Archive for the ‘ Sauces & Rubs ’ Category

Have a healthier barbecue party

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

As in all types of cooking there are certain foods that are better for our health than others. And the same applies with barbecue grilling. Here at BBQfans we’re taking a look at the foods we should be cooking up if we care about our waistlines, blood pressure and cholesterol – as well as what we should be putting on them. 


Get smart with red meat

It’s the number one foodie health concern isn’t it? Some folks claim grilling steak or any other form of red flesh isn’t healthy because it creates amines called HCAs and PAHs (we won’t get all medical and technical on you here but basically it’s claimed they are linked to some cancers). 

However, the good news is that cooking at a lower temperature prevents a lot of this potential damage from going ahead. Marinating your steak in red wine for a good couple of hours before grilling it can also block the formation of those nasty HCAs while another medical claim is to do with the popular herb rosemary – rub it on the meat and apparently it can also block the HCAs (and not only that but it can make your steak taste better too – an added bonus!).

Slow down on the sauce

Our barbecues just wouldn’t be the same without a blob or two of Catsup and our other favorite relishes and sauces such as mayo and mustard. Boy do they add flavor. Unfortunately they also add a lot of sugar and salt, especially if you’re squeezing them onto everything you eat (which it’s very easy to do because often they taste so great). We’re not saying cut them out, just watch that you don’t ladle them on without really thinking about how much you really need – or want for that matter.

Be very generous with veg

Most veg is good for us and relatively low in calories. But there are some that are better for grilling with than others. These include onions and eggplant. Why are onions so good? Well, apart from the fact they taste great when just off the grill, they are loaded with antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols which in turn are great at dealing with conditions such as heart disease and cancer. And believe it or not, they also increase bone density.

Eggplant is good because well, personally we love the taste and secondly, it has loads of fibre in it. This fills you up pretty quickly which means it’s good news for those trying to cut back their weight a little. Doctors also claim eggplant and its properties can help in the fight against colon cancer.

Make your own burgers

That way you know exactly what’s going in them ie what type of meat they contain (you can always introduce a leaner meat) and exactly how much fat (commercial varieties, especially the less expensive packs, can be full of unhealthy fats).

So what do you reckon? Think you can get a healthier barbecue party going this spring and summer? For more barbecue tips see our website at

There’s Nothing Saucy About BBQ Flavoring

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Head down for a BBQ in North or South Carolina and you’ll likely get served up your meat with a strong mustard taste, there will no doubt be more of a molasses taste to your barbecued food in Kansas and in Texas expect things to be a bit more fiery with tomato and chile added to the meat.


In Georgia you’ll probably find yourself eating flesh with a strong ketchup and brown sugar base flavour. Barbecue sauce various depending on where exactly you are in the states at the time of eating. Very rarely will you find regional unity in the flavour of your sauce (not that we’re complaining – for regional variety is one of the best things about barbecue we reckon).

Origins of barbecue sauce

But anyway, back to our barbecue sauce. It’s actually claimed that America’s most famous sauce today first appeared way back in the 1600s, other historian types claim it was the infamous seaman Christopher Columbus who arrived with a bottle in his back pocket from the Caribbean quite a bit later.

Regardless of the original source of barbecue sauce, the main thing is that it did the trick – it made the coarse unpleasant meats available at the time far more palatable.

More than 400 hundred years later our great grandparents would probably be able to buy home-made bottled versions of barbecue sauce in their local store. But it wasn’t until the 1940s that it was available by the tonne and being shipped to supermarkets around the entire United States – thanks to Mr Heinz et al.

And so the many regional variations of barbecue sauce spread around not just the States but the globe – and continue to do so today. Asian influence has crept into the mix in the form of soy sauce while Jamaican jerk is also commonplace on supermarket shelves everywhere, even in delis and gas stations.

