As part of TODAY's "Show and Tell," Al decided to teach Savannah Guthrie how to cook. Savannah herself will admit that cooking's not exactly her forte.
But Al was the consummate patient instructor. Watch the action and try the recipes yourself!
Al's BBQ chicken recipe:
1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1/3 cup BBQ rub
3 cups BBQ sauce (recipe below)
1. Rinse the chicken under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the rub all over the chicken, working it in with your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before grilling.
2. Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for indirect grilling over medium heat.
3. Put the thighs and legs on the grill, cover, and 10 minutes later, add the chicken breasts and wings, to allow for different grilling times. Grill the chicken, turning once, for about 45 minutes. Pour about 1 cup BBQ sauce into a small bowl and baste the chicken with it, using the barbecue mop, a pastry brush, or a long-handled spoon, while you are grilling.
4. Grill until the juices run clear when the thigh meat is pierced and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 180 degrees F. This will take 1 to 1 1/2 hours total. Discard any remaining BBQ sauce in the bowl.
5. Remove the chicken from the grill and place it on a cutting board. Cover the chicken with a piece of aluminum foil to keep it warm, and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Heat the remaining 2 cups of BBQ sauce and serve on the side.
Al's Not-So-Basic BBQ chicken sauce:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 1/4 cups ketchup
1 cup strong, brewed coffee (don't use flavored roast)
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup dark molasses
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
Freshly ground pepper
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over low heat, with the saucepan partially covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and cool the sauce to room temperature. Taste and add more hot sauce, salt, and pepper, if needed.
4. Use immediately, or cover and store in refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can freeze the sauce in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Al's BBQ Rub:
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons coarse salt, such as kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix together all of the ingredients in an airtight container and store at room temperature. The rub will keep for several months.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie:
1 pastry for a 10-inch double crust pie
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Divide the pie pastry in half, roll out half to a round pie crust about 12 inches in diameter, and place the pie crust in the bottom of a 10-inch pie dish. Refrigerate the other half of the pie pastry until needed.
2. Stir the 1 1/2 cups of sugar, the salt, orange peel, tapioca, and nutmeg together in a bowl until well blended. Gently stir in the rhubarb, strawberries, and orange juice, taking care not to crush the strawberries; pour into the prepared pie crust. Dot the filling with butter pieces. Roll the reserved pie pastry out to about a 12-inch circle and place the top crust over the fruit filling.
3. Fold the edges of the top and bottom crust together to seal the two crusts together. Form a rounded indentation in the edge of the pie crust by placing your left index finger against the outer edge of the crust, and pinching the crust against it with the index finger and thumb of your right hand. Move around the edge of the pie, pinching the crust edge against your left index finger to make a fluted crust. Brush milk over the top crust of the pie and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Cut several vent holes in the top crust.
4. Bake in the preheated oven until the filling is thickened and bubbling and the crust has browned, 40 to 50 minutes. Check after 30 minutes of baking time; if the crust edges are browning too quickly, cover them with strips of aluminum foil. Cool the pie before serving.
Enter TODAY's home chef challenge!
TODAY Food readers share their favorite BBQ recipes