Tag Archives: bbq

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken

3 Jul

Is anyone else in disbelief that the Fourth of July is already upon us?  In these midwestern parts, it seems to have jumped straight from winter’s end to Independence Day.  The kids are beyond ecstatic that tomorrow is the day they get to stay up waayy past dark.  All bright eyed, and mesmerized under the night sky ablaze with vibrant fireworks.  We’ll pay for it the following morning, but we gotta live life on the edge once in awhile 😉

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken

Like countless others, we’ll be firing up the grill and everything else that comes with an outdoor BBQ splurge.  With the welcome sunshine comes the motivation of cooking our grub mostly sans oven.  We plan on pulling out the Brown Sugar Baked Beans and maybe our favorite Red Potato Salad Ranch Salad without mayo!

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken 2

This Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken is one of my favorite ways to add to the cookout feast.  No oven and no competing for grill space.  This pulled chicken, like our no-fail Perfect Pulled Pork, is fully done up in the slow cooker.  Yes.  It could not be easier.  Toss it all in your slow cooker, let it go carefree, and voila!  You’re rewarded with the most flavorful, tender, juicy, and barbeque-y pulled chicken.  Chicken that’s sweet, savory, tangy, and smoky. On the bun, in a salad, or in a wrap.  This stuff is awesome.

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken 3

I love foods like this.  Super delicious, crowd pleasing, and incredibly easy.  I actually prep mine the night before, and just turn the slow cooker on the next morning.  I can focus on other things (i.e., the grill) and just a few hours later, we’ve got a mouthwatering dish of pulled chicken, hot and ready to serve up.  Does it get better than that?  We think you’ll love this Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken.  It’s perfect for all those summer BBQ cookouts.

Happy 4th of July, Everyone!

Enjoy 🙂

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RECIPE (8-10 servings)

4 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs (breasts can be mixed with thighs, but thighs turn out more tender)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
5 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp table salt (fine)
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
6 TB packed brown sugar
2 tsp onion powder
2 TB worcestershire sauce
2+  cups Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce (my favorite choice; brand of sauce matters!)
1 – 1.5 TB liquid smoke
Buns or sandwich rolls to serve
Pickles to serve

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl.  Mix sauce ingredients well.  Sauce can be made well ahead of time and kept in fridge.  Thoroughly dry chicken pieces with paper towels.  Combine chicken with sauce and place in slow cooker.

Cook on high about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Carefully remove chicken from slow cooker with tongs.  Keep slow cooker lid on and keep sauce warm.  Pull chicken apart/shred with forks.  Return shredded chicken into slow cooker.  Toss well to make sure chicken is fully coated in sauce.  At this point, add bit more BBQ sauce if needed.  Cook on high another 30-45 minutes.  Turn down to warm setting, and keep warm until ready to serve.

Toast buns or sandwich rolls and serve with pickles, if desired.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

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Brown Sugar Baked Beans with Bacon

14 Jun

Here’s one of my favorite side dishes to take to summer potlucks and barbecues.  These brown sugar baked beans with bacon are beyond easy.  The kind of easy that seriously simplifies your day.  They are so yummy that I always make extra.  Because it’d be a bummer to run out of these sweet beans.

Brown Sugar BBQ Baked Beans 2

Everyone loves these savory yet sweet baked beans.  They will think you slaved in the kitchen all day, soaking and cooking those beans.  Little do they know that this bean dish took you about 3 minutes to assemble (yes, assemble) and just a bit of time in the oven.  Let’s not tell ’em the secret.

Brown Sugar BBQ Baked Beans 3

This perfect BBQ side dish consists of canned beans, brown sugar, and just enough real bacon to give it that extra yum factor.  This bean dish is a favorite side, as it’s sweet, salty, and a little bit smoky all at the same time.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to burgers, more burgers, chicken, or whatever you’re grillin’ up.  It’s awesome next to a super easy and delish potato salad.

Brown Sugar BBQ Baked Beans 4

Even my kids will eat up these baked beans, and kids aren’t known to be bean-a-holics.  People who aren’t bean fans will come back for more.  And it only takes a few minutes to get this dish on the table.  I seriously don’t know if I’ll ever be able to post another recipe with such teensy directions.  Happy cookout season.

Enjoy! 🙂

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BROWN SUGAR BAKED BEANS WITH BACON
(serves 15-20 side dishes)

INGREDIENTS

2 cans (29 oz each) of good quality baked beans (Bush’s Country Style is great)
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 TB brown sugar
2 tsp mustard powder
3 TB ketchup
2 TB onion powder or dried minced onion
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Set oven to 350F.

