Best Ever Barbecued Chicken – Homemade BBQ Sauce

Best Ever Barbecued Chicken – Homemade BBQ Sauce

Barbecued chicken

The 4th. of July is surely a day for barbecuing.  So what are you grilling on Independence Day?  Tired of the same old same old?  Why not grill some finger licking good Barbecued Chicken?

Barbecued Chicken is one of my summer favorites and it took me a while to figure out how those barbecue joints make their delicious barbecues.  Was it the sauce?  Or is there a marinade?  Well, after much searching I found out it takes both!  Yup a really good rub AND a really good sauce is what it takes for some restaurant style Barbecue.  Click here for my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub you’re going to need it to make your Best Ever Barbecued Chicken this weekend!

So really there are 3 steps to making the Best Ever Barbecued Chicken:

  1. Rub the chicken parts with my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub and let rest AT LEAST 30 minutes and not more than 24 hours in the refrigerator. (Use 1/4 of the BBQ Chicken Rub for 8-9 pieces of chicken.  Drizzle 2 Tbs. Olive Oil on the chicken parts then massage the rub into each piece making sure it’s completely covered.  I use boneless chicken thighs but you can use any part or parts you like.  The rub works better on skinless parts so I’d advise you to remove the skin.  Place chicken in ziplock bag and let rest for at least 30 minutes and no more than 24 hours.  If using chicken that has been resting in the fridge for more than 30 minutes place chicken on counter 30 minutes before grilling so that temperature goes down to room temp.)
  2. Grill the marinated chicken perfectly.  Click here for grilling tips.
  3. Baste chicken with my yummy homemade Barbecue Sauce – baste the last 2 minutes for grilling and after the chicken is cooked – you can also serve barbecue sauce on the side for dipping.

So here’s my super yummy Homemade Barbecue Sauce.  The recipe makes about 2 quarts.  I keep the sauce in quart sized mason jars in the fridge.  It keeps for about 3 months.

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Ingredients:

4 Cups Ketchup

1 Cup Blackstrap Molasses

1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar – Packed

1/2 Cup Seedless Blackberry Preserves

2/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbl.  Basic BBQ Chicken Rub  (click here from my recipes)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together until preserves are no longer lumpy.

Simmer 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and use or transfer to jars for storing.

Best Ever Barbecued Chicken - Homemade BBQ Sauce
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Best Ever Barbecued Chicken - Homemade BBQ Sauce
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Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and whisk together until preserves are no longer lumpy
  2. Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and use or transfer to jars for storing.
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Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Summer officially begins in 4 days!  So get out that grill and get ready for some finger licking barbecue meats smothered in homemade Barbecue Sauce!

When it comes to barbecue sauce nothing beats homemade!  I know why bother when there are literally dozens of different bottles and jars of barbecue sauce out there; each one boasting that they’re the very best!  Not to mention there are so many different types of barbecue sauce on supermarket shelves you don’t know which one to buy.  I know I get confused and end up pretty much choosing one at random, or choosing the one that’s on sale, then getting home only to find out I really don’t like it.

Well making your own barbecue sauce takes the guess work out of it and you know you’ll the it!  But before I give you my recipe for homemade barbecue sauce let me ask you if you’ve got the rub.  Yup that extra yum comes from the meat rubs you use before you slather on the barbecue sauce!

So if you don’t have your own recipe for meat rubs or don’t have a favorite brand to use then check out my chicken rub and my beef rub.  They’re both delicious!  I always have a jar full of these spice combos to use year round.  Just click on the rub for the recipe and tips about using them.

Once you’ve rubbed your meat down and let it soak up all those spices you’re ready to grill!

Grill your meat until it’s almost done then brush on the barbecue sauce and grill just until it almost reaches your desired doneness.  Then remove meat from grill and place it in a covered pot to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Don’t forget to serve a bowl of barbecue sauce on the side for those folks who want to add more.

