Tag Archives: BBQ sauce reviews

Holy Barbecue Chicken, Batman!!

I had chicken thighs.  I had BBQ sauce.  Lots of BBQ sauce.  And I have a Weber kettle.  Let’s cook some chicken!!

Bok bok bok!

Bok bok bok!

As you can see above, I took a value pack of chicken thighs and trimmed them up just a little bit.  I then seasoned the thighs both under the skin and on the skin with Draper’s BBQ A.P. Rub.

Seasoned Thighs

Seasoned Thighs

On to the grill they go!!  They were cooked skin-side down for about 5-10 minutes, then they were flipped and sauced.  Because this was a test cook for me, I ended up using several sauces.

Sam Dog Yellow Dog & Johnny Harris Carolina Style

Sam Dog Yellow Dog & Johnny Harris Carolina Style

Texas Tamale Co. Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce and Famous Dave's Devil's Spit

Texas Tamale Co. Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce and Famous Dave's Devil's Spit

Instead of my normal breakdown of individual sauces, I decided to do a foursome for this week in one post.  I’ll keep it short and simple for summarizing each sauce.

Johnny Harris Carolina Style Bar-B-Cue Sauce

Johnny Harris Carolina Style Bar-B-Cue Sauce

First up is Johnny Harris Carolina Style Bar-B-Cue Sauce from Savannah, GA.  As you can see from the picture above, the sauce has a yellowish gold color to it. A naked taste reminded me of a pale spicy mustard.  It didn’t really wow me.  It did just okay on chicken.  Again, nothing overly amazing.  But if you like a safe mustard based sauce, you may like this.

Texas Tamale Co. Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Texas Tamale Co. Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Next up is Texas Tamale Company Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce.  This sauce had a nice dark red color.  The flavors in the sauce emphasize savory more than sweet.  This could be a very versatile sauce, and I could really see this as an ingredient in someone’s prize-winning chili recipe!  Works great as a condiment too.

Famous Dave's Devil's Spit BBQ Sauce

Famous Dave's Devil's Spit BBQ Sauce

The next sauce is Famous Dave’s Devil’s Spit BBQ Sauce.  Just by looking at the label, you can venture a guess that this sauce has some heat to it.  And it certainly does not disappoint!  The sauce has flavors of molasses and pepper on the front end, and the heat comes up on the back end.  It’s potent, so if you’re averse to sauces with heat, you’ll want to avoid this one.  And when it’s cooked, the heat is even sneakier.

Sam Dog Yellow Dog BBQ Sauce

Sam Dog Yellow Dog BBQ Sauce

The final sauce is one that I have previously reviewed but decided to have again.  This sauce is Sam Dog Yellow Dog Barbecue Sauce.  This sauce won 1st place at the 2011 National Barbecue Association Awards of Excellence, and it’s very obvious why!  This sauce is a perfect blend of sweet, mustard, buttery, and rich flavors.  You would almost never guess that this was a mustard-based sauce.

Since this is my first time reviewing sauces using this format, I’d love to hear your feedback.  Do you like this style?  Or do you like seeing your sauces reviewed one at a time?  Let me know!

Review: Country Chef Honey Grilling Sauce

I’m a firm believer in Mike Espey’s line of Country Chef Grilling Sauces.  They stand out from other sauces because they really emphasize freshness in their flavor profiles.  I’ve done a couple of reviews on this line of sauces which you can view here and here.  Today let’s check out the Country Chef Honey Grilling Sauce.

NAKED OBSERVATIONS

The sauce pours out very thick, and you immediately notice the different spices and ingredients.  This holds true to how Mike constructs his sauces, emphasizing the freshness of the ingredients.  The color is consistent with a homemade tomato sauce, which works in the context that he is presenting the sauce.

I took a taste, and this sauce holds true with the other sauces in this line that I’ve tried so far.  This is a very non-traditional sauce in terms of consistency and taste, but it is very pleasant.  Again, it tastes very FRESH!  I could taste a very faint touch of honey, but it does not overpower everything else going on in the sauce.

TO THE MEAT OF THE MATTER

Yep… it’s that blasted chicken again.  This is the third and final sauce I used in the big test cook I performed over the weekend.  I trimmed up six chicken thighs and seasoned them with chicken rub from Bandiola Spice Co.  After grilling the thighs for 10 minutes skin-side down, I flipped them and sauced them.  The thighs using the Country Chef Honey Grilling Sauce are the two to the left of the mustard.

