This is when I have to admit that I’m addicted to onion rings. I love them dipped in ketchup, BBQ sauce or remoulade, but I love them even more on a great sandwich or burger. So, I decided on slow cooker barbecue beef sandwiches. I made a big slow cooker full of barbecue beef, spooned it onto buns, topped it with as many onion rings as I could fit, and a bit of extra sharp cheddar cheese, and I was happy. The crunchy rings are a nice contrast to the tender, juice beef. And yeah, I did have more rings on the side. Darn right I did. I’m addicted to them.
The beef on these slow cooker barbecue beef sandwiches is really flavorful and tender. Does it taste like a brisket that has been smoked for 14 hours? No. But it’s mighty good, and not just great on sandwiches, either. Save a little for nachos or for topping hot dogs or burgers.
Yes, you could skip the onion rings. You could add sliced red onion instead. I recommend letting the onion soak in cold water for at least 10 minutes before using. That’ll help cut some of the onion-ness.
I know my buddies on the grilling and smoker forums are going to give me grief over making slow cooker baby back ribs. But I am always up to trying something new (to me). Now, yes, I know these baby back ribs don’t sit in a smoker for 6 or so hours and get a beautiful smoke ring. But, they are tender, almost fall-off-the-bone tender, and with a little help, quite tasty. And hey, when it’s blowing 45 MPH winds outside with a wind chill well below 0, slow cooker baby back ribs will do just nicely.
Like with boiling ribs (ok, don’t hate me for boiling ribs!) before grilling them, you have to add something so that the ribs get some flavor to them. Last time I boiled ribs, I added Old Bay seafood boil seasoning. When I made these baby back ribs I added a drop or two of liquid smoke and a little smoky BBQ sauce to boot. Sure, it’s not the same as sitting over hickory smoke for a long time, but those smoky flavors do absorb into the meat as it cooks.
I’m not ashamed to say it. I can put away some pot roast. Put a bowl of pot roast in front of me, and there’s only one outcome: an empty bowl. Put a bowl of this slow cooker BBQ pot roast in front of me and there’s only one outcome: me asking for seconds and probably thirds, with nothing but empty bowls between rounds. That same great flavor as a traditional pot roast, completely amped up with BBQ flavors. This is surprisingly different and really a treat to eat!
I used a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce when I made this slow cooker BBQ pot roast. You want something with a smoky flavor, and maybe even a bit of a spicy kick. After all, this isn’t your normal pot roast. I wouldn’t go with something that’s over-the-top sweet but a little bit is ok. Just like with the heat. A little heat is a good thing.
The broth in this pot roast screams ‘dip something in me’. So I made some Italian breadsticks on the side. I saved as much of the broth as I could for the end, at which point I got to soppin’ with my breadsticks!
I’m not ashamed to say it. I can put away some pot roast. Put a bowl of pot roast in front of me, and there’s only one outcome: an empty bowl. Put a bowl of this slow cooker BBQ pot roast in front of me and there’s only one outcome: me asking for seconds and probably thirds.
Oh, what a wonderful BBQ sauce this hot pepper jelly BBQ sauce is. It has the perfect consistency. Not too runny, not too gloppy. Consistency is important. A small bit of heat and a little tang from vinegar and mustard. Perfect for any pork BBQ dish. For me that means smoked baby back ribs. But it’s great on pulled pork, brisket, chicken… you name it! Any time you want a bit of heat (which for me is always), this is the BBQ sauce you should make and use.
You can substitute any kind of jelly for the hot pepper jelly, really. It doesn’t have to be a pepper-based jelly. You can even use the ‘classics’ like grape or strawberry. But don’t be afraid of hot pepper jelly. Out of the jar, sure, it’s got some kick. It’s supposed to have some! But in this hot pepper jelly BBQ sauce that heat gets a little mellowed. You still get great pepper flavor though. It’s still a great sauce whether you use hot jelly, mild jelly or ‘classic’ jelly! Just slather it on your meat good and thick and dig in!
When I make a batch of this basic BBQ rub I don’t just make a little ole container full. No, I make a bunch of it. A whole lot. That’s because I use it on just about every piece of meat that I throw onto my trusty old smoker. It shines best on beef and pork, adding a bit of sweetness and a bit of heat. And though it contains coffee and lemon pepper the flavors from those two ingredients don’t jump out and scream at your taste buds. They’re there though, working perfectly with the rest of the flavors. This is truly a great all-around rub.
The idea for this basic BBQ rub came from Ray Lampe’s book, Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip Smacking Barbecue. The book is full of great recipes and stories and ideas, just like this one. This rub can be used as-is or as a great jumping-off point for making your own rub. Play with the ratios to suit your tastes. For example, don’t use regular paprika just use only smoked paprika for a much stronger smoke flavor, perfect for seasoning foods cooked in doors where you won’t get a strong wood flavor. Or add more heat. Or leave out the heat. It’s a very versatile rub.
Also try my basic BBQ sauce. Like this rub, it’s great as is or use it as a base for your own flavors.
As much as I do love meatloaf, for me the best meatloaf is on a sandwich like on these BBQ meatloaf sandwiches. The joy of meatloaf is that it is (usually) a little denser than a hamburger. It also (usually) comes with vegetables and other seasonings mixed in. Slap a big slice of meatloaf on a big hearty bun, top it with BBQ sauce, bacon, and French-fried onions and I’m not just sort of happy, I’m very happy!
Don’t mess around with little ole thin slices of meatloaf when you make BBQ meatloaf sandwiches. And don’t mess around with those little ole grocery store hamburger buns that are barely bigger than a potato chip. Go big. You want a bun that can hold up to a seriously thick slice of meatloaf. The dripping BBQ sauce, crunchy smoky bacon and crispy onions can put a hurt on wimpy bun
Note: This recipe was developed using the Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Fryer. If you are cooking using the Char-Broil Smoker-Roaster Grill you should cook with the lid open and the temperature set to High. You might also need to adjust the cooking time.
Roasted chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy is something I could make and eat all day long. I never get tired of it. I usually make split chicken breasts or whole chickens. This time I used a great off-the-shelf rub, Dizzy Pig’s Raging River, and cooked the chicken until done. I then brushed on my fantastic homemade peach BBQ sauce. Wow, what great chicken!
You can make any chicken using this same technique but substitute your own rub or seasoning and any sauce you want. Just make sure that you don’t put the sauce on until the end (after the chicken is fully cooked) or it will burn. The Big Easy cooks at a high temperature. It won’t take long for it to set the 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 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 from the legendary Myron Mixon, it’s great as is or use it as a base for your own flavors.
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 that was a little bit different. Something with a smoky flavor and a little sweetness. More like a typical bottled sauce I might find at the grocery store. Nothing wrong with those store-bought sauces. Many of them are outstandingly good.
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.
As with any BBQ sauce, don’t apply it until your food is basically done grilling and almost ready to pull off the grill. Squirt it or slather it on right at the end. 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.
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.
You can make these quick fix BBQ 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.