Author: Erik Smilda

Louisiana Hot Sauce

Of course, you can buy great Louisiana hot sauces in the store, just like almost any other sauce. But it is the easiest hot sauce to make yourself.

The sauce ultimately only has three ingredients. However, you can experiment with it to give your sauce its own taste.

Louisiana hot sauce is so easy to make. In the end, it is nothing more than cutting the hot peppers and cooking them in a mixture of vinegar and salt. For this variant of Louisiana hot sauce, we use red jalapeño peppers and apple cider vinegar. This makes for a mild, slightly sweet hot sauce. You can use chilli peppers if you want the sauce a bit spicier. If it can’t get hot enough for you, take Habanero peppers.

You can also use different types of vinegar to give this sauce its own taste. Keep in mind that while the peppers are cooking, the entire kitchen is filled with a sharp vinegar smell. So open a window and warn the family.

After boiling the peppers, all you have to do is puree the entire contents of the pan in the food processor. If you want the sauce finer, you could sieve it, so you get rid of all the seeds and thicker glands. Removing the seeds will also make this Louisiana hot sauce a lot milder.

If you want to experiment more, you could use different types of peppers or vinegar. You can also make fermented Louisiana hot sauce to make a more Tabasco-like sauce.

This is our Louisiana hot sauce. You can use the sauce for anything, but first, you must grill some wings, as it is the basis for hot buffalo wings. If you’re going to make this hot sauce, let us know in a comment below. Or better! Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you’ve made.


  • 500 grams of chilli peppers
  • 250 ml vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon or 5 grams of salt


  1. Remove the stem and cut the peppers into smaller pieces
  2. Put the vinegar, salt and peppers in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Let everything cool down, and then puree everything into a smooth sauce.

Asian marinated tri-tip

The star of this recipe is not the tri-tip but the marinade. It gives the meat a delicious sweet and savoury taste, making such a beautiful piece of meat even more delicious. The marinade works on any steak, but you can also use it for pork chops or a whole chicken.

This is a tri-tip. Show your butcher this photo if he doesn’t know what you need. The tri-tip is a unique cut of meat that can be prepared in many ways, and the result is always good. You can grill it low and slow for it to be pulled. Or grill it in smaller parts as steaks and as a whole as a roast.

We are going to marinate this tri-tip in a nice spicy Asian marinade. In general, we prefer only to marinate cuts of meat that are thin enough, but it works well in this recipe. Also because we keep part of the marinade aside to make a sauce. Before we marinate the tri-tip, we cut away thicker pieces of fat and silverskin. This can be done very quickly with a sharp and flexible filleting knife. The fat and silverskin would only hold back the marinade.

Let the marinade rest for about 4 hours. Longer is also allowed, but that has no added value for the taste. A marinade does not penetrate more than a few millimetres into the meat, and the rest remains on the surface. That is fine in the case of this marinade.

After a few hours in the fridge, we cook the tri-tip indirectly at 150ºC (302F) on our kamado. We insert a probe into the meat and close the lid. We have specifically chosen 150ºC (302F) because the sugars in the marinade burn at a higher temperature, making the meat bitter.

Of course, you can cook the meat at a lower temperature, but that is unnecessary. The meat is relatively lean and does not have much connective tissue that needs to be broken down. It generally takes about 45 minutes to an hour to reach the desired core temperature of 48ºC (120F).

After the tri-tip has come up to temperature, we pull the platesetters out of the kamado and open the lower slides. The charcoal will glow harder to grill the steak with a lot of direct heat.

We do this with tongs in hand. As we mentioned, the sugars on the surface of the meat can quickly burn. That’s why we keep flipping and turning the tri-tip every 10 to 20 seconds until a nice crust has formed. A few dark pieces are allowed but don’t overdo it.

The trick to a tender tri-tip, or any steak, is the cut. You are assured of the most tender meat if you cut the tri-tip across the muscle. You will see that an entire tri-tip consists of two groups of muscles that are at perpendicular angles to each other. From above, you can see how the muscles run through the meat by the lines on the surface. After cutting, you will see a block pattern.
Now you also see that the meat is perfectly medium rare. That is only possible if you use a good thermometer. Of course, you can gamble and feel it, but meat is too expensive for that.

This is our Asian marinated tri-tip. We kept half of the marinade aside and mixed it with a little extra honey. If you will make this tri-tip too, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you made.


  • 1 kilo tri-tip

For the marinade

  • 200 ml soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 spring onions finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sambal manis
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger grated

For the sauce

  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp honey


  1. Remove large pieces of fat and silverskin from the surface of the tri-tip and place the meat in a large ziplock bag.
  2. Mix everything for the marinade and pour half of the marinade into the bag with the tri-tip. Keep the rest aside to make the sauce later. Let the tri-tip marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight.
  3. Prepare a barbecue with an indirect temperature of 150ºC (302F) and place the marinated tri-tip on the grates. Place a thermometer in the thickest part of the meat and close the lid.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating the remaining marinade in a pan with the extra honey. Mix the cornstarch with the water and stir it into the sauce to thicken it.
  5. When the meat has reached a core temperature of 48ºC (120F), remove it from the grates and rebuild your barbecue for direct heat.
  6. When the tri-tip has a nice crust all around, let it rest for 10 minutes. Then you cut it against the thread in nice slices.

