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View Full Version : Manifesto-the best bbq book ever? I think so


Royalslover
10-11-2015, 10:55 PM
When people praise my bbq I always say "well, no one has spent more time sitting on the pot reading about bbq than me". I got my copy of Manifesto in the mail on Thursday and finished it tonight. Holy cow, what a great book. I've often wondered why Franklin BBQ is so popular and I've decided it is the force of Aaron's personality. I'm sure that his food is as good as any out there but that doesn't explain his success. I read MM's book and it just made me not like the guy. About the book: I've been waiting for a book that doesn't offer tons of recipes but rather talks philosophically about bbq. I love the history he gave of his trailer and restaurant and the behind the scenes look at the restaurant. I was surprised at how honest he was about products and people. This is easily the best food related book I have ever read!

SGH
10-12-2015, 12:24 AM
I enjoyed his book as well. Aaron seems like a really great guy and he has put out a ton of very useful information to the public in a very short period of time. What i like is it isnt the typical load of crap that most folks spew and then try to sell you their supposed secret or rub. I agree, the book is not a recipe book per say, however it is a wealth of very sound and useful info relating to all things Q. I wish Aaron the very best and continud success. He has both earned it and deserves it.

bvbull200
10-12-2015, 12:27 PM
You know, I had thought about the question "What makes Aaron Franklin's brisket better than yours (or mine)?". From a scientific standpoint, I or anyone else should be able to apply the same simple ingredients he does, use the same methods he does, cook it to the same level of "done" as he does, and turn out a brisket identical to his. If there is nothing secretive about his briskets, why are they so much better?

It must have a lot to do with what you mention in the OP.

The videos I've seen of the guy make him seem very likable and I'm sure he makes an impressive brisket. I'll have to check the book out.

Nvoges
10-12-2015, 01:02 PM
I just ordered it, I hope you all are right.

Smokedawg86
10-12-2015, 01:20 PM
I agree. Franklin's book was an excellent read. I felt like I was on the journey with him. I also agree that I wasn't so impressed with Mixon's book. Maybe it's just my personal preference as I'm sure others have enjoyed it. I will also add that for recipes and spice/herb usage and recommendations, I enjoyed Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book. It was also very comprehensive about wood selection and also sort of developing your own style, which is appreciated.

doubt3
10-12-2015, 01:32 PM
My daughter lives in Austin and raves on his brisket. She told me she is getting me his book for Christmas; can't wait!

mnbadger
10-12-2015, 01:56 PM
I just finished reading it and loved it. I actually went and watched the whole PBS series after reading the book. Aaron just seems like a cool dude I want to have a beer with.

Royalslover
10-12-2015, 02:07 PM
I think one thing is that he doesn't pretend to know it it all. He basically says this is how I do it but you can do it differently and still have success. MM seems to have this attitude that says I am really smart and if you don't do it like me you probably won't put out good chow. They are just different guys with different personality's`. I was really surprised at how transparent Aaron is about everything he does. I figured he would hold some stuff back-and maybe he did- but it didn't feel like it. I mean he gives us enough info to copy his smokers down to the hinges on the doors. Who does that?

pjtexas1
10-12-2015, 02:11 PM
I think one thing is that he doesn't pretend to know it it all. He basically says this is how I do it but you can do it differently and still have success. MM seems to have this attitude that says I am really smart and if you don't do it like me you probably won't put out good chow. They are just different guys with different personality's`. I was really surprised at how transparent Aaron is about everything he does. I figured he would hold some stuff back-and maybe he did- but it didn't feel like it. I mean he gives us enough info to copy his smokers down to the hinges on the doors. Who does that?

real, regular guys/gals give out their secrets. you can witness that here multiple times per day. i don't think he holds back much at all.

lantern
10-12-2015, 02:20 PM
I wonder wonder who "Long Island Phil" is that he mentions in his book?:heh::heh::heh:


It is a great read. Not so much because of the recipes and whatnot, but it's a BBQ story. I really enjoyed reading about how he went from point A to point B in his BBQ life....and I enjoyed reading about how his day goes from morning to night during a business day.

