The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Thu Sep 1, 2016

Venezuelan Chicken Pepito

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Chicken Pepito

When planning out a Meatwave menu, the hardest thing is often figuring out what not to cook. Once I get a theme in my head, I usually spin off one recipe idea after another, and variations within those too. It's my wife who keeps me in check, making sure I'm not going overboard on the food and ambition which, if left to my own devices, can easily turn a pleasant afternoon cookout into a work-a-thon for me with contentious outcomes due to overspending and over producing.

Sometimes I just can't help myself though from sneaking in more than I settled on. This chicken pepito serves as a great example—I had decided to make a steak version of this Venezuelan sandwich already, but while grocery shopping I thought, all I need to pick up to make a different variation is a package of low cost chicken thighs, and went ahead and did it. Yes, we had too much food in the end. Yes, everyone would have been totally content with just the steak sandwich, but the chicken was so good and different, I have no regrets.

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Thu Aug 25, 2016

Szechuan-spiced Smoked and Fried Ribs

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Szechuan-spiced Smoked and Fried Ribs

I spend the majority of my year thinking up new or unique recipes to keep this blog at least somewhat fresh, even as I'm close to entering my tenth year of writing. This can be a bit of challenge though when I often just crave the backyard classics such as chicken, ribs, burgers, etc. So I use major grilling holidays like Memorial and Labor Day as an excuse to go with the tried and true standards, but for those unlike me, who may actually only grill or smoke on those holidays and are looking for something different that will impress, do I have a rib recipe here that's anything but usual—these Szechuan-spiced smoked and fried ribs take some American barbecue tradition and marry it with a mouth-numbing Chinese spice.

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Tue Aug 23, 2016

Sauced: Sam Dillard's Bar-B-Q

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Sam Dillard's Bar-B-Q Sauce

Sauce Stats

Name
Sam Dillard's Bar-B-Q Sauce
Produced by
Dillard's Bar-B-Q
Cost
$4.99 for 16oz from The Kansas City BBQ Store
Ingredients
Water, Vinegar, Tomato Concentrate, Sorn Syrup, Spices, Salt, Onion Powder, Xanthan Gum, Turmeric, Natural Flavors
Color
Yellow-Orange
Meatwave Rating
610
out of 10
Above Average
More Sauce Reviews

A heavy does of turmeric gives this Carolina-style vinegar sauce a mustard-y tilt that's best enjoyed out of the jar where a littler sweetness and nice hit of heat give the sauce a really unique character.

Thu Aug 18, 2016

Arepa Guyanesa Tropical

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Guyanese Tropical Arepa

I can't say that I've evert been upset about not having a vegetarian option until the day I tried to order one of my favorite arepas from back in New York at one of the arepa joints here in Durham. The arepa in question is dubbed the "Guyanesa Tropical" by Arepas Cafe in Astoria and consists of sweet plantains, fresh avocado slices, and white cheese—a simple, yet highly effective combo. Having a hankering for one of these arepas, I went to a local Venezuelan spot and noticed that, while they didn't have this exact mix of ingredients on the menu, all could be found in other creations, so decided to try order exactly what I was craving.

I had no idea what type of confusion this would lead to with our server—"So you want an arepa without meat?"—but after a few minutes of back-and-forth, I got to something close enough by ordering a steak-stuffed areapa, minus the steak, plus plantains. I couldn't help but feel guilty when, after forcing a custom order, what came out fell pretty short of expectations, and decided that the best course of action would be for me to learn how to make a Guyanesa Tropical at home as best as possible.

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Thu Aug 11, 2016

Mu Ping (Thai Grilled Pork Skewers)

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Mu Ping

Thai skewered meats have never really been my thing—mostly I was familiar with chicken satay, an appetizer I tended to find bland, dry, and ultimately not worth ordering when there were so many better choices on the menu. But at a recent family dinner, I cooked up my satay recipe and it was received even better than the Crying tiger steak that followed, which is a dish I consider in high regard. That had me reconsidering my stance on Thai skewers, leading me to both improve my satay recipe and trying out another meat-on-a-stick variation—mu ping.

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