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Bluesin

Mike R.

Caramelizing the sauce

20 posts in this topic

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the stupidest.... the most ridiculous.... the dumbest.... the most idiotic.... question.... of.... the.... year!!!!

 

Here goes.... wait for it.... wait for it.... How do you caramelize on your whatever food when you are grilling it?

 

How's that for stupid, LOL.

 

Seriously, the scenario.... I'm whipping up a bbq sauce on the stove and getting some simple chicken breasts ready for the grill while my wife is preparing to leave for work (she reaps the benefits of microwave reheated grilled food since if she's home, she usually cooks ;))

 

Anyways, it's a simple bbq sauce, basically ketchup and brown sugar (touch of honey.) Last night I changed it slightly with a different recipe with a change in ketchup and brown sugar quantity (bit more ketchup, bit less sugar but not by much) and added cider vinegar. It did what I thought it would and added a bit of twang to the taste and wasn't quite as thick as I normally make.

 

Cooking, I give the chicken (boneless) a quick sear on one side, then flip it and slather the sauce on the seared side. Then it's a continuous flip and slather, flip and slather the entire cooking time. Try as I might, the sauce would just stay "runny" and just run right off and never caramelized.

 

Normally, I get a bit of caramelization, but not much. I don't get a good thick caramalized crust going. What does the caramelizing trick? Is it grilling on high heat? Slow grilling after searing on low heat? Does it begin on the top and caramelize before you flip that side down over the heat? What exactly is going on?

 

Normally I do equal parts ketchup and brown sugar. This time it was around a 2:1 ratio of ketchup to brown sugar. Was there not enough sugar to get it to caramelize on the chicken? I do slather a lot of sauce on the meat as I grill.

 

Taste wise, the sauce came out perfect. It was exactly the taste I was hoping for. I just had no caramelizing of the sauce on the meat.

 

Thanks,

Yet another Mike

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I do not do that much flipping of my food.

 

To a chicken breast, I would sear it top side down, flip and mark the underside, and flip again to get a crosshatch on the top.

 

At this point, I sauce the underside lightly and flip so the marked top of the breast is up.

 

Now I sauce this side over and over but never flip again. So the grill itself only gets a light brushing of sauce on the underside which helps keep clean up much easier, just a quick brushing with water.

 

As the breast cooks, each layer of sauce builds to get the thickness you want. And that's the key for me to get a thicker sauce.

 

I finish it off with my Benzamatic lp torch which uses the same fuel and very quickly finishes the caramelization to whatever degree you want. You can even do this last step off the grill if you want.

 

http://www.bbqsource-forums.com/invboard/i...ic=3000&hl=

 

Shelly

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Mike,

You have to let the sauce dry out and get sticky before you flip. Otherwise, the oils in the meat or skin will just cause the sauce to slide off the meat. Indirect heat is key in a good sticky finish. Make sure it is sticking before you flip and sauce the other side. Like Shelly said, if you flip it with sauce, it makes a big mess... but I think it's worth it! May try a bit more sugar in your sauce and give it more time. Make sure your sauce doesn't burn and get your timing down so the food is cooked when the sauce is good and sticky.

 

Keep trying,

Sink

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Well, that's interesting Shelly, thanks for the tips.

 

A benzomatic torch, I think I remember reading your thread you linked a while back. I have a torch sitting somewhere, haven't used or seen it for about 9 years (since we moved into the house, LOL)

 

Today was a big lunch from Arby's since my 5 year old is eating again. She was in Children's hospital with pneumonia and hasn't been eating for about a week. She wanted Arby's and if I'm going to have fast food, that is my fast food of choice.

 

So maybe I'll try that out next time. I'll at least try out just leaving the chicken alone and saucing the top. Like I said, normally my sauce is quite thick and it stays on when I flip. This may be the ticket for me as I liked the cider vinegar in the sauce.

 

O/T slightly, Wifey liked it also when she got home from work at 11 pm. She said she was fantasizing about it all night because she was getting ready for work while I was preparing dinner and didn't get to eat then. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't get to reap the benefits of the grill or my newly acquired cooking skills until she can have reheats because she leaves too early for work every day.

