Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cowboy Joe's pit and grilling sauce

Well this was a first for me.  Someone over at Cowboy Joe's BBQ took a look at my little BBQ blog and asked if I would like to give their sauce a try.  When I heard they won the bottled division plus a top 10 people's choice at last year's Gettin Sauced contest down in Austin, I was intrigued and I just had to say yes!

The box arrived quickly and I immediately opened it up for a taste test.  Yup, I could see where this was a top ranked sauce.  The regular is a sweet vinegar sauce with a hint of fruit.  The spicy added an extra fiery kick that is exactly to my liking.   I was anxious to try it on some smoked chicken but all kinds of things conspired against me.  Finally I decided to heck with the smoker, I'm just going to throw it in the broiler and see what happens.

If you check the Cowboy Joe's website, they have nice instructions on how to grill chicken.  Being the ultimate lazy type I stuck with boneless skinless chicken breasts which were on sale cheap at $1.49.  In they went to a 325 oven for 40 minutes, then basted thoroughly with Cowboy Joe's sauce (1 breast spicy, two sweet), and back in for ten minutes, then basted again and under the broiler for another 10 minutes (lower rack).  Here's the sight that greeted me.
They were just a tad crispy around the edges but the center and thick ends were perfectly moist.  The caramalized flavors were great, but didn't penetrate deep enough into the meat for me.  I fixed that with some more of Cowboy Joe's in a bowl for dipping. Ah, that's the ticket.  That made for a pretty easy dinner plus a snack for later but I sure didn't enjoy scrubbing that broiler pan.  Oh yeah, that's why we usually smoke chicken!

Various food bargains kept us away from chicken for a couple of weeks until tonight.  Temperatures in the 70's and light winds in February made it a great day to smoke some chicken breasts.  I picked up 2 five packs for $1.69/lb and we split them half spicy and half sweet.  After my Mrs's secret marinade technique, all 10 breasts went on our little bullet water smoker for an hour and 40 minutes.  We popped the top long enough to give them all a good basting with Cowboy Joe's, then back in the smoke for another 15 minutes.  Then one more slathering and another 10 minutes before I got too hungry to wait anymore.  We cooked on charcoal with pecan and oak sticks picked up in the yard.  Something we usually have plenty of. 

As you can see the chicken was still a little "wet" and probably should have stayed on the smoker awhile longer to caramalize that coating.  Too bad, it was time to eat.  The chicken sat about 5 minutes while we prepped our baked potatoes.  Yeah, I know it was supposed to sit 10 minutes.  Again, too bad!
The Mrs and I each sampled the sweet and spicy and once again I added a bit more sauce for dipping.  I especially love their spicy sauce and its mix of sweet and fruit with a really nice burn.  Mighty fine.

My Mrs said the only thing she wants to try different next time is to add some of their sauce to her secret marinade recipe.   Fortunately, we have enough to give it another shot.  Stay tuned!

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