America’s Best BBQ – Homestyle

What the Champions Cook in Their Own Backyards

Ardie Davis, Chef Paul Kirk
Andrews McMeel Publishing
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Original edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449427685
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449427689


Ever wonder what professional cooks make in their own kitchens and backyards?  Find out in America’s Best BBQ–Homestyle, with more than 100 recipes for the no-holds-barred breakfasts, amazing appetizers, sensational salads and sides, pull-off-the-bone poultry and meat, succulent seafood, and delicious desserts.Take your backyard cookouts to a whole new level.


It began with one simple question: What do championship barbecuers love to cook for themselves, when there are no rules but the simple laws of physics and basic chemistry? With more than thirty years of barbecue contest experience apiece, Ardie A. Davis, professional barbecue judge and barbecue historian extraordinaire, and KC Baron of Barbeque Paul Kirk, with a slew of awards under his belt—including seven world championships—were just the guys to ask it.


America’s Best BBQ—Homestyle collects the best backyard cookout recipes from people who have gone pro. Some of the recipes are former competition winners that have earned a constant place at the family table. Others are foods that teams like to make (and share) while they tend their fires on contest day. A few are old family recipes passed down for generations. And some are even the result of ingenious experiments in the kitchen and at the grill. Most are easy. All are sure to win the hearts of friends and neighbors at your next family cookout.


Also included are tips and advice on everything from meal prep to gadgets, some basics to get you started, a few tall tales from the pits, and tons of photos of the dishes and the pitmasters who make them. So pull up a lawn chair, grab a plate, and get ready to sample some out-of-this-world outdoor cooking.

 About the authors. . . .          

Ardie Davis, also known as Remus Powers, is a well-known judge on the barbecue circuit and the founder of Greasehouse University. Davis is also the founder of the American Royal International BBQ Sauce, Rub, & Baste Contest.

Paul Kirk, a.k.a. Barbecue Guru, Ambassador of Barbecue, Order of the Magic Mop, Certified Master Barbecue Judge, Kansas City Barbecue Society Board of Directors, Inductee into the KCBS Barbecue Hall of Flame and 1990 Chef of the Year-Greater Kansas City ACF Chapter. All these titles are honors that have been earned and bestowed by colleagues.

Paul has won over 475 cooking and barbecue awards. Included among these awards are 7-WORLD BARBECUE CHAMPIONSHIPS, one of which is the prestigious American Royal Open, the world’s largest Barbecue Contest.


Paul has conducted the Baron’s School of Pitmasters for 12 years around the world, (South Korea, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland) and across the United States. Chef Paul has trained barbecue restaurant staffs in New Jersey, New York, Washington, Kansas City, West Virginia and Oregon. He has trained six chefs for Disney World’s, Wilderness Lodge and two for Wild Kingdom Barbecue Restaurant. He has conducted seminars at national conventions for The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), The American Culinary Association (ACF) and the National Barbecue Association (NBBQA).

He has appeared on several Food TV shows Tony Bourdain’s In Search of and his Pitmaster class is considered the Third Barbecue Fantasy in the world by the Food TV show Top-5.  

Reader review . . . 

In the spring, a young man’s fancy turns to love, and a somewhat older man’s fancy turns to . . . BBQ, baby!  It’s grillin’ and smokin’ season, whether at home, the beach, or the campground. Ardie Davis and Chef Paul Kirk have compiled another fantastic collection of barbecue recipes for the backyard chef.  Gathered from championship barbecuers, this cookbook contains a variety of different recipes, all with one thing in common.  They are all comprised of easily found ingredients and do not require any unusual equipment or skill.  


Each recipe is accompanied by photos and background stories of the contributors, making this fun to read even when you’re not grilling.

We first put the cookbook to the test on a recent camping trip.  Using only a small stovetop grill, we were able to grill delicious steaks for our dinner with this recipe:

Smoke in Da Eye Grilled Coffee-Coriander-Rubbed New York Strip Steak


2 tablespoons ground coffee

3 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds, lightly toasted and ground

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

2 tablespoons kosher salt


4 New York Strip Steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix all the rub ingredients together and set aside.  

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat a grill to high, placing the majority of the coals and a couple (optional) fist-sized wood chunks in the center of the grill to create a cool zone on the outer edges.


Once the steaks have come to room temperature, coat all sides with the olive oil; then season generously with the coffee-coriander rub.  Place the steaks in the center of the grill, cover, and cook for 3 minutes.  Flip and grill, covered, for another 3 minutes.  Flip and cook each side for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until they reach your desired level of doneness (145 ° to 150° F for medium-rare and 150° to 160°F for medium according to the USDA.  Remember, however, that the meat will rise in temperature as much as 10 degrees as it rests.)  Remove from the grill and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes so that the juices have time to redistribute  and don’t end up all over your serving platter or cutting board.  


As it was only the two of us, I cut the recipe in half.  It was very simple.  I prepared the dry rub at home, then finished the prep work in the camper.  My husband did the actual grilling, and he declared this to be a keeper!

Here are the steaks when first placed on the grill.   


They’re done!




The cook is a happy camper!


Next, we decided to try a recipe for ribs while at home.  We opted for the curiously-named Dirty Dick’s Grilled Baby Back Ribs (p. 66).  The name aside, these were some awesome ribs!  The recipe gives the option of using your favorite dry rub, and since I still had plenty of the aforementioned Coffee-Coriander Rub, that was what we used.  Fantastic combination!


With this book, you will be the envy of the subdivision, the pride of the campground, and the host with the most at the next tailgate party.


5 stars


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.