Appalacian Moonshine and Black Cherry Cue BBQ sauce review

Fresh sweet and tart black cherries blended beautifully with smoked tomatoes, caramelized onions, toasted black peppercorns, brown sugar and just a hint of barrel aged vinegar, this sweet and sassy bbq sauce goes on everything from chargrilled salmon, shrimp, pork or chicken.

rcsw-moonshine-feature-700

Race City Sauce Works Appalacian Moonshine and Black Cherry Cue BBQ Sauce

Chad Lowcock of Race City Sauce Works makes some of the most inventive and delicious pepper sauces, mustards, and condiments on the market today. We are looking at his Appalacian Moonshine & Black Cherry Cue BBQ Sauce.

Wow. The name of this BBQ sauce is indeed a mouthful, but we persevered with (had fun with) some brined and grilled chicken breast halves, brushing the sauce on the chicken as it cooked on the grill.

After a simple brining process (inspired by our friend and BBQ Guru Chris Grove on NibbleMeThis.com) for the chicken breast halves, we grilled them over some hot coals in the Weber Kettle grill, and started brushing on the Appalacian Moonshine BBQ sauce near the end of cooking.

rcsw-cue-chicken-beans

The sauce has a great “cling” factor, and stayed put as we brushed it onto the chicken. During the last 10 or 15 minutes of grilling the chicken, we painted on 3 or 4 layers of the sauce – building up a nice, thick, dark sweet BBQ coating.

rcsw-cue-chicken

The taste of the sauce on the chicken holds true to the initial straight-up taste test. The sweet black cherry comes through with a nice supporting back end of a traditional tomato based BBQ sauce. Slightly sweet and savory and very unique. And consider for a moment, Chad came up with “smoked tomato paste”! Who thinks of this?

rcsw-cue-closeup

Texture & Appearance: Very dark mahogany color and medium thick in consistency, there is a lot going on, visually, in this sauce. Bits of onion, garlic and other spices are abundant.

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Taste Straight Up: Appalacian Moonshine Black Cherry Que is very sweet at first, with a pungent aroma of smoke and vinegar. A big zesty flavor of spices and onion and garlic are tempered by the exotic and sour tasting tamarind along with the tangy black cherries. Rounding out the flavors are the classic brown sugar and honey combo. Deliciously flavorful, with some zing from the bing! (Oops… wrong cherry).

rcsw-moonshine-label

Label/Graphics: I do have an issue with the dark label and airbrush artwork of the abandoned car/truck that one might find near a still in the backwoods or hills of North Carolina. I get the reference to moonshiners, but I think it could have a brighter overall look. Something with more “pop” in appearance. Perhaps an archival photo of an actual moonshine still with a few proud Agents standing near their conquest? By the way, a quick Google search turned up news items of over 50 stills being destroyed just in early 2013 alone. It’s a good thing Race City is only making hot sauces and condiments!

Heat Level: N/A. Only slightly spicy. Very mild.

Final Thoughts: Slathered onto the chicken as it cooked on the grill, this sauce set up nicely and yielded a great coating. The sugar caramelized nicely and made for not only good looking chicken, but great tasting chicken too. The sweet slightly tangy cherries really made a difference.

As good as it was on the grilled chicken, I can imagine this on some bacon wrapped meatballs (MOINK balls) too. Yes, that’s on my to-do list now.

Ingredients: water, smoked tomato paste, sugar, molasses, distilled vinegar, black cherries, brown sugar, honey, natural mesquite smoke flavor, spices, caramelized onion, garlic, tamarind, natural flavor, corn liquor, salt.

Our Ratings

Heat: N/A – Slightly spicy from some cracked black pepper that we believe to be in the spices. There’s a nice peppery edge to the sauce.

Flavor: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – Sweet, tangy, thick, and full of flavor.

Overall: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – For overall quality of flavor, ingredients, and finish, Race City Sauce Works Appalacian Moonshine and Black Cherry ‘Cue BBQ Sauce ranks very high with us for taste and unique flavor profile.

About Race City Sauce Works

Race City Sauce Works has the worlds most creative and out of the box thinking when it comes to pepper sauces and mustards with just the right amount of heat to serve every taste. Their sauces and condiments are known the world over as being truly one of a kind.

Where to buy: Available in 16 ounce pint jars for $6.99 at: http://racecitysauceworks.com

Social Media: Follow Race City Sauce Works on Twitter and on Facebook.

