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The best cookbooks for smoking food to master the art at home

Step out of your comfort zone and upgrade your dishes with the smoking techniques outlined in these cookbooks. You can say goodbye to bland barbecue after you become an expert smoker with one of these handy manuals.

When choosing the right cookbook, it’s important to assess your own skills first. Do you want to start with the basics of smoking or do you want to enhance your skills? Also, there are different cookbooks specially designed for the type of smoker you have. If you strictly use a wood smoker, an electric smoker cookbook won’t be the right choice for you. This list is here to help you decide which guide is the perfect fit for your needs.

Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen

Best Cookbook Overall

The best overall meat smoker cookbook is Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen. Referred to as “The Barbecue Bible,” this step-by-step manual can transform any amateur smoker into a master. In addition to outlining classic recipes like jerk chicken and brisket, this cookbook will help you understand the ins and outs of the tools, wood types, and fuels that go into making these delicious recipes.

Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin

Best Value

A New York Times bestseller, Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin is the definitive guide to conquering the art of meat-smoking. Aaron Franklin is the mastermind behind the popular, acclaimed Franklin Barbecue joint in Texas, and he shares his smoking secrets in this cookbook. In addition to recipes, this book has sections devoted to everything you need to know about customizing your smoker, finding the right wood, making the best fires, and finding quality meat.

The Complete Electric Smoker Cookbook by Bill West

Best for Electric Smoking

Master your electric smoker with the Complete Electric Smoker Cookbook by Bill West. Featuring more than100 recipes outlined in a user-friendly, step-by-step guide, you can turn your electric smoker into a vessel for delivering great-tasting smoked meals with every use. With this cookbook, you’ll be able to tackle recipes like Smoky Brined Turkey and Caramelized Honey Buffalo Chicken with ease.

The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook by Peter Jautaikis

Best for Wood Smoking

This book covers everything you need to know — tips, techniques, and secrets — for infusing the best smoky flavor into your food with your wood pellet smoker. Recipes like Texas-Style Brisket, Alder Wood-Smoked Trout, and Peach Blueberry Cobbler to perfection, because desserts should be smoked too!

You’ll be able to consider yourself a pro after mastering the technique of smoking with one of these cookbooks. Use this list to find the best guidebook to help you on your journey from becoming an amateur smoker to a pro. Follow the carefully curated steps in each cookbook and your tastebuds will thank you.