Booze & Barbecue: Whiskey - a Pitmasters Liquid Salt

A true chef knows that when you feel like you've used enough salt, you should probably add some more. It makes seafood more seafood-y, meat more meat-y, and even pasta more pasta-y. Salt simply brings out all the natural flavours of everything. Now, a true pitmaster knows that adding whiskey to the food has the same effect on barbecuing. Whiskey makes smoked foods more smokey, braised foods more braise-y... you get the idea. 

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Although we can't say whiskey is exactly healthy for you (they say it's bad for your liver, but at least it's good for your soul), it actually helps digestion after large meals because it's high proof stimulates the stomachs enzymes that help break down food.

Different Whiskeys for Different Foods

A grilled chicken is best cooked with a lighter whiskey because you don't want to overpower the light flavours of the chicken. If you're smoking your chicken, consider adding a little bit of spice too. You'll have a mouthful of well-balanced flavours. 


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The styles of barbecue reach both far and wide with the amount of categories that can be paired with whiskey. One thing is for sure though: you want a rich whiskey to be cooked with your full-flavoured barbecue. That being said, a decent bourbon with both sweet and oaky notes will go with all of your meats that come from your grill. If you're using charcoal or pellets to smoke, we recommend adding these Bourbon Infused Smoker Bricx. With these, you'll get that heavenly smoked Bourbon flavour.


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Steak and whiskey... admit it, this is the dynamic duo that you came here to read about. When it comes to pairing these two classics, the best whiskey to cook with is entirely dependent on the cut of the meat. As a rule of thumb, having a cut with less bone, fat, and hasn't been aged, like a tenderloin, demands a lighter whiskey; and cuts with a the most bone, fat, and has been aged, like a T-bone or bone-in ribeye, can usually take with darker whiskey. This is due to the fact that the added elements of the bone, fat, and aging mask the flavours of just pure meat. With these elements, you can afford to have a heavier/darker whiskey that won't outweigh the flavours of the food.

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We could go on for a while about this dynamic duo... and we do. So click here to subscribe to stay updated on your whiskey and steak combo cooking tips.

As a reward for reading this far (we appreciate all of you who read our blogs even if you don't get this far every time), here's a fun fact for you to sound like an alcoholic smarty-pants at your next barbecue: whiskey can actually mitigate the risk of blood clots which decreases the chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke (but we're not doctors, so who knows). Antioxidants are also found in whiskey which helps prevent cholesterol build up in your arteries. Now we can't quite say we advise our readers to drink whiskey (our legal department is no fun). All we can say is do what you want with that information and thanks for reading.


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