“The most important book on cooking over live fire in decades. Life of Fire illuminates it all, from coal beds, to home-built pits (in minutes!) to simple, delicious, recipes and enough whole hog know-how to impress the weekend warriors without intimidating newcomers.”—Andrew Zimmern One of the few pitmasters still carrying the torch of West Tennessee whole-hog barbecue, Nashville’s Pat Martin has studied and taught this craft for years. Now he reveals all he knows about the art of barbecue and live fire cooking. Through beautiful photography and detailed instruction, the lessons start with how to prepare and feed a fire—what wood to use, how to build a pit or a grill, how to position it to account for the weather—then move into cooking through all the stages of that fire’s life. You’ll sear tomatoes for sandwiches and infuse creamed corn with the flavor of char from the temperamental, adolescent fire. Next, you’ll grill chicken with Alabama white sauce over the grown-up fire, and, of course, you’ll master pit-cooked whole hog, barbecue ribs, turkey, pork belly, and pork shoulder over the smoldering heat of mature coals. Finally, you’ll roast vegetables buried in white ash, and you’ll smoke bacon and country hams in the dying embers of the winter fire. For Pat Martin, grilling, barbecuing, and smoking is a whole lifetime’s worth of practice and pleasure—a life of fire that will transform the way you cook.