Smoking food at low temperatures is the method behind true barbecue cooking, and it’s one that some home cooks embrace passionately as a hobby. Mastering the art of smoking takes some practice, and Chowhounds swear by a few books and websites for learning the fundamentals.

Cheryl and Bill Jamison’s Smoke & Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue “is a great book,” malabargold says. “Best place to start to get barbecue’s big classics down.”

Indirect Heat‘s go-to books are Smoke & Spice and Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste, & Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking. Lang’s recipes are more labor-intensive, Indirect Heat says, “but I’ve made delicious meal after meal from that book.” tidecreek thinks Serious Barbecue is “pretty impressive,” with lots of pictures and information.

Smokin’ with Myron Mixon: Recipes Made Simple, from the Winningest Man in Barbecue is “a solid Que book,” CDouglas says. “Myron’s book is the one I grab when I get back into Que season. Sound basics and techniques and some of the best rub, injection and sauce recipes you will find.”

A worthy alternative to cookbooks is plumbing the minds of the expert smokers on dedicated barbecue forums. Hounds are fans of the Virtual Weber Bulletin Board. “I used this site extensively as I bought a smoker last year and didn’t know much about smoking,” nofunlatte says. She thinks it and The BBQ Brethren are both “extremely valuable.” While not a forum, (which covers much more than ribs) is “a great site!” zackly says.

And don’t forget to check out CHOW’s gallery of smoking recipes.

Discuss: Is there a best cookbook for learning how to smoke meat?
Best advice for a novice smoker?

See more articles