Mad about BBQ sauce !
Trying to make you enjoy barbecue sauce as much as we do

Why is smoked meat pink ?

Monday, 9 April 2012 17:19 by nico

Everyone which is into barbecue knows about the famous “smoke ring” that develops on the edge of smoked meat.



Being the son of a former chemistry teacher, I’ve always asked myself how this pink ring is being formed… And I’ve just came across the answer in Harold McGee’s “On Food And Cooking”, a kitchen classic.

Meat cooked over wood, charcoal, or gas flames – barbecued pork or beef, for example, or even poultry cooking in a gas oven – often develop “pink ring”, which reaches from the surface to a depth of 8-10 mm. This is caused by nitrogen dioxide (NO2) gas, which is generated in trace amounts (parts per million) by the burning of these organic fuels. It appears that NO2 dissolves at the meat surface to form nitrous acid (HNO2), which diffuses into the muscle tissue and is converted to nitric oxide (NO). NO in turn reacts with myoglobin (responsible for making meat red) to form a stable pink molecule, like the molecule found in nitrite-cured meats.

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Sprite marinated chicken and coconut/lime sweet potatoes

Monday, 19 March 2012 10:15 by nico

One day, I was sipping a Sprite and I though '”mmmh, that would make a good marinade !”. I realized I wasn’t the only one who thought about that when I googled on “sprite marinated chicken” and found a lot of recipes.

Sprite marinated chicken and coconut lime sweet potatoes

Ingredients

For 300 g of chicken breasts
Adapted from Diva’s Dinners

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) soy sauce
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Sprite
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) wasabi sauce (or wasibi/mustard/horseradish, as you like)

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl (or ziplock bag), make sure all faces of the chicken breasts are exposed to the marinade and marinade from 1 to 3 hours then grill or sear the chicken (I cooked it inside as the weather was quite rotten)

It caramelizes while cooking and tastes a bit like teriyaki chicken but with a lighter and fresher tone. As a side dish, you can cook some coconut/lime sweet potatoes

Ingredients

For 2 persons
Adapted from Weber's Way To Grill by Jamie Purviance

  • 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt

Procedures

  • Jump-start the sweet potatoes by cooking them in the microwave for 8 minutes (flip them after the first 4 minutes)
  • Mix the coconut milk, lime juice, cayenne pepper, brown sugar and salt in a pan and let everything simmer at low heat
  • Peel and dice the sweet potatoes
  • Put the potatoes in the coconut/lime sauce

Don’t dice the sweet potatoes in too small chunks, or their taste will be hidden by the coconut milk. My wife didn’t really like this recipe because she likes the taste of plain sweet potatoes but I enjoyed it (be careful though, it could become a bit queasy if you eat too much of it)

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:32 by nico

Ok, this has nothing to do with BBQ sauce – but the recipe itself could be done with your backyard grill.
It comes from Cooking for Geeks and it’s so good that I wanted to share it.

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 660g)
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock – to make it quick, I mix 1 stock cube to 2 cups of water

Procedures:

  1. Peel and dice the squash
  2. Coat it with olive oil and roast it in your oven (around 400°F/200°C) – or grill it, until it begins to brown.
  3. Mix the chicken stock and roasted squash and purée with an immersion blender.

 

If the soup tastes too umami or salty, you can add some honey. Try it with cilantro, cream or “backerbsen” (fried soup dumplings.. yummy !)

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Barbecue : The history of an American institution

Monday, 2 January 2012 22:29 by nico

I love reading about barbecue, but sometimes I would like to read something else than recipes and reviews. Being an history addict and enjoying reading history books, this book instantly attracted my attention because there are few books that tale the history of barbecue… and barbecue sauce.

Barbecue An History Of An American Institution - Cover

The story begins in the early 18th century, when English colonists started cooking meat above a wood fire, inspired by the Native Americans. Barbecue started spreading from Virginia to the Carolina’s, mostly happening at political meetings and stump speeches. A pit filled with hot coals was dung in the ground and the meat was held above the fire on wood sticks or metal rods. 
The spreading of barbecue through the United States is strongly bound to the Civil War, the Gold Rush and the abolition of slavery.
The book depicts the first pitmasters and how regionalization of barbecue appeared, when the first BBQ joints opened at the beginning of the 20th century. Around WW2, drive-ins and barbecue joints emerged along Interstate highways and barbecue quickly found his way in the backyard. Then it was slowly distanced by hamburger franchises like McDonald’s until the mid-70s. The rebirth of barbecue is mainly due to the first published guidebooks and the first BBQ competitions.

Of course, the history and evolution of barbecue sauce is also part of the book:
From the 17th to the 19th century, barbecue sauce was mainly made of butter, vinegar, pepper and salt and used to mop the meat while cooking to keep it moist.
The first barbecue cook books published in the 20s progressively feature sweeter and even sweeter barbecue sauces. Regional sauces also appear around that period, together with the regionalization of barbecue.
Barbecue sauce became a mass-market product when Heinz (in the 40s) and Kraft (in the 60s) started commercializing thick and sweet barbecue sauce. As fuel used for backyard barbecue evolved from wood, to charcoal and finally gas and electric cookers, smoke flavor was added to barbecue sauce.
Nowadays, due to the explosion of varieties, the regional distinctions in barbecue sauce are beginning to fade.

Barbecue An History Of An American Institution - Inside

The book also tales the story of famous BBQ restaurants like Arthur Bryant’s, Stamey’s,… and the story of Weber-Stephen, Kingsford lump charcoal and KC Masterpiece as well.

If you wanna know more about the history of barbecue and the history of the United States, you should really read this book !

Buy it on Amazon

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Smoked chicken thighs with Dimples BBQ Sauce

Wednesday, 16 November 2011 22:36 by nico

Dimples smoked chicken

Here’s the recipe of the smoked chicken thighs I cooked  for the Dimples BBQ Sauce review on BBQ Sauce Reviews. The original recipe comes from the cookbook Weber’s Way to Grill (“La Bible du barbecue Weber” in French) by Jamie Purviance but I used Dimples instead of the homemade sauce of the recipe.

Ingredients for 2 persons:

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the rub by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl, rub the chicken drumstick and thighs and let them come to room temperature for 20 minutes while you start the grill for direct and indirect grilling at medium heat (around 200 °C).
  2. Put the wood chunks in a bowl of water for 20 minutes.
  3. Put the meat on the grill (direct grilling with the upper lid closed) for 8 minutes and turn them over from time to time.
  4. Move the meat on the cooking grate for an indirect grilling during 20 minutes (upper lid closed) and put the wood chunks on hot coals.
  5. Baste the meat with Dimples BBQ Sauce, continue the indirect grilling for 10 minutes and turn the meat over from times to times.
  6. Serve with some more sauce !

 

Smoked chicken thighs

Our cat went completely crazy when she smelled the smoked chicken ! She ate all the leftovers and, as you can see, she put sauce all over.

Chaton sauced

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