Yes ... you read it right ... we said SAUCE ... "DaviSauce"! That is what this is about!. This is NO "SPOOF" ... although offered here to our pro audio clients in the spirit of having a little "fun" ... it is definitely the "real thing" and not presented in jest! It is included here on our website so that everyone will now know what only a select few DaviSound clients have known before we decided to publish this! And that is ... we not only make great AUDIO equipment ...
but we also make a pretty good Barbecue Sauce also!
Some of our regular clients and associates who know me personally have, for some time, suggested that I do this ...
So, here it is!
"DaviSecrets For Southern Barbecue"
The "DaviSauce" Story
By Hayne Davis
Paul Harvey once said ..."You can't have REAL Southern Barbecue ...
without getting some dirt and sweat in it!"
I suppose it looks that way to an observer standing around a smoking pit on a hot summer day. Actually, though, some of us are quite careful about cleanliness when cooking in that inherently "not-so-sanitary" environment!
What Paul Harvey was saying was tongue-in-cheek, of course, in part of his editorial response to the DHEC moves to regulate some of the old southern style pit barbecues out of existance. He was all for keeping southern barbecue just the way it was/is because, having experienced it on many occasions, he knew that when it is done right, there is truly nothing else quite like it for meat flavor!
In the Southeastern United States, many of the major holidays, especially in the warmer months, have been traditionaly celebrated with a barbecue. A REAL barbecue. Now in the south, the term BARBECUE means something very specific. Some of you refer to "barbecue" anytime you cook on an open flame or coals. Oh, we do lots of "grilling out" but that is NOT necessarily a barbecue!
For instance, we may "grill a steak" or have a "hamburger cookout"...
all of which usually mean charcoal grills.
A TRUE Southern Barbecue is something else ...ENTIRELY!
Read on ...
When I was a kid growing up in the fifties, it would not be uncommon to find a dozen or more public barbecues advertising pit-cooked barbecue chicken and pork with pork hash for sale on each Memorial Day, Labor Day, and, especially, every 4th Of July. In fact, July 4th barbecues were/are carried out, almost reverently, to the point of being practically the exclusive meal of choice on that holiday. It is, perhaps, even more traditional in South Carolina to have barbecue on the 4th Of July than turkey on Thanksgiving!
In our "neck of the woods" nearly every club, civic organization, volunteer fire department and many churches, all have permanent barbecue huts built along side for traditional fundraiser barbecues held periodically!
My mother's family, the Franklins, were once very active in those traditions. Now ... my DaviSauce, and my methods of cooking, while entirely my own and not "handed down" directly, were certainly inspired by her recollections of how her father and his brothers prepared their barbecues. It is rumored that some of these barbecue traditions go all the way back to Robert E. Lee as there are family ties there. I guess I am a true southerner "to the bone" because of this connection to the Lee family on my Mother's side and a direct family-tree relationship to Jefferson Davis on my father's side!
Of course none of this has anything to do with whether my sauce or barbecue techniques are any good ...I just mention it as a matter of interest! The proof of the sauce and the technique is in the tasting after you try it for yourself!
I only offer my version of the southern mustard base sauce occasionally for those who really do appreciate it and request it ... since I enjoy making it and sharing it just for the fun of it ... on a LIMITED basis of course!
I've had several emails, since posting this page on the Internet, which refer to a categorization of "South Carolina" style barbecue sauce. Well, they are certainly right to make that distinction since North Carolina sauce is radically different and usually a RED sauce (God forbid!)!
But ... what they may not realize is, there are MANY different spins on South Carolina Barbecue and on the mustard based sauce itself!
I like to think that our immediate, middle area of South Carolina ...the so-called "Dutch Fork" (due to heavy population by early German immigrants) section, produced the true Southern Barbecue that was to become the standard of the South when one is referring to ...
"Southern Barbecue" .
(It also introduced the "Hamburger" early on ... but that's another story! )
In some lower parts of the state near the coast (known as the SC "Low Country"), they still prefer to use simply a vinegar and black pepper baste which has no mustard at all. And, quite honestly, this was probably one of the first true barbecue sauces in the south and elsewhere. However, mustard is a very old spice dating back to earliest civilizations and, on the southern plantations, there is little doubt that it was incorporated into sauces early on.