Beef Tenderloin wrapped in bacon with balsamic raisins

This beef tenderloin wrapped in bacon is a straightforward recipe that will impress your guests. Because what could be better than an excellent cut of beef. Beef that is wrapped in bacon.

Tenderloin is very lean, so you want to protect it from drying out. The bacon helps with that. The fat from the bacon insulates and keeps the direct heat away from the tenderloin to have time to cook slowly without overheating. The bacon also provides some extra flavour.

During a tasting session with Tabasco, we got these balsamic raisins. We had to make them ourselves and share them with you. This is such an excellent combination that makes you wonder why you have never eaten it before.

If you don’t want to prepare a whole tenderloin, you can, of course, start with a smaller piece. It tastes just as good.

If you buy a whole tenderloin, chances are that there is still some silverskin covering the meat. You have to cut this away by inserting a flexible knife under the membrane and then cutting it away. Be careful not to cut too much meat. That would be a shame.

As you can see, a whole tenderloin is somewhat tapered. Fold the thin part back to get the same thickness from back to front. This ensures that you will cook it more evenly without the thin part being ready sooner.

Place some pieces of butcher’s twine parallel to each other with the bacon slices on top so that the bacon overlaps slightly. The entire width of all the bacon must be enough to cover the whole tenderloin. If you can’t find these long strips of bacon, take two shorter slices and overlap them.

Now wrap the bacon around the tenderloin. Make sure you fold the thin part of the tenderloin back slightly. Then tie the bacon around the meat. Not too tight. The meat contracts a bit during cooking, so it thickens a bit. It will get a weird shape if you knot the wire too tight.

Now sprinkle the entire wrapped tenderloin with the dry rub and let it sit for a while while you check whether the barbecue is at the right temperature. You want this somewhere around 150°C (302F). Not much hotter, otherwise the sugar in the dry rub will burn.

If you want to be sure that you remove the tenderloin from the grates in time, place a digital core thermometer. You want the tenderloin perfectly medium-rare at a temperature of 55°C (131F). You do this by removing the meat from the barbecue at 52-53°C (126-127F). The meat will continue to cook a little while resting, and then IT will come out just right.

While the tenderloin is cooking, you can make the balsamic raisins by gently simmering the raisins together with the balsamic vinegar. If the balsamic thickens slightly, add a few shots of Tabasco. We opt for the Chipotle variant here. It is not as spicy as the original, but it provides a light smoke flavour next to the heat.

If you pull the tenderloin off the grates in time, this is your reward. Perfectly medium-rare meat. After resting for about 10 minutes, cut the tenderloin into thick slices precisely in the middle of each piece of butcher’s twine. Don’t worry that you haven’t let the meat rest long enough. If there is moisture released on the cutting board, you can dab it with a piece of bread.

Serve the tenderloin with a generous scoop of the raisins and perhaps a nice grilled potato. If you make this tenderloin, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbq.heroes so we can see what you made.


  • 1 kilo of beef tenderloin
  • 11 long slices of bacon

For the dry rub

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the raisins

  • 500 grams of raisins
  • 50 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco


  1. Prepare a 2-zone barbecue with a boiler temperature of approximately 150°C
  2. Pat the tenderloin dry and remove the membranes if necessary
  3. Cut about 10-12 pieces of butchers twine with a length of about 50 cm. Lay them out at a distance of the width of the bacon and place a piece of bacon on each piece of string.
  4. Place the tenderloin on top and wrap the bacon around the meat
  5. Now tie the bacon with the butcher’s twine and grease the whole thing with olive oil
  6. Mix the ingredients for the dry rub and sprinkle it over the bacon
  7. Now place the wrapped tenderloin on the barbecue. Insert a thermometer into the meat and close the lid
  8. The meat can be grilled to a core temperature of 52°C (126F). Meanwhile, you can make the balsamic raisins.
  9. Take a pan and throw in the raisins. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir well over medium heat until the balsamic vinegar gets syrupy. Then stir in the Tabasco.
  10. When the tenderloin is at the desired temperature, let it rest for 10 minutes. Then cut the tenderloin in the middle of the butcher’s twine and serve with the balsamic raisins.

Blueberry bbq sauce

Homemade bbq sauce is already much tastier than most ready-made sauces, but this bbq sauce with blueberries is fantastic. This sauce tastes perfect with pork such as ham, spare ribs, and grilled chicken.

