• Last updatedLast updated: Oct 21, 2021

6 Best Smoker Cookbooks — Let Theory Make Your Cooking Results Stunning!

View Article Statistics
LilGrill is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

When it comes to food, why settle for anything less than total flavor? Thanks to the invention of home-based smokers, you can have your own smoked meat, all within your kitchen or backyard. But how do you go about creating these culinary masterpieces? With the best smoker cookbooks on the market, you’ll be a master home chef in no time.

In this article, we will look at six of the best smoker cookbooks. All of the cookbooks have tantalizing recipes, but our Editor’s Choice has to be A Meat-Smoking Masterpiece, thanks to its collection of easy-to-understand recipes. If you already own this copy or are looking to expand your smoker cookbook collection, you’ll want to take a look at the other products and their in-depth descriptions.

Throughout our article, we will look at the important features to consider about smoker cookbooks. How long they are and how many recipes they contain is important to consider. The quality of the images and the ease of understanding are also essential. With this in mind, we’ve reviewed each of the chosen products thoroughly. Finally, we will also answer any remaining questions in our buying guide. Together, this article will help you get one step closer to cooking the meal of your dreams.

Top 6 Smoker Cookbooks Review 2021


A Meat-Smoking ManifestoEditor’s Choice

  • Author: Aeron Franklin
  • Number of pages: 224
  • Formats available: hardcover; Kindle

More features: New York Times bestseller

Want to impress your guests? Pick up a copy of Aeron Franklin’s A Meat Smoking Manifesto. This beautiful, hardcover book quickly became a New York Times Bestseller when it was released in 2015.

The author, Aaron Franklin, knows barbecue. His culinary pursuit started with a small trailer on the side of the road selling his own creations, which quickly became the local hotspot.

After entering his tender meats into various competitions, and winning them all, he decided to write this delicious cookbook.

Within the pages, you will find not only various barbecue recipes, but also important insider information into the world of smoked meats. For those just entering this realm, you will find tips on preparing your smoker and lessons on how to personalize it.

Further information includes how to find the right wood for your smoker, how to cure it, and how to craft the perfect fire.

Still not convinced? Don’t just take our word for it. With other 1,700 ratings on Amazon, this best BBQ smoker cookbook has rave reviews. People who have purchased it found the recipes to be easy to follow and replicate. Furthermore, the extra tips helped even the most inexperienced cooks create a sumptuous meal.

As a bonus, for those that like electronic forms, you can also find A Meat Smoking Manifesto on Kindle for half the price.

Why are we impressed?

  • Pictures are beautiful
  • A lot of extra BBQ information
  • The steps are easy to follow
  • Author knows what he is doing

What negatives must you be aware of?

  • Users wish there were more recipes
RELATED: 10 Essential Smoker Accessories to Have in Your BBQ Arsenal

The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill CookbookBest Pellet Smoker Cookbook

  • Author: Peter Jautaikis
  • Number of pages: 196
  • Formats available: hardcover; kindle; audiobook

More features: recipes for appetizers, poultry, red meat, pork, seafood, and more

Smoked meat is only as good as the wood that is being used. Finding the right woods and pellets can be a struggle, which is why having the right guide and cookbook is essential. The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook offers both recipes and practical information that make it easier to produce quality smoked products.

Peter Jautaikis takes you on this guide. He offers practical advice on the art of smoking and grilling. While other authors on our list have more culinary experience, Jautaikis uses his personal experiences to craft this cookbook.

In fact, he might just be the most relatable author on our list. Happily married and now a retired traveler, Jautaikis is never far from his smoker. In fact, he boasts about how he always brings his portable wood pellet smoker with him, no matter where his road trips take him. Now that’s the kind of guy you want to end up camping next to!

The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill cookbook includes such mouth-watering recipes as Texas-style brisket and alder wood-smoked trout. You will also find photos that layout the processes step-by-step. You’ll learn the differences between cold-smoke and slow-roast techniques and other helpful tips.

The cookbook is available in a hardcover format. It is also available in a Kindle format, although unlike most other books on our list, the electronic version is actually slightly more expensive.

What are its best features?

  • Step-by-step pictures are easy to follow
  • Recipes are easy to understand
  • Includes practical information about setting up your smoker

What could be improved?