Happy Hapgood
10-12-2015, 04:02 PM
It's the best one I've come across for many reasons.

Roguejim
10-12-2015, 04:10 PM
Based on conversations here, Aaron holds his finished briskets several hours before serving his customers. Not many backyard cooks do that.

troy64
10-12-2015, 05:15 PM
Really enjoyed the book and how it is structured. The personal stories regarding struggles and success made it a very rewarding read. I now use it as a reference for any technical questions I may have.

sylntghost
10-12-2015, 05:42 PM
I really enjoyed his book. I read it twice. Also love his pbs show I've watched every episode at least 3 or 4 times. Aaron seems like a real down to earth guy.

qman
10-12-2015, 07:02 PM
I will say this. Franklin's book is most definitely one of my favorites. However, I have about 150 BBQ books, and I am not ready yet to declare his my "favorite of all times". But, I would recommend it to anyone.

dsp2
10-12-2015, 07:10 PM
I've read and love the book. I've watched most or maybe all of the pbs and YouTube vids. I agree - great book!

cats49er
10-12-2015, 07:44 PM
I also read his book a short while ago.What I gathered from the book is that he is highly intelligent,self motivating,resourceful,perfectionist.He is awesome .It is my opinion that we can learn a lot from his book and use it in our own style of smoking.

smokingkettle
10-12-2015, 08:29 PM
I love the book. It has changed up my style for the better with my BBQ.

16Adams
10-12-2015, 08:48 PM
Having hung out in Austin a little to much Back in the day- I could actually picture in my mind his living conditions. I enjoyed and still thumb through the book. What stuck in my mind is how Bludawg's brisket protocol is so damn close to AF's. We had the information all along. There's no place like home, there's no place like home. Click your damn heals Dorothy!!!!

Agreed- good book

funstuie
10-12-2015, 09:03 PM
It's a great book and I really enjoyed reading it through. He's such an open guy, nothing held back and so much information.

The dude is just cool and deserves his success.

One thing is if you try follow his guide at cooking at 375 constantly it's impossible to maintain that temp in your backyard plus only having one smoker makes
It hard to cook different type of meat. But I am sure if I went at it and cooked brisket to his recipe it would turn out great.

His "pepper" based rub on turkey is amazing by the why.

16Adams
10-12-2015, 09:06 PM
^^^ 275

Royalslover
10-12-2015, 10:40 PM
I will say this. Franklin's book is most definitely one of my favorites. However, I have about 150 BBQ books, and I am not ready yet to declare his my "favorite of all times". But, I would recommend it to anyone.

Just out of curiosity, which would you say are your top 3 or 4? This is by far the best one I've read but I haven't got close to 150. lol

captjoe06
10-13-2015, 05:06 AM
Thanks for the tip I just added it to my birthday wish list :)

aawa
10-13-2015, 08:01 AM
You know, I had thought about the question "What makes Aaron Franklin's brisket better than yours (or mine)?". From a scientific standpoint, I or anyone else should be able to apply the same simple ingredients he does, use the same methods he does, cook it to the same level of "done" as he does, and turn out a brisket identical to his. If there is nothing secretive about his briskets, why are they so much better?

It must have a lot to do with what you mention in the OP.

The videos I've seen of the guy make him seem very likable and I'm sure he makes an impressive brisket. I'll have to check the book out.

I am 100% positive that there are people on this forum and people not on this forum that can cook a brisket that is as good or if not better than Aaron Franklin. When I say that, I am not trying to take away from Franklins skills on the pit, but kind of want to make a point.

What really separates Aaron Franklin from many of the great backyard cooks is the level of his consistency and the need for that consistency on such a large cook basis. The average backyard cook has to cook 1-4 briskets perfectly for his gathering which is every so often. Franklin is cooking 1800+lbs of brisket a day. His reputation is based on the cooking the 1800+lbs of brisket perfectly. All day. Everyday. That is what separates him from everybody else.

His book is great and I like that he goes in depth about his philosophy of cooking bbq. You can feel his passion jumping out of the pages and he wants to share that same passion and intensity to anybody that is interested. And to be honest I think the biggest thing that I have gotten from his book, is that if you are truely passionate about bbq, you can learn how to make some phenomenal and truely memorable bbq.