If you’re a regular here at BBQfans you’ll already know we sell a range of barbecue sauces and rubs as well as BBQ injection packs. All can be adapted to suit personal preferences but meanwhile we’d like to list here one of our favourite homemade sauce recipes:

Louisiana BBQ sauce


  • One large onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons mustard
  • 3 tablespoons chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon each cumin and salt
  •  2 tablespoons oil
  • Half a cup of Catsup
  • 2 cans tomatoes
  • 1 can (8oz) pineapple slices
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • Quarter cup cider vinegar


·         Heat the oil in a large pot and caramelize the garlic, onion and ginger. Stirring, add in the chilli powder, cumin and salt.

·         Remove from heat and add tomatoes, Catsup, mustard, cider vinegar, brown sugar, honey and crushed pineapple. Stir well then puree in a liquidizer.

·         Return to the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Keep the sauce in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for long-term use.

Rub and Poultry on the Grill

Friday, March 29th, 2013
29 Normally when you cook poultry on the grill, you sear it to catch the juices inside, then cook it slowly to get it nice and tender. Flavor is easy enough to add – just brush on a tangy BBQ sauce and let it caramelize over the flame. But what if you want a more intense flavor, or just want taste without a lot of extra calories? Try that old beef grilling standby: the rub. Rubs work great for poultry (and fish) just as they do for beef, so let's take a look at some options you can easily make at home.

Basic Poultry Rub Guidelines

You don't need a measured recipe with a poultry rub, but there are a few things most of them have in common: oil, salt, and spices. Great poultry rubs start with a solid extra virgin olive oil. This is the time to bring out those infused olive oils you've got sitting on your counter. Garlic, chili pepper, or rosemary-infused olive oils are a great start. You can make these yourself if you want a particular flavor; just add a few sprigs of your favorite fresh herb to a small bottle of oil and let it sit undisturbed for a week or more. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor. Next, it's time to choose your salt. Nothing says you have to stick with plain old iodized salt from the shaker. Sea salt can be found in dozens of colors and origins, each with a unique and subtle flavor of its own. Flake-style sea salt will add a great crunch and appearance without becoming too overpowering. Once you have your oil and salt, you're ready to tailor the flavor of your rub. For a classic taste, try thyme, cayenne, dried oregano and sage. A rub is limited only by your imagination and the contents of your pantry. Garlic in any form is a classic flavor; lemon or orange zest will add acidity; rosemary is an attractive, traditional addition. Try adding turmeric for a curry taste, or wasabi powder for some real zing. Just keep in mind--rubs are all about imparting flavor without taking the spotlight from the real star of the dish: the poultry.

Assembling the Rub

In a small dish, add your olive oil first. You won't need a lot; use just enough to adhere the spices to the meat but not so much that it drips off. Err on the side of caution, since you can always add more if needed. A good ratio of salt to other spices is about one part salt to three parts spices. Again, with salt, tweak this to your own taste and health needs. Add your spices, strongest ones first. Mix everything together with a fork and then rub them into the poultry with your hands in a thin layer. If you're leaving the skin on, get some rub under the skin to flavor the meat directly. Then let it rest for a few minutes to absorb those great flavors. Just like a marinade, the intensity of flavor will increase with time. Grill the meat just as you normally would, and enjoy your hand-crafted poultry rub.

