Sweet, savory, tangy and ever-so-easy, our beer barbecue sauce goes with everything grillable and is open to experimentation: Pour in a porter when you’re cooking beef, an amber ale for chicken, and something fruity when you’re working with pork.
In a saucepot over medium-high heat, add the oil, onion and garlic; cook until the onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, honey Dijon, molasses, brown sugar, salt, pepper and hot sauce; bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the sauce from heat and add the beer, . For a smoother sauce, strain out the onions or pulse in a blender.
Slather a seriously savory (and seriously easy) brew-based barbecue sauce on beef, chicken or pork. Use our basic recipe below, and change the beer according to what you grill.
You’re grilling: beef Pour in: a porter
A malty beer with a dose of roast makes a thick, rich sauce that stands up to burly beef flavor; a smooth porter laden with chocolate or smoke can muscle its way through all that meat. Heat lovers: Add a teaspoon of chopped chilies or a few dashes of extra hot sauce; a porter base will be thick and sweet enough to handle it.
You’re grilling: chicken Pour in: an amber ale
Chicken’s moist white meat opens up nicely to the gentle malt flavors of a well-balanced amber; the beer’s caramel notes and pop of citrusy hops are strong enough to counter the smoke and spice that develop on the grill—think sweet meets savory.
You’re grilling: pork Pour in: a fruit ale
No matter the cut, pork’s a juicy, tender blank canvas. A sweet apricot ale or berry lambic pumps up barbecue sauce’s sweetness; the pork’s earthiness keeps the sugar in check. Fruit acids make them natural meat tenderizers; consider adding chopped fresh or glazed apricots or raspberries into the mix for extra fruit flavor.
If I’m telling the truth, I really enjoy cooking with beer much more than I like drinking it. I do like to drink it on occasion, but it’s not always my beverage of choice. However, when it comes to cooking with it?
Basically, I love replacing water with alcohol. Always and forever.
And now… a peek into what a mess my kitchen appliances really are.
You don’t even want to see my stand mixer. Or my toaster. Or my food processor. Or my fridge. Or my… everything. I’m a train wreck.
Look at that bun. (Or bum, since that’s what I really just typed.) Don’t you want to do a big trampoline jump on it? So puffy and fluffy and fat.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this is the best chicken I have ever made in the crockpot. It might be the best chicken I’ve made, period. And… I make a ton of crockpot chicken. Like really, a ton.
People… I live with a man who seriously eats chicken at least five days a week for lunch and dinner. Sometimes I get insanely creative, but most weeks he gets the short end of the stick when I throw chicken in the slow cooker with, uh… nothing else, just so I don’t have to deal with making him something delicious only to stuff it in five giant tupperware containers. Maybe I do wish you could see my fridge.
So, I’m convinced it’s a combination of the perfect marriage between beer, spices (I freakishly love onion powder and smoked paprika together… give it a whirl) and sauce (Bone Suckin‘ is the best) that makes this so amazing. It’s a great meal for a crowd but if you’re smart, you’ll make a big crock for yourself and freeze a bunch for the days when wine drinking and pie eating takes precedence over dinner.
Season chicken with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add to crockpot, then add beer and 24 ounces of barbecue sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours, tossing once or twice if desired. After 8 hours, shred and add remaining barbecue sauce. Serve as desired.
1. I’ve found that *thinner* barbecue sauce works better (such as Bone Suckin’ Sauce) than thicker sauce (like Sweet Baby Ray’s). If you choose to use a thicker sauce, you may want to add a little more beer (or liquid) in order for the sauce not to burn and thicken on the edges of the pot. This is also the reason I don’t use my homemade barbecue sauce.
2. If you don’t want to use beer, you can try a ginger ale, chicken stock, or even water.
3. This makes a ton of chicken and I usually freeze immediately freeze a container for later.
Recently, we had a ridiculously excellent fall dinner. I could eat this meal several nights a week, and not grow tired of it.
