Best Grilling Cookbooks

If you’re looking for a cookbook on grilling we have a few tips for you. First determine your needs and wants. Do you need tips and tricks or equipment advice? Do you want the history of grilling or, do you simply want a book with recipes? Some cookbooks are more recipe focused and may appeal more to the seasoned griller looking for fresh ideas.

Something else to keep in mind is the type of grilling you’ll be doing and what you’ll be grilling. A few books focus more on smoking than grilling, while some focus on cooking wild game than beef, chicken, etc.  In this article I’ll discuss some of my favorite cookbooks that shaped me into the griller I am today. 


Weber’s New Real Grilling: The Ultimate Cookbook for Every Backyard Griller

  • 336 pages
  • General Information/Recipes
  • Reputable Company
  • Paperback

The Weber’s Mew Real Grilling cookbook is the perfect grill-book for any beginner griller. I would even suggest purchasing this book if you haven’t purchased your grill yet! In the first chapters, there’s a guide to purchasing your first grill, which could be helpful if you’re undecided on the style of grilling you’ll be doing. This book comes with more than 200 simple, classic and delicious recipes, with special sections dedicated to sauces and rubs as well as sides and desserts. Extra tips on equipment, meat, and grilling techniques are scattered throughout the book.    

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Franklin Barbeque: A Meat Smoking Manifesto

  • 224 pages
  • Smoker-Focused
  • More Techniques/Less Recipes

The Franklin Barbeque grill-book is an excellent option if you’re curious about meat smoking. If are interested in taking your meat smoking to the next level, this would be the best bet. It’s written by Aaron Franklin, the co-founder of Franklin Barbeque in Texas. Franklin has won awards such as Best Barbeque in Texas by Texas Monthly and Best Barbeque in America by Bon Appetit. This is the shortest book on our list. However, you will get an in-depth and comprehensive look into the world of meat smoking. Franklin touches on subjects like building your own meat smoker, meat selection, fire tending, and the proper wood for your smoker. He goes on to provide recipes for smoking various types of meats. This book is more technique focused, and has fewer recipes than some of the other books on this list.  

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The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook

  • 368 pages
  • Hunter/Gatherer focused

The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook is by far the most unique grill-book on this list! I find ultra-intriguing. Steven Rinella is a renowned hunter and food writer. He focuses this book on the processing, cleaning, and preparation of wild-caught game. He offers simple yet elegant recipes for big game, small game, birds and fish. If you’re an avid hunter or are looking for new and exotic recipes to spice up your grilling, this may be the book for you.  

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Meathead: The Science of Great Barbeque and Grilling

  • 400 pages
  • Debunks grill myths

Meathead: The Science of Great Barbeque and Grilling is another all-in-one grill book. Offering tips and tricks and debunks common grill myths and misconceptions. Meathead is a popular grill personality. He brings an ultra-knowledgeable yet humorous approach to this cookbook. The team behind this book brought in a scientist to help their research. They wanted to debunk certain myths and explain why some methods are helpful over others. This book blends science, recipes and humor into a cohesive and enjoyable cookbook. This a great option if you’re looking for a grill-book that is a little more readable and a bit offbeat.  

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How To Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbeque Techniques, A Grill Bible! Cookbook


  • 512 pages
  • General-Information/Recipes
  • Award-Winning Author
  • Paperback

How To Grill by Steven Raichlen is a known classic in the grilling community. It has expert level information presented in an easily digestible format. This one is full of tips and tricks and recipes to get you on your way. There are over a thousand step-by-step pictures, making it easier to visualize the methods he’s teaching. Steven Raichlen’s books have won five James Beard awards, and he hosts a PBS show if you ever wanted to see him in action. This book does exactly what it advertises: it teaches you how to grill. It will teach you how to smoke meats, prepare rubs and sauces, along with nearly every technique you need to know to grill.  

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In conclusion, all these cookbooks serve unique purposes and offer a range of recipes and advice. My overall winner, however, is the How to Grill Cookbook.  It offers the perfect blend between advice and recipes, and is written by one of the biggest names in grilling. It’s a classic and a staple for any home cook. That said, I am a big fan of the MeatEater cookbook. If you’re an avid hunter or you’re into grilling fish and wild-caught birds, this may be a great alternative choice.

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Brian Canada

Brian Canada

Founder and creator of Big Grillin. Since early adulthood, Brian has enjoyed grilling and smoking a variety of foods. Brian’s mission is to share his grilling knowledge and help others enjoy grilling as much as he does.

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