Other area barbecue "experts" make a sauce very similar to our "DaviSauce. In fact, I like most all of them to some degree and regularly attend several establishments in our immediate, local areal for their own, distinct, characteristics. There are times when the craving hits for a certain establishment's way of doing things and, at that moment, I would rather enjoy their style of barbecue than my own!
But, as for the OVERALL PREFERRED sauce ...to my own tastes ...I, naturally, always prefer my own version of mustard sauce for my barbecues over any of the others. And, so many friends and associates have agreed until I was inspired to produce what you are reading about here!
Most use similar, if not the same, ingredients. But, as you will learn if you ever try to duplicate it, there is a very SUBTLE difference in taste character that can be obtained by very subtle variances in proportions that can cause quite a difference in taste and reaction to it by those who partake! This difference will range from those who say ..."Hey, that's pretty good!" ... to those who simply go "nuts" over the stuff so as to want to eat it with a spoon!
We have found that my unique blend usually causes the latter reaction!
Now my sauce will always vary somewhat from "batch to batch" since some of the "final tweaking" of salt/pepper/sugar and spice is NOT written down or followed to the letter. Like most cooks, I prepare the sauce by a strict base format but the final "dashes" of spice will, inherently, vary from time to time. Likewise, the "raw materials" themselves ...the vinegar, mustard etc. will sometimes
vary in very subtle ways from one manufacturing run to the next so we are always at the mercy of that as well.
All in all, you can usually recognize the consistently distinctive taste of "DaviSauce" and the effect it has on the dinner guests!
Just be sure to have plenty available when you serve it.
It was not originally intended as a TABLE SAUCE but as a cooking/basting sauce. However, that was quickly over-ridden by guests asking for it ... sometimes spooning it over rice or bread and nearly eating it by the cupful!
I should probably point out here that this sauce, and mustard base sauces as a rule, are designed primarily for pork and chicken. Of course you can put it on anything but, to my taste, it does NOT work well with beef. But, to my way of thinking, aside from perhaps a good Texas style Mesquite smoking, good beef does not warrant "barbecuing" in the strict southern sense of the term. Just drag it across the grill once or twice, with a little dry-rubbed garlic powder, salt & pepper ... and enjoy sans sauce!
Hayne "PITSIDE" ... 7-4-82
"Wringing out my shirt after a cooling dip in the lake ..."
Paul Harvey would have been pleased!
COOKING TECHNIQUES ...
The term "pit barbecue" came from the use of just that ....a true "PIT". In the literal sense, this means digging out a pit in the ground, burning down your wood for a deep bed of coals, and then somehow hanging, or racking, your prize to slow cook over the moist heat and smoke.
They still rigidly follow this tradition in some areas of South Carolina (again, the "Lowcountry" down near the coast...the same place they use the pepper/vinegar baste).
More often, however, the "pit" consist of a large brick fireplace of varying sizes and designs.
My father was in the masonry business and I have, on occasion, even used one of his large (4' x 8') metal mortar pans as a portable "pit" with a radiator protector from a log truck thrown across it as my grill!
Most barbecue specialists would normally build a fire up to eight or more hours ahead of time slowly building up a deep layer of smoldering coals.
I always preferred to do it a bit faster, keeping a stick or two of fresh wood burning over my existing coals ...all about eighteen inches to two feet below my grill.
Let me describe in detail, a typical 4th of July Barbecue of days gone by
(as pictured above)...
The first part of the tradition was the enjoyable experience of picking the fresh, green wood for the event. In the old days, my Dad and I would do this the week of the barbecue by driving to a wooded area and scouting for choice Hickory and a few small Oaks.
The bulk of the wood to be used would normally be dried, seasoned leftovers from the year or years prior which had been covered and stored. We would, however, always secure a fresh supply of green wood each year for added smoke and flavor and to have leftovers for the following season.
The actual "mealtime" was usually around 1:00 to 2:00 PM though "snizzling" from the pit was allowed throughout!
This early afternoon serving time meant, by my techniques, cooking would start around 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Now that is a bit fast, as I've said, for some folks who prefer to smoke a large pig all night long and into the next day.
I should also inject here that I seldom cooked anything other than pork at my large barbecues. If you plan to cook chicken, it requires some very long smoking times and special techniques to keep it moist through the process in order to obtain that impeccable southern chicken barbecue flavor! While not "Rocket Science", cooking perfect chicken in quantity is a bit more tricky than pork. I always said you can NOT totally ruin a pork barbecue even if you try....the same might not be said for chicken!