First up was the acorn squash, which is really easy to prepare once you get the damn thing cut open. I have recently stopped trying to go through the whole thing at once. I use a serrated knife and poke from the beside stem into the center, then slice out form the stem all the way back around until I hit the stem again, then crack it open.
After scooping out the seeds (which I always wonder about cooking like pumpkin seeds) and stringy gross stuff, I placed the two halves orange side up in a glass baking dish in about ½” to ¾” of water. Don’t worry, they actually generally do sit up that way without a problem. I sliced the tops/insides a little in preparation for the next part…
I melted some butter (or some Country Crock spread actually) in the microwave, probably about 3 tablespoons worth, and added a little bit of brown sugar, stirred, then ladled it on the top & into the cup formed in the middle. Add it to taste. I don’t really ever measure this. If you’re looking for a measurement form me, add what you think is too much brown sugar, then add a pinch more. I also added a tiny bit of black pepper & paprika to mine this time… but I add that to almost everything.
After that, I placed it in the already pre-heating oven at 400° for about an hour and 5 minutes. I was going for somewhere between an hour and an hour & 15 minutes, and it worked out closer to the hour this time. Check on it around the hour mark. This one was roasted perfectly… the meat of the squash was just melting on to the spoon, & peeling right off of the skin inside. It was really a great flavorful vegetable. I don’t know if this is baking or roasting, but whatever it is, it works. It would have also been good scooped out & served like groovy orange mashed potatoes.
Up next was the corn, figuring temperature was more important for the squash, I typically roast corn at 425° or 450° for 20 minutes to a half hour… but figured why not let it ride along with the squash here?
My wife & I carefully pulled back all the husks… just pulled them back not off, then removed the silk.
We buttered (again, we used Country Crock’s butter approximation), salted, & peppered the corn.
Next we wrapped it back up, and tied the tops back together using a loose strand of the husk. This doesn’t always work out, so sometimes I use foil & make little caps to keep ’em all bound together.
I did a whole post on corn & why you should keep it in the husk, and never ever boil it unless you’re making soup. You can read that here if you’re interested. As you can see, “other stuff in the oven” is not even a good excuse to boil corn. It can go along for the ride. Proof? It turned out beautifully:
I wish my cell phone’s camera got better shots. I need to think farther than Facebook or Twitter when taking food photos, and get the real camera so I can post more to this blog. The corn husks did smoke a little… but I didn’t see any flames, and it let me know when it was done. Ha ha ha. I’ve grown to not rely on timers so much, but to go with temperature and a gut feeling.
Oddly enough for a carnivore like myself, the steak was not the star of this meal. We just got some thin skillet steaks and put them on the Foreman grill oiled, salted, & peppered for about 5 minutes, maybe a little less. They turned out fine. The Foreman Grill seems to be my go-to tool for cooking meat until I get new knobs for by real grill outside. I’m in a Yahoo! Group that’s a really good resource for innovative GFG cooking.
I topped it all off with the newly resurrected Duquesne Beer. [Insert zombie and or Jesus joke here.] I have a collection of antique bottles and have a Duke beer bottle in with my local stuff… so when I heard that they were making it again, I knew I had to try some. I was born after the company was dissolved the first time, so I can’t compare it to the original… but it is a nice mellow pilsner that goes well with this kind of dinner. It rounded out the meal perfectly.
It was aggravating to get my hands on some though… they’ve had a weird release schedule, and no 6 pack shops around me were carrying the stuff. When one local pizza joint was listed as having the stuff, I went there to buy some and they had no idea what I was talking about. I ended up buying a case, but luckily I don’t feel “stuck” with something that I don’t like.
Thought it looked interesting, might be a way to get the wife to eat Lima beans! I might take a pepper slightly up or down the Scoville scale though depending on who’s dining, and substitute garlic for the onion…
This low-fat, high-fiber bean recipe makes a good side dish to grilled beef, pork, or chicken. The beans add fiber; the poblano peppers are sweet and mildly hot; and the dark beer adds robust flavor. If you want to add more fiber in your diet, you can try a variety of bean recipes.