White flesh and fish and two wonderful marinades

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Here at BBQfans we’re aware that we do tend to go on a lot about red meat but not so much about white flesh or fish so this week we’ve decided to remedy that and make sure we give something to the white flesh and fish barbecue lovers out there. Here are two of our favorite marinades for both chicken and prawns. We know you’ll love them too. Happily neither marinade is difficult to put together, they’re not expensive to buy ingredients for, and they can be whisked up in minutes (particularly if you have a blender to hand). They taste fantastic and we reckon they are well worth taking a tiny bit of time out of your day to make. Your family and friends will be full of praise. We guarantee! how to barbecue chicken Chicken Marinade This marinade will produce enough to cover chicken for up to six people. Ingredients:
  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • juice of one lime and half a lemon
  • 6 tablespoons cooking oil
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Preparation: Set the chicken, oil and pepper aside and whisk all the ingredients together thoroughly, one at a time until they’re perfectly mixed. Next slowly add the olive oil and pepper and stir or whisk until blended. Take the chicken and immerse it in the mixture, cover with foil and leave overnight in the fridge to allow the juices to permeate. Once you’re ready to barbecue the chicken put some oil on the grill and remove the chicken from the marinade. Place on the grill and cook for around 20 minutes total, turning every now and again to ensure the marinade doesn’t burn. The next recipe, which focuses on fish (shrimp) is quicker to prepare as the food doesn’t need to be marinated for as long in order to produce a strong taste. There’s a chilli involved but because it’s deseeded the marinade isn’t too strong so it’s still suitable for children to taste.   Marinated Prawns (Shrimp) The following recipe will feed up to four adults. Ingredients:
  • 500g prawns, peeled
  • 4 shallots
  • 1 fresh chopped chilli (remove seeds)
  • juice and rind of two lemons
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preparation: Put the prawns and shallots aside and blend the rest of the ingredients together in a food processor. Next put the prawns inside a clear sealable bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and ensure all the prawns are well covered. Leave for an hour or so. Light up the barbecue, take the prawns from the bag and place on the grill for up to five minutes each. When cooked sprinkle with coriander and serve with sliced shallots. Do you have any favorite chicken or fish marinade recipes that you’d like to share with us here at BBQfans? We’re happy to attribute all recipes and if you’ve a photo we can use then all the better!

Barbecue treats Chinese-style

Thursday, February 21st, 2013
Barbecues in China could be outlawed – if officials get their way we learned today at That’s because environmental health officers there are clamping down on smog in many of China’s largest cities and have included BBQ smoke as one of the offenders – albeit a minor one alongside the likes of car exhaust fumes on congested roads and coal burning in power stations. mongolian_barbecue4e6f45f6be5f1176831f BBQ fans are of course furious and petitioning officials wherever they can. Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, has seen hundreds of outraged comments from residents for instance. This isn’t surprising since BBQ food is extremely popular in China with lamb kebabs topping the poll of favorite foods to grill outdoors. State officials admit they have issued guidelines asking the bigger cities to consider banning the practice of ‘barbecue-related activities.’ Meanwhile, in Texas they’re about to do the exact opposite. The State’s University in Austin is hosting a Foodways Texas Symposium on April 4 to 6 where pitmasters, chefs, BBQ judges and BBC lovers in general will all discuss the merits of smoked meat and why it’s so important to the Lone Star State’s cultural history and identity. They’ll also look at the question of how Texas as a state fits in with national and international barbecue trends, as well as the way technology has affected barbecue culture. Sounds like a great night! Meanwhile this week – in a state of semi-condolence for China – we’ve been celebrating Chinese barbecue recipes and these are our current favourites: Barbequed Spare ribs This recipes should serve up to eight individuals. For best results the ribs could also be marinated overnight and kept in the cooler. Ingredients:
  •         4 pounds spareribs
  •         3 tbsp each of light soy/dark soy sauce
  •          1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  •          1 tbsp each ketchup and balsamic vinegar
  •          2 tsps brown sugar
  •          2 garlic cloves, chopped
  •          1/4 cup honey mixed in with 1/2 cup boiling water
Preparation: Mix together in a bowl the soy sauces, hoisin sauce, sugar, ketchup, vinegar and garlic. Get the ribs and parboil them in a pot for around 30 minutes. Next cover them in the marinade and leave for around three hours to allow the marinade to ‘take’ to the meat. Cook the ribs on the grill and brush with the honey and water mixture a minute or two before serving up for added taste and a lovely glaze. Chinese Barbecue Sauce (Char Sui) This sauce is a big favorite everywhere and really isn’t difficult to make. It works well for any grilled meat but, as usual, should only be used at the very end of cooking time, just prior to serving up. It only takes ten minutes to cook and really is delicious! Ingredients:
  •          1/2 cup sherry
  •          2/3 cup hoisin sauce
  •          2/3 cup soy sauce
  •          1/2 cup sugar
  •          6 cloves garlic, minced
  •          2 teaspoons black bean paste
  •          1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  •         1 teaspoon salt
Preparation: Simply put all the ingredients in the one pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for around ten minutes (while stirring as the sauce begins to thicken). Allow to cool before serving. So how about you? Have you any fab recipes you'd like to share with us all here at  
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