Category Archives: Outdoor Cooking

Grilled Marinated Pork Loin Chops with recipe for Tangy Gold BBQ Sauce

Lean with a healthy slant, this is a recipe to sink your teeth into.

Did you know pork loin is America’s most popular lean meat? Well, other than chicken, neither did I. And, marinating thick chops are one of our favorite way to flavor this cut of pork as well as putting it on the grill.

The loin roast comes from the upper part area of the hog between the shoulder and the start of the leg. The loin roast is delicious when marinated and grilled quickly over direct heat. For a crisp surface on your chop, be sure the grill is fully preheated before placing the chops on the rack. Of note, if cooking pork loin chops on the stove, again, be sure to use medium high heat. Because of the connecting fibers, these chops should not be braised or stewed as they have a tendency to lose tenderness when cooked by means of moist heat.

Now, according to wiki-how, “the USDA recommends cooking pork to 160 degrees,” that is, if you prefer tough meat, “but it is perfectly safe to cook American pork to 145 degrees. Trichina dies out at 137, and most other ones die at around 140. For those outside American soil, you should probably cook your pork well.”

Enough of all that. I don’t know how many times I have used this marinade on pork chops nor guess how many more times I will in the future. I know it will be many more good eatings.

Tender, juicy and full of flavor, these chops with or without the tangy sauce is spectacular. Hope you get your grill out and get to cooking soon. Enjoy!

Grilled Marinated Pork Loin Chops
glazed with Tangy Gold BBQ Sauce
4 servings

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon low-sodium Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
4 -1 1/2 to 2 inch thick boneless pork loin chops
Tangy Gold BBQ Sauce -see below

Combine all marinade ingredients in a container or sealable bag and let marinate for 1 to 2 hours refrigerated. Remove from refrigerator and let rest about 30 minutes before grilling.

Heat grill to high heat. Place chops directly over flame and after first sear marks appear on both sides (about 2 minutes each side) reduce heat to medium heat or move away from direct heat. Begin glazing with the Tangy Gold BBQ Sauce. Move chops further away from heat if the sauce darkens too much. You want to coat with several layers of the glaze for a really outstanding taste.

Grill until internal temperature reaches desired range (140 to 155 depending on taste and location). Remove from grill, tent with foil and allow chops to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting or serving. Remember, meat will rise in temperature about 5 degrees after removing from heat source as long as it is tinted.

Tangy Gold BBQ Sauce

A well bodied, full flavored table sauce for pork, poultry, game, fish and seafood – also great for glazing on BBQ or Grilled foods
makes about 1 cup

1 cup yellow prepared mustard
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4-5 tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (or 1/2 cup brown sugar)*
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 tablespoon cayenne
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Mix ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sauce just begins to simmer. Reduce heat and cook stirring often until sauce is reduced in half or thickens to desired consistency. Serve cool or warm.

*Adjust Splenda Blend or brown sugar to taste. To me, Splenda Brown Sugar Blend is sweeter in strength compared with regular brown sugar using the equivalent amount.

You can store sauce in a sealed jar refrigerated for a several weeks.

Award Winning Summertime Tasting Hamburger

A new favorite, maybe the best!

It is crazy how we get stuck in a rut. I mean, eating the same thing over-and-over again. Now I am not saying to put away a good recipe when you find one, I’m just saying I like to try and create new ones from time to time. Do I try to ‘out do’ the previous favorite? No, nor do I try to replace it. But I think having several great recipes for the same food under the belt, so to speak, is a good idea. To change things up a bit at times, don’t you see.

So when I came up with this recipe a few weeks ago, I did what I do best, I reached into the cabinet and let my mind and taste thoughts lead me toward creating what became a hamburger with a remarkable and flavorful, southern smoky grilled taste. A new recipe that was hailed as ‘award winning’ by all who enjoyed it. (I have made a second batch and grilled them with equally great reactions.) In fact, one even went as far in saying it was the new favorite, the best ever. Well, I don’t know . . . I’ll let you decide that. Go ahead, make up a batch yourself, get to grilling and enjoy a really good great hamburger. Enjoy!

