Tag Archives: BBQ rub reviews

Arrrr, matey! I be tryin’ Pirate Jonny’s BBQ Rubs!

I had a chance recently to try out the Caribbean Cowboy Steak Rub from Pirate Jonny’s with quite a bit of success.  Based on how that turned out, I was really excited about trying out 2 more of their rubs — original BBQ rub and Caribbean Barrr-B-Q rub.

As I believe I mentioned before, Pirate Jonny’s is based out of Tampa, FL, and specializes in BBQ and Caribbean spices and seasonings.  Their offerings range from a basic BBQ rub to a Cuban Mojo seasoning.  The Caribbean Barrr-B-Q rub placed 2nd in the 2011 National BBQ Association Awards of Excellence for BBQ rubs.  Today I will be featuring the Caribbean Barrr-B-Q rub as well as the Original BBQ rub.

Naked Observations

When taking a first look at the rubs, they looked very similar to one another in terms of color and composition.  The original BBQ rub was a little bit clumped together due to the amount of brown sugar.  The Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub contained not as much in the way of brown sugar as well as other spices to give it the unique flavor that it has.

Original Rub

Original Rub

Original Rub Close-Up

Original Rub Close-Up

Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub

Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub

Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub Close-Up

Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub Close-Up

The next step, naturally, was to take a taste test.  To completely oversimplify it, the original BBQ rub trends on the sweet side while the Caribbean Barrr-B-Q rub trends on the spicy side.  However, to leave it at that does the spices injustice.  The seasonings have a lot of Caribbean influence, especially in the Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub.

To the MEat of the Matter

I’ve been on a rib kick lately.  I wanted to use this seasoning on some baby back ribs.  However, the sample packs that I had did not really adequately season them like I wanted.  Then a thought occurred to me…  use ‘em both together!!  I slathered the ribs using Famous Dave’s Original BBQ sauce and then applied the majority of the original BBQ rub.  After refrigerating overnight, I then applied the Caribbean Barrr-B-Q rub to the ribs just before putting them in the cooker.

Seasoned Ribs, Ready to Go!

Seasoned Ribs, Ready to Go!

I went with a 2-1-1 cooking method for these ribs where I cooked the ribs uncovered for 2 hours at between 225 and 250 degrees.  Then I foiled the ribs and added some brown sugar and honey and cooked for an hour.  In the final hour of cooking, I unfoiled the ribs and added a glaze of BBQ sauce from Draper’s BBQ.  During this last hour, I also glazed the ribs with 30 minutes remaining.

Finished Product

Finished Product

The ribs had a beautiful dark red color to them, and they had an excellent flavor!  The seasonings did not overpower the meat but worked cohesively with the ribs.  Even my wife, who does not normally eat meat with bones in it, devoured her share of ribs.

The aftermath

The aftermath

Would I recommend these rubs?  Oh yeah!  If I had to pick a favorite, I would probably pick the Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub.  To me, that rub has an excellent balance of sweet, salty, and spicy to make it an excellent seasoning to use on your BBQ.

Pirate Jonny’s can be found on the web at http://www.piratejonnys.com, where they also have an online shopping cart.  You can also find Pirate Jonny’s on Facebook.  If you become a fan of  Pirate Jonny’s, tell ‘em Big Wayner sent you!

Review: Pirate Jonny’s Caribbean Cowboy Steak Rub

I was contacted by Terri Toner of Pirate Jonny’s LLC asking if I would like to review some of their rubs.  By now you know that I’m always game to try out new things.  Today’s article goes into detail about Pirate Jonny’s Caribbean Cowboy Steak Rub.

Pirate Jonny's Caribbean Cowboy Steak Rub

Pirate Jonny's Caribbean Cowboy Steak Rub

Pirate Jonny’s is based out of Tampa, FL and specializes in rubs that are low-sodium, MSG free, and gluten free.  Their Caribbean Barr-B-Q rub won 2nd place in the 2011 National BBQ Association Awards in Excellence.  They offer several different products ranging from an original BBQ rub to a key lime chili seasoning.

