Category Archives: Marinade


Cherry Coke Beef Tenderloin!

In some parts of the south “Coke” is a generic term for any carbonated beverage. In other places it a specific reference to the drink “Cocola” (where one syllable has somehow disappeared). Anyway, for years Cherry Coke as we know it had to be made by taking a coke and adding cherry syrup. Some called it a “Cherry Suicide” or “Coke Suicide”. I had my first Cherry Suicide in the mid sixty’s and loved it (previous post)! Why did it take the folks at Coca Cola until 1982 to develop their own version? I guess they were too busy tweaking the “Classic Coke” recipe?

On Amazon I recently saw a BBQ sauce based on Dr. Pepper and another on A&W Root Beer. Why not a marinade based on Cherry Coke since I need something different to prepare the beef tenderloin which came out the freezer yesterday? to the rescue!!! Some other genius already had the idea! I borrowed and modified the recipe to be like this:

12 Ounces Of Cherry Coke
5 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Of Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/8 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
4 Tablespoons Minced Yellow Onion
1 Tablespoon Frank’s Redhot sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder

The tenderloins have been marinading in this potion since last evening. I will fire up the grill at 5:00 PM today, and then let you know how things worked. I really think we are onto something!

I will be trying out two-zone cooking which is described by BBQ Zen master Craig Goldwyn at:

Monday 11/15/2010

The steaks were great. This is a must try recipe!


Leave a comment

Filed under Kingsford, Marinade, Steak, Weber

North Carolina Smoked Ribs

The “original” BBQ sauce, according to recorded history was a vinegar and pepper mix. It is still used on the coastal plains of both North and South Carolina where it originated, and to a slight degree in Virginia and Georgia. After the vinegar and pepper variation we began to see adaptations with “light tomato”, “heavy tomato” and mustard: in other words, four basic categories. Vinegar and pepper based sauces are linked to early Scottish settlers in the Carolina, whereas mustard based sauces are the fine work of the German settlers.

“Light tomato” sauce is little more than vinegar and pepper mixed with ketchup. “Heavy tomato” sauce is a rather recent occurrence and what we see in the likes of “KC Masterpiece”. Sauce wars have been fought through the years over ownership of the original recipes, and of course, over which is best. After that the debates go to pork versus beef, and even in places like Kentucky, mutton, or lamb in considered best.

Being of Scottish descent, I chose a very basic vinegar and pepper marinade and baste, with a spicy flare:

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar

I let this mix sit for four hours to make sure the flavors had sufficient time to emerge and blend. I then put the mix in a large plastic bag along the ribs, and put the whole mess in the refrigerator over night.

Around 11:00 AM I fired up the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker with Kingsford briquets. For smoke flavoring I chose cherry wood which I purchased from, my new favorite retailer (I still love you, too, Costco, but Amazon Prime lets me get most everything with two-day shipping, and no sales tax). I put the ribs on around noon, and have been basting them every so often with the vinegar and pepper mix. These guys are gonna be good!

For more BBQ lore check out:


Filed under Indirect, Kingsford, Marinade, Pork Ribs, Smoker, Weber

Santa Maria Tri-Tip

Tri-tip is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin (see picture). It is a small triangular muscle, usually 1.5 to 2.5 lbs. per side of beef. You rarely (pardon the pun) hear of it outside of the west coast, although in New York city it may be called “Newport steak”. In my hometown of plain old Plano, TX you can find it only at few places such as Central Market or Hirsch’s Meat Market, and, of course, at my favorite store, Costco. BBQ Buddy Lee and I have had several tri-tip cook offs over the years, using a marinade recipe from Lee’s Reno friend Jim Riggen, who happens to be a real world McGyver, both in the garage and in the kitchen. The marinade (and baste) is a mixture of sliced purple onion, Teriyaki sauce, olive oil and brown rice vinegar. After spending 12 or more hours marinading, the beef is cooked over indirect heat on the Weber Kettle Grill or in the Weber Smoker.

The original US tri-tip recipe was created in Santa Maria, California, and named accordingly. In fact, it is alleged the town’s Chamber of Commerce has copyrighted the recipe. In its most basic form a rub comprised of salt, pepper and garlic powder is used, and the meat is cooked over red oak. I found a recipe for Grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip on which is much more involved, but turned out to be a a dead ringer! It calls for these ingredients:

2 to 2 1/2 lb beef tri-tip roast
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup oil oil
4 cloves crushed garlic

I used Hungarian Hot Paprika in lieu of the garden variety and deli mustard instead of Dijon. Olive oil was substituted for vegetable oil. Preparation began with combining the black pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, and cayenne in a small bowl. This mixture was then rubbed on to all surfaces of the tri-tip, and the meat was refrigerated for 3 hours. The meat was removed and given 30 minutes to warm to room temperature.