My New Southern Seasoned Hamburger Recipe
makes 4 burgers

2 tablespoons Southern Seasoning Home Blend (see below)
2 tablespoons low-sodium Worcestershire
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Badia Complete Seasoning or seasoning salt
2 pounds ground chuck beef (80/20), cold from refrigerator

In a wide large bowl, whisk the first 6 ingredients together. Let set for about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef by carefully breaking it apart and with a large spoon or spatula, blend it into the seasoning mixture. Using your hands will heat the meat and cause the fat to tighten up the texture.

Dip your hands in ice-cold water. Dry hands completely and divide mixture into 4 balls. Quickly pat out into no less than 1-inch thick patties. I like to form the side edges somewhat flat, perpendicular to the surface. Lay each on a baking pan and press an indention into the center of each burger. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until about 30 minutes before ready to grill.

Preheat grill on medium high. Grill patties for 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Baste both sides with the of the Hamburger Basting Sauce (below) while grilling.

Top each with a layer of cheese (I used Chipotle Cheddar) right after removing from grill. Add what ever condiments and finish with a dressing however you like. I made up a quick jam by sauteing red and green bell pepper slices with onion silvers along with olive oil and as it just began to caramelize, I added grain mustard and ketchup for a wonderful, dressing to pair with the grilled hamburger.

Note: Badia Compete or Sazon Completa is the same item and is available in most grocers. I use the heck out of this in so many foods as an all-purpose seasoning blend. And what I like best, besides the taste, is that salt is one of the last listed spice ingredients.

SO… What are a few of my other ‘favorite’ burgers’?
Steakhouse Burger – with flavors of a steakhouse grill
Dad’s Better Burger – beef and pork sausage burger with bacon jam and special sauce
Sensational Burgers – pure savory beef burgers with no egg or bread fillers
Smoky Texan ‘Ham’burgers – loaded patty with onions, peppers, smoked ham and bacon…juicy with Texan BBQ sauce glaze

Southern Seasoning Home Blend
I like to make up a batch and use as a general additive to so many foods, from dips, soups, stocks and the likes of this: hamburgers. (also esp. good in meatloaf)

1/4 cup dried minced onions
3 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried carrots flakes
2 tablespoons dried minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground bay leaves

Combine all in a container with a tight fitting lid. Store in a dry, dark cabinet or pantry.
Note: Carrot flakes are found in natural or health food specialty stores

Hamburger Basting Sauce
Use this to mop on the burgers as you grill.

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon low-sodium Worcestershire
good dash of Chipotle Tabasco or liquid smoke

I like to place this in a half-pint mason jar and mop with a baster

Pork Kabobs with Garden Vegetables

Grilled Pork Kabobs
Another skewer recipe for grilling.

Many of you already know that we do love our barbecue and grilled foods and we especially love the simplicity and ease of kabob cookouts. The pork and vegetable skewers today along with a yellow rice medley and steamed fresh broccoli made for one fine dinner this week.

Now, I have many recipes, as I am sure many of you do too, for kabobs but this one folks, is one that I will be bragging about for a while and one I will make again many times. It really is that good.

The marinade aids in not only tenderizing the pork cubes but also lays down a first layer of wonderful flavors. And, the thing I love about the marinade is there is a harmonious unifying of flavors, not one overpowering the other. The finishing glaze is another layer of flavor that mingles together a taste of distinction that I am proud of and again, not one flavor is more pronounced than the other. The overall taste is really not sweet at all but brings about the gratifying spirit of what a grilled kabob should be. Enjoy!

