Sunday, April 19, 2015

Quick Take: Franklin Barbecue, A Meat-Smoking Manifesto

By Dru Chai

The fact that Franklin BBQ has been showered with so many accolades has many old-school pitmasters grumbling. Is Franklin BBQ really the best BBQ in the country? Is it worth waiting in that long line? Everyone has their own opinion, and until you try it for yourself, you just can't judge. Here's my take on Franklin BBQ.

One thing's for sure -- Aaron Franklin's rise to BBQ stardom couldn't have happened to a better human being. In my opinion, Franklin BBQ's formula of success goes something like this:

- 10% Media
- 10% Brisket
- 80% Aaron Franklin

Yes, I think Aaron has that much of an impact. He's a huge driving force in the success of his BBQ restaurant and the Franklin BBQ empire because he's just such a darn nice guy. Not only is he down-to-earth, but you can relate to him. After just a couple of minutes talking with him, it already feels like he's a long-time friend or neighbor.

Franklin Barbecue, A Meat-Smoking Manifesto was released last week and it's already my favorite BBQ book. Most of what he covers in the book is a more detailed version from his excellent series of instructional videos on YouTube (there will be a series on PBS coming soon). Although the book is great for both BBQ novices and those who have a couple of years of meat-smoking experience, there are several longer chapters that delve into the details -- content that most BBQ enthusiasts will truly appreciate.

The book isn't heavy on BBQ recipes or glossy food porn (although there are some glorious shots of brisket porn). There is no secret to his BBQ. He's just really, really passionate about what he does. He's a great storyteller, and explains his techniques with ease and precision. It's almost as if you're hanging out with him by the pit, beer in hand, bonded by the love of smoked meat.

Dirty Smoke rating (5.0 out of 5 stars)
Highly recommended! Purchase the hardcover on for $17.99.