Cooking Stuff

Where Stuff Is Cooked

BBQ Pulled Chicken Open Face Sandwich

Here’s a quickie but a goodie and my new favorite thing to do with pulled chicken (or beef, pork or whatever).039 - CopyI didn’t used to like open face sandwiches and I still have a problem with the name, I mean if you can’t pick it up how is it a sandwich? But this totally won me over. The secret, other than using good pulled chicken, is garlic bread. I like to use Texas toast (which you can buy loaves of here) because thin bread just can’t hang. I use this pulled chicken although I have to admit to being a little embarrassed posting that link. Not just because it’s almost five years old and the pictures are terrible, but the method has certain flaws.


For example you really don’t need to braise boneless skinless chicken breasts for an hour or more. But what did I know, I was just starting at this blogging thing and still refining my cooking skills. Of course I’m still refining my skills, but that’s an endless journey. Heh. And anyway, the concept is sound, chicken, bacon and BBQ sauce are awesome together. They’re even better slathered on thick garlic bread with sauteed onions, covered in cheese, tossed in the oven for melting goodness and then topped with some scallion. Seriously.055 - Copy How can you not want to eat that wicked bad? Unless you’re a vegetarian, although I doubt I have too many of those following me. Heh.


Filed under: bacon, barbecue, bread, chicken, sandwich

One Pot Bacon BBQ Beans

Ok, that title may seem misleading to some since I’m not actually posting a recipe, but actually it’s one of the few things I can be sure of.

055 sq

How is that, you ask? Well that’s as far as I got on the post last time. I had thought (hoped) I had written down the recipe here because I lost the paper one, but sadly this was not to be. So instead I’ll just tease with some pics and then recreate it after the next time I go shopping.  Then I’ll write it down and probably lose it again, but hopefully get it onto the computer first. In the meantime I can assure you of a few things:

  1. This whole thing was done in one pot026
  2. There is bacon
  3. AND beans
  4. plus a sweet/tomatoy bbq sauce


I also remember eating it and it was awesome, although I think the other version (the one I also remember eating but not the recipe for) with pineapple was better.040 -sq Either would be great for a cookout or potluck since they are even better made a day or two in advance. Is there a time these beans wouldn’t be good? I don’t expect it. Is there anything they can’t do? Probably, but I wouldn’t test them. I mean, you could bring them to the beach or something. They’re great in cold weather or warm. With pot roast or barbecue! How much would you expect to pay for all these beans? Huh?! But wait, there’s more! Oh, what? Ah, sorry, I guess there isn’t.

Filed under: bacon, barbecue, beans, side dish

Smokey Barbecue Pulled Pork in the Oven with a Quick Barbecue Sauce

From the Vault: So busy this week, no time to write. I do however have some good stuff to post about so once I’m done with my doctors appointments and various other non-internet activities I’ll be sharing, I promise. In the meantime, more oven barbecue. I’ve made this particular recipe about a million times, it’s some kind of amazing. The smell it fills my apartment with is like some kind of wonderful pork potpourri, it’s wicked good. I suggest you all make it, eat it and then sit back and smile contentedly.

Pork shoulder
1 tbl liquid smoke

all purpose rub:
3 Tbls brown sugar
1 Tbl ground cumin
1 Tbl paprika
2 Tbls kosher salt
1 Tbl black pepper
1 Tbl chili powder
1/2 tbl mustard powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbl garlic powder

For the sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1-2 tbls dry rub
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tsps cider vinegar
1 tsp molasses

For the pork: Mix the spices well. Score skin to allow fat out. Reserve 1 tbl of rub and coat pork with the rest. Cover and roast at 300º for 5-6 hours, until meat shreds easily with a fork. Pull the pork out and allow it to cool enough to handle.

Pour 1/2 cup of water into the roasting pan, bring to a boil and deglaze pan. Pour the liquids off into a heat proof bowl and cool. With two forks (or hands), pull the pork into shreds, discarding excess fat and skin. Skim fat from the liquids and discard. Pour the liquids into a large pot, and bring to a boil. Add the cider vinegar. Stir in the shredded pork, return to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Or just pour 3/4 of the hot liquid over the shredded pork. Serve hot on a bun. I recommend pickles and coleslaw.

For the sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and let simmer, stirring occasionally for at least 10 minutes or as long as 30.


Here it is, smoky barbecue pulled pork from the oven. If my calling this barbecue upsets you, please see my comments on it here and here. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone, but even more I don’t want to get involved in any “right name” crap. So, let’s just move on. How do you make pulled pork from the oven smokey? Liquid smoke baby. I really like liquid smoke. It’s not perfect, but it is really good. Since I’ve already done a big post on pulled pork I’m just going to hit the highlights here, then move on to the sauce. Which also might upset people, since apparently there is a “no ketchup in barbecue sauce” camp. Well, that’s for later.

Ok then, first the dry rub.

I changed it up a little bit this time by using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, it makes it easier to work with. I’ve used this rub on chicken and beef too and it’s been really good. Just so you know. Then I scored the skin and rubbed the rub in.

