The espresso gives this BBQ sauce an exceptionally rich color and depth of flavor. Tangy vinegar is balanced by molasses and honey, making it a delicious addition to chicken, ribs, and chops.
Makes: 4 1/2 cups
Add the oil to a large saucepan on medium heat. When it’s up to temperature, add the onions with a sprinkling of salt and cook until they’re soft and translucent (if they begin to brown, add a little cold water and give them a quick stir). When the onions are done, add the garlic and cook for a couple minutes longer (be careful, garlic burns easily and turns bitter).
Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, without a lid, for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Keep an eye on the thickness, just stop cooking when the bbq sauce reaches a consistency you like.) Enjoy!
David B. May 9th, 2014
Do you count the days between camping trips? Do you dream of golden roasted marshmallows? Do visions of crispy blackened sugar balls haunt your sleep? Well, my friend, there is a better way.
1 Pack of marshmallows
1 Block of chocolate; shaved, grated, chopped, (or cut into decadent slabs)
1 Packet of graham crackers, shortbread cookies, ginger snaps, (or Oreos twisted open, depending how sacrilegious you’re willing to get)
Just like you would at a campfire. Skewer the marshmallows. Hover them over the grill; close, but not too close.
A temperature of 500-600 F works perfect for me. I simply rotate the marshmallows over the heat for 30 seconds or so, and I’m done.
Slide the marshmallow(s) onto your cookie surface of choice.
Add some chocolate.
Properly squish it.
And there you have it. S’mores in 30 seconds, at the end of every grilling session. Who needs camping?
David B. April 7th, 2014
Utterly shocked. That’s how I felt after trying this the first time. Hyperbole? Well a little. If you’re mad about apples, applesauce, or apple cobbler, you’ll find this just as good. A nice simple desert after a cooking session. What’s really great about this, is the smokey deliciousness that mixes with the apples.
4 to 6 apples (or pears as a variation)
4 tablespoons of butter4 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 graham cracker crumbs, ground almonds, or hazelnuts
1 teaspooon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 or 3 cinnamon sticks
A small handful of wood chips
Prepare your BBQ for indirect cooking. Soak wood chips.
Core the apples or pears. You effectively want to dig a large hole out of the top, removing the core, but leaving a good 1/2 inch of core at the bottom. You can use a melon scooper for this job, but I prefer a sharp knife and butter knife.
Cream the butter and brown sugar, just like you would cookies, then add graham crumbs, vanilla, zest, spices. Mix, then fill the cored apples. Pop half a cinnamon stick in the top of each one and they’re good to go.
Add your wood chips, and cook until soft and done looking. You’re looking at about 30-60 mins, depending on your bbq temperature.
All done. These apples are begging for a few scoops of vanilla ice cream, if you’re of that persuasion.
David B. December 23rd, 2013
If you need an excuse to get out on the grill this Thanksgiving, here it is: Grilled Pumpkin. A savory treat that’s easy (provided you are careful cutting the pumpkin) and delicious.
Improvise as you like, pumpkin holds up well to lots of different flavors. Here’s a recipe to guide you.
1 Pumpkin (per 1 lb)
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 crushed garlic cloves
Preheat your grill / BBQ for medium-hot, direct grilling. Cut pumpkin into 1/2 inch thick wedges . Deseed
Tip: Leave the skin on so the pumpkin slices stay together. Trim off skin before serving if you like.
Mix paprika, olive oil and garlic in a bowl with the pumpkin.
Grill the pumpkin 3-5 minutes on one side, turn and cook until tender. The pumpkin slides should be fork tender.
David B. November 18th, 2013
It’s a long process though, which makes the weekend an ideal time; I get the meat on early, say ten o’clock, and let it smoke away at 225° F (or as close to that temperature as I can maintain) until about six o’clock. A mop every hour or so is all the attention it needs, which gives plenty of time for double digging my wife’s new garden beds (while my 2 1/2 year old assiduously fills them in again).
It was pork butt last weekend, enough to feed a crowd. Which it did. It was so popular in fact, that by the time I made to the table the platter had a mere scrap left. Hardly enough to feed a mouse. But there was some satisfaction to be had in the satisfaction of others. And at least three people went away determined to delve into the delicious world low and slow smoking.
So here’s the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and friends do. It is essentially a recipe for pulled pork, but without the pulling and without a vinegar sauce. I served the pork, pulled into rough chunks, with a homemade BBQ sauce on the side.
Every BBQ has its own eccentricities which take time to learn, so don’t be discouraged if things aren’t perfect on your first try. The hardest part of low and slow cooking is maintaining a good temperature. Something between 225°-250° F is ideal, but you’ll still get mouth-watering results if your temperature creeps higher (even up to 350° F).