After about 20 additional minutes on the grill, I pulled them off the Weber kettle and plated.  While they were resting, I decided to grab a quick picture.

When I took a bite of the chicken, my taste buds started dancing in my mouth and jumping for joy.  The sauce really enhanced the flavors that were already present in the chicken.  The honey was more prevalent after cooking on the chicken than when tasting alone.  All in all, an excellent sauce!

You can find Country Chef Grilling sauce on Facebook.  I’m not sure if there is a website yet for this line of sauce, but you can connect with Mike on the Facebook page.  As far as I can tell, you can purchase six jars of sauce for $35.94 shipped to anywhere in the US.  This comes out to be $3.50 per jar plus shipping, which is a great deal!

Review: Doomer’s Hot & Spicy “Q” Sauce

Not too long ago, I did a review on Doomer’s Original “Q” Sauce.  When Todd sent me this sauce to review, he also sent his other two sauces — Dark and Hot & Spicy.  Today you’ll see what I think about his Hot & Spicy Sauce.

Naked Observations

Like the original Q sauce, Doomer’s Hot & Spicy “Q” sauce pours out not quite as thick as a typical Kansas City style sauce.  However, it’s a bit thicker than a pure vinegar-based sauce.  It has a nice dark red color.  You can also see specks of pepper and other spices in the sauce.

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Swatch

When I tasted the sauce, I again got the contrasting flavors of sweet and tangy working together.  The black pepper was definitely present and on the forefront.  However, unlike the original sauce, there was some noticeable back heat.  It was not terribly overpowering, but I definitely knew it was there.

To the Meat of the Matter

I actually tried this sauce in a couple of different manners.  The first was about a week or so ago.  I picked up a BBQ pork sandwich and some mac & cheese from Rock Store BBQ and brought it home.  I used Doomer’s Hot & Spicy Q Sauce on there.  In this picture, you get a better feel of the consistency and thickness of the sauce.

The sauce worked nicely on the sandwich.  It blended down into the meat, thus allowing some of the flavor to be distributed more.  The heat was noticeable but not overly prevalent.  Again, I definitely tasted pepper.

The second time to use this sauce was on some chicken thighs as part of a cook to try out multiple sauces.  I took some chicken thighs, trimmed them up some, and seasoned them with chicken rub from Bandiola Spice Co.

The thighs are then put on the Weber kettle grill skin-side down for 10 minutes (using Kingsford charcoal and wine-infused oak from Greenleaf BBQ).  Afterwards, I flipped the thighs and sauced them.  The thighs sauced with Doomer’s Hot & Spicy Q sauce are the two that are to the left of the ones sauced with the mustard-based sauce.

After about 20 more minutes on the grill, I pull them off the grill and plate them.  And I have to admit… I really, REALLY liked the look of the thighs with the Doomer’s Hot & Spicy Q Sauce.

I was very pleased with how these thighs turned out.  They had a great color.  The meat was very moist and tasty.  There was a little bit of heat, but nothing overly overpowering.  All in all, a nice flavor.

If you are interested in finding out more about Doomer’s Hot & Spicy “Q” Sauce or about any of the other sauces, you can go to http://www.doomersonline.com.  You can also find Doomer’s on Facebook and Twitter.

KLB’s “That’s Good Mustard” BBQ Sauce

A couple of months ago I won a bottle of KLB’s “That’s Good Mustard” BBQ Sauce in a Twitter giveaway.  I finally had the chance to do a big product test cook this past weekend, so let’s take a look at this mustard sauce from South Carolina!

KLB's "That's Good Mustard" BBQ Sauce

KLB's "That's Good Mustard" BBQ Sauce

The BBQ sauce is the creation of Kevin Bobo.  As a lot of you may know, a good portion of South Carolina is known for their mustard-based BBQ sauce, and Kevin’s creation embodies that style.  The sauce claims to work on virtually any meat — chicken, pork, beef, venison, even mahi mahi!

Naked Observations

The sauce comes in a 17 oz. bottle, so you definitely get your money’s worth from the bottle.  It is a golden color, leaning more towards yellow that some other mustard-based BBQ sauces I have used.  It pours out nice and thick, and you can easily see the various herbs and spices that are used throughout the sauce.

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Swatch

When I took a taste of the sauce, there was no doubt whatsoever that this was a mustard-based sauce.  This sauce is really bold by itself.  The mustard is predominant, but it isn’t completely mustard.  The other spices help mellow out the sauce and take a little bit of the “zip” out of the sauce.

