Smoke savory meats and vegetables at home and cook signature recipes from the chef-driven kitchen of Buxton Hall Barbecue in Asheville, North Carolina.
In an age of bulk-bought brisket and set-it-and-forget-it electric smokers, Buxton Hall Barbecue stands apart from the average restaurant. With three pits at the heart of an open kitchen and hogs sourced from local farmers that raise them right, chef Elliott Moss is smoking meat in accordance with time-honored traditions. In Buxton Hall Barbecue's Book of Smoke, believers in slow-smoked, old-fashioned barbecue will learn how to build and master their own pit, right at home. Start small with chicken or pit beef and work your way up to a whole hog. If you're not yet ready for the pit or limited on space, Moss also teaches easy, economical ways to infuse wood-smoke into your food.
The recipes include all of the Buxton Hall favorites. Learn how to make their deep-fried smoked catfish, smoky pimento cheese, turnip soup with charred onions, or slow-cooked collards. Other recipes give the inside scoop on how a barbecue restaurant makes use of a whole hog with a waste-nothing approach: Brussels sprouts with crispy cracklin', classic South-Carolina style hash, chicken bog, and much more. Finish the meal with Buxton's take on classic southern desserts like banana pudding pie, grape hull pie, or s'mores with homemade marshmallows.
Moss, the chef at Asheville, N.C.'s Buxton Hall Barbecue, shares his considerable knowledge on the craft of Carolina pit smoking, known for its delicate flavors and the use of freshly charcoaled wood rather than live fire. This book has instructions for constructing large and small versions of backyard pits made of cinder block, and Moss also shows how to convert aluminum hotel pans, or even a Girl Scout mess kits, into portable smokers. Next, bring on the pig, or the chicken, or the smoky tofu with mushrooms. Ribs, wings, pulled pork, and, of course, a whole hog are offered up in the first half of the book. Going low and slow, baby backs reach perfection in five to six hours, and a lamb shoulder takes about four before its ready to be sauced. The book's second half is filled with side dishes such as sour cream potato salad with freezer peas and basil, desserts such as buttermilk pie, and a chapter titled "Buxton Favorites," featuring treats from the restaurant such as catfish stew and a fried chicken sandwich. Art director Cindy Samargia Laun employs some 150 color photos to make sure that smoke gets in your eyes in pleasing ways, with close-ups of nearly all the eats.