Give yourself 8+ hours, plus prep time, plus resting (though if your BBQ stubbornly refuses to stay around 225° the cooking time will be reduced). You’ll want to take your pork butt off when the internal temperature is between 190°-205° F, then wrap it in foil and let it rest for an hour.
I have a thermometer with two probes which has been invaluable. One probe goes into the meat and the other sits on the cooking grid to monitor the BBQ temperature, then it’s just a matter of adjusting vents to keep the temperature where I want it.
1 Boston butt (6-7 lbs), rolled and tied
4 tablespoons of Barbecue rub (recipe below)
Wood chips (soaked, if you’re cooking with charcoal)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 hot pepper (such as jalapeno), sliced thinly
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl (or something else non-reactive) and whisk until the salt is dissolved. You’ll brush this sauce onto the meat as it cooks.
1/4 cup packed brown sugar1/4 cup paprika (good quality fresh paprika makes a big difference here)
3 Tablespoons black pepper (I would recommend crushing whole peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, the flavor is much better)
4 Tablespoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. You’ll use all the rub for the pork butt, however make sure to set aside a tablespoon if you’re going to make the homemade BBQ sauce.
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons dark molasses
2 Tablespoons mustard (I use a spicy horseradish mustard, but anything would work)
1 Tablespoon BBQ rub
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Optional: 1 Tablespoon Tabasco sauce if you want to up the heat
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring it slowly to a boil. Reduce the heat so the sauce is simmering gently for around 10-15 minutes. It should be dark and rich. Taste and adjust the seasonings until you’re happy. Stored in the fridge this sauce will keep for several months.
If you’re organized (which I often am not), you should rub the pork butt with the BBQ rub the day before cooking it. However, lack of planning won’t ruin the meat and you can go so far as to apply the rub immediately before cooking. (Just make sure your meat is at room temperature before putting it on the BBQ).
Regardless of your time frame, cover the pork butt thoroughly with the BBQ rub, making sure to rub it into all the crevices. I get my meat from the local butcher who rolls it and scours it for me, make sure to scour yours with a knife (as in the pictures) if it’s not already done.
On the day of cooking, start your BBQ or grill. The idea is to keep the temperature low and steady for the length of cooking, the technique for doing this will depend on your BBQ. I’ll give a run down of how I do this on my Kamodo charcoal grill and how to do this on a gas grill.
I stick a firelighter at the bottom of a large pile of lump charcoal and light it, leave the lid open for around 10 minutes, then put on a large pizza stone (wrapped in aluminum foil) to act as a heat deflector. (The pizza stone sits on a low rack halfway between the charcoal and the cooking grid.) Then the cooking grid goes on and the lid is closed.
There are two vents on my Kamodo, one at the top and one at the bottom. I keep both of these open until the internal grill temperature reads 150° F on my probe thermometer (there is a thermometer built into the BBQ but it isn’t accurate). Once 150°F is reached, I scatter the soaked wood chips on the coals, put the meat on (fat side up), and begin to slowly close both vents. The important thing here is to be careful not to put the fire out while not letting the BBQ get too hot too quickly. By the time 225° (ish) is reached the vents are only fractionally cracked and require hardly any adjustment for the rest of the day.
The trick for cooking low and slow on a gas grill is to turn on your burners for indirect cooking. So if you have a three burner grill, heat the right or left burner at low and leave the other two off. The ideal temperature is exactly the same as a charcoal grill: keep it as close to the 225°-250°F range as possible. Place your rubbed meat, fat side up, as far from the heat source as possible.
You’ll also need a smoker tray for the wood chips, such as this one: http://www.appliancefactoryparts.com/search/part/12/
Put your dry wood chips in the container and place the container over the hot burner.
Once the outside of the meat is cooked (around an hour or two) it’s time to start basting in the vinegar mop sauce. Continue to mop the pork every hour, this is also the time when you can add more wood chips if you want. The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 190°-205°F.
When the internal temperature is reached, take the pork into the kitchen and wrap in aluminum foil for an hour. Then cut it up, pull it apart, shred it, or whatever you want. It is delicious served with the BBQ sauce recipe above, or with any of the Grumpy’s sauces.
David B. April 9th, 2013
In May, I first wrote about cooking pizza on the BBQ. This is a follow up post of sorts. Truth be told, homemade pizza on the BBQ has quickly become a family meal in our home, and our go to meal for indulgence and piggery.
Barbecuing pizza is not in any way a gimmick (something that you wouldn’t normally do, but do because you just love grilling)–it produces genuinely fantastic results that are better most pizza restaurants. It’s impossible to get pizza as good in your home oven.