To the Meat of the Matter

Chicken.  Lots of chicken.  With my wife being out of town for the evening, I decided to do a product review test cook.  Overall, I ended up using 6 chicken thighs and used 3 different sauces on the meat.  The thighs were trimmed and seasoned with chicken seasoning from Bandiola Spice Co.

Chicken Thighs seasoned with Bandiola Spice Chicken Rub

Chicken Thighs seasoned with Bandiola Spice Chicken Rub

The thighs went on the 18 1/2″ Weber kettle grill where I grilled them for 10 minutes skin-side down.  Then I turned them and applied the sauce.  As you can see in the picture below, I reviewed three different sauces.  You can probably guess which ones had the mustard-based sauce.

Thighs on the grill

Thighs on the grill

Twenty minutes later, I pulled the thighs off of the grill and let them sit for between 5 and 10 minutes.  You can see below how the color of the sauce darkened some, and it looked quite nice on the meat.

Yummy thighs

Yummy thighs

I took a bite, and it was simply amazing!  The mustard flavor blended perfectly into the chicken.  No one particular spice overpowered another, and everything worked in perfect harmony.  This sauce is the real deal!

The “That’s Good Mustard” BBQ Sauce can be ordered for $4.99 plus shipping from the company’s website (KLBFoods) at http://www.klbinc.ws/KLBs_BBQ_Sauce.  If you are in the Charleston area, you can find this sauce at a few local retailers.

Doomer’s Q Sauce — Doing it Maryland Style

When Todd “Doomer” Dooms offered to let me review his sauce, Doomer’s Q Sauce, I decided to do a little research.  The reoccurring theme I kept seeing over and over and over again was “Maryland style”.  What exactly is Maryland style?  Let’s find out, shall we…

Doomer's Q Sauce -- Original

Doomer's Q Sauce -- Original

Todd developed his original sauce in 2005, and it was an instant hit among family and friends.  When one of his friends asked to fill up a squeeze bottle with his sauce, that’s when he knew he had a marketable product on his hands.  Soon after, he added a Hot and Spicy flavor as well as a Dark flavor to his line of sauces.

The quality that Dooms talks about the most in his sauces is their versatility.  He admits to making his sauces thinner than a normal sauce so that it can be used as an injection, cooking sauce, dipping sauce, and much more.

Okay, enough talking… let’s eat!

Naked Observations

As I poured out the sauce, I definitely noticed that it was a bit thinner than a traditional Kansas City style sauce yet not as thin as a vinegar-based sauce.  It has a very nice dark red color to it, and in the photo below you can see there are plenty of spices evenly distributed throughout the sauce.

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Swatch

So I decided to take a test.  At this point I find out exactly what he means by “Maryland style”.  It’s balance.  There is a definite trio of sweet, tangy, and peppery at work here in this sauce.  None of the predominant flavor profiles completely overwhelms the others, but I definitely noticed the peppery flavors the most.  This is not a bad thing, in my opinion.

To the Meat of the Matter

I decided to put this sauce to test in two scenarios — as a finishing sauce and as a condiment.  The first test — burgers.  Nice, juicy burgers.

Mmmmm burger...

Mmmmm burger...

Burger Porn

Burger Porn

Grilled up some burgers using 80/20 ground beef.  In the last five minutes, I sauced the burgers very liberally with Doomer’s Q Sauce.

Saucy Burger Porn

Saucy Burger Porn

The sauce gave the burgers a nice reddish tint to the meat.  Upon a taste test, I found that the sauce did not apply a lot of sweetness to the burger, but blended in quite nicely.  Juicy and savory, I decided to eat two of them that night.  Sorry, no photographic evidence.  But I promise I did!

The second test — the condiment test.  I had some leftover pulled pork in the freezer, and I decided (and by me, I mean my wife) to make some pulled pork sandwiches.

Pulled Pork with Doomer's Q Sauce

Pulled Pork with Doomer's Q Sauce

As you can see, the sauce is thin enough to somewhat penetrate the meat, but thick enough to still remain on top.  The tangy and sweet worked well with the pork, but it was the peppery flavor profiles that stood out to me the most.  Very nice!!

If this is Maryland style BBQ at a glance, I can definitely become a fan!

You can find Doomer’s Q Sauce online at http://www.doomersonline.com.  You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Dimples BBQ Sauce Makes Me Smile!

After reading a review done by my good friend and colleague Wilfred Reinke (aka the Oshawa Ogre) on this sauce, I knew I had to give it a shot for a couple of reasons.  First off, Dimples BBQ Sauce is a North Carolina product, and I’m always game for trying local products.  Second, if it gets a great review from the Oshawa Ogre, then I’m more eager to try it!

