Johnny Appleseed never attended Barbecue University. But if the apple evangelist lived today, we’d welcome him with open arms. John Chapman (his real name) spent 40 years crisscrossing the fledgling United States, collecting and disseminating apple seeds and building nurseries. If the apple is one of our most popular fruits and its byproducts—apple wood, apple cider, cider vinegar, and applesauce—are essential barbecue flavorings, we have this singular American folk hero to thank.
Incorporating apples into barbecue adds a subtle sweetness to meat and the meal and helps you think outside of the box when it comes to flavor. Instead of opting for the usual vegetable or starch as a side, use apples as an alternative. They’re especially tasty and abundant in October, which is National Apple Month.
There are a number of ways you can enjoy whole or sliced apples on the grill or in your smoker:
Check out my Cider-Grilled Pork Porterhouse, which features apple cider in the marinade and apple syrup in the sauce.
Do you have your own apple recipe you’re fired up about? Share the details and photos on the Barbecue Board!
Yours in righteous grilling,
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