By Ray Lampe
Chronicle Books, $22.95, 176 pages
True barbecue lovers will love Slow Fire, this beautiful, medium-format barbecue book. Don’t confuse real Southern barbecuing using large chunks of meat over a slow, slow fire for many hours with grilling that most of us do during summer evenings. Grilling is quick over hot fire—this cookbook doesn’t even acknowledge its existence. True barbecue is an elaborate and time-consuming way of cooking meat and poultry, and if that’s what you want to achieve, this cookbook is a great addition to your kitchen shelf. The two introductory chapters, Tools and Techniques and Spices and Sauces, cover whatever you need before even starting to heat up your barbecue. Many recipes require two, even three, preparations. Clearly, barbecuing is strictly for serious aficionados. Few recipes here serve less than eight and many are for an even larger crowd. Even barbecuing a chicken takes three hours of brining and three hours of slow cooking, with some chicken recipes taking five to six hours. The recipes are easy to follow, clearly written with ingredients listed on the sides with large black and red scripts. Layout of recipes could’ve been better for the cook’s convenience. Photos are truly mouthwatering and the cross-referenced index is excellent.