Tag Archive for BBQ

Leftovers Menu Idea: BBQ Pork, Skillet Corn, Sugar Snap Peas and Hasselback Potatoes

I had a rough work day last week that kept me from thinking anything about dinner but too tired to want to get the family back in the car to eat out. So, what to do, what to do! This is what my husband likes to call ‘scrounging’ and I am very thankful for a family that lets me have these kinds of nights every once in a while.

leftovers menu idea

Level of Difficulty: Easy Time Required: Prep Time – 15min; Cook Time – 45 min


BBQ Pork Tenderloin – leftover grilled pork tenderloin, sliced really thin and heated in BBQ sauce Leftover Skillet Corn Sugar Snap Peas with Terriyaki sauce Hasselback potatoes made with some Yukon gold potatoes I had at the house


The recipes have the details, but here are some bigger picture things. The potatoes will take the longest, so get them cut and in the oven. While they cook, you’ll have more than enough time to get everything else heated, the table set and the wine opened. Next up should be the sugar snap peas. You can prep them and have them ready to go for their last minute cook time. Everything else (corn and pork) were leftovers. They only take a few minutes at the end to reheat.

BBQ Grilled Tri-Tip Steak

grilled tri-tip steak

Last fall we were in Northern California visiting some dear friends. As is not at all uncommon when hanging out with me, we got onto the topic of food and eventually ended up talking BBQ. Our friends are good Southerners too but being in California they had been introduced to the tri-tip steak which is evidently grilled/smoked like a brisket is in Texas. I’d never even heard of a tri-tip steak so when all of a sudden it appeared at my Costco, I just had to try it out.

Tri-tip is a cut of beef that definitely needs the low and slow approach like many others do. It gets its name due to its triangular shape and is full of a whole lot of flavor because it is very nicely marbled. It’s also a lot less expensive! Try to do a BBQ grilled tri-tip steak the next time you have some time and want to do something different.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 45 minutes – 1 hour


1 tri-tip steak

Dry Rub

BBQ Sauce

Wood chips (I like cherry wood for this one but any will do)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

I use a gas grill a lot of the time so I use one of these to make some smoke.

Preparing BBQ Grilled Tri-Tip Steak:

Make your dry rub (or use what you have in your spice drawer) and sprinkle liberally all over the meet. Rub it in and let it marinate in that for an hour to overnight.  Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before grilling.

Soak your wood chips in water.

Start your grill over medium heat and prepare for indirect heat. If a gas grill, then just start one side of the grill. For a charcoal grill, you’ll prepare the coals to one side of the grill. Add your wood chips when the grill is ready. If you are using a smoke box as linked in the special equipment section above, just put that on top of the direct heat.bbq tri tip steak smoked

When the grill is ready, add your tri-tip to the direct heat for about 7 minutes per side then move to the indirect heat. It will probably take 20 minutes per side to complete it. Just keep the lid down as much as possible. In the last 5 minutes, add the BBQ sauce if desired just to let it caramelize.

Let the meat rest on the carving board for about 10 minutes and then slice thinly against the grain and on the bias. Check out our video on how to do that if you are not familiar with those terms.

Important Tips:

Don’t try and rush this one, you’ll only be rewarded with meat that tastes like shoe leather.

Meal Ideas:

I served this with hassleback potatoes and sautéed greens.

Melissa’a BBQ rib recipe for a gas grill

baby back pork ribs recipe

You may recall that Denise posted her Easy Rib Recipe a while back and we had a little ‘discussion’ on the best ribs. Well, I decided to go ahead and post mine so you can decide which one you like. They have similarities in that they are both baby back ribs, both start with a dry rub and sauce; however, that is about the end of the similarities. Try them both!! I think these are the best ribs not cooked on a smoker like a Big Green Egg. We’ll provide one of those recipes at another time.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – rub – 5 min, ribs – 5 min, sauce – 20min; Marinate time 2hr-overnight; Cook Time – 3 hours


4 racks of baby back ribs (Denise says count on 4-6 ribs per person – that’s crazy talk – count on 6-8 of these bad boys!)

Make your own dry rub: I change this up every time and never measure it. But, here are the basic ingredients. Change quantities and spices to vary yours to be sweeter or spicier.

bbq dry rub for ribs

Oregano (~2T)
Garlic Powder (~4T)
Chili Powder (~5T)
Onion Powder (~2T)
Cumin Powder (~1 1/2 T)
Cayenne (~1 1/2 T)
Brown Sugar (~ 1/2 cup)
Coarse Kosher Salt (~6T)
Black Pepper (~2T)

These are the kinds of quantities I used. Starting at 12:00, you have Chili powder, Kosher Salt, Cayenne, Onion powder, Oregano, Garlic powder and in the middle you have black pepper and cumin.

Dry rub ingredients

Make your own sauce – worth it and it’s easy. Here is my base recipe to help get you started.

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Gas Grill

How to make BBQ ribs on a gas grill:

Make your dry rub the way you like it. The rub above will be a bit on the sassy side. Tone it down by reducing the 3 pepper powders. Mix it all together.

Take your ribs, place on top of some aluminum foil and rub the dry rub onto both sides and really rub it into the meat, don’t just sprinkle it on top. Again, it’s your choice on how coated you want them. I coated these pretty heavily and man, did they have a kick!

best ever bbq rib recipe

Wrap them up, put back in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight to let those flavors really sink in!

