Monthly Archives: February 2011

Review: Sam Dog BBQ Yellow Dog Sauce

Yesterday, one of my co-workers needed my advice on BBQ places for lunch.  She told me that one of our clients would be buying lunch for the office today, and that lunch would be BBQ.  Immediately my mind starts thinking “Hey… this will be a perfect opportunity to try out some of my stash!”  After much thought, I picked the bottle of Yellow Dog Sauce made by Sam Dog BBQ.

Sam Dog BBQ Yellow Dog Sauce

Sam Dog BBQ Yellow Dog Sauce

Sam Dog BBQ is a small family-owned BBQ sauce and rub business based out of Alabama.  The Yellow Dog sauce is a mustard-based sauce influenced by BBQ flavors from the Carolinas, Kentucky, and Alabama.  It has a nice golden color that portrays its mustard roots.  As I do with all sauces, I took a naked taste.  Sure enough, I definitely taste the mustard base in the sauce.  However, the tangy flavor of the mustard is not overpowering at all and really adds a nice flavor to the sauce.

My next step?  Slather it on some pulled pork for lunch!

My lunch today

My lunch today, courtesy of Mac's Speed Shop

In one word: yum!  When applied to the pulled pork, the sauce added tremendous flavor.  The mustard flavors complemented the meat very well, and it was just overall tasty!  It was a consensus among co-workers that this was indeed good stuff.

While basking in the afterglow experienced after eating a hell of a lot of food, I had a brilliant idea: try the Yellow Dog on some chicken!  Eureka!  So after work tonight, I grilled some boneless skinless chicken breasts seasoned with Plowboys Bovine Bold.  In the last 10 minutes of grilling, on goes the Yellow Dog.

Grilled Chicken after the Yellow Dog touch

Grilled Chicken after the Yellow Dog touch

The sauce gave the chicken breasts a nice dark golden color, and the taste provided was fabulous!

Tonight's Dinner

Tonight's Dinner -- Grilled Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, and Stuffed Mushrooms

I normally do not use a lot of mustard-based sauces in my cooking, but this one was well worth it!  It lives up to its billing as excellent to use as a glaze or dipping sauce.  Do I recommend this sauce?  Absolutely!

The website for Sam Dog BBQ can be found at  You can also find Sam Dog BBQ on Twitter.

Best of — Week of February 13-20

I hope this list will give you at least a few minutes of entertainment value.

  • Sex on the Beach with a Chicken?  Say no more!
  • Mad scientist and BBQ Saucier Tom Porter tells us how, with a wave of his hand, he turned tacos into jalapeño poppers.
  • Larry Gaian of The BBQ Grail gives us a sneak peek into the BBQ Backyard, a new social network geared specifically towards the BBQ community.
  • Next year for Valentine’s Day, do something a little different for your special someone than the usual stuff.  For instance, Danielle Dimovski of DivaQ tells us about herValentine’s Meat Cake.  *drool*

Finally, here’s a good laugh…

Intellectual Humor for Wordsmiths

I got this in an email.  I thought it was funny, so I thought I would share…

The  Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any  word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one  letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the  winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject  financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with..

4. Reintarnation :  Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone ( n.): The  substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from  penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.):  The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are  good for you.

13. Glibido : All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re  eating.

The Washington  Post has also published the winning submissions to its  yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for  common words.

And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has  gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a  nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n.  Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14 . Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

15 . Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

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…

“Best Of” — Sweetheart Edition

Hope your weekend has gone well!  Here are items that made my list of “stuff to read from last week”:

  • Wilfred Reinke tells us about his experience at Southern Soul Barbecue (and makes quite a few of us jealous in the process).
  • The owners of Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby, NC, extended an invitation to the Obamas for some BBQ.  If the place is as good as advertised, the Obamas should take them up on the invitation.
  • The Cookstons list out the Top 10 Reasons to Cook Competitively.  Can’t argue with any of their reasons.
  • Don’t forget to vote for my buddy Lionel in the Kingsford University contest.  Info can be found here.
  • And finally…  guys, watch the video below for tips on what you can do for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.