Now scroll down for my homemade barbecue sauce recipe.  Happy grilling!

 

Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
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Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until everything is well combined and sugar has been absorbed
  2. Place in serving bowl or in jars for storing
  3. Store in the refrigerator. It will last about 2-3 months.
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Instant Pot Beef Shawarma

Instant Pot Beef Shawarma

A Beef Shawarma sandwich or plate!  Yum!  It’s one of my favorites.  It’s one of the things I always order when I find myself at a Middle Eastern restaurant anywhere in the world.

Shawarma is sort of like the Greek Gyro or Turkish Doner Kebab; it’s a cone of seasoned meat or meats that’s cooked on a vertical spit.  Typically beef, lamb, and chicken are combined to form the large hunk of meat which is slowly grilled as it turns on its axis on the vertical spit.  Pieces of cooked meat are shaved off and stuffed in a pita with sauces, veggies, and pickles or placed on a plate with a serving of salad, hummus, rice, and pita bread.

I believe Shawarma started out as Middle Eastern street food where the sandwiches can be taken to go and eaten on as you go.  But these days you’ll find mixed meats, beef, and chicken shawarma on fast food and restaurant menus throughout the Middle East and beyond.

We love this tasty dish so much that we make it at home since there really aren’t any good Middle Eastern restaurants where we live.  Recently I’ve started making Beef Shawarma in my Instant Pot!  It’s the easiest and fastest way to make it!

We usually make Beef Shawarma sandwiches but we’ve also made Beef Shawarma plates and bowls.  We also use the leftover meat to top hummus, assuming we havhttp://www.savvynana.com/wp-admin/e leftovers that is!

But really the secret to this Beef Shawarma that tastes like you got it from a Middle Eastern restaurant isn’t in the way it’s cooked, the secret’s in the spice mix that’s rubbed on the meat!  Marinating the meat overnight ensures that the meat is infused with the exotic flavors of the spices.  Cooking it in the Instant Pot just makes the cooking process faster, but you can actually make it in the oven or on a grill if you don’t own this handy dandy electric pressure cooker.

Once you make the Beef Shawarma you can make it into a sandwich and top with your favorite toppings such as hummus, tahini sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, and I love it with Tzatziki sauce! (I know I’m mixing Arabic and Greek foods, but who cares?  It tastes great!)

To make Instant Pot Beef Shawarma you’ll first need to make some of the Shawarma Spice Mix, so click here for the recipe!  

Then scroll down for the Instant Pot Beef Shawarma recipe!

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Instant Pot Beef Shawarma
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Instant Pot Beef Shawarma
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Ingredients
Beef Shawarma
Sandwich Toppings
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Using a small knife drill 12 holes all over your roast
  2. Stuff a garlic half in each hole
  3. Mix Shawarma Spice Mix with 2 Tbs. ACV and 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  4. Rub this spice mixture all over the roast then place the meat in a covered dish or ziplock bag and let rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. I find that overnight works well.
  5. 30 minutes before cooking set the meat on the counter and let the temperature go down to room temperature
  6. Place remaining olive oil in instant pot and set pot to saute
  7. Sear the meat on all sides for about 5-8 minutes per side
  8. Add beef broth and remaining ACV to the pot
  9. Cover making sure the valve is set to sealing
  10. Set pot on Manual and adjust time to 60 minutes
  11. When pot turns off allow pressure to release naturally
  12. When pot is completely depressurized carefully open the lid and remove the meat
  13. Shred the meat and place in a bowl or baking sheet. At this point you can use the meat to make sandwiches, plates, or bowls. Or if you prefer you can crisp the ends by sprinkling a bit of the broth over the meat and popping the pan in the oven to broil on high for 10 minutes or just until the ends turn darker brown. If you are crisping it keep a close eye on the meat as it will burn quickly in the broiler.
  14. Store any leftovers with a bit of broth to keep it from drying out. Reheat in the microwave or in the over, drizzle some of the broth over the meat before reheating.
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Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Gyros seem to be getting trendy, even the fast food chains are putting them on their menus.  Makes sense I guess since Gyro (pronounced YEE-roh) can be considered fast food meaning you can grab a sandwich and eat it on the go.  Gyro meat can be either beef, pork, chicken, lamb, or a combination of these meats.  The meat is usually ground up and cooked on a vertical spit then thin slices are shaved off as needed to make plates or sandwiches.  Having grown up in New York City gyros have always been a familiar food, I remember seeing the big hunks of meat rotating behind a window at the corner deli or diner.  Anyway trendy or not we love Gyros, specially beef gyros!

