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.
Basic BBQ SauceI’m going to call this basic BBQ 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 also slather basic BBQ sauce on my grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. It’s also fantastic on BBQ chicken pizza!

Also try my basic BBQ rub. Like this sauce, it’s great as is or use it as a base for your own flavors.

Basic BBQ Sauce

Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 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

  • Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.
  • Transfer to a sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Heat thoroughly. Serve or use warm.

Apricot BBQ Sauce

Oh my goodness. I wasn’t even looking for another BBQ sauce to add to my list of homemade, fantastically-good sauces. I actually made this apricot BBQ sauce only because I found a jar of apricot preserves in the back of the pantry that needed to be used up. It was a sign because this is one of the top BBQ sauces I’ve ever made or tasted. The perfect combination of sweet and heat and just the right consistency to stick to a rack of St. Louis-style smoked ribs without being too gloppy or too thin.
Apricot BBQ Sauce The apricot preserves add a light fruity flavor to the apricot BBQ sauce, but it’s there in the back with lots of other great flavors and isn’t so in-your-face. Now, if you want to have a more apricot-like sauce, feel free to add more. Since apricot (or peach for that matter) goes great with pork, add more sauce if you’re cooking pork. If you’re using this sauce on say chicken, you might want to use a little less.

Apricot BBQ Sauce

Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1 cup more or less, to taste apricot preserves

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir and heat until the butter is melted.

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Carolina Dogs

I love putting coleslaw on my pulled pork sandwiches, so why not take that same idea and completely amp-up a hot dog? A grilled all-beef dog. Tender moist smoked pulled pork. Tangy Carolina coleslaw. These Carolina dogs were a big hit in our house.
Carolina DogsThe idea for these Carolina dogs came from watching the show Eat Street, where the host does what I want to do every day: eat from food trucks. In this case, it was the Evil Weiner truck in Austin, Texas, that caught my eye. What a fantastic hot dog menu!

Don’t use a creamy slaw on these dogs. You want that vinegar hit from a good ole Carolina slaw. It’s easy to make or just pick up some pre-made slaw at the grocery store. Same goes for the pulled pork. I found some pulled pork in the freezer leftover from a recent smoke session, but if you don’t have any on hand, grab some from your local BBQ joint. They’d love to sell you a pound or two.

Carolina Dogs

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • All-beef hot dogs
  • Hot dog buns
  • Pulled pork BBQ
  • Your favorite Carolina-style BBQ sauce I prefer Lillie's Q
  • Carolina slaw

Instructions

  • Cook the dogs as desired.
  • Toast the buns, if desired.
  • Warm the pulled pork in a saucepan. Add just enough of the BBQ sauce to get the meat moist, but don't over-sauce it.
  • Serve hot dogs on buns topped with warmed BBQ pork and plenty of cold slaw.

Peach BBQ Sauce Version 2.0

I do love a fresh peach BBQ sauce. Nothing screams winter is over like fresh peaches being available in our local grocery store. I’ve made a great peach-based BBQ sauce before, but this time I was looking for something a bit different Something with a smoky flavor and a little sweetness.

My original sauce was more like a traditional Kansas City sauce. This version 2.0 sauce one brings a little kick to any grilled meat, like the split chicken breasts I made recently on my Char-Broil Big Easy.
Peach BBQ SauceAs with any BBQ sauce, don’t apply the peach BBQ sauce until your food is basically done grilling. Any sooner and the molasses and peach nectar may start to burn. Just put it on and let the food grill a bit longer until the sauce has set. Then enjoy! And if you prefer the flavor of apricot over peach, try out my apricot BBQ sauce.

This sauce is also great on my sweet-and-sour meatball skewers.

Peach BBQ Sauce

Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 peaches peeled, pitted, chopped
  • 3/4 cup peach nectar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle salsa or use 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce from canned chipotles
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Hot sauce to taste (optional)

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly before placing in a food processor or blender. Process until the desired smoothness is achieved.

Daddy’s BBQ Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I’m not one to rename other folk’s recipes, so when I came across Daddy’s BBQ chicken I couldn’t call it something else even though it’s not my daddy’s BBQ chicken. If it was though, I’d say “Dad, that’s amazingly great chicken!”. Like any other poultry made on the Char-Broil Big Easy it’s tender, juicy and of course, there’s crispy crazy yummy skin. The marinade is the perfect combination of Worcestershire sauce and steak sauce with just a hint of citrus.
Daddy's BBQ Chicken on the Char-Broil Big EasyI would make Daddy’s BBQ chicken on my Char-Broil Big Easy again. And again. People might look at it first and expect a fairly simple chicken but that’s not what they’ll get. Packed with flavor it’s a nice change from your standard roasted chicken or chicken that has been covered in a traditional BBQ sauce.

