BBQ Girl

BBQ Girl

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Sweet As Soda Pop" BBQ Sauce

"Sweet As Soda Pop" BBQ Sauce

I still dream about that.. or so goes the song. I attended a great university in the South for 2 years, and was inspired by my experiences there to create some marinades and sauces.

My competition-grade recipes are directly inspired by my experiences at my old school. Those recipes are under lock and key..sorry! However, last night when I made my competition ribs I decided to play around with the barbeque sauce and create a new school-inspired recipe.

I call my newest creation, "Sweet As Soda Pop" BBQ Sauce. It contains Tennessee Whiskey (sorry I don't think I'm allowed to list brand names), Soda Pop, and Honey. The sauce is a fairly sweet sauce. I created it to go with pork ribs, however, it would work with chicken or pulled pork too. Enjoy!


1 c. Cola

¾ c. Tennessee brand of Whiskey- Honey flavored

1 c. Ketchup

3 tbsp. Steak Sauce

¼ c. Soy Sauce

1 tsp. Onion Powder

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tbsp. Mustard

1 tbsp. Honey

1/8 tsp. Black Pepper


Simmer 25 min. at a medium heat. Stir constantly.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Smoked Pork Belly

1.25 lbs. of pork belly

Dry Cure added onto pork belly

Smoked Pork Belly

Smoked Pork Belly with Homemade Spaetzel

Here is my latest experiment in the smoker. It is a dry-cured pork belly. Not exactly the healthiest thing in the world to eat, but chock full of porky deliciousness. :)

We bought a 1.25 lb. pork belly at a butcher's shop at our local farmer's market, and I decided to experiment with it and cure it myself, and put it on the smoker.

I wanted to try a dry cure without using a traditional cure. I decided to make my own dry cure and cured the pork belly for 4 days. Here are the ingredients to my cure:

Dry Cure Ingredients:

4 tbsp. Brown Sugar

2 tbsp. Vanilla Sea Salt

1 tbsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 tsp. of Vietnamese Cinnamon

1 tsp. New Mexican Chili Pepper Powder

1 tsp. Garam Masala

Mix all the ingredients together. Use about 1/2 of the mixture to cover the pork belly. Place the pork belly in a tightly sealed container (I used a casserole dish with a lid), and place in the refrigerator. Then leave it to cure for a minimum of 2 days. I cured it for 4 days.

After the curing process is complete, rinse off the pork belly with cold water. Pat it dry.

Sear the belly in a heavy pot or pan on a high heat on both sides until each side is a nice brown color. Take off the heat, and make a "beer bath" for your belly to soak in while cooking.

"Beer Bath" Recipe:
1 bottle of your favorite beer. I used a Canadian lager beer.

2c. Hot Water

1 tbsp. Chicken Base

1 tbsp. Beef Base

2 tbsp. Dried Thyme

Approx. 3-4 tbsp. of dry cure mix

Heat up your smoker/or oven to 325F. I used apple chips to add a nice smoky, apple flavor to the meat.

Mix the "bath" ingredients thoroughly in an aluminum pan, and place the pork belly in pan.

Place the pork belly with the skin side up on the smoker/oven unfoiled. Cook for 1 hour, and then flip the meat over and place aluminum foil tightly over the pan. Cook for another hour, and then flip meat over again. Take foil off. Cook for 1 more hour (it took me a total of about 3.5 hours to cook a 1.25 lb. pork belly).

Once the meat is thoroughly cooked (I did the fork test, if the fork easily goes into the meat and meat easily falls's done), take the pork belly out of the "beer bath" and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Wrap the foiled pork belly in a towel, and place in a cooler. Let the meat rest for 30-45 minutes and then serve.

Cut off the skin from the pork belly and cut it into 2-3" squares, and crisp it up in a skillet or pot (be very careful, the skin jumped up in the pot I was using and the hot oil splattered quite a bit). Cook the skin until it is a nice golden brown and is crispy.

As a side dish, I channeled my family's Burgenland, Austria roots (I'm a nice mix of Austrian-Hungarian, Croatian and Ukrainian), and made a homemade spaetzel to go with the pork belly.

The pork belly had a wonderful smoky, cinnamon, and apple aroma to it and was so tender. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Irish Stout and Vanilla Coffee Barbeque Sauce

One of my favorite things about barbequing is making sauces. Here is my newest creation I made specifically for my 1st ever beef brisket I served on the 4th of July.

