It’s summertime and the living is easy. Warm weather means it’s time to clean off the grill, break out the good brews, and gather together with friends. When it comes to preparing the perfect backyard BBQ menu, take a page from some of the top brewmasters and brewpub chefs in the country with these six beer-iffic summer BBQ dishes.
Beer Can Chicken
Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont, CO
4 Whole 2.5-3.5 lb Chickens
6 Tablespoons of Rog’s Rub
2 Oranges Cut in Half
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Thyme
4 Cans of Dale’s Pale Ale
1 Cup of Favorite BBQ Sauce
4 Tablespoons Salt
1.) Clean chicken thoroughly.
2.) Place a half of orange in each chicken.
3.) Rub with thyme and salt.
4.) Place whole chicken in large container and marinate with 3 cans of beer overnight. Be sure to turn them if the beer does not cover them totally.
5.) Drink the fourth can of beer.
6.) Pull chickens out of beer marinade (do not drink!) and rub with Rog’s Rub.
7.) In a smoker or using an indirect cooking technique, place whole chickens, breast meat up, and cook at 250 degrees for 2.5 hours.
8.) Lightly brush on BBQ sauce and continue cooking for 1 hour. Skin should be sweet and crispy.
Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, New York
2 lbs of Freshly Ground Beef (Chuck)
1 Medium Yellow Onion
3 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
2/3 Cup of Robust Red Wine
1/2 Stick Salted Butter, chilled
2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper (Coarse)
1/4 lb Gruyere or Swiss Cheese, Freshly Grated
4 Large Onion Rolls, Sliced and Toasted on the Inside
1.) Chop the onion finely. Using a sharp knife, cut the butter into small pea-sized pieces (the butter has to be cold, or you’ll have a hard time doing this.) Wash your hands, because you’re about to get busy.
2.) Put the chopped beef into a large bowl. Add in the onion and the wine. Using your hands, knead the wine and onion into the meat until fully incorporated. Add the butter chips, the cumin, and the pepper, and knead further until the butter looks well-distributed. Add salt to taste, knead it in, and form the meat into four even-sized patties.
3.) If you’re going to cook the burgers on the stove, then use a hot cast iron skillet, coast lightly with olive oil (you can use peanut oil if you’re worried about smoke from the pan) and add the patties. Cook the burgers to your preferred temperature using medium heat.
4.) If you’re grilling the burgers, coat the grill with the olive oil and grill over hot coals. In either case, when the burgers seem a minute or two from being done, add the grated cheese on top and cover for the final minute of cooking.
5.) Remove from heat, and build your burger with onion rolls, tomato and condiments.
Recipe by Taylor A. Smith, Executive Chef of Drake’s Dealership by Drake’s Brewing Co.
2 Full Racks of St. Louis Ribs
1 22 ounce Drake’s Drakonic Imperial Stout (plus several more to drink)
1 Bottle of Your Favorite BBQ Sauce or 24 ounces of your own recipe
For the Rub
1 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon White Pepper
1 Teaspoon Pink Curing Salt (optional)
1 Cup Hungarian Paprika
1 Tablespoon Dark Chili Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1 1/2 Teaspoon of Coriander
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Mustard Powder
Makes about 4 cups. Combine all ingredients either by sifting together, or pulsing in a food processor. Set aside 1 cup for finishing.
For the Ribs
Wrap ribs in plastic loosely (the wrap will shrink while ribs cook), then make an envelope out of foil by pulling out a length greater than twice that of the ribs. Place the ribs on one side and fold over. Leave 4-6 inches of space at the opening as you will need it later to pour out drippings. Make sure all seams are crimped well and sealed. Allow ribs to rest in the refrigerator 18-24 hours. Remove from fridge 1-2 hours before cooking. Preheat oven to 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Cook ribs 3-4 hours on a sheet pan (on middle rack in the oven). Check at 3 hours. Carefully open 1 envelope and wiggle a bone. If it feels like it will pull away if tugged, the ribs are done. Don’t be fooled by the idea that the meat should fall from the bone. At this stage, you want to feel like the bone will pull out IF YOU TRY. The ribs are going to continue to cook as they rest. Allow ribs to rest 1 hour before opening packages. Open the end of the envelope and pour out the drippings into a sauce pan.
For the Sauce
Collect as much of the rib juices as you can, and combine it with 1 bomber of Drake’s Drakonic Stout and a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. While the ribs are cooking, reduce the sauce to your desired viscosity.
To Finish the Ribs
Cut the cooled ribs into the desired portion size (I like to serve in 2-3 bone sets). The ribs should be cool, but not chilled. If you are working with cold ribs, warm them through for 4-5 minutes in the oven first. Preheat the broiler, with the rack at the top. Line a sheet pan with foil. Place rib portions on the sheet pan and brush lightly with the sauce. Place under the broiler. DO NOT WALK AWAY OR CLOSE THE DOOR. Caramelize the ribs until nice and charred.
Brush the ribs with the sauce again and dust well with the remaining rib space. Serve with heated sauce on the side to dip. To serve from the frill, simply replace the oven steps by charring the ribs on the grill. Finish the same way.
Ellie’s Brown Ale Barbecue Sauce
Avery Brewing Company, Boulder, CO
1/4 Cup Garlic (minced)
1/4 Cup Shallots (minced)
1/2 Cup White Onion (rough dice)
1/2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Cans of Avery’s Ellie’s Brown Ale
3/4 Cup of Malt Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Mustard Seed
3/4 Cups of Honey
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Cups Ketchup
1/4 Cup Yellow Mustard
1/4 Cup Ground Mustard
1.) Sauté onions, garlic, shallots in butter until they are almost burnt.
2.) Add 1.5 cans of Ellie’s Brown Ale and malt vinegar.
3.) Let simmer for about 30 minutes to reduce some of the liquid.
4.) While simmering, drink the other .5 can of Ellie’s Brown Ale.
5.) Add the remaining ingredients.
6.) Let simmer for another 40 minutes.
7.) Allow to cool, then puree in a blender.
8.) Use as a marinade or apply after meat is cooked.
Ale Potato Chips
Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR
3 Medium Potatoes, Sliced
1 1/4 Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Cornstarch
1/2 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Olive Oil
1 12 ounce Bottle Red Chair NWPA
Mix the flour with the spice, cornstarch and beer to create a batter. Heat the oil in a sauce pot over medium hight heat. Dip the potato slice into the batter and fry in the oil until golden brown. Serve with homemade ketchup and a pint of Red Chair NWPA
Three Philosophers Ultimate Brownies
Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
5 Ounces Unsweetened Chocolate
1 Cup Butter
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Three Philosophers Reduce to 1/2 Cup
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 1/2 Cup Walnut Pieces
1 Cup Dark Chocolate Bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and chocolate together. Let Cool. Beat eggs, sugar, beer, and vanilla. Add chocolate/butter mixture, then mix in flour. Fold in walnuts and chocolate bits. Pour in 9” x 12” greased aluminum pan. Bake for 33 minutes at 350 degrees. Check for doneness. Let cool before cutting.