Down to the Root: Make Your Own Root Beer

Ever wonder what else you can do with all your shiny beer making equipment? How about making root beer? Many commercial breweries turned to root beer production to try to stay afloat during Prohibition, and some craft breweries and brewpubs make root beer today. Our article will help you get to the root of the matter with tips and 4 great recipes.

At some point, you may look at your brewing equipment and wonder what else you can do with it besides making beer. Some homebrewers branch out into other fermented beverages such as cider, mead or wine. However, you can also take a cue from many commercial breweries — including Tommyknocker (Idaho Springs, Colorado), Sprecher (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Abita (Abita Springs, Louisiana), Old Dominion (Washington, DC), Millstream (Anama, Iowa), Stevens Point (Stevens Point, Wisconsin), Goose Island (Chicago, Illinois) and Saint Arnold (Houston, Texas) — and make a non-alcoholic brew, root beer.

The basic idea behind brewing root beer is that you choose your flavorings, sweeten the beverage and then carbonate it. Just as with real beer, making homemade root beer can be an easy or complex process. Beer brewers may choose either extract or all-grain methods of making beer. When making root beer, you have a similar choice. There is a simple method in which your flavors come from root beer extract. Alternately, you can boil various roots, barks, herbs and spices to obtain your flavoring. You also have options with regards to your choice of sweetener and how to carbonate.

For my first batch of root beer, I took the easy route and used an extract promising “Old Time Flavor.” I used conventional granulated sugar and standard Red Star baking yeast and in about 20 minutes I had 1 gallon (3.8 L) of root beer ready for bottling. So why go the extra mile and make the product from scratch? The root beer brewers contacted for this article agreed that the final results of a from-scratch method are generally better — especially if the highest quality ingredients are used. The nutty, natural flavors stand out and remain truer to the earthy nature of the drink, when it truly earned the name root.

Getting to the root of root beer

So where did this drink come from? Beer, it is widely believed, was accidentally invented during Mesopotamian times more than 5,000 years ago when grains sitting in some liquid fermented in a warm clay pot. Gradually, the process was refined into a (more or less) calculated product suitable for popular mass consumption. Root beer, in contrast, required a conscious effort from the start and was in part developed by brewers out of the need for a non-alcoholic beverage that was suitable for children when drinking water was potentially a risky proposition. (Homemade root beer that gets its carbonation from fermentation in the bottle generally has less than 0.25–0.35% alcohol. Force carbonated root beer is entirely non-alcoholic.) Other scholars believe root beer has its genesis in the early American colonies, initially developed because of the lack in traditional beer-making ingredients. Adventurous brewers blended herbs and barks with sweeteners like honey and tree saps to make root beer. Root beer gained in popularity during Prohibition, when many breweries turned to making this soft drink — instead of “hard” beer — to stay afloat.

Water

Choosing your water when making root beer is easy. You can use bottled spring water or filtered tap water. As long as it tastes good, you’re good to go. Water treatments can be applied, just as in beer making, but make sure any additives dissolve completely. Avoid high levels of calcium or magnesium.

When making root beer with the extract, there is no “root wort” to boil, so any particles might find a way into the finished product. However, the water will be boiled for most “from scratch” versions of this soft drink.

Sweeteners

There are numerous sweetening options when it comes to making root beer: cane sugar, corn sugar, corn syrup (including the favorite of commercial soft drink makers — high fructose corn syrup), malt extract (maltose), brown sugar, beet sugar, maple syrup (use grade B for better flavor), honey or molasses. You can even use low-calorie sweeteners such as Splenda.

Working with the extract, the directions do not seem to play a favorite, simply calling for “sugar or sweetener.” One brewer tossed out the possibility of mixing in some lactose for a creamier finish and increased mouthfeel. And, he hypothesized, this might also decrease the formation of alcohol in the final product, as lactose sugar is non-fermentable. Each of these sweeteners will impart a distinctive, though subtle, flavor and level of sweetness.

