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Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  1,546 ratings  ·  126 reviews
A New York Times best selling complete meat- and brisket-cooking education from the country's most celebrated pitmaster and owner of the wildly popular Austin restaurant Franklin Barbecue.

When Aaron Franklin and his wife, Stacy, opened up a small barbecue trailer on the side of an Austin, Texas, interstate in 2009, they had no idea what they’d gotten themselves into. Today
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Ten Speed Press
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4.50  · 
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 ·  1,546 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
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If you know nothing about/are a beginner at cooking on a smoker, Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto is the cookbook for you. My husband was kind enough to volunteer his services in order to make this a legit review, but like I do with most everything else in my life, I’m going to take his contributions and make a complete mocker
Janel Gradowski
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbook
Barbecue is an art form and Aaron Franklin is a superstar pitmaster. He went from cooking brisket for his friends, to opening a food truck, to owning a now world-renowned restaurant that has sold out of meat every single day since it has opened. People travel from all over the world to sample his barbecue. This book is a detailed chronicle of how he produces his spectacular barbecue.

The first chapter explains how Aaron and his wife, Stacy, came to be the owners of a restaurant where people wait
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
First book of 2018!

Got a smoker for Christmas so grabbed this book based on reccomendations. Great book! The author is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about not just smoking meat but the culture and taste surrounding good BBQ. He went in-depth about everything from wood selection to slicing meat well, without being inaccessible or annoying. Also, the photography in this book is excellent and will make you hungry the entire time you read.

Note his smoking techniques are mostly for offset smok
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There are two general points that are made clear throughout the book: (1) Aaron Franklin knows what he's talking about and (2) he seems like one of the nicest guys in the world. The restaurant is truly unbelievably awesome and this book shows you how it's done. One day I will have a smoker, and on that day I will have this book at my side.
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Last night, I smoked first rack of ribs since reading this book. They were markedly better then I've done any time recently. Enough little tips across this book made for a much better result.
Michael Russell
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas, is as famous for its mind-blowing array of smoked meats as it is the hours-long line of customers hoping to get barbecue before they sell out. In pitmaster Aaron Franklin's first book on barbecue, he readily admits he's still learning his craft. Co-author Jordan Mackay, credits Franklin's success to being able to "think like smoke." Franklin admits that a barbecue book is daunting because of all the variables that go into the process, and while recipes might l ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Warm, fun, informational, and inspirational for anyone with a food dream or a love of BBQ.
Eric Moote
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Shelves: non-fiction
Overall: a repository of Central Texas Barbecue history and methods of turning the toughest, cheapest piece of meat and turning it into the most delicious, tender and awe-inspiring bite of your life. A true miracle.

Aaron Franklin has gone from regular guy to world renown BBQ rockstar for a reason: his meat is good. People ask me, "was waking up at 7 am to stand in line for 5 hours worth it?" If you have ever eaten at Franklin Barbecue, then you know my answer: "A resounding Yes!" I cannot think
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto is an excellent meat-smoking resource!

Aaron Franklin, an award-winning pitmaster, shares his knowledge and secrets of success in this meat-smoking manifesto. His love and enthusiasm for Central Texas barbecue is evident and he shares his passion in these pages.

Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto is a book my husband and I both use and enjoy. From building or modifying a smoker to serving and eating, this book is brimming with detailed informa
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Anyone with interest in good barbecue, done right, will love this book but so will people who just like reading food stories. Aaron starts with the back story of his restaurant and how he got into smoking meats, so the book reads more like a story. Then he gets into smoker design, wood selection, and finally the cooking techniques/recipes. I've already adjusted the way I smoked meats and I have a strong desire to build my own smoker.
Aaron Cochrill
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for recipes, this isn't the book for you. But if you are looking for insight about the passion and techniques in genuine BBQ, Aaron Franklin offers insightful advice and direction for the novice enthusiast! I loved this book.
Russell Branca
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a tome on the art and theory of smoking meat, and it contains a wealth of wisdom and know how. As a geek interested in the details and technique of barbecue, this book is truly a diamond in the rough and one I cannot recommend highly enough.
David King
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is what a cookbook ought to be: 130+ pages of explanation before about 50 pages of recipes, which are also mostly explanation. Oh, and the pictures are glorious too.

We must go to Austin.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Back in the '90s, while living in West Virginia, I mentioned to a neighbor--a woman who had quite a reputation as an accomplished home chef--that I was going to barbecue a brisket. She seemed puzzled, but allowed that barbecuing a brisket seemed ... "interesting." I think she was just being nice. To her, brisket was for corned beef or New England boiled dinners. Period.
I've been back in Texas for 21 years, and it's hard to imagine anyone anywhere who has not by now heard of Texas style smoked
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good light read for the home barbecuer or anyone who just likes Texas BBQ

As a transplant to Texas, Texas BBQ was somewhat foreign to me. Sure we have BBQ in PA but it is mostly pork based (this has changed somewhat since I moved here and the growing popularity of TX style BBQ). Pig roasts are the brisket equivalent for large gatherings.

