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Wicked Good Barbecue

Fearless Recipes from Two Damn Yankees Who Have Won the Biggest, Baddest BBQ Competition in the World

Wicked Good Barbecue

Chris Hart

Foreword by:

Steven Raichlen


Ken Goodman

Format: Flexibound, 224 Pages
ISBN: 9781592334995
Publisher: Fair Winds Press
Series: Wicked Good
Illustrations: 70
Size: 8 x 9
Weight: 0.13 lb.
Published: Mar. 1, 2012
Price: $21.99
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"Live fire cooking at its wicked BEST! The IQUE team will raise your BBQ IQ." —Carolyn Wells, Ph.B., Executive Director and co-founder, Kansas City Barbeque Society

"A lot of serious barbecue champions have been waiting to see what secrets would be revealed in Chris and Andy’s book, and they are not going to be disappointed! These guys are both finely tuned chefs and hardcore pitmasters, a rare combination, and they’ve shared it all. I now understand how they won the world championship. The barbecue cookbook bar has just been raised." —Ray Lampe, Dr. BBQ, author of Ribs, Chops, Steaks, and Wings

"If there were ever a book that personified the ethos of the chef and brings it right into your kitchen, it is Wicked Good Barbecue. The audacious and tasty recipes showcase everything from the modern classics to serious in-your face-barbeque. Wicked Good Barbecue is a must for every grill aficionado." —Chris Schlesinger, coauthor of Thrill of the Grill and owner of East Coast Grill & Raw Bar in Cambridge, MA

How did two guys from Boston win hundreds of barbecue ribbons, thirty Kansas City Barbecue Society championships, and the biggest prize of them all, the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue? By standing over glowing coals and smoking barrels for days on end to develop barbecue recipes not just good, but "wicked good" as they say in New England.

Award-winning chefs Andy Husbands and Chris Hart reveal their secrets to competition-winning barbecue—from the actual recipe that won the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational, to the 25-Step Championship Chicken that melts in your mouth and the American Royal First Place Beef Brisket, king of them all, hardest to master and unforgettable to eat when it's done right.

Wicked Good Barbecue ain’t your daddy’s barbecue. It’s just the best you’ve ever tasted. So if you want to cook competition-worthy chow, and you think you've got what it takes or want inspiration from the best; crack this book, pick up your tongs, and fire away. Wicked Good Barbecue is your guide to fun, fearless, and fantastic barbecue no matter where you're from.

Andy Husbands, the award-winning chef/owner of Tremont 647, has been enticing patrons with his adventurous American cuisine at the South End neighborhood restaurant and bar for well over a decade. A James Beard "Best Chef" semi-finalist, Andy competed in the sixth season of Fox Television Network's "Hells Kitchen" with Gordon Ramsay.

Chris Hart, winner of the Jack Daniel Invitational World Championship in 2009, has dominated the competition BBQ circuit for the past 10 years with his team, iQUE. The team was the first group of northerners in barbecue history to win a World Championship. Chris spends his days developing software, but his passion for cooking barbecue has him following the competition BBQ trail on weekends, pitting his talents against the best pitmasters in the U.S. In 2010, Chris cooked an elaborate barbecue tasting menu at the James Beard House in NYC.

Andrea Pyenson has been writing about food for more than a decade and enjoying it for a lot longer than that. Her writing about food and travel has appeared in The Boston Globe, edible Boston, edible Cape Cod, msn.com, oneforthetable.com, The Washington Post, and Fine Cooking, among others. Pyenson was associate editor of The Boston Globe Illustrated New England Seafood Cookbook and assistant editor of 52 Weeks Cheap Eats: Dining Deals in Greater Boston.

Multi-award-winning author, journalist, cooking teacher, and TV host, Steven Raichlen is the man who reinvented barbecue. His best-selling Barbecue Bible cookbook series and The Primal Grill and Barbecue University(tm) TV shows on PBS have helped people all over the world ascend the ladder of grilling enlightenment.

Ken Goodman is a freelance photographer based in New York City. He specializes in food and chef photography, concerts, events, portraits and cookbooks. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone magazine and Art Culinaire, and he has photographed Mario Batali, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Michael Stipe, The Edge, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Mariska Hargitay, Stanley Tucci, Jon Bon Jovi, and Anthony Bourdain (among others). Prior to his photography career, he spent 20 years in the restaurant industry as a classically trained chef, culinary educator, and restaurant consultant.

"Written by a couple of major award-winning barbecue chefs, "Wicked Good Barbecue" is made for barbecue barons who want to grill to impress, or maybe win their own awards." - Myrtle Beach Restaurant News
Read the entire review here.