Steve Indrehus, head brewer at Tommyknocker Brewery swears by maple syrup as the perfect sweetener for his “1859 Root Beer,” while Heath Greenwald owner of Palisade Brewery and Jackson Hole Soda Company in Palisade, Colorado will use nothing less than pure cane sugar in his root beer. “Only pure cane sugar,” Greenwald explains. “It has a real rich, thick, creamy flavor. It makes all the difference.” Fans of Mexican Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper from the original Dr. Pepper bottling plant, in Dublin, Texas — both of which use cane sugar in place of the cheaper high-fructose corn syrup — also claim that cane sugar makes for a better soft drink.

Nutritional labeling reveals that most commercial sodas contain around 36–46 g of carbohydrate per 12-oz. (355-mL) serving. This translates to 10–14 °Brix (SG 1.040–1.044). Translated to homebrew-scale production, 1 pound of sugar per gallon (0.12 kg/L) yields a 12 °Brix (approximately SG 1.048) solution. However, the main reason some people make root beer (or other sodas) at home is to make a version that is less sweet.

Carbonation

There are two ways to carbonate your soda — force carbonation or bottle conditioning. To force carbonate root beer, just rack it to a Cornelius keg, refrigerate and apply carbon dioxide pressure. Most commercial sodas are carbonated to around 3.5 volumes of CO2, higher than most beers excepting certain Belgians. At 40 °F (4.4 °C), standard refrigerator temperature, you would need to apply 22–24 PSI of pressure. You may also wish to have a longer dispense line to get a good pour at this pressure, which is elevated compared to the pressure beer is typically stored under. Force carbonated root beer has no alcohol in it.

The second way to carbonate root beer is to transfer the sugary solution to bottles and add yeast. The yeast will begin to consume the sugar, making carbon dioxide and a small amount of alcohol. When the proper amount of carbonation is reached, the bottles are refrigerated and consumed quickly, before dangerous amounts of carbonation build up.

Just like in making beer, the selection of yeast is also very subjective. Many root beer extracts call for using bakers yeast. Bakers yeast is grown aerobically and is packed full of glycogen. However, once this glycogen is expended, it is a poor fermenter. As such, it is the safest choice for bottle conditioning soda as it would likely be the slowest to reach excessive levels of carbonation. Add the yeast at a rate of around 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per gallon.

Many brewers, however, may want to use beer or wine yeast and the one you use can make a big difference. The difference is not so much in flavor (you wouldn’t want to use a spicy Belgian ale yeast for root beer anyway), but in the levels of carbonation and temperature that fermentation can take place. A neutral ale yeast, like Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) are generally recommended.

“From my beer-making experience I’d say you want a low attenuation, low temperature tolerant yeast so it doesn’t have a lot of impact on the flavor,” Indrehus says. “A low attenuation yeast that is a highly flocculent yeast so it isn’t cloudy is good too.”

Fermentation with ale yeast generally all but ceases once the bottles are in the refrigerator. If left out, even at room temperature, the high volume of sugar in root beer allows fermentation to continue unimpeded and the bottles may explode. It is recommended that fermentation take place at room temperature. Open one bottle every day (or perhaps even one every 12 hours) and then refrigerate all the bottles once your desired level of fizziness is reached. Bare this in mind when deciding what size batch to make.

Champagne yeast is recommended in many recipes and provides more than ample carbonation, but it also ferments at colder temperatures — as low as 45 °F (7 °C). This means caution must be used as the explosive risk increases. Even when storing the root beer in the fridge, some fermentation can take place. Similarly, lager yeast, while having a dry, often neutral flavor, also can ferment at low temperatures and is not recommended.

Although many sources recommend using thick glass beer bottles — such as German wheat beer bottles — when bottle conditioning root beer, Brew Your Own recommends that you use plastic soda bottles. Gas pressure from yeast activity can easily cause glass bottles to explode and this is a fairly common occurrence when the bottle-conditioning method of carbonation is used.