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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the stupidest.... the most ridiculous.... the dumbest.... the most idiotic.... question.... of.... the.... year!!!!

 

Here goes.... wait for it.... wait for it.... How do you caramelize on your whatever food when you are grilling it?

 

How's that for stupid, LOL.

 

Seriously, the scenario.... I'm whipping up a bbq sauce on the stove and getting some simple chicken breasts ready for the grill while my wife is preparing to leave for work (she reaps the benefits of microwave reheated grilled food since if she's home, she usually cooks :()

 

Anyways, it's a simple bbq sauce, basically ketchup and brown sugar (touch of honey.) Last night I changed it slightly with a different recipe with a change in ketchup and brown sugar quantity (bit more ketchup, bit less sugar but not by much) and added cider vinegar. It did what I thought it would and added a bit of twang to the taste and wasn't quite as thick as I normally make.

 

Cooking, I give the chicken (boneless) a quick sear on one side, then flip it and slather the sauce on the seared side. Then it's a continuous flip and slather, flip and slather the entire cooking time. Try as I might, the sauce would just stay "runny" and just run right off and never caramelized.

 

Normally, I get a bit of caramelization, but not much. I don't get a good thick caramalized crust going. What does the caramelizing trick? Is it grilling on high heat? Slow grilling after searing on low heat? Does it begin on the top and caramelize before you flip that side down over the heat? What exactly is going on?

 

Normally I do equal parts ketchup and brown sugar. This time it was around a 2:1 ratio of ketchup to brown sugar. Was there not enough sugar to get it to caramelize on the chicken? I do slather a lot of sauce on the meat as I grill.

 

Taste wise, the sauce came out perfect. It was exactly the taste I was hoping for. I just had no caramelizing of the sauce on the meat.

 

Thanks,

Yet another Mike

Howdy Mike I have been dabbling in your dilemma for years myself and I hope you find my observations of some use.

 

Have you ever tried reducing your sauce like simmering it for 1/2 hour or so to thicken it up? the vinegar should reduce but still leave it's taste? ketchup has sugar in it and of course you added brown sugar and honey so the cider vinegar is what's making the sauce thin? making it harder to caramelize, (thin vinegar based BBQ sauce is a preference to allot of people, and does caramelize, but I have never had any I would call "thick") When you do find it thick like that it's because Joe the BBQ pro has sugar in his rub (you didn't mention a rub) Im not a chef but I don't think Vinegar on it's own browns? Im with Shelly you shouldn't flip the meat to death, that will make the juice run out from top to bottom and make the meat dry, if your after a as you say "good thick caramalized crust" you need thicker sauce or a dozen layers of the thin sauce caramelized Shelly's torch technique is often used by chef's to get that caramelized or sometimes "burned" effect on dishes with sugar and or eggs and what not in them (like the top of a custard) or in his case browning skin, he's a fantastic chef and if you look at his pics the meat is not over cooked yet is golden brown your ordinary joe would over cook the meat to get that effect, beef no problem (just sear the hell out of it) but fish is a tricky one to get "perfect" but his principle stands the same flames licking sugar (or fat) browns or burns, Shelly suggested moping the meat from the start as you said you were doing and by you flipping it a million times you should get a "thicker sauce" or sugar crust than he is(your getting more direct heat on the sugar)providing you both used the same sauce. But his chicken is going to be by far more succulent and tender from the lack of flipping it so many times if you change your recipe you obviously wont have the same taste that you thought was "perfect".and like Sink said indirect heat is going to thicken it, by baking it on, so thicker sauce is what you end up with?

So maybe in a last ditch effort try removing the sugar (or some of it) from the sauce and rub it on the meat and you also mentioned "Boneless" is that boneless skinless? if it's skinless in my opinion you need thicker sauce or way more honey making it a "glaze", sorry for the rant (the Starbucks is kicking in) :)

 

 

jim

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Jim beat me to the punch. I've always found reducing the sauce in a simmered pot works best. Honey and molasses also contribute to the stickiness of your sauce. So, after reducing, let it cool and then apply it - but definitely at the end of your cook. As Shelly states - multiple coats to build up works well. And I'm also a firm believer of "flip it once or you're the dunce"! :) Char your crust to the extent you want before adding the sauce (especially chicken) and then DON"T leave the grill once you apply your sauce. Multiple thin coats work better than one thin coat. Also - applying a rub before grilling gives the meat a "textured" finish that helps grab the sauce. And when making your sauce, always put some on the side to be used later as a "dipping" sauce.