This blueberry bbq sauce is super easy to make. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and let it heat gently. The hardest part is waiting for the blueberries to burst open and the sauce to thicken. Then all you have to do is put it in a blender. We use smoked sea salt and smoked paprika to give the sauce a little smoky flavour that it could use.

If you can’t find fresh blueberries, you can use frozen ones. This works just as well. You must thaw and drain them before throwing them in the pan. Otherwise, the liquids will take much longer to boil down enough to resemble a sauce.

This is our blueberry bbq sauce. Spread it on a few thick spare ribs or a ham sandwich. If you will make the sauce, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you made.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 400 grams blueberries
  • 4 tbsp syrup
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Chop the onion and garlic cloves very finely.
  2. Put the olive oil in a pan and heat it gently with the onion and garlic.
  3. When the onion has become soft, the rest of the ingredients can be added and let everything cook gently.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat when the sauce has thickened enough, so it sticks to the back of a spoon.
  5. Let it cool, and run it through the blender to make an even sauce.

Romesco sauce

If you like pesto, then you will also appreciate this romesco sauce. The base for both is garlic and nuts. While pesto has a good amount of cheese and fresh herbs, roasted peppers and sun-dried tomatoes are the main seasonings in romesco sauce.

Romesco sauce is often served in Spain alongside grilled fish and shrimp. We serve this sauce with tapas or stir it through the pasta.

Of course, you can roast, peel and clean a few peppers yourself, but we are just as happy to use a jar. That’s partially true. This jar came from a Christmas gift, and we already had the idea for the recipe, so one plus one makes a great sauce.

If we’re honest, we didn’t sun-dried the tomatoes ourselves either.

We did put everything in the food processor ourselves. And in a specific order. We start with the hard nuts and garlic cloves. If they are a bit smaller, add the bell pepper, tomatoes, parsley, chilli flakes, paprika powder and olive oil.

Finally, we add lemon juice and salt by taste. We do this because these ingredients flavour the sauce. And taste is very personal.

This is our romesco sauce. As said, delicious with grilled fish and with these Spanish pork ribs or other tapas-like dishes. Are you also going to make this romesco sauce? Let us know in the comments below. Or better! Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what it looks like.


  • 350 grams of drained roasted bell pepper
  • 50 grams sun-dried tomatoes
  • 100 grams of unsalted almonds
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 15 grams of fresh flat parsley
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Juice of a whole lemon
  • Salt to taste


  1. Toss the almonds and garlic cloves in the food processor first.
  2. Then add the bell pepper, tomatoes, parsley, chilli flakes, paprika powder, and olive oil.
  3. Finally, add the lemon juice and salt to season it all. Pulse everything into a coarse sauce.

Spanish country-style pork ribs from the rotisserie

These Spanish country-style pork ribs have been regularly made in our backyard. After adjusting the recipe a bit here and there in recent years, we decided to share the recipe.

Because these ribs are prepared on the rotisserie, they get a grilled taste that you love so much when barbecuing.

Country-style pork ribs are the ribs that are closer to the sternum. The ribs have tough and often fatty meat that tastes very good. You used to find them all over the place, but now you have to ask your butcher to get them for you.

We will first prepare the ribs by cutting them per rib and providing them with a nice layer of rub. If you can’t find country-style ribs, you can also take thick-cut spareribs.

Try to distribute the ribs on the spit. You should be able to prick eight pieces on the skewers. It should eventually look like a spareribs mobile. Also, ensure that the weight of the ribs hangs nicely in the middle of the spit so that the heat of the charcoal can reach all the parts.

Then all you have to do is let it spin and wait. Really make sure the spit is rotating before you walk away. It is a shame if you find out after 2 hours that the meat has been hanging stationary. You’ll probably smell it before you open the lid.

After two hours, you can check how far the meat is for the first time. We like them best at 90ºC (194F). Sometimes they are almost there, but it can take an hour longer. If you want them more tender, you can cook them to 95 or 97ºC (203 or 207F). Just be careful that they don’t fall off. It will be a shame if the meat is so tender that you must get the meat from between the coals.

These are our Spanish country-style pork ribs. If you will make them too, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you made.


  • 1 kilo of country-style pork ribs
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika powder
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dark caster sugar


  1. Slice the ribs per rib. Mix all ingredients for the dry rub and spread an even layer over the meat.
  2. Thread the ribs onto the skewers in the centre of the spit.
  3. Place the spit in a barbecue with a kettle temperature of about 200ºC (392F). Close the lid and wait 2 hours before checking on them for the first time.
  4. When the meat has a core temperature of about 90ºC (194F), the country-style ribs are ready as far as we’re concerned.
  5. Let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Dutch Christmas stollen from the barbecue

In the Netherlands, there has to be stollen on the table at Christmas and Easter. Then we call it a Christmas stollen or Easter stollen. And how nice is it that you have made it yourself in the barbecue? It’s relatively easy; it just takes some time, especially if you make the almond paste yourself.

