Fahrenheit 451

These books are burning

We have to wait a few more weeks until the actual start of summer, but grilling season officially launched on Monday.

Make a weekend project out of studying up on your fire game with these two new books:

The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue ($21): Daniel Vaughn is as true a barbecue zealot as there ever was. The former architect has made a profession out of his passion, recently accepting a post as Texas Monthly's first barbecue editor. His book, a chronicle of his 10,000-mile journey throughout the state seeking the best 'cue, further demonstrates his commitment. You won't find tricks and tips here; it's more travelogue than cookbook. But in a renewed age of barbecue frenzy, Vaughn does some interesting excavating around the question of authenticity. Think of it as your road map for a future trip to Texas.

The Grilling Book ($45): Most cookbooks published by magazines are merely anthologies of old recipes wrapped up in tired design, but Bon Appétit has gone against type with its new compendium on grilling. There are burgers and burger variants, sure. But there are also recipes for grilled pizza, fish, cheese, vegetables and cocktails.