Naked Observations

Some of the key ingredients in this rub include brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, sea salt, and coffee.  The rub is a browish-red color, as you can see below.  The aroma of the rub leans strongly towards coffee and chili powder, as does the taste.  The rub is not an overly salty rub.

Caribbean Cowboy Steak Rub

Caribbean Cowboy Steak Rub

Rub closeup

Rub closeup

To the Meat of the Matter

Steak.  Wonderful, glorious, juicy steak.  That is the meat du jour for this rub.  It advertises itself as a steak rub, why not try it out on a steak?  And when you mention steak, it’s sure hard to beat a ribeye.

Ribeye

Ribeye

I preheated the grill for indirect cooking to 450 degrees, seasoned the steak liberally with the rub, and cooked the steak on indirect heat for about 15 minutes.  After that 15 minutes, I turned the heat to high and seared the steak for about 5 minutes.  Below is the final result.

The finished product

The finished product

I’m going to preface this statement by saying I’m generally a terrible steak cook.  However…  this had to be the best tasting steak I’ve ever cooked.  The tenderness of the steak was absolutely perfect, and I probably could have used a butter knife to cut the steak.  The flavor of the steak was spot on.  The chili powder and paprika gave the steak a good color, and the coffee in the rub was the star.  Absolutely tasty!

If the rest of the products offered by Pirate Jonny’s is as good as the Caribbean Cowboy Steak Rub, then they have a bright future ahead.

The website for Pirate Jonny’s is http://piratejonnys.com, and they have an online store where you can purchase their products.  Pirate Jonny’s can also be found on Facebook here.

Makin’ Some Grub with C-Dub’s BBQ Rub

It’s really amazing how the BBQ world has really embraced Twitter.  Who would’ve ever thought that we could talk so much, establish close ties, and build friendships in 140 characters or less?  That continually amazes me!

Not too long ago, I met some of my Twitter friends in real-life when Charles & Allegra Wilson of C-Dub’s BBQ Rub came to the Carolinas for a visit.  I previously wrote about this meeting.  They were kind enough to give me some of their rub, and I’ve had a chance to use it over the last few days.

A little bit about C-Dub’s… C-Dub’s is based in Washington state, which is better known for its coffee than its BBQ.  It is a family and veteran-run business.  Charles uses his North Carolina roots to produce and market a line of quality rubs at reasonable prices.

The first rub I decided to try is the original All Natural BBQ rub.  It is composed of garlic, pepper, sugar, salt and other spices.  Below are my naked observations…

Naked Observations

In order to better show the rub’s color, I decided to sprinkle some onto a paper towel.  Naturally, I took a picture:

C-Dub's BBQ Rub Close-Up

C-Dub's BBQ Rub Close-Up

At an initial glance, the rub has a very good color that is typical of most BBQ rubs.  However, a close-up shot reveals just how many spices are in play here with the rub.  I took a small taste and found that I tasted garlic more than I did salt (which is a pleasant change).  I also tasted a hint of something smoky within the rub.  It wasn’t an overpowering flavor, but very complementary in terms of the other flavor profiles present in the rub.

C-Dub’s suggests to cook your food low and slow when using their rub.  However, since I was preparing this meal after work, I would have to make use of the gas grill and cook some pork chops.  I lightly coated the chops with vegetable oil and then gave them a generous helping of the rub.  The rub gave the chops a nice beautiful red color.

Pork chops seasoned up

Pork chops seasoned up

After cooking for 20-25 minutes, the chops came off the grill.  I was able to get some pretty decent looking grill marks on the pork chops.

Finished pork chops

Finished pork chops

I could taste the flavors of the rub as I bit into the pork chop.  The flavor profiles present in the rub balanced quite nicely with the flavor of the pork.  I made a note to definitely use this again in the future.  Turns out the future was much sooner than expected…

When I purchased the pork chops, I also purchased some boneless skinless chicken breasts (because my wife won’t eat meat with bones in it…  don’t bother, I’ve already tried).  I finally got around to cooking the chicken breasts (again, on the gas grill…  I’m on a lazy streak).  Since there were four pieces of chicken to cook, I decide to do half of them using C-Dub’s Original BBQ Rub and the other half using C-Dub’s VooDoo Rub.

