Basic BBQ Sauce

I have a bit of an addiction to buying pre-made BBQ sauces. Mostly the obscure ones that you can’t get in stores. The ones you have to order directly from the BBQ joint that makes them. Well, that’s not the cheapest hobby in the world, so I set out to make my own basic BBQ sauce (based on one from Myron Mixon) and I’m very happy with the results. It’s not a complicated or fancy sauce, but it has the perfect consistency and taste. I can add more hot sauce for a spicy version, or I can add more liquid smoke for a more hickory-flavored sauce.
I’m going to call this sauce ‘done’. It’s my go-to basic sauce for everything from pulled pork to ribs to brisket to chicken or my favorite, rib tips. I have also been known to slather it on my grilled hot dogs and hamburgers.

5 from 1 reviews
Basic BBQ Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (more or less, to taste) hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (more or less, to taste) liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Heat thoroughly. Serve or use warm.

Smoked Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Wow. I love beets, but I really wasn’t expecting these smoked beets with balsamic glaze to be so amazing. The perfect combination of flavors, starting with just a hint of smoke and ending with goat cheese drizzled with a fantastic balsamic glaze. The more I cook, the more I find myself using balsamic vinegar in my dishes, and it certainly was a star in this one.
If you don’t have a smoker you can still make these beets. Just toss them in a 375 F oven and roast them until tender. They won’t have that light smoky flavor, but they will still be great with the glaze and cheese.

In a pinch you can skip using fresh beets. Grab canned or jarred, slice and serve with the remaining ingredients. Or just make my non-smoked beet but-still-really-great beet salad.

5 from 1 reviews
Smoked Beets with Balsamic Glaze
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
For the beats
  • 4 large beets
  • Your favorite herb goat cheese
  • Balsamic glaze, from below
For balsamic glaze
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Instructions
For the beats
  1. Fire up your smoker for smoking at 250 F.
  2. Meanwhile, boil or steam the beats until just tender. Let cool completely then peel.
  3. Transfer beets to the smoker and smoke for 30 minutes-1 hour. You just want a hint of smoke flavor.
  4. Remove from the smoker and let cool then slice thin.
  5. Serve with the cheese drizzled with the balsamic glaze.
For balsamic glaze
  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer, stirring often, until thick. The glaze should coat the back of spoon.
  3. Remove from heat and cover until ready to use.

Shake ‘N Bake Pork Chops on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Oh how I do love Shake ‘N Bake pork chops. And as much as they are great made in the oven, I was completely blown away by how fantastic they were cooked in my Char-Broil Big Easy. Crazy tasty, the chops were unbelievably moist and tender. Every bite was so good, I hated coming to the end. Well, except that I saved the bone for last. You can’t have a Shake ‘N Bake chop and not gnaw on the bone. It’s almost a law. You could use boneless chops, but bone-in have much more flavor.
I used 3/4″ bone-in chops, which took just over 20 minutes to cook to 160 F. I cooked the chops in Bunk Bed baskets lined with foil for easy clean up. Depending on the size of your chops, you might be able to cook two at a time per basket, but don’t crowd them or they won’t cook completely or consistently. If you use multiple bunk bed baskets so you can cook multiple chops at once keep in mind that each level might cook at a different rate. Try to use same-thickness chops on each level so they all finish at the same time.

You can use any flavor Shake ‘N Bake you like. Read the package instructions to decide how much you’ll need for the chops you have. I prefer my homemade chipotle Shake ‘N Bake. It takes just like the classic mix, but with a nice little smoky kick.

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

5 from 1 reviews
Shake 'N Bake Pork Chops on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
You can cook only one large pork chop (or maybe two small ones) at a time in the Big Easy basket. But, with a little finagling you can also add up to three Bunk Bed Baskets, giving you room for four large pork chops at once. Note that the chops at the top of the basket may cook at a different rate than those at the bottom, so start checking the temperatures after 20 minutes for chops that are around 3/4" thick. Thinner chops will of course take less time and thicker ones will take longer.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Working one at a time, place a pork chop into a resealable bag containing the Shake 'N Bake mix. Seal and shake until coated. Alternatively, pour the Shake 'N Bake out onto a plate and press the chop into the mixture, flipping and pressing the other side to also coat it.
  3. Line the Big Easy basket and any bunk bed baskets with foil. I sprayed mine with non-stick spray but I don't think it's absolutely necessary.
  4. Lower bask into the Big Easy.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes then check the temperature in multiple places. The minimum safe temperature is 145 F, but I personally aim for 160 F as measured in several places.
  6. Remove from the Big Easy and rest 5 minutes before serving.

