While bacon is the pork flavor of the day, BBQ is the only true gospel which many of us backyard-smokers follow. The practice of barbecuing is almost a religious experience; successful barbeque is, after all, as much about the discipline to fight off the temptation to crack open the smoker and take a peek as it is in having faith in one’s preparation. It’s not easy, though it sure sounds easy, right? Build a fire, add some wood chips, throw in some meat, then forget it while you watch the game and drink some beers? (I’ll recommend wines for pairing with barbeque, but the proper beverage for actually barbecuing is beer, of course.) Well, it’s not easy and that’s why people plan barbeque pilgrimages.  Why else did I go down to San Antonio, after all? That's a joke ... or is it?

Anyway. While the recipes in America’s Best BBQ -- and there are 100 absolutely mouthwatering ones to choose from -- are a great guide to the 'que, what really caught my attention in this book was the list of sources. Each recipe comes from a great American Barbeque joint, of which I seem to have visited exactly three. But the best part is that each source is listed with address, phone number, and anecdote, all ready for the best laid plans of fine men and women everywhere. Do you hear a road trip for North Carolina or Tennessee in the works? Damn right you do!

Meet the Authors

Ardie A. Davis founded the Diddy-Wa-Diddy National Barbecue Sauce Contest on his backyard patio in 1984; three years later the contest became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub & Baste Contest. In 2008, he was a featured judge at the 20th Annual Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg. Paul Kirk, inductee into the Kansas City Barbecue Society Hall of Flame, has won over 475 cooking and barbecue awards, including the prestigious American Royal Open.

Buy America's Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America's Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants