Barbecue University’s Greatest Hits on the Grill

Barbecue University™

Are you looking for inspiration for your next cook-out? “Always!” you say. Below are links to some of our greatest hits from past sessions of Steven’s uber-popular class, the highly-regarded

Barbecue University™. We have hundreds of recipes from this smoke and fire extravaganza, but skimmed eight of our favorites off the top. Interested in joining us at Barbecue University™ this year? We’ve relocated to the West Coast, the delightful community of Solvang, California, an easy drive from Santa Barbara. The luxurious Alisal Ranch is our new home.

Learn more here.

In the meantime, enjoy some of our favorite dishes!

8 Recipes from Barbecue University™

1. Grilled Sangria

Sangria comes from one of the world’s great grill cultures, Spain. While I’ve never seen anyone grill this refreshing wine cooler in the land of paella and chuletón, I think you’ll find the BBQU version as spectacular to make and serve as it is to drink. In a nutshell, you crust the citrus fruits with sugar, then caramelize them over a hot fire before adding the wine. The resulting smoky burnt sugar flavor takes this sangria into the stratosphere.

Grilled Sangria - Recipes from Barbecue University

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2. Sesame Soy Chicken Wings

Travel the world’s barbecue trail and chicken wings are a constant—slathered with hot sauce in Buffalo, New York; spit-roasted with garlic and lime in Brazil; marinated in beer in Australia; and salved with sesame oil and sweet soy sauce in Singapore. That’s the inspiration for these wings, which bring additional crunch to the party in the form of a nutty sesame seed crust.

Sesame Soy Chicken Wings

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3. Jamaican Jerk Spareribs

Ribs are always on the menu at Barbecue University. The spare rib is a real pork rib lover’s rib. It’s bigger than a baby back rib — tougher, more fat, more connective tissue. But if you cook a spare rib right, you are rewarded with this incredibly rich flavor. Jamaican Jerk Spare Ribs — it’s everything a rib should be.

Jamaican Jerk Spareribs

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4. Caveman T-Bones with Bell Pepper Hash

BBQU students expect a bit of drama, and Steven always gives it to them. Here’s an example: In 1953, an American general-turned-politician became the thirty-fourth president of the United States. We remember Dwight D. Eisenhower here, not for his great leadership or military genius, but for a singular method of grilling he brought to the White House. “He rubs the steak (a 4-inch-thick sirloin) with oil and garlic,” wrote a reporter from the Miami Daily News, one Mr. Byres, “then, as the horrified guests look on, casually flings the steak into the midst of the red and glowing coals.” The caveman method works great with tomahawk steaks, too.

Caveman T-Bones with Bell Pepper Hash - Recipes from Barbecue University

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5. North Carolina Pulled Pork

Pork shoulder cooked smoky as a fireplace, succulent as a biscuit dipped in bacon fat, and tender enough to pull apart with your fingers — such is North Carolina barbecue. As the name suggests, the traditional way to serve the pork is to pull it into shreds with your fingers. That’s where a thin, piquant vinegar sauce comes in, because a Kansas City sauce would be too thick to be absorbed by the slender shreds of meat.

North Carolina Pulled Pork

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6. Raichlen’s Salmon with a Bunch of Basil

Grilled salmon is a tradition at the Raichlen house, especially after we’ve been to our local farmers’ market. We buy bunches—no, veritable bouquets—of fragrant, fresh basil. Think of the marinade here as pesto without the pine nuts and cheese. Long on flavor, short on preparation time, a vivid study in emerald green and salmon pink.

SALMON WITH BASIL - Recipes from Barbecue University

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7. Barbecue University™ Chili Verde

The arrival of a chile roaster at our “campus” sponsored this recipe, not originally on the menu. But spontaneity is a big part of Steven’s classes, and this fortifying green chili was a hit. Our executive chef said it was the reason he got up in the morning!


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8. Smoked Bacon Bourbon Apple Crisp

This is, hands-down, one of the most popular desserts we’ve had on the menu at BBQU. Despite having filled up on eight or nine other dishes, the students swarm the apple crisp-filled cast iron skillets when they’re moved from the smokers to the table. Terrific with a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream (maybe with a touch of bourbon).

Smoke Bacon Bourbon Apple Crisp with Smoked Ice Cream

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