Grilled Cornbread with Jalapeno Honey Butter

Boy, where have I been that I haven’t grilled cornbread until now? Grilling adds a nice lightly smoky flavor, but more importantly it adds a terrific crunch. Add in spicy and sweet jalapeno honey butter and you have some fantastic tasting cornbread. I’m not sure I’ll ever eat ‘normal’ cornbread again.
I started with a big pan of already-baked thick (I used two packages of Jiffy) cornbread. You can also make muffins. You do have to be careful handling the cornbread on the grill since it will want to fall apart on you. The moister and thicker your cornbread is, the less problems you’ll have.

You can make extra of the jalapeno honey butter and keep it on hand for more than just cornbread (I recommend it on biscuits!). It’s delicious and not overwhelmingly hot.

Did you know you can also grill macaroni and cheese? It’s crazy good too!

5 from 1 reviews
Grilled Cornbread with Jalapeno Honey Butter
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 batch your favorite cornbread (I use Jiffy)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 (4 ounce) can fire-roasted jalapenos (you can substitute a finely-minced fresh jalapeno (roast it first for even more flavor) that has been seeded)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. Cook the cornbread per package instructions. You can use squares or muffins.
  2. Fire up your grill for direct cooking.
  3. Melt the butter and stir in the jalapenos and honey.
  4. Brush cornbread liberally on all sides with the butter mixture.
  5. Place onto the grill over direct heat for 3 minutes until grill marks start to appear.
  6. Carefully flip and grill on the other side.for 3 more minutes.
  7. Serve hot with any remaining butter.

Green Chile Rubbed Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

When I saw that AlbuKirky Seasonings was having a sale, I jumped on it. I knew that Kirk’s Green Chile rub was going to be amazing on a chicken cooked in the Char-Broil Big Easy. Just that perfect hint of green chile peppers made each bite of this chicken perfect. You’re not talking spicy here, just wonderful pepper flavor. No need to add anything else. I used a whole chicken but you can of course use pieces or halves or heck, just wings. This right here is why I have a Big Easy. Well, three actually.
Seriously, the skin on this green chile rubbed chicken was crazy good. You have to exercise serious restraint. I recommend having a friend on hand to keep you from eating the entire thing before it’s even done resting.

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

5 from 1 reviews
Green Chile Rubbed Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Lightly coat the chicken in oil.
  3. Sprinkle chicken with the rub.
  4. Transfer the chicken to the Big Easy basket and cook until done, usually 20 minutes per pound.
  5. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Barbacoa-Style Smoked Chuck Roast

It’s an understatement to say I’m a big fan of smoking chuck roast. When it’s on sale it’s big time cheaper than brisket and yet still tender, moist and ‘beefy’. Sometimes I slice my smoked chuck roast, but more times than not I chop it for sandwiches or cut it into chunks for use in a chili or stew. This barbacoa-style smoked chuck roast packs fantastic flavor and juiciness, with a nice hint of heat. Perfect on a chopped beef sandwich!
I do not trim my chuck roasts before marinating them. I want all that fat to still be on the meat when I smoke it, adding flavor and moisture. After the meat is done I slice or chop it, leaving off the fatty pieces.

5 from 1 reviews
Barbacoa-Style Smoked Chuck Roast
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3-4 chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 3-4 pound chuck roast, untrimmed
Instructions
  1. Combine all but roast in a bowl.
  2. Place the chuck roast into a large resealable bag or container.
  3. Add the marinade. Toss to coat, seal, and marinade overnight.
  4. Fire up your smoker for smoking at 250 F. Use a medium wood such as hickory.
  5. Remove the beef from the marinade. Shake off the excess and transfer to the smoker.
  6. Smoke until the roast reaches 145 F., about 1 hour.
  7. Transfer the beef to a large piece of foil. Seal up tightly and return to the smoker. Smoke until the temperature reaches 200F, 4-5 hours more.
  8. Remove from the smoker and let rest 15 minutes before slicing of chopping. Add any juices from the foil back into the meat for extra flavor.

