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Try these 3 tasty BBQ recipes this summer

Photo Credit: Elissa Eubanks/AJC staff


Try these 3 tasty BBQ recipes this summer

Thank goodness for summertime in the South -- a time of sun, fun and saucy food best enjoyed with friends who know how to handle a little extra outdoor heat. And even though it won't officially be summer until the end of June, it feels close enough to get a menu started, because its never too early to start the summer barbecuing season. So Chef Jeffrey Gardner is back with three amazing barbecue recipes straight from the Southern Kitchen recipe database. Now's a good time to stock up on napkins.

Coca-Cola-glazed Baby Back ribs
A pillar of southern BBQ, ribs can be taken in so many different directions—ranging from a crispy Memphis dry rub to slicked with a sweet and spicy Kansas City-style sauce. Try these unique Coca-Cola-glazed baby back ribs; the balance between the heat from the chilies, the acidity from lime juice and vinegar and sweetness from the Coca Cola, is fantastic. If you want to add some additional texture, try sprinkling the finished ribs with chopped salted peanuts. Who doesn’t love the sweet/salty combination of peanuts and a Coke?
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Beer Can Chicken
Don’t worry if you don’t have the time to smoke a large brisket or pork shoulder; this recipe for beer can chicken incorporates some of the spice of a good BBQ rub, but only requires about two hours for a delicious result. The dry heat from the grill will help turn the rub into a crust on the skin, while the steam produced by the beer will ensure the chicken stays juicy throughout the cooking process.
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BBQ Brunswick Stew
Have leftover BBQ but feel like re-purposing it into something different? Make Brunswick stew! The recipes can vary from household to household—there really is no “correct” recipe—but this version from Dreamland BBQ serves as a good reference point. I love the versatility of Brunswick stew: it can be a side dish, appetizer, or even a hearty entrée. Any combination of pork and chicken is most traditional, but it can take on smoked brisket, turkey or sausage.
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**Bonus** For anyone looking for a good BBQ spice rub (after possibly learning that their favorite BBQ restaurant's pitmaster is quite stingy with his or her recipe), I’ve got you covered with the recipe below.

Chef Jeffrey Gardner's BBQ Spice Rub

1 cup sweet paprika
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup smoked paprika
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves

Mix everything together in a bowl until combined.

Author image

Chef Jeffrey Gardner is a native of Natchez, Miss., and a graduate of Millsaps College and Johnson & Wales University. He lives in Atlanta and has served as sous chef for popular restaurants South City Kitchen Midtown and Alma Cocina. In 2013 he became executive chef for East Cobb restaurant Common Quarter and was named one of ten “Next Generation of Chefs to Watch” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He has appeared on TV shows including Food Network’s Chopped and Cooking Channel’s How to Live to 100, and also filmed a series of healthy cooking videos with retired pro wrestler and fitness guru Diamond Dallas Page. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife Wendy, watching game shows and “spending all his money on Bruce Springsteen concerts.”