Naked Observations

The consistency of the VooDoo Rub was very similar to that of the Original BBQ Rub.  A quick taste test confirmed very similar flavor profiles, with the exception of the heat factor.  It had a very nice heat — it was not overbearing but it definitely let you know that it was there.

C-Dubs VooDoo Rub Close-up

C-Dubs VooDoo Rub Close-up

As I mentioned before, I grilled four pieces of chicken.  I used C-Dub’s Original BBQ Rub on half of them, with the rest getting rubbed with C-Dub’s VooDoo Rub.  The package of VooDoo Rub was a “One Nighter” (intended for one meal), but luckily there was enough left over for a “nooner” another day!  :P

Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Seasoned Chicken Breasts -- Original on the left, VooDoo on the right

After spending 20 minutes on the grill, I sauced the chicken breasts.  The pieces that had the Original BBQ Rub were sauced with Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce, while the ones with the VooDoo Rub got a basting with the Spicy BBQ Sauce from Uncle Kenny’s BBQ (read my previous review of Uncle Kenny’s Spicy BBQ Sauce here).

Chicken's Done!

Chicken's Done! Spicy on the left, regular on the right.

The flavor of the chicken was great!  My choice for the night was the spicy chicken.  And it was definitely spicy.  The heat from the rub and the sauce kept me wanting more….  (water, that is).

For anyone who is interested in ordering some of C-Dub’s rubs, you can do so on their website at http://www.cdubsrub.com.  They also have a presence on Facebook and Twitter if you would like to follow them there.

Willie’s Hog Dust and Pork Butt: A Beautiful Pair

With the beautiful weather that arrived here in the Carolinas last week, how could I not say no to firing up the smoker?  There was a pork butt in the freezer calling my name.  This was the perfect opportunity to try out Willie’s Hog Dust.  Willie was gracious enough to send me bottles of his original, spicy, and sweet blend rubs.  I decided to go with the original blend this time around.

Willie's Hog Dust -- Original Blend

Willie's Hog Dust -- Original Blend

Willie’s Hog Dust is made using no MSG, gluten, or preservatives.  Only all-natural ingredients are used, and the rubs are low in sodium (for all of you health-conscious people).  The rubs are all-purpose and can be used on pork, chicken, beef… even popcorn!

Naked Observations

A Dusting of Hog Dust

A Dusting of Hog Dust

It’s hard to see in this picture (mainly because I had only a yellow plate to use), but the rub had a nice orange color to it.  The rub also had a nice mixture of dark and light bits in there from the other various spices used.  I took a small sample, and it had a very nice flavor to it.  Willie’s Hog Dust definitely fits the “low sodium” billing without sacrificing flavor.

As I mentioned earlier, pork butt was the “meat du jour”.  I took the piece of meat (which was a little over 5 1/2 lb), slathered it with canola oil, and liberally applied the dust to it.  It gave the butt the nice golden color I was looking for.

Pork butt, meet hog dust...

Pork butt, meet hog dust...

And off to the smoker it goes!  I cooked it using Kingsford competition briquettes and oak wood, keeping the temperature between 250 and 275 degrees.

Butt in the smoker

Butt in the smoker

With the temperature between 250 and 275 degrees, the butt was done in about 8 hours.  And wow, was it beautiful!

Finished butt

Finished butt

Pulled butt

Pulled butt

The pork looked beautiful, and it tasted even better!  The pork pulled with no problems at all, and there was a perfect balance of smoke, pork, and rub flavor!  I tried to get a picture of the bark, but I’m afraid it was a bit fuzzy.  I’ll post it anyway.  Willie’s Hog Dust gave my pork butt a beautiful bark that was nice and crispy and flavorful!

Pork butt bark, courtesy of Willie's Hog Dust

Pork butt bark, courtesy of Willie's Hog Dust

I would highly purchasing Willie’s Hog Dust.  If it works on other meat as well as it does on pork, it’s absolute magic!!  Willie’s Hog Dust is available for purchase at http://www.williesrubbins.com/.