I love a good Irish stout..whether it's drinking it or cooking with it. :) I wanted to use Irish stout in a special barbeque sauce to flavor my coffee rub beef brisket. I also used vanilla coffee in the sauce to go along with the vanilla coffee rub I used. Here is what I created:

Irish Stout and Vanilla Coffee Barbeque Sauce


1 c. Irish Stout Beer

1c. Vanilla Coffee

1 c. Ketchup

¼ c. HP Sauce

3 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

2 tsp. Onion Powder

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tbsp. Mustard

1 tbsp. Honey

1/8 tsp. Ground Black Pepper


Add all of the ingredients into a medium-size saucepan. Use a whisk to mix everything together. Simmer for 30 min. at medium-high heat. Enjoy!

Beef Brisket Mop Sauce

Brisket Mop Sauce


¾ bottle of Apple Cider (Alcoholic or Non-Alcoholic)

Approx. 3 tbsp. Irish Salted Butter

2 tbsp. Light Brown Sugar

3 tsp. Vanilla Extract


Add all ingredients together into a medium-size saucepan. Heat until the butter and brown sugar are melted. Then use to baste beef brisket throughout the smoking process. Enjoy!

Beef Brisket Marinade

I just tried my first beef brisket on our smoker this past weekend for the 4th of July. Many BBQers out there will say not to inject a marinade into the meat or let it sit in a marinade overnight. I thought why not? Brisket has a bad rep in BBQ World for being a tough meat to smoke. You either get it right, and it is nice and moist, or it tastes like shoe leather.

After 8 LOOONG hours of smoking the meat, and letting it rest for 1 hour wrapped in aluminum foil, a towel, and placed in a cooler, it was ready to eat.

Did the marinade work? YES! It helped keep the meat moist, and added great flavor to the brisket. I used a meat injector and injected all of the marinade into the meat. I let it marinate in the refrigerator for 12 hours. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Beef Brisket Marinade / Mop Sauce


½ c. Water

½ c. Vanilla-flavored Coffee (brewed strongly)

2 tsp. Beef Base

2 tbsp. Light Brown Sugar

¼ tsp. Irish Mustard

¼ tsp. Chili Powder

½ tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tsp. Onion Powder

2 tsp. Soy Sauce


Place all ingredients into a saucepan, and heat until sugar has dissolved. Set aside and let it cool down. Once the marinade has cooled completely, inject it into your brisket or beef short ribs. You can also just use the marinade as a nice mop sauce too.

Coffee Dry Rub for Beef

Coffee Rub

I use this rub on anything from steaks to beef brisket. I like the semi-sweet flavor the vanilla coffee adds to the rub. It makes this rub stand out from a typical rub used on beef. Right before I apply the rub to beef I will lightly baste the meat with a dijon mustard-vanilla extract mix, and then pat the dry rub on top of the mustard. Enjoy!

¼ c. Vanilla-flavored Coffee (ground coffee, not brewed)

¼ c. Light Brown Sugar

1 tbsp. Onion Powder

1 tbsp. Garlic Powder

1 tbsp. Sea Salt

1 tbsp. Hungarian Paprika

2 tsp. Cajun Seasoning

1 tsp. Chili Powder

1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper

Monday, June 13, 2011

Vietnamese-Inspired Marinade

Vietnamese-Inspired Marinade

This is an intensified version of the traditional Vietnamese soup called Pho. My favorite soup in the world. I intensified the spices so it would impart a lot of flavors into the beef. I use this recipe on beef short ribs. Enjoy!

Pho Bo (Beef Soup) Inspired Marinade


4 c. hot water

2 tbsp. beef base

1/3 c. white onion

3 tbsp. fresh minced ginger

2 tbsp. cinnamon

4 tbsp. fish sauce

2 star anise

8 cloves of minced garlic

2 tsp. ground black pepper

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tbsp. lime juice

2 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro


Add all ingredients into a pot (I used a large one). Simmer on low heat for 20 min. Cover with lid. Marinade will thicken slightly as it simmers, stir occasionally. Let marinade cool completely before adding to the meat. I actually let the meat marinate in this marinade for about 20-24 hours prior to smoking.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Middle Eastern-Inspired Chicken Rub

This is a rub I love for the aggressive spice flavors. I use this rub strictly on chicken.

Middle Eastern-Inspired Chicken Rub


2 tbsp. Turmeric

2 tbsp. Cumin

2 tbsp. Dried Coriander

2 tbsp. Cinnamon

2 tsp. Nutmeg

¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper

1 tbsp. Sea Salt

1-2 tbsp. strong flavored mustard (I either use a yellow mustard or Irish mustard)


Mix all ingredients together and place on chicken. Marinate in a tight container for a minimum of 8 hours in the refrigerator. Use any extra rub with melted butter or olive oil and baste chicken while it is in the smoker. Discard any leftover rub after use. Safety warning: do not dip a hand that has already touched raw meat back into container. It will contaminate the rub. Always season with one hand, and keep another hand dry and untainted.