The Shed BBQ Sauce – Spicy Mustard & Spicy Vinegar

We pulled out some of our smoky pulled pork that we cooked on our Weber Kettle recently, from the freezer to give these two sauces a taste test. One, a vinegar BBQ sauce, the other a spicy mustard BBQ sauce – what could be more perfect on pulled pork? Or, what could go wrong?

The Shed BBQ Sauces Lineup

The Shed Spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce and The Shed Spicy Vinegar BBQ Sauce

We’re starting with two of the lineup of 7 sauces from The Shed Barbeque and Blues Joint – might as well jump right into the spicy versions, right? The Shed Spicy Mustard is their take on a sweet, mustardy sauce found in the deep South, while the Spicy Vinegar is The Shed’s kicked up version of an Eastern Carolina “red sauce”.

The Shed Spicy Mustard and Spicy Vinegar BBQ Sauce Bottles

The Shed Spicy Mustard and Spicy Vinegar BBQ Sauces

We had high hopes for both of these sauces, but straight up out of the bottle, one was our favorite. Then things changed.

Samples of The Shed Mustard and Vinegar sauces

Samples of The Shed Mustard and Vinegar sauces

The Shed Spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce

Brian: I’m a sucker for a good mustard based BBQ sauce. I fell in love with Reverend Marvin’s at first, and then The Country Chef’s Grilling Sauce (the latter may not be in business any longer). So I was excited to try The Shed’s Spicy Mustard!

Marilyn: While I’m not the big fan of mustard anything, like Brian is, I was not going to turn down a chance to see what The Shed thinks is a good mustard BBQ sauce.

Ingredients: water, mustard (distilled vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika, spice, garlic powder), tomato paste, brown sugar, molasses, vinegar, salt, dehydrated onion, spices, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce (red peppers, vinegar, salt), natural smoke flavor, citric acid, turmeric, jalapeño pepper, spice extractives, carrot powder. 13.5 ounces

Taste Straight Up

The Shed Spicy Mustard Sauce

Brian: Tasting straight up out of the bottle, this was good! It reminded me of the sauce in a really good baked bean recipe – one that you cook for hours over coals. Spicy and mustardy, the heat comes from the added hot sauce and jalapeños. Very unique for a mustard BBQ sauce.

Marilyn: I first tasted pepper, mustard, then the vinegar. The heat was on the “hot” side but with a very smooth “burn”. The sweetness was there, but not overly sweet. Very savory too – think mustard, worcestershire sauce and onion.

Appearance and Texture

The Shed Spicy Mustard up close

Brian: This mustard BBQ sauce is very dark in color – not your typical yellow mustard look. It has a nice, medium-thick consistency – not too gloppy, not too thin.

Marilyn: It does have a dark rust color like a rusted tin roof (The Shed?). It doesn’t run, it’s fairly thick.

The Shed Spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce sample2

This sauce has a great texture and body.

Final Thoughts

The Shed Spicy Mustard BBQ on Pulled Pork

The Shed Spicy Mustard BBQ on Pulled Pork

Brian: We heated up the The Shed Spicy Mustard BBQ sauce gently, then poured it on the pulled pork and built a couple of beautiful sandwiches. Did the sauce taste as good on the sandwich as out of the bottle? I don’t think so. Something was lost in the heating process, and it turned out to taste more like mustard and less like a BBQ sauce.

Marilyn: Yea, I agree something got lost in translation. We should try it without the coleslaw, that may have added an extra tang that emphasized the mustard flavor over the BBQ flavor. This sauce might be better suited for pork tenderloin.

The Shed Spicy Vinegar BBQ Sauce

Brian: I’m not a big fan of the simple Eastern Carolina style red sauces – which are basically cider vinegar and red pepper flakes, but I could see The Shed Spicy Vinegar was a slightly thicker kicked up version of that plain concoction. This is going to be good.

Marilyn: I was happy to see a tomato / brown sugar base in this version of a Carolina sauce. Like Brian, I don’t care for the simple vinegar pepper flakes combo either.

Ingredients: cider vinegar, water, brown sugar, tomato paste, molasses, vinegar, salt, spices, garlic powder, hot sauce (red peppers, vinegar, salt), onion powder, natural smoke flavor, mustard, jalapeño pepper, citric acid, turmeric, spice extractives, carrot powder. 14 ounces

The Shed Spicy Vinegar BBQ Sauce sample

Taste Straight Up

Brian: Sweet, tomatoey, with a hint of traditional BBQ sauce. Just as I suspected, it’s a nod to the traditional Carolina vinegar sauces, but with body and flavor. Reminds me of Blues BBQ Carolina Pepper Sauce.

