Thursday, November 8, 2012

How To Make An Awesome Bourbon Barbecue Sauce Recipe

One of my favorite things to come out of Kentucky is bourbon. A barbecue sauce recipe made from bourbon is another of my favorite things. And, while adding alcohol when making sauce is nothing new, a good bourbon barbecue sauce will bring people coming back for seconds. And thirds.

Before grilling any foods, make sure your grill is clean. A dirty grill surface can cause many problems. Excessive smoking, soiling of flavors, potential for bacterial illness, not to mention being a fire risk, are all side effects of a filthy surface. Clean your grill with a wire brush often for best results.

To be bourbon, officially, it has to be made in Bourbon County, Kentucky. I tend to favor Wild Turkey or Maker's Mark. A liquor that is made outside of the county line-even if made in the exact same manner, is technically whiskey.

Don't forget to clean your grill before you use it by scrubbing the grilling surface with a wire brush while it heats up. This way the removed food and grease burn off. Built up food on the grill doesn't add flavor to the meat, but make the fresh food stick to the metal much easier.

But whether you choose to make it with whiskey or bourbon, the barbecue sauce recipe I've included here is, to steal a phrase from something else that comes from Kentucky, "finger-lickin-good."

To keep your burgers flat, indent the middle of the burger with your thumb, nearly leaving a hole, before frying or grilling the patties. As the meat draws up and shrinks while cooking, the indentation will close itself, leaving you with flat burgers instead of small patties with extra thick middles.

The keys to this bourbon barbecue sauce recipes-and any recipe-are simple: use good ingredients, and be patient. Measurements for this one are easy: two cups of bourbon (if you start with a fifth, that leaves you a little more than a cup to sip on while cooking), a cup each of orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup, a stick of butter, and whatever spices you want-black pepper, sea salt, and cayenne pepper work well.

To reduce cooking time for beef steaks and roasts, pull the meat out of the fridge an hour before you intend to start roasting or grilling it. Letting the meat come to room temperature can shave valuable minutes off the cooking time and allows the meat to cook more evenly.

Melt the stick of butter, then add all of the wet ingredients into a pot, and stir well. Bring it to a boil, stirring often, then drop to low temperature. Simmer uncovered, stirring often, for half an hour, then add your spices. Now comes the part where you have to be patient-you need to let it simmer covered now for a couple of hours.

A great grilling tip to improve flavor and consistency is to try to cut similar foods into the same size pieces. This ensures that foods stay moist and grill evenly. A nice side benefit is that it also makes your workload a little easier. By cutting out the hassle of constantly monitoring foods for doneness, you have the peace of mind of knowing your foods will all be ready right about the same time.

Some people have a concern about a bourbon barbecue recipe because, well, of the bourbon-they're concerned about the alcohol. You can reassure them that the bourbon is only a flavor; alcohol has a much lower boiling point than any of the other liquids in this recipe, so it boils off pretty quickly.

If you are planning on grilling, make sure that you take your steaks out of the freezer at least one hour before you cook so that they can match the room temperature. This will allow you to cook them easier and achieve the quality that you are looking for, by cooking them on the grill.

Now, this is, of course, a very basic bourbon barbecue sauce recipes. Easy variations involve changing the citrus juice- lemon and lime or grapefruit are options-or swapping out the maple syrup for a different type of syrup or perhaps molasses. My advice, though, as you make up your own bourbon barbecue sauce recipe is that you don't eliminate the syrup or molasses' it helps the sauce stick to the meat. And your fingers.

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