Plastic bottles can also rupture if enough pressure builds up, but they can generally withstand higher pressures and will not give off “shrapnel,” as a glass bottle would. As an added benefit, you can squeeze the bottles to get some idea of the level of carbonation building up.

The root of the matter

The most fundamental difference in methods of root beer production is how the flavoring is obtained. Brewing root beer from extract is very quick and root beer extract can be found in most homebrew shops.

Brewing a root beer from scratch takes more time and some effort — especially in finding some of the less common ingredients if there isn’t a well-stocked natural foods store nearby. If you can’t find an ingredient you want locally, a search of the internet almost always yields multiple sources. There are a wide variety of ingredients possible for root beer, depending on which recipe you follow. The main ingredient in most modern root beers is wintergreen, often accompanied by vanilla. A popular ingredient in chewing gum, wintergreen has a fresh, lively flavor and pungent aroma. When mixed with the additional ingredients in the soda, the wintergreen also provides a nice balance against the sweetness.

The traditional flavor of “old time” root beer came from sassafras root, often paired with sarsaparilla root. However, in 1960, the Food and Drug Administration banned the use of sassafras in processed foods — including commercial root beer — after it was found to cause cancer in laboratory rats. It is still legal to sell the root and bark. Many recipes still call for this ingredient, but don’t despair; there are now extracts available with the safrole (the carcinogenic substance in sassafras root) removed that will still impart the proper flavor. Other possible root beer ingredients include vanilla, ginger, licorice root, anise seed, birch bark, juniper berries, star anise, chirreta, yerba mate, dog grass, wild cherry bark and roots of sarsaparilla, burdock, yellow dock, dandelion and spikenard. Hops are also found in many recipes and are used to balance the sweetness with a touch of bitterness and the bark of a South American tree called Quillaia saponica is sometimes used as a heading agent. If there is a particular commercial root beer you enjoy, take a look at its label. Most simply list “natural and artificial flavors,” but a few — including the German “gourmet” root beer, Virgil’s — give all their ingredients.

With ingredients in hand, the usual procedure is to boil (or simmer) the ingredients to extract their flavor. You may boil the ingredients in a volume of water equal to your batch size, or you can make a flavor concentrate by boiling them in less water. Boil times vary from a few minutes to several hours. You can always take a small sample — cooled and perhaps sweetened — and taste it to assess your progress during the boil.

When finished, the solids are strained out of the liquid, sugar is added and the solution is cooled and transferred to a keg or bottles. The recipes on this page give the amounts and boiling procedures for many of the most common root beer ingredients. In addition, numerous recipes can be found on the internet or in books on soda making, such as “Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop,” by Stephen Cresswell (1998, Storey).

Note that it is easy to make small-scale test batches of root beer. Even uncarbonated, a cooled and sweetened sample will tell you if you are on the right track. You can even boil individual roots and bottle each extract in sanitized bottles (without any sugar). You can then use these extracts to concoct your root beer. Most root beers are colored with caramel coloring and you can use this, or molasses, to give yours a darker color.

Cleaning

As when making beer, you need to clean and sanitize your equipment when making root beer. After kegging root beer, your keg will need to be cleaned thoroughly before using it for beer again. Although the stainless steel itself can be cleaned (and perhaps soaked in a baking soda solution overnight) to remove any flavors, the rubber O-rings will need to be replaced. If you can keep a dedicated root beer keg, you can avoid accidentally producing a root beer Kölsch.

There you have it, the basic knowledge to make root beer. Heck, it might just be the thing to keep the significant other happy and obliging in your beer pursuits. Now bearing that in mind, isn’t it worth at least a try?

Glenn BurnSilver wrote “10 Clones from the Dark Side” in the September 2005 issue of Brew Your Own.