Pork Kabobs Glazed with Sweet BBQ Finishing Sauce
and served with Grilled Garden Fresh Vegetable Skewers

for the Marinade:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano

Combine all in a sealable bag and let rest for about 20 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon light olive oil and jumble around before adding the pork cubes.

for the Pork Kabobs:
2 pounds thick cut pork loin chops (or four 1-inch cuts of a loin roast)
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
1/4 sweet onion, wide cuts

Trim any fat from the pork and cut into equal cubes. Place in the bag and refrigerate for about an hour or so, no more than 3 hours.
Skewer the pork cubes alternating with the vegetables. Refrigerate until about 20 minutes prior to grilling. Save the marinade for a baste.

for the Glaze:
I stirred together 1/2 cup apricot preserves along with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar over low heat until dissolved, after which I added 2 teaspoons of a Memphis BBQ sauce for good measure. Delish!

for the Vegetable Kabobs:
2 garden onions, sliced
red and green bell peppers squares
2 yellow squash, sliced
16 cherry tomatoes
mushrooms, optional
other seasonal vegetables as desired

Cut vegetables uniformly as possible to aid in cooking.

To Grill:
Prepare grill to 400 degrees F. Place pork kabobs over direct heat and baste 1 time with any remaining marinade. Discard remaining marinate. Cover grill and cook about 6 minutes. Turn kabobs over and cook 4 to 6 minutes or until pork test done. Give the kabobs a glaze of the finishing sauce the last few minutes of cook time.

Meanwhile, cook vegetable kabobs on indirect heat turning once. I basted these with a balsamic dressing.

Grilled Dijon Chicken with Lemon Herb Sop

Moist, tender and flavorful – almost healthy!

It has always interested me from where foodstuff comes. The main element of the marinade for this grilled chicken recipe is without exception. Dijon mustard appeared in the south as did many other condiments and spices, by way of the French settlers in the early 1700’s. And like so many good things from Europe, it comes from Monks, of the Catholic faith. The church brought us this fine grained mustard from the area of St. Germain des Pres in 10th century for all to enjoy, though, I suspect it was for profit. By the 13th century, Dijon France became the dominating source for this luxurious mustard type.

Now, I started this recipe post with the words almost healthy because it is almost fat free with the exception of what little fat remains on the chicken after grilling. With the skin removed, we give up a heck of fat calories and some would say flavor too. But, I think this sop makes up for the missing flavor, and calories. I know it sure made me feel better about eating it. Enjoy!

Grilled Dijon Chicken with Lemon Herb Sop
serves 4

4 large bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard with wine
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Montreal chicken seasoning (25% less sodium)
1/4 cup margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon crushed dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme

Mix the two mustard together along with the pepper. Rub all over the chicken breast. Season with the Montreal seasoning. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Remove chicken and allow to set about 15 minutes before grilling.

Make the sop by combining remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Use this sop on the chicken the latter part of grilling or at the first notice that the surface is drying out. If you run out of sop before chicken is ready, it’s okay. The sop is meant to seal in the juices as well as add flavor.

Heat grill to 325 degrees and slow cook the chicken on the cooler side of the heat source. I moved the chicken over to the heat from time to time as I basted. Cooking time was about 1:30 hrs. to reach the internal temp of 165 degrees F.

Chipotle Grilled Ribs with Citrus Pepper Salsa

  • rib tail-end smothered in Citrus Pepper Salsa
  • one rib is topped with tomatillo salsa too

Recipe for grilling pork ribs, Mexican style.

Folks, this recipe will knock your socks off. Well, around these parts, and this time of year y’all know we’re barefooted anyway so I guess you can say, “it already did.”

Now, by no means is this to endorse any product. It is what it is. But have any of you tried the pepper sauce from Tabasco made with vine-ripened, red jalapeño peppers smoked over a smoldering fire? It’s a rich, thick-bodied sauce ideally balanced in heat and flavor. Prized in ancient Mexican civilizations, even before the time of the Aztecs, the chipotle pepper is known for its dark, smoky flavor. It’s a natural for barbeque foods and sauces. Get a coupon here.

I know you will like the way it helps bring out the smoky flavors of grilled ribs. Here’s the recipe from my house this past weekend. Enjoy!

Chipotle Grilled Ribs with Citrus Pepper Salsa
serves 4 hungry folks

For Two -3 1/2 to 4 pounds pork ribs (I used St. Louis cut)

for the Rub:
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground ancho chiles – or chile powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion

for the Mop:
4 garlic cloves, chopped garlic
1 large green mild chile, stemmed and seeded
2 tomatillos, washed and quartered
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup, freshly squeezed lime juice
Juice of 2 large oranges
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup nectarine juice
1/2 cup native honey

for the Citrus Pepper Salsa:
2 tomatillos, washed and quartered
1 large green hot chile, stemmed and seeded
4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 ground oregano
3 cloves garlic, minces
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 large lime
Juice of 1/2 orange

Prepare the rub by mixing all together in a small bowl.