Japanese-inspired Marinade

I love Asian food. Whether it is Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean.. I love it all! I wanted to test a Japanese-style marinade on some chicken thighs. I absolutely love this marinade on chicken thighs. It is by far my favorite seasoning for smoked chicken. Enjoy!

Japanese-Inspired Marinade:


½ c. of Rice Vinegar

½ c. of Soy Sauce

2 tbsp. Brown Sugar

Approx. 3 Tbsp. (or more) of Onion Powder


Mix all ingredients together. Place chicken in a 9" x 13" pan (one that has a lid). Pour 1/2- 3/4 of the marinade on chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hrs. Approx. 20 min. before smoking, remove chicken from refrigerator and pour out the marinade. Pat the chicken dry and place on smoker. Use the extra reserved marinade to baste the chicken throughout the smoking process.

Chicken or Pork Dry Rub

I use this chicken dry rub on wings, thighs, drumsticks, and even pork shoulder. I like the unique flavor of this rub because it contains cocoa. The cocoa adds a deep flavor to the chicken or pork.

Chicken or Pork Dry Rub:


1/8 c. Cocoa Powder

1 tbsp. Sea Salt

1 tbsp. Black Pepper

3 tbsp. Garlic Powder

3 tbsp. Onion Powder

1 tsp. Chili Powder

2 tsp. Seasoned Salt

2 tsp. Celery Salt

1 tbsp. Paprika

Mix ingredients together. Sprinkle the rub generously on your meat. Let the flavors absorb the meat for a minimum of 30 min. prior to smoking. I typically season the meat with the dry rub and let it marinate in the refrigerator for about 8-12 hrs. Store the remaining dry rub in a tight container and store in a cool place. Safety warning: do not dip a hand that has already touched raw meat back into container. It will contaminate the rub. Always season with one hand, and keep another hand dry and untainted.

Chicken Wing Dry Rub

Smoked Wings

Smofried Wings (smoked, then deep fried)

Chicken Wing Dry Rub:


2 tbsp. Onion Powder

2 tbsp. Garlic Powder

¼ tsp. Black Pepper

2 tsp. Sea Salt

1 tbsp. Paprika

2 tbsp. Taco Seasoning

2 tbsp. Cajun Seasoning

Pinch of Cayenne Pepper


Mix all ingredients together. Use 1/2 of mixture on wings, and place in an airtight container. Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hrs. (preferably longer..I like marinating meat for a minimum of 8 hrs.). Before you place on smoker, leave wings out for about 15 min. prior to smoking and sprinkle more of the dry rub on. I even like to mix some dry rub in with chicken broth, beer, or butter and mop the wings while in the smoker. Safety warning: do not dip a hand that has already touched raw meat back into container. It will contaminate the rub. Always season with one hand, and keep another hand dry and untainted. Enjoy!

Maple Mustard Rib Glaze

This rib glaze was created to compliment my Rosemary Thyme Ribs. I love the hint of sweetness from the maple syrup! It is not overwhelmingly sweet like many rib glazes out there, which is a nice change. Enjoy!

Maple Mustard Rib Glaze:


3/4 c. high quality maple syrup

2 tbsp. packed brown sugar

2 tbsp. ketchup

¼ c. apple juice

¼ c. Jack Daniel’s whiskey

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Sea Salt (I actually ordered this from Wales, UK..but you can add vanilla bean or pure vanilla extract to the mix in lieu of specialized Vanilla Sea Salt)

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard


In a small saucepan, stir together the maple syrup, brown sugar, ketchup, apple juice, Jack Daniel’s, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and mustard. Bring to a low boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Rosemary Thyme Rib Marinade

This is a recipe I came up with to just get a different flavor for smoked ribs, versus a traditional bbq rib that you would get in places like Memphis or KC. I'm typically not a rib fan, so I wanted to experiment with different flavors. Here is one of my rib marinade recipes. Enjoy!

Rosemary Thyme Rib Marinade:


6 c. water

1 can of beef broth

1 c. orange juice

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. Sea Salt

¼ c. White Sugar

½ tsp. Ground Black Pepper

3 tbsp. Dried Thyme

3 tbsp. Dried Rosemary

3 tbsp. Dried Coriander

5 tbsp. Garlic Powder

5 tbsp. of Onion Powder

3 tbsp. salted butter

Place your ribs in 9" x 13" container (which comes with an airtight lid). Mix all the ingredients together and pour in your container. Let it marinate for at least 12 hours. Before you are ready to put on a dry rub or place on smoker, pat the ribs dry. I let them sit out at room temp. for about 20-30 min.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pulled Pork Barbeque Sauce

This is a barbeque sauce I created to go with my pulled pork recipe. It has a nice tang to it, but does not overwhelm or outshine the pork at all. Enjoy!

