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John Willingham's World Champion Bar-B-q: Over 150 Recipes And Tall Tales For Authentic...

John Willingham's World Champion Bar-B-q: Over 150 Recipes And Tall Tales For Authentic...

by John Willingham, Caroline Cunningham (Designed by), Rhonda Voo (Illustrator)

Bar-B-Q aficionados from around the world pilgrimage to Memphis for John Willingham's famous, braggin' rights Bar-B-Q Feisty debates have erupted right there, in the midst of fire and smoke, over whether Willingham's ribs with Memphis-style sauce or his World Champion Brisket rubbed with Hot Seasoning are his best. And no one goes home before they've had his gooey,


Bar-B-Q aficionados from around the world pilgrimage to Memphis for John Willingham's famous, braggin' rights Bar-B-Q Feisty debates have erupted right there, in the midst of fire and smoke, over whether Willingham's ribs with Memphis-style sauce or his World Champion Brisket rubbed with Hot Seasoning are his best. And no one goes home before they've had his gooey, rich shoofly pie.

Authentic Bar-B-Q is as American as the Fourth of July, but often it takes a search party to find the real thing. Now, for the first time, John Willingham, winner of more major grand champion Bar-B-Q awards than anyone else in history, shares his celebrated recipes for a complete Bar-B-Q feast. At the heart of this book are Willingham's acclaimed recipes for mouthwatering beef, pork, fish, and chicken Bar-B-Q. Here are clear instructions for determining what type of cooker to use; laying a perfect fire to minimize smoke and maximize taste; preparing and using assorted dry rubs and marinades; getting a rich, marbled taste out of any cut of meat. The result is such triumphs as Grilled Pork Loin Roast, tender on the inside, golden on the outside; fresh, subtle Herbed Shrimp with Basil; Honey Mustard-Glazed Ribs that can be prepared in a snap; and Hot Sauce-Marinated Chicken.

But it's not just the perfectly prepared meats and sauces on which Willingham lavishes special attention. No Bar-B-Q feast would be complete without starters, salads, fixin's, slaws, and dessert. And Willingham has the blue ribbon recipes for them all. Take, for example, his Smokin' Fastball Wings cooked overhickory or apple wood, melt-in-your-mouth Angel Biscuits, or stand-up spicy Cajun Coleslaw. To cool off, there's Grandma's Raisin Bread Pudd'n with Rum Sauce, Old-Fashioned Custard Pie, or rich Maple Sauce spooned over ice cream to mention just a few, for dessert.

