Better Homes & Gardens Barbecue Book – Neat discoveries

The images are larger than normal because I wanted to make them larger. This blog does what I tell it to.
If you’re any kind of outdoor cooking enthusiast, you’ve got this book. If not, you’ve got one or five just like it. The drawings, photographs & recipes are fun to pour through. Meathead gifted me this one a few weeks ago. While flipping through I found two reasons that made it a tad more interesting. Visit with me on a little journey back to the later 1950s, won’t you?

Before I go right for the heart, here’s a photograph I dearly love. Check out that shiny rig! There’s no place on this planet I can go in and buy a pit that cool, sorry. And take a look at this old weber kettle, two tone paint baby! Ith pretty.

I have an older red one, but why did weber start using dark, blah colors? Would you rather have that two tone one? Or a black one? Sigh, I don’t get it. I can get my Pontiac Plibe in electric orange, but my kettle only comes in dark blue? Get with it weber, high-heat paint technology has come a long way in 50 years.
Apart from the most excellent rigs, solid recipes and information, there were two things I thought interesting. Okay, we’ve all seen Alton Brown outdoors cooking food right? You remember him tossing his steaks directly on the burning charcoal, right. Everyone oooed and aaahhhhhhed. “Oh man, I’ll have to do that some day.” Says I. Well, way back in the stone age, in 1956, they were doing the same thing. And I have proof!

While we can all probably agree, humans have been cooking food directly on coals since we invented food. It’s kinda cool to show that Better Homes & Gardens was doing it when AB was in diapers. All the rage, I think not.
And here’s what made me say, “WHOA COOL!”

Maybe you’re suprised, maybe you’re not. Figured those chimneys didn’t hit popularity until about 30 some odd years ago. Hell, what do I know? But here it is 50 years ago, published. Isn’t that cool? So, if you’re on the net or in a real live used bookstore, and you see this?

Buy it, it’s Meathenge Approved.
xo, Biggles

9 thoughts on “Better Homes & Gardens Barbecue Book – Neat discoveries

  1. Yo Dr!!
    Going “retro” is what retro is all about! I wonder if there’s any cliff drawings showing meat on the coals! COOL!!
    Thanks for sharing a great book!
    Big D

  2. I love the picture of Mom drinking a ‘Sierra Nevada Pale Ale’ and the Junior Dr. Biggles putting a Well Marbled Rib Eye on the coals. There is a slight problem. It looks like they forgot to light the coals.

  3. And the best part was watchin’ yer sister Ooh! an Ahh! over the same stuff you did. So we bought another copy! Gotta keep those books sellers up in Oregon going even if they did shut down our favorite bacon store!

  4. Biggs, Baby, “Leave It To Beaver” does sirloin on hot coals!
    I’m running to my secret used book shops right now and checking to see if there is a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens BBq Book, circa ’50’s something!
    Life is a Trip!

  5. Jamming food onto every last millimeter of grill area with the top vent fully closed? I hope the bottom vents are open.
    Of course, if they’re grilling without lighting the coals again, that’s probably not a problem.

  6. The firestarter chimneys go back much further than that. We used to make them out of the big tomato juice cans and a piece of wire from a coathanger when I was a Scout in the mid-50’s, and learned it from my older brother who had learned it in Scouts in the early 40’s, from a leader who… You get the picture. By the time that I was learning it we did sometimes use commercial charcoal, but most of the time still layered shredded paper, tinder or pine needles (those worked best), small twigs, larger twigs, small chunks of wood and then larger ones. We laid good sized branches around the can and when the wood was going good pulled the can out and spread the fire/coals out into the surrounding wood. You could also start out with only tinder and small twigs in the can itself and then add the larger stuff in once it started to burn. Great fun and great fires for everything from s’mores to firehole stew (the original crockpot meal).