Marilyn: First up, I get a little pucker from the cider vinegar. It’s a little bit sweet and I love the tomato taste – a really nice addition! It reminded me of Bone Suckin’ Sauce.

Appearance and Texture

The Shed Spicy Vinegar BBQ Sauce closeup 2

Brian: Very dark in color and of a medium-light thickness. You can see the seasonings in it.

Marilyn: This sauce tends to “separate” a little – think puddles. Light in body, not too thin. Can’t wait to try this on the pulled pork.

The Shed Spicy Vinegar BBQ Sauce clean sample

Not too thin with great tomato body and flavor.

Final Thoughts

The Shed Spicy Vinegar BBQ on pulled pork

The Shed Spicy Vinegar BBQ Sauce on pulled pork

Brian: Again, we poured this sauce onto our pulled pork sandwiches, this time topping with a few thin rings of fresh onion. The onions and rolls were also a good canvas to serve this sauce on.

Marilyn: The smokiness of the pork comes through, and the sauce really shined as a supporting player. Not overpowering at all. What a great balance of tradition – pulled pork, with a vinegar/tomato/spicy thin sauce. A great surprise and a great sauce.

The Wrap-up

We both agreed that the The Shed Spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce was the winner of the straight up taste test. Savory, mustard, spicy… a winner straight out of the bottle.

But after heating up the sauces, the Spicy Mustard just became, well, a mustard slather. Our favorite of the two sauces was The Shed Spicy Vinegar BBQ Sauce – by a long shot.

We’re not giving up on the Spicy Mustard just yet… we have wings and pork to cook it on.

The Shed Spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce Rated 2 out of 5 Stars – We’ll give this 2 Stars because we think it has potential. You backyard grillers may want to kick this up a bit with your own rubs or sauces.

The Shed Spicy Vinegar BBQ Sauce Rated 4.5 out of 5 Stars – This sauce is 4½ Star worthy because of it’s great flavor, punch and overall quality. A big winner in our book.

The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint

The Shed

The Shed Backstory:

The Shed Barbeque and Blues Joint out of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, is famous on numerous levels. Their BBQ sauces helped them win a Memphis in May Championship, an NBBQA Award of Excellence and have been featured on many TV shows including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and most recently on Diva Q’s BBQ Crawl.

You can read more about The Shed Story here.
And be sure and shop for their sauces at their online store here.

Bone Doctors’ Original BBQ Sauce & Premium Spice Blend

Bone Doctors’ Barbeque Sauces were created by Dr. David and Dr. Bruce, two orthopedic surgeons (bone doctors) with a love of barbeque. Original, Sweet & Spicy, Carolina Bold, and Brazen Heat Barbeque Sauce, along with Bone Doctors’ Premium Spice Blend, complete with vintage photographic labels, round out their lineup of products.

bone doctors bbq sauces lineup

We’re going to look at their Premium Spice Blend and their Original Barbeque Sauce and see just why their slogan is “The Cure for the Common Barbeque”.

Bone Doctors' Premium Spice Blend and Original BBQ Sauce

Bone Doctors’ Premium Spice Blend and Original BBQ Sauce

Bone Doctors’ Premium Spice Blend

Ingredients: spices, sugar, salt, garlic, and onion.

Those are the ingredients as listed on the label. Oddly, the ingredients listed on their website is different. (Sugar, Kosher Salt, Paprika, Spices, Chili Powder, Garlic, Onion). I”m not sure which is more current. I’ll have to contact them for clarification.

Bone Doctors' Premium Spice Blend

Bone Doctors’ Premium Spice Blend

Texture & Appearance: Marilyn tells me this is a reddish-orange color. It’s a very fine, almost dusty grind. Despite the larger flakes and granules in our closeup pic, shaking this spice blend or “rub” onto the food showed us just how fine it was, and how quickly it came out. We had to force ourselves to use a light hand in shaking it out.

Taste Straight Up: Rated 3 out of 5 Stars – Sweet, savory with some chile pepper (perhaps cayenne?), and just slightly salty. We’ve found that the salt “cooks away” from most rubs that are heavier on salt. This was one of the less salty tasting rubs we’ve had lately.

Heat Level: Minimal. Less than 1 out of 5.

Label/Graphics: Rated 5 out of 5 Stars – Very classy. True to the Bone Doctors’ theme of vintage photos, the rub features a photo of an Indian Chief or perhaps, given the theme of Bone Doctors, a Medicine Man.