A few weeks ago, Dimples BBQ Sauce ran a contest on Facebook giving away a bottle of sauce.  While I did not win the contest, Rich from Dimples was gracious enough to send me a bottle to review.  I finally got a chance to try it out tonight.

Dimples BBQ Sauce

Dimples BBQ Sauce

A little bit on Dimples — the sauce is the brain child of Rich Campana of Raleigh, NC.  Like all good sauces, Dimples got its start from hearing people say over and over that they should sell the sauce.

Naked Observations

The sauce has a nice, smooth texture.  There’s not much in the way of spices or pepper flakes visibly present in the sauce.  Thickness is good… not too thin, but not so thick that it’s hard to pour out of the bottle.

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Swatch

So like I do with all sauces, I take a taste.  WOW!  This sauce has a great flavor!  It’s a great sweet and smoky sauce.  Not a lot of heat on this sauce.  All in all, my taste buds were jumping for joy, and I was looking forward to how it’d work on some meat.

To the Meat of the Matter

My wife pulled out some leftover pulled pork out of the freezer from a cook I did a couple of weekends ago.  So it was time for some pulled pork sandwiches!

Sandwich with Dimples BBQ Sauce

Sandwich with Dimples BBQ Sauce

Close-up of Saucy Goodness

Close-up of Saucy Goodness

The sauce blended very very well with the pork!  The flavors complemented the pork in a beautiful blend of BBQ harmony.  I could use this sauce with just about everything — especially a nice rack of ribs!!

This is a sauce that I wholeheartedly recommend with no reservations whatsoever!  Rich, if you’re reading this… I can’t wait for you to get your product into the Charlotte market!

Dimples BBQ Sauce can be found online at http://www.dimplesbbqsauce.com.  You can also find them on Facebook.

Review: Williamson Bros. Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce

A few months back I did a review of Williamson Bros. Original BBQ Sauce.  Today I decided to try out it’s spicier sibling, Williamson Bros. Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce.

Williamson Bros. Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Williamson Bros. Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce

As I’ve previously mentioned, Williamson Bros. BBQ got its start about 20 years ago.  They are based out of Georgia with restaurant locations in Marietta, Canton, and Douglasville.  They have a wide variety of sauces and spices available for sale on their online store.  The star for today, though, is the Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce.

Naked Observations

Like the original BBQ sauce, the thickness of the sauce is a bit thinner than a typical Kansas City style sauce.  However, it is thicker than an Eastern Carolina style vinegar-based sauce.  The color of the sauce is a nice dark red color and just a bit darker than the original sauce.  Like the original, you can see the pepper flakes and spices throughout the sauce.

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Swatch

The sauce gives an aroma of sweet tomatoes and a hint of spiciness.  When I took a naked taste, I got the same tomato sweetness that the original sauce had.  However, I also got a hint of smokiness and a nice bit of back heat from the chipotle peppers being used.

To the Meat of the Matter

I actually decided to try this sauce on a couple of different things.  This past weekend I cooked a pork butt, so I decided to make a pulled pork wrap using this sauce for lunch.

Pulled Pork Wrap with Williamson Bros. Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Pulled Pork Wrap with Williamson Bros. Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce

I found that this sauce paired really well with pulled pork.  The spiciness of the sauce complemented the smokiness that was prevalent in the pork.  The tomato flavor tied everything together quite nicely.

For dinner, I had some leftover chicken cooked by my wife.  I took that chicken, chopped it up, and made a sandwich.

Chicken sandwich

Chicken sandwich

Close-up!

Close-up!

The sauce added nicely to the flavor of the chicken.  All in all, I was very pleased with this sauce.  In fact, I prefer the Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce to the Original BBQ Sauce.

Williamson Bros. BBQ can be found online at http://www.williamsonbros.com where you can find their sauces and spices available for purchase.

HotSauceWeekly — BBQ Sauce Roundtable

Just wanted to share something really cool with you.  A few weeks ago, I was asked by Brian of HotSauceWeekly.com if I would be interested in taking part in a BBQ Sauce Roundtable.  Honestly, I was really surprised and flattered!  I’ve been actively blogging since the beginning of this year, and having someone ask me to be part of a podcast was just really freakin’ cool!