  • Author is more of a home cook than professional

Project SmokeMost Innovative Recipes

  • Author: Steven Raichlen
  • Number of pages: 336
  • Formats available: paperback; hardcover; spiral-bound; Kindle

More features: step-by-step guide to mastering the art and craft of smoking, plus 100 recipes

We almost wanted to give Project Smoke the distinction for best cover art. After all, you can look at the cover and immediately feel the saliva in your mouth, waiting for those delicious looking ribs.

However, we thought we’d give this smoker cookbook a more dubious distinction, and name it as having the most innovative recipes. Inside this cookbook, you’ll find ways to create smoked deviled eggs and a heavenly vanilla glaze for ribs.

In addition, these 100 recipes, you will find a guide to smoking that will instantly make you want to perfect your craft. And if you haven’t purchased your smoker, all the better, as there is even a guide to finding the perfect machine.

The author of this time, Steven Raichlen, is an award-winning journalist. He has authored books, lectured on his passions, and even hosted a TV show. But his passion is and will always be, cooking. Raichlen has studied the history of BBQ and dedicated his life to perfecting this culinary masterpiece. The result is a lifetime worth of knowledge.

Project Smoke comes in an impressive four options. You can choose from either paperback or hardcover, with the latter having a slightly higher price point. If you want to make sure your recipe page is lying flat in front of you, there is actually a spiral-bound option which comes in between the other two, price-wise. Finally, for those electronic buffs, there is a Kindle version that is substantially more affordable.

What makes it stand out?

  • Impressive four formats to choose from
  • Wealth of knowledge and wisdom
  • Recipes are creative but easy to follow

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Kindle version is hard to navigate

Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real BarbecueBest Beginners Smoker Cookbook

  • Author: Jeff Phillips
  • Number of pages: 224
  • Formats available: paperback

More features: ultimate how-to guide for smoking all kinds of meat, poultry, and fish

We get it. While you love the taste of smoked meat, replicating those mouth-watering recipes you’ve tasted can be a bit challenging. From start to finish, there are a lot of steps to get right to bring out all the amazing flavors. That’s why we’ve found the best beginner’s smoker cookbook.

Smoking Meat has everything you need to realize your home cook potential. It has recipes that focus on chicken, ribs, and brisket. It also features more unique dishes such as duck and meatloaf.

In addition to recipes for meals, there are recipes for rubs, brines, and sauces. Every step of the BBQ experience is covered.

If you’re new to this culinary discipline, you’ll want to pay close attention to the sections on setting up a smoker. They include how to select a new smoker, what woods produce what flavors, and what supplies and equipment you’ll need along the way.

Through it all, the author, Jeff Phillips, shares his personal tips to craft the perfect smoked meats. Phillips has also designed a line of BBQ sauces, so if you’re not quite able to craft the ideal sauce, you can always cut a few corners and head over to his online shop.

Smoking Meat is available only in paperback. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it is unfortunate that there are no other options. Some people like the convenience of an e-book, and paperback is often not as sturdy as hardcover. Still, even in paperback, the content of this cookbook is worth it.

What stands out?

  • Practical information for setting up a smoker
  • Wide range of recipes for every occasion
  • Large product line for further purchases

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Only available in paperback

The Complete Electric Smoker CookbookBest Electric Smoker Cookbook

  • Author: Bill West
  • Number of pages: 198
  • Formats available: hardcover; kindle; audiobook

More features: over 100 recipes; tips for beginners and pros

There are a lot of ways to smoke meat. If you have an electric smoker, then you will want to pick up a copy of The Complete Electric Smoker Cookbook. Not all smokers are created equal, so if you have an electric smoker, it makes sense to craft tailor-made recipes for the ultimate, mouth-watering sensation.

This delectable cookbook has over 100 recipes that will tantalize your senses. Recipes include Cajun shrimp, hickory-smoked pork loin, and many more. Still with us, or have you gone to satisfy your BBQ cravings?

Also included in this smoker cookbook is a full beginner’s guide. The guide details how to select the perfect electric smoker, how the controls work, and what basics you will need to get started.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, this cookbook also provides techniques for the master level. Rubs, marinades, even injections – all are included.

