Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling by Meathead Goldwyn and Greg Blonder

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • KC classic

    • twoyolks on July 06, 2016

      The optional tamarind paste really adds an additional depth of flavor.

  • Columbia gold: a South Carolina mustard sauce

    • twoyolks on July 06, 2016

      This was really good. It went great on pulled pork. One of my favorite barbecue sauces.

    • sosayi on April 14, 2017

      I second twoyolks comment! This is a fabulous mustard sauce and it was great on pulled pork! We also tried it on the ribs, and it was surprisingly delicious there as well.

  • Perfect pulled pork

    • twoyolks on July 06, 2016

      This makes a pretty good pulled pork. The pork was cooked perfectly but ended up a bit dry. I'd probably put a tray underneath the pork to capture the juices as it cooks and then mix some of them back into the pulled pork. The instructions are detailed enough to follow easily.

    • Smokeydoke on April 01, 2018

      My first smoked pork butt. I did two methods, one with the Texas crunch, the other without, we liked the Texas crunch better. Used Meathead's tasty Memphis Dust Rub and it produced a beautiful bark. I haven't done enough pulled pork to be an authority but this recipe was successful enough, 5 stars for now. Photo included.

  • Last-meal ribs

    • twoyolks on October 03, 2016

      By far, these are the best smoked ribs I've ever made. The spice rub adds enough flavor without overpowering the pork. The smoking instructions are simple but work very well. I added a little bit of barbecue sauce and finished the ribs over high heat which worked well.

  • Pulled chicken

    • twoyolks on November 08, 2016

      This is a simple but tasty pulled chicken recipe. I used bone-in chicken thighs which worked pretty well. I used a kamado cooker and opened the vents at the end to simulate cooking over direct heat. However, the chicken skin released enough fat that it caught fire directly underneath, burning all the chicken skin. The chicken itself was fine.

  • The ultimate smoked turkey

    • twoyolks on November 29, 2016

      I didn't follow this recipe exactly. I changed the herb rub based on the herbs I actually had on hand but I don't think the herb rub made that much of a difference. I also cooked the turkey at a lower temperature (230F) instead of 325F. The turkey was done early and the skin wasn't crisp so I let the turkey rest for about an hour and a half, turned up the grill temperature to 550F, and then cooked the turkey again for about 10 minutes to crisp the skin. The turkey wasn't especially juicy but it wasn't dry. This makes way too much drippings and they are too sweet. In the future, I'd put together a drip pan with less water and no apple cider. I'd then pour the concentrated drippings on the sliced turkey and service it with a separately made gravy.

  • Grilled calamari ladolemono

    • twoyolks on August 28, 2019

      This is simple but a great, simple way to cook calamari. The ladolemono goes with it very well. I think the serving size is low for the amount of calamari.

  • Sweet-sour slaw

    • twoyolks on July 26, 2016

      A competent version of a sweet-sour coleslaw. Went well with pulled pork.

  • Pesto-crusted pork loin roast

    • alex9179 on January 30, 2017

      Our result wasn't great. The pesto slid off the pork from all of the liquid released and pooled in the parchment. The roast didn't have a nice crust. It should be removed from the grill before 135 because it rose above the ideal, temp to keep it moist, while resting. Next time high heat until 130 and no extra brine (grocery store pork is pre-brined) or wrapping. It has potential.

  • Meathead's Memphis dust

    • alex9179 on January 30, 2017

      A tasty rub for almost anything.

  • Citrus salt and pepper

    • FoodieOne on October 04, 2016

      10/02/16. Dried lemon and lime slices in 170 F oven 4-6 hours (longer than recipe advised). Pulsed in fp to make smaller chunks, then ground in spice grinder. Suggest using mandoline hfor slicing next time. Did not add salt and pepper.

  • Simon & Garfunkel rub

    • HalfSmoke on April 16, 2017

      This is a terrific savory rub for chicken or pork. Note that it is salt free because the expectation is that you will dry brine your meat before applying the rub. Highly recommended.

  • Stuffed pork loin roast

    • HalfSmoke on April 16, 2017

      Fantastic main course for a crowd. We made this with a cornbread, leak, and apple stuffing, adding dried cranberries soaked in rum. The Simon & Garfunkle rub was excellent. Smoked lightly with cherry wood for two hours, then sliced on an Adam Perry Lang inspired board sauce of chopped fresh parsley, sage, thyme, and good olive oil. Highly recommended. A true crowd pleaser.

