Cookbook Review: Wicked Good Barbecue by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart

by Deanna Dong
June 2012

Wicked Good Barbecue by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart

Author: Andy Husbands and Chris Hart

Difficulty Level: Moderately Difficult to Challenging

iQue Accolades: Team iQue was the Grand Champion of the 2009 Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue and Team of the Year for 2010 from the New England Barbecue Society.

Chapters: The Basics of Barbecue; Taking Home the Prize: How a Group of Friends from the North Won the World Championship of Barbecue; Tailgating and Playing Outside; Twisted Traditionals; D.I.Y. BBQ (Frankencue); Wail ‘Til You Try This (Unbelievable Results That Take Time); Road Trip.

There’s no question that 2006 Boston Rising Star Andy Husbands and Chris Hart are devoted to barbecue. These two are on the competitive barbecue team iQue, the winner of literally hundreds of barbecue contests, including the prestigious Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue. The two Bostonians are not just high school buddies, business partners, and meat-grilling teammates—they’re also co-authors of Wicked Good Barbecue.

As Olympic-level athletes of barbecue, Husbands and Hart reveal their recipes and techniques to create the best tasting product (warning: at times, meat glue is involved). This is a manual for those looking to make championship-level barbecue that takes the time, patience, and willingness to go above and beyond. In fact, when Hart spent three years grilling between iQue’s first competition and the team’s first state championship, he made so much brisket that the neighbor’s dog even refused to eat anymore. If you are looking for simple, healthy, quick meals, look elsewhere.

After moving through some basic equipment knowledge, the authors dive into the four carnivorous pillars of barbecue: chicken, ribs, brisket, and pork. For each category, Husbands and Hart offer up recipes for award-winning dishes: the 25-Step Championship Chicken, The Ribs that Won the Jack Daniel’s World Championship, and The American Royal 1st Place Beef Brisket. Directions are meticulous, including details on how to get the best trim on your ribs, how to extract the “money muscle” from a pork butt, and how to wet-age chicken.

After covering the barbecue foundations, Husbands and Hart move past the meats, bringing the same level of fervor and dedication to side dishes. Case in point is the Seven-Layer Dip of Disbelief, which consists of Old Bay Shredded Beef Short Ribs, Crab Remoulade, Beef Tartare, Smoked Salmon Spread, Creamed Spinach, Celery Root Purée, and Blue Cheese Crumble. Other impressive items include Whole Smoke-Roasted Striped Bass and Rocket Pesto, The $100 Meatloaf (foie gras makes an appearance), and Smoke-Vide Beef Ribs with Blues Hog Foam.

With this barbecue Bible, grill masters all over the country can give their summer cookout an award-winning touch.