Combine all ingredients, except for bacon, in a serving dish of your choice.  Stir to fully incorporate ingredients.  Sprinkle crumbled bacon evenly on top.  Cover and place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until dish is hot.  Serve warm.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Perfect, Smoky Pulled Pork

18 Aug perfect smoky pulled pork

Years ago, I went through a slow cooker phase.  What’s not to love about such a good, old-fashioned appliance that delivers?  Especially when the “daily stuff of life” leaves little time for cooking, the crock pot is a dinner saver.  A few times, I’ve turned to said appliance for batches of various styles of pulled pork, which have all turned out tender and juicy.  But this recent rendition of pulled pork is, unquestionably, our family’s most favorite-est.

perfect smoky pulled pork

Perfect Pulled Pork – really hits the spot!

Nope, it doesn’t even require a smoker.  I know a few BBQ Guys who turn out deliciously smoky meats with their smokers.  I could subconsciously be a tad envious because I don’t own a smoker.  I don’t have a smoker and I refused to turn on the oven with the hot and humid weather.  Thankfully, my trusty crock pot was ready to go.  The neighbors might even have been envious of the great big BBQ aroma coming from my little kitchen 🙂

perfect pulled pork

Perfect Pulled Pork – smoky, sweet, and savory – all without a smoker!

Actually, now that I think about it… it’s kind of funny that I’ve been posting about meat.  During my independence-seeking college years, I swore off red meat, among other things.  If I remember correctly, I adamantly refused beef and pork during that health nut phase (which my mama still scolds me for.)  Funny how pork has since had an image revamp and become the “other white meat” – yeah, okay, that probably doesn’t include pork shoulder/butt.  But still.  Pork has come a long way.

perfect pulled pork smoky

Perfect Pulled Pork – tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone YUM!

I still favor poultry and seafood, but I’ll totally fill my plate with these pulled pork sandwiches when they come calling.  I’m serious – this pulled pork is full of flavor, with an awesome dry rub that sits on it overnight before cooking.  The only challenge is that you’ll need to plan for that night of marinading.

Perfect Pulled Pork 5

Perfect Pulled Pork – serve it up with your favorite coleslaw, pickles, or potato chips.

The best part of this pulled pork is that you will get such big flavor and tender and  fall-off-the-bone-goodness, all with little effort once everything is in your slow cooker.  Just turn on that sweet little cooker early in the morning, and dinner is ready when you get home!

Perfect Pulled Pork

Perfect Pulled Pork – cooks all day on its own!

Oh, and everyone knows that BBQ sauces are not all alike.  My disclaimer is that I only use Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce because out of all the sauces I’ve tried, this is it.  I’m not doing some kind of sponsor-ad thing, and I didn’t get my recipe off the back of the sauce bottle.   I just want you to really like this meal.  You can certainly use something else, but it probably won’t end up tasting like the pork I’m bragging about 🙂

Here’s to delicious food that cooks on its own, slow cooker style.  Enjoy!

RECIPE (10-12)

INGREDIENTS

For Dry Rub
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 TB paprika
1 TB kosher salt
1 1/2 TB freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 TB garlic powder
1 TB onion powder

4-5 lbs pork shoulder or butt
2 cups cola or root beer
3 T liquid smoke
1/4 cup water
1-2 bottles Sweet Baby Ray Honey BBQ Sauce, depending on how saucy you want it

DIRECTIONS

Make dry rub by mixing first 7 ingredients together.  This can be made days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.

Using paper towels, dry pork.  Press dry rub generously onto pork, on all sides.  Wrap pork tightly in double foil and let sit overnight in fridge.

Remove foil from pork and set evenly in slow cooker.  Pour in 2 cups cola or root beer and 3 T liquid smoke.  Add 1/4 cup water.  Cover slow cooker and cook on low for about 10 hours.

Remove and shred pork.  Reserve cooked pork juices into separate bowl and skim off fat.  Put shredded pork back into slow cooker.  Mix in 1 bottle BBQ sauce.  Add as much of the reserved pork juices as desired.  I use maybe half or more.  Add more BBQ sauce if desired.  The meat will soak up a lot of the moisture, so this part is pretty much done by taste and by eye.  Once it is to your liking, cook on low another 30 min to 1 hour.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

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