But if you spread a slice of your homemade stollen with a thick layer of good butter, you’ll know why you made it. You better make two immediately because your neighbours who have smelled fresh bread from your garden also want a piece.

If you bought cleaned almonds, you could skip the next paragraph. If you’ve bought almonds with the skin on, you must remove them before making the paste. To remove the skins, bring a pan of water to a boil and add the almonds. After two minutes, we scoop the almonds with a slotted spoon. When you put the almonds into a bowl of ice-cold water, it is pretty easy to rub the skins off.

We now move on to the dough. Mix the flour, butter (cut into cubes), beaten egg, white caster sugar, water, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make sure the salt and yeast are put in separately. If they come into contact with each other too soon, the salt will destroy the yeast cells, limiting the fermentation.

When kneading the dough, you use the palms of your hands, continuously pushing the dough away from you. The kneading will take at least 10 to 15 minutes. This is important to ensure that the flour has absorbed all the moisture and that the gluten can do its job.

Soak the raisins in warm water and chop the nuts to the desired size. We divide the dough into two equal parts and roll them both slightly flat. On one half, we put all the raisins and nuts, and then put the other half of the dough on top.

Now fold the dough in half, push it away from you with your palm, then push it away from you and so on. Do this until all the raisins and nuts are nicely distributed in the dough. Do this no longer than necessary, and then divide the dough again into two equal balls. Each ball goes in a lightly floured dish (to prevent sticking) with cling film over it. The dough can now rise briefly at room temperature for 15 minutes.

After this first rising, roll the dough flat into an oval. Fold the two short sides inwards to create a trapezoid. We will also tension the dough by folding the corners of the trapezoid inwards. If all goes well, it has already turned into a dough ball you can take in two hands. Make sure the seams are at the bottom, and slightly puff up the dough as if you were folding two socks into a ball! Do this with both balls of dough and put them back in their bowl, cover and let them rise again for 15 minutes.

After the second rise, we roll each dough into a circle. We divide the prepared almond paste in half and roll it into two bars that stay well within the circles of dough. Fold the dough with the stick of almond paste in half and press the edges to close it. Brush the tops of both stollen with beaten egg and let them rise again for an hour. You can light the barbecue about fifteen minutes before the end of rising.

When the barbecue has a stable temperature of 200ºC (392F), the stollen can be placed on the pizza stone. Close the lid and wait 25 minutes before checking how it looks. If the stollen looks like the photo above, you check the doneness by inserting a skewer into the bread. If it comes out clean, the clot is ready.

In the meantime, we can melt two lumps of butter in a pan. We use this melted butter to brush the stollen so that the powdered sugar sticks nicely on the bread.

This is the time to ask the neighbours or friends to come over and have a cup of coffee because you want to share this stollen (especially at Christmas).

If you will make this party stollen, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden and @thijsbbq so we can see what you’ve made.


For the almond paste

  • 150 grams of almonds
  • 150 grams of granulated sugar
  • Half a grated lemon
  • 1 egg

For the dough

  • 350 grams of flour
  • 25 grams of fresh yeast or 7 grams of instant yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 35 white caster sugar
  • 7 grams of salt
  • 60 grams of butter
  • 180 ml lukewarm water
  • 210 grams of soaked raisins
  • 40 grams of finely chopped almonds
  • 40 grams of finely chopped walnuts
  • Powdered sugar
  • Melted butter


Preparation almond paste

  1. Grind the white almonds in a food processor, blender or coffee grinder. Then pour in the granulated sugar and add the lemon zest.
  2. Add a beaten egg and knead to a paste.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film. Then let it sit in the fridge.

Preparation of the dough

  1. Soak the raisins in warm water and chop the nuts finely.
  2. Mix the flour, butter, beaten egg, white caster sugar, water, yeast and salt in a bowl and knead for about fifteen minutes until the dough is no longer sticky. Then divide the dough in half and roll it into two oval slices.
  3. Place the raisins and nuts on one of the halves. Place the other dough half on top of this. Then mix it as we explained above.
  4. Shape the mixed dough into two balls and place in a covered dish for 15 minutes.
  5. Roll a dough ball into an oval form and fold the short sides inwards to form a trapezoid. Then fold in the corners.
  6. Apply tension to the resulting ball of dough by balling it in with both hands (like folding two socks). Let the ball rise again for 15 minutes in covered dishes.
  7. Roll each dough ball into a disc. Divide the almond paste in half, roll a stick of each, and place it on the disk of dough.
  8. Fold the dough over the food to form the Christmas stollen and close the edges.
  9. Brush each loaf with a beaten egg and let them rise covered for an hour.
  10. Prepare a barbecue with an indirect temperature of 200ºC (392F) and a pizza stone. Place the dough on the stone and close the lid.
  11. After half an hour, the stollen is golden brown, and you can remove it from the barbecue.
  12. Brush the stollen with melted butter and dust with powdered sugar.

