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10 Best Grilling Cookbooks

For individuals who want to expand their skillset and repertoire on the grill and backyard novices alike, having the best grilling cookbooks at your avail can substantially improve your odds of success. We’ve drawn together some of the top collections of barbecue and grill techniques pared with delicious recipes to inspire your creativity and enhance your skill level. Homo sapiens have always used fire to cook our food. It plays a central role in our psychology and even genetics. Evolutionary anthropologists surmise that the use of fire fundamentally changed the course of modern humans by making nutrients more accessible than those in raw foods. Fire also made fat and protein a centerpiece of feeding our growing brains. Today, the time-honored tradition of grilling carries the torch for this age-old human practice.

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1. Weber’s Ultimate Grilling by Jamie Purviance


Weber's Ultimate Grilling: A Step-by-Step Guide to Barbecue Genius Hardcover best grilling cookbook

Touted as a Classroom in a Book, this text offers you helpful hints and inspiration, whatever your level of grilling mastery. Gorgeous, full-color photography guides even those new to grilling through every recipe, ensuring success and greater familiarity with this cooking method. While it offers detailed descriptions of time-tested favorites, such as burgers, pork chops, steak, and sausages, it also takes readers deeper into the art of grilling with healthy variations, new takes on grilling staples, and weeknight-friendly recipes full of flavor. It also offers cool food science facts to enrich everyone’s understanding of what and how they are eating.

2. How to Grill Everything by Mark Bittman


How to Grill Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Flame-Cooked Food best grilling cookbook

Many restrict their ideas about what foods to grill to a rather narrow selection of meats and other items. The truth is that anything you can cook on a stovetop or in a standard oven can be prepared on a grill, with all the delicious and complex flavors of that cooking method. Mark Bittman offers a straightforward, easy-to-follow explanation for basic adaptations and grilling techniques. His book provides more than 250 recipes with delicious adaptations to suit every palate and season. Prepare a sumptuous paella, bake bread, bring a smoky sweetness to fresh peaches, or stick to the basics and grill chops and burgers for the whole family.

3. Good Housekeeping Ultimate Grilling Cookbook


Good Housekeeping Ultimate Grilling Cookbook: 250 Sizzling Recipes best grilling cookbooks

The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen has designed and documented more than 250 scrumptious grilling recipes to take your grilling skills to the next level. They offer variations on main themes, such as green chile cheeseburgers and taco dogs, as well as flavor sensations like ginger salmon. If you’re dedicated to a plant-based lifestyle, there are a host of delicious recipes for meatless mains that will enliven any dinner table. The book also takes you through the preparations for sauces and marinades to complement your new favorites.

4. Grill It! By Bobby Flay


Bobby Flay's Grill It!: A Cookbook best grilling cookbooks

Organized according to the main ingredient, this innovating grilling cookbook will satisfy even the most discerning back yard palate. Whether you’re in the mood for a steak or tiger prawns, vegetables, or even desserts, you’ll find a host of recipes with delicious variations on your chosen theme. Beyond the basic how-to grilling steps, Flay provides ingenious ideas to change up your typical favorites to keep the backyard party or weeknight dinner fresh and exciting.

5. Master of the Grill from America’s Test Kitchen


Master of the Grill: Foolproof Recipes, Top-Rated Gadgets, Gear, & Ingredients Plus Clever Test Kitchen Tips & Fascinating Food Science best grilling cookbook

America’s Test Kitchen is the source for some of the most delicious fare that anyone can cook. They’ve brought their detailed and insightful approach to this most beloved American cuisine in their expansive, gorgeous grilling cookbook. They offer techniques to turn out the perfect grilled fare, whether you’ve got a yen for steak, juicy chicken, vegetables or desserts, with plenty of regional specialties. Also offering investigations of general principles, pros, and cons of gas and charcoal grills, and equipment you’ll need to master the art, they take even an untested novice to expert levels in no time.

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6. Playing with Fire by Michael Symon and Douglas Trattner


Michael Symon's Playing with Fire: BBQ and More from the Grill, Smoker, and Fireplace best grilling cookbook

If what you seek is sumptuous and saucy fare, look no further than this collection of 72 recipes that comprise the best barbecue this country has to offer. Celebrated chef Michael Symon undertook the arduous and painstaking chore of traveling to the kitchens of barbecue masters and sampling their most delicious delicacies. From that hard work comes this detailed and insightful text. One of the best grilling cookbooks for a specialty offering, it provides step-by-step guidance to produce the most fantastic, mouthwatering barbecue right in your own back yard.

7. Charcoal by Josiah Citrin


Charcoal: New Ways to Cook with Fire best grilling cookbook

Cooking over a flame is the oldest way to make nutrients more accessible and delicious for human diners. Citrin puts a new spin on this ancient art form and offers a fresh take on cooking with hot coals. Recipes like Salt-Baked Whole Main Lobster and Cabbage Baked in Embers draw foods into the heart of the fire to create some surprising and unforgettable fare. At its foundation, Citrin’s book is a celebration of the human love affair with fire, and the communal bonds that cooking over a flame form naturally.

8. The Grilling Bible from Steve Lee


The Grilling Bible: Complete Guide of How To Grill And Have Your Favorite Delicious Easy-To-Make Grilling Foods, Save Time And Live Happier best grilling cookbook

Every grill master was once a novice. They progressed to their current exalted state through a process that involved trial and error, instruction, and creative innovation. Steve Lee wants to save you time, frustration, and wasted resources as well as offer you some delicious grilling recipes. The Grilling Bible is organized as a combination of informational texts describing and demystifying all aspects of cooking over a flame and tasty, innovative or traditional recipes for guaranteed success.

9. The Ultimate Book of BBQ from Southern Living


Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling and Smoking best grilling cookbook

While the South certainly doesn’t corner the market on the art of barbecue and grilled fare, they certainly have a number of sub-regional claims to fame in that vein. Southern Living magazine drew together the most delicious of these recipes to create an essential grilling and barbecuing resource. Complete with gorgeous photographs that guide you through every process and technique, they also devote substantial space to explaining proven approaches, demystifying the roles of equipment and helpful grilling implements, and the science behind why grilling makes food so delicious.

10. The Meat Eater Fish and Game Cookbook by Steven Rinella


The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Every Hunter and Angler best grilling cookbook

Long before domesticated herd animals and millennia before the first supermarket, humans added meat to their diets through hunting and fishing. Grilling game meats today is a fundamentally different proposition than preparing the products of domestication. For one, the fat content is dramatically different. For example, wild meats are lean and can burn or dry quickly. Rinella offers helpful guidance, from butchering of larger game animals to preparing delicious appetizers, stews, and casseroles from smaller prey, such as rabbits or quail. From lakes, rivers, and the sea come all manner of delicacies and hearty staples, for which Rinella provides the same attention to detail for preparation and delicious array of recipes.

For burgers and dogs or ember-roasted delicacies with haute cuisine tendencies, the grill can be a year-round culinary tool. The best grilling cookbooks will permit you to bring family and friends together, delighting their palates with newfound confidence and skill.

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By BCR Staff

July 2019

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