For the baste the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and crushed garlic were put into a jar with a lid and shaken vigorously until emulsified. The Weber Kettle Grill was fired up with lump charcoal. Once the coals were ashen white, the meat was placed on the grill and coated with a mixture of olive oil and red wine vinegar. The meat was grilled for a total of 30 minutes to medium rare (135 degrees). Every 3-4 minutes it was basted. After resting for 30 minutes the meat was cut into thin slices.


Filed under grill, Indirect, Marinade, Smoker, Uncategorized, Weber

Lee’s Ginger Ale Ham

Lee Henderson is my bestest BBQ buddy. We met 15 years ago when our daughters played recreational soccer together in the PYSA, and live five blocks apart in our neighborhood, the Highlands of Plano Prestonridge. Born and reared in Pittsburgh, Lee spends his Sunday’s worshiping and watching the Steelers with fellow fans at The Venue, in Fairview, TX. He is quite handy around the house, in the yard and on the grill. His backyard is known as “Lee World” and he has the cleanest epoxy coated garage floor in the ‘hood.

We traditionally do Thanksgiving dinner at the Henderson house and Christmas dinner at our house. Lee always does a ginger ale ham, while I do a brined turkey. I will chronicle my brined bird in the next update of King of the Que.

Lee starts off with a ten lbs. bone-in butt ham. In a large pot he simmers four two-liter bottles of ginger ale, one cup of brown sugar and a quarter cup of worchestershire sauce. After allowing the mixture to cool, he puts the ham in the mix, and refrigerates it overnight.

The next day he cooks the ham over low, indirect heat on his gas grill for eight, or so, hours. The ham is placed on a grate over top a throw-away serving pan filled with the ginger ale solution (see picture), which also serves as a baste.
lee ham

Leave a comment

Filed under grill, Indirect, Marinade, Uncategorized

Wheat Beer Brined Pork Chops

This recipe yields exceptionally moist and tender pork chops, with incredible taste! I learned about brining several years ago during the holidays. Just about every turkey I have made since then was prepared in some variation of a brine.

I used butterflied pork chops for this barbeque endeavor, and chose Wheat Beer instead of the Stout Beer called for in the original recipe. Wheat Beer is my favorite summer evening beverage, especially when poured cold in the right glass, with a slice of lemon. My roots trace back to Scotland, but the Stout Beer just isn’t my bag–too chewy and blehhh.

So let’s go…

Beer Brine
2 cups water
2 cups wheat beer
1/4 cup kosher salt
3 Tb packed brown sugar
3 Tb molasses
1 cup ice cubes
1 lb thick cut pork chops

Garlic Rub
7 cloves minced garlic
3 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
2 tsp chopped cilantro

Combine water, beer, salt, sugar, and molasses in large bowl. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Add ice. Marinate the pork chops in the mix for 4 hours in the fridge. Remove pork chops from beer brine and pat dry. Mix garlic, pepper, salt, and cilantro in small bowl. Rub garlic mixture over both sides of pork chops. Grill pork chops for 10 minutes on each side until cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes.

The garlic may be too much for some palates. I will omit it in the next iteration of this recipe.
pork chopsbeer

Leave a comment

Filed under grill, Marinade, Pork Chops, Weber

Best steak I have ever eaten!!!

I had this steak dish at Dean Fearing’s restaurant a few weeks ago. I tried it at home last Monday, searing and then cooking the steaks on my Perfect Flame gas grill for 15-17 minutes. Although Dean does it better, my son Matt and I agree these steaks are beyond awesome for home cooked food! Don’t shorten the time in the marinade! It works better to cut the meat into portion sizes before marinading–more flavor is imparted in each piece.

Maple Black Peppercorn Filet Mignon

Serves 4

1 cup Maple Syrup

2 tablespoons Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

2 cloves Garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 large Shallot, peeled and finely chopped

1 teaspoon Fresh Sage, finely chopped

1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme, finely chopped

1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

2 pounds Beef Filet trimmed of all fat and silver skin, center-cut

In a small bowl, combine maple, black pepper, garlic, shallot, sage, thyme and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and pour over the beef filets. Allow the beef filets to soak in this liquid for a minimum of 24 hours. Remove the beef filet from the maple mixture and cut into 8 ounce filets.

Season each filet with salt.

Perfectly pink with crusted, sweet carmelization

Perfectly pink with crusted, sweet carmelization

1 Comment

Filed under grill, Marinade, Steak, Weber