Overall Rating (Taste on Food, Final Thoughts): Rated 3 out of 5 Stars – I may be a sucker for naming conventions, but this really is a “premium” tasting product, and one that we will reach for again and again. And I’ll add that this rub falls right in the middle in terms of usefulness, flavor, and overall quality.

For you backyard BBQer’s out there, this rub would be a great addition to your everyday seasonings for the grill.

Bone Doctors’ Original Barbeque Sauce

The Original seemed like a good place to start with this foursome of BBQ sauces.

Ingredients: ketchup (tomato concentrate, sugar, vinegar, salt, onion powder, spices, natural flavor), sugar, Worcestershire sauce (dextrose, salt, sugar, caramel color, garlic, spices, citric acid, natural spice extractives, annatto color, white vinegar, cayenne pepper), lemon juice, seasoning blend, horseradish, mustard powder, kosher salt, garlic.

Bone Doctors' Original Barbeque Sauce

Bone Doctors’ Original Barbeque Sauce

Texture & Appearance: A rusty red color with flecks of seasonings. Medium thickness, it was a bit of work to coax the sauce out of the flask bottle.

Taste Straight Up: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars
Marilyn: Out of the bottle, I found this to have a slightly sweet flavor up front, with a vinegar background. The Worcestershire sauce adds a nice dark flavor that blends with and smooths out the other ingredients.
Brian: I don’t get the sweet up front – for me it was a nice hit of vinegar, followed by a dark, almost “umami” aspect. I think there is a black pepper component within the “seasoning blend” that gives just a hint of spiciness.

Heat Level: Rated 1 out of 5 Stars – Very mild heat. Just slightly spicy from the cayenne and horseradish.

Label/Graphics: Rated 5 out of 5 Stars – Five stars for the great vintage photographs that adorn Bone Doctors’ labels. Bonus points for the “flask” style bottles. The Original Barbeque Sauce label features a Civil War officer. See our pics below for the other 3 bbq sauce labels.

Overall Rating (Taste on Food, Final Thoughts): Rated 4 out of 5 Stars
Brian: This sauce is very “middle of the road” in the sense that it is truly a barbeque sauce with no pretentions. It’s not too sweet, too vinegary, too spicy, too thick or too thin. I would put it in the same class of bbq sauce as Draper’s BBQ Sauce both in usefulness, consistency, and overall good flavor.

Marilyn: Very pleasant. I liked the balance of flavors, and that is wasn’t too thick or gloppy or overbearingly sweet. We’d love to try this on chicken. Too bad we didn’t get the bigger bottle!

Two Bacon Explosions

For the Labor Day weekend, we decided to make a couple of Bacon Explosions. We needed 2 things – a good rub, and a good BBQ sauce. So we decided to pair Bone Doctors’ Premium rub with their Original BBQ sauce. This turned out to be a great 1-2 punch on our Bacon Explosions.

One was made with a “hot” breakfast sausage (Jimmy Dean “Hot”), and one with Sweet Italian Sausage (bulk sausage from Johnsonville).

Bone Doctors' Bacon Explosions - breakfast sausage & Italian

Bone Doctors’ Bacon Explosions – breakfast sausage & Italian

We made one of each to help us decide which we preferred – the breakfast sausage, or the Italian sausage.

Bone Doctors' breakfast sausage Bacon Explosion

Bone Doctors’ breakfast sausage Bacon Explosion

Bone Doctors' Italian Bacon Explosion

Bone Doctors’ Italian sausage Bacon Explosion

After all this, we still don’t know which we like best!

The Bone Doctors’ Premium Spice Blend added just the right amount of spice both inside and out on the Bacon Explosions.

And while the original recipe for Bacon Explosions calls for a thick, sweet, sugary BBQ sauce (for both thickness and glaze properties) such as a “Sweet Baby Ray’s type of sauce”, we really enjoyed the savory, dark flavor of Bone Doctors’ Original Barbeque Sauce on these babies. And our neighbors concurred. It was a good Sunday night on Labor Day Weekend, 2013!

Sweet & Spicy, Carolina Bold, Brazen Heat BBQ Sauces from Bone Doctors'

Sweet & Spicy, Carolina Bold, Brazen Heat BBQ Sauces from Bone Doctors’

About Bone Doctors’

Bone Doctors’ BBQ Sauce began 27 years ago, when physicians Dr. David Heilbronner and Dr. Bruce Wilhelmsen first met. After realizing they each possessed a strong sense of culinary curiosity, the pair of orthopedic surgeons (Bone Doctors) embarked on a journey to create the “Original” barbeque sauce, using only natural ingredients without preservatives, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavoring, or coloring. This eventually led to the discovery of the savory blend that serves as the basis for every bottle of Bone Doctors’ BBQ Sauce.

