BBQ Bonanza Guest Post - Cookbook Music & Kansas City BBQ -

Our BBQ Bonanza guest post today is a review of the new Andrews McMeel book: The Kansas City Barbecue Society Cookbook. I'm delighted to bring you this post. Check out Sharon's blog post about Remembering Pork: BBQ, old road trips, and "the Chinese guy."

Cookbook Music & Kansas City BBQ

by Sharon Miro, publisher of the Nickelmoon blog.

When Jacqueline Church, The Leather District Gourmet, asked if I would be interested in reviewing a cookbook dedicated to BBQ, my first thought was sure, after all, how hard could that be, considering my love affair with all thing porcine.

When I got the book, The Kansas City Barbecue Society Cookbook, I opened it while standing over my chopping block, with a pad of stickies and a pen. Pretty soon I wondered how much I could write without drooling on the keyboard. Here’s what the book looked like after the first hour.

Getting this book and thinking about BBQ resulted in a post on my own blog not so much about BBQ as it was about certain milestones in my life and how BBQ played a part. It stills marks many a Sunday dinner, as it did on Memorial Day weekend, and it is the catalyst of many an experiment in my gastronomic growth.

BBQ is like music: the same chords can be rock & roll or jazz, it depends on the player.

The KCBS (take that anyway you want-they do) is a serious barbecue society but they don’t take themselves too seriously. Make no mistake: they are passionate about their barbecue-but the 3 founding principals agreed that the only requirement for membership was “to take nothing too seriously. To do so was grounds for expulsion.”

This cookbook defies the tradition of most society cookbooks and goes outside the perceptions of traditional BBQ. This isn’t about tall food, or foam on the plate. It’s about food that evokes childhood memories of daylong picnics. It’s about lazy smoke drifting over the grass like the Kansas City blues. It’s about the happy groans of satiated diners. It is a written mosaic of succulent pork, lip-smacking side dishes and innovative grilled dessert recipes.

The expected slow-smoked recipes and their accompaniments are there, and some great “how tips” so that you really do end up with moist, tender meat that will make you the toast of the neighborhood. And that doesn’t even get us to the bridge. New takes on fish, shrimp, vegetables and appetizers, and more make this cookbook a collection of riffs on familiar themes.

Each recipe is accompanied by a paragraph or two on its creator, and the anecdotes and tips abound everywhere. There is a great glossary of BBQ terms and special tips from KCBS in the back of the cookbook.

If I had one complaint about the cookbook, it’s about that: it’s packed with info and at times can seem too “busy” in its design. But that’s OK- any book that includes a recipe for Koolicles is OK by me. And no, I will not tell you what they are. Buy the book.

Leave your preconceived notions at the door, and be prepared to be inspired to hum some new notes.

I was inspired by this book to cook two pork butts prepared for the smoker in different ways. I used the standard Barbecued Pork Butt recipe on page 12, and created my own run for it. I used it on one of the butts. The other was done with an Asian inspired marinade.

  • 1 ½ Tb sugar
  • 1 ½ Tb salt
  • 2 Tb paprika- I mixed sweet and smoky
  • ¼ cup dried wild mushrooms
  • 1 ½ Tb pickling spice with extra mustard seed
  • 1 ½ Tb Sharon’s special spice-juniper berries, crushed cinnamon sticks, dried orange peel, cloves, nutmeg, pepper corns
  • 1 ½ Tb Italian Meat Spice ( I bought mine in Campo De Fiori in Rome, but if you can’t get there, mix together Rosemary, Oregano, Marjoram, Dried sliced garlic, dried spring onion, crushed chilis
  • ½ cup brown sugar


Mix the sugars, paprika & salt together. Grind the other spices in a spice grinder and blend with the sugar mixture. This really will be enough for several roasts, and is good on fish, chicken and beef.

Take about 2-3 Tb of the combined mixture and rub it into the pork butt thoroughly. Tie the butt with string and put into a zip lock bag for 24 hours. Follow instructions for slow-smoke cooking for your grill or smoker. I used hickory and soaked rosemary, and cooked the two 5lb butts for 10 hours. Yum!!

830 AM

130 PM

Done: 6 PM

The Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook

Published 2010 by KCBS, Andrews McMeel Publishing


For more information , see, or call 800-851-8923.