BBQ Beginner

All about your grilling personality

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Maybe you still check the grill manual every time you light up, but that's just fine. You have to start somewhere, and before you know it, you'll be out of the minors and in the big leagues anyhow. Here's what you need to get fired up before your next BBQ.

Cook: Set a spice-rubbed chicken on a can of beer, and your work is just about done. The best part? That beer can has to be half empty—and we can think of a good use for the other half.

Read: Not that you need a shortcut, but every trick helps. Mayonnaise makes a clutch one-ingredient marinade, and it's too simple not to test for yourself.

Dine: To make true barbecue, you have to know how it actually tastes. Sink your teeth into authentic pit-smoked ribs, pulled pork and brisket galore at New York's Hometown Bar-B-Que.

Shop: Think of Aaron Franklin's book less as a cookbook and more like a guide to the grill life. Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto from the famous Austin spot is exactly that—a manifesto of all things smoked and charred.