I got an email one day that asked if I was interested in coming up with a BBQ sauce using Pepsi’s new product Pepsi Natural. I’m a real big fan of Pepsi Throwback and of colas in general, so the proposition was somewhat intriguing. I’d seen cola BBQ sauces around and was always interested in trying one. So here’s what I came up with.
The first thing that I noticed was that the Pepsi Natural is not nearly as sweet as your standard soft drink. It’s perfectly pleasant to drink and quite refreshing, just not so super-sweet. In order to make this work without the sauce being way too watery is to reduce the Pepsi Natural into a more concentrated form. I tried it with and without the reduction technique and the reduction was the crowd favorite. The bourbon is totally optional, it worked great without it.
Cola-Based BBQ Sauce Recipe:
- 1 bottle of Pepsi Natural (or any other cola-flavored drink)
- 1 can (6 oz) of tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp of mustard
- 1 Tbsp of worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp of your favorite BBQ rub
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp bourbon
In a medium sized sauce pan simmer the 12 oz bottle of Pepsi Natural until its volume is reduced to 4 oz. Stir in the other ingredients and remove from heat.
For the chicken:
- 1 family sized package of chicken thighs (around 12 pieces)
Set up your grill for indirect heat. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs. Sear the skin of each chicken thigh over the direct heat, until you get some nice grill marks, then move to the cooler side of the grill (skin side up). Add some smoke chips to the direct heat and close the lid. Cook until the internal temp of your largest piece reaches 180Âº… around an hour or so. Five minutes before removing your chicken brush on the BBQ sauce. Remove your chicken thighs and take a bow.