On the night before the barbecue, we would sort out the wood and this would usually be a small stack of logs near the side of the pit with the pit, itself, piled high with loaded wood. Keep in mind, that with barbecue, the fuel is a primary part of the flavor and "seasoning" so we utilize a mixture of seasoned and green small logs, somewhere around four to six inches in diameter.
I would also use about a two to one ratio of Oak to Hickory as Hickory is, by far, the dominant flavor. As a matter of fact, for chicken barbecues, I would suggest a much weaker blend of the Hickory! It's really just a matter of personal taste.
I have cooked without the opportunity to use any green wood (which is only used sparingly in any event) and would, in place of the green, soak some of the dry wood prior to placing it in the coals to provide moist heat and more smoke. Many times we'd toss wood in the lake for several hours for this purpose (and sometimes, ourselves as well when the heat got a bit rough-as pictured above!).
Then, around 4:00 AM to 5:00 AM the next morning, we'd fire the wood. There are many who prefer to stay up all night and into the next day to carry out this process, partying the whole time.
To me, cooking barbecue, while great fun, was always a serious affair as well so I wanted to be alert for the main event. Of course, that did not always preclude having a "Bloody Mary" breakfast on occasion and a few "cool ones" during the long cooking process!
Actually, this whole process is a pleasure experience like no other. It is great to have family and friends arrive throughout as the cooking progresses, offering them "snizzles" and enjoying the assorted side dishes they'd bring with them sharing with the "pit crew" in passing on the way to the main table!
Assuming the pit was fired about 5:00 AM or before, you could easily start cooking by 8:00 with my "hot" method. I would usually have a bed of coals several inches deep by then and a couple of smoldering pieces for added heat on top of this at all times. As this would burn down, I would add
new pieces, one or two at a time alternating with green, or wet, wood along the way.
I normally cooked quartered sections or even small loin cuts. Of course we'd always have a large batch of ribs. My favorite was always the quarter loin cuts and I would usually just cook a quantity of these as the main fare. If we had hams or shoulders these would usually be done, separately, in a smoker overnight.
Now ... here is one of the "DaviSecrets" for cooking via the "hot method" as opposed to slow smoke. When I once asked my Mother to think back about what she could remember as to how they cooked the meat in the old days ...one thing she mentioned stuck very deep. She said that her Father always CONTINUOUSLY basted the meat with SALT-WATER throughout his cooking process.
Now, some folks think that salt will dry out the meat but the salt water baste has just the opposite effect. I don't know the "biology" involved here, but for whatever reason, the pork (especially) will ABSORB this salt water and the meat remains incredibly moist throughout a long cooking over the hottest fire. You can cut into a near blackened skin from a well-cooked piece and the juices will readily flow out of it!
So, the idea is to SAVE THE SAUCE until the very end and use mildly SALTED WATER as a baste during cooking. In my case, I let the water do double-duty by tempering the flames if they got too hot and regulating my heat all the time while keeping the meat moist. I assume this method of "wet cooking" is an early form of mild, "steam pressure cooking" which is driven into the meat by the cool water meeting the searing outer layers.
This "salt water" is actually a very WEAK salt mixture and, though I have never measured it, it would usually involve sprinkling a light layer of salt on the bottom of a pot, filling it with water and stirring. This is then carefully dipped, or basted with a basting "mop", on the meat just after it is turned. The actual procedure would usually go something like this. Turn all the meat ....cover liberally with salt water ...cook for a minute or two, then turn the meat again and continually repeat the process over and over. And, to answer the anticipated question ...
NO, the meat never gets too salty by this method!
But what, then, about the marvelous sauce you ask?
Well, the secret there is ... you can add some to the meat on the LAST few turns just before you take it off if you prefer. BUT... the important thing to remember is ...you do most of the saucing immediately upon taking the meat OFF THE GRILL for the last time and then pour the bulk of the sauce all over the meat AFTER it is in the pan as you cut it up!
Sauce will change texture and taste if it is allowed to heat for too long (which is why we recommend heating your DaviSauce only slightly and CAREFULLY before each serving!) and it is absorbed into the meat more readily if it is added just as the meat comes OFF the pit or grill as opposed to being basted on during cooking!
True Southern Barbecue is cut into small chunks, sometimes even "minced" (shredded and chopped) and served literally swimming in sauce, or at least, thoroughly mixed with sauce.
Other methods ...