When ready to cook, take the ribs out of the fridge and let rest. Preheat your gas grill to medium-high heat. When hot, place the ribs over the heat for about 2-3 minutes per side to get some good grill marks and char on the exterior, turn off half of the grill and place ribs over indirect heat for another 20 minutes (10 minutes per side).
awesome bbq rib recipe

Remove the ribs from the grill, place on top of some aluminum foil, fold up the edges partially, pour a liquid into the foil (beer, chicken broth or apple juice are my favorites) and wrap them up tightly in the foil. IMG_1412Return the wrapped ribs to the grill over indirect heat turned down to medium for another 2- 2 1/2 hours. The ribs are done when you can pull the meat away from the bone with a tug but you went too far if the ribs just fall off the bone.  You’ll also notice that the exposed bones stick out a bit from the rack.

baby back pork ribs recipe

Remove from foil but keep on the grill, sauce them up on both sides for a couple of minutes and serve!


Important Tips:

Great dry rub + great sauce + low and slow = Awesome ribs!

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Easy Menu IdeaI make my kids’ lunches everyday. I’m sure they are as tired of eating the same thing as I am tired of making the same thing. I was looking in the refrigerator this morning and thought, “Why not make them a BBQ chicken sandwich for lunch?” This really couldn’t be easier.

I bought the Jack Daniels BBQ chicken from Costco (they also sell it at Publix). There are 3 pouches to a pack and they last a while. I heated up the chicken to where it was very, very hot and then immediately put it in a thermos. I put a whole wheat bun in a ziploc bag, a side of BBQ sauce and a fork. The sandwich doesn’t get mushy and it’s something new and healthy for the kids! Throw in some fruit and veggie sticks and everyone is happy!

If you don’t want to the chicken, the BBQ pork is equally delicious!

Melissa’s Secret BBQ Sauce (and now award winning)

I’m a bit reluctant to give this one away….well, actually, saying ‘a bit reluctant’ is a bit of a misnomer. I’m actually ridiculously and freakishly reluctant. In fact, I have no real desire to share this secret weapon, but I’m trying to be a more giving person and learn to share more. I’ve never been very good at sharing 🙁

I adapted this from the Williams-Sonoma recipe in their Kitchen Library book series on Grilling. Adapt this for yourself too. Everything can be changed.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 20min; Cook Time – 1 hour


3T vegetable oil
2 onions (I use Vidalia or sweet onions), chopped finely
8 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups ketchup
1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Worcestershire
2/3 cup sugar
3T chili powder
1T cayenne pepper


Heat the oil and add onions and garlic. Saute until tender about 8 minutes.
BBQ SauceAdd all remaining ingredients and let simmer for about an hour. I add the sugar first and stir until it is melted and then add the other ingredients.

homemade bar-b-que sauce


Changing chili powder type and quantity as well as cayenne pepper quantity will alter the heat. Add more or less vinegar for tanginess. Add more or less sugar for sweetness. Make it yours!!

Got Leftovers?:

This sauce freezes really well so you can always have some on hand when you need it.

Wow! I will take this and run with it. I just hope that Melissa deciding to share a super secret recipe doesn’t mean I have to!!! – Denise

McNack’s Takes 2nd in BBQ Sauce Competition!

Thanks for all the good luck wishes, they worked! McNack’s came in 2nd place in the BBQ sauce competition, coming in just behind Fox Brother’s BBQ, one of the best BBQ joints here in Atlanta! There were not as many competitors as we’d hoped, but this has given us the confidence to hopefully compete in the huge Atlanta Bar-B-Q Festival held in Atlantic Station in September. More to come on that later.

We were judged on three areas in both the taste and texture categories. With a total point option of 30, we averaged 24. We even received one perfect score and a comment that said, “Wow! “Love the onion and after-fire’

That would be referencing the touch of cayenne!

Here is the link to the base recipe.

Bone-In BBQ Pork Chop

Pick out some great double rib, bone in pork chops at the grocery store. If you don’t see some, ask the butcher. Even at a grocery store like Publix, the butcher will happily cut your meat for you.

Start your grill. You’ll want to cook these over both direct and indirect heat over charcoal or over high heat and then medium heat on a gas grill.Pork Chop

Season the chop with salt, pepper and lemon-herb seasoning. Leave out to get to room temperature while the grill gets hot.
Use your best homemade sauce or use mine. I’ve been making this sauce for years and it is TREMENDOUS! I adapted from a Williams-Sonoma recipe in their Grilling book. Look for its post soon!

Place chops on grill (direct heat/high heat) for about 2 minutes per side to sear it.

Grilled Pork Chop

Then move to indirect heat/turn down to medium heat and cook for about 5 more minutes per side (depends a bit on thickness). Add sauce to one side for about 2 minutes, flip and sauce the other side for about 2 minutes. Push on the chop close to the bone with your finger. If it gives as much as the meaty part of your palm, it probably needs a couple of more minutes. You’ll want to cook these about medium or until 145 degrees when tested away from the bone.

How to grill a pork chop

Beer / Wine Pairing

With BBQ, I prefer a nice, hoppy ale. My go to ale is Sweetwater 420 brewed right here in Atlanta. If I’m drinking wine with BBQ, I prefer a nice Syrah (red varietal)