Best Barbecue Recipes: Easy Beer Barbecue Sauce & Baked Beans

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Best Barbecue Recipes: Baked Beans & Easy Beer Barbecue Sauce

Our Best Barbecue Recipes Will Make Your Labour Day Barbecue Better.

Barbecue loves molasses. Whether it’s sauces or marinades or hearty side dishes, molasses suits all that we love about eating outdoors. To help make your summer barbecue even better we’re sharing two of our best barbecue recipes: a multi-purpose barbecue sauce and classic baked beans.

Molasses Baked Beans are a standard barbecue side dish  for many. I didn’t grow up eating baked beans in summer but the more I dig into barbecue recipes the more I come across baked beans recipes. Cowboy Beans appear on all sorts of lists for best BBQ side dishes. Cowboys and baked beans do go together, along with meat cooked over the fire, so I definitely understand the baked beans-barbecue connection.

This recipe for Molasses Baked Beans is based on the baked beans recipe that I grew up with. It’s an adaptation of  recipe out of the Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook. The book was originally published in 1966 but was reprinted a few years ago. Here’s the recipe.

Best Barbecue Recipes: Baked Beans & Easy Beer Barbecue Sauce

Homemade Barbecue Sauce Takes Just 10 Minutes to Make.

I grew up eating my uncle’s homemade Beer Barbecue Sauce. I know there must be 100 different kinds of prepared barbecue sauce on the grocery store shelf but if you can grab 10 spare minutes to make your own it is so worth the tiny bit of effort. And if you’re into beer, especially craft beer, you can have all sorts of fun trying different kinds of beer in this recipe.

Beer Barbecue Sauce is flavourful but not overpowering so is great with chicken and vegetables along with pork and steak. Here’s the recipe

Best Barbecue Recipes: Baked Beans & Easy Beer Barbecue Sauce

Do you have big plans for the Labour Day weekend?

These may be our best barbecue recipes (they’re two of my favourites) but we have so many more barbecue recipes to share. If you’re in search of more ideas to feed a crowd, download our free Barbecue eBook. In it you’ll find 15 recipes that are just right for the last hurrah of the summer.  Enjoy!

BBQ eBook An easy-to-download eBook featuring 15 recipes that are just right for summer.

Easy Mexican Molasses Lime Grilled Chicken Recipe

Servings: 6 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

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This chicken recipe is even more delicious if you have time to let it marinate. And the marinade keeps well in the fridge so you could mix up a double batch.  

Mexican Molasses Lime Grilled Chicken recipe is an easy chicken dish with pizazz. It’s perfect for your weekend barbecue but is quick enough for a weeknight. The recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which I find are more moist and flavourful than chicken breasts, and cheaper too.

Mexican Molasses Lime Grilled Chicken recipe is an easy chicken dish with pizazz.

It’s still summer and I’m on vacation but school supplies lists keep appearing on the table in front of me. According to the list, my daughter needs 50 pencils and 800 sheets of loose leaf (among other things). Next week she’ll march off to school looking like she’s headed on a week-long back country hike, her knapsack bulging with all those school supplies and boxes of Kleenex and indoor sneakers. My son will leave for school with a pen, a wad of paper and hopefully his lunch.

As much as I hate to see summer vacation coming to an end I do love the first day of school, watching my kids head out the door. It’s as though, right before my eyes they grow from first graders to the middle school and high school students they are today, the reverse of Tom Hanks becoming a boy again at the end of the movie “Big”.

  • Poulet Grillé Mexicain à la lime et Mélasse
    Mexican Molasses Lime Grilled Chicken recipe is an easy chicken dish with pizazz.

But school hasn’t started yet and the holiday weekend awaits so I’m sharing a recipe that you can enjoy at your Labour Day barbecue.

 

Mexican Molasses Lime Grilled Chicken recipe is an easy chicken dish with pizazz. It’s perfect for your weekend barbecue but is quick enough for a weeknight. The recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which I find are more moist and flavourful than chicken breasts, and cheaper too.

