Around the holiday season, nothing beats hot, fresh out of the oven homemade chex mix. It is a slightly sweet and salty mixture of crunchy, nutty goodness that hits all the high points of snack greatness. Portable? Check. You can fill up a bag and nosh on this delight just about anywhere. Craveable? Check. Just try putting it down once you start, I dare you. Good with beer? Checkmate. This snack begs for an icy cold trip to the refrigerator.
In a happy coincidence, my wife makes an awesome chex mix. On a long Sunday drive home from another weekend away, I ate a little store bought mix and made an off-handed suggestion that it would be nice to have the real deal when we got home. To my delight, she agreed! We hit the next Wal-Mart and picked up the ingredients so she could mix up a batch of the good stuff later that afternoon.
When we got home, I did my usual thing and sparked up a drum for a little weekend competition practice. I knocked out a couple of decent racks of ribs while watching another heartbreaking Chiefs defeat. At halftime, I came back inside to grab a fresh bag of chex mix that I was sure would be waiting. To my dismay, all of the ingredients were still on the counter in unopened boxes. Apparently, taking care of our children took precedent over my snacking bliss. If I wanted hot mix that day, it was on me to make it.
I am an eater of the chex mix recipe, not a holder of the chex mix recipe, so I had to figure one out in a hurry. I had a drum hot out back, so I figured why not? I put my deflector plate in the drum and dialed it down to 275 while I got things ready.
In a large bowl I stirred together some of the usual suspects. Use anything you like. Pretzels, while absent here, are also delightful.
- 3 cups corn chex
- 3 cups whole wheat chex
- 2 cups Cheez Its
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
Having just finished making a few competition style ribs, I had my BBQ stuff out and ready and that’s when it hit me. Why not make a chex mix in the style of competition BBQ? I am pretty sure that Guns Hot and Blues Hog make anything better so I decided that I was going to prove it. In a sauce pan I mixed up some competition favorites:
- 1/2 cup of Parkay blue bottle squeeze margarine (real butter works too, but what is more “competition” than squeeze margarine?)
- 1/2 cup of Blues Hog BBQ Sauce
- 1/4 cup of Tiger Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons of Smokin’ Guns Hot BBQ Rub
I melted it all down and dumped it into my big bowl stirring well to get it all coated. I scraped it all out into a large foil pan, gave it another dusting of Guns Hot and set it on the top rack of my drum to start cooking.
The total cook time was about 1 hour give or take. I opened the lid to give it stir every 15-20 minutes. you want everything to be dry and toasty, but not burnt. If it starts to brown up too much, you are done. The end result was the exact right mix of heat, sweet and salt that defines a proper mix. It turned out so well, that it looks like I will be the chex mix maker in my household from now on. The next time you have a drum hot, give it a go and let me know what you think!