Windy City Smokeout returns to Chicago July 13-15 for a weekend of barbecue, beer, and country music. With more than 40,000 guests expected to attend the sixth annual celebration, it’s safe to say that fest co-founder and Bub City chef Doug Psaltis knows a thing or two about entertaining. Here, the barbecue legend spills four secrets for surefire summertime grilling.
1. Buy Chicken Legs
The why is simple: It’s really hard to get these bad boys wrong. Give them a good rub, smoke them for about 75 minutes (keep reading for more on all that), and then bring up the temperature for a few minutes to ensure a nice crispy skin.
2. DIY a Dry Rub
Combine salt, brown sugar, onion and garlic powders, sweet paprika, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne in a bowl (don’t worry about measurements — you can’t mess this up). For extra smokiness, add a dash of chipotle powder or smoked paprika. Or, follow these four steps to create your own signature dry rub. Rub the meat early in the day to act as a dry cure, then come back and do your grilling.
3. Up the Smoke Factor
Think of the grill as a basket hanging over a fire. Rather than going for a great char on the meat, aim to infuse the meat with smoke (which, in this case, is synonymous with flavor).
4. Simplify the Sauce
Assuming you’ve whipped up a dry rub, there’s no need to buy bottled sauce. Just add a little water or oil to the aforementioned spice mix, then use it to baste the meat about an hour after you start grilling, with 15 minutes left to go.
If you think grilling season is the absolute most wonderful time of the year, we’re with you. That’s why we’re following these tips for healthy grilling that keep us firing up the barbie all summer long.
More from Make It Better:
- Chicago’s 16 Best Sandwiches, 2018 Edition
- 2018 Chicago Food Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss
- Chicago’s 8 Best Frozen Cocktails You Have to Try This Summer
Nicole Schnitzler is a freelance writer who covers food, drink, travel, and lifestyle. When she is not planning her next adventure, she can be found commuting between bakeries, yoga classes, live music shows, and libraries in her hometown of Chicago. She is most comfortable with a pen in one hand and a fork in the other. Nicole is also the founder of Doors Open Dishes, an initiative committed to keeping the doors open to the group homes and workshops of individuals with special needs by partnering with chefs and restaurants across the city. Follow her on Twitter (@Write_To_Eat) or on Instagram (@WriteToEat).