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July 9, 2012

Peace Love and Barbecue – book review

by BBQ Insanity

Peace Love and Barbecue

Written by Mike Mills the renowned leader of the legendary Apple City Barbecue team that for a few years in the 1990s won nearly everything there was to win in the world of competition barbecue.  Mills hails from Murphysboro Illinois, which may not seem like barbecue country, but in fact is only 200 miles north of Memphis Tennessee.

Peace Love and Barbecue - book coverThis is not merely a barbecue recipe book, but a celebration of all things barbecue – the culture, characters and competition.  This is a very personal book, where Mills tells his own story of youth and how he got into barbecue.  There are also enough recipes paced evenly throughout the text to keep your mouth watering!

From stories of the old days, when the Apple City crew was winning all around them, to profiles of the most colourful characters in the world of barbecue, this book immerses you in barbecue culture and lore.  There’s a section entitled “shacks, joints and plain good eating” – These are the “Shrines” that any barbecue connoisseur should at least know about, even if they have not been lucky enough to visit (yet).


Mills also writes about the competition circuit, and the differences between the Memphis in May contests and the KCBS circuit (Kansas City Barbecue Society).   The book is full of yarns from the old competition days, and also offers advice to any new team hoping to start the circuit.

Choc full of photos of food, characters, grills, whole hogs roasting on an open fire, this is not to be missed!  The only shame is photos are in black & white, but in some ways this adds to the mystique and aura.

There are some classic recipes in here too.  Among them, a recipe for the fabled “Magic Dust”  that helped Mike win so many of those competitions, the award winning “Apple City Ribs” and also the famous “white sauce” from Big Bob Gibson.

If you are looking for a barbecue book to learn a little more about the culture of barbecue beyond the recipes, this is a very interesting read, and highly recommend!

If you have read this book, or tried any of the recipes in it, we’d be interested to know what you think.  Feel free to leave a comment and discuss.


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