Try Bone Doctors’ BBQ Sauce at your next meal to give your cookout creation a new dimension of flavor. After a few mouth-watering bites, you’ll understand why we say, you have found “The Cure for the Common Barbeque”.

Social Media:
Follow Bone Doctors’ on Facebook

Where to buy:
You can order online at BoneDoctorsBBQ.com

Disclaimer: We purchased the BBQ sauces for our own personal use and review purposes. The Premium Spice Blend was a bonus, thrown in for free. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own.

Johnny Secreto Rubs and BBQ Sauce review

This was a really fun review to work on, thanks to the great labels and branding and amazing variety of flavors in the 3 rubs and the BBQ sauce.

Johnny Secreto features rubs and recipes from an Old World Italian Family

10-bottles-lineup-johnny-secreto

Here are 3 very different, yet flavorful rubs and their BBQ sauce counterpart from Johnny Secreto. Let’s look at the products, and then we’ll talk about the grilled chicken tenders we cooked with each.

Backyard Classic

Ingredients: sugar, paprika, garlic salt, seasoning salt, celery salt, onion salt, herbs, spices – 3.0 oz jar.

This really is a “classic” style rub, as it includes all the basic ingredients that a good rub is built upon. Look up any basic rub recipe, and you’ll see a similar list. Of course, Johnny Secreto has added their own unique spice blends to personalize it.

Having the finest grind of the three, it’s powdery, sweet and salty. The celery salt is quite prominent. I know a lot of folks don’t care for celery flavorings, but if you love Old Bay Seasoning, you’ll like this. Not that this rub is of the seafood seasoning variety, I’m just comparing it to one of the most well-known, celery salt laden seasonings. Good for: burgers, ribs, poultry, potatoes.

Sultan’s Gold Rub

Ingredients: brown sugar, kosher salt, garlic salt, spices – 2.5 oz jar.

The Sultan’s Gold has the coarsest makeup, and indeed has a yellowish-gold look to it. We think it’s very Mediterranean in flavor, and very pungent with hints of coriander and a little touch of curry. Good for: wild game, lamb, salmon, pork or poultry.

Mexicallia Rub

Ingredients: brown sugar, kosher salt, herbs, spices – 2.75 oz jar.

This medium-light grind was a little clumpy due to the moisture in the brown sugar. It was also the sweetest tasting of the 3, with an ever so slight spicy finish. Secreto’s claims there is a chipotle finish to it, but we only detect a tinge of chile heat – not noticeable enough to identify it as chipotle. Good for: chicken, grilled quesadillas, or as a spice for taco meat or added to salsa or dips.

Craft BBQ Sauce

Ingredients: extra thick ketchup (tomato concentrate, sugar, vinegar, salt, onion powder, spices, natural flavors), dark brown sugar, apple vinegar, water, worcestershire sauce (distilled white vinegar, molasses, water, sugar, onions, anchovies, salt, garlic, cloves, tamarind extract, natural flavorings, chile pepper extract), liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, other spices. Contains soy and fish. – 12 oz bottle.

Dark brown colored and medium thick, this is a sweet, spicy (peppery) sauce. We’re just talking about ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, worcestershire, and spices – pretty typical. There is the addition of liquid smoke, but I don’t feel it’s overpowering at all. I’m a fan of liquid smoke – when used lightly – and I think it’s just fine here. (There are legions of liquid smoke haters out there, and that’s fodder for a whole different discussion).

Secreto’s Craft BBQ Sauce, while delicious, is pretty standard fare. Very good, but not spectacularly different. But, it really shined when paired with the rubs. It would make a great BBQ sauce on pulled pork too, paired with the Backyard Classic rub.

Grilled chicken with Johnny Secreto rubs and Craft BBQ Sauce

For each of the 3 rubs, we marinated 1/2 pound of chicken tenders with 3 tsp of rub, and 2 tsp of olive oil in zip top baggies for about 3 hours.

Then we grilled the tenders over a medium direct heat. Near the end of grilling, we sauced half of them with Johnny Secreto Craft BBQ Sauce, to see how the sauce worked with each of the rubs.