Hasselback apples

Most backyard cooks will be familiar with the hasselback potato. Slit a potato from one side every few millimetres, smear with a butter spice mixture and then put on the barbecue. That’s an excellent side dish next to a good piece of meat.

How nice to end that same barbecue party with an apple hasselback for dessert. It’s a creative dessert with the sweetness of a sugar-butter mixture, the crispiness of shortcrust pastry and the freshness of mascarpone cream. You can expend this sweet dessert with some vanilla ice cream.

The ingredient list of the Apple hasselback is relatively short so you can manage with a few apples lying in the fruit bowl. We recommend Pink lady apples because of the excellent bite and ideal sweet-sour balance. After peeling the apple, it is preferable to remove the core carefully so that the apple remains firm enough even after cutting the notches. I remove the core with a melon ball spoon.

Slicing the apple every few millimetres requires some precision. With a hasselback potato, you can use wooden ladles as a spacer to prevent you from cutting the notches too far. With the apple hasselback, you will have to do this more by sight and feeling.

The butter-sugar mixture warmed in the skillet is scooped onto each apple and will run between the notches during cooking. Depending on the apple variety, the apple will be cooked enough after about 20 minutes to provide it with the shortcrust pastry.

To do this, first place them in a lightly greased roasting pan. Baking paper is, of course, also an option. Then you put it all back on the barbecue at an indirect temperature of about 200ºC (392F). The apple will continue to cook, and the shortcrust pastry will turn nicely crispy and golden brown.

A cream of mascarpone, crème fraiche and sugar is a good tip for the layout of the plates and a delicious flavour combination. Use the butter-sugar mixture and crushed gingerbread for even more flavour and to make your dessert more beautiful.

This is our hasselback apple. If you will make them too, let us know in a comment below. Or better! Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what it looks like.


  • 2 sweet but firm apples. like pink lady
  • 40 grams of light brown caster sugar
  • 45 grams of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 25 grams of unsalted butter
  • 25 grams of powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 50 grams of flour
  • 1 gingerbread cookie

For the toppings

  • 125 grams of crème frache
  • 125 grams mascarpone
  • 4 gingerbread cookies


  1. Peel the apples and cut them in half. Remove the core with a melon ball spoon. Then carefully cut slits into the apple about 1/2 inch from where the core was. Place the four apple halves in a small baking dish.
  2. Fire up your barbecue at an indirect temperature of 200ºC (392F). While heating the barbecue, place a small cast iron pan directly above the glowing coals to heat up.
  3. Melt the butter in the cast iron pan and add the sugar. Stir it and let it simmer briefly. Remove the pan from the grates and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  4. Divide the sugar-butter mixture over the cut four apples and cover the baking dish with aluminium foil. The covered oven dish with apples is heated indirectly at 200ºC (392F) for about 20 minutes.
  5. Mix the 25 grams of butter, 25 grams of icing sugar, 50 grams of flour, a pinch of salt and one finely grated gingerbread cookie. Mix the butter with your hands to make a nice crumble dough.
  6. After about 20 minutes, the covered apples can be removed. Carefully place the apples in a lightly greased baking dish. Save the sugar-butter mixture from the baking dish for later use on the plates. Spoon some of the shortcrust pastry on each apple. Then place the apples back on the barbecue for about 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, mix the crème fraiche and mascarpone 50/50 to a firm cream and season with powdered sugar. Grate the remaining four gingerbread cookies in a bowl.
  8. After the shortcrust-covered apples have been baked on the barbecue for about 20 minutes, the dough will be golden brown. This is the time to take them off.
  9. Decorate the plate with some creativity: apply the cream, grated gingerbread, the apple hasselback, a little extra cinnamon and some sugar-butter mixture. Of course, a scoop of vanilla ice cream also goes well.

Banh Mi from pulled bacon

We love pork belly. As burnt ends, porchetta or simply as a paste on the burger. This time we wanted to pull it. To get meat to the point you can pull it, you need to cook it low and slow, and the meat needs some fat. Pork belly is undoubtedly fat enough.

And because there is enough fat in it, we don’t go for low and slow, but for hot and fast. We cook this pulled pork belly at 150°C (302F). Still not very hot, but still a lot hotter than the 100 to 120°C (212 to 248F) we usually go for.

Just buy ordinary pork belly. Don’t go for the fancy cuts like Iberico or other beautiful cuts of meat. In this case, it’s a waste of money, and usually, there is too much fat ratio in the meat. You want at least an equal percentage of fat and meat. Maybe even a little less fat.

This recipe gets an Asian twist simply because these flavours go great with pork. And because we like a little spice. The marinade is made with two generous tablespoons of sambal and two teaspoons of chilli oil. That seems a lot, but that it’s not too bad. During low and slow cooking, the heat levels off considerably. If you are a bit more anxious, you can safely put in a little less. It remains a good sandwich.

After marinating, we sprinkle the pork belly with a dry rub. The rub contains a lot of sugar because sweet and pork are such a nice combination. The rub also contains ginger for the extra Asian taste. This puled bacon will be a great combination of salt, sweet and heat.

