In states where barbecue is the food of the gods, Southern Living magazine sits on the shelf right next to the Bible.

Now the editors of the magazine have published a bible of barbecue to coach cooks who want to learn to prepare and sauce their pork ribs and roasts correctly.
“The Big Book of BBQ: Recipes and Revelations from the Barbecue Belt” (Oxmoor House Inc., $24.95) contains more than 200 recipes for pork, beef, poultry, fish and shellfish. It covers all the regional fusses over what barbecue is and isn’t.

In addition to recipes for sauces and rubs, you’ll learn that South Carolinians prefer a mustard-style sauce along with the more traditional tomato-based sauces. And in northern Alabama, ’cue fans apply a mayo-based sauce to chicken. Who knew?

As for sides, there’s more than beans and cole slaw to pile on your plate. Liver hash is served in South Carolina, hot links and jalapenos in Texas, and Brunswick stew in Georgia.

If you’re traveling south, check out the editors’ lists of the best barbecue joints, state by state.