You don't have to go to all of this trouble to have great tasting barbecue (though, actually, there is no way to simulate the REAL flavor experience otherwise). But, you can get a SIMILAR experience, as many have learned in recent years, by adding hardwood chips to your charcoal grills.
You can even build miniature wood fires in your grill bed or prepare coals in a fireplace elsewhere and shovel them into your grill. If that is still a bit overboard, then keep some wood chips on hand to soak in water and place liberally amongst your charcoal while you cook. This will do a fair job of simulating the barbecue process to a small degree.
Obviously, you can NOT get the full flavor of meat smoked for hours in just a few minutes but, by using these simpler methods, it can be much better than cooking without any hardwood smoke at all!
We are fortunate to have many Hickory hardwoods on our property and, as a result, I have had a chance to experiment with some interesting options. Often, a "Scaly Bark Hickory" will shed flakes of its bark along the ground and, of course, often leave a generous helping of its fruit, the Hickory Nut, scattered on the ground also. I have used each of these with success in cooking on a charcoal or gas grill. With the nutshells, it does not take but three or four halves, well soaked in water, and dropped into the coals at varying intervals throughout the cooking process, to do the job. Likewise, a couple of pieces of the Hickory bark will go a long way in adding smoke flavor.
If you cook on the charcoal grill you can still use the salt-water basting technique, quite scaled down of course, to keep the meat moist and "steamed" to some degree.
There will be rare occasions, like dreadful weather and no indoor grill facility, where you will want to cook your "barbecue" in the oven. In this case, you really have to rely on your sauce! And, don't be afraid to experiment with "Liquid Smoke" if it is obtainable in your area grocery stores for it is, after all, just condensed, Hickory smoked water.
Here again, I recommend holding the sauce until close to the end of the cook. You don't wait until the VERY end, as you do with pit cooking, but NEAR the end. For example, I recently cooked some pork ribs in the oven at 350' for thirty minutes. Before hand, I used a light sprinkling of garlic powder and a little salt water with a small dash of liquid smoke. Then, after thirty minutes, I removed them from the oven, turned the oven OFF and sauced the meat. Then the pans were placed back in the oven to allow the sauce to absorb the residual heat and they sat there for about ten minutes until served. This worked out fairly well but, then, you may have a better method!
Some prefer loading the meat with sauce prior to cooking and then afterwards as well. You experiment and choose what's best for you!
More ideas ...
No Southern Barbecue would be complete without the traditional side items. These normally include Hash and Rice, Cole Slaw and Sweet Mixed Pickles.
Hash preparation can be an ALL-DAY AFFAIR or take even longer in some cases! It is really not much of a secret to it....you simply get a big piece of meat, chop it up and boil it forever until it falls apart! In the old days, tradition would have the hash made from "spare" meat cuttings placed in a large, iron "wash pot" and heated over an open fire and continually stirred with a wooden hash paddle. Occasionally, the pot stirrer would lean over and cut up the bigger chunks with his pocket knife! Some still cook it in similar fashion during a barbecue!
However, when I cook hash, I just use a large pot on the kitchen stove ... it is a hard enough task as it is without going primitive!
I usually use a pork shoulder and remove as much fat and bone before hand as possible.
Then, the lean pieces are cut into small chunks, well submerged in boiling water. You also need to add at least one good size onion cut into small pieces. Before you're finished, the onion should have cooked into "juice" so as not to be at all noticable!
The pot pretty much goes by itself for several hours while you just keep an occasional eye on it adding water when necessary. As the fat starts to rise, you dip it off and continue cooking until the meat becomes tender. This stage may take several hours, or near half a day or better, depending on the size and quantity, as well as the quality, of your meat.
Then, later, after the meat becomes tender enough to break it with a fork, your work begins. At this point, you will start separating the meat into shreds removing all of the undesirable fat, gristle and bone etc. as you go along. All the while you will be stirring and "working" the meat to get it to become "hash" (very soft...NEAR mushy) quality.
After you are, at long last, satisfied with the texture and it begins to cook down, instead of adding more water, you add your "DaviSauce". Stir this in until the begins to slightly take on golden color of the sauce. From here on, it is just a matter of taste as to how much sauce/water to add. Usually, hash DOES NOT have too much excess sauce flavor since you want the meat flavor to pedominate with just a "hint" of barbecue sauce flavor. You may want to add more black pepper and salt and even a little Garlic powder.