In a 2-quart saucepan cook fresh beans, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. (Or, cook frozen beans for 6 to 8 minutes or until the beans are just tender.) Drain.
In a large skillet heat margarine or butter; add beans and pepper. Cook and stir, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Stir in beer, onion, thyme, and salt; remove from heat. Makes 4 side-dish servings.
Stuffing has got to be my favorite Thanksgiving food. I remember Thanksgivings past where my dad & I would fight over the stuffing bowl like it was filled with gold, diamonds, and (for me) guitars. The stuff is perfect. Alone, with turkey, with gravy… the decadent amount of carbs is ridiculously awesome.
Last year was my first ever attempt at making stuffing… and my grandma told me that it tasted just like hers. Is there a compliment better than that? I had used as a guide an old recipe that my grandfather & grandmother had both used when making holiday meals. My mom lent me the old cook book with my grandfather’s notes last year, I collected some others, and I made scans for myself.
I say “guide” because it’s not always an exact science when doubling/tripling recipes… and there really aren’t any cooking directions… it’s just a guide to make the stuff. Also, I tend to do a lot of “oh, that looks about right” and a little bit of “hey, let’s add a little of this” in the kitchen, as most people comfortable there usually do.
A lot of times I see stuffing recipes online, on TV, or in the little books by the cash register at the grocery store… and they include sausage, apples, raisins, (yuck!) nuts, or even peppers, carrots, or mushrooms (all of the latter of which I’ like to try some time). The philosophy behind this recipe seems to be a K.I.S.S. one. I like that. It’s a very simple accompaniment, and the taste that my mind goes to every time I think “stuffing”.
This year, it was definitely a two person effort. I don’t know how I would have done it without Bethany and all four of our hands. We made a lot of stuffing. Sadly, I didn’t think to chronicle the thing with photos like I sometimes do with new recipes… but I did want to make a guide with my own notes, so when I do this next year, I remember what I did differently this year. I know I altered things slightly last year, but the details were a little fuzzy. I figured that if I’m going to do it for myself, I might as well share, right? Plus, we got compliments from two moms, two grandmas, and an aunt… all excellent in the kitchen themselves!
I did take a photo today, because really, what’s a food blog post without a photo? Perhaps I’ll see if my mom got any with her camera and amend the post later.
This year’s effort was delicious, if I do say so myself.
This is my first time really writing out a recipe… so pardon me if it’s a little convoluted or long winded. I don’t want to miss anything, and I hope to get it all in the right order as well as make it an entertaining read.
Here’s what you’ll need to do it the same way I did…
5 loaves of bread (equaled 56 cups once cubed)
1 bundle of celery (3 cups, chopped – the rest can cook w/ the turkey or be a snack)
Monday night, get your loaves of bread, open the bags, and put the loaves on cookie sheets before dinner. Leave ‘em out on a table or counter while you do your thing.
Right before your favorite prime time TV shows come on, set up a station on the coffee table in front of the couch with the cookie trays of bread, some cutting boards with knives, and the pans out of your electric roaster. Cube the bread and fill the roasting pan. When I say fill it, I mean fill it. It will be ridiculously full.
Cover it with paper towels, and set it on the kitchen table that you only use when company comes over anyway. Over the next few days, stir it a few times a day, whenever you think of it. This will get it nicely & slightly stale. If you’re going to be doing anything that smells, like using cleaning chemicals, put it in the oven… but don’t turn it on. It’s nice & warm & dry & not stinky in there. The bread will absorb that stuff and the stuffing will taste like Mr. Clean made it.
Wednesday night, get out your turkey… and pull the disgusting papery bag of giblets out of the neck cavity, and the neck out of its butt. (Why exactly do they put the neck in the butt, anyway? Who’s idea was that?) Boil the giblets in your can of vegetable broth, or just use plain water… or even turkey or chicken broth. I thought the vegetable broth would add a nice flavor. I boiled them for a nice long time, and let it cook down quite a bunch.
