Cooking the Books: Wicked Good Barbecue shares lots of bbq secrets

Andy Husbands and Chris Hart are no strangers to cooking or competition barbecue. Husbands, the chef/owner of Boston’s Tremont 647, and co-author Hart, have together won hundreds of bbq ribbons, thirty awards in Kansas City Barbecue Society Championships and even the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue contest.

It’s unusual in the ultra-secret world of ‘cue contestants to share your secrets, but in the duo’s first book, Wicked Good Barbecue, they spill the beans, the sauce and the rubs that won their team, iQUE, all those ribbons and trophies.

“This book,” write Husband and Hart, “(is) for you–the barbecue enthusiasts, food geeks, tailgaters and anybody else who wants to impress the hell out of their family and friends and is willing to put in a little effort to do it.”

How did a team from Boston win a slew of big-deal bbq contests? This 224-page book has all the magic dust.

In one chapter, iQUE reveals that their secret to winning the top award for beef brisket involves a slow, 250F cook (like we do in Texas) but also two spice rubs, a marinade, a flavor injection and a brief wrap in aluminum foil during the final cooking stage. The result, in words and pictures, doesn’t much resemble real Texas ‘cue, but the instructions are fully explained and easy to follow.

The iQUE team is world famous and well-respected. If you’re looking to make championship-caliber barbecue–and some fun-to-eat stuff like smoked duck po’ boys, “six day bacon of the gods,” or even bacon jam–this book is well worth its $22 price tag.

But if you want to know the secrets of real Texas barbecue, well, you’re gonna have to wait for Daniel Vaughn’s book (if he dishes), or the Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival on September 23, where you can rub elbows with the real masters of ‘cue. If you’re lucky, maybe Aaron Franklin will finally come clean and tell us all how he makes his brisket magically delicious.