So last night, I took part in recording the BBQ Sauce Roundtable for HotSauceWeekly.com.  Also taking part in the podcast were Brian and Marilyn Meagher of HotSauceWeekly, Larry Gaian of The BBQ Grail, Cyndi Allison of Barbecue Master and Yes You Can Grill, and Brian Henderson of BBQ Sauce Reviews.  The roundtable discussion is now live and can be checked out at http://hotsauceweekly.com/hsw-045-bbq-sauce-roundtable/.

Also, just a friendly reminder that the Birthday Blowout is still in full swing.  You can enter daily, so enter away!

Review: Country Chef Mustard Grilling Sauce

As you may recall, I recently reviewed two of the six sauces in the Country Chef Grilling Sauce line.  Today’s review is the third sauce in the Country Chef Grilling Sauce line — mustard.

Country Chef Mustard Grilling Sauce

Country Chef Mustard Grilling Sauce

To refresh you, Country Chef Grilling Sauces are the brainchild of Mike Espey.  They are heart-healthy sauces with no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or colors, or MSG.

Naked Observations

Looking at the packaging, the jar gives me that home-made impression.  The initial scent reinforces the freshness portrayed in the packaging.  The sauce pours out thick, and the texture is uneven with the fresh ingredients that are used.  It is a golden color.

Sauce Swatch -- Country Chef Mustard Grilling Sauce

Sauce Swatch -- Country Chef Mustard Grilling Sauce

When taking a taste, the theme for this sauce is very similar to the other 2 sauces I’ve tried — an emphasis in fresh ingredients.  There was a flavor of mustard on the back end, but it was more of a sweet honey mustard flavor rather than a traditional mustard.

To the Meat of the Matter

For this test run, I decided to use the sauce as a condiment on a pulled pork sandwich.  The pulled pork was courtesy of a company BBQ.

Mustard grilling sauce on a pulled pork sandwich

Mustard grilling sauce on a pulled pork sandwich

Like the other Country Chef Grilling Sauces I’ve reviewed, the mustard sauce does not add an extraordinary amount of flavor.  However, it brings out the other flavors that are present in the pork while making it all seem just a bit more fresh!  The mustard flavor was just barely noticeable, but not in a bad way.

I could not find a website for Country Chef Grilling Sauce, but they do have a presence on Facebook.

Review: Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce

Normally I would try to put in some kind of catchy, witty opening that would eventually segue into talking about the product that I’m reviewing.  However, today’s product really doesn’t need any kind of fancy lead-in.  So without any further delay, let’s take a look at Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce!

Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce

Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce

Butcher BBQ is the brainchild of David Bouska.  Based in Chandler, OK, Butcher BBQ began in 1982 as Bouska was learning the ins and outs of beef, pork, and poultry while working at a meat market.  In 2006, Bouska hit the local competition circuit with very good results and decided to take his products on the market.  To this day, Butcher BBQ is one of the more successful teams on the competition circuit.  Butcher BBQ has an extensive line of injections, rubs, and sausage spices.  But to the best of my knowledge, this is Bouska’s only entry into the sauce market.  So let’s check it out!

Naked Observations

At first glimpse, the sauce appears to be a classic KC style thick and sweet sauce.  It has a nice dark red color.  However, when pouring it out, the rate at which it pours out of the bottle indicates that there is another ingredient that slightly thins out the sauce.  I looked at the ingredient label, and sure enough distilled vinegar and apple cider vinegar are listed as two of the ingredients.

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Close-Up

Sauce Close-Up

When taking a sample taste, I find that there many different levels of sweetness.  With some sauces, there is just one predominant level of sweet (usually from high fructose corn syrup).  With this sauce, there seem to be multiple dimensions of sweetness that balance out well with a slight tang.  There is not much heat (if any) in this sauce.

To the Meat of the Matter

Plain and simple, ribs.  Spare ribs trimmed down to St. Louis style cut, to be exact.  I used the sauce as my finishing glaze on ribs that I cooked as part of a company BBQ.  If you’re interested in reading exactly how I cooked them, you can find a full write-up here.  Needless to say, the ribs ended up with a beautiful color, and I only had five rib bones left over out of nine racks of ribs.  I’d say it was a success!

Ribs finished with Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce

Ribs finished with Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce

Pile of Ribs.  Apologies for the fuzzy picture.

Pile of Ribs. Apologies for the fuzzy picture.

I would definitely recommend this sauce to anyone.  It has an excellent flavor that will work great on most meats.

Butcher BBQ’s website is http://www.butcherbbq.com.  From there, you can order any of their products online.  You can also find Butcher BBQ on Facebook.