Finely chop up your celery & onions… or use the Magic Bullet, like I did. I’m not real big on chunks of slimy or crunchy stuff in bread-like consistency foods. I probably had half of each chopped finely, the other half rendered to near-paste by the genius little piece of equipment that list the Magic Bullet. I’m sure any food processor would work.. but this one is easy to pot pout of storage, use, and clean when you’re done.
Then I popped out the electric skillet to sauteé the onion & celery mixture… probably in some Country Crock & a bit of extra virgin olive oil… adding some of the spices mentioned above, and maybe even some paprika… although, they don’t come the totals listed above. These are the aforementioned “oh, that looks about right” and “hey, let’s add a little of this”. You’ve sauteed stuff, you know how it works. I love this step because it turns the onions from gross into awesome… especially the Spanish onions. The sweet onions are oddly enough not as sweet to me when cooked.
I popped the onions and celery into separate containers for the ‘fridge to save for Thursday morning.
Next, I pulled out the giblets and chopped them into tiny pieces, & put them with the reduced broth from cooking into a 3rd refrigerator bound container to be used on Thursday morning.
Go to bed. You have to get up early.
Thursday get up about an hour before your turkey needs to go in the roaster oven, and start to mix all this crap together.
Add the dry spice ingredients to the now stale-ish cubed bread. Good luck not getting any on the floor.
Chop the fresh parsley.
Nuke your butter in a microwave safe bowl, add it to a large mixing bowl, crack open the 10 eggs, and whisk away.
Add the fresh parsley to the buttery gooey egg mixture.
Add 2-3 cups of the broth from the giblets, and the finely chopped giblets to the now even gooier butterier egg mixture.
This is where I got the bright idea to dump in some Yuengling. It wasn’t a whole bottle… but I had it out & only needed about ½ cup for my butter/garlic/beer turkey injection/baste, so I dumped some into the gooey buttery gibletey mixture, and drank the rest… all before 8:00 am.
Dump the celery & onion concoction on to the bread, mix around, and then dump on the gooey buttery gibletey Yuenglingey mixture. This is where it was imperative that there were two of us. Bethany opted to use her hands to mix while I poured. The mixing gets easier when it’s wet, as it goes down a little. You should probably wash your hands before you do this. Not that I think you’re stupid or anything… but there are signs out there all over the place… so someone somewhere must need reminded. Use soap, and hot water.
Now, this needs to come out of the roaster so the turkey can go into it… and you should be doing this around the same time as turkey prep… so stuff what you can into the turkey carcass’ various cavities, and put the rest in the crock pot. I had Bethany scoop it into a bowl small amounts at a time as I stuffed it into the bird, so I wasn’t touching raw poultry and the stuffing that wasn’t going into the bird. She made it clear that she wasn’t touching the raw dead bird, or sticking her hands into it.
I sewed up the turkey and popped it into the roaster to cook, and then put the stuffing in the crock pot on low to cook for the same amount of time.
Everyone told me last year that stuffing + crock pot = bad idea. This is where I say that you could not be more wrong. It was perfectly moist and heated well throughout. I did break the cardinal cock pot rule by removing the lid every hour or so and stirring a little so it didn’t stick to the sides or burn. This worked well, except that I didn’t get the bottom well enough. You could add more liquid throughout if t looked necessary… or not stir if you like the crusty part as much as the other part. If you use the crock pot enough, you get to know what works for yours. Pop it on to warm or off a while before you eat.
When the turkey’s ready, the stuffing’s ready. Stuff yourself silly, send people home with leftovers, and eat for breakfast, lunch, & dinner the next day.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the process, and I’m sorry for jumping tenses. I think I did anyway. All over the place. Maybe Dave and Kristin can give me some pointers on that.
I’d love to know what you think of this recipe, and how you do your stuffing. I’m always up for trying things new ways… and I’m always up for eating stuffing. In fact, even better — make some, and invite me over for dinner!
A while ago, I blogged about stumbling on to an article listing 6 ways too cook a hot dog. We all know there’s more. Here’s a much better list. OK, maybe not better… but bigger. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions submissions here and on Facebook, I hope to include them all here.
