Is the steady drop in the mercury this time of the year dampening your holiday spirit? Worry not, it’s perfectly normal to want to stay indoors and curl up by the fireplace. That said, the cold is no excuse to miss out on a delicious holiday barbecue!
There's something about the warmth and comfort of BBQ dishes on a cold winter night that can't be beat. So gather around the grill (or oven, or smoker) and enjoy these delectable barbecue dishes that will warm you from the inside out.
1. BBQ Pork Ribs
Pork ribs make for some of the best barbeque you'll ever have. Not only are they delicious and satisfying, but they're also relatively easy to make. With the right technique, you can achieve fall-off-the-bone tenderness that will have your guests coming back for more. Plus, the slow cooking process allows the flavors of the spice rub and marinade to fully penetrate the meat, resulting in a depth of flavor that simply can't be beat. You can cook them on a grill or in the oven and serve them with a variety of sides, such as coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread. We’d recommend cooking your ribs for at least an hour and a half on a grill, or for two to three hours on the grill, until the meat is cooked through. Pork ribs benefit from a sweet glaze that includes honey or brown sugar paired with an acid like orange juice or apple cider vinegar.
2. BBQ Pulled Pork
BBQ pulled pork is a delicious and easy meal to prepare that is perfect for summer cookouts or any occasion. It is made by slow-cooking a pork roast in a Dutch oven until it is tender enough to be easily pulled or shredded into pieces. The dish may be prepared on a stovetop or in an oven and served with buns and a variety of sides, such as macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and potato salad. Pulled pork is an excellent food pairing for whisky or bourbon. We recommend using a pre-made dirt rub to season your pork roast before searing it in a Dutch oven on the countertop. Add your favorite BBQ sauce soon after, and continue to cook on the stovetop for up to one hour, or slow-cook in the oven for anywhere between one and eight hours.
3. BBQ Chicken
This dish needs no introduction; BBQ chicken has been a holiday classic for nearly a century, be it drumsticks grilled over the grill or a whole bird roasted in the oven. Barbecuing the bird is a great way to add flavor to chicken breasts, legs, or wings while still keeping the meat moist and tender. The chicken can also be shredded to be used as a protein in salads and sandwiches. BBQ chicken is a healthier option compared to other grilled meats, as it is lower in fat and calories. The meat is also an ideal canvas for just about any marinade or rub, making it a great choice for those looking to add some variety to their grill repertoire. It can be served with a variety of sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob. We recommend cooking the bird whole in an oven until it hits an internal temperature of 75 °C.
4. BBQ Watermelon
Barbecuing watermelon is a unique and tasty way to enjoy this refreshing summer fruit during the winter. It's a great option for vegans, as well as those looking to add some plant-based options to their BBQ spread. Grilling watermelon brings out its natural sweetness and adds a smoky flavor that pairs well with a variety of seasonings and spices. It's an easy and creative way to liven up your BBQ menu and impress your guests with something unexpected. We recommend using smaller melons for the task, peeled, halved, and coated in your favorite barbecue rub. The "filets" are best cooked in an oven for anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half at 200°C.
5. BBQ Pork Shoulder
Pork shoulder is another cut of meat that is ideal for slow cooking on a grill or in a smoker. It can be served with a variety of sides, such as macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and potato salad. We recommend using boneless pork shoulder, seasoned with a herby spice rub that includes aromatic herbs like rosemary or thyme. To hold shape, finish this cut, fat side down, in the oven, trussed with butcher's twine. Cook for 4-6 hours at 120°C for the best balance between flavor and tenderness.
6. BBQ Shrimp
The bold and smoky flavors of a Cajun-style BBQ sauce pair perfectly with the succulent crustacean, making it a crowd-pleasing dish that is sure to please even the most discerning palates. We recommend halving large shrimp and grilling them with a Cajun spice rub for this task. Toss the cooked shrimp in a Cajun BBQ sauce to serve. The dish goes well with grilled citrus and buttered baby potatoes, as well as a cold beer.
7. BBQ Sausages
BBQ sausages are a tasty and convenient option for any occasion, including Christmas dinner. Rounds or strings of sausage are also a great choice for feeding a crowd, as they can be cooked in large quantities and served hot off the grill onto a halved bread roll. There is no end to the number of artisanal sausages on the market, which is why they are the perfect starter to any barbeque feast. We recommend serving the sausages as hot dogs, with condiments to match the inclusions in the sausage.