The Cooks Companion Stephanie Alexander
You probably aren't expecting to see this book listed as a must have on a page devoted to BBQ. Stephanie Alexander is one of Australia's most well known food writers and chefs. Working as a librarian prior to her career in food, Stephanie has a methodical well researched approach to cooking. Understanding produce, selection, storage and preparation, alongside classic cookery techniques underpins every successful cook.
I have never worked in a kitchen that doesn't have a copy. The recipes are very well tested, the basics like pastry, breads, custards and sauces are faultless.
Regardless of how I am planning to cook something, if I want a solid background, or to better understand how an ingredient behaves, this book is by first stop for more information.
These days BBQ is often separated from general cookery, we must remember it was not so long ago that all cooking was done with fire. The same principals apply no matter where or how you cook. It is often tempting to jump straight in for a hero dish, but mastering the basics and understanding your produce is the key to ongoing success.