 

Seems everyone here is on the same page! :)

 

post-640-1252779423_thumb.jpg

post-640-1252779451_thumb.jpg

 

Now why do I have this sudden urge for bbq chicken? :(

 

mike

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Now why do I have this sudden urge for bbq chicken? :(

 

mike

 

Probably because you haven't seen the pics of 24x7's porterhouse steaks yet! :)

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Probably because you haven't seen the pics of 24x7's porterhouse steaks yet! :)

 

Now I have! Dinner - steak and wings... :(

mikey

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Jim beat me to the punch. I've always found reducing the sauce in a simmered pot works best. Honey and molasses also contribute to the stickiness of your sauce. So, after reducing, let it cool and then apply it - but definitely at the end of your cook. As Shelly states - multiple coats to build up works well. And I'm also a firm believer of "flip it once or you're the dunce"! :) Char your crust to the extent you want before adding the sauce (especially chicken) and then DON"T leave the grill once you apply your sauce. Multiple thin coats work better than one thin coat. Also - applying a rub before grilling gives the meat a "textured" finish that helps grab the sauce. And when making your sauce, always put some on the side to be used later as a "dipping" sauce.

 

Seems everyone here is on the same page! :)

 

post-640-1252779423_thumb.jpg

post-640-1252779451_thumb.jpg

 

Now why do I have this sudden urge for bbq chicken? :(

 

mike

Mike your Wings have me drooling it's been weeks since I've had any and last nights Ribeye caused me to just glance over 24x7's Porterhouse, I have a bottle of "Franks Red Hot" wing sauce and a nice block of Roquefort cheese and wings are on sale this week at the market so if i make the blue cheese dressing from scratch would it be sacrilegious to use the bottled sauce?

 

 

 

jim

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Mike your Wings have me drooling it's been weeks since I've had any and last nights Ribeye caused me to just glance over 24x7's Porterhouse, I have a bottle of "Franks Red Hot" wing sauce and a nice block of Roquefort cheese and wings are on sale this week at the market so if i make the blue cheese dressing from scratch would it be sacrilegious to use the bottled sauce?

 

 

 

jim

Anything that works! I actually use the commercial variety of Open Pit Restaurant Recipe BBQ sauce quite often on my chicken wings, legs and thighs! :( I get it by the gallon from a client of mine. I do add brown sugar and honey to it though. So yea - I'm not so religious myself (at least not for chicken)! :)

 

mike

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Jim is absolutely correct in that certain foods like fish and chicken breasts will dry out before the sauce and glaze will caramelize, and that's why I use the torch on them. It is, after all, the same gas that is fueling our gas grills so it does not impart its own taste on the food. Just gets the heat on to the sugar more directly without messing up the grates.

 

Other foods like ribs, chicken thighs ands wings, beef and pork are more tolerant of the extra cooking involved in getting the sauce to caramelize.

 

Shelly

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I guess I only use bbq sauce on chicken thighs and ribs...

 

OR you could just get a bucket O thighs and throw em on the grill.... lmao.gif

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OR you could just get a bucket O thighs and throw em on the grill.... lmao.gif

 

I haven't seen those buckets o' thighs - have to pay more attention in the buckets O' food aisle! :):( Wonder if they got a bucket pre-cooked porterhouse???

 

Just mailed my Q3 estimated tax payment, wife is on her way to Spain for 2-1/2 weeks, I think all I have left is enough for a $1 Whopper Jr and an ice water......

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Sorry Scott,

 

Couldn't resist....

 

WOO HOO! Cat's away..... When's the party????

 

Can't wait!

Sink

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Sorry Scott,

 

Couldn't resist....

 

WOO HOO! Cat's away..... When's the party????

 

Can't wait!

Sink

Sink - Cat's away? I thought that's your main course? :(

 

Beach - Party Time!!! Where's the Bucket-O-Ribs? :)

 

mikey

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