"This cookbook makes it clear that barbecue competitors Husbands (chef & owner, Tremont 647; The Fearless Chef) and Chris Hart achieve success through an undying commitment to their obsession. Their Seven-Layer Dip is a highbrow concoction of shredded short ribs, crab rémoulade, beef tartare, salmon spread, and more, and their other recipes (except perhaps the cocktails and desserts) are equally challenging. With help from food writer Andrea Pyenson, their prose exudes energy and confidence, and that makes this an entertaining read. VERDICT: Mere mortals may not have the patience for recipes like Six Day Bacon of the Gods or 25-Step Championship Chicken, but fervent BBQ diehards with their eyes on a championship will believe their prayers have been answered." - Library Journal

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Chapter 1: The Basics of Barbecue

Chapter 2: Taking Home the Prize: How a Group of Friends from the North Won the World Championship of Barbecue

Chapter 3: Tailgating and Playing Outside

Chapter 4: Twisted Traditionals

Chapter 5: D.I.Y. BBQ (FrankenCue)

Chapter 6: Wait ’til you Try This (Unbelievable Results That Take Time)

Chapter 7: Road Trip


About the Authors



Fried Mac 'n Cheese Pops

Every year, at Harpoon’s Championship of New England Barbecue in Windsor, Vermont, we have the chance to be vendors as well as competitors. This dish is by far one of our most popular. It’s a little time-consuming, but it’s absolutely worth it. Before you begin, make sure you have space in your freezer, because these have to stay frozen until they are fried. If you don’t need the full batch for your gathering (or if you’d like to double the recipe to keep these on hand!), freeze the remaining pops in an airtight container for up to four weeks, and fry them as needed.


—1 pound (455 g) elbow macaroni

—1⁄2 cup (1 stick, 112 g) butter

—4 1⁄2 cups (562.5 g) flour, divided

—1 teaspoon (1.2 g) crushed red pepper flakes

—1 teaspoon (6 g) salt

—1⁄2 teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper

—3 1⁄2 cups (870 ml) half-and-half

—4 cups (460 g) grated Monterey Jack cheese

—4 1⁄2 cups (520 g) bread crumbs, divided

—Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

—10 eggs, beaten

—6 cups (1.4 L) vegetable oil, for frying


Special Equipment:

—45 wooden popsicle sticks, deep fryer or deep saucepan (you will need to hold about 2 inches [5 cm] of oil)


In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain very well, place in a large mixing bowl, and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in 1⁄2 cup (62.5 g) of the flour, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly until well blended. Continue to cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add half-and-half gradually, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add cheese, 1⁄2 cup (57.5 g) at a time, stirring until cheese is melted before adding more. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni, add 1⁄2 cup (60 g) of the bread crumbs, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature.

Place a piece of waxed paper on a baking sheet. Make forty-five 2-ounce (60-g) balls (about the size of a golf ball) with the macaroni and cheese, and skewer each one with a Popsicle stick. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.

Set up a breading station, with a bowl of the remaining 4 cups (500 g) flour, a bowl of beaten eggs, and a bowl of the remaining 4 cups (460 g) bread crumbs.

Remove macaroni pops from the freezer and bread each one by coating lightly but completely in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, tapping off excess after each step. Place back on waxed paper and freeze for 30 minutes more. Remove from the freezer and repeat the breading process; freeze again until serving time.

In a deep fryer or deep saucepan, heat the oil to 325°F (170°C). Working in batches of 4 to 6 mac ’n cheese pops, gently lower them one by one into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and heated through, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. The crumbs will brown very quickly, but don’t be fooled—it takes a few minutes for the centers to thaw and heat up. It’s a good idea to test at least one pop per batch with an instant-read thermometer. It will read 125 to 135°F (51.6 to 57.2°C) when they’re done.

Transfer the finished pops to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Serve immediately, warning guests that the pops are very hot.

Yield: 45 pops


December 12,2012
National Barbecue News, the world's number one publication dedicated to barbecue, has selected Wicked Good Barbecue as its 2012 Barbecue Book of the Year. Learn More.
September 19,2012
Summer may be winding down but football season is heating up—and with it comes the seasonal tradition of tailgating. Tailgating Monthly Magazine has recommended Muffin Tin Smokin' Sliders from Wicked Good Barbecue as a perfect tailgating dish. Learn More.
May 23,2012
It took about 12 years, lots of hard work, and a healthy sense of youthful invincibility — seasoned with a dash of arrogance — for Andy Husbands and Chris Hart to win 30 Kansas City Barbecue Society championships, hundreds of barbecue ribbons, and the biggest prize of them all, the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, held every October in Lynchburg, Tenn. Now, they tell the Boston Globe, they're ready to share their secrets. Learn More.