I was out of homemade barbecue sauce. I am the kind of guy who just has to try knew things so I decided to do a new Q sauce.
In determining what I wanted to put in the sauce, I thought about all the different kinds of sauces out there. I like sweet Kansas City Sauces for ribs and I like Carolina Mustard Sauces for pulled pork. Why not combine them. Also, I thought about making it different from the store bought sauces that are sweetened with corn syrup. I wanted something richer and more complex. Molasses seemed like the answer.
So, I used less ketchup and more mustard than I would use in my usual sauce and the only sweetener I used was molasses.
A side story here. There was a Heinz Ketchup plant in Leamington, Ontario for 40 years. It was efficient and profitable. However, Heinz closed it and moved it out of the country as they could get lower wages elsewhere.
At the same time, French's started making ketchup and is using Canadian tomatoes and is processing them in Leamington.
When word got out, it started cutting into the sales of other ketchups in Canada and Loblaws, one of the major chains here, stopped carrying French's. The public rose up and they restocked French's.
Needless to say, Heinz products will never grace my table again and most of my friends feel the same. Fortunately, the French's ketchup is very tasty.
Here is the mixture I came up with for the sauce:
- 250 ml (1 cup) ketchup
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) HP sauce
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) prepared mustard
- 50 ml (1/4 cup) soy sauce
- 75 ml (1/3 cup) molasses
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) garlic powder
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) onion powder
You will note there is no vinegar in the sauce. The mustard, HP and ketchup have a fair amount of acid and I just didn't think it needed it. Also, there was no need to cook the sauce as the ingredients are quite thick themselves. I just mixed it up and put it in the fridge overnight.
The next part of this cook was to continue experimenting and learning with my Louisiana Grills pellet smoker. When I grill boneless skinless thighs over high heat, they get a nice caramelized coating but I find they get rubbery. When I cook them low and slow, I like the texture but no caramelizing. So I decided to use the good temperature control of the pellet smoker to get the best of both worlds.
I sprinkled some Louisiana Grills Chicken Seasoning on the thighs.
I put then on the grill I had preheated to 220 F.
After 30 minutes, I brushed both sides with the Q sauce and turned the heat up to 300 F.
I gave them 15 minutes to set the sauce and they were done.
Here is the finished product.
We served it with pasta and broccoli salad.
First, the sauce. It is a great texture. It has a nice bite from the mustard. The high amount of mustard gives it more spiciness than you would expect. The high amount of molasses gives it a rich deep sweetness. If you look for it, you know there is molasses in it but mostly it is just a rich deep sweetness. It does not have the tomato acid of a higher tomato based sauce. Rather the sharp mustard balances the sweetness. I am very happy with the sauce. It is totally different than any I have made in the past and I can't wait to try it on ribs or pulled pork.
As for the chicken, The slower cooking with a bit higher heat at the end worked well. The meat was moist and tender with the sauce giving a nice coating. I may turn the heat a bit higher for the second part the next time.
For a quick easy smoke, this turned out very well.