Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto
By Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay
Published by Ten Speed Press

Barbecue is an art form and Aaron Franklin is a superstar pitmaster. He went from cooking brisket for his friends, to opening a food truck, to owning a now world-renowned restaurant that has sold out of meat every single day since it has opened. People travel from all over the world to sample his barbecue. This book is a detailed chronicle of how he produces his spectacular barbecue.

The first chapter explains how Aaron and his wife, Stacy, came to be the owners of a restaurant where people wait for hours to get a taste of the food. It’s a story of humble beginnings, chasing a dream, and dogged determination. Then, the manifesto begins. Everything about the techniques Franklin uses is detailed. If you are handy with a welder, there are instructions on how to build a smoker from scratch, just like the ones they use at the restaurant, but on a smaller scale. Diagrams explain the mechanics of the smoker while photos show the building process. From there the book goes on to what kind of wood to use, how to build fires and how to prepare meats – from the famous brisket to turkey breast.

This is not a cookbook full of recipes, although there are a few for things like beans and espresso barbecue sauce. Instead, this is a step-by-step guide on how to reproduce barbecue similar to what is served at Franklin Barbecue. There is a lot of information, from how to start a proper fire in the smoker to tips on concocting your own rubs. Glimpses of what it’s like to run what is probably the most popular barbecue joint in the world right now are offered in between the barbecue-making wisdom. I love that there is an espresso maker in the kitchen for employees, since there are workers there literally around the clock to prepare the thousands of pounds of meat every day. For anybody that is interested in making truly great barbecue, this is a wonderful resource.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

This post is part of Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads

9 thoughts on “Cookbook Review: Franklin Barbecue

  1. I think I’d be more interested in eating barbeque at one of these kinds of places more than I would be in re-creating my own!

    1. Luckily, here in central Michigan, we have plenty of BBQ places to visit just in case our homemade BBQ doesn’t work. 🙂

  2. I live in the Austin area, where Franklin BBQ is located. No, I’ve never been there. They are really telling the truth about the people standing in line for hours to purchase the food. And when they are out of food – they are out. Done. Sorry you stood for hours, but come back again earlier. LOL

    This area is a BBQ kind of place. And it’s a trailer food kind of place. There are all kinds of restaurants that started out in a food truck and now have several locations. And Franklin’s is at the top of the heap.

    1. In the book it says they sell out of 1-2,000 pounds of meat every day! I guess they poll people in the line, to see what they plan to order and then inform people beyond a certain point in the line that they may not get anything so they can decide to stay or not. There is an award winning BBQ place 15 minutes away from me, in Midland, Michigan. They’re very good, but don’t get lines like Franklin does, thank goodness!

  3. I’d love to visit the restaurant and try some of the barbecue. I’m not one for standing in long lines, though. Sigh.

  4. Oh I just love BBQ food! But I think I’m more likely to go out and have it than build my own smoker… I do think it would be interesting to read about anyway. My boyfriend on the other hand would be all over this book, ready to start building his own smoker and everything..

  5. We have a couple of BBQ places here on the Big Island, but never any lines. I keep saying I’m going to stop and try some one day. When in the mood, I usually hand the platter of meat to my husband after he gets the coals going.

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