John Willingham explains what real Bar-B-Q isand isn't—and provides the techniques and tips that have won him accolades but are so simple even a backyard 'cuer can use them. Down-home and authentic, John Willingham's World Champion Bar-B-Q is the sourcebook for weekend enthusiasts and world-class chefs ready to follow in the Willingham tradition of creating delicious Bar-B-Q masterpieces.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Willingham, who competes in contests nationwide, moves in a subculture where serious barbecuers guard their recipes like the most valuable of trade secrets. He defines barbecue, in contrast to grilling or roasting, as cooking meat at 250 degrees or lower for a long time with indirect heat. He encourages 'cuers to build their own cookers and to use wood fuel rather than charcoal. No gas, please. Recipes (more than 150) kick off with starters and breads (using mostly indoor methods) and reach a section called Slow-Cooked Heaven-Real Barbecue, which contains Willingham's World-Champion Ribs: beef, pork or lamb rib slabs marinated and massaged with a dry rub, refrigerated for 12 hours and cooked at 250 degrees for up to five hours. World-Champion Brisket cooks for up to 10 hours at 210 degrees. For those unable (or unwilling) to build or buy a serious barbecue cooker, Willingham provides a recipe for Screamin' Mean Oven-Roasted Beef Barbecue, a three-hour chuck roast. Among the unusual ploys for standard backyard grills is Dancing Chicken, in which the bird is grilled with a half-full can of beer in the cavity. Although he provides many sauces, rubs and marinades, Willingham emphasizes the authentic barbecue cooking process, which makes his book most useful to those with the space and time for a serious commitment to 'cuing. (May)
Library Journal
Summer is upon us, and there's something for everyone in the latest crop of books on outdoor cooking. Butel, the author of several popular books on Southwestern food, also runs a cooking school in Albuquerque. She starts with a good introduction to grilling and smoking, with information on rotisserie cooking as well. Her recipes, from Appetizers to Quick Smoking to Desserts from the Grill, are appealing and fairly sophisticated. Readers expecting typical Southwestern cooking, however, will be surprised to find Bayou Gumbo, Hot Tuna Teriyaki with Sushi Rice, and other ethnic and "fusion" dishes. In any case, there are lots of good and imaginative recipes here. For most collections. The Jamisons, who covered classic barbecue in Smoke & Spice (LJ 4/15/94), are back with a more contemporary approach, creating an array of delicious dishes from Southwest Shrimp and Corn Nuggets to Salmon with Summer Herbs. They stop short of smoking desserts, but they do offer menu suggestions for each of their tempting recipes. Recommended for most collections. The old school of barbecuing is represented by Venable and Willingham. Venable offers Rick's Hot Wings, Down and Dirty Ribs, Kansas City Steaks with Red Wine, and other recipes in that vein; most are short and simple. Willingham, who has won awards at barbecue competitions all over the country, includes many recipes from other barbecues as well as his own recipes. There are recipes for both grilled and barbecued meats and fish, along with appetizers, side dishes, and barbecue sauces, rubs, marinades, et al., presented with lots of folksy humor. Spieler's contribution is a beautifully photographed collection of mouthwatering dishes, but it's not exactly classic barbecue: Thai-Style Shrimp, Provenal Fish in Grape Leaves, and Yucatn Turkey. (Almost all the recipes are for grilled dishes rather than true barbecue.) Buy this for its eclectic assortment of internationally inspired summery recipes, not as the basic introduction to outdoor cooking that its title might suggest.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.89(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Jailbird Ribs and Sauce

Serves 4

(thanks to Lewis Fineberg)

Some foods are to die for (like these ribs!). Lewis always felt going to jail would be worse than dying. Rest easy, my friend. We all miss you. Pork ribs (either spareribs or meatier country-style ribs) are great when first marinated in this gingery brown sugar-based sauce. But try it with beef ribs too.


1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons Mild Seasoning Mix (recipe follows) or W'ham Mild
1 teaspoon hot pepper seasoning or Lawry's hot-n-spicy seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
4 pounds pork spareribs


In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar and corn syrup and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar melts. Remove from the heat and add the wine and olive oil. Add honey to taste and stir well.

Add the seasoning mix, hot pepper seasoning, ginger, and mustard. Stir to mix. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Put the ribs in a shallow glass or ceramic dish and add the sauce. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Start the cooker. Cook the ribs at 225 degrees Farenheit for 4 1/2 hours until fork-tender. Serve immediately.

Note: You may choose to bake the ribs in a 350 F oven for 4 1/2 hours and finish on the grill.

Reserve the sauce and brush it over the ribs at the end of baking. Grill or broil the brushed ribs for 8 to 10 minutes until browned.

Mild seasoningmix

Makes about 1/4 cup

(pure Willingham)

You might want to keep this on hand in larger quantities. Double or triple the recipe according to your needs. Use it as directed in recipes throughout the book and to season salad dressings, sauces, gravies, vegetables, chilis, stews, and on and on.


2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard or
Willingham's Old Phartz Mustard
1 teaspoon dark or light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of Accent or other flavor enhancer (optional)


In a small bowl or glass jar with a lid, combine all the ingredients. Stir or shake to mix. Use immediately or store in a cool, dark place for several months.

Here's a good way to use a dry rub (seasoning mix): Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on the countertop and then put the meat on it. Rub the meat thoroughly with the mix, and when you're finished, simply wrap the plastic around the meat. Wrap a second sheet around the meat and refrigerate it for as long as the recipe instructs. It will marinate in its own juices wrapped tight in the plastic.

Meet the Author

John Willingham is the most acclaimed Bar-B-Q chef in the world. A Memphis native, he has created his own line of sauces, rubs, and marinades and invented the famous W'ham Turbo Cooker.

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