Oh well, on to the list…
Grill ‘em. The general consensus seems to be that if you’re going to cook a hot dog, it needs to be grilled. I would agree with this. I usually don’t break out hot dogs unless I’m already grilling burgers. They’re there for those weird non-burger people, or a topping for your burger.
Charcoal Grill – This is old school grilling, get it hot let the flames & coals cook the dog with some nice grill lines or looking like the victim of a flame-thrower accident. There are good instructions on grilling w/ gas & charcoal here(as if you need them).
Foreman Grill– Or any of the imitators & whatever they’re called. I’ve seen a Hamilton Beach one, I’ve seen them called electric grills, counter-top grills, whatever… you know what I’m talking about. I’ve had little success with the Foreman Grill & hot dogs… which is odd, because it cooks other stuff quite easily. Here’s a video on how to cook ‘em on the Foreman Grill, …because I can’t find good text for it anywhere. They don’t list a time for hot dogs in the book that comes with it. Maybe they assume their grill is for convenience, and it’s more convenient to nuke or boil your dogs. If anyone has $99 to spare, I’ll take the USB iGrill from Think Geek.
Infrared Grill – I know nothing about this newfangled contraption. It looks like you can burn a hot dog in 0.5 seconds on one. Learn about infrared grills at Wikipedia.
Griddle/Flattop Grill – If you have one in your house, you are awesome. You can certainly cook a hot dog on one, and don’t need me to tell you how.
Open Flame.Who doesn’t love hot dogs (or anything really) cooked over a campfire? …Or a bonfire, trash barrel fire, or while the neighbor’s house is burning down? With these methods, You can also wrap the dog with biscuit or croissant dough from those creepy popping tubes, and it will cook nicely over an open flame. If you want to get really crazy, slice it down the middle & stuff cheese in it, or wrap some cheese around it before the dough.
Skewer – We use roasting forks or or just sticks. You can get the forks at any sporting goods or camping store, in a store that has a camping section, or in a store near your camping site. You can get sticks in the woods, or from a lone, sad tree. You can also get inventive, like this guy. Be careful choosing sticks and being inventive… you don’t want anything that will poison your hot dog… like toxic wood, metal treated or painted with anything, and of course plastic. I can’t seem to find a guide online of safe & unsafe tree branches to use when cooking over a fire. Anyone have a boy scout handbook? (I asked Yahoo!, apparently nothing out there will kill you, but stick with a non-sappy wood.) With this method, get your fire going, and hold the hot dog over it… but not in the flame unless you like black crispy possibly carcinogen-laced hot dogs. If using a store-bought fork, it’s up to you if you want to put the dog on long-ways, or double/triple ‘em up the forks.
Pie Iron – If you’ve camped with me, you’ve cooked with a pie iron… or you’ve watched me cook with one. My favorites include pizza ones, and Reubens… but I’m sure you could stuff a hot dog into one. They also have ones that are shaped to cook hot dogs. This would most likely result in a nicely cooked dog without the singe marks, maybe flavored with some onions (gross!) or sauerkraut. If you’re buying a pie iron, buy one made of… iron. This sounds dumb, but they make aluminum ones, and I have melted them with no problem. I don’t think you want aluminum flavored hot dogs.
The Cage – Burger basket, grill basket, vegetable basket – all different names for a similar utensil. I’d use it like I would a fork for hot-dog cooking… may be sort of useless unless you have a burger in it too.
The Rack – If you can find some sort of rack or grate that you can secure safely over the fire that’s also safe to cook on, you can cook like it’s a charcoal grill if you’re more comfortable with that. Just make sure the flame isn’t eating your hot dog before you do.
Foil Pack – You could use the bread dough & any toppings/sides here as well. Wrap the dog & even the bun in foil, and place it on a grate over the flames, or in the coals around the bottom of the fire like you would with a baked potato.
Oven Burner – That’s right. Pit it on a fork or roasting fork, and hold it over the flame on your stove top. This might not be safe, but I bet it would be fun.