I’m a big fan of BBQ-style chicken on the Big Easy. Also check out my peach BBQ and white barbecue recipes.

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

Daddy's BBQ Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Depending on the side of your chicken breasts you might need a Bunk Bed basket to fit all of the chicken into your Big Easy.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 5 hours
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 split bone-in chicken breasts skin removed if desired
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup A-1 steak sauce
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter melted
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place the chicken into a large resealable bag or container.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice, Worcestershire, steak sauce and butter.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours, turning the chicken every 30 minutes.
  • When ready to cook, fire up your Big Easy.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess.
  • Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and transfer to the Big Easy basket.
  • Cook until the chicken measures 165 F as measured in several places, generally 20 minutes per pound.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Smokehouse BBQ Sauce

I’m always on the lookout for a different sauce for my smoked ribs, pulled pork, or whatever meats I’m cooking on my smoker. It’s not because I don’t already have a good collection of sauces that I love. It’s because sometimes you just want something different. This smokehouse BBQ sauce intrigued me when I first saw it because it had both chile peppers and lemon juice. I thought, well, that’s new. So I made it and it came out great on a nice big rack of smoked spare ribs!
smokehouse-bbq-sauceThick but not too thick, this smokehouse BBQ sauce has a hint of spiciness, a hint of smokiness, and a slight vinegar kick. In a ways it’s a combination of many BBQ sauces, from Kansas City to Memphis to the Carolinas. Different, but different in a good way.

Smokehouse BBQ Sauce

Course BBQ Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 dried ancho chile peppers
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Liquid smoke to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the chiles and toast for 2-3 minutes. Turn and continue toasting until softened.
  • Add the water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Remove peppers to a cutting board, but reserve the water.
  • Remove stems and seeds from the peppers and chop lightly. Transfer to a blender and add the reserved water. Puree until smooth and return to the skillet.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the lemon and butter.
  • Bring sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer and continue simmering for 30 minutes until the desired thickness is achieved.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and add the butter and stir until melted.

Review: Ray Lampe’s Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue

Review: Ray Lampe's Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Lip-Smacking BarbecueDo not let the word ‘beginner’ deter you from reading Ray Lampe’s Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue. Whether you’re just contemplating low-and-slow cooking or you’ve been doing it for 30 years or more, this book is so full of great recipes and approaches that you’ll find yourself going back to it again and again. I do. I’m pretty sure that this book shattered my previous record for how many recipes I bookmarked.

The first chapter of Slow Fire concentrates on rubs and sauces. I made my own variation of Lampe’s Basic Rub #67 and it has now become my go-to rib and pork butt rub. You’ll find yourself doing the same thing. I recommend you make the rubs or sauces as Ray intended, then taste and add whatever you want to make them your own. Or you might find yourself making substitutions for something else you prefer. No matter what, the recipes in the book are fantastic starting points (and they are perfect they way they are too!).

The next chapter is all about ribs. Great ribs done tons of different ways. Including a fantastic Asian-inspired rib. Ribs are my favorite meat to smoke, and I’m always on the lookout for new variations. Slow Fire did not disappoint.

Next up, pork. Glorious pork. Butt, shoulder, chops, tenderloin, you name it. My rule when smoking pork: always make extra because it’s always good. Slow Fire has a great mix of recipes for pork.

Beef is next, including a great recipe for homemade pastrami, which is next on my to-do list. I make a cheater pastrami, which starts with an already brined brisket (corned beef). Slow Fire shows you how to make a real pastrami, beginning with a brisket.

The section on cooking poultry is next. It includes a recipe for Buffalo turkey wings, something I hadn’t even considered and will definitely make soon. You’ll find recipes for every part of a chicken (or turkey or game hen or duck) that you can want.

The book wraps up with recipes for miscellaneous dishes, like kielbasa or lamb, and a number of side dishes too, including some of the staples for a good barbecue, such as slaw or potato salad. All of the recipes are well-written, thought out and bulletproof. And good. Very good.

Ray Lampe’s Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue rates high on my ‘Mater Rater. My only complaints are I wish there were more pictures and maybe a few more recipes included, but what there is there is fantastic.

'Mater Rater
For more of my reviews of cookbooks available for the Amazon Kindle readers, visit Kindle Thyme.

Quick Fix BBQ Beans

Why grab a can of pre-made BBQ beans at the store when you can make your own in no time at all. Sure, I’ve made scratch baked beans before (on the smoker and they were fantastic!). These aren’t those beans. Quick to fix, these BBQ beans still pack in the flavor.
quick-fix-bbq-beansYou can make these beans taste however you like just by changing which BBQ sauce you add. From smoky to spicy, you can’t go wrong. And speaking of spicy, for a little extra kick add a few sliced jalapenos. And for extra crunch, chop half of a medium sweet onion and toss that in too. You really cannot make a boo-boo when you make these beans.

