I’m a born & raised Texan, so barbecue is in my blood. And in Texas, barbecue generally means brisket. It’s beef that’s been slow-smoked to give it a delicious outer coating called a “bark”, and if you’ve never had it then you better come on down for a visit right now and I’ll take you around to a few of my favorite barbecue joints (we’ve got at least 15 – no joke! – in my small city).
Brisket takes a long time to make, though. Brian and a friend made a brisket once and it involved them setting timers to get up throughout the night to tend to it.
Basically, it’s like taking care of a newborn.
So, when I get a craving for homemade barbecue, I go for the oh-so-beloved slow cooker. I use chicken, too, because it’s a lighter option and you still get a flavorful, tender result even without having chopped brisket.
I made a homemade barbecue sauce that I’m sharing with you today, but if you’re in a HUGE time crunch you can, of course, make this with store-bought sauce. I happen to really love the Jack Daniels original sauce, if you’re looking for a good one to try.
I hope, though, you’ll give this sauce a try. It’s delicious, easy (just dump in the ingredients & stir – voila!) and it’s pretty dang cool to be able to say you made the sauce from scratch. No one has to know it was just dumping and stirring.
- 2 pounds chicken tenderloin pieces
- 8 hamburger buns
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1¼ cups ketchup
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice (it took me 4 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup beer (I used Guinness, but virtually any will do!)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon powdered cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup water
- Put all the ingredients for the sauce into your slow cooker, stirring to mix well.
- Put in the chicken pieces, making sure they're completely submerged in the sauce.
- Cook 6-8 hours on low.
- Use a ladle to remove most of the sauce from the crock pot and put it in a small bowl; then use two forks to shred the chicken, stirring to make sure all the shredded pieces are coated with sauce.
- Serve on hamburger buns, setting the extra sauce out for people to add to their sandwiches as desired. Additional topping suggestions include raw onion rings and dill pickles - traditional Texas toppings!