Boiled – I’m sure you’ve all had ‘em like this. I think it even suggests to heat ‘em this way on the pack. I’m not a fan of boiling anything any more, unless it’s soup or pasta. It just seems like a lot of flavor goes into the water… and where hot dogs are concerned, it’s not like you have a lot to work with to begin with. I’d suggest boiling hot dogs in beer, even though I’ve never tried it… it sounds pretty awesome. You can even get crazy with beer, ketchup, and brown sugar. Maybe some beef broth or bullion would be cool here too… but that may make ‘em to salty? I dunno. Boil at your own risk.
Nuke ‘em – I guess that besides grilling, this would seem to be the most obvious method of cooking hot dogs. On the last pack we bought, this method was featured larger than the other methods. Just 30 – 40 seconds in the microwave … wrapped in a paper towel? I never use the paper towel. Is that to hold in moisture, prevent explosions, or what? Apparetly there’s an art to this, because I have found the articles How to Cook a Hot Dog in a Microwave and the possible passive-aggressive How to Cook a Hot Dog in the Microwave Without Exploding the Ends. As I write this, I have an urge to make some hot dogs explode in the microwave. I may be developing a disorder.
Lovin’ from the Oven – You can certainly cook hot dogs in the oven, you may split ‘em open or poke them with a fork first. This method would be ideal for the croissant-wrapped hot dogs, smothered in some awesome cheese. Just make sure if you use the 1st linked method, that you put the foil in the oven before you heat it up (like they so diligently mentioned)… or don’t do that, burn yourself, and stay off of the internet.
Deep Fried – They call these Rippers in New Jersey, no? I don’t have a fryer… but I suppose I could do this in a pot on the stove, or in my turkey fryer. I’ve never had one, but I’d imagine it’s a pretty good thing. Corn dogs could be lumped in here too, I guess.
Steamed – This seems to be a popular method, but I know I’ve never done it, or really seen it done. I guess there are commercial steam cabinets for hot dogs… but I bet you could steam it like you do with vegetables if you have a steamer. Perhaps, like boiling… you could steam it with beer…?
In the Skillet. – Or frying pan. Just fry it on the stove top with a little bit of oil. I guess you could slice it open first if you wanted to, so it doesn’t pop on you. Or, you can elevate it to an art form.
In Stuff – Okay this isn’t one specific method, but I didn’t feel like all of these should have their own #’s on the list. You know you’ve chopped ‘em up and added them to baked beans, mac n’ cheese, or even done a hot dog & potato bake. Here I’ll also inject that I once got the SpaghettiOs with hot dogs. They were inexplicably gross. This is your final warning.
Goofy Single-Purpose Appliances – I have hot dogs only occasionally. I can’t imagine getting one of these hot dog cookers that serves only one purpose. Our counter-space is quite limited.. and I can’t see that breaking one of these things out would be worth the novelty after more than a few uses…
The Hot Dog Toaster – Besides looking creepy, these also apparently cook hot dogs. It looks to be just a toaster with hot dog-shaped holes and bun-shaped holes. I wonder if it really cooks the thing through very well? May be quite convenient.
Solar Hot Dog Cooker – This might be fun for campers or science geeks. Solar ovens are pretty awesome, this one and this one are especially geared for hot dogs… this onemight work.
The Roller – These apparently come in several varieties, but all look to be the same concept… Cooked on rollers like the ones you see at the convenience stores. Brookstone makes one, there are a bunch of professional ones, and Nostalgia Electrics offers the Roller & “Ferris Wheel” varieties.
The “Roast My Weenie” guy – More of an accessory, this really just needs to be seen.
Electrocute it – My cousin told me a tale via Facebook of a hot dog cooker for electric chair, taser, and Tesla enthusiasts… called the Presto Hot Dogger. Mad scientists can try it at home with a few things from around the house. This actually looks pretty awesome. This vintage one looks like a torture device.
Well, those are all the methods I can think of right now. Well, other than going to Sheetz or Dormont Dogs… you should be able to get your hot dog fix by one of the methods described here. If you have another technique, please list it in the comments below!