The author of this best cookbook for electric smokers is Bill West. A self-proclaimed BBQ expert, West crafted a YouTube channel with all his favorite techniques and then compiled them into this cookbook. He also created a podcast that was tasked with helping average grillers with all their grill problems and questions.

All in all, the recipes you will find in The Complete Electric Smoking Manifesto are basic but produce good results. You can purchase the cookbook in either a paperback or a Kindle version. However, if you like listening to cooking descriptions, there is also an audio version on Audible.

What stands out?

  • Three formats available for purchase
  • Perfect for electric smokers
  • Simple for beginners to understand

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Recipes can be a bit basic for experienced cooks

Smokin' with Myron MixonBudget Pick

  • Author: Myron Mixon
  • Number of pages: 192
  • Formats available: paperback; kindle

More features: more than 75 of Mixon’s award-winning recipes

Alright, so the cookbooks on our list aren’t going to break the bank. But it is always nice to find something that is inexpensive while still a good product. Our Budget Pick is Smokin’ with Myron Mixon.

Mixon is a self-described winner. At least when he published this cookbook, he had won more trophies and prize money for BBQ-related competitions. That’s pretty impressive considering the depth of talent.

Myron Mixon is the true BBQ King. He was even featured in TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters, which is no small feat. When not starring on TV, Mixon honed his BBQ recipes to come up with this innovative recipe book.

While a lot of cookbooks are only available in hardcover, Smokin’ with Myron Mixon is available in paperback, which has led to its more budget price. You can also find is on Kindle for a slightly higher price.

Inside this fabulous best smoker cookbook for beginners, you will find simple recipes that produce mouth-watering creations. In fact, his recipes try to follow a “keep it simple” philosophy, which is perfect for anyone just starting out with a backyard smoker.

Along with recipes, you will find information on how to choose the right wood for your smoker. You will also be privy to savory sauces, rubs, and even injections for your meat. Finally, if you’re worried about what type of meat to cook, have no fear. There is advice for just about every dish, including ribs, brisket, and chicken.

What makes it stand out?

  • Covers a wide variety of recipes
  • Great basics for beginners
  • Quite affordable

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Paperback is not as durable as a hardcover

Things to Consider

We want you to find the best smoker cookbook. One that will tantalize your senses and make you feel comfortable in the kitchen. To this end, it’s important to know what all the features are of a smoker cookbook. This buying guide will answer any lingering questions you may have so you can find the right fit for your lifestyle.

Features to consider while choosing a smoker cookbook

Here are the important features to consider when looking for the perfect smoker cookbook.

What recipes/tips are included

At the heart of a smoker cookbook is the recipes included. While extra information is nice, the recipes are why you’re choosing a cookbook and not a how-to guide.

6 Best Smoker Cookbooks — Let Theory Make Your Cooking Results Stunning!

There are many possible recipes that can be found inside a cookbook. You will want to look for ones that are easy to understand. Complex recipes might seem great, but if you don’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen, it’s important to find recipes that are easy to follow. Step-by-step instructions are integral.

Another point to look for with regards to recipes is what type are included. Hopefully, the recipes should have a wide array of meat options and techniques. You will want a mix of recipes you’re familiar with, as well as some new options to enhance your culinary technique.

In addition to recipes, cooking techniques are another major feature of any successful smoker cookbook. Tips about how to set up a smoker, what equipment to purchase, and how to craft your wood chips or fuel are essential. A recipe will get your food ready, but you also need the proper set up to bring everything together.


Just about anyone can write a cookbook these days. A bit of practical knowledge, the help of the internet, and bam, you’ve written a cookbook. What sets ordinary books apart from extraordinary, are the authors. The more experience an author has, the better the recipes will taste.

On our list, be sure to check out A Meat-Smoking Manifesto. The author, Aeron Franklin, started his culinary path on the side of the road selling BBQ meat. He then went on to win countless BBQ competitions before translating his knowledge into a cookbook.

Similarly, Myron Mixon, the author of Smokin’ with Myron Mixon, has won more BBQ competitions and prize money than anyone else. Surely the judges all agreed that there was something special about this chef.

The backstory of an author will hopefully translate into the recipes and tips in a smoker cookbook. Their real-life expertise will allow the book to be accessible to all home chefs, no matter if they are beginners or experts.