By the way, we always specifiy BLACK pepper for our barbecue as opposed to any other type. This is because, pepper is used for FLAVOR, in large quantity, moreso than for the "bite" or heat it may provide.It is hard to get TOO MUCH black pepper in Southern Barbecue!
Another variation on the Hash for rice idea, is to cook a large piece of pork with a bit less water and add the sauce just after the meat tenderizes. This would be when it has become shredded but before it is cooked so thoroughly as to become hash. In this case you add LOTS of sauce for a thick, chewy mixture. This is known as "minced barbecue" around these parts and it makes a great sandwich when served on Hamburger Buns with a couple of dill chips!
A few final words about DaviSauce ...
We have already mentioned that this sauce should NOT be excessively heated prior to use. It can be used as a table sauce right out of the bottle and best retains its original flavor if not over-heated. Refrigeration is NOT necessary but may help preserve freshness in long-term storage.
The Cholesterol Factor ...
ORIGINALLY ... our sauce contained another traditional ingredient used in Southern Barbecue sauce that we no longer use for three reasons.
The reasons are ... fat, cholesterol and perishability.
The ingredient is ...BUTTER!
In all honesty, for pure taste satisfaction, the sauce benefits from the butter addition! We mention this here, in case you'd like to add it as an extender to your sauce.
To do this, simply melt a quarter pound of butter in a saucepan ... then, immediately turn off the heat and stir in one 16 OZ portion of the "DaviSauce". Mix well and use prompltly. You can store the unused portion for a few days in the refrigerator in a plastic container or serving dish (no metal) but not for long-term once the butter is added.
Well, I didn't mean to write a "novel". I hope you will enjoy trying some of these ideas and, perhaps, using my sauce as well.
Sometimes having included it as a "bonus" to a select few of our "bravest", most trustworthy, regular clients on special occasions ...
I do have some reservations about offering this to just anyone since there are, no doubt, some "wierdos" out there just looking for a chance to "target" folks like us who are simply enjoying sharing a "home-grown" delicacy.
Maybe I'm naive, but I believe, in spite of cautions from some of my friends and family, that those who would like to try my sauce are just nice, sincere, responsible "special" folks! They have to be "special" people ... they are, after all, DaviSound clients!
Secondly, I'm confident in the quality of our sauce and it's durability. There are NO ingredients subject to spoilage and there are NO chemicals or preservatives utilized other than what is in the prepackaged ingredients we purchase for use. It is boiled in preparation and sealed immediately after cooling.
I should also mention that my wife, Annette, is a former multiple award winning caterer who still consults and conducts catering seminars on occasion. She has taught and drilled me well on the rigors of maintaining an impeccably clean, and professionally sanitized, food preparation environment! This sauce is prepared in her kitchen ... need I say more?
Also... PLEASE NOTE the following ...
As of this writing, when shipping my sauce, I use simple packaging methods since, as I have stated, I do NOT intend to produce a large volume of this commercially. At present, your sauce will have been shipped in a sterilized plastic bottle, the cap sealed with plastic wrap and plastic tie-wrap. Should it arrive any other way, DO NOT USE IT without notifying me!
Having said all of this ... I suppose we must, legally, advise you to USE THIS PRODUCT AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION!
I make it and offer it for fun ... YOU are solely responsible for its use!
This means, forget about falsely claiming that you found a finger (or worse!) in a bottle of DaviSauce!
I guess this means I can safely offer it to any DaviSound client with the exception of LAWYERS! ;- ] >
Thank you for reading my unusual "DaviSauce" story.
I have always heard that if you make a product to sell, or to share with others in any fashion ...
you should be proud enough of it to put your name on it.
This is just what we do with DaviSound audio products ...
and it is what I have done with "DaviSauce" as well!
DaviSauce is now offered to any of our DaviSound Clients Only who would like to partake !
If you are a past/present DaviSound customer and would like to try "DaviSauce" ...
just request your FREE bottle to be shipped
at the next available preparation opportunity.
Then, if you would like more of it in the future, just to keep it fair for those who insist on covering our costs ...
you can purchase it, in packages of TWO 16 ounce bottles,
for $24.50 INCLUDING shipping-mainland USA only!
But, keep in mind, this offer is exclusively for DaviSound Clients only!
Just send an email with "DaviSauce" as the subject!
DaviSauce Contents - Vinegar, Mustard, Sugar, Salt, Pepper, Spices.
The special BLEND is my "DaviSecret"!
© 2006 by Hayne Davis
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