We always grab a gyro or two when we’re in Greece and sometimes in NYC, I mean it’s not like we’re going to set up a huge vertical spit and roast meat for hours.  That’s why the  Instant Pot is a great addition to my kitchen!  I can make Beef Gyros anytime I have a yen for them.  The beef gyros made in my Instant Pot tastes pretty authentic and can be made in about half an hour!  Doesn’t beat a trip to Athens or Santorini, but it hits the spot!

The Beef Gyros I make in the Instant Pot are tender, juicy, and tasty; in short perfect!  We slather the pita with homemade Tzatziki, a creamy cucumber yogurt sauce, then fill it with meat and veggies, delicious!

Here’s the recipe for Instant Pot Beef Gyros and Tzatziki Sauce, hope you love it as much as we do!

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The Beef

Ingredients:

2 Lbs. Chuck roast sliced into thin strips about 1/4″ long – cut meat against the grain

1 Large White Onion thinly sliced

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Garlic Powder

1 Tbs. Oregano

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Black Pepper

1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Cup Beef Broth

Shredded Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce

Sliced Tomatoes

Sliced Purple Onion

Sliced Cucumbers

1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

Fresh Pita Bread or Naan

Directions:

Place all the ingredients except the Pita, Lettuce, and Tomato in the Instant Pot

Cover and make sure the valve is in the “Sealing” position

Turn pot on to Manual – high pressure

Set timer to 30 minutes

Once timer goes off allow the pot to sit for 15 minutes.  Then switch the valve to “venting” and allow the pot to depressurize.

Remove cover and stir.

While you’re waiting for the meet to cook make your Tzatziki Sauce and prepare your veggies

Place shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions on a dish and sprikle with Apple Cider Vinegar then set aside until ready to use

Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:

1 Cup Finely chopped cucumbers – remove seeds before chopping

1 Cup plain whole milk yogurt

2 Tbs Fresh Dill chopped

1 Tsp Garlic finely minced

1/4  Tsp Salt

Directions:

Take the cucumbers and squeeze out the liquid.  Squeeze out as much liquid as you can.

Place cucumber in bowl and add in rest of the ingredients and mix very well.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sandwich assembly:

Cover pita bread with a damp paper towel and warm in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds

Place one pita bread flat on a piece of aluminum foil

Spread bread with Tzatziki Sauce

Place a layer of shredded lettuce over sauce

Remove desired amount of meat from pot and drain liquid then place over lettuce

Add cucumber, onion, and tomato slices on top then add more tzatziki sauce if desired

Roll sandwich and foil, use the foil to hold the sandwich together.  Peel off foil as you eat.

You can also make a plate or bowl instead of a sandwich.  Any left over tzatziki can be used a dip, just place in a dish or bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Dip pita chips in the sauce for a great snack or appetizer!