Sprinkle and rub generously on both sides of each prepped rib. Allow to set for 4 to 6 hours covered in the refrigerator. Remove 1 hour prior to grilling.

Add the chopped vegetables to a medium saucepan.

Add remaining ingredients for the mop to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes to soften vegetables. Using the container of your blender, add the mixture and pulse until mostly liquefied. Set aside until ready to grill.

Prepare the Salsa in the same manner. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes until vegetables soften. Blend until creamy as desired. I used a hand-held blender and kept some of the veggies in larger bits. Set aside.

Prepare the grill by creating the center or one side with low heat and the outer or opposite side with medium heat. Place the room temperature ribs, bone side down, on the cooler part of the grill. Close the grill lid and cook for about 10 minutes. Rotate ribs and flip placing meaty side down. Cover with lid and cook another 10 minutes. At this time, turn off heat under ribs (or move coals to the outer sides) and begin applying the mop. Always keep lid closed as much as possible. Ideal cooking temperature is around 375 degrees F. Add more briskets if using charcoal.

About every 30 minutes, rotate and flip the rips and apply another generous coating of the mop. Cook the ribs about 2 hours using this method.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

By now, the ribs will be nice and coated with the chipotle pepper mop.

Remove to a non-reactive pan. Add about 1/2 cup or more of water to the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes uncovered or until the water is mostly evaporated. Remove from oven and cover pan with foil. Allow to set for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving with the Citrus Pepper Salsa.

Top with tomatillo salsa or fresh limes and more of the Tabasco Chipotle pepper sauce if desired.

Barbecued Chicken Halves – Brine Recipe

A memorial way to enjoy grilled chicken.

Our family’s favorite way to grill chicken is by using whole chickens cut in half sections rather than quarter sections or cut pieces.  Many times it is hard to find chicken halves in the grocers meat counter.  You can always have your butcher cut them in half for you (which means running through a saw) or you can buy whole chickens and do it yourself.  I use a large meat cleaver to whack down each side of the neck bone all the way down removing the tail as well.  This allows me to flatten the chicken a bit so I can make a good cut through the breastplate and thus cutting the bird in half.  Be sure to remove most fat pockets, unless you like a lot of flare-ups during grilling, and excess skin as well.  From here, its up to you rather to apply a brine or a rub, or maybe both as I many times do.

See How to Barbecue Chicken and Poultry

Today, I am using a good seasoned brine (marinade) and will reduce it down for a sop (mop) as well.  It is one I made up as I went along and if you do so too, be sure to get a good acid/salt to water ratio that will pump in the moisture and flavors. After you let it set in the refrigerator a spell, cook it on the grill as you normally do when grilling chicken.  Or you can see my many recipes and techniques I do if you desire.  Enjoy!

Brine for Barbecue Chicken
for 2 chicken halves

 First make a slurry to heat which will intensify the flavors.  Add to a large bowl:
5 garlic toes, sliced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Spanish or Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons Sazon Completa (which contains the salt)

1 teaspoon granulated onion
1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaves
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. Stir to mix and add:

2 cups ice water
2 chicken halves placing meat side down.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Remove chicken to a pan meat side up and sprinkle with a light dusting of Sazon Completa. Let chicken set out for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the brine to a large saucepan and heat to a boil.  Reduce to low and simmer until liquid reduces to about 2 cups.

Stir in 1/3 cup ketchup (and 1 teaspoon liquid smoke if desired). Allow to simmer for a few minutes and remove from heat.

Use this sop to mop on the chicken as it cooks. Use all of the sop and place the garlic on top the last 10 minutes of cooking if desired.

Best Tasting, Fajita Beef Kabobs

Easy grilling with a superb and unrivaled outdoor taste.