It’s good to get lots of rub on there, more rub = more flavor. Then you plop it on a rack, cover it with foil and cook it at 300 for many hours. I had a commenter, erin, on the last one say that you should do it 40 minutes a pound, but I found that wasn’t enough time. Even with this shoulder that was only two and a half pounds needed five hours before it was easy to shred. But after five hours it was ready to go.

This folks, is what fork tender looks like.

The meat should just come right off the bones in nice big chunks. Like this.

I wanted to just drop this piece on a bun as is and mow.

But I didn’t, I was good. I put it all in a bowl and shredded it.

Then I poured the juices into a gravy separator.

You would have thought there would have been more fat, but I guess most of it melted into the meat. Which is why it’s so good. Anyway, I poured the juices into a sauce pan, added the liquid smoke

and vinegar.

You could brush the shoulder with liquid smoke before putting on the rub too. That was what I had meant to do, but flaked on it. Ah well. This way worked out just fine. Then I added the water, brought it to a boil and let it go for about 5 minutes. Then I just poured most of it over the pork.

And ate a forkful of it.

Man that stuff is good. Smoky, slightly sweet and spicy. Good times kids.

Ok, now quickie barbecue sauce. I remembered reading in a Cooks Illustrated about a sauce for ribs they made where they used some of the rub to make it. I thought it was a great idea. So I stole it. Now, some people have a problem with using ketchup to make barbecue sauce (and some people think barbecue sauce itself is wrong) and if you are one of those folks then feel free to not use this recipe. But again, please don’t come on here and tell me it’s an abomination. I really just don’t care. I like it. I had wanted to use tomato puree for it, but didn’t have any. So I used ketchup and it came out fine. I just winged it, really.

I put one cup of ketchup,

half a cup of apple cider,

one tablespoon of the dry rub,

about a teaspoon of molasses

and two teaspoons of vinegar.

Then I mixed it up and let it simmer for a while.

The longer it simmers the better it is, but you could just do it for ten minutes if you are in a huge rush. Of course, you just spent five hours cooking the pork, you might as well take a half hour to make the sauce. Heh.

Filed under: barbecue, pork, sauce, slow cooking

Barbecue Spare Ribs from the Oven

From the Vault: This one is a wicked old post, way back in ’09. The pictures aren’t great, a lot of them were taken at night and all of them were taken before I really had any idea what I was doing. But the recipe is solid, I’ve made it a bunch of times and it’s always fantastic. Just reposting it here makes me want to make it again…

one rack of spare ribs

for the rub:
4 tbls light brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp kosher salt

1-2 cloves of garlic, cut in half
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (optional)
liquid smoke (optional)

Preheat the oven to 225, place a deep sided pan of hot water (I used a jelly roll pan) on the bottom rack. Mix together all the rub ingredients making sure to break up any lumps, particularly of the brown sugar. Trim the skirt off the ribs and remove the membrane. Rub one or two of the garlic halves all over the pork. Brush both sides with liquid smoke, if desired. Rub the rub generously on both sides of the ribs. Put the ribs on a roasting rack over a sheet pan and let cook for 4 hours, turning once halfway through. After 4 hours brush them with BBQ sauce and let cook for another hour.


Ok, let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: is this “real” barbecue?

I don’t f*@#^&g care.

I don’t want to hear “oh, it wasn’t done in a smoker/grill/whatever, so it’s crap”. If you want to be like that, dandy, that’s your prerogative. But I don’t want to hear it and you are missing out on some seriously awesome ribs if you turn your nose up to these.

If you don’t have access to a grill or smoker or whatever then whip these up and you will be happy with the results. Unless you are a purist, then you can just go to a BBQ joint if you don’t have the equipment you feel you need.

Whew, sorry. In doing my research for this recipe I came across a great deal of venom from BBQ zealots towards people who dared to make ribs in the oven and I just want to nip that in the bud. I don’t need any of that crap here.

The only thing these were missing was that smokey flavor and if I had remembered to brush them with some liquid smoke before putting on the rub they would have had some. Or if I had used smoked paprika, but I didn’t have any. Or I could have made my own BBQ sauce and put liquid smoke in that. None of these are the same as a smoker, but they are still good options. And on the other hand, doing them in a smoker (if I had access to one) wouldn’t have made my apartment smell so good. So, pros and cons all around.

I want to give props to Cary over at Bakespace who suggested this method. A lot of people gave me good advice over there, but due to space and equipment restraints this is the one I picked. So, here we go.

Ok, spice rub time: brown sugar, chili powder, mustard powder, thyme, fresh black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper and paprika.

Mixed together with the lumps broken up.

Well, most of them anyway. Next I took my great big slab of pig. Folks, this is not a drill. This is a full rack of spare ribs.

Three and a half pounds of porky goodness. I am going to cook it. It will be fantastic. Now, I read several articles about trimming a rack of ribs. I wound up ignoring a lot of the advice. I don’t care if I have those edge bits that have small bones and cartilidge. I did however trim off the skirt from the back, that’s this flap of meat.

I wound up tossing it in the freezer, I will do something with it at some point. I also did my best to get off the membrane, but frankly I’m not sure how well I did. I must have done ok though because we didn’t notice it when we ate. Now I didn’t have any garlic powder to put in my rub, so I cut a couple garlic cloves in half and rubbed them all over the pork.

