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If there’s one cuisine we thought we were full up on, it’s barbecue. But that was before we picked up two new books with Dallas (apron) ties: Smoke and Chicken Scratch chef Tim Byres’s Smoke: New Firewood Cooking and The Prophets of Smoked Meat by ex-blogger Daniel Vaughn (Texas Monthly’s new “barbecue editor”).

We pit (pun intended) the two tomes against each other for the ultimate cookbook-off and granted each the following awards.

Best for Barbecue Know-How Byres’s experience with smoking meats--as well as veggies and even bread--has been lauded near and far. From advice on building your first larder to tips on fire-pit construction, Smoke is great for the budding barbecuer. Plus, the recipe for pork carnitas with tomatoes and eggplant will definitely have you ready to fire up the grill.

Best for Barbecue Know-It-Alls Vaughn’s book takes a broader approach, with regional recipes for those already skilled in the art of grilling. His pork pilgrimage takes him from East Texas, where meat is hickory-smoked and sauce-coated, to the Hill Country, where goat and mutton are cooked directly over mesquite coals. Almost 200 restaurant reviews and a handful of recipes make this one a well-rounded debut.

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