Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Test Kitchen: Templeton Rye Whiskey BBQ Sauce

Making basic BBQ sauce from scratch is something that every BBQ enthusiast should get into a habit of doing -- you can control your own ingredients, customize the taste and flavor profile so that it is exactly the way you want it. The next step is to introduce different ethnic ingredients like chipotle, Sriracha, or gochuchang. If that doesn't suit your fancy, there's only way to go -- alcohol.

Now, I'm no stranger to concocting BBQ sauces with alcohol. It seemed like only yesterday that I made this killer bourbon whiskey BBQ sauce with Four Roses. Now, it was time to try some different. Enter Templeton Rye whiskey.

I just knew that the Templeton Rye would be a great ingredient for the BBQ sauce to complement some spare ribs that I smoked last weekend. Pork always lends itself well to a sweeter sauce, so the mellow spice from the whiskey -- along with the subtle caramel and toffee undertones -- would balance out the other ingredients in the BBQ sauce.

- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup water (more or less depending on your preference for BBQ sauce consistency)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Templeton Rye whiskey

Thoroughly mix all ingredients (I like to use a whisk) in a pan over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil, then lower to a slow simmer. 15-20 minutes should do it. You can adjust, add, delete ingredients depending on your personal taste. That's the great thing about making your own BBQ sauce -- it's totally up to you and there's no wrong or right way to do it.

The end result is a Templeton Rye whiskey BBQ sauce that has a rich, mahogany color go along with a smooth flavor profile to complement my pecan-smoked pork spare ribs. The sauce was tangy, sweet, and with just a hint of the whiskey that wasn't too overpowering.

After about three hours of smoking the ribs, I brushed both sides of the spare ribs with the BBQ sauce and wrapped in foil. The ribs can really baste in the sauce with this method. When the ribs have reached your desired tenderness, throw them on the grill for about a minute on each side so that the sugars from the sauce can caramelize and form a crusty, flavorful bark. So good!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Review: Premiala Stainless Steel Marinade Injector & Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves

The beauty of BBQ is that you can spend as little or as much as you want. You don't need any fancy equipment to produce really good BBQ -- it is more about the technique, recipe, and the attention to detail. The BBQ industry is a multi-billion dollar industry for a reason, and there are new products being promoted at every corner.

For those who have a limited budget, there are three accessories that can really improve your BBQ grilling or smoking: 1) instant-read thermometer, 2) heat-resistant gloves, 3) marinade injector. Thermapen is a worthy investment, but what about gloves and an injector?

Most heat resistant BBQ gloves that I've tried are short in length and don't cover up the wrists. This is obviously important if you're trying to reach further in and around any hot surface. Silicon gloves can get can quickly lose its grip when handling BBQ where there is a greater chance of touching oily surfaces and meats.

The Premiala Heat Resistant The ArmorGlove BBQ Gloves are made from the same material from firefighter's suits and can withstand 932 degree F (500 C) for up to 15 seconds. I used the gloves on various tasks around grilling and smoking, and passed every test with flying colors. These gloves are also larger in size than most others -- so anyone with gigantic hands shouldn't have a problem quickly slipping these on and off.

A meat injector is a BBQ or cooking accessory that is very underrated in my mind. Meats like chicken, turkey, beef roasts and brisket are all just begging to be injected with some marinade that can really enhance or elevate the overall flavor and tenderness. I've tried my fair share of marinade injectors, which were all plastic and not the greatest quality.

The Premiala Stainless Steel Meat & Flavor Injector is a top notch injector that just looks serious, like it belongs in a hospital or torture chamber. It comes with three needles -- one shorter needle that is used for injecting marinade into thin cuts like steaks and kabobs. The other two larger needles are for larger roasts -- one with an open end for thicker marinades with garlic and herbs, the other with 12 holes for even distribution of liquids.

I used the smaller needle to inject some broth into 10-lb brisket and it was extremely smooth and easy to use. Other meat injectors made out of plastic are very flimsy and I've had a difficult time throughout the process from piercing the meat to injecting the liquid into the meat. The 304 food grade stainless steel is high quality too, making it very easy to take apart and clean.

The Dirty Smoke Rating:

Premiala Stainless Steel Meat & Flavor Injector - 5/5 stars
Premiala Heat Resistant The ArmorGlove BBQ Gloves - 5/5 stars