Show dad new ways to spice up his hobbies with tips and recipes from the experts. Whether a grill master, cocktail connoisseur, or eating champion the men in your life will enjoy browsing the colorful pages of one of our top cookbook picks for Father’s Day.
Secrets to Smoking on the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker and Other Smokers (Page Street Publishing, March 2015)
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Award-winning pitmaster Bill Gillespie shares tips and tricks for perfectly cooked barbecue. With more than 25-years experience on the competitive barbecue circuit, Gillespie recommends 100 proven favorite recipes that are sure to have dad impressing everyone at the next family cookout. Among the vivid photos and step-by-step instructions for crafting a winning dish, be sure not to miss the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Winning Pulled Pork Recipe.
Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails: Restorative Vintage Cocktails, Mocktails, and Elixirs (Fair Winds Press, May 2015)
If your dad’s a budding mixologist, this is the book for him. Written by Warren Bobrow (known as The Cocktail Whisperer) it offers 75 traditional and newly created recipes for bitters and shrubs, the secret ingredients that elevate any drink. Bitters, often called the spice rack of the cocktail world, are a liquid extraction of seeds, herbs, roots or flowers. Shrubs are sweet and tangy syrups made from fruit and vinegar. Under Bobrow’s direction, your dad can bring depth and complexity to anything he drinks this summer, alcoholic or not.
Feeding the Fire: Recipes and Strategies for Better Barbecue and Grilling (Artisan, May 2015)
More than a collection of recipes, this book is a textbook of 20 lessons in mastering grill and smoke. From “Doneness: Where to Stick It,” to “A Grill Basket is Your Buddy,” chef Joe Carroll (along with writer Nick Fauchald) is a self-taught chef whose Brooklyn restaurants Fette Sau and St. Anselm are must-eats on the barbecue trail.
Man Food: Good Food for a Good Time (Hardie Grant Books, May 2015)
Go beyond the grill with these recipes for comfort food from Masterchef contestant Billy Law. You’ll find many of the usual suspects here—Bloomin’ Onion, Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese, Chili Con Carne—but also some surprises, such as a Pork Meatball Banh Mi and Bacon and Sage Polenta Fries. Recipes are aimed at hearty appetites (the book warns “This is a quinoa-free zone”), but are certainly meals anyone would enjoy.
Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro (Oxmoor House, April 2015)
The host of Travel Channel’s American Grilled competition, David Guas shares his tips and tricks for grilling everything from quail to cornbread, and covers all the bases in between. In a little over 300 pages he describes basic equipment, types of fuel, and offers recipes for simple sauces as well as more complex dishes, such as Apple-Kale Stuffed Pork Loin.
A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen: Adventures in Cooking, Eating and Living in the New South (Oxmoor House, April 2015)
Whether your dad (or husband) is a born-and-bred Southern gent, a Southern transplant to another area, or a food-lover inspired by the great flavors coming from the region in recent years, this book is a perfect gift. Author Matt Moore is a Nashville-based musician, traveler, entrepreneur, and self-taught chef. He shares his adventures in the kitchen, on the road, and on the seas with recipes like Creole Red Fish, Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, Drop Biscuits with Chives, Bacon and White Cheddar, and much more. “Cooking in season, living off the farm, and knowing the source of one’s ingredients is simply the way we’ve always done things down here,” he says.
Flavorize: Great Marinates, Injections, Brines, Rubs, and Glazes (Chronicle, April 2015)
With more than 120 ways to spice up whatever is on your grill (or whatever you’re cooking indoors), this book from Ray “DR. BBQ” Lampe, a 20-year barbecue competitor and cook-off champion, will take your grilling and cooking to the next level. “No matter what you buy and how perfectly you cook it, it’s the seasoning that can take it from good to great,” Lampe writes. From Pineapple Teriyaki Pork Chops to Chardonnay Chicken Breast to a genius marinade for pork, beef or lamb called “Coke Soak,” the recipes are accessible and exciting at the same time.