  • Cornell chicken

    • HalfSmoke on July 20, 2017

      Good flavor, but not likely to make this again. I get better results, flavor, and juiciness from a simple rotisserie, which requires nearly zero work. This recipe requires too much active grilling -- flipping and basting every 5 minutes -- for an inferior result.

  • Schmancy hot-smoked salmon

    • HalfSmoke on June 06, 2018

      A basic, yet very good, hot smoked salmon. This could easily be done on any grill that provides for two zone cooking. Use a mild smoke wood for this one. I used alder, which is just right.

  • Texas beef brisket

    • sosayi on October 07, 2019

      Absolutely delicious method for cooking brisket. We've tried the recipe before, but always failed to leave enough time to have it fully cooked before we needed to pull it. This time, though, we were prepared and it was melt-in-your mouth tender, with loads of great smoke flavor. Will repeat, for sure.

  • Dalmation rub

    • sosayi on October 07, 2019

      Not much of a recipe, just equal parts kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. But, we used this as a rub for brisket and it was delicious in its simplicity. Just noting this as a reminder for the future.

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Reviews about this book

  • Leite's Culinaria

    It contains everything you need to know to decide which grill or smoker best suits your needs, to see you through grill and smoker set up, to help you wade through all possible fuel types...

    Full review
  • Leite's Culinaria

    There’s so much information, I discover something new at every glance...good, solid recipes for nearly ANYTHING that benefits from the marriage of fire and smoke.

    Full review
  • Food52 by Meathead Goldwyn

    Author discusses 10 of the myths from his book regarding barbecue and grilling.

    Full review
  • Food52

    Grilling is full of myths and wive’s tales that steer people wrong in the heat of the moment. Meathead...organized his book by grilling myths (that red juice isn’t blood, that meat has to rest).

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 054401846X
  • ISBN 13 9780544018464
  • Published May 10 2016
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 400
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publishers Text

For succulent results every time, nothing is more crucial than understanding the science behind the interaction of food, fire, heat, and smoke. This is the definitive guide to the concepts, methods, equipment, and accessories of barbecue and grilling. The founder and editor of the world's most popular BBQ and grilling website,, "Meathead" Goldwyn applies the latest research to backyard cooking and 118 thoroughly tested recipes.
He explains why dry brining is better than wet brining; how marinades really work; why rubs shouldn't have salt in them; how heat and temperature differ; the importance of digital thermometers; why searing doesn't seal in juices; how salt penetrates but spices don't; when charcoal beats gas and when gas beats charcoal; how to calibrate and tune a grill or smoker; how to keep fish from sticking; cooking with logs; the strengths and weaknesses of the new pellet cookers; tricks for rotisserie cooking; why cooking whole animals is a bad idea, which grill grates are best;and why beer-can chicken is a waste of good beer and nowhere close to the best way to cook a bird.
He shatters the myths that stand in the way of perfection. Among the many busted old husband's tales:
*Myth: Bring meat to room temperature before cooking. Busted! Cold meat attracts smoke better.
* Myth: Soak wood before using it. Busted! Soaking produces mostly steam and smoke that doesn't taste as good as dry fast-burning wood.
* Myth: Bone-in steaks taste better. Busted! The calcium walls of bone have no taste and they just slow cooking.
* Myth: You should sear first, then cook. Busted! Actually, that overcooks the meat. Cooking at a low temperature first and searing at the end produces evenly cooked meat.
Lavishly designed with hundreds of illustrations and full-color photos by the author, this book contains all the sure-fire recipes for traditional American favorites and many more outside-the-box creations. You'll get recipes for all the great regional barbecue sauces; rubs for meats and vegetables; Last Meal Ribs, Simon & Garfunkel Chicken; Schmancy Smoked Salmon; The Ultimate Turkey; Texas Brisket; Perfect Pulled Pork; Sweet & Sour Pork with Mumbo Sauce; Whole Hog; Steakhouse Steaks; Diner Burgers; Prime Rib; Brazilian Short Ribs; Rack Of Lamb Lollipops; Huli-Huli Chicken; Smoked Trout Florida Mullet -Style; Baja Fish Tacos; Lobster, and many more.

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