Every wednesday I review a cookbook to help weed out the good the bad and the ugly. This week I am reviewing 25 essential techniques for smoking by Ardie A. Davis. I love barbecuing and this seemed right up my alley.

Artie A. Davis

Artie is an award winning expert with his own barbecue university. Artie founded the Greasehouse University. The degree program at the Greasehouse University is is a doctor of barbecue philosophy and is overseen by the Kasas City Barbecue Society. Artie is now a famed judge on the barbecue circuit. Story short, Artie knows barbecue.Artie starts the book off like every good barbecue book going over the basics of smoking. He goes over the tools required, the methods needed and basics of starting to smoke. His essentials include the basics of choosing wood. As you know the wood gives the unique flavor of each dish. Artie suggests wood for each meat and further goes on to suggest woods to stay away from. For instance, mesquite on chicken would be too bitter and alder on beef would be too mild. As a barbecue expert you may already know this and brush it off, but as a newbie, this information is awesome.

The 25 techniques for smoking

Artie list many ways to smoke. Low and slow, hot and fast an paper bag smoking. Low and slow is used for thicker cuts of meat, but hot and fast is used for fish and less fatty cuts of meat. The section that I really enjoyed was paper bag smoking. When smoking a pork butt, the meat is so thick that sometimes you get too much smoke flavor. Artie suggests that halfway through smoking you place the pork butt in a paper bag to catch the juices and to limit access to the smoke. He says that the pork that comes out fo the bag is amazing.


This book is definitely for a novice barbecuer. The recipes are great, the methods are listed in an easy to read fashion, and the pictures are amazing. Artie has recipes for all of the classic barbecue foods, such as ribs, pork butt and brisket. Artie also has methods and recipes for foods that you wouldn’t quite associate with barbecue. Such as, Smoked-baked barbecue chile pie, smoked duck and whole smoked garlic. If you are just starting out I would definitely recommend this book as it goes through everything that you need to start barbecuing.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

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