 

Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
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Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
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Ingredients
Tzatziki Sauce
Servings:
Instructions
Beef
  1. Place all the ingredients except the Pita, Lettuce, and Tomato in the Instant Pot
  2. Cover and make sure the valve is in the "Sealing" position
  3. Turn pot on to Manual - high pressure Set timer to 30 minutes
  4. Once timer goes off allow the pot to sit for 15 minutes. Then switch the valve to "venting" and allow the pot to depressurize.
  5. Remove cover and stir.
  6. While you're waiting for the meet to cook make your Tzatziki Sauce and prepare your veggies
  7. Place shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions on a dish and sprikle with Apple Cider Vinegar then set aside until ready to use
Tzatziki Sauce
  1. Take the cucumbers and squeeze out the liquid.  Squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  2. Place cucumber in bowl and add in rest of the ingredients and mix very well.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Assembly
  1. Cover pita bread with a damp paper towel and warm in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds Place one pita bread flat on a piece of aluminum foil Spread bread with Tzatziki Sauce Place a layer of shredded lettuce over sauce Remove desired amount of meat from pot and drain liquid then place over lettuce Add cucumber, onion, and tomato slices on top then add more tzatziki sauce if desired Roll sandwich and foil, use the foil to hold the sandwich together.  Peel off foil as you eat. 
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Shish Taouk – Lebanese Chicken Kabobs

Shish Taouk – Lebanese Chicken Kabobs

Shish Taouk - Lebanese Chicken Kabobs

Another one of my favorites when I’m visiting Jordan or Dubai is Shish Taouk, Lebanese Chicken Kebobs.  I eat this for dinner almost everyday when I’m in that part of the world, basically because I don’t eat lamb (which I’m told is very good there) and really because I just love it.

It’s very similar to the Greek Souvlaki; just marinated in different spices and served with the yummy garlic sauce instead of Tzatziki, the cucumber yogurt sauce so popular in Greece.
For my Chicken Souvlaki & Tzatziki recipe click here.

Shish Taouk, like Souvlaki is marinated in yogurt, placed on skewers, and grilled; the biggest difference is the spices used in the marinade.  I mix my marinade in a large mason jar that way I can shake it until all the ingredients are combined, then I pour the mixture into a large ziplock bag and place the chicken pieces inside.  I marinate the chicken overnight in the refrigerator and place them on skewers just before we grill them.

Another “secret” I’ve discovered in the Middle East is to let the cooked chicken skewers “set” in a large covered WARM pan for about 5-7 minutes before serving.  This lets the chicken soak up it’s juices and the meat comes out very tender and juicy.

In Lebanese restaurants in both Amman and Dubai Shish Taouk is usually served with french fries and hummus with pita bread.  I prefer to have it with steamed white rice.  You can even place the chicken (sans skewers) on a pita add sandwich fixings and have a Shish Taouk Sandwich.

Ingredients:

3 pounds chicken tenderloins – cut into cubes (each tenderloin will make 3-4 cubes)

1 cup lemon juice

3 Tbls.  minced garlic

1/2 cup FULL FAT Greek yogurt

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tsp.  white pepper

1/2 tsp.  ginger powder

1/2 tsp.  nutmeg

1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. chili powder

2 tbls.  tomato paste

salt to taste

Shish Taouk - Lebanese Chicken Kabobs

Directions:

Place all ingredients except the chicken pieces in a large jar.

Shake jar until well combined.

Pour mixture into ziplock bag.

Add chicken cubes to bag.

Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to grill place 3-4 chicken cubes on to a skewer.

Grill until just done -do not over cook – chicken should be firm but not hard

Place skewers in warm covered pot for 5-7 minutes to set before serving.

Serve with your choice of starch and garlic sauce.  For garlic sauce recipe click here!  Enjoy!

Shish Taouk - Lebanese Chicken Kabobs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Shish Taouk - Lebanese Chicken Kabobs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except the chicken pieces in a large jar.
  2. Shake jar until well combined.
  3. Pour mixture into ziplock bag.
  4. Add chicken cubes to bag.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. When ready to grill place 3-4 chicken cubes on to a skewer.
  7. Grill until just done -do not over cook - chicken should be firm but not hard
  8. Place skewers in warm covered pot for 5-7 minutes to set before serving.
  9. Serve with your choice of starch and garlic sauce.
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