I serve it with roasted corn and summer squash (zucchini). Just toss 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn with two chopped summer squash, one sliced red onion, a clove of garlic, minced, 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, salt & pepper and whatever herbs you have on hand. Roast at 375 F until the zucchini is tender. Stir from time to time so it cooks evenly. Instead of roasting the vegetable mixture you could saute the mixture in a large frying pan.   Marinated Tomato Salad with Garlicky Paprika Vinaigrette would be another great addition to the meal. Serve Molasses Crinkle Cookie S’Mores for dessert.

Mexican Molasses Lime Grilled Chicken Recipe

Slightly adapted from the blog Le Cafe Sucre Farine

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

For the marinade:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. dry oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a sauce pan and stir well. Pour 3 Tbsp. into a zip-lock bag or baking dish and add chicken. Toss the chicken until it’s well coated. Marinate for 30 minutes (if you have time) or up to 12 hours.
  2. Bring remaining marinade to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced by half.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat (either stovetop or barbecue) until cooked through, basting often with the remaining marinade.
  4. Tent chicken with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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A Sweet and Spicy Hamburger: The Mo Burger (+ video)

Servings: 2-4 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

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A sweet and spicy hamburger that’s flavourful and stays moist.  

I know purists prefer to make their burgers with just salt and pepper, and may be an egg yolk to help bind it together but my kids and I prefer burgers that are tender and well-seasoned. (My kids will really eat any kind of burger, but since I’m the one making them I create them according to my preferences, which means in our house we eat sweet and spicy hamburgers.)

The Mo Burger, a sweet and spicy hamburger that stays moist. Seasoned with salsa, Worcestershire sauce and molasses.

Burgers are a treat in our house and when I buy ground beef I buy extra lean. Since I’m no barbecue pro, extra lean beef can dry out on me, which is why I love this recipe. A good spicy salsa and a little molasses keep the burgers moist and the Worcestershire sauce adds extra flavour and a salty taste without much salt.

The Mo Burger, a sweet and spicy hamburger that stays moist. Seasoned with salsa, Worcestershire sauce and molasses.

Brush these with our Sweet Chili Barbecue Sauce during the last few minutes of grilling.

This burger was inspired by the blog Jo and Sue. They entered a burger with molasses in a recipe contest we held last summer.

Sweet and Spicy Hamburger Recipe (The Mo Burger)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. salsa (spicy) or ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2   Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce or steak sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 pound lean (or extra lean) ground beef

Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil until it shimmers then add the onion & salsa. Saute until the onion starts to brown then remove from heat and scrape into a bowl. Whisk in molasses, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Crumble over the beef and gently combine without overmixing. Form into 4 patties, about ¾” thick.
  2. Grill the burgers, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  3. Serve with your favourite toppings.

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe. 

 

Sweet Chili Molasses Barbecue Sauce (+ video)

Servings: Makes 2 cups serving(s)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

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Why buy barbecue sauce when you can make your own, in just a few minutes?

Getting your weekend barbecue off to a flying start can be as simple as having a really great barbecue sauce on hand. Of course you can buy the sauce, but why not make your own? This classic Sweet Chili Barbecue Sauce is quick, easy and has the kind of made-from-scratch flavor that will make your barbecue favourites taste extra delicious.

Sweet Chili Molasses Barbecue Sauce

I’m still learning my way around the grill and more often than not will default to my grill pan on the stovetop. But I do love the sounds and smells of the barbecue so am slowing building my skills. When I’m cooking on the barbecue I consider my meat thermometer and a great barbecue sauce my safety nets. I still often overcook things (err on the side of caution) but they always taste good.

This recipe is an adaptation of our Beer Barbecue Sauce recipe, the backyard staple from my childhood.

We love Sweet Chili Barbecue Sauce slathered on burgers, chicken and as a final basting sauce for spice rubbed ribs.

It will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge so make a double batch and leave it in your fridge. A jar of this sauce along with the recipe makes a great gift for your backyard grill kings and queens.

Sweet Chili Molasses Barbecue Sauce Recipe

  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • ½ cup grated onion
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil until it shimmers then add the onion. Saute until the onion just starts to brown then whisk in remaining ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring often.

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe. 

Steak Kabobs with Molasses Chili Marinade

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Steak kabobs with molasses chili marinade

Seasoned with garlic, ginger and chili powder, molasses chili marinade is an easy way to add extra flavour to meat of all sorts. 