If you have more time, try making my best BBQ beans on the planet (really, they are), Dinosaur-style BBQ beans, Peach BBQ beans, slow cooker beans and wieners and Tangy Pit Beans.

Quick Fix BBQ Beans

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large red or green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 15 ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Combine all ingredients and pour into an 8" x 8" baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly before serving as the sauce will be very hot.

Bacon BBQ Chicken Bombs on the Char-Broil Big Easy

These bacon BBQ chicken bombs have been on my to-do list for a while now. I was definitely looking forward to making them on my Char-Broil Big Easy, which is about as fuss-free as you can get. Good doesn’t even come close to describing them. Each bite pops with tender, moist chicken, cheese-stuffed jalapenos, bacon and BBQ sauce.

Don’t fear the jalapenos if you’re not into spicy foods. They mellow out a lot while cooking. If you’re still not sure about using them, you can substitute poblanos. Just halve them lengthwise, remove the seeds, then halve them again depending on how big the peppers are. You’ll still get that great pepper flavor but without any heat.
Bacon BBQ Chicken Bombs on the Char-Broil Big EasyThese bacon BBQ chicken bombs may seem to be complicated to make on the Char-Broil Big Easy, but they are not. You’re just pounding out some chicken breast, wrapping it around cheese-stuffed jalapenos, rolling it up and wrapping it in bacon. Then onto the Big Easy until done, basted with BBQ sauce, and devoured. That’s it. They’re highly addicting. I recommend making extra because they’re just as good leftover.

Also try my Sriracha bacon onion rings, also cooked up perfectly on the Big Easy.

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

Bacon BBQ Chicken Bombs on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Note: You'll need at least one Bunk Bed basket for your Big Easy, or even two, or you might have to cook these bombs in batches.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10 bombs
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 5 small boneless skinless chicken breasts butterflied and pounded thin (about 1/4") Note: You can also substitute chicken tenderloins
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 5 large jalapenos halved lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 20 slices bacon
  • 1 cup your favorite barbecue sauce

Instructions

  • Note: You want each piece of chicken to be approximately the width of the length of the jalapenos.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and cheddar.
  • Spoon the cheese mixture into each jalapeno half.
  • Working in batches, place the jalapenos onto the chicken and roll up. Place seam-side down when done so they don't unroll. If you're chicken pieces are too big you might have to trim them a bit.
  • Wrap 2 pieces of bacon around each rolled chicken. Tuck ends under the bacon to seal. The first few might not be pretty, but once you get a hang of it they're fun to make. And they'll taste great no matter what when they are done!
  • Fire up your Big Easy.
  • Add the chicken bombs to the Big Easy basket (and bunk bed basket(s) if using). Do not let them touch. If you have to, cook them in batches.
  • Lower the basket into the Big Easy and cook for 20-30 minutes, basting with the BBQ sauce every 10 minutes. Note: I use a very long basting brush to get down inside the basket and get the sauce on all of the chicken bombs. Be careful to not burn yourself. If you can't reach them, just baste them after they are cooked.
  • Remove and check for doneness (165 F) on all cooking levels.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes then serve.

BBQ Pulled Pork Poutine

I’m a big fan of poutine. It’s definitely one of my favorite dishes. I’ve made it the classic way (fries, curds, gravy) many times. This time I thought I’d try a totally different approach to poutine and top the fries with smoked BBQ pulled pork instead. A handful or two of curds and a pickle garnish and I was in poutine heaven again.
BBQ Pulled Pork PoutineThere’s really no way to improve on this BBQ pulled pork poutine. Every bite was flat-out delicious. I used spicy hot pepper cheese curds, but I think any flavor (other maybe curds infused with herbs such as rosemary or thyme) would work perfectly.

As an aside, on the off chance that you have a little leftover pulled pork and curds, make a few baked potatoes and top them with the meat and cheese. You won’t be sorry.

BBQ Pulled Pork Poutine

The amounts below can be changed to suit your tastes. I didn't measure anything very closely, I just went for it. You can't mess this up so don't worry about amounts so much.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen French fries cooked per package instructions (or use fresh-made)
  • 1 cup BBQ pulled pork warmed (I used my Cherry Dr. Pepper pulled pork)
  • 1 cup cheese curds I used hot pepper curds
  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen French fries cooked per package instructions (or use fresh-made)
  • 1 cup bread-and-butter pickles diced

Instructions

  • Spread the fries out onto a large platter.
  • Add pulled pork and cheese curds.
  • Drizzle with the BBQ sauce and garnish with the pickles.
  • Devour.