Pop Culture

Once you understand how to make root beer, it’s immediately obvious how to make any kind of soft drink. All you need to do is combine some flavorings, sugar and carbonation. Colas are usually flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, lemon oil and orange oil, with caffeine from kola nuts and color from caramel. Many popular soft drinks are citrus flavored, incuding lemon-lime drinks such as 7-Up or Sprite. Mountain Dew is flavored with concentrated orange juice. (The color comes from FD&C Yellow #5.) Most grape sodas, such as Grape Crush or Welch’s Grape Soda, feature the flavor of Concord grapes. Recently, “energy drinks” such as Red Bull or Crunk!! have become popular and these contain a variety of ingredients, including guarana, ginseng, vitamin B, ginkgo biloba . . . and lots of caffeine. Exact formulas for commercial products are closely guarded secrets.

The amount of carbonation greatly effects how the beverage is perceived and often is tailored to match the type of soft drink. Fruity soft drinks may have as little as 2 volumes CO2 whereas ginger ale can have up to 4 volumes. Higher levels of carbonation can lead to a “carbonic bite,” which may or may not be appropriate, depending on the other flavors.

In many soft drinks, sweetness is offset by some acidity. In most varieties of soda, especially those with a citrus component, citric acid is added. In colas, phosphoric acid is used instead. Malic acid is used in sodas with a berry-based flavor. All of these acids can be found in homebrewing or winemaking shops. Citric and malic acids are sold as white crystals. Phosphoric acid is usually sold in a 10% solution. For 5 gallons (19 L) of soda, use 0.15–1.0 ounces (4.3–28 g) of citric acid or around 0.75 ounces (21 g) of malic acid. If you are making a cola, use 2.1 ounces (60 g) (by weight) of
10% phosphoric acid. (Coke has a pH of 2.5.) For root beers, citric acid is preferred.

Caffeine is a popular ingredient in many kinds of soft drinks. It does not add any flavor, but is present for its stimulant effects. The concentration of caffeine in soft drinks varies quite a bit, with the average being near 40 mg per 12 oz. serving. This translates to 2,133 mg per 5 gallons (19 L). Ten
200 mg caffeine pills, available at many stores that sell excercise supplements, would work for this. Jolt cola and many energy drinks have around twice this amount. A small amount of citric acid (roughly equal to the amount of caffeine) helps the solubility of the caffeine. Root beer, as well as most lemon-lime soft drinks, typically do not have added caffeine.
— Chris Colby

None of the root beer brewers contacted for this story would divulge their secret ingredients, nor provide a recipe. That’s OK; there are plenty on the Internet to choose from that range from simple to extremely complicated. Here are a few that will get you going. Most of the herbs and roots can be found at natural food stores.

Extract Root Beer

(5 gallons/19L)
Ingredients
4 fl. oz. (117 mL) root beer extract
5 lb. (2.3 kg) cane sugar
1/2 pkg (~5 g) ale yeast (optional)

Step by Step
Add 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water to your brew kettle and begin heating it. Gradually stir in sugar and bring solution to 160 °F (71 °C), add root beer extract and hold for 15 minutes. (This will sanitize the solution.) Cool the solution by placing your brewpot in a sink full of cold water. (Don’t risk staining and flavoring your copper wort chiller for this.) Let cooled solution sit for 5 minutes to let any particles settle out. Siphon to a keg and add water to make 5 gallons (19 L). Or, add water in your brew kettle to make 5 gallons and stir in yeast. Siphon directly to plastic bottles. (As with your wort chiller, don’t risk a permanent root beer flavor by using your bottling bucket.) Cool keg and force carbonate or let bottles condition at room temperature until carbonated. To make only one gallon (3.8 L), divide all ingredients by five.

Half and Half Root Beer

(5 gallons/19 L)

Half of the flavor — (artificial) sassafras and vanilla, plus spruce and birch — in this recipe comes from root beer extract. The other half comes from boiling various ingredients. The licorice root and anise lend a licorice-like flavor (not unlike that in IBC), while the star anise and hint of wintergreen round out the flavor profile.

