Smokin’ Hot in the South, by Melissa Cookston

5 Jul
smoking hot in the south melissa cookston

Five of Five Stars

I just got a new gas grill this year, but my BBQ experience has been limited to single pieces of chicken, or veggies veggies veggies. So I bought this book hoping to learn how to actually “barbecue”.

True to my nature, I started with only the grilled vegetables, but as I became more adept at using my gas grill, I finally became comfortable enough to attempt the Asian pork tenderloin with watermelon mint salad. My tastebuds could not differentiate the salad from just plain watermelon, but it was still delicious. But what everyone raved about was the pork tenderloin, especially the sauce. Although everyone gave me an A+ for that recipe, I give myself a B+ because I think the pork could have been taken off the grill just a couple minutes earlier. But the dinner guests are still raving about it, days later.

Then I went for the big time (in my mind). A giant pork shoulder that would take a day and a half to make into pulled pork. First I had to make the Memphis BBQ Rub and put that all over the pork and set overnight. Then I got up early to put the pork on the grill. Of course, then I realized that the propane tank was already empty (at least I didn’t discover this at the end of the day!). So I went to get a refill, and started the grill a bit late.

Twelve hours later I had the most delicious smoked pulled pork I have ever had, anywhere. First I served it on tortillas with the chimichurri recipe – DELICIOUS. The next day we put it over hamburger buns with the Memphis Mother Sauce. ALSO delicious.

I give myself an A+ after that. Next I’ll be trying the grilled cilantro-lime slaw, and the grilled peach cobbler (back to my veggie/fruit roots). But I will definitely be referring back to this book when it’s time for meat. Melissa Cookston took out all the guess work, made sure I understood exactly what I was doing and what I was looking to accomplish. It is definitely a great book for those just getting into “barbecue” but also great for the pros, as Cookston is an award winning smoker herself. I will likely get her earlier book as well, once I’m done with this one.

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