On Saturday evening, on the coldest night so far in the fall of 2011, I and my old friend Dan, lit a fire. I know that for most of my friends and neighbors, the grilling season is long over, but I’m funny that way. The grilling and barbecue season never ends for me. It’s not defined by weather, I contemplated cooking in the snow storm last week, it’s defined by desire. Saturday, for the first time in a long while, I had that desire.
A little while ago, I was sent two bottles of Professor Becker’s BBQ Sauce to try out. I’ve never heard of Professor Becker, nor his legendary chicken barbecues, but the arrival of this sauce became an excuse for a party.
Old friends, a roaring fire and a new barbecue sauce to try out. Who could ask for a better way to spend the evening?
According to the press release..
Walter G. Becker was a devoted and adored professor in the Poultry Science Department of Farmingdale State College for more than four decades. But perhaps his greater claim to fame was when he traded in his professorial garb for a pair of overalls and an apron, and left his chalk at the blackboard and picked up his spatula, basting brush and tongs as the head chef at Farmingdale’s legendary annual campus barbecues.
Now, Prof. Becker’s sauce is available to the masses in 11 oz. bottles. Each bottle sells for approximately $3.79 each. Proceeds from the sale of each bottle will go to establish a scholarship fund in Prof. Becker’s name and other Farmingdale Alumni Association programs.
So, on this cold evening, in a location about a 10 minute drive from the Farmingdale campus, we glazed our grilled chicken and steaks with Prof. Becker’s hot and mild sauces. The meat was then served to 10 folks aged from 49 to 7. The verdict? It was a hit. Both sauces are tangy, crisp and tomato-ey. The mild sauce is a bit sweet for my tastes, but I was the only one complaining. The hot sauce was too hot for some palettes, but I enjoyed. This sauce worked better with the chicken, than it did with the beef, but would probably be ideal for pork.
But, this sauce was developed for chicken…
Prof. Becker had been around chickens since his childhood – he raised them to sell their eggs – it was natural that not only did he teach poultry science and start a poultry club on campus, but that he would be enlisted to create an annual campus-wide barbecue at Homecoming with chicken, made on grills built by the college’s industrial arts students and faculty, as the main course. And with an entire campus to please, Prof. Becker set out to create the best barbecue sauce he could for this chicken. He tested dozens of recipes, until he struck the formula for which he became known, related Walter, Jr., who by age 11 was his father’s helper.
“One of my jobs was to take the hot chickens off the spits and put them in giant buckets until we were ready to cut them up,” he recalled. “My father always said that one of the secrets to his great barbecue chickens was letting them sit in the bucket with their juices running on top of each other for about 20 minutes before cutting them up.”
Now, that’s an interesting technique!
Professor Becker’s BBQ sauce is only available on line at www.farmingdale.edu/alumni. Pick some up today. All proceeds go to support SUNY Farmingdale.