Nothing beats the taste of grilled beef kabobs. And there aren’t too many fine meals that come together so effortless either.

A little prep time of cutting the beef sirloin, top round or tenderloin into sections of about 1-inch x 1/2-inch along with a few savory vegetables is all the time you need in preparing this one. Well, you gotta whip up the marinade of course and thread the skewers too but after that, it’s a quick trip to the hot grill and in no time flat, you’re on your way to some fine eating. Be sure to cut the vegetables (like onions, bell pepper, squash, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, etc.) the same diameter as the beef. And be sure to place the onion and bell pepper directly next to the meat for added flavor.

I let the beef marinate about an hour and brush it on as the kabobs grill away. Be sure to place the kabobs over a hot fire and watch carefully, it won’t take no time at all. Why, I bet you won’t be able to finish your beer.

I can’t wait to try this marinade on chicken wings too. It is outstanding in flavor and made the meat tender and the vegetables extraordinarily tasty.

Fajita Marinade for Kabobs
~works well on chicken too

1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons low sodium Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic toes, minced
1 teaspoon pure clover honey
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons fajita seasoning
1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra light olive oil

Allow the meat to marinate at least an hour, two would be great. Use the marinade to brush on the kabobs during the first rotation of grilling.

Chicken Kabob Marinade Recipe

Great, Simple Grilled Taste.

Turkish in origin, the famous shish kabab, or kabob as we say it, is an easy, inexpensive and quick way to enjoy dining al fresco.  Shish, meaning ‘skewer’, is also fun to cook and eat.

On the way home from work, a stop at the grocer the other day had me puzzled as to what to prepare for supper. Instantly I thought of kabobs. Chicken marinates fairly quickly especially when you cut it into bite size pieces and it cooks in less than 15 minutes. While the meat marinates is plenty of time to prep the onion and bell pepper to aid in flavoring the chicken on the skewers. And during this time, I steamed a bunch of asparagus, prepped the bread and also had a left-over casserole heating in the oven.  Ninety minutes later, we were enjoying a wonderful meal on the patio as the sun went down for the evening.

This is a simple yet flavorful marinade that I think brings out a great, grilled chicken taste. Enjoy!

Chicken Kabob Marinade
about 4 servings

2 1/2 pounds boneless chicken, breast or thigh meat, cubed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon granulated onion
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon light vegetable oil

Whisk the lemon juice, soy, vinegar, garlic powder, pepper, salt, bay leaf powder, onion powder and cayenne in a medium bowl. Whisk in the oil and mix in the chicken coating well. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove and thread onto skewers for grilling. Use the marinade as a grilling baste during the first rotation.

My take on Kansas City Style Ribs and Sauce

finger-lickin’ messy but good

K.C. inspired, 

Southern influenced

Not too many recipes come from my kitchen, or back yard in this case, that I don’t put my own spin on, tweak the ingredients with local fare or throw my two-cents-worth of cookery in for good measure. I do it because I can but mainly I do it because I like to see our own local produce and foodstuff used in a fitting way in somehow honoring the given recipe.

As told, the honor of this famous barbecue creation belongs to an ex-steamboat cook named Henry Perry who smoked wild game and meats of the day as in beef over open pits in an alley and in downtown Kansas City. The original sauce consisted of vinegar and black pepper with just enough tomato to give it color. Tangy with a peppery kick, it was a low cost fare for the lower income populace. He later moved to an old trolly barn and there, produced slow-cooked smoked meats to the city’s masses willing to afford his slightly progressed yet still meager prices. The sauce changed over the years to a more thick tomato-molasses sauce with the addition of more spices for a much improved flavoring.

I have made several attempts of cooking this style of barbecue and enjoyed many. The one today reflects more me, a K.C. style barbecue with Gulf Coast character. And as many of you may know, I normally prefer a mopping solution when cooking ribs to baste in keeping the meat moist and tender all while introducing additional flavor. Today I am doing it a bit different, a method used in smoking meats with a drip pan underneath the meat.The indirect heat method allows the ribs to cook slow and combined with the moisture from the pan of an apple based sweet tea produces very tender, self-basting and tasty slabs of ribs. Enjoy!

