Review: Steven Raichlen’s The Brisket Chronicles

I bought Steven Raichlen’s The Brisket Chronicles for one reason: to perfect my brisket smoking technique. I am a huge fan of brisket, and love making it. This book is without a doubt the quintessential book on brisket. And not just for smoking, either. All ways of preparing brisket are covered, from braising to grilling to even boiling.

This book is much more than recipes. It’s about technique, it’s about meat selection and quality. Every aspect of brisket cooking is covered. And covered well, with great photos on the processes that can be hard to detail in just words. Like trimming brisket. Trimming is an important part of the process and getting it wrong is going to make for a less-than-spectacular end result.

Although The Brisket Chronicles covers other things, the real focus and the real star is smoking brisket. All of the recipes from the best brisket joints across America are detailed. Bacon-wrapped, coffee-rubbed, old-school Texas-style, Kansas City-style, you name it, it’s in here. If you’re a brisket lover like I am, it’s enough to make you cry. But wait, it’s not just about US flavors. There are recipes for Asian brisket. And Jamaican jerk brisket.

If you’re into saucing brisket there’s plenty of recipes for sauces. And of course there are lots of rubs and seasonings too. And my favorite, burnt ends. And for the best you go to Tuffy Stone. And yep, the recipe is in the book too!

Side dishes, burgers, sandwiches… you name it. Anything you can make with brisket is in this book. It’s not a one-trick pony by any stretch. You’ll find a myriad of ways of cooking and serving brisket. Including one of my favorite things to make: pastrami.

I cannot say enough about Steven Raichlen’s The Brisket Chronicles. It truly is the only book you’ll ever need on brisket. It’s huge, has tons of photos and techniques and recipes. It’s incredible. I gave it top ratings on my ‘Mater Rater.

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