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Bacon-Wrapped Mexican Potatoes

Boy, crispy bacon… spicy Mexican chorizo sausage… cheese… I could actually just have these bacon-wrapped Mexican potatoes for dinner. By themselves. Nothing else. Just give me a platter of them and check on me in 15 minutes to see if I need more. They’re like grilled potato skins taken to a whole new level.

Bacon-Wrapped Mexican PotatoesI love the spicy kick from chorizo. But, if you don’t, you can easily change these potatoes up to be a little more mellow by making them Italian-style. Substitute crumbled cooked mild Italian sausage for the chorizo, mozzarella for the queso fresco, and sour cream for the crema. Excellent!

Bacon-Wrapped Mexican Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20 potatoes
 
Ingredients
  • 20 small new red potatoes, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 cup shredded or crumbled Queso fresco
  • 10 pieces bacon, halved
  • Toothpicks
  • Mexican crema (or sour cream)
  • Fresh chopped green onions or cilantro, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F.
  2. Brush potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until tender, 20-30 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  3. Fire up your grill for indirect cooking (you can also make these in the oven, so keep your oven going if you're going to cook these indoors).
  4. Meanwhile, crumble the chorizo into a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until browned. Remove from heat. Note: You want to get the chorizo fairly well crumbled. If you are having trouble doing so, just let the cooked chorizo cool a bit then pulss a few times in a food processor.
  5. Cut just enough of the bottom of each potato so that they can stand up straight. Then cut just enough off the top so you can scoop them out. Take a small mellon baller or spoon and spoon out the insides.
  6. In a bowl combine the chorizo and cheese and spoon into each potato.
  7. Wrap a halved piece of bacon around each potato and secure with a toothpick.
  8. Place on the grill over indirect heat and cook until the bacon starts to crisp, about 20 minutes, or bake in the oven at 425 F.
  9. Serve topped with a small dollop of Mexican crema or cream cheese and garnish with green onions or cilantro.

Fried Smoked Wings

Wonderfully smoky, tender meat with a lightly crispy skin, these smoked and then fried chicken wings were a thing of beauty. These are one of most dangerous things you could ever put in front of me. I don’t even need any sauce to toss or dunk them in, either. Just give me a big basket of them and get out of the way!
The process is simple. Season your wings, and place them onto your smoker. No messing around with them either. Just smoke for 2 hours.

When the wings are done you toss them into a deep fryer for a minute or so, until golden brown and lightly crispy. You can also make a big huge batch and freeze the smoked wings (before frying). All you have to do is thaw them and deep fry them when you’re ready to serve them at a later time. I was worried that making them from the frozen smoked wings would result in over-cooked, tough wings, but oh no, they were fantastic!

There’s a brewpub by our house, Redemption Alewerks, that makes crazy-good chicken wings. They smoke them first over a mix of mesquite and cherry woods, then flash fry them. They sauce them then place them over a hot flame to finish them off. My approach is similar, but I don’t always put them onto the grill at the end. They are fantastic either way, but grilling them real quick does help set the sauce.

For smoked wings that seem like they were fried, but weren’t, try my almost-fried smoked wings. Same great crunch and flavor without the oil.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

5 from 1 reviews
Fried Smoked Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded or saved for making chicken broth
  • Your favorite rub (I used Albukirky Seasoning's Green Chile Rub)
  • Canola oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for 225 F. Use any wood you like. I used Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chunks because I wanted a good, noticeable smoke flavor. Use a lighter wood if you want your wings to be a little less smoky.
  2. Place the wings onto the smoker and smoke for 2 hours. No need to rotate or flip them.
  3. When done, remove from the smoker. You can deep fry them immediately or freeze them for thawing and frying later.
  4. To fry, heat canola oil to 350 F.
  5. Working in batches, add the wings and fry for 1-2 minutes or until they are the desired color.
  6. Let cool slightly. Serve tossed with your favorite sauce and your favorite dipping sauce on the side.
  7. Optional: Toss the wings onto a hot grill for 1 minute after saucing them to set the sauce.