more than 100 recipes in this cookbook that include a good variety of foods to choose from.
He shares some interesting tactics that you may have never considered and debunks a lot of myths about smoking to perfection as well. You might just be surprised here.
- Good variety of recipes with more than 100 to choose from
- Covers every little detail
- Shares science, humor, and chemistry
- Debunks many smoking myths
- Unique and yet simple and easy to follow
- Most of the recipes center around Meathead’s preferences so you may need to adjust for your own preferences
5. Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto
The Franklins started their BBQ journey by selling BBQ from a trailer on an interstate near Austin, Texas.
Since then, their names have become popular and they own one of the most popular BBQ joints known in the US.
Franklin has won a number of awards over the years and this book shares some of his secrets with you.
In A Meat-Smoking Manifesto, Franklin and his co-author take you through the basics including being a beginner as well as understanding the smoker, wood, fire, and more.
This book focuses primarily on meat and brisket cooking, sharing a lot of valuable insight from his own trials and successes.
This particular book focuses more on technique and practice overall than it has on actual recipes.
This is something to be prepared for. He shows you how to be successful and definitely touches on technique as well as recipes but the focus is on how to do it right.
- Geared towards teaching you methodology
- Award-winning BBQ restaurant owner
- Teaches you all of the best-kept secrets
- You will be a pro at smoking meat
- Simple to follow and put into practice
- Not officially a cookbook and contains very few recipes but rather focuses on the process
6. Smoker Cookbook: The Ultimate Smoking Meat Cookbook
This cookbook is a smoker cookbook that takes smoking to a whole new level.
They focus on meats of all kinds, including fish, but they also give you game recipes, which are not as common in many cookbooks.
If you like to smoke various types of game, this is the cookbook for you.
This cookbook walks you through a how-to guide that shares how to use the smoker properly and things that you can do to perfect your techniques.
It has a ton of different recipes and shares simple things like making waffles with brisket and gravy all the way to smoking halibut and many options in between.
You will have insight on not only a myriad of meat-smoking methods but also on special game to get the most delicious flavors and results possible.
- The ultimate cookbook with a little bit of everything
- Shares various meats, fish, veggies, and even game recipes
- Provides a general how-to for smoking
- Plenty of photos for all recipes
- Simple to follow with reliable tips
- This cookbook doesn’t look as great in person but the recipes and content are still valid.
7. America’s Best BBQ
Finally, we leave you with one last classic smoking cookbook.
This cookbook takes the best recipes from throughout America with dishes that come from pits, shacks, smokehouses, roadhouses, and restaurants.
The authors took the best of the best and put them together here in one place for you to try out.
You really can’t go wrong with this one. With 100 different recipes from famous locations all over America, you’ll be certain to enjoy this cookbook from start to finish.
- Over 100 recipes
- All recipes taken from famous joints or pitmasters
- Includes tips and techniques
- The perfect versatile cookbook
- There is a lot of advertising for products in the cookbook as part of the design