North Is Up
10-13-2015, 08:10 AM
Just pulled the trigger and ordered it. I'm heading out of town for a few days and it'll be a good read to kill down time. Thanks for reminding me about it.

daninnewjersey
10-13-2015, 08:29 AM
I think the biggest thing that I have gotten from his book, is that if you are truely passionate about bbq, you can learn how to make some phenomenal and truely memorable bbq.

Amen brother....that sums it up right there.....

qman
10-13-2015, 09:05 AM
Just out of curiosity, which would you say are your top 3 or 4? This is by far the best one I've read but I haven't got close to 150. lol
Yeah, i am kind of a book freak.
I still have about 1500 books in my home library, and I reduced it a lot when we moved a few years ago.
Currently, I do put Franklin's book in my top three or four.
I would include "Smokestack Lightening" by Lois Eric Elie (a classic), "Serious Barbecue" by Adam Perry Lang, "Uncle Biilly's Downeast Barbeque Book" by Jonathan St. Laurent. This last one is an obscure one, but it is one of the more philosophical ones, chronicles a professional chef's journey from classical cooking to owning a bbq joint in Portland Maine. I do not think it is in print now.
Also I always liked anything by Dr. BBQ, Ray Lampe.

Smokedawg86
10-13-2015, 09:38 AM
Yeah, i am kind of a book freak.
I still have about 1500 books in my home library, and I reduced it a lot when we moved a few years ago.
Currently, I do put Franklin's book in my top three or four.
I would include "Smokestack Lightening" by Lois Eric Elie (a classic), "Serious Barbecue" by Adam Perry Lang, "Uncle Biilly's Downeast Barbeque Book" by Jonathan St. Laurent. This last one is an obscure one, but it is one of the more philosophical ones, chronicles a professional chef's journey from classical cooking to owning a bbq joint in Portland Maine. I do not think it is in print now.
Also I always liked anything by Dr. BBQ, Ray Lampe.

Yeah I just ordered Serious BBQ after reading so many crazy good reviews. :clap2: I love BBQ books, but one thing I have discovered is that I cannot read them on the iPad. I need the actual books.

ColoradoSmoke
10-13-2015, 10:15 AM
I agree with everyone, fantastic book. In fact, my neighbor borrowed it about a month ago and I'm still waiting to get it back after asking a couple times :boxing:

Seefyre
10-13-2015, 10:21 AM
I didn't need another bbq book full of recipes for gloppy sauces and weird injections. This book focuses on the BBQ trinity. The Meat, The Fire, The Pit.
You nail the fundamentals and genius will follow.

qman
10-13-2015, 10:22 AM
Yeah I just ordered Serious BBQ after reading so many crazy good reviews. :clap2: I love BBQ books, but one thing I have discovered is that I cannot read them on the iPad. I need the actual books.
I agree about reading the real book. Unfortunately , at the present I am reduced to mostly reading on my computer or a tablet, due to a serious issue with my eyesight.

Royalslover
10-13-2015, 11:32 AM
Interesting, I will have to check out a couple of those books. My copy of Serious bbq is well worn with lots of dirty pages. It is my second favorite book as those two guys are my main "mentors" along with everyone on this site lol. My favorite moment on this site is when APL responded to one of my questions. I would love to read his story written in the same vein as Manifesto-his journey from French chef to pit master extraordinaire.

Royalslover
10-13-2015, 11:37 AM
Sorry to blather on about this but I forgot to make this point. I think the most amazing thing of all is how little experience Aaron had before he opened his restaurant. One year in the trailer and other than that hardly any. I think I've cooked more briskets than he did before opening the trailer. Not a single competition? Crazy

Deebo
10-13-2015, 11:54 AM
I just finished reading it last week. It was a fantastic read. It's one of those books that you can read over and over and get something new from it every time. I really liked the stories he told about the early days of throwing parties in his backyard. He's just a regular dude like any of us. He just happens to be one of those rare people that took the leap and decided to make a living doing something he really loves to do. You can't help but like the guy and be happy for him.

bvbull200
10-13-2015, 11:57 AM
I am 100% positive that there are people on this forum and people not on this forum that can cook a brisket that is as good or if not better than Aaron Franklin. When I say that, I am not trying to take away from Franklins skills on the pit, but kind of want to make a point.