Review: Goodies from the House of Jerky

Some time back, I entered an online contest giving away products from House of Jerky.  Perhaps I was a little zealous, but hey, why not?  It’s a giveaway of a product that I truly enjoy.  A few days after entering, Janie Honeycutt (the Director of Sales and Marketing for House of Jerky), contacted me via Twitter and graciously offered to send me some samples.

Two days ago, I receive a package from House of Jerky.  I open it up to find not 1… not 2… but 6 different kinds of jerky!  I was like a kid at Christmas!  The package contained the following samples:

  • Natural Beef Jerky
  • Hot Beef Jerky
  • Black Pepper Beef Jerky
  • Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky
  • Teriyaki Beef Jerky
  • Wild Boar Jerky

All of the products from House of Jerky are all natural with no extra additives or preservatives.  I was in too big of a rush to get to the tasting and did not take any photos.  Any photos that you see in this post come from the website for House of Jerky.  I’ll give brief thoughts on each jerky.

Black Pepper Beef Jerky

Black Pepper Beef Jerky

The black pepper beef jerky felt nice and solid when I opened it.  I really enjoyed tasting the meat, and the black pepper complemented the jerky nicely, adding a nice kick.  Very solid offering.

Hot Beef Jerky

Hot Beef Jerky

The hot beef jerky is, well…  HOT!  A few seconds after taking a bite, the heat came in.  It’s not totally overwhelming, but I would not recommend this if your taste buds like to stay on the cooler side.  Me, on the other hand…  I loved it!  This flavor is a definite repeat in my book.

Natural Beef Jerky

Natural Beef Jerky

I liked the flavor of the Natural Beef Jerky.  There wasn’t a lot of overwhelming spices, and that really lent focus to the taste of the beef.  However, I found it to be a bit tough for my liking.

Black Pepper Wild Boar Jerky

Black Pepper Wild Boar Jerky

Along with the hot pepper jerky, this one was my favorite!  It was not tough at all.  The flavors of the jerky were excellent, and the black pepper added that nice spiciness to it!  I would definitely eat this again.

Teriyaki Beef Jerky

Teriyaki Beef Jerky

This one was similar to the Natural Beef Jerky.  I liked the flavors of the meat.  The teriyaki flavoring was not overpowering at all.  However, it was a bit tougher than I prefer.

Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky

Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky

The Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky was a solid offering.  It would be spicy enough for those people who prefer milder foods.  To me, it was a nice blend of sweet and heat.

Overall, I would highly recommend any of the offerings from the House of Jerky.  They offer a nice selection of jerky snacks that don’t include all the extra crap in other jerky products sold in major retail outlets.  House of Jerky has 12 store locations throughout Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, and Tennessee.  You can also order through their website:

Review: Shane’s Rib Shack — Charlotte, NC

For lunch yesterday, I got a craving for BBQ.  I did not really feel like fighting the crowds at Mac’s Speed Shop today, no matter how good the ‘cue is.  After doing some research, I found Shane’s Rib Shack, which is fairly close to my office.

Shane’s Rib Shack is a chain BBQ restaurant, with restaurants in 14 states, primarily in the southeastern United States.  There are 2 Charlotte-area locations: near Northlake Mall and the University area.  I went to the one in the University area.  When I arrive, I find that it’s located in a “shopping center”.

Shane's Rib Shack signage

Shane's Rib Shack signage. Dark picture... well, you get the idea.

It just so happens that the lunch special was their smothered pork sandwich with a side, so that is what I ordered.  For my side, I chose Brunswick stew.  I place my order and grab a seat.  The first thing I notice is that they have multiple sauces available.  Naturally, I had to give them a shot.