My friend Nadine took down a kitchen wall when her boyfriend and my husband were away on their annual fishing trip.

He had no idea.

All sorts of people were in on it which made the whole event even more exciting (and covert).  His mom and dad, brother and sister in law came from out of town to help and an electrician uncle came over too.

An easy way to feed a crowd.

It’s hard to feed a crowd when your kitchen is in a shambles so I invited them all over for supper on Saturday night. They brought some food and I prepared a mishmash of dishes.

We had a big, fun family-style meal and joked that may be next year we could all take down a wall in my kitchen to surprise my husband.

Steak kabobs with molasses chili marinade

Great with steak, chicken, pork and salmon.

I had a two-pound sirloin steak from our local farmers’ market so decided to make kabobs to help it go further. This molasses chili marinade was a hit and tasted great the next day too.

Normally I would have cooked these on the grill but last weekend was not a barbecue weekend. We had record rainfall in my part of the province so I cooked the kabobs under the broiler.

Steak kabobs with molasses chili marinade

Steak kabobs with molasses chili marinade

Adapted from  www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari (GF)
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs steak, cut in 1″- 1 1/2″ cubes

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, chili powder and pepper. Mix until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Place steak cubes in the marinade and toss them around with your hands until well  coated.
  3. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours, covered, tossing occasionally.
  4. If using wooden skewers soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Thread meat on skewers, leaving space in between the cubes so they cook evenly.
  6. Turn the oven to broil.
  7. Place the kabobs on a foil-lined cookie sheet and broil 4-6 inches from the heat.
  8. Turn after 3-4 minutes and then check for doneness after another 3-4 minutes. Continue cooking to your preference.
  9. Reserve the marinade and simmer in a small pot for 10 minutes. Strain and serve with the kabobs.

Looking for more barbecue ideas to help sustain you through your kitchen reno? You might like our spice rubbed ribs with molasses slather.

Spice-rubbed ribs

 

Molasses lime grilled chicken and how to become an “oven” barbecue queen

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Molasses and lime grilled chicken. A simple marinade with garlic, lots of fresh lime juice and zest, a touch of heat from the spice and sweet molasses

Molasses lime grilled chicken is seasoned with a simple marinade of garlic, fresh lime juice and zest, a touch of spice and sweet molasses.

I’m not much of a barbecue queen. The gas grills I grew up with were always a little dangerous — the starter button was always broken so we had to light the barbecue with a little match and it terrified me.

lime 4

But I’m also a little lazy. The distance between the kitchen and the barbecue is about 30 strides and includes a door and six steps.

I can’t be bothered running back and forth from the kitchen to the grill. (Putting something on the BBQ is not like putting a cake in the oven. Stuff on the grill needs to be tended. So do things in the kitchen.) That’s why I do most of my “grilling” in the oven. It’s just practical.

Am I the only home cook who thinks the barbecue isn’t actually a convenience?

Molasses and lime grilled chicken. A simple marinade with garlic, lots of fresh lime juice and zest, a touch of heat from the spice and sweet molasses

No barbecue? No problem. Molasses Lime Grilled Chicken can be cooked in the oven or on the barbecue. 

Molasses and lime grilled chicken

Marinade:

  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 1 ½ limes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lime zest (about 1 lime)
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • ½ Tbsp. chipotle powder (or 1 Tbsp. chili powder)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • About 3 lbs. chicken pieces, skin on
  1. In a small bowl combine the marinade ingredients.
  2. Arrange the chicken pieces in a glass baking dish and pour over the marinade.
  3. Let chicken marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to three hours.

To cook:

Oven method:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place dish with chicken (marinade and all) in the oven and bake, basting often, until done (about 30 minutes but will depend on size of your chicken pieces).

Barbecue method:

Preheat grill to medium, turn off one burner and place chicken pieces on “off” side of grill. Close lid and cook until done, turning often.

Recipe slightly adapted from www.alldayIdreamaboutfood.com

molassed and lime grilled chicken with chipotle powder

Have you tried our Finger lickin’ oven barbecue chicken with molasses slather?

