AU JUS (Leftovers)

Discussion in 'Sauces, Rubs & Marinades' started by bearcarver, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This may sound dumb, and I'm sure it's useless for those who have a lot of smoked meat eaters in their house, but I think it'll work good for me.

    Mrs Bear isn't big on smoked meat to begin with, and she also isn't much for leftovers, so whatever I smoke gets both of us eating it the first day, usually some given to our Son & his wife, and I eat leftovers for a couple days.

    Any meat that's left after that gets vacuum packed and frozen. 

    However, I never knew how to save the Au Jus I made with my smoke, so when I froze the meat, I tossed the juice!

    This stuff is way too good to toss!!!!

    Anyway here is what I just did this past week:

    When I smoked my CSRs (3-2-1 style), on the second step, I added the following simple mixture to the foil pan, with the meat raised up on a wire rack inside the pan.

    Then I covered the pan of CSRs, and put them in the smoker for the 2 hour step #2.

    Ken's Teriyaki Marinade--------------------4 ounces

    Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce-------------2 ounces

    Apple Juice------------------------------------8 ounces

    After the two hours in foil, I removed the CSRs, and continued that smoke.

    Then I took the mixture above, along with the meat juices that accumulated in the pan, left it cool awhile, and put it in the fridge, in a covered Tupperware container.

    The next day, I removed the hardened fat that rose to the top, And used that Au Jus on my Smoked Meat.  This mix was Awesome!

    I'll use this mix for my Briskets, Chuckies, and just about any meat that I can put in a roll, and call it a sammy.

    This time, when I froze the leftovers, I did the following:

    I got out an Ice Cube Tray, and after stirring my leftover Au Jus, I poured it evenly across the ice cube tray.

    Then I put the tray in my freezer over night.

    Then I cut around each cube, and popped the cubes out.

    They wouldn't pop out the normal way, because they didn't get completely hard, like regular ice (I guess because of the salt content).

    They were more of the consistency of a frozen Fudgesicle.

    Then I put them all in a Ziplock bag, and put them back in the freezer.

    I figure I'll be using about one or two cubes per sammy, when I get around to slamming those leftovers!

    Like I said, this might look like a dumb idea for some, but it works great for me.

    BTW: I'm only planning to save this frozen Au Jus for a few weeks to a couple months. If I was going to save it longer, I would vacuum pack it first.


    This is a different smoke, but it's the best picture I have to show the cheap wire rack inside a throwaway pan:


    Poured juice from container to ice cube tray:


    Frozen Au Jus in tray:


    Frozen Au Jus cubes:


    Bagged & frozen:

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Shear genius and a great idea worth putting in the "to-do" file.
  3. biaviian

    biaviian Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I do this with a lot of sauces as well as juices and pancake syrup (for when I just need a little but of flavor). My Grandmother taught me this trick. She used to can all sorts of fruit juices and would always freeze some to use as ice cubes. Then she branched out to using the trays for stocks and sauces when she wanted a bit more flavor than just water.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  4. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now I have to buy some ice cube trays!

    I have heard people doing the same thing with left over tomato paste and herbs.
  5. bakerboy7

    bakerboy7 Smoke Blower

    That's a great idea!  We typically have more juice leftover from a roast or a smoke than meat so, I freeze it in a large chunk and it usually finds its way into a pot of soup. 

  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't accidentally throw one  of those into  a drink. You'll be in for a big surprise.

    On second thought. Mmmmmmm Au Jus Martini. haha
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks gang, hope it helps some of you.

    Ross---Gotta be better than the old "Fly in the ice cube" trick!  [​IMG]

  8. porked

    porked Smoking Fanatic

    Great idea Bear! I betcha one of those would be good in a Bloody Mary, huh?
  9. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you use bigger tupperware like containers and make blocks that are appox. 3"x3"x3" or whatever size you got, they make great flavor for soup bases.

    Another great thing to do in the summer is take fresh herbs and olive oil and toss them in the food proccessor (or blender) you want it to be just a little runny so you can pour it into ice cube trays. After theay are frozen vacuum pack them and then when you want that "fresh" herb taste just toss a cube into your food!
  10. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    We do it with lemon juice. We have a Meyer's lemon tree & it has way too much fruit to use at once, so we squeeze them all & make ice cubes. We have about 5 large ziplock freezer bags full in the freezer. Any time you need fresh lemon juice it's ready.
  11. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great Idea John...
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good ones Johnny,

    I have froze lemon juice, and stuff like that, and even bigger amounts of soup type stuff.

    My main point with this one was to be able to save a fair amount of tasty Au Jus in the freezer, yet be able to take a little out at a time without removing it all from the freezer.

    I can now thaw out enough frozen pulled beef or pork for 4 or 5 sammies ( two nights worth of Supper for me), and get this pack of cubes out, and take as many cubes as I need for that amount of meat. Then put the rest back in the freezer for the next time.

  13. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's a great idea Bear!

    It's funny, I freeze stock, and other stuff, but it never occurred to me to freeze the jus.
  14. porked

    porked Smoking Fanatic

    Outstanding ideas gentlemen, all of them. This is why I like it here.
  15. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I take the au jus and add some Johnnies Au Jus when I am ready to use the cubes. I also leave the cubes in for another day so they set up better.

    When I am ready to use them I add some of the Johnnies and simmer for a few minutes and it will blow your mind how much depth it adds
  16. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Actually, I like your step two juice, so to speak.  That's for next time.  This time, I'm using 6 oz Apple Juice cut with 4 oz Yoshida's Gourmet in a spray bottle for a spritz on some chicken thighs.  It's a pleasant blend we like.  BUT, your's looks good too.

    Must be nice to have enough room in a freezer to contemplate freezing au jus and the like.  But with the two of us, I know your problem, fortunately SWMBO loves BBQ and anything else I cook. 

  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Dave,

    Just letting you know the BBQ sauce part doesn't have to be "Sweet Baby Ray's". It could be JD BBQ sauce or any other good BBQ sauce. The amounts of each I use seem to be right, because it tastes just right---not too strong, and it's thick enough, yet not too thick.

    Yeah, my smoking problems would be less if Mrs Bear was more into smoked meat, but she put up with me for 42 years so far, so I guess I'll keep her.

    The woman is a saint!

  18. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Great idea Great idea !!!!!!
  19. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic

    I do this also, if I have leftover Au Jus.

    Also 3 or 4 cubes in baked beans gives them that something extra

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