Ingredients
2 fl. oz. (59 mL) Zatarains root beer extract
2 oz. (56 g) licorice root
1.5 oz. (43 g) anise seed
0.5 oz. (14 g) star anise
0.25 oz. (7 g) dried wintergreen leaves
4.4 lbs. (2.0 kg) cane sugar
up to 2.5 tsp. citric acid (to taste)
1/2 pkg (~5 g) ale yeast (optional)

Step by Step
Heat 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water to a boil, turn off heat and add licorice root, anise, star anise and wintergreen. Let this solution simmer for 30 minutes, then strain out as much of the solids as is feasible with a kitchen strainer. Stir in sugar and check that temperature is at 160 °F (71 °C) or higher. Let sit for 15 minutes, covered, then cool brewpot in your kitchen sink. Siphon cooled root beer to keg and add water to make 5 gallons (19 L). Taste root beer and add citric acid, if desired, to taste. Cool root beer overnight and force carbonate to 3–3.5 volumes of CO2. Alternately, add yeast and bottle.

Old Prospector Root Beer

(5 gallons/19 L)
Ingredients
4 oz. (113 g) dried sarsaparilla root
2 oz. (57 g) dried burdock root
2 oz. (57 g) dried yellow dock root
2 oz. (57 g) dried spikenard root
1 oz. (28 g) hops (your choice)
8 cups sugar 12 fl. oz. (355 mL) molasses
1/2 pkg (~5 g) ale yeast (optional)

Step by Step
Simmer herbs in water for 30 minutes. Add sugar and molasses, stir to dissolve, and let sit for 15 minutes above 160 °F (71 °C). Cool root beer, siphon to keg and add water to make 5 gallons (19 L) . Force carbonate. (Or, add yeast and bottle.)

Birch Bark Canoe Root Beer

(5 gallons/19 L)
Ingredients
4 oz. (113 g) birch beer extract
2 inches (5.1 cm) cinnamon stick
3.5 lbs. (1.6 kg) corn sugar
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) honey
1/2 pkg (~5 g) ale yeast (optional)

Step by Step
Boil cinnamon stick for 15 minutes, add sugar, honey and birch beer extract and let sit for 15 minutes. Cool, add water and either keg or bottle condition.

Author:  Glenn BurnSilver

 

Honey BBQ Chicken Strips Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Season chicken strips with salt and pepper and marinate in 2 cups buttermilk for at least 2 hours.
  2. Bring oil to 350-360F in a large frying pan, about 1 inch deep.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F.
  4. Combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika in a shallow bowl and stir to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of buttermilk and hot sauce, set aside.
  6. Combine barbecue sauce, honey, and apple cider vinegar in a shallow bowl, set aside.
  7. Remove the chicken strips from the buttermilk and shake off the excess.
  8. Dip the chicken strip in flour mixture, then in the buttermilk and hot sauce mixture, and then back in the flour mixture Shake off excess flour.
  9. Gently place in the hot oil and fry, turning over when golden brown. Drain on paper towels or on a rack.
  10. Repeat until all chicken has been fried. The chicken doesn’t need to be cooked through because we’ll be finishing it off in the oven.
  11. Gently dip the strips in the barbecue sauce and honey mixture or use brush the mixture onto the strips. Shake off excess.
  12. Place chicken strips on a parchment line baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Baking time will depend on the size of your chicken strips.
  13. Note: if you want to spice these up a bit, add some hot sauce or sriracha to the honey-bbq glaze.

