Before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, before the average American began budgeting $1000 for holiday shopping (up from $289 in 1985), there were homemade gifts.
Resurrect the tradition—or start a new one—by spending some time in your kitchen making one or more barbecue-related gifts for the deserving people on your list. Below are just a few of your options. All come from Steven’s book, Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades (Workman, 2017). Hey, come to think of it, this book, with more than 200 recipes, makes the ultimate homemade gift.
Lone Star Steak Rub: This lean, mean, big flavored seasoning packs some serious heat thanks to cayenne and pure chile powder. Corral in attractive jars and suggest the recipient use it on steak, brisket, tri-tip, or other red meat. Bundle with some premium steaks for a gift that will really be appreciated.
Smoked Venison Jerky: Last year at this time I was holed up on a beautiful ranch south of Livingston, Montana, testing recipes and helping with final edits on the aforementioned book. Deer and bison were plentiful in the region, but I used beef top round when making this recipe. Believe me, you can never make enough jerky. (For our best jerky tips, click here.)
Sweet and Smoky Barbecue Sauce: Ask most Americans to describe the perfect barbecue sauce and they’ll invoke a sweet red ketchup-based sauce with the tang of vinegar and a whiff of liquid smoke. In short, the sort of sauce Kansas City barbecue buffs have slathered on ribs and briskets for decades. Jarred and refrigerated, the sauce will keep for several weeks.
Bacon Jam: Okay, Santa. Cookies or Bacon Jam? I think we know what the man in red would pick. This stuff is seriously good. Steven teased the recipe from the chef-owner of Smoke Woodfire Grill, Erik Reynolds, in barbecue-obsessed Tulsa, Oklahoma. You likely have all the ingredients to make the jam on hand. (Always a plus.) Potential uses? As a topping or stuffing for burgers, pork chops, salmon steaks, or chicken breasts. Killer when spread on a grilled cheese sandwiches.
For more sensational homemade gift ideas, check out:
6 Homemade Holiday Gifts from Your Grill or Smoker
Homemade for the Holidays—Barbecue Rubs
Homemade for the Holidays—Beef Jerky
Don’t have time to make your gift? Order the perfect present for your loved one from our 2018 Barbecue Bible Gift Guide.