Kansas City Style Ribs and Sauce
Gulf Coast style, of course
serves 4 to 6

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
1 small sweet onion, minced
3 garlic toes, minced
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 -14 oz can beef broth
1 -12 oz can tomato paste
2 tablespoons yellow prepared mustard
1/4 cup cane syrup or molasses
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and when melted, add onion. Cook about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to incorporate. Allow sauce to come to a simmer, then reduce heat to low heat. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes stirring frequently.

Use to baste the ribs toward the end of cooking and as a table sauce served on the side.

Place left-over sauce in a lidded jar and refrigerate for up to a month.

Note:
If you prefer, you may run the sauce through a blender for a really smooth texture.

For the ribs:
2 slabs of ribs – pork spare ribs, baby backs or St. Louis cut (Beef back ribs are good too)
2 cups hickory chips
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1/2 tablespoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 to 4 cups apple based sweet tea (sweet tea infused with apples)

Trim the fat from the ribs and remove the membrane from the bone-side of the ribs. I always like to wash the ribs under running water and pat down with paper towels to dry completely. Place ribs on a shallow roasting pan and put aside.

Soak the wood chips about 1 hour before grilling in enough water to cover. Drain prior to using either in a chip box or a homemade foil pack (see here for directions).

In a bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients (excluding the sweet tea) to make the dry rub for the ribs.

Massage the rub into the meat on both sides of the ribs. Allow to rest for an hour covered with foil. Or you can wrap in plastic-wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hrs. I used about 1/2 cup total.

Sprinkle the wood chips over the coals for charcoal grilling, or place the chip box/package over the heat source for gas grilling.

For grill cooking, place the ribs as the wood chips begin producing smoke, meat side down, next to medium hot coals (about 225 degrees F.) for charcoal cookers. For gas grills, place indirectly away from the heat source (225 degrees F.). Keep lid closed until the chips stop producing or the first 30 to 45 minutes.

Move the ribs to a wire rack positioned in a shallow pan and place the pan off the heat to indirect cooking. Pour enough of the sweet tea to cover or fill the bottom of the pan but not touching the ribs.

Close the lid and turn ribs over every 30 minutes making sure the heat is just enough to slowly heat the pan’s liquid. Check the pan liquid every time and add more if needed.

Cook ribs for about 4 to 5 hours until ribs are tender and bones are protruding from the end. Baste with the Kansas City BBQ Sauce the last hour of cooking.

Remove the ribs, tent with foil and serve within 30 minutes or wrap ribs in foil and allow to rest. Slice ribs and serve with the BBQ sauce on the side.

For indoor oven cooking, omit the wood chips and add liquid smoke to the sauce if desired. Place the ribs with the rub bone side down on a rack inside a roasting pan. Add about 1/2 cup of the sweet tea to the bottom of the pan or enough to completely cover the bottom and place in a preheated 350 degree F. oven. Cook for 30 minutes, turn ribs over and cook another 30 minutes. Do not let the sweet tea reduce from the pan; add more if needed. Slather the ribs (meaty side now up) with plenty of BBQ sauce. Cover with foil and continue cooking 2 1/2 hours. You can baste with more sauce about half-way through if desired. Remove the foil, baste again with more sauce, both sides this time and cook another 15 minutes to set the sauce. The ribs will be fork tender.

My take on Kansas City Style Ribs and Sauce

finger-lickin’ messy but good

K.C. inspired, 

Southern influenced

Not too many recipes come from my kitchen, or back yard in this case, that I don’t put my own spin on, tweak the ingredients with local fare or throw my two-cents-worth of cookery in for good measure. I do it because I can but mainly I do it because I like to see our own local produce and foodstuff used in a fitting way in somehow honoring the given recipe.

As told, the honor of this famous barbecue creation belongs to an ex-steamboat cook named Henry Perry who smoked wild game and meats of the day as in beef over open pits in an alley and in downtown Kansas City. The original sauce consisted of vinegar and black pepper with just enough tomato to give it color. Tangy with a peppery kick, it was a low cost fare for the lower income populace. He later moved to an old trolly barn and there, produced slow-cooked smoked meats to the city’s masses willing to afford his slightly progressed yet still meager prices. The sauce changed over the years to a more thick tomato-molasses sauce with the addition of more spices for a much improved flavoring.