I don’t know if it did anything or not, but the ribs sure weren’t lacking flavor. Next time I’m going to make the rub the night before and rub some garlic on kosher salt to make fresh garlic salt for it. Anyway, then I rubbed the rub all over the ribs.

Now to get them in the oven. I had to cut the rack in half, there was no way the whole thing was fitting in my tiny oven. Plus the only roasting rack that is a decent size is a V shaped one for roasting poultry. It did a fine job, in fact a flat one wouldn’t have worked out for me. Again, due to my tiny oven.

I have the roasting rack in an aluminum foil lined baking sheet to catch the drippings and keep my oven from being a mess. On the bottom rack I have a jelly roll pan full of water. Which I forgot to get a picture of. Oops. Heh. I tossed the garlic cloves that I rubbed on the pork into it, I don’t know if it added flavor but it sure smelled nice. Ok, the oven is preheated to 225 and the ribs go in, bone side down. And let me tell you, after about a half an hour the aroma coming out of there is unreal. When my girlfriend came home from work the first words out of her mouth were “Oooooo it smells goooood in here!”. Two hours after they go in they come out and get flipped.

Two more hours of olfactory pleasure (or torture, depending on how hungry you are) and they get flipped again,

but this time brush them with BBQ sauce first.

And then again on the other side. Now this step is optional, with that rub you don’t *need* sauce. But on the other hand, BBQ sauce rules. And after another hour in the oven (no need to turn it up or broil it) it turns into this sticky glaze that you just want to rub all over your face.

Ok… maybe not quite so far. At least, you may not. But it is really good. And there you have it, oven barbecued ribs.

I had a hard time taking pictures of this particular dish once it was done. Not just because it was so delightfully messy, but because my girlfriend didn’t want to leave them alone long enough to let me snap the needed photos.

But once I was done we demolished them.

Is this a low fat, weight loss friendly meal? Oh hell no. But it is wicked, wicked good. I will be making this again.

Filed under: barbecue, pork, slow cooking

More Pizza

Seriously, I’m still in shock about how little pizza I have posted here. So, more.106

This is another one with that barbecue sauce I made but it also has broccoli, chicken, onions, cheddar and mozzarella. Came out wicked good, I love broccoli on pizza. It gets just lightly roasted in the fat from the cheese and gives a great contrast in texture.112

Plus it makes it healthy so you can eat twice as much. The chicken I just browned and braised in chicken broth seasoned with smoked paprika, garlic and onion. I shred it by hand so as to leave jagged edges for more browning. Browning is key as I’m sure you know.  115Whew, ok, feeling a little better now that there’s two pizza posts. I’ll probably post more soon though. Heh. I need to do something about the lighting in my apartment, too. It’s made of suck. More experimentation is clearly needed.

Filed under: barbecue, chicken, pizza, sauce

Kansas City Meets Thailand: Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce


1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 small onion, grated
1 clove of garlic, grated
1 tbl oyster sauce
2 tsps sriracha sauce (or more!)
1 tbl liquid smoke
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste

Grate the onion and garlic and saute them on medium heat in a little oil in small sauce pan. Add everything else and let simmer for a couple minutes or until it’s as thick as you like. Let cool, store in the fridge.


This sauce is an adaptation of the sauce I used in this post at the old site from the Cheater BBQ cookbook. My ex didn’t like that sauce very much but now that her taste isn’t a concern not only do I get to make it but I get to make it spicy! Hell. Yes. I also get to play with ingredients she would even let me bring into the apartment like oyster sauce. Oh, this is the sauce I used on the pizza I posted the other day, it doesn’t really taste asian it just has a unique something. Anyway, it was a spectacular sauce adventure, why not read on and vicariously adventure with me.


The recipe calls for grated onion, so I grated some onion. I used the rectangular back and forthy side on the box grater. I’m not sure what it’s actually called, so that’s what I’m calling it from now on. It turned the onion into mush which is good since chunky bbq sauce is an abomination in my eyes. I also used that side to grate the garlic, mostly because I didn’t feel like digging out my press or chopping and squishing and so forth.


Then I tossed it into a pan with a little bacon grease, because I have it that’s why, and sauteed it for awhile. Basically until it started sticking, then I just tossed the rest of everything in.


The road to adding oyster sauce was actually semi-accidental. I was going to use sriracha because it is my not so secret lover and I use it in everything these days and I realized I was out of Worcestershire sauce. BBQ sauce really needs some kind of brown umami flavor especially the sweet, tomatoey Kansas City style. I didn’t want to use soy sauce, I would have used hoisin but I was out of that too, then my eyes alighted upon the oyster sauce. Perfect, I thought, especially since I was already using another asian ingredient.

090 (2)

So, yeah, a new favorite sauce was born, hell I even bottled it. I bet it would be even better with a little hoisin, next time I make it I’m going to toss some in. Maybe some ginger, too. And lemongrass. Crap, I need to use it up so I can make more.

Filed under: asian, barbecue, fusion, sauce

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