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

 

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Oven BBQ chicken

Julie’s rhubarb barbecue sauce

Servings: 8-10 serving(s)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

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rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

I still have a bit of rhubarb in the fridge and plan to raid a friend’s patch on the weekend so I’ll have some in the freezer. When it’s snowing in February I like to make summer pies and pretend…

In the meantime I’m enjoying using up lots of fresh rhubarb and settling into the summer-ish weather that has finally come our way. My kids have been swimming in the river and the brook, they’re wearing shorts to school and I have stocked up on sunscreen.

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

But we haven’t pulled the barbecue out yet.

I love the idea of barbecuing but I lack talent and know-how. There is also the fear factor.

May be it was one too many half-cooked, half burned chicken legs at community barbecues while I was growing up. Although more than likely my aversion is related to the jury-rigged gas barbecues I grew up with.

Why is it the handy starter button always conked out?

We’d end up poking a lit match through the little hole in the side of the BBQ, and hope for the best.

There are videos on YouTube of people who do things like that.

As a result, I do a lot of “oven” barbecuing. Works for me.

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

Now let me tell you how great rhubarb is in a BBQ sauce. The sour, puckering flavour of rhubarb is a perfect foil for the tangy sweet of molasses and the cooked rhubarb gives the sauce lovely texture. This recipe would work with frozen rhubarb too.

 

Julie’s Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce recipe

Slightly adapted from Dinner with Julie blog

  • 2-3 large stalks of rhubarb, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. grainy mustard (or Dijon mustard)
  1. In a small saucepan simmer the rhubarb with the water until the rhubarb is very soft.
  2. In a medium pot sauté the onions in the oil until soft but not brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Add the rhubarb mixture along with the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer; cook for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  4. Puree

Makes about 2 cups. From Dinner with Julie

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

Try my Uncle George’s Beer Barbecue Sauce recipe

Beer barbecue sauce recipe

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe. 

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Barbecue e-Book Featuring 21 Barbecue Recipes for Summer

BBQ - small

You might be surprised to discover just how well molasses suits summer.

Something about its tangy sweetness seems to fit right into the rhythm of relaxed eating and backyard meals.

I have great summer memories of picnics on the beach and potlucks on the deck, enjoying the company of family and friends. Braided into these memories are the favourite summer foods often shared at these events, like my Uncle George’s beer barbeque sauce and my mom’s cheery potato salad.

Beer BBQ sauce and potato salad

Just in time for Father’s Day we have gathered many of our favourite summer barbecue recipes into a Barbecue cookbook featuring 21 recipes for the grill (sauces and marinades for meat and fish) a variety of side salads and dressings, and of course summer sweets.

 

In this barbecue recipes collection you’ll find:

  • My Uncle George’s beer barbeque sauce
  • Molasses glazes for shrimp
  • Spice rubbed ribs
  • My mom’s potato salad
  • Pecan pie squares
  • Peach gingerbread, and more.

Twenty-one new ways to make your summer celebrations and lazy weekends more memorable.

View our BBQ e-book here (no e-reader required).

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

 

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Two grilled shrimp recipes with a molasses twist

Servings: 6 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

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Here are my two favourite shrimp marinades for speedy outdoor meals. Delicious grilled but both can be cooked in the oven too.

Molasses grilled shrimp with garlic and herbs

I don’t know about you but it’s HOT in my neck of the woods. Atlantic Canadian “hot” isn’t exactly stifling compared to other parts of the country so we’re all in a happy mood.

It isn’t great driving weather for those of us with kids who have had enough of the road trip before we’re even out of town.

Our new solution, the Perplexus. It’s a brilliant car toy. My son received one as a birthday gift and it kept three kids entertained during our 2 ½ hour drive to a friend’s cottage. An electronics-free, enjoyable, two-and-a-half-hour car trip in 30 degree weather with three wrong turns. Okay, they fought over it a bit. But there were no punches thrown, no Perplexus thrown, and hardly any hair pulling.

All this heat has been great for eating supper on the deck and getting out of the kitchen in general. As I have said before, I’m no wiz with the barbeque but grilled shrimp I can do. Here are my two favourite shrimp marinades for speedy outdoor meals. Both work in the oven too.