Pizza peel – to transfer to the hot stone on the BBQ
A BBQ or gas grill with a lid capable of getting to about 500 – 650 degrees, ideally 600-650
You’ll also need some cornmeal to sprinkle on the pizza peel
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 envelope instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water; at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
7.5 ounces of fine semolina flour (1 1/2 cups) + 14.5 ounces of bread flour (2 1/2 cups), OR 22 ounces bread flour (4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
Ingredients for a pizza are kind of like a sandwich; whatever you have at hand, or feel like on the day. Mozzarella, pizza sauce, pepperoni, ham, pineapple, salmon, cream cheese, mushroom, onion, etc!
My three pizzas were: ham and pineapple; salmon (pre-cooked in the frying pan), red onion, and cream cheese; mushrooms, kalamata olives, and feta cheese.
Step 1. Prepare the Yeast. Add the warm water into a 2 cup measuring jug. Sprinkle the yeast and let it stand for about five minutes, or until the yeast swells.
Step 2. Add the room temp water, and olive oil, and stir.
Step 3. Whizz the flour and salt in the food processor for 10 seconds. Add the yeast mixture while the food processor is running.
Step 4. Run the food processor until the mixture combines to a ball. Continue to process the dough for another 20-25 seconds. There will be a few stray pieces of dough (as pictured).
Step 5. Dump onto a floured prep surface and hand kneed a few times to finish off. The dough should be slightly elastic. Oil a large bowl, big enough for the dough to at least double in size. Add the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Put the dough somewhere warm for 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size. Take a break, you’ll need to start preparing the BBQ and pizza toppings in about an hour.
Step 7. Prepare the toppings, and crank up the BBQ. For the sauce I’ve simply been using two cans of good canned tomatoes. Season them well and cook them low and slow for about 30 minutes, or until pizza sauce consistency is reached. You want all of your pizza toppings prepared and ready at hand, so cook/take out of packing/wash everything. Everything needs to be done very quickly, and you won’t have time to mess around.
At about 90 mins into the dough rising, load up your coals, or start up your grill. Pop your pizza stone on the cooking grid and close the lid. You want to get your BBQ really hot, around 600-650 degrees. Great care is obviously necessary at these temps (even when opening the lid).
NB: Never put a cold pizza stone on a hot BBQ, always heat the BBQ up as you heat the stone up. Also don’t leave the pizza stone on top of the pizza grid after the BBQ has cooled. Moisture can be trapped between the grid and the stone and cause your grid to rust prematurely.
Step 8. After the dough has risen. Separate the dough out in thirds. Roll or stretch one third on a prepared surface and transfer to a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal.
Step 9. Add your toppings
Step 10. Carefully transfer the pizza from the peel onto the pizza stone on the BBQ. Shut the lid as soon as possible and wait. Stay close to the BBQ and it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to peak after just a couple of minutes to see how it’s going. It’s so easy to burn and a little heart breaking to have a fantastic looking pizza with a burned bottom. Here’s my ham and pineapple going on, yes I like a lot of pineapple on my Hawaiian pizzas.
Step 11. Repeat for the other two pizzas, then eat.
David B. January 4th, 2013
The holiday season is here at last; time for family, for friends, and for food.
I wanted to try something a bit different for this post, a twist on a traditional thanksgiving dish. Pig candy came to mind (bacon caramelized with brown sugar, something I’ve wanted to try for awhile), and candied yams. Now that sounded like a fantastic combination.
And it was. Unfortunately I got too excited and forgot to take pictures before the sticky goodness was scoffed by my family. There were no yams left for a second round, but I did have a jar of pineapple chunks, and another pack of bacon. Salty-sweet caramelized bacon wrapped around the juicy bite of pineapple? Oh yes, it was meant to be.
I used a grill of course, but I imagine you could cook these in a frying pan (or even in the oven) just as well.
1/2 pound of bacon
Pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
If you’re using a fresh pineapple, cut and prepare the pineapple into chunks.
Preheat the oven, and cook the bacon at 350 degrees for approx 20 mins. The bacon should be cooked, but still soft.
Wrap each chunk of pineapple with a strip of bacon (cut the bacon if it’s too long), and skewer this bundle with a toothpick. Now rub thoroughly with brown sugar.
Preheat grill to low, and cook.
Because your bacon is already cooked, the grilling step only really involves caramelizing the brown sugar and crisping bacon. What you don’t want to do is burn the sugar so watch vigilantly and move them to a cooler spot on the grill or remove them entirely, if needed.
(Be forewarned that grilling any sugar makes a mess, be prepared for a little clean up afterwards. It should not be more than a little elbow grease.)
David B. November 20th, 2012
Scrumptious and garlicky; these shrimp are perfect as an appetizer or the feature in a fantastic salad.
If you really want to splurge, get enough to fill up on –you won’t find a tastier meal.