We have prepared our Kamado Joe Classic 3 for indirect cooking. In the divide and conquer system, we first place the accessory rack with the platesetters in the lowest position. We put a roasting tin with water on it. Then we set the grates in the top position.

The roasting pan with water catches the fat that drips from the pork belly. If this fat ends up on your plate setter, it will burn and smell. You always notice that too late, and then the neighbours start to complain. Then you say we didn’t warn you, and then it’s our fault.

After about 3 hours, the meat has seen enough smoke, and the dry rub has stuck. That’s when you wrap the pork belly in aluminium foil. Before you pack the meat tightly, you take a quick taste. Just to try it. Call it pitmaster privilege.

In this phase, we insert a thermometer into the meat to monitor the core temperature. We aim for a core temperature of around 96°C (205F). But what’s more important is the tenderness of the meat. You can quickly check this by inserting a probe from your thermometer through the foil. If the probe passes through the meat with ease, you know that the pork belly is tender.

Do not unwrap the pork belly just yet, but put an extra piece of foil over it and then put the package in a cooler to rest. The longer you can keep it in the cooler, the better. You don’t have to worry that the meat will get cold. It stays warm for hours this way.

After resting, you can pull the pork belly. You can do this easily with two forks. You can also do it with your bare hands, but trust us that the meat is still too hot.

This is the moment, you can proudly show everyone the smoke ring in the meat. After that, you have to explain that the meat is not raw. The pink colour is a reaction between nitric oxide and carbon monoxide with the myoglobin in the meat. Even without this smoke ring, you will have a smoky taste, but this just looks nicer.

You can top this sandwich with anything you want. It’s yours. We make it a kind of Báhn Mì by adding carrot and cucumber. We used fresh mint instead of cilantro. Together with the jalapeño pepper and the sauce, this is a complete sandwich.

This pulled pork belly sandwich is fantastic. Try the recipe and let us know how you like it. Or better! Take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbq.heroes and @kamadojoe so we can see what you made.


  • 1 kilo pork belly without rind

For the marinade

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sambal manis
  • 2 tsp chilli oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 balls of stem ginger

For the dry rub

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp onion granulate
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic granulate
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

For the sauce

  • 200 ml of ketchup
  • 1 clove of garlic grated
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 30 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ball of stem ginger grated
  • 2 tsp sambal


  • Cucumber
  • Julienne cut sweet and sour carrots
  • Fresh mint
  • Jalapeño


  1. Cut the fat side of the meat crosswise with a sharp knife.
  2. Mix the ingredients of the marinade and pour it into a ziplock bag. Add the pork belly and squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible before closing it.
  3. Knead the marinade and put the bag in the refrigerator for 2 days.
  4. After 2 days, remove the pork belly from the marinade and pat it dry with some paper towel. Mix everything for the dry rub and sprinkle an even layer over all sides of the pork belly.
  5. Prepare a barbecue with an indirect temperature of 150°C (302F) and a block of smoke wood. Place the pork belly on the grates and close the lid.
  6. After about 3 hours, the meat has nice smoke colour, and the bark has set. Then we wrap the pork belly in aluminium foil and put it back on the barbecue.
  7. Insert a thermometer into the meat and close the lid.
  8. In the meantime, you can make the sauce by throwing all the ingredients into a pan and bringing it to a gentle boil. If thick bubbles form, remove the sauce from the heat.
  9. When the pork belly has reached a core temperature of 96°C (205F), check the tenderness with the probe of your thermometer. If the meat is to your liking, you can wrap it with an extra layer of aluminium foil and let it rest for at least half an hour.
  10. Pull the bacon apart with two forks and top a sandwich with the pulled bacon, the sauce and whatever you like.

BBQ chilli lasagna with pulled pork

The dishes we eat the most here are chilli con carne and lasagna. And pizza, of course. We made a fabulous lasagna with a delicious chilli con carne.

We have probably committed a mortal sin for an Italian, but this was by far the best lasagna we have ever put on the table. And we are pretty proud of that.

We make the chilli con carne with smoked pork cheeks. Forget the common cuts of meat, as the pork shoulder, but try the lesser-known parts, such as the cheeks. Pork cheeks are beautiful pieces of meat with a large amount of connective tissue. After a low and slow preparation, that connective tissue changes into delicious gelatin that gives the chilli con carne a richer taste.

The pork cheeks still need a little work before sprinkling them with the dry rub. There is a white membrane over the meat that you have to cut away. You stick a sharp and flexible filleting knife under the membrane and cut it away. It is a meticulous job because you want to keep as much meat as possible, but it is doable. Ask your butcher to do it if you don’t feel like it. He likes to do it for you.

After throwing a cherry wood block on the coals, we place the SloRoller in our Kamado Joe to smoke the pork belly. Pork cheeks are small, and they don’t need a lot of smoke to absorb enough smoke flavour. Cherry wood gives a mild taste and a beautiful reddish-brown colour.