Cheeseburger Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mixed salad greens of your choice
  • 3 grilled (cooked) beef slider burgers or 1 regular sized one (I used Certified Angus Beef® brand)
  • 1 dill pickle spear, cut into chunks
  • 4 – 5 grape tomatoes
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • butter-flavored “bun” croutons (recipe below)

Instructions

  • On a plate, add the lettuce and arrange the remaining ingredients on top of the lettuce. Serve immediately.
  • To make bun croutons: Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut two hamburger buns into cubes. Toss with 2 TBS melted unsalted butter, salt and pepper.  Spread out single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crispy (about 15 minutes or so), mixing once halfway between baking.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups macaroni and cheese, chilled
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 8 egg roll wrappers
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • barbecue sauce for dipping

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer or Dutch Oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix macaroni and cheese and bacon together. Spoon about ¼ cup onto each egg roll wrapper. Dampen edges of egg roll wrapper with water. Roll up according to package directions.
  3. Cover with a damp paper towel until ready to fry.
  4. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  5. Fry egg rolls, a few at a time until well browned, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.
  6. Cut egg rolls in half and serve with barbecue sauce.

Animal Style Cheeseburger Sliders Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp your favorite bbq rub
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 full pack Hawaiian sweet buns slider size (12)
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp sweet relish
  • 6 slices American cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp your favorite bbq rub
  • 1 pinch cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a bowl combine the beef, salt, pepper and bbq rub.

  3. Press the meat onto a parchment lined being pan making sure to press it out to the same size as the slider buns package.

  4. Brush the beef with 1/4 cup ketchup and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes then drain juices from the baking sheet pan.

  5. As the beef is cooking, warm the olive oil until hot and then add the diced onion and brown sugar, cooking and stirring until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

  6. Slice the buns long ways and set the lid part to the side, keeping the base part on the white cardboard and then to a baking sheet pan. The cardboard will help to lift the hot sliders.

  7. In a small bowl combine the mayo, ketchup and relish. Spread evenly over the bottom part of the slider buns.

  8. Liberally add some of the grilled onions on top of the sauce.

  9. Lay the meat on top of the sauce and onions and then top with the cheese.

  10. Place the top part of the bun on top of the cheese and brush with the melted butter mixture.

  11. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for about 15 minutes.

  12. Carefully slice and serve at once.

Buffalo Chicken Roll Ups Recipe

Ingredients

For the blue cheese dip:

  • 4 ounces garden vegetable cream cheese room temperature
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • 3 ounces blue cheese divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley plus extra for garnish if desired

For the roll ups:

  • 6 oz frozen breaded chicken breast strips (1/2 of a 25 package) *
  • 1/4 cup to 1/3 Buffalo Wing Sauce **
  • 3 sandwich roll-up flatbreads ***
  • 2 stalks of celery diced, plus extra sticks for dipping
  • 6 leaves large lettuce

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, sour cream, 2 ounces of the blue cheese (crumbled), pepper, salt and parsley. Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to bake the chicken tenders / strips / breasts.
  3. Bake the chicken strips according to the package directions. While hot place the chicken strips, two at a time, in a bowl and toss with the hot sauce. Repeat until all the chicken strips are coated. Place on the baking sheet in a single layer to cool. Once cooled, toss in the hot sauce again and set aside.
  4. To assemble the roll ups, spread each flatbread with a generous amount of the blue cheese dip. At one of the short ends of the flatbread, place two chicken strips, then next to the chicken, sprinkle with the diced celery, then add the lettuce. Add more crumbled blue cheese if desired. Roll up the flatbreads and cut into 6 to 8 pieces each.
  5. Secure the roll up with an appetizer pick.
  6. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed.

Grilled Buffalo Blue Cheese Stuffed Drumsticks Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • ½ cup hot wing sauce
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 6 Tyson Fresh Chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Stir together the paprika, garlic salt and black pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter and hot wing sauce. Remove about ¼ cup to baste the drumsticks with after they come off the grill.
  4. Cut two 1-inch slits into the side of each drumstick and use your finger to press down into the slit and open it up even more. Stuff each opening with about 1 tablespoon of the blue cheese crumbles. Rub the skin of each drumstick generously with the seasoning mixture. Place on the well-oiled grill and cook, rotating occasionally, until skin starts to crisp. Brush drumsticks generously with hot sauce mixture and continue to grill until chicken is cooked all the way through to a temperature of 165°F, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove from grill and brush with reserved hot sauce mixture before serving. Serve alongside cut up celery, carrots and blue cheese dressing, if desired.

