Posts Tagged ‘reduce’

Barbecue Sauce – Canning a Condiment

I had been looking for a good barbecue sauce recipe for a long time. This sauce is pretty good. I wanted a tomato-based sauce that I could make from my own garden and for the most part I found it. I did end up using one canned ingredient, because I had used up half the can two months ago and the rest was in my freezer…chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

I wanted my sauce to be very sweet and reasonably spicy. As I was cooking the recipe I found in the Ball Blue Book (1987 edition) I could taste that it wasn’t going to be NEARLY as sweet as I wanted, so in addition to the 1/2 cup brown sugar I added a heaping half cup of molasses as well. If I were going to make this again tomorrow I would jump right in with 3/4 or more.

Then again, I think if I really wanted this to be sweeter I would have to start with a sauce with less tomatoes in it. The last thing I wanted to do was to put in corn syrup. Yuck!

My biggest concern as I was cooking this was that it was going to be CRAZY spicy. There was a time while I was cooking it that I thought I had ruined it with the chipotles. After processing and opening a jar and having it on some ribs yesterday I was pleasantly surprised at how much the spiciness had settled down.

The usual disclaimer about canning at your own risk applies here. I am 100% sure that this modified recipe is a safe recipe, but I know that I have used acidic tomatoes and quality vinegar, and that all substitutions were done with like-quantities of similarly p.h.’ed items.

Give this a try and let me know what you think.

  • My garden: tomatoes, bell peppers
  • Local: onions, molasses, garlic
  • The store: celery, brown sugar, dry mustard, paprika, salt, peppercorns, vinegar, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Charcoal grill frame becomes a table. Re-use!

Rusted-through Charcoal Grill

So it’s Earth Day. Woo-hoo. 😐 I try to think like that most of the time, so it’s not really a once-a-year event for me. But I suddenly saw the irony of the date as I was loading up the station wagon with a load of junk that a friend offered to let me chuck into his dumpster. I had a project just sitting there waiting for me.

Rusted-through Charcoal Grill

Rusted through! I used this $19.99 charcoal BBQ grill for 4 or 5 seasons and when I opened it this spring, I could see right through it. Oh well, time for a new one. So I got a replacement that didn’t have the little plate shelf.

Rusted-through Charcoal Grill

With this old grill in the garage awaiting death, on Sunday I grilled for the first time of the season. I really, REALLY missed that little wooden counter space to put my stuff. I figured I was just going to have to buy a little table to set next to my cheap grill.

Then, as I was about to throw away the old grill it hit me! That’s a pretty nice framework under there! That part isn’t rusty at all!. Hey let’s make THAT into a table! I just need more slats!

Earth day project...table from grill frame

I found a piece of scrap plywood in the garage and ripped it down to size on the table saw. An hour of drilling and sanding and it was done.

Finished table made from a charcoal BBQ grill\'s frame and wheels.

I put a coat of water seal on it, but I might still end up painting the whole thing to get a bit more consistency. I’m not totally digging the look of old wood with new, but I did make a free table from stuff on hand and I did avoid throwing the frame and wheels in the trash!

New grill, meet old grill frame.

Here it is next to it’s new cousin. I think they will be happy together.

Update: 6 months later…

After a couple seasons outside in the weather, the table is holding up perfectly and has acquired a more uniform look.  I decided not to paint it and I am glad I didn’t.  The boards match pretty well now and I’m very happy with this.  I’ll have this around for several more years.

After 6 months weathering outside

After 6 months weathering outside

UPDATE in 2012:

This table is still standing next to my grill outside, a few years later, and working out wonderfully.

Well, in this case it’s BEHIND the grill, but there it is.  The red grill shown in this picture isn’t the same one shown a few pictures above.  It’s very similar, but was made with thinner metal, flimsier legs and no extra cooking shelf inside.

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