I’m a guy who likes to burn meat on an open flame. That’s at least three politically incorrect things right there: guy, meat, open flame. I love to barbeque; well, at least I like to do so.
This weekend we had chicken fajitas at the house. So, when it came time to cook the meat, I went out, fired up the old and reliable propane burner, and, when it got to temperature, burned the bird.
Actually Momma said that the bird was done perfectly.
I hear some of you saying, “So, what?”, out there.
“So, what.”, is that it was hovering at the freezing mark when I did it. Last week when I BBQ’d the back ribs, it was actually below freezing. When I told people on Monday after the ribs that I had cooked them on my gas grill, the newer ones expressed disbelief. The co-workers who have been there longer just shrugged, they know me.
That’s right, I will actually barbeque when the temperature is on the wrong side of freezing. I’ve even cooked kabobs in February, in a snowstorm. When the folks out walking their dog looked at me through the horizontal snow, I grinned, waved my tongs at them, and said “Hi there, neighbour.” I’m pretty sure one said to the other, “Don’t look at him and walk faster.”
Of course, it helps that I live in Suburbia with an attached garage. I pull the BBQ around the house in late fall after the first hard frost, and park it in the front, just behind the door. When I
need want to BBQ, I roll the door up, light the BBQ, and go. If I didn’t have that garage, I think I’d cry. While I shovelled a path to the grill and chipped the ice off of it.
If you want to BBQ in your garage there are two absolutely must-do safety tips. First, open the door all the way while you’re heating and cooking on the barbeque. Burning gas creates carbon monoxide which might seep into the house and hurt or kill people or pets. Second, when you’re done cooking, turn the gas feed off at the propane cylinder, then turn off the burners when the flames die. This prevents a gas leak which, if it meets a spark, could cause an explosion and fire, which could also hurt or kill people or pets.
I don’t use the barbeque as often as I would like, because doing it for one seems such a waste, and during the week my family and I are on different sleep/eat schedules. When I get home at 0730, I want a big meal; when I get up at 1900, I want caffeine and cold cereal.
Rejoice my readers; I have decided to share with you my recipe for an easy, all-purpose barbeque sauce. I use it on chicken or pork, I don’t use BBQ sauce on beef, so use at your own risk. I like it because it’s hot enough to get your attention, but not so hot that it overpowers your taste buds.
Shimoniac’s Easy BBQ Sauce
1 Cup generic, red, tomato-based BBQ sauce
⅓ Cup genuine Maple syrup; dark is best, amber is acceptable, light is don’t bother
1 ¾ tsp. powdered chipotle chilies
Stir to blend. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature for flavours to meld. DON’T, I repeat, DO NOT substitute maple-flavoured breakfast syrup, that’s just water, sugar, artificial flavour, food colouring, and preservatives.
For Maple Syrup, the real stuff is expensive, but it is so worth it.
There, you’re done. This makes enough to coat meat for about four people. Results may vary. Adjust chilies to taste.