Pulled Pork Barbeque Sauce:


4 tbsp. butter

¼ c. white onion

4 cloves of garlic

½ c. ketchup

½ c. Coke

¼ c. Worchestershire Sauce

½ tsp. Irish Mustard or a strong mustard

1 tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

Pinch of Cayenne


Melt butter in sauce pan, add onions. Saute for about 5-6 min until lightly golden. Add rest of ingredients. Heat on med.-low for approx. 30-40 min. until sauce is thickened.

Pulled Pork Mop Sauce

This is the mop sauce I use to keep my pork nice and moist during the smoking process (I also use a foil pan to keep my pork in while it's cooking). Enjoy!

Pulled Pork Mop Sauce:


1 c. hot or warm water

2 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. beef base

1.5 tsp. chicken base

½ c. apple juice

1 whole garlic


Puree everything together. Use this sauce when meat is just about to be foiled at 170 degree F. temp.

Pulled Pork Dry Rub

This is my new go-to pulled pork dry rub. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Pulled Pork Dry Rub:


2 tbsp. Black Pepper

2 tbsp. Paprika (I use Hungarian Paprika..because I'm part Hungarian and enjoy the flavor)

1 tbsp. Curry Powder

2 tbsp.Sea Salt

2 tbsp.Brown Sugar

1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper


Mix all the ingredients together well. Use about half of your mixture to rub onto the pork. Wrap the pork tightly in a container and place in your refrigerator overnight (I let mine marinade for a minimum of 10-12 hours).

When you are ready to smoke the pork, remove the pork from the refrigerator 45 minutes prior to smoking. Add the remaining dry rub to the pork and let it rest until it is ready for the smoker. Enjoy!

Pulled Pork Marinade

I tried to make pulled pork once before in the smoker (our first ever thing we smoked in fact!). The flavors were good, but we didn't smoke it long enough (we only smoked it to 170 deg. F). Well after much research I learned the proper real way to do pulled pork. I bought a 7 lb. pork picnic and got to work!

I like to inject my meats with a brine or marinade to keep them extra moist. This is the recipe I used for newest and best pulled pork. I hope you like it!

Pulled Pork Injectable Marinade:


1 c. of hot or warm water

2 heaping tsp. of chicken base

2 heaping tsp. of beef base

1 tsp. of mustard

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. iodized salt

2 tsp. curry powder

1 tbsp. onion powder

3 tbsp. garlic powder


Mix all the ingredients together, and let it cool. Use an injector and inject the pork thoroughly. I used almost all of the marinade to inject into the meat. Once the meat is injected, pour the rest of the marinade on top of the pork to use as an adhesive for your dry rub.

Smoked Blueberries Recipe

This is a smoked blueberry recipe I came up with to use as a topping on a 4th of July cake I made. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures while they were in the smoker. Sorry!

Smoked Blueberries:


1 pint of blueberries

¼ of a lemon (squeezed)

zest of ¼ of a lemon

1 c. light brown sugar

Approx. 1 tbsp. of lemon-infused olive oil


Soak cherry wood chips for 1 hr. prior to smoking. Heat smoker to 200 degrees (F). While your smoker is heating up, wash the blueberries, and pat them dry on a paper towel. Place the blueberries in a 8” x 10” heavy duty foil pan. Add all the ingredients together. Mix.

Put blueberry mix in smoker and check 20 min. into smoking. Check every 10 min. after that. Smoke for 40 min. The blueberries should be tender to the touch, but not too mushy or too hard.

After the blueberries were removed from the smoker, I let them cool down for about 20 minutes.

I ended up making a Smoked Blueberry Sauce to accompany my lemon olive oil cake.

Smoked Blueberry Sauce:


Smoked blueberries

1 tbsp. of lemon zest

½ c. of white granulated sugar

½ tsp. of cinnamon //or cardamom // or ginger //or ALL :)

¼ c. of blueberry flavored water


I placed all of the ingredients in a heated saucepan on the stove top (at medium heat). Simmer for approx. 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened considerably. Let it cool completely and enjoy!


So my name is Kristen. I am currently a stay-at-home mom to a 3 year old boy and a 12 year old black Labrador Retriever. I have been married for almost 5 years to my husband Tom. I love hockey (Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers), Red Sox baseball, and the Tennessee Volunteers. I also like to do cakes and cupcakes for friends and family too. My husband and I started getting into true low-n-slow barbeque about a year and a half ago.

We are members of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, and have our own competitive BBQ team, "We're Gonna Make Ya Squeal Like A Pig".

The goal of this blog is to document my adventures in barbequing. I have a passion for cooking, and I love to experiment with different styles of barbeque. I don't like doing things by the book, and come up with my own BBQ recipes. Some work, some don't...but I always have a great time doing it!