Johnny Secreto Backyard Classic Rub

Dry Rubbed:

01-chicken-backyard

Brian – Truly tastes like a classic rub, but a bit salty, which rubs can be in general. Usually the saltiness gets “washed away” or minimized with either a marinade or with the addition of a sauce (more on that later). I think this rub would make a great savory deep fried wing. On the tenders we grilled, I liked it very much. But I did use a heavy hand and would back off a bit next time.

Marilyn – Tastes a little too salty for me but I do pick up on the sweetness, and the paprika and garlic and onion. There’s also a good bit of black pepper going on. Other than the salt, it’s pretty enjoyable and flavorful.

With Craft Sauce:

Brian – The sauce added a perfect sweet blend that really cut back on the saltiness. I can now say this would be a killer wing recipe, either deep fried or grilled as we’ve done here. This is a must-try combo.

Marilyn – I’m getting a lot of sweetness from both the rub and sauce together. I agree with Brian, that the sauce helped temper the salt in the rub. There’s also a nice dark flavor from the worcestershire in the sauce, with some heat coming in at the end – mildly spicy. The Craft Sauce caramelized nicely on the chicken. Winner!

Johnny Secreto Sultan’s Gold Rub

Dry Rubbed:

03-chicken-sultans-gold

Brian – Very savory, yet very floral. Definitely the strongest flavored of the rubs. Impressive in looks, taste and feel. I love the big bits of spices. On the chicken, as you can see in the pics, the rub is a big player in both appearance and texture. I was blown away from the big impact this rub had on the dry tenders.

Marilyn – I see lots of coriander seed and hulls, other herbs, and some pepper flakes. Very aromatic and herbaceous. I’m not sold on this being a good rub on chicken. I’m thinking bigger foods, like beef ribs, or pork loins or tenderloins.

With Craft BBQ Sauce:

Brian – The same underlying floral bouquet, this time with the added sweetness and spice of the Craft BBQ sauce. Very hearty with big flavors. But with the Gold rub, I prefer the dry rubbed chicken. I can see this would be a perfect seasoning on lamb or other game meats, too.

Marilyn – Totally different now with the sauce. I like this much better than just the dry rub, but I still feel this rub is made for beef ribs or pork loin. I can’t speak to the lamb, as I’m not a fan of that meat.

Johnny Secreto Mexicallia Rub

Dry Rubbed:

02-chicken-mexicalli

Brian – If you remember, this rub was a bit clumpy due to the moisture in the brown sugar, and it shows up again here on these dry rubbed chicken tenders. Whether it’s just a little sweat from the brown sugar releasing the moisture, or the rub itself drawing out moisture from the chicken, the tacky look and feel was not appetizing. The flavor was very muted – just not enough for me. With barely a hint of spice, this rub was the blandest of the three. Perhaps a heavier dose would be in order. It seems to want to be a “Southwest” style of seasoning, but just doesn’t quite get there.

I would recommend Johnny Secreto kick up the chile flavor (whether chipotle, or other) to bring this rub up to the level of flavor that the other 2 rubs bring.

Marilyn – While it’s the least salty of the 3 rubs, and some chile and cumin show up in my mouth, it’s very tame compared to the others. Definitely very sweet, and pleasant, but it’s not really a chile or southwest player. At least not at the level to which we are accustomed.

With Craft BBQ Sauce:

Brian – Again, the Craft BBQ Sauce has enhanced this rub – really bringing out more flavor more than the rub alone. This rub just might not be for chicken – at least in the way we prepared it.

Marilyn – I agree that the sweetness of the sauce really pumped up the flavor of the Mexicalli Rub. And like Brian said, this just may not be for grilled chicken alone. Maybe in a quesadilla or other Mexican fare it would be good.

Final Thoughts

While all of the rubs and the sauce are delicious, each brings its own strong suit. There is nothing wrong with any of them, the packaging and labeling is top notch, and the logo, graphics, and personna of Johnny Secreto is simply stellar.

But of course we have our favorites.

Brian – My favorite overall was the Backyard Classic rub with the Craft BBQ sauce combo. Next would be the incredibly flavorful Gold rub, and I liked this one both dry and sauced. Finally, the Mexicalli with the sauce – it has potential as is, but could be so much bolder.

Marilyn – My favorite combo was also the Backyard Classic with the BBQ sauce. A perfect pairing of rub and sauce. Then the Mexicalli with sauce is my 2nd place favorite. And I thought the Sultan’s Gold with sauce was a huge flavorful player here, but I would use it with caution – and perhaps not on chicken, but the heartier meats.