What really separates Aaron Franklin from many of the great backyard cooks is the level of his consistency and the need for that consistency on such a large cook basis. The average backyard cook has to cook 1-4 briskets perfectly for his gathering which is every so often. Franklin is cooking 1800+lbs of brisket a day. His reputation is based on the cooking the 1800+lbs of brisket perfectly. All day. Everyday. That is what separates him from everybody else.

His book is great and I like that he goes in depth about his philosophy of cooking bbq. You can feel his passion jumping out of the pages and he wants to share that same passion and intensity to anybody that is interested. And to be honest I think the biggest thing that I have gotten from his book, is that if you are truely passionate about bbq, you can learn how to make some phenomenal and truely memorable bbq.

For sure, and I hope I didn't come across as suggesting that Franklin's is overrated or anything, as I don't think that is the case.

It is more an open-ended question meant to foster discussion rather than arrive at a definitive answer. No doubt his 1,800 pounds of consistently good brisket per day is a major reason he is what he is now, but at some point he, too, was cooking 1-4 briskets at a time. How did those get good enough to take it to grow to where he is now? Why did he think he had something bigger waiting for him if he took those 4 briskets to the next step? Were people already praising him or did he just have the confidence on his own?

Questions that I'm sure are answered or alluded to in the book. I'll have to get me a copy, now.

My favorite part about the guy is that he holds very few secrets and his method is so basic.

aawa
10-13-2015, 01:35 PM
For sure, and I hope I didn't come across as suggesting that Franklin's is overrated or anything, as I don't think that is the case.

It is more an open-ended question meant to foster discussion rather than arrive at a definitive answer. No doubt his 1,800 pounds of consistently good brisket per day is a major reason he is what he is now, but at some point he, too, was cooking 1-4 briskets at a time. How did those get good enough to take it to grow to where he is now? Why did he think he had something bigger waiting for him if he took those 4 briskets to the next step? Were people already praising him or did he just have the confidence on his own?

Questions that I'm sure are answered or alluded to in the book. I'll have to get me a copy, now.

My favorite part about the guy is that he holds very few secrets and his method is so basic.

In his book he talked about how he got started cooking on an old leaky Hondo smoker. Then went out and picked up another off the curb for free. He also talked about his first briskets pretty much sucking but still kept at it because that was his passion. And next thing he knew he had a backyard full of people during the occassional big cookouts, and the more often he cooked the better he became. I don't want to ruin the book for you or other readers, but he does talk about how he went from cooking 1 brisket to cooking a buttload of them for the restaurant and his journey inbetween. ;)

Of all the celebrity pitmasters, I like to watch his interviews and enjoyed his book the most. He geniunely seems like he wants to help make everybody a better bbq cook.

StraightUpBBQ
10-13-2015, 05:22 PM
Great book and very informative, helped me pick out a new offset as I have never purchased one before. Plus, you know you can follow that info and eventually get great results. Unlike when every Joe Blow at a cookout wants to give you barbecue tips, you know this info is credible.

bking
10-14-2015, 01:28 PM
great book. i've never had the chance to try his food though...someday. regarding can others match his stuff, yes of course. I'm relatively new to BBQ, built my own stick burner (200 gal propane tank now a reverse flow) and bought a LSG insulated all in about a year ago.
While new to BBQ i'm not new to beef. I've pursued the perfect grind for hamburger for years and grilled, pan fried enough steaks to the point i can't hardly eat a steak out anymore...so few places can get it right. And love a good prime rib.
It was sometime while working with the latter that it dawned on me it's all about the meat really. I'd guess his meat source takes pretty good care of him. While i understand certainly that's not all of it, you take a couple guys with somewhat similar skill and give one good and the other great material to work with, 'scuse me i'm having dinner with the last guy.