a Savor the South cookbook

By John Shelton Reed

128 pp., 5.5 x 8.5, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7750-7
    Published: August 2023
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2670-3
    Published: March 2016
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-2671-0
    Published: January 2016
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4412-5
    Published: January 2016

Savor the South Cookbooks

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John Shelton Reed's Barbecue celebrates a southern culinary tradition forged in coals and smoke. Since colonial times southerners have held barbecues to mark homecomings, reunions, and political campaigns; today barbecue signifies celebration as much as ever. In a lively and amusing style, Reed traces the history of southern barbecue from its roots in the sixteenth-century Caribbean, showing how this technique of cooking meat established itself in the coastal South and spread inland from there. He discusses how choices of meat, sauce, and cooking methods came to vary from one place to another, reflecting local environments, farming practices, and history.

Reed hopes to preserve the South's barbecue traditions by providing the home cook with fifty-one recipes for many classic varieties of barbecue and for the side dishes, breads, and desserts that usually go with it. Featured meats range from Pan-Southern Pork Shoulder to Barbecued Chicken Two Ways to West Texas Beef Ribs, while rubs and sauces include Memphis Pork Rub, Piedmont Dip, and Lone Star Sauce and Mop. Cornbread, hushpuppies, and slaw are featured side dishes, and Dori's Peach Cobbler and Pig-Pickin' Cake provide a sweet finish. This book will put southerners in touch with their heritage and let those who aren't southerners pretend that they are.

About the Author

John Shelton Reed lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Cofounder of the Campaign for Real Barbecue (, his many books include Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue, coauthored with Dale Volberg Reed.
For more information about John Shelton Reed, visit the Author Page.


"Reed wants to preserve local barbecue traditions against the fancy-food chefs of national ambition. . . . In Barbecue, he has translated those traditions for 'home production.' Which means that he has written an actual cookbook, reckoning that its recipes will teach home cooks how to cook Southern barbecue, local traditions thus maintained.--Terry Eastland, The Weekly Standard

"Reed knows his topic . . . but he wears his erudition lightly. . . . Barbecue will provoke plenty of comment, and perhaps an argument or three. Just don't read it on an empty stomach."--Wilmington Star-News

"Reed is unapologetically opinionated, but his confidence is as sweet a match for his subject as peach cobbler."--Hanna Raskin, Charleston Post and Courier

“A very good cookbook on Southern barbecue. . . The writing is so good, and with such good humor, you can simply read and enjoy this book without trying any of the recipes.”--San Francisco Book Review

“Reed . . . distills his knowledge, and most importantly, translates this traditionally semi-pro and large scale culinary endeavor for the home cook.”--Appetite for Books

“The diverse collection includes Texas barbecued goat, St. Louis pig snouts, and a deeper knowledge of the barbecue traditions across the country.”--Texas Monthly

Multimedia & Links

Visit the author's website

Visit the website for the Campaign for Real Barbecue,

Keep up with the Savor the South series on Facebook at

Watch: Southern Cultures journal video feature with John Shelton Reed, "That's One Deconstructed Goat." (2013, running time 4:19)