We concur the Craft Sauce improves all the rubs, at least on the grilled chicken that we used for this review.

Backyard Classic Rub – Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – A perfectly balanced blend of seasonings.
Sultan’s Gold Rub – Rated 3.5 out of 5 Stars – Huge flavor and great appearance and texture. Not your everyday rub.
Mexicalli Rub – Rated 2 out of 5 Stars – Could be spicier and more robust. Needs improvement.
Craft BBQ Sauce – Rated 3.5 out of 5 Stars – It’s pretty darn good. We reserve additional thoughts once we’ve tried it on pork (ribs or pulled). However, it was key to the success of all the rubs. They’re made for each other.

Overall RatingRated 4 out of 5 Stars – Great flavors, quality ingredients, and super cool graphics all add up to top notch offerings. Packing rubs in glass jars is very classy. Kudos.

We highly recommend any and all of their products to our readers – they are all winners. Speaking of all of their products – they also make an Old World Spaghetti Sauce as well as an Espresso Especial Rub, both of which we hope to try soon. They also have a dry pasta you might be interested in.

Visit http://johnnysecreto.com/ today, and get yourself a basketful of these wonderful products. We thank them for the opportunity to review them. And be sure and check out their family history on their About page.

Disclaimer: We received this product courtesy of the manufacturer for review.

Carolina Cologne BBQ sauce on pulled pork – review

carolina cologne bbq sauce

Carolina Cologne is an Eastern North Carolina barbeque sauce from Jerry Roberts, who grew up in Nags Head, N.C. and now resides in Florida. This peppery, red colored, vinegar based sauce is a step above the usual thin vinegar and crushed red pepper table sauces that are prevalent in the Eastern region of North Carolina.

This sauce adds some body and flavor to what is traditionally a thin sauce. In a nutshell, it’s pretty damn good, and a big improvement over a traditional sauce.

[Read more…]

The Good Stuff Sweet BBQ Sauce Review

the good stuff bbq sauce on pulled pork

The Good Stuff Sweet BBQ Sauce comes from Hickey Bottom BBQ Sauce Co out of Fenelton, PA. The daughter and mother team of Rebecca McCrea and Mary Ann Pranulis hand bottle this sweet, sticky BBQ sauce, and are currently selling it in a few stores in their local Pennsylvania area, as well as on Amazon.com.

The Good Stuff Sweet BBQ Sauce is a simple, sweet sticky BBQ sauce that makes no qualms about the lack of heat or spiciness… this is not a hot BBQ sauce. Rather it’s a medium thick, sweet sauce that does well at the end of your cook. And it’s the pride and joy of Rebecca McCrea who’s been making it for years, and at the urging of friends and customers, has begun bottling and selling it.

[Read more…]

Kramers BBQ Sauce review

Kramer’s Gourmet Foods recently launched Kramer’s BBQ Sauce. Added to their already successful lineup of Wing Rubs, pairs perfectly with their rubs on wings, pulled pork, ribs and just about any grilled or smoked meat you favor.

… this stuff is Competition good! Teams, get a few gallons of Kramer’s BBQ sauce and make it your own winning secret sauce.

Currently available in a nice “beer bottle” package, complete with a cork stopper (just in case you have some left over), it’s a delicious BBQ sauce that everyone could enjoy. Creator Lance Kramer has assured me his BBQ sauce will be available in pints and gallons later this year.

Nice beer bottle style packaging

Nice beer bottle style packaging

For this review, we tried it on pulled pork and then ribs. Read on to see how good Kramer’s BBQ Sauce really is…
[Read more…]

Black Friday Deals for Hot Sauce and BBQ Sauce 2012

It’s that time of year again – shop for hot sauce and BBQ sauce from smaller companies that deserve our support. With great gift ideas for the chilehead in your life, and awesome BBQ sauce discounts, you can shop for sauces with these links knowing you are supporting small businesses that create gourmet, artisan style sauces!

Black Friday Hot Sauce and BBQ Sauce Specials 2012

If you have a sale to announce, simply leave a Comment below with all the details – we’d love to know about it!