I was no stranger to the work involved in processing meat. When I was young and most of the great uncles were still alive, we would butcher our own hogs as par
Bram Cecilius
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So, you've heard of Aaron Franklin and his award winning Franklin's BBQ. But the story of how he got there is the real fun part. He has done what so many other American success stories do, they have a passion, they are willing to work hard, attention to details and he actually cares. This isn't your typical BBQ book loaded with lots of recipes, this is more of a how to testimonial type book. I enjoyed all the background, how-to and why Franklin does the things he does. Honestly, who are we to ar ...more
Carine Bouery
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is not your ordinary recipe book, it's a manual on how to make the most delicious BBQ on the planet. My husband and I were in Austin recently and waited in line for 2.5 hours at Franklin's BBQ. The food was amazing and we both agreed without hesitation that we would wait in that line again. Aaron Franklin is a genius and everything we ate was sublime; brisket, ribs, turkey (I don't even like turkey!), pinto beans and cole slaw. We devoured everything on our tray without adding BBQ sauce to ...more
Tyler Varisco
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unlike a lot of readers, I have an offset bbq pit and have been making bbq with varying levels of success for about 10 years. After moving from college station to Austin for grad school, I noticed that the bbq in the area was totally different than what I grew up with. Simple yet incredibly complex. Cooked with time and technique rather than a gas rotisserie and a few shakes of Sysco seasoning. Franklins’ book has changed my techniques dramatically. I ripped the door off my little smoker’s fireb ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it. If you're looking for a recipe book, this isn't what you want. He does have some recipes for side dishes at the end, but the bulk of the book is the story of how the restaurant came to be and a detailed analysis of everything that goes into a good barbecue: the smoker, wood selection, starting/monitoring the fire/smoke, the meat itself, and then the actual cooking part. I've got a smoker and this book has me excited to start trying out some of his ideas. Barbecue is an inexact scie ...more
Joe Prosit
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Where Meathead breaks down the science of barbeque, Franklin breaks down the art. The two books should be companion required reading for anyone serious about smoking. A word of caution, Aaron cooks by intuition and feel that normal humans aren’t capable of out the gate. It blows my mind to watch him use a meat thermometer to probe the meat for tenderness while never looking at the actual temp! You can learn to cook the way he does, but you’re going to fuck up a lot of meat along the way.
My recom
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I've been getting more and more into smoking and have always preferred the Central Texas style the best. I have really wanted to try and do a brisket, but was a bit intimidated, that is until reading this book. When I first opened it I was disappointed by the lack of recipes, but reading through it I saw the pages were filled with so much more info than recipes. In a way it was still recipes, but instead of being for the edible parts of the meal they were for the non-edible parts of bbq such as ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From backyard griller, to owning and operating the most famous barbecue restaurant in the world. This is the story of Franklin Barbecue's Aaron Franklin. When I ordered the book, I wasn't really sure what I'd be getting, but I knew I had to read it. The book is Aaron Franklin's story, and he should be admired for his apparent lack ego and pretense.

The themes running through the book are about the quality of the meat, fire (and smoke) management, the quality of the wood, and to never cut corners
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
We recently got a smoker and I got some books out of the library to give us some background on what the heck to do with it. I was really looking for something practical (which I found in another book I'll review shortly) that would give dead-simple specific recipes to a complete beginner. While this book is definitely worth reading, it is more memoir and theory than practical guide. It gives good background and rationale for certain aspects of smoking but will not be my go-to book when we finall ...more
Jon Stone
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Aaron Franklin lets his humor, and most importantly his passion, shine through in this book. It was meant to be a "read through and get ideas" kind of book. But it's turned into somewhat of a utility tool. I've read through this a few times now, and the takeaways aren't the recipies. It's the idea that you've got to get you heart into what you are doing. No matter if it's BBQ, welding, carpentry, data mining...whatever you do, you need to do it with passion. Then the work is still work, but it's ...more
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Giving Franklin Barbecue 5 stars was easy, because, as he states in the introduction, it is less a recipe book than it is about the PROCESS of barbecuing. Getting the right equipment, the right wood, the right temperature, and he gets into details--should a grill and/or smoker (we're talkin' serious barbecuing) be insulated, and with what, and why or why not. He is partial to Texas, so beef afficianados may feel a special privilege, but he is informative and understandable to both the novice and ...more
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Delicious, informative, jealousy inducing instructional, inspirational book. Desperately keen to cook and eat this type of barbecue, but not so easy with what is available in NZ to do this, also slightly prohibitive with the time required - even worse than my sourdough croissant cooking time addiction !
This is a one day when I've got plenty of time and equipment book. But such a great read all the same.
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. We'll written, but I can still hear Aaron's voice and passion for smoking meats. He talks a lot about why he does this or that when working with this or that piece of meat. He talks about the science behind what he does, though he might need to spend a bit more time in the kinetic molecular model and thermodynamics to flesh out his understanding of how and why heat moves like it does. This book belongs on your shelf if you think you want to smoke meat.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Franklin's BBQ is deservedly famous here in Texas. We measure all other brisket and pulled pork against Franklin's and almost none measure up. One of my children gave me this book as a gift and, although I won't be welding together any smokers for home use, I have used it to improve my home kamado smoked brisket between trips to Austin. Aaron is a really nice guy and that comes through in the book. I particularly like how he gives a shout out to other outstanding BBQ places in Texas.
Wade Fontenot
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interesting read about the beginnings of one of the most popular eateries in Austin, TX and the techniques and science of what Pitmaster Aaron Franklin learned along the way. Not a cookbook but a textbook on what to look for/do when buying or building your own smoker, choosing your wood and purchasing and cooking your meat. Valuable information for the novice and the pro.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Insight into the mind of a dude committed to brisket

This book explains well what Aaron is thinking about when he’s planning, prepping, smoking, cutting, serving, and sharing his bbq. I don’t think I’ll ever follow the recipes to the letter, but I’ll use the ideas and techniques often.
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