Molasses grilled shrimp recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 ½ lb. raw shrimp, peeled

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients, except the shrimp and mix well.
  2. Place shrimp in a dish and add the marinade, tossing to coat. Let marinate in the fridge up to two hours.
  3. Thread on prepared skewers and grill over medium heat until done (turns pink), turning once.

Jamie’s citrus grilled shrimp recipe with a molasses twist

(Adapted from Jamie Oliver)

  • Zest of 1 orange (a microplane grater is great for this)
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ lb. raw shrimp, peeled

Combine all ingredients, except the shrimp and mix well. Place shrimp in a dish and add the marinade, tossing to coat. Let marinate in the fridge up to two hours.

Thread on prepared skewers and grill over medium heat until done (pink), turning once.

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.

Chipotle beer marinade & how to BBQ the perfect steak

Chipotle beer marinade for steak

I am no barbeque expert. In fact, I’m very much a beginner. I like the idea of cooking outside but it makes for a lot of running in and out of the house. If there were two of me I’m sure I’d get better at it.

But, I have an expert teacher two doors down. My brother-in-law, Phil, is an extraordinary grill master.

Last weekend he gave me a tutorial on how to barbeque the perfect steak:

  • Preheat grill to 350 F. Lay the steak on the grill at an angle (makes the grill marks look nicer).
  • Cook for 2 minutes and flip.
  • Cook 2 more minutes and flip again, rotating 90 degrees (so you get the crisscross grill marks).
  • Cook 2 more minutes and flip one more time, again rotating 90 degrees.
  • That’s it, eight minutes for your average steak. Thicker steaks will take a little longer.

Chipotle beer marinade for sirloin steak

  • 3 tbsp canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce pureed
  • 3tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 tbsp Crosbys Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn, crushed
  • 3 bottles of dark ale
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2-2 ½ lbs sirloin steak
  1. Combine all ingredients (except the steak). Divide the marinade in half.
  2. Place steaks in a heavy- duty resalable plastic bag or shallow glass or ceramic dish, add half the marinade and refrigerate overnight or for several hours.
  3. Remove meat from marinade, pat dry with paper towels and let it come to room temperature.
  4. Take the unused half of the marinade and place in saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until marinade is reduced by half. Use the marinade to glaze the meat near the end of its time on the grill.
  5. Preheat grill to 350
  6. Lightly oil the grill.  Place meat on grill and cook for 2 minutes and flip. Cook 2 more minutes and flip again. Cook 2 more minutes and flip one more time. (8 minutes in total). Apply glaze during final 4 minutes of cooking.
  7. Transfer steak to cutting board or tent in foil and allow to rest several minutes. Cut in thin slices across the grain of the meat. (Try not to cut it in uneven slabs like I did below).

Serves six

Chipotle beer marinade for steak

I confess I took a shortcut with this recipe.  I was missing a few things so for the marinade I only used the first nine ingredients (omitted that carrots, celery, bay leaves, celery salt and cilantro) and I used amber ale because that’s what we had). That’s summer for you. Isn’t it great to have recipes that can handle shortcuts? The flavours are deeper when you make the recipe properly but the shortcut is pretty darn good too.

What’s your perfect way to barbeque a steak, or any meat for that matter?

Bourbon molasses salmon – simple with a little panache

Servings: 4 serving(s)

Prep time: 30 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

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Bourbon molasses salmon is an easy recipe that suits other types of fish too. 

Bourbon-molasses-salmon-3-1024x682

Much of what I love about summer has to do with simplicity. No school lunches to pack, no socks, fewer washes and less clutter by the back door. My kids would be happy to live in their swim suits (even though they don’t go swimming every day) and “bedtime” is a very fluid term.

I still like to eat well though I just don’t want to spend too much time inside.

That’s where the marinade for this bourbon molasses salmon comes in handy. The marinade takes about five minutes to pull together and then you can let it sit while you do something else. If you only have 30 minutes to let it marinate that’s okay.

Fish cooks quickly (whether prepared on the BBQ or in the oven) and pairs well with raw veggies and cold grain salads. (Try it with marinated tomatoes!)

I still don’t have the hang of grilling, especially fish. (Those lovely grill marks on the salmon in the photo are courtesy of my friend Nancy and her big green egg.) But I keep trying and have discovered that even BBQ messes are tasty.