After smoking for 2 hours, the pork cheeks have absorbed enough smoke, and the dry rub has formed a nice crust. That’s when you wrap the pork belly with a bit of stock. If you wrap too early, you will rinse the crust away with the stock.

After another two hours, the pork cheeks will be tender enough to pull apart. You pull them in the broth they lay in. While pulling, you can clearly see the pink smoke ring through almost the entire cheek. The smoke ring is a nice side effect of smoking, but not necessary for a smokey taste. That is often misunderstood.

A smoke ring is nothing more than a chemical reaction between nitric oxide and the myoglobin in the meat that gives it its pink colour. It does not affect the taste of the meat.

After we’ve made the chilli, we mix in the pork cheeks, including the stock they’ve been cooked in. Now you let it simmer for a while to give the gelatin a chance to soak into the chilli.

You make the lasagna just like regular lasagna. Start with a layer of chilli con carne. And then a layer of lasagna sheets. Keep stacking until the sheets or the chilli con carne are used up. Keep the lasagne a good centimetre under the edge of the oven dish because the lasagna will rise a bit during cooking.

Then you sprinkle a healthy layer of grated cheese over it, and it can go back into the barbecue.

We set our Kamado up for indirect cooking before building the lasagna. This time with the platesetters because the temperature goes a bit higher and the SloRoller only really works well with low and slow preparations. You leave the dish for half an hour to cook the lasagna sheets.

With some luck, you will be rewarded with a nice layer of cheese that has not only melted but has eventually started to char a bit. Not only does it look good, but it also tastes much better. Let the lasagna cool for a few minutes before removing it from the dish. The chance that the lasagna will remain upright is a lot greater.

This is our bbq chilli lasagna. The best lasagna we have ever made or eaten. Are you also going to make this chilli lasagna? Let us know in the comments below. Or better! Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you made.


  • 1 kilo of pork cheeks
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • Lasagna sheets
  • Grated cheese (Mozarella and Grana Padano)

For the dry rub

  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp dried coriander
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt

For the chilli

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed
  • 70 grams of tomato puree
  • 1 stalk celery finely chopped
  • 400 grams of kidney beans
  • 600 grams peeled tomatoes
  • 300 grams of corn


  1. Remove the membranes from the pork cheek. Mix the ingredients for the dry rub and spread an even layer over the meat. Leave them like that while you light the barbecue.
  2. Provide for a barbecue with an indirect temperature of about 150ºC (302F) with a chunk of smoke wood. Place the pork cheeks on the grates and let them smoke for 2 hours until the dry rub has formed a crust.
  3. Place the smoked pork cheeks in an aluminium container or small oven dish and pour in the stock. Seal everything well with aluminium foil and put the tray back on the barbecue for 2 hours.
  4. Pierce the foil and the meat with a toothpick or your thermometer probe to check if the meat is tender enough. If that is the case, remove the tray from the barbecue and place a Dutch oven over direct heat.
  5. Add a little olive oil to the pan and immediately add the onion and garlic while the pan and oil heat up. When the onion becomes translucent, add the tomato puree and stir fry for a few minutes.
  6. Pull the pork cheeks apart with two forks. Throw the celery, beans, tomatoes and pork cheeks in the Dutch oven and let it all simmer for 15 minutes. Finally, add the corn and remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Build the lasagna by greasing a baking dish with a bit of butter. Start with a layer of chilli and cover with the lasagna sheets. Repeat this until one centimetre below the edge of the oven dish.
  8. Sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella over the lasagna and finish with grated grana padano.
  9. Put the baking dish back in the barbecue with an indirect temperature of about 200ºC (392F). Let it sit for half an hour until the lasagna sheets are cooked.

Barbecue jalapeño poppers

We like to invite friends over for a barbecue party. You should start thinking about the snacks you put on the table to keep your guests happy while you are busy behind the barbecue.

With the jalapeño popper, we have the perfect snack. These stuffed Jalapeño Peppers with bacon are an exquisite blend of creamy cheese, mildly spicy pepper, and salty bacon. It’s complete when finished off with a nice dollop of barbecue sauce.

You can make lots of them in front because we will also tell you how to freeze them so that you always have some fresh poppers in the freezer.

How hot are jalapeño poppers?

That is entirely up to you. If you carefully remove the seeds and glands, they are not that hot. Most of the heat is in the glands that hold the seeds. These are the whiter edges of the flesh inside the pepper.

We use a teaspoon with a slightly sharp edge to scrape the seeds and glands from the jalapeño pepper. If you want the poppers to be a bit hotter, finely chop the seeds and mix them with the cream cheese. If you can’t stand a little heat at all, get a few green candy bell peppers to fill. Just remember where you put them in the grill when you make both.