12 large shrimp or prawns
1/4 cup butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
Sat and freshly ground pepper
Minced red chili or red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
2. Shell and de-vein the shimp, leaving the tails on if desired.Put them in a large zip lock bag.
3. Melt the butter and mix in the rest of the ingredients, except the lemon wedges. (If you like things extra garlicy, go ahead and add another clove) Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper!
4. Pour the butter mixture into the bag with the shrimp, push out as much air as you can, and leave to marinate for about half an hour in the fridge.
5. You can either grill them directly separatly, or by threading them onto a skewer for less tedious turning. If using a skewer, curve the shrimp around and push it through both the tail and near the head.
6. Grill for a couple minuts on each side. Serve with lemon wedges and gobble them up.
David B. October 15th, 2012
Planking is a great, easy way to grill; and is particularly suited to delicate foods like fish. The wood plank protects the flesh from the intensity of the flames or burners while imbuing it with delicious smokey flavors. However longer cooking meats like chicken will always pick up more smokiness since they’re exposed to the smoke for much longer.
And planking isn’t only for those cooking with charcoal, this technique works perfectly on gas grill as well!
You can use a variety of timber for planking, cedar isn’t the only option. Apple, alder, hickory –just be sure the wood isn’t treated!
Before grilling, the wood needs to be soaked it in a tub of water for at least an hour (to reduce the chance of it catching on fire). For another layer of flavor try adding a cup of juice or a splash of bourbon to the soaking water.
After soaking, put the plank on a preheated medium grill for a couple minutes on each side. You want the plank to be smoking and cracking before you put your food on it –this will make sure you get the maximum smokey flavor.
Now you’re ready to cook! Brush some oil on the hot plank, and put your food directly on it. No turning needed. Be sure to keep the lid closed as much as possible since a lot of the flavor from planking comes from the smoke.
A few other notes:
Be sure to keep a spray bottle on hand while cooking on a plank. The wood can catch fire, you need to be able to quickly extinguish any flare-ups.
Even though salmon is the traditional planking food, don’t limit yourself. Pretty much any fish is delicious cooked in this way. Also chicken, pork loins, vegetables. Really, anything you’d cook over an indirect heat. Marinate and season as you’d like, then cook it on the plank.
Cedar planks can be reused a number of times, as long as there is wood left. Depending on the length of cooking, I would expect around three uses. Don’t forget to soak it before each use.
Be sure to remove the plank as soon as you’re done cooking, otherwise the wood will just burn up. And if you’re using a gas grill, it will make a big mess in your burners.
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika (Preferably hungarian paprika. Try smoked paprika for an even bigger punch. Or even smoked spicy paprika.)
1 garlic clove, minced
Freshly ground black pepper (about a teaspoon)
6 salmon filets, skinless and boneless
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cedar planks
Prepare the planks as above.
Preheat the grill, medium heat.
Put the juice, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, oil, and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over med-high heat. Reduce to med-low and stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients, cooking until it has reduced to and coats a spoon. About 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Sprinkle the salmon filets with salt and pepper
Your cedar planks should be finished soaking and be ready to put on the preheated grill. Leave them for a couple of minutes over the burners, until they start to smoke, then brush them with oil and pop the salmon filets on top. Close the lid, cook for 5 minutes, then spread a little of the sauce over the salmon. Put the lid back on and cook another 5 minutes. Apply another layer of glaze to the fish. Cook another 5 minutes or until the fish is opaque throughout.
Serve with the rest of the sauce, and enjoy.
David B. September 3rd, 2012
One of the things I like about grilling is being able to make simple recipes fantastic. You can hardly get easier or quicker than this one, but it never ever gets old. All the ingredients should either be on hand or readily available. Who doesn’t like buttery garlic bread?
1 French bread stick
1 1/2 stick salted butter, room temperature
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper, ideally freshly ground
1/4 cup parmesan, grated (fresh if possible, it has much more flavor)
Cajun Seasoning – We used their fantastic Slap Ya Mama – White Pepper Blend
Preheat the grill with one burner on high and another on low.
Cut the bread stick as you would like, rounds, diagonal slices, fingers; about 1/2 thick. Place these pieces on a tray for transporting to the grill.
In a medium sized bowl, beat the butter until creamy with a whisk, food processor or mixer. Add the garlic, parsley, pepper, and cheese. Continue beating until it’s fluffy.
Now you need to season the fluffy mix with your cajun seasoning. Add a little at a time, mix, then taste. Create a nice warmth, but don’t overpower the garlic and cheese flavors.
Spread the mixture on both sides of the bread.
Place the prepared bread on the grill and cook until both sides are golden. Watch very carefully! And move the bread to a cooler area of the grill if it starts to burn. It should take around 1-3 minutes for each side.
David B. August 5th, 2012