Barbecue is serious business in states like Missouri, Texas, Alabama, and the Carolinas. Barbecue masters may spend their whole lives perfecting their dry rub or sauce just so folks like you and I can obsess over the “perfect” barbecue. But what is perfect? In the case of barbecue, it’s mostly a subjective matter. People from Kansas City are die-hard supporters of their sweet, tomato-based sauce, while Alabamians argue that white BBQ sauce is king. And don’t even get them started on sides. Mayo- or vinegar-based slaw? Sandwich buns or cornbread? As with many foods, people like their barbecue a certain way and most are not willing to compromise.
But what about those of us who don’t own a backyard smoker? Is good barbecue still possible? Yes, but instead of spending hours smoking the meat, we focus on the sauce. Homemade is best, and you can tweak it to your liking. Certain spices add smokiness, mimicking the flavor of your favorite smoked pork or chicken. One of our favorite stand-by recipes is Black Pepper and Molasses Pulled Chicken Sandwiches. The homemade sauce delivers great barbecue taste: Chili powder and cumin add smokiness, while ketchup and molasses provide sweetness. Plus, this dish only takes 30 minutes from start to finish. See how it’s done in the video below:
It’s so easy! This recipe is sure to become a weeknight favorite in your house, too. Serve it on soft buns with coleslaw and pickles. That poses another question: Slaw on the side or on the sandwich? I’ll let you decide.