Number of pages

Cookbooks can be quite hefty. If you like reading and want a cookbook that will last a lifetime, find one with lots of pages. Generally, though, look for a cookbook between 100 and 300 pages. This will generally produce enough recipes to get you started and a solid knowledge foundation for success.

The problem with cookbooks that are really long is that some of it is just fluff. Unnecessary information or bloated recipes can make even simple ideas seem too complex to try. Sometimes shorter is better, so go for something that fits your lifestyle.

Which formats are available

Smoker cookbooks will come in three main formats. The most common is a hardcover format. The hardcover allows for sturdier construction. You can lay the book open to a specific recipe and know that it will stay open. It is also more durable and looks nicer, so you can choose to store your cookbook on a shelf or a coffee table.

Also available is a paperback format. While the inside content will be exactly the same, a paperback format is more malleable. You can fold pages over, although if you open the book to a specific recipe, you will have to weight the pages down to keep it from closing. Paperbacks are less durable so you might need to invest in some heavy-duty tape to lend a hand. The biggest advantage when it comes to paperbacks is that they are less expensive than hardcover cookbooks. So, if you’re looking to save a bit of money, opt for the paperback version.

The third most common format of a cookbook is an electronic version. Some smoker cookbooks on our list are available to download via Kindle. Kindle downloads are usually in between paperback and hardcover formats, price-wise. They are a great idea if you plan on cooking while traveling. However, if you like more tactile objects, an e-version of a cookbook might not be right for you.

There is one more cookbook format that is quite uncommon, but thankfully exists on our list. Project Smoke can be found in a spiral-bound format. This is really the best of both worlds. It is flexible like a paperback format, but the spiral edge allows you to open the book to any recipe and not worry about the pages falling closed again.

Pages and print quality

6 Best Smoker Cookbooks — Let Theory Make Your Cooking Results Stunning!

Cookbooks could just be a list of ingredients and instructions, but who would buy them? What consumers really want are the pictures. Vivid pictures delight our senses and imagination. They allow us to think about all the amazing things we could be cooking.

There’s an old adage that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to smoker cookbooks, that isn’t quite true. Both Project Smoke and A Meat-Smoking Manifesto have amazing print quality. That’s not knocking the other smoker cookbooks on our list, which are just fine. But if you’re planning on leaving your cookbook out on the coffee table, then wouldn’t you want the best cover possible?


All of the smoker cookbooks on our list have tips and advice. The majority will even explain how to set up a smoker and what fuel is best for it. However, we did find that the best barbeque smoker cookbook for beginners is Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue. This smoker cookbook has a larger introduction section than most other cookbooks. It breaks down the information you need into easy-to-understand instructions. If you’re just entering the delicious world of smokers, then this is the guide that will help you achieve perfection.

Yes, even experienced chefs can find something of use in each of these smoker cookbooks. Recipe possibilities are endless, and there’s always something to be gained by finding new ideas. Whether it’s a new spin on a classic brisket, or an inventive way to cook ribs, experienced chefs are always on the lookout for something new. Even tips on setup and equipment might have slightly new tidbits for seasoned chefs.

A good smoker cookbook includes both words and pictures. To this end, Project Smoke has some of the best illustrations and photos in it. Starting with the gorgeous cover and ending with picture after picture of mouth-watering delights, you’ll be able to see what all your favorite creations will look like.

Our Verdict

There are a lot of tasty options on our list. Our Editor’s Choice for best smoker cookbook is A Meat-Smoking Manifesto. A New York Times Bestseller, author Aeron Franklin has gathered his experiences as a chef and BBQ competition winner to produce this stunning cookbook.

If you’re more into the recipe aspects of a smoker cookbook than the technical aspects of smoking, then be sure to consider Project Smoke. One look at the cover, and you’ll be instantly intrigued. Inside you’ll find recipes you could never have dreamt of, and the best part is that they are all easy to re-create.

Finally, if you are new to the smoker scene, you’ll want to check out our pick for the best smoker cookbook for beginners, The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook. Inside you’ll find everything you need to know about setting up your smoker, finding the right equipment, and, of course, sumptuous recipes. We hope you will find the best smoker cookbooks and can start tasting all the delicious potential of meat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *