BBQ Season

Up on the Roof

Photo Courtesy of Dream Midtown Hotel

BBQ and outdoor grilling season sweeps the nation come Memorial Day. We love any event centered around food. To begin with, create an outdoor setting like this one with plenty of cozy seating and tables to set finger food items.

Stick to Your Ribs

Photo Courtesy of J Kenji Lopez-Alt

We’ve seen edible flower arrangements, but this beautiful loaf combines the hibiscus flower into a fragrant and delicious cake.

It’s not BBQ season if burgers aren’t involved. We love this homemade, tastier version of a certain rib sandwich.

INGREDIENTS2 (2-pound; 900g) racks baby back ribs

1 recipe Easy All-Purpose Barbecue Sauce and Rub (see note above)

1 1/2 pounds (700g) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes

12g kosher salt (about 1/2 ounce; 1 tablespoon)

12g sugar (about 1/2 ounce; 1 tablespoon)

1 recipe Cemita Buns (see note above)

1 recipe Quick Dill Pickles (see note above)

1 white onion, thinly sliced


  • Place ribs, bone side up, on a cutting board. Using paper towels to grip, pull the transparent membrane off the bones. It should come off easily in one large strip (see photo for reference). Rub ribs generously on all surfaces with barbecue rub, then split them into 4- to 5-rib sections with a sharp chef’s knife or boning knife. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  • Meanwhile, combine pork shoulder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and toss to coat. Transfer to a zipper-lock bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  • Light 1/3 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Place a few wood chunks directly on top of charcoal, set grill grate in place, and arrange ribs, bone side down, on cooler side of grill. Cover, adjusting lid so that vents are over ribs.
  • Cook, adjusting upper and lower vents to maintain a temperature of between 225 and 275°F (108 and 135°C), adding more coals as necessary and adding a wood chunk every 45 minutes, until ribs show a gentle bend when you lift them and show only slight resistance when a toothpick is inserted between the bones, about 4 hours total.
Paint ribs with barbecue sauce, cover, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Repeat with 2 more coats of sauce, then transfer to a cutting board.


When cool enough to handle, twist bones out of ribs and discard. Roughly chop the meat. Spread on a large plate in a single layer and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours.
  • When rib meat is chilled, combine 1/4 of rib meat with 1/4 of pork shoulder in the bowl of a food processor, making sure to keep the remaining meat well chilled in the refrigerator. Pulse until a rough grind is achieved, about 12 short pulses (see photo for reference). Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with remaining 3 batches of rib meat and shoulder meat.
  • Line 2 quarter sheet pans or 1 half sheet pan with parchment paper. Divide meat mixture evenly between the 2 quarter sheet pans, or spread on the half sheet pan. Cover mixture with parchment paper, then, using your hands, spread mixture out to form two 9- by 9-inch squares (or one 9- by 18-inch rectangle in the half sheet pan).
  • Slide meat and parchment out onto a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut into individual patties measuring 4 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches each. Patties can be stacked with their parchment paper intact and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in a freezer bag in the freezer for several months. If freezing, cook directly from frozen.
  • Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Set grill grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.
  • Remove parchment paper and place patties directly over hot side of grill. Sprinkle with more spice rub. Cook, turning occasionally and transferring patties to cooler side if they start to flare up excessively, until well charred on the exterior. Brush patties with barbecue sauce, cover, and cook until barbecue sauce forms a lacquered glaze. Split buns and toast cut sides on grill until golden brown.
  • Construct sandwiches by placing a patty on each bottom bun half, brushing with more sauce, and topping with pickles and onion. Close sandwiches and serve.

On the (Steak) Sauce

 Photo Courtesy of Elana Lepowski

What’s a steak without steak sauce? At least that’s what the folks at A1 would want you to believe. We think it belongs in your drink… here’s why.

8 ounces red and yellow bell pepper slices
14 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice from about 14 limes
4 ounces steak sauce, such as A1
1/4 ounce freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
48 ounces lager, such as Pacifico
Lime wheels and additional bell pepper slices for garnish

In the bottom of a pitcher, muddle together the bell peppers and lime juice. Add the steak sauce and pepper. If your sauce is not on the salty side, add some additional salt to your liking. Cover and refrigerate the base at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

To serve, add beer straight to the pitcher and stir gently to combine, serving into ice-filled glasses. Alternately, you can pour about 2 1/2 ounces of the cocktail base into a highball glass filled with ice. Top off with about 5 ounces of the beer and stir gently to combine.

Garnish glasses with lime wheels and bell pepper slices, serve.

Tip Courtesy of Serious Eats

Ge Together

Photo Courtesy of  Loji

What’s a backyard BBQ without your friends. Get your group together with Loji. Loji works with iMessage on apple to be an all in one chat and information source. What makes Loji unique is that everything is done within your iMessage window, yet fully functions with information from items such as Yelp and Google.

Tip Courtesy of Tech Crunch

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