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, juicy 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 really love making jerky on my dehydrator. I’ve been using ground top round for my ground beef jerky, but any lean ground meat will work. This sweet BBQ ground beef jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro has a nice mellow smoky BBQ flavor that is definitely not overwhelming. It has a bit of sweetness, but it’s definitely not candy-like. The meat has the perfect ‘bite’, just a little tug.
Make sure you rotate your trays every 2 hours or so when making sweet BBQ ground beef jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro. The bottom trays will not dry quite as quickly as those on top will. Rotating the trays will give you nice, even drying and perfect jerky on every level. I actually write numbers on my trays (using blue painter’s tape) so I can keep up with them as I rotate them. The numbers make is much easier.
Sweet BBQ Ground Beef Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro
This sweet BBQ ground beef jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro has a nice mellow smoky BBQ flavor that is definitely not overwhelming. It has a bit of sweetness, but it’s definitely not candy-like. The meat has the perfect ‘bite’, just a little tug.
1teaspooncuring saltComes with the seasoning. Optional if you’re going to refrigerate the finished product
NOTE: The package for the Eastman Outdoors jerky seasoning states that it makes up to 5 pounds of jerky. I personally feel that the flavor is too mellow, so I use just about an entire package for 1 pound of jerky. I end up with a little left over seasoning, which I store in a labelled air-tight container. I’ll eventually mix it with more seasoning. I think I can get 3 pounds of well-seasoning jerky out of two packages of Eastman Outdoors mix.
Place beef in a resealable bag or container.
In a small bowl whisk together the seasoning, curing salt and water. Pour over the meat and seal. Shake to coat.
Refrigerate the meat for up to 8 hours, shaking or massaging every hour or so to get the marinade distributed and absorbed evenly.
Remove meat from the marinade and add to a jerky gun. Squeeze out onto Nesco trays. Do not overlap meat.
Add the dehydrator top, set to maximum temperature setting and dehydrate for 5 hours, rotating the trays (bottom to top) every 2 hours or so.
To test for doneness remove a piece and let cool slightly. Try to bend the meat. If it gives and starts to tear at the bend it is done. If it bends without tearing return to the dehydrator and let it run another 15 minutes and test again. If the meat is crunchy it is overdone but still good. It’s really personal preference as to how you like your jerky. Soft, chewy, crunchy. There’s no wrong here.
Let cool before storing in an airtight container.
This recipe is for starting with 1 pound of meat. You’ll end up with about 1/2 pound in the end. You can easily double/triple/etc this recipe for large quantities of meat, however 5-6 pounds is about all you can fit onto a Nesco Snackmaster Pro fitted with 12 trays (the unit comes with 5).
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.
A lot of restaurant signature sauces start with simple, off-the-shelf ingredients. A restaurant near us starts with BBQ sauce and Ranch, just like with this quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing, and then adds a few other ingredients (such as crumbled cooked bacon) to make it different for different dishes, such as for dipping onion rings or chicken wings. They also use it as a spicy version of their house Ranch salad dressing for well, you guessed it, salads.
This quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing isn’t just for salads, though. That’s for sure. I squirted it on a big plate of French fries. Then I dipped grilled chicken wings in it. I slathered it on hot-off-the-grill hamburgers. Heck, it’s great on wraps too!
Just make sure you start with good, quality BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing. And don’t hesitate to use a spicy BBQ sauce, or one with a bit of smoky flavor to it.
This dressing will last a while in the fridge, if there happens to be any leftover. Just make sure to give it a good shake or stir before serving.
A lot of restaurant signature sauces start with simple, off-the-shelf ingredients. A restaurant near us starts with BBQ sauce and Ranch, just like with this quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing, and then adds a few other ingredients.
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.
Oh me how happy was I with this pizza? Darned happy, that’s how happy! All of my favorite things. Crunchy pizza crust. Moist, tender chicken, cheese, smoky BBQ sauce, and of course, some heat! BBQ chicken pizza was a big hit in our household, that’s for sure! BBQ chicken pizza is also the easiest, tastiest way to use up leftover cooked chicken. You can also make this same recipe using leftover pulled pork or smoked brisket.
I used a smoky, hickory-flavored BBQ sauce since the chicken I used was roasted and didn’t have that much smoky flavor. If I was going to use smoked pork or beef I’d use a sauce without a smoky flavor since there’s already enough of that in the meat.
I’m always on the lookout for recipes that call for leftover pulled pork. I smoke a lot of pork, always making more than I need because I love it on more than just sandwiches. And boy oh boy, these BBQ deviled eggs are ‘da bomb’. They aren’t just hard boiled eggs topped with BBQ sauce-laden pork. Oh no. They bring it with a little vinegar kick, a little smoke and a little heat. Each bite is truly fantastic.
You can make BBQ deviled eggs using any leftover smoked meat, be it pork, chicken or beef. Make sure you chop or shred it small. You don’t want the meat to drown out the other flavors.
I absolutely stink (best word I could think of) when it comes to making boiled eggs. Hard or soft, doesn’t matter. I am egg challenged. So I picked up a little cheap egg cooker like the one below. This lil baby cranks out 6 eggs in about 15 minutes and they’re perfect each and every time! I don’t even feel bad any more that I just cannot make boiled eggs!
Normally I would pipe the mixture onto the tops of the boiled eggs but this mixture was a bit too thick to do that so I just spooned it on top. No harm in that. People aren’t going to spend a lot of time looking at these BBQ deviled eggs. They won’t last long enough for long stares.
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