I have made several attempts of cooking this style of barbecue and enjoyed many. The one today reflects more me, a K.C. style barbecue with Gulf Coast character. And as many of you may know, I normally prefer a mopping solution when cooking ribs to baste in keeping the meat moist and tender all while introducing additional flavor. Today I am doing it a bit different, a method used in smoking meats with a drip pan underneath the meat.The indirect heat method allows the ribs to cook slow and combined with the moisture from the pan of an apple based sweet tea produces very tender, self-basting and tasty slabs of ribs. Enjoy!

Kansas City Style Ribs and Sauce
Gulf Coast style, of course
serves 4 to 6

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
1 small sweet onion, minced
3 garlic toes, minced
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 -14 oz can beef broth
1 -12 oz can tomato paste
2 tablespoons yellow prepared mustard
1/4 cup cane syrup or molasses
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and when melted, add onion. Cook about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to incorporate. Allow sauce to come to a simmer, then reduce heat to low heat. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes stirring frequently.

Use to baste the ribs toward the end of cooking and as a table sauce served on the side.

Place left-over sauce in a lidded jar and refrigerate for up to a month.

Note:
If you prefer, you may run the sauce through a blender for a really smooth texture.

For the ribs:
2 slabs of ribs – pork spare ribs, baby backs or St. Louis cut (Beef back ribs are good too)
2 cups hickory chips
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1/2 tablespoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 to 4 cups apple based sweet tea (sweet tea infused with apples)

Trim the fat from the ribs and remove the membrane from the bone-side of the ribs. I always like to wash the ribs under running water and pat down with paper towels to dry completely. Place ribs on a shallow roasting pan and put aside.

Soak the wood chips about 1 hour before grilling in enough water to cover. Drain prior to using either in a chip box or a homemade foil pack (see here for directions).

In a bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients (excluding the sweet tea) to make the dry rub for the ribs.

Massage the rub into the meat on both sides of the ribs. Allow to rest for an hour covered with foil. Or you can wrap in plastic-wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hrs. I used about 1/2 cup total.

Sprinkle the wood chips over the coals for charcoal grilling, or place the chip box/package over the heat source for gas grilling.

For grill cooking, place the ribs as the wood chips begin producing smoke, meat side down, next to medium hot coals (about 225 degrees F.) for charcoal cookers. For gas grills, place indirectly away from the heat source (225 degrees F.). Keep lid closed until the chips stop producing or the first 30 to 45 minutes.

Move the ribs to a wire rack positioned in a shallow pan and place the pan off the heat to indirect cooking. Pour enough of the sweet tea to cover or fill the bottom of the pan but not touching the ribs.

Close the lid and turn ribs over every 30 minutes making sure the heat is just enough to slowly heat the pan’s liquid. Check the pan liquid every time and add more if needed.

Cook ribs for about 4 to 5 hours until ribs are tender and bones are protruding from the end. Baste with the Kansas City BBQ Sauce the last hour of cooking.

Remove the ribs, tent with foil and serve within 30 minutes or wrap ribs in foil and allow to rest. Slice ribs and serve with the BBQ sauce on the side.

For indoor oven cooking, omit the wood chips and add liquid smoke to the sauce if desired. Place the ribs with the rub bone side down on a rack inside a roasting pan. Add about 1/2 cup of the sweet tea to the bottom of the pan or enough to completely cover the bottom and place in a preheated 350 degree F. oven. Cook for 30 minutes, turn ribs over and cook another 30 minutes. Do not let the sweet tea reduce from the pan; add more if needed. Slather the ribs (meaty side now up) with plenty of BBQ sauce. Cover with foil and continue cooking 2 1/2 hours. You can baste with more sauce about half-way through if desired. Remove the foil, baste again with more sauce, both sides this time and cook another 15 minutes to set the sauce. The ribs will be fork tender.