Besides stuffing the peppers, the only challenge is ensuring they don’t end up under the grates when they’re almost done. The peppers become a lot softer, and they fit more easily between the grate bars. The best way is to lay them perpendicular to the bars. Even better is to use a cake grate to grill them on and transport them.

We place the stuffed peppers on the top two grates of our smoker. This is where the temperature is most constant, so the bacon cooks evenly on all sides.

Be careful not to overcook the jalapeño peppers. The bacon should be a nice golden brown, the cheese should be melted, and the peppers should be slightly softer. If you cook them too far, the peppers will become too soft and turn brown. That just doesn’t look very nice.

We like to brush the jalapeño poppers with a little barbecue sauce when they are almost ready. The sweetness of the sauce completes this snack. The final challenge is that you don’t eat them yourself until your guests know you’ve got them off the grill. Keep in mind that the cheese is piping hot.

How do you freeze jalapeño peppers?

We always make more jalapeno poppers than we think we need. On the one hand, they eat away so quickly that you are always short of them, and if they do remain, we freeze them for the next barbecue party. But how do you do that?

  1. Take a cake grate or a baking tray, and place a sheet of baking paper on it.
  2. Place the poppers on the baking paper without them touching each other.
  3. Let them cool slightly, and then put the entire cake grate in the freezer and leave them there for a whole day.
  4. After they’re frozen hard, you put them in a ziplock bag and put them back in the freezer.

This way, you can keep them for at least half a year, but if you remember that they are there, we know they are gone in a couple of weeks. If you want to reheat them, put them in the oven at 200ºC for 20 to 25 minutes until the bacon is golden brown again.

These jalapeño poppers are the perfect snack for your next barbecue party. If you will make them, let us know in a comment below. Or better! Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what it looks like.


  • 16 jalapeño peppers
  • 200 grams of cream cheese
  • 50 grams of grated Gouda cheese
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1 tsp roasted onion powder
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • Your favourite bbq sauce


  1. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and glands.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, grated cheese, paprika and onion powder.
  3. Fill each half pepper with a heaping teaspoon of the cheese mix
  4. Cut the bacon in half and wrap half a slice around the stuffed pepper.
  5. Cook the peppers at 200ºC (392F) for 15 to 20 minutes until the bacon is golden brown, the cheese has melted, and the jalapeño peppers are slightly softer.
  6. Brush the peppers with a little barbecue sauce for the last few minutes. Let them cool slightly before serving.

Stuffed poblano peppers with skirt steak

When we were looking for jalapeno peppers, we also came across poblano peppers. Poblano peppers look like small green bell peppers but are chilli peppers. They are widely used in Mexico in all kinds of dishes. You may know them better as ancho chile peppers. That’s the name when they’re dried.

We stuffed these mild peppers with rice, beans, corn, skirt steak and cheese. It’s almost like an inverted fajita without the tortilla.

This recipe starts with the skirt steak. Skirt steak is a long and thin cut of meat from the cow’s diaphragm. It is real work meat that you can recognize by the coarse thread and has a distinct beef flavour. The meat is quite chewy, but if you cut it in the right way, perpendicular to that coarse thread that runs across the skirt steak, it is wonderfully tender.

Because the skirt steak is very thin, we want to grill it over direct heat. This way, we get a nice crust and a perfect medium rare inside. This goes really quickly because of the sugar in the dry rub. So you have to pay attention. Otherwise, the sugars will burn and leave a bitter taste.

Cut the poblano peppers in half and empty them. We do that with a teaspoon that is slightly sharper than the rest of the teaspoons in the kitchen drawer. This way, you can easily scrape all the seeds and glands from the pepper.

Then we fill them with rice, a few strips of skirt steak and a little cheese. We place the stuffed peppers on so-called cake grates. That is a rack with a fine-mesh grid on which you can typically cool a cake.

We mainly use them for smaller things you want to cook in the grill. The grates also make them easier to get in and out of the grill.

So these are our stuffed poblano peppers with skirt steak. If you try this to make, let us know in a comment below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what it looks like.


  • Skirt steak

For the dry rub

  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white sugar

For the peppers

  • 10 poblano peppers
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tomatoes
  • Can of black beans
  • canned corn
  • Grated Gouda cheese


  1. Mix the ingredients for the dry rub and sprinkle the skirt steak on both sides. Leave this for 45 minutes while you light the barbecue.
  2. Grill the skirt steak over high heat on both sides until you see a nice crust. Then let it cool.
  3. Place the rice and chicken stock in a saucepan and cook the rice. Stir a few times in between.
  4. Cut the tomatoes into small cubes and toss this with the cooked rice, beans, and corn.
  5. Cut the poblano peppers in half and remove the seeds and ribs. Fill each pepper with a heaping tablespoon of the rice mix.
  6. Cut the skirt steak perpendicular to the wire into thin strips and place it on the rice. Then sprinkle cheese over it.
  7. Cook the stuffed peppers for half an hour at 180ºC (356F) until the peppers are soft and the cheese has melted.