Carne Asada Guacamole Burgers Recipe

Ingredients

Burgers:
  • 500 g | 1lbs lean ground/minced beef
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 of a red onion , grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 large cloves garlic , minced
  • 4 small slices pickled jalapeños (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes (or chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 4 small bread rolls of choice
Guacamole:
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 of a red onion , finely chopped
  • 1/2 lime , juiced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (or lemon juice)
  • 2 small slices pickled jalapeños
  • Salt to taste
Pico De Gallo:
  • 2 ripe tomatoes , diced
  • 1/4 of the remaining red onion , finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons shredded fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Burgers:
  1. Combine beef, lime juice, orange juice, onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeños, chilli flakes, cumin, paprika and salt in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands for about a minute, until the meat has combined with the other ingredients. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal parts and firmly mould them into round patties about 1-inch thick. Drizzle a skillet or non stick pan with a small amount of oil; preheat pan over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, sear the burgers for 5 to 6 minutes on each side until cooked to your liking. In the last minute or two of cooking, add the sliced cheese over the patties and allow the cheese to melt.
  2. Build burgers with lettuce (optional), beef, guacamole and pico de gallo.
Guacamole:
  1. Cut the avocados in half lengthwise. Remove the pit from the avocado and discard. Remove the avocado from the skin and place the avocado flesh into a bowl.
  2. Add the lemon juice, lime juice, red onion, chives, jalapeño, salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until half smooth and creamy. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
Pico De Gallo:
  1. Combine the tomatoes, onions and cilantro together in your serving dish. Drizzle with the lime juice; salt to taste.

French Onion Cheeseburgers Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 onions, 4 thinly sliced and 1 peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 cup beef consomme
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 pounds ground beef sirloin
  • About 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • EVOO, for drizzling
  • 6 brioche buns, split
  • 36 good-quality ridged or thick-cut potato chips (cooked in olive oil)
  • Sliced sweet pickles

Instructions:

  1. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and bay leaf; season with salt, pepper and the thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until deep caramel and very soft, 35 minutes. Deglaze with the beef consomme; cook until all the liquid is almost absorbed. Let cool, then discard the bay leaf. Stir in the sour cream.
  2. Preheat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season the beef with the worcestershire, salt (for a crusty coating) and pepper. Using a box grater, grate 3 to 4 tbsp. of the peeled onion over the meat (this flavors the meat and keeps the burgers moist). Add the parsley. Mix the meat (dont overwork) and form 6 patties thinner at the center than at the edges. Drizzle with EVOO. Cook, turning once, for 6 to 8 minutes for pink centers.
  3. Serve the burgers on the buns, topped with the sauce, potato chips and pickles.

Hawaiian Huli Huli Grilled Chicken Wings Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (1.4kg) chicken wings
  • 1 cup (240ml) unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) homemade chicken stock or low-sodium store-bought broth
  • 1-inch piece ginger root (1/4 ounce; 7g), peeled and finely grated
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) sriracha chili sauce
  • Thinly sliced scallions (white and light green parts only), for garnish
  • Grilled pineapple wedges, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place chicken wings in a large zipper-lock freezer bag. Set aside.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce, light brown sugar, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, and sriracha. Pour half of sauce into bag of chicken, seal bag, and toss to coat. Cover remaining sauce in bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Place bag of chicken in refrigerator and let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

    Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.

    Remove wings from marinade, allowing excess to drip off; discard marinade. Place wings on cooler side of grill, cover with vents partially open, and cook, occasionally brushing with reserved sauce and turning wings, until wings are well browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Move wings to hot side of grill and cook until browned all over, about 3 minutes per side, brushing often with sauce to build up a nice glaze.

    Serve chicken wings with thinly sliced scallions and grilled pineapple, if desired.