If you are in charge of the grill at your house, you will certainly want to take a look at "Southern Living’s Ultimate Book of BBQ with Pitmaster Christopher Prieto." This is one of the most complete and interesting cookbooks on grilling and smoking that I have ever read.

Southern Living says it best: "To say barbecue in the South is a big deal is an understatement. It's about sharing an age-old tradition with family and friends — enjoying the fundamentals in life: food and fellowship."

This book covers more than just the meat to be grilled or smoked. It also shares some great sauces and sides.

The preferred sauce usually depends on the area of the South where you live. In Alabama, the tomato-based red sauce is often used for both pork and beef. The mayonnaise-based white sauce is very popular with chicken.

There is also a black Worcestershire-based sauce, which is popular in Kentucky. In different areas of the Carolinas and Virginia, you will find a yellow mustard-based sauce sweetened with brown sugar and/or honey, and a clear vinegar-based sauce.

All cuts of meat are covered in this book, which I like to refer to as the "encyclopedia of barbecue." The photos will make your mouth water, especially those baby-back ribs.

I will share with you the white barbecue sauce that originated in Alabama. Big Bob Gibson's barbecue restaurant in North Alabama is responsible for super good chicken with this particular sauce.

Hushpuppies are not just for fish. Southern Living assures us that hushpuppies are also good with barbecue of all kinds. The cookbook includes a recipe for original hush puppies but also some recipes for really special hush puppies. How about Bacon and Caramelized Onion Hush Puppies?

This is a book that should be a part of your valued collection. It would also be a great gift for your pitmaster.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce

Stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, 3 teaspoons water and next 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
  • White Barbecue Sauce

Combine first 7 ingredients until blended. Rinse chicken and pat dry; rub seasoning mixture over chicken. Place chicken in a zip-top freezer bag. Seal and chill 4 hours. Preheat grill to 350-400 degrees. Remove chicken from bag. Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 165 degrees. Serve with White Barbecue Sauce.

Contact Prudence Hilburn at prudencehilburn@aol.com.