Ten Great Summer Grilling Cookbooks for the Barbecue Enthusiast

Sizzle and Smoke: The Ultimate Guide to Grilling for Diabetes, Prediabetes, and Heart Health– 155 pages
This cookbook is aimed towards people with diabetes and contains a health guide with the amounts of calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, etc. for each recipe.  It is also endorsed by the American Diabetes Association.  It contains an extensive section on sauces, condiments, salsas, pestos and has 50 full meal recipes and 30 side dish recipes and a dessert section.  The book is very nice with mostly typical barbecue ideas.  A must have for someone looking to cut back on sodium and improve heart health, while still enjoying barbecue.


The Gardener & the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill– 224 pages
This barbecue cookbook contains over 30 pages of sauces, seasonings, vinaigrettes and dressings and tzatziki.  It has 22 wonderful and interesting appetizer ideas, including my favourite: cream cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers.  It also contains a full section on sandwiches and pizzas which includes recipes for dough, Meze and Naan.  It offers a complete guide to grilling and all the instructions you may need.  Although it is mainly focused on grilling garden treasures, it does contain ideas for sandwiches with meats like chicken and sausage.  It has a wealth of knowledge on grilling vegetables for salads (including potato salad) and using a saucepan on the grill.  The soup and main dish sections are also great.


Fabulicious!: On the Grill: Teresa’s Smoking Hot Backyard Recipes– 208 pages
Nice book with several recipes.  Most Barbecuing requires a lot of seasoning, marinades, and sauces.  This book was lacking in that department.  It does include full sections on chicken, seafood, pasta, and other assorted meats.  It contains over 60 full recipes (including appetizers, soups, and desserts). It is a very useful cookbook with some great barbecue ideas, but not quite as complete as others.


Vegetarian Barbecue – 80 Easy-to-Grill Recipes Including Dips, Skewers, Salads and Sides – 183 pages, hard cover
This barbecue book is quite nicely designed with easy to read recipes.  It contains a lot of clever dips, salsas, and sauces with an excellent sour cream dip.  There are pictures of almost every recipe.  There was a nice small dish/appetizer section which contained wonderful ideas from grilled lotus to skewers to spring roll cigars.  There’s a fair amount of salad and tofu recipes.  All-in-all there’s 20 full-size meals with pictures of each very imaginative recipe.  Each of the salad recipes contains pictures and seasoning ideas that complemented the dish.  If you’re looking to improve on grilling vegetables, and more vegetarian ideas, this book is very clever and inventive, and the pictures really bring it to life.


Taste of Home Backyard Barbecues: 405 Dishes for Sizzling Celebrations– 256 pages
This book boasts over 405 dishes.  Cover to cover, it is jammed with recipes and still has a fair number of pictures.  These quick and easy descriptions are what you need to make things like: Polynesian kabobs, California quinoa, grilled snapper with caper sauce, many desserts, grilled teriyaki pork tenderloin, trail mix, and obviously a lot more.  This book isn’t as clever and exotic, but with this many recipes it does have a lot to offer. It’s a great value for the price.


The Barbecue! Bible– 556 pages
This book has over 500 recipes.  It has very full sections on Chicken and other poultry, fish, shell fish, vegetarian dishes, other grilled vegetables, rice and beans, salsa, relish and slaw, sauces, marinades, seasonings and desserts.  Right off the top there are over 50 pages of anything and everything grill related from marinade times to how to prepare and cook various meats and cuts to using foil and suggested heat levels for any cooking need.  It has very few pictures, and is filled with mostly recipes.  It doesn’t contain too many generic ideas, they are mostly exciting and exotic. Dishes like bacon grilled prunes, lettuce bundles with beef, Korean short ribs and beer can chicken stand out.  If it doesn’t bother you that the pictures are limited, this is clearly the best choice and most complete of cookbooks, among the rest. Great price too.


Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond – 192 pages, hard cover
This book has the most exotic barbecue ideas I’ve seen.  It does have pictures on most of the recipes.  It’s a very exciting and vibrant book with fantastic off-the-grid meal ideas that you don’t find in other barbecue books.  It contains many clever sauces, marinades and also has a full side and appetizer guide.  Overall, you may not be able to pronounce everything in this book, but you’ll want to try it all; very exciting and interesting ideas that are well worth picking up.  This is simply the best non-traditional barbecue cookbook I’ve seen.


Weber’s Time to Grill: Get In. Get Out. Get Grilling.– 304 pages
It contains sections on: appetizers, red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, eggs, veggies, and desserts. It’s a complete cookbook from A to Z.  It features pictures of every recipe.  It you’re like me, and you need pictures this book is a must have.  It also contains a very extensive and complete fish section.  It is lacking a little on the sections with marinades, salsa, sauces, seasoning to mix and match with your own creations and ideas. However the many recipes it does have usually contain sauces and marinade ideas to complement.  It has over 150 recipes that go from easy to adventurous.


The Grilling Book: The Definitive Guide from Bon Appetit – 432 pages
This book has lots of pictures to go with the recipes.  It has probably the best section on burgers that I’ve seen, including burgers with chicken, turkey, salmon and tuna.  It’s a big and complete cookbook with recipes for every type of meat and lots of veggies recipes, as well as sauces, salads, drinks, burgers, sausage, seafood and sandwiches. It contains a lot of easy recipes but also has many exciting, adventurous and off-the-grid recipes too.  Of any of the cookbook I’ve seen, it has the most extensive section of lamb recipes.  Boasting over 200 recipes, and with a lot of pictures of the dishes, this one is among the best out there.


Rob Rainford’s Born to Grill: Over 100 Recipes from My Backyard to Yours – 268 pages
This one has pictures of every recipe and has some of the most exotic and exciting recipes I’ve seen. Two of my favourites were the Jamaican beef patties and full prime rib rotisserie recipes. It also has a great grilled fish section.  It’s definitely lacking in sections for sauces, marinades, and salsas.  It does however make up for this by containing a lot of inventive ideas for sauces, marinades and seasonings in the recipes themselves. The sauces on the recipes for grilled ribs, pork, steak and fish are fantastic. Overall, Rob Rainford’s book is a nice buy.

-Written by: Michael Whone

Follow Michael Whone on Twitter @whoneranger and visit his website: www.rivervanstyle.com