Aaron Franklin has been giving away his secrets for years.
The co-owner of Franklin Barbecue, who has been in the news recently to speak out against regulations that could shut down area barbecue restaurants, teamed up with KLRU a few years ago for a Web series that spilled the (perfectly cured) post oak logs on how he creates the kind of brisket that people travel all over the world to enjoy from his East 11th Street restaurant.
This week, Franklin, now a semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Award, goes one step further. With the help of co-author Jordan Mackay, Franklin has written his “meat-smoking manifesto” called “Franklin Barbecue” (Ten Speed Press, $29.99) that outlines every tool, tip, trick and piece of knowledge you’d need to make his barbecue at home, including beef and pork ribs, sausage and turkey.Glistening, pepper-crusted brisket bark never looked better, thanks to photography from Wyatt McSpadden, who published his own homage to Texas barbecue a few years ago, but true barbecue aficionados will be too wrapped up in the wordy chapters to notice.Casual fans will enjoy reading Franklin’s story of how he got to the very top of the barbecue chain, but wannabe pitmasters will focus on the nitty gritty details of how long to cure the wood, how to modify your smoker, the difference between good smoke and bad, and how to pick the right meat, trim it and season it for the long haul in the haze.
A warning: There aren’t many typical recipes in the book, but Franklin is the first to admit that his style of cooking isn’t exactly recipe-centric. The book is as good a tutorial as you are going to get on making Central Texas barbecue, which has already boosted it to various bestseller lists.
To celebrate the launch, Metier Cook’s Supply, 1805 S. First St., is hosting a party from 2 to 5 p.m. April 19, featuring live music from the Skyline Wranglers, and BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., will host its event with the authors at 7 p.m. April 29.