Review: Klondike Pete’s Sweet BBQ Rub

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a BBQ Brethren Trade.  I was lucky enough to receive two bottles of sauce and two bottles of rub.  Tonight, my wife asked me to grill some chicken, so I decided to use one of the rubs I received.

Klondike Pete's Sweet BBQ Rub

Klondike Pete's Sweet BBQ Rub

Made in Wisconsin, this rub prides itself on being a sweet BBQ rub.  The ingredients listed include brown sugar, mustard, and celery salt (among others).  As I picked up the bottle the first thing that I noticed was that this rub was really clumpy.  Bad.  As in, one solid clump.  One solid clump that remained a clump no matter how much I knocked the bottle against the counter.  I had to completely open the bottle and remove the top part that the rub shakes through.  Only then could I break off a piece of the clump into a glass bowl to use on the chicken.

The rub

The rub

As I do with all rubs, I take a few naked samples.  The flavor profiles were inconsistent between the samplings.  Some were really sweet (almost pure brown sugar) while others had hardly any sweetness at all.  The clumping was probably the primary culprit.

As a result of the clumping, it was difficult to get it rubbed in sufficiently on to the chicken breasts I laid out to grill.  I was finally able to get some of the rub applied to the chicken and onto the grill for approximately 20 minutes.  I sauced one of the chicken breasts (my wife’s) with original Big Butz BBQ Sauce, and I left mine unsauced.

I’m not sure if it was the way that I had applied the rub to the chicken or what, but in my opinion the rub just did not impart a lot of flavor at all. That is a shame, because there is definitely a market for a good sweet BBQ rub.  Guess I’ll have to come up with my own…

Review: C-Dub’s Hot Wing Rub

On Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to receive a test sample of hot wing rub from Allegra Klett-Wilson of C-Dub’s BBQ Rub (@CDubsBBQRub on Twitter).  Today, I finally had an opportunity to give this rub a test drive.  I was told that this is a spicy rub, and I was certainly not disappointed.

As with all new rubs that I try, I gave this one a naked taste as soon as I brought it in from the mailbox.  WOW!  I immediately get hit by the heat in this rub.  So on an errand this morning, I pick up a small pack of chicken wing drumettes for this test drive.  The drumettes soak in a beer and water brine mixture for about an hour, after which they get a thin layer of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of the hot wing rub.

Wings with C-Dub's Hot Wing Rub

Wings with C-Dub's Hot Wing Rub

I decided to throw these wings on the grill using Kingsford Competition Charcoal Briquettes and cherry wood chips, and on went the wings.

Firing up the Grill

Firing up the Grill

Wings on the Grill

Wings on the Grill

Closeup of the Wings

Closeup of the Wings on the Grill

While the wings were cooking, I had another decision that needed to be made.  I still had some rub left over, and I needed to figure out what to do with it.  And then the answer hit me: HOT WING SAUCE!  So I concocted a quick hot wing sauce using butter, a mild homemade pepper sauce, the remaining hot wing rub, and just a little bit of sour cream.

C-Dub's BBQ Rub

Leftover rub

Sauce in Progress

Hot Wing Sauce in progress

After about 25 minutes on the grill, the wings came off and got saucy.

The final product

Wings after saucing

As I took my first bite, I noticed that the rub did not overpower the chicken at all but complemented it really well.  As I took another bite, I wondered if the rub had a different effect when applied to food as opposed to a “naked taste”.  By bite #5, I found the heat.  It was a slow building heat that swelled to a dramatic crescendo in my mouth and on my lips.  It was a sweet, sweet burn!   Out of the 9 wings, I finished 5 of them.  I bagged the remaining 4 wings along with some leftover wing sauce and put in the refrigerator for another time (which turned out to be about 2 1/2 hours later).

Those of you who like heat levels more on the mild side may find this a bit intimidating.  But if you are a fan of spicy foods, then this rub will work wonders on your poultry.  I do not know when C-Dub’s will bring this product to market, but let’s hope it is very very soon!

Website for C-Dub’s BBQ Rub: http://www.cdubsrub.com