Summertime BBQ ~ Cooking Up a Hooley in the Kitchen

Cooking Up A Hooley In The Kitchen
By Katie Gagne

  ~~ Summertime  BBQ ~~

While my little bakery keeps busy with the sweet stuff, my favorite foods to prepare and eat are those that are rubbed and sauced. I love experimenting making my own BBQ rubs and sauces. I have a general rub here that is great for ribs, chicken, and all sorts of cuts of pork and beef. There are great BBQ sauces out there that you can buy in so many places but combining your own unique flavors is fun. My Whisky BBQ sauce here is especially delicious on pork chops and wings. At our house we love smoking all kinds of meats. Some of our favorites include steak, London Broil, and corned beef. Here are just a few recipes and ideas you can use when you fire up those grills and smokers this summer.

Sweet and Zesty All-Purpose BBQ Rub

Makes approximately 3 cups

½ cup Granulated Garlic

¼ Cumin

½ cup Smoked Paprika

3 tablespoons Black Pepper

3 tablespoons Kosher Salt

3 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper

1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

¼ cup Season Salt

1 cup Brown Sugar

½ cup Turbinado Sugar (Raw Sugar)

Mix all ingredients together in medium bowl and store in air-tight container. The beauty of this is that it can be adjusted to your own personal taste.

Whisky BBQ Sauce
Makes about 2 cups


1 tablespoon Butter

3 tablespoons Crushed Garlic

1 cup Irish Whisky  (I used Jameson’s)

2 cups Ketchup

¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce

¾ cup Brown Sugar

2 teaspoons Vinegar (I prefer Red Wine or Malt)

1 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika

¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the garlic until soft and translucent.

Add the whisky and cook for about 6-7 minutes until it reduces.

Stir in the ketchup and brown sugar and let cook for a few minutes.

Add in all the remaining ingredients and lower the heat to low and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Use to baste your meat or serve on the side. Leftover sauce keeps in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Small mason jars are great for storing extra sauces.

Smoked Corned Beef
1 Corned Beef Brisket  (size will vary)

Prepare the Corned Beef as you typically do – in the oven, boiled, in a crock pot.

Once the Corned Beef is about an hour from the perfect tenderness, take it out and you can put it on your smoker at 250* for 1 hour. No additional seasoning or rub is needed. For the wood in the smoker, mesquite and cherry give it a great smokey flavor.

After and hour, remove from the smoker and let rest until serving.

Here is a yummy little sauce I adapted from my friend Ellen’s recipe that you can use on the corned beef. I was skeptical at first, as I love the great taste of unadorned Corned Beef, but this sauce is so tasty and can be used for it regardless of how the meat is prepared.

2 cups Ketchup

½ cup Yellow Mustard

¾ cup Brown Sugar

1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar

2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic

1 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 teaspoon Kosher

Whisk all ingredients together and spoon over the Corned Beef.


*Katie Gagne teaches English at Trinity High School in Garfield Heights. She is also the owner of her in-home bakery Sassy’s Sweets and Oh So Much More. You can contact her at (440) 773-4459 or at [email protected].

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