The sauces (L-R): Original, Spicy, Hot

The sauces (L-R): Original, Spicy, Hot

All of the sauces were primarily tomato-based.  The original sauce (on the far left in the photo) had a bold but not overpowering flavor.  I could taste hints of mustard and chili powder in the sauce.  The hot sauce (far right in the photo) had essentially the same flavor profiles as the original, but it also had some back heat.  My favorite out of the three was the spicy sauce (middle in the photo).  It contained the bold flavors of the original sauce and the back heat of the hot sauce while adding a level of complexity through what tasted like ground peppercorns.  The sauces were not all that complicated and overwhelming, but they were solid.  And sometimes solid is just what the doctor ordered.

Less than five minutes after ordering (and literally right after finishing the sauce tasting), my meal comes out.  The first thing I notice is the size of the sandwich — it’s significantly larger than I expected.  This is a plus!  I was expecting a sandwich on a normal-sized bun.  Instead, the bun was extra large (about 25% larger than a normal sandwich bun) and piled high with plenty of pork (along with some slaw).

Smothered Pork Sandwich

Smothered Pork Sandwich

The pork on the sandwich was pulled, with the pieces varying in size.  There was a nice mixture of pork and “outside brown”.  There was not a lot of smoke flavor in the meat, which was not a surprise.  However, the pork was very moist, and I could actually taste the meat.  I went ahead and added the spicy sauce to the sandwich and ate away.  All in all, a solid sandwich.

After finishing off the sandwich, I moved to the Brunswick stew.  At first glance, this did not resemble anything stew-ish at all.  There were ample amounts of the pulled pork along with the other requisite ingredients that constitute Brunswick stew.

Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew (crappy picture)

All in all, I found that the taste of this was solid too.  If it was not for the portion size of the sandwich, I probably would say that the portion of the stew was a bit on the small side.

Overall, I would say that Shane’s Rib Shack (at least this particular location) is a safe choice when it comes to BBQ.  For most people who may not be as picky about their BBQ, they will absolutely love it.

You can also find them on Facebook.

Help a Friend Get Enrolled at Kingsford University

I normally don’t do something like this…  but here goes anyway.

In the course of your busy day, please take a few minutes and vote for my friend Lionel B. from Edenton, NC, to be enrolled in Kingsford University.  Kingsford is running a contest on Facebook where grilling and BBQ enthusiasts have an opportunity to learn from world champion pitmaster Chris Lilly.  The top three vote-getters will be flown out to Las Vegas, Nevada.

I will say this upfront that this contest is in the form of a Facebook application.  Before you start chanting the evils of Facebook apps, I will state that this app does not steal any data at all.  It is simply used to facilitate the contest.  Once the contest ends (February 14th), you can remove the app.

Currently Lionel is sitting in 4th place.  By just getting you and five of your closest friends to vote, we can easily get Lionel in the top 3!  The URL to the contest is

“Best Of” for this week

Here are some articles/links I highly recommend checking out:

  • My good friends at C-Dubs BBQ Rub just got their new toy.  Check out their first adventures with their smoker here and here.
  • Yazoo’s Delta Q gives the skinny on the fattie here.
  • BBQ and grilling expert Cyndi Allison explains in this post why the Obamas should travel a little further in either direction past Charlotte on I-85 for good BBQ when the Democratic National Convention comes to Charlotte in 2012.
  • Don’t forget about the free giveaway of some awesome BBQ Gear by Southern Soul BBQ being brought to you by Kevin’s BBQ Joints.  Details on the giveaway can be found here.
  • And, oh yeah… there’s a football game on Sunday night.

Sauce, Rub, and Gear Giveaway by Southern Soul BBQ

My good friend Kevin from Kevin’s BBQ Joints has partnered up with Southern Soul BBQ to give away a whole bunch of sweet stuff!  Southern Soul BBQ has been featured on Season 2 of BBQ Pitmasters as well as Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  The total prize package is worth $115 and includes 3 bottles of BBQ sauce, 2 jars of BBQ rub, and other awesome gear!

Details on the contest as well as how to enter can be found here.  Enter soon though, because the contest ends on February 11th.  Let Kevin know that Wayne from Big Wayner’s BBQ Blog sent you!