Any BBQ tips? I could use a little help…

Bourbon molasses salmon recipe

  • 1 lb fillet of salmon, skin on
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Whisk together marinade ingredients in a dish. Pour into a Ziploc bag along with salmon and let marinate up to three hours (refrigerated). (Can also marinate in a dish.)
  2. Cook on a 450 F barbecue, starting on the skin side. (Four to five minutes on each side should give you a moist salmon) This can also be cooked in a 450 F oven, if you’re BBQ-challenged like I am.

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.

Beer barbecue sauce with molasses – let summer begin!

Servings: Makes 1 1/2 cups serving(s)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

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Beer-bbq-sauce-839x1024

This homemade beer barbecue sauce with molasses is simple and so flavourful. Use it on chicken, steak, vegetables, whatever. It’s great for oven “barbecuing” too.

This is that last day of school for my kids so the official kick off to summer in my books. The occasion calls for a summer barbecue to celebrate two months of freedom and a break from the morning rush.

This beer barbecue sauce recipe came from my Uncle George decades ago. He was very into grilling and we were not so this recipe helped us along. I can’t say we ever became a family of barbecue aficionado but our meals made on the grill could pass with a push.

How to cook chicken on the barbecue using indirect heat:

I have always felt out of my element cooking with the barbecue so more often than not default to “oven” barbecuing. I suspect the distance between the kitchen and the barbecue is much to blame since all of that running back and forth to manage things cooking in both places is often more effort than it’s worth. Still, I have somewhat mastered the art of indirect cooking on our backyard grill. It’s a wonderful method for half chickens and is more relaxing since there is no need to hover over the flames. Instead you simply heat the grill to medium, turn off one side, place the chicken on the “off” side and close the lid. There is a little moving and flipping required from time to time since the side of the bird closest to the heat cooks more quickly but still, it’s fairly low maintenance.

When the chicken is pretty much cooked through I apply a few layers of this sauce during the final 10 minutes or so of cooking.

Tip:

To change up this recipe use different types of beer. We have always made beer barbecue sauce with a locally brewed lager but I had a note from someone who tried it with a sturdy stout beer and had great success.

Beer Barbecue Sauce with Molasses

  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (look for gluten-free if nexessary)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup beer
  1. Saute the onion in 1 Tbsp. of oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for 10-20 minutes. (Sauce will thicken as it cools.)
  2. Brush barbecue sauce on grillables during the last few minutes of grilling.

Nutritional info: Per Tbsp. Calories: 24, Fat: 0 g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 29.5 mg, Carbs: 5.4 g, Sugar: 3.3 g

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Finger-licking oven barbecued chicken

Servings: 6-8 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hours

Take me to the recipe

An easy baked chicken recipe made extra delicious with a simple spice rub and garlicky molasses slather. 

Easy spice rubbed chicken with molasses slather. Bake in the oven or grill on the barbecue

 

I love food that defies cutlery and makes you want to lick your fingers. I mean you could use a knife and fork I suppose but I suggest serving these when you don’t feel obliged. As my mom used to say, “There were fingers before there were spoons.” Amen to that.

This is an adaptation of a rib recipe we found in a Food & Drink magazine (LCBO). Once you’ve tried it you’ll be hooked so you might as well double (or triple) the spice rub. (You want to be ready when the next craving strikes.) You’ll see what I mean…It’s irresistible.

Oven barbecued chicken with spice rub and molasses slather

  • 3-4 lbs. of chicken pieces*

Rub:

  • 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

*If you have a whole chicken, cut it into 8 pieces (wings, thighs, drumsticks, breasts). If your chicken is large you can double the spice mix. You should have plenty of slather.

Slather:

  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Coat chicken with spice mixture and tuck into a parchment paper-lined baking dish.
  3. Drizzle with oil and place on the middle rack for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn heat down to 350 F and bake until cooked through (about 45 min) basting often and flipping over, if you like.
  5. Remove from oven and brush with slather.
  6. Turn heat up to 425 F
  7. Bake another 5 minutes, remove from oven and baste again. Do this for a third time, if you like.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve hot or at room temperature.

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.