I saw this thread concerning Air Fete burgers and the sauce 'brew' used, I can offer advice straight from the horse's mouth so to speak. My Husband used to help run SAC Donalds often during the Air Fete era and I also used to help out and cook, make the sauce etc. I can tell you that yes, various squadrons had their own ' recipes' for the barbecue sauce but for SAC Donalds I remember it was usually made from any brand of American barbecue sauce such as Hunt's in a huge pan, sometimes brown sugar was added but a very important ingredient was beer. Plain old Bud or Coors or other cheap beer was added to thin the sauce down and it would continue thus- add a bottle of sauce as the pan contents grew lower and a tin of beer so it was the right consistency, a little like gravy. But the sauces might vary slightly depending on who was in charge and the available supplies of barbecue sauce and preference of the particular cook, which was always changing! But normally the basics were just barbecue sauce and beer. The sauce would have been made for a few hours prior to any burgers being served as we used to start very early before the crowds were admitted, so making the sauce in advance can help the flavour. The burgers used were the basic hamburgers, plain burger buns and american cheese.
Those were happy days and I miss Air Fete still. I think a huge part of the reason that the burgers tasted so good were because they were a bit different to what the average Brit was used to at that time, plus the atmosphere of Air Fete was always fantastic. I used to come home exhausted and reeking of smoke with red swollen eyes and filthy hair, but it used to be such fun cooking at SAC's. But apart from the beer, the best way to recreate the sauce is to keep the sauce hot with your sauce/ beer mix and make it in advance so the flavours blend and the sauce almost caramelizes around the edges.
At Air Fete, with SAC's anyway there wasn't any particular or special brand of barbecue sauce used, it was normally something like Hunt's. The trick was adding the beer and letting the beer/sauce mix cook slowly and keeping it hot, most barbecue sauces would work.
Editing to add an important point I mentioned on the next page, once the burgers were cooked on the grill, they were added to the sauce before serving, they would sit in the sauce to keep hot then put into a foil tray and taken to the servers as needed. This helped to tenderize the burgers as well as adding flavour.
I hope this helps some of you to recreate a little of the Air Fete food experience!
Last edited by LancLady
on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 10:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.