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Hete Rook - Review

By July 11, 2017

This is the fourth book from Jeroen Hazebroek and Leonard Elenbaas. Hete Rook, which follows on from Hete Kolen, Hete Vuur and Hete Kolen het Recepten Boek. This book covers all you need to know about old school BBQ and hot and cold smoking techniques. 

It takes you on a comprehensive journey into the history and science behind smoking and also gives you an insight into the BBQ world with interviews with various fellow competitors and background on how BBQ competitions work. 

What I've always liked about Jeroen and Leonard's books is the attention to detail involved, no stone is left unturned in the quest to unravel the art of smoking. It's more of a text book than a cook book. There are recipes, and it does get back to basics but I've always liked that. They want to give the full experience whether you are a novice smoker or a more experienced one, there's always something new to learn. 

For the novice smoker it truly is a comprehensive guide. I'd almost equate it to a textbook in the level of detail that it delves into. It covers topics such as types of wood and charcoal, smoking times, types of smokers and BBQs used, pickling times to basic rubs and how you can build on them. The more experienced amongst you will not be lacking in new and interesting facts and techniques. The difference with this book is that majority of the text around smoking techniques has been written by Jeroen Hazebroek, the subject is a real personal passion of his. The recipes were this time a collaboration between Jeroen Hazebroek and Leonard Elenbaas. On speaking with them about the book, Leonard said that this book was like opening the door on a very different type of BBQ for him and it was a very interesting learning curve. That's not to say that Leonard is not an experienced BBQ'er but his main experience is with Kamado style and conventional BBQ which is what the other BBQ books have covered to date. Jeroen said that this book was a very personal journey and an ultimate project for him and you can really see that with the book. 

The recipes themselves do take you back to true BBQ basics (ribs, pork butt, chicken wings, brisket), but they highlight the knowledge that has already been imparted throughout the book and with these recipes you can take your smoking game one step further. Each type of meat has the various BBQ cuts highlighted in diagrams of the animal, as well as information on the best way of cooking. It's not just limited to meat, but fish and side dishes as well. It's always best to know how everything started, how everything should be cooked, before you expand your repertoire. It is grass roots BBQ cooking. 

Of all the books on BBQ that have come out this year, I would safely say, this is one of the best. There are no aspirations, no posturing, no proclamations about the knowledge contained within. It's well written, well researched and informed. The photos throughout the book are clear, simple and elegant and really do justice to the content throughout. No staged coffee table book style photos, just good honest photography with some wonderful images.

If there's one BBQ book that you should buy this year, then this is it!

Hete Rook is now available from all good bookshops and is published by Fontaine Uitgevers. This publication is currently only available in Dutch.

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