I believe that life is made of up serendipitous moments. One such moment was the meeting of Kevin Smith of Smitty’s Beard Sauce. Smitty is that guy that you like from the moment you meet him. He’s hardworking and thoughtful and has quite literally turned hardships into triumphs. I caught up with him to talk about how he’s turned a lifetime of difficulty into one of the most amazing barbecue sauces I’ve ever tasted. It’s his sauce that makes up my favorite grilled chicken.
Smitty grew up in southeast Missouri in an extremely poor home. With no father figure to speak of, sometimes it was a challenge to just keep the lights on, let alone have food in the refrigerator. But a childhood of poverty and hardship has not hardened this amazing man. Instead, it’s made him a great father and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.
He’s done a lot in his 39 years. From custom woodworking to working in a factory, from selling cars to joining the military. His background is as diverse as the audience that loves his sauces. After being deployed and injured in the military, Smitty returned home and needed something to keep his mind focused, which was no small task for someone with a traumatic brain injury. He has a love of the outdoors and his passion for fishing and hunting kept him going when times were tough. One day he found and joined the local beer brewing community in Clarksville, TN. It wasn’t long before the local cookouts that were supposed to be showcasing small batch brew, were showcasing Smitty’s Beard Sauce.
Fast forward four years now and Smitty’s Beard Sauce is taking the outdoor market by storm and for good reason. He didn’t create this world class barbecue sauce to pursue fame and fortune, but to give back. Each year he gives generously to the Honey Badger Classic in support of the Green Beret Foundation and is a proud supporter of Veterans for Child Rescue, which raises awareness about the epidemic of child sex trafficking, rescues victims, and puts predators behind bars.
Smitty’s Beard Sauce comes in four flavors, one just as amazing as the next – Sweet n Spicy, Scotch Bonnet (my personal favorite), Ghost Pepper and Scorcher. At $5.99 a bottle, you’ll be buying them by the case, just like I do.
Shop here: SmittysBeardSauce.com
Tell Smitty Jen sent you.
1 Whole Chicken
Salt and Pepper
Smitty’s Beard Sauce of Your Choice
Set up your grill for indirect grilling by pouring the lit coals in two even piles on each side of the grill and install the cooking grate.
Close the lid and set the vent holes at three-quarters of the way open. You are looking for a temperature of about 375 degrees.
While the grill is heating remove the gizzard pouch from inside the chicken.
Cut down both sides of the backbone to remove it with kitchen shears.
Place the chicken breast side up on a board and press firmly to flatten the chicken. Using a large chef’s knife cut through the breast bone so the chicken is halved.
Lightly salt and pepper.
When the grill is up to temperature, place both chicken halves in the middle of the grill over the area where there are no coals.
Grill the chicken for 30 minutes. Leaving the grill lid closed this entire time will ensure a crunchy skin and nice golden color. After 30 minutes check the temperature of the chicken by insterting an instant read meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. It should read about 160 degrees.
Baste the chicken with your favorite Smitty’s Beard Sauce and return the lid. Let cook for 10 more minutes. Check the internal temperature again. When it reaches 165 degrees, the chicken is done.
Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest while you prepare the plates.
Serve the chicken with some extra Smitty’s Beard Sauce on the side. We paired our chicken with grilled corn, baked beans, and our zucchini fettuccine summer salad (recipe below). Add your favorite beverage and good friends, and enjoy.
Zucchini Fettuccine Summer Salad
3 Medium Zucchinis
1 Vine Ripe Tomato
1 Lemon, juiced
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
1 Tbs of Stone-Ground Mustard
1 Tsp Anchovy Paste
¼ Cup Olive Oil
¼ Cup Feta Cheese
¼ Cup Crushed Pecans
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchinis into thin noodle like strips.
Core the tomato and dice.
Prepare the dressing in a large salad bowl by whisking the crushed garlic, stone-ground mustard, lemon juice, and anchovy paste until combined.
Continue to whisk while slowly drizzling in the olive oil.
Add the zucchini, tomato, feta cheese, and pecans to the dressing. Toss to coat with the dressing and serve immediately.