The past few months I've given serious thought to getting into competition barbecue. I invested in a quality smoker (competitors are using WSMs with great results) and have begun to give serious thought to rubs and sauces. Oh and that new show, BBQ Pitmasters, just adds flames to the proverbial fire.
Living in Memphis helps with the idea. Barbecue culture is all around and one of the country's premiere compeitions happens here - Memphis in May. Because of that, there are many smaller competitions all around here. I'm easing my way into the mindset. I've gotta come up with some recipes and techniques so I can reproduce results in a variety of circumstances.
I've been playing around with some different sauce recipes lately and I hit on one turned out pretty well and thought I'd share. It's a sweet and spicy mix that's probably more Kansas City than Memphis, but it's good.
- 1/2 cup Ketchup
- 1/2 cup Apple Jelly
- 3 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tbl Soy
- 1/2 tsp Bufalo Chipotle Sauce (my local Krogers carry this, I'm sure you could get similar results mixing a little chipotle powder and vinegar)
- 2 Tbl Brown Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp Fresh-ground Pepper
I was tired of cleaning my blender, so I combined the jelly and ketchup and whisked the hell out them to ensure the jelly got mixed properly. I then just threw everything together in a small saucepan, brought the mixture to a boil, turned to low and simmered for about 15 min.
It actually turned out a little too sweet for me, I think when I scale up the production size (at least double) I'll wind up cutting the apple jelly to 1/4 cup and substitute apple juice to bring up the liquid. The jelly is a wonderful emulsifier.
What I find most interesting about this sauce is that when it hits your tongue, you think it's going to be really hot, but it's not. So you get that spicy flavor without the tongue-burning after effects. I think this sauce would do well on chicken and ribs. It's a little too strong for pulled pork, I believe.
I'm going to make the larger batch tonight and I'll let y'all know if there are any significant changes or developments.
UPDATE: The smoker arrived missing parts. No smoking for it this weekend. :(