All Spice Cafe

Use the discount code – SpicyHoliday12 – from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, and get 25% discount at their online store.

http://www.allspicecafe.com/catalog/

Droolin’ Devil Fine Foods

Check out our Black Friday Deals! 20 – 40% on select products now until Monday at midnight!! Heavenly Flavour, Sinfully Good!

http://droolindevil.com/

TATS Sauces & Marinades

We have a BUY 4, GET 1 FREE deal exclusively at www.tatsoriginal.com from November 22-25, 2012!
BLACK WEEKEND SALE: Order any 4 TATS Sauces, Seasonings or Rubs online and get 1 sauce free! Just mention the free jar in the notes section at checkout and we will include the mentioned Barbecue, Pepper or Ghost sauce in your order at no additional charge. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

http://www.tatsoriginal.com

Feiny’s Rubs

Black Friday Sale – Receive 30% off your Order (before shipping) of Feiny’s Rubs. Feiny’s Sampler, Original BBQ, Citrus BBQ, Chesapeake Bay, Steak, Goes on Everything, Goes on Veggie
November 23 – November 27 with coupon code BLACKFEINYS.

http://feintastingfoods.com/

Golden Toad

We’ll have a 20% off deal running from Thanksgiving through Black Friday, Amex Small Business Saturday, and through the end of the night on Cyber Monday. It will be on all Golden Toad and Xtinction products and available at Hot Sauces ‘n More… Enter discount code “golden2012”

http://www.hotsaucesnmore.net/Golden-Toad_bymfg_126-0-1.html

Sauce Goddess

20% off any order over $10. This includes all our awesome sauces, spices and our build-the-perfect-gift, salted caramel corn, shakers and gift packs. In addition, we have an offer for the non-chileheads in the family – order a single half gallon of our mildest sauce – Sticky Sweet – we will ship 2 half gallons for the price of one. That’s right, it’s the double secret deal – just order one half gallon of our killer rib stickin’ Sticky Sweet Grill Glaze and they’ll get 2 half gallons. This offer only applies to that flavor.
Coupon code – BLACKCHILE This coupon code is active from Friday the 23rd at 12:00 am ET through 11:59 Monday the 26th.

http://saucegoddess.com

Butcher BBQ

Injections, rubs and sauces. Free Shipping! on all orders placed online, beginning at Midnight Black Friday through Midnight Saturday 11/24/12.

http://www.butcherbbq.com/

Carolina Sunshine Bar-B-Que Sauces

Starting NOW thru Sunday 11/25/12 – buy 2 Wing Sauces and get one free, plus Rub samples and the coveted “Peace Love and Que” sticker! Find us on Facebook for more info!

http://carolinasunshinebbq.com/

Patter Fam Sauces

Patter Fam Sauces will be having a Black Friday sale! Their Bourbon Barrel Hot Sauce we be on sale for $8 (Reg $20), Pawpaw Chipotle on sale for $4 (Reg $8). They offer FREE Shipping for orders over $50. The sale will begin at 10pm on Thanksgiving and end at 10pm Friday or until product is gone.

http://www.patterfamsauces.com

Fat Cat Foods

For Black Friday: Get 20% off your total online order (before shipping) with the coupon code “BLACKFRIDAY”. Valid all weekend, Friday 11/23/12 thru Sunday 11/25/12.
For Cyber Monday: Get 20% off your total online order (before shipping) with the coupon code “CYBERMONDAY”. Valid Monday 11/26/12 thru 11/30/12.

http://fatcatfoods.com

Heartbreaking Dawns

They are doing their 2nd annual 50% off sale from Black Friday (Nov 23rd beginning 12:01 am Eastern Time) thru Sunday night (Nov 25th 11:59pm Eastern Time)….The code is “black” and as always they will personalize holiday cards, free gift wrap, add candy to all orders etc…they’ll also open their 24 hour holiday hotline the following Monday for custom gift sets and baskets.

http://www.heartbreakingdawns.com

Pork Barrel BBQ

Black Friday Sale – receive 30% off case orders (before shipping) of our Original, Sweet & Mustard BBQ Sauces and Spice Rub from now through Sunday, November 25 with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY.

Case of Rub Link – http://www.porkbarrelbbq.com/case-of-pork-barrel-all-american-spice-rub/
Case of Sauce Link – http://www.porkbarrelbbq.com/case-of-pork-barrelbbq-sauce/

Cyber Monday – receive 25% off (before shipping) orders of $75.00 or more on Monday, November 26 with coupon code CYBERMONDAY25.
Pork Barrel BBQ Online Store – http://www.porkbarrelbbq.com/store/

Bigfat’s Hot Sauce

Black Friday Deal – 20% off all individual bottles of sauce (gift packs not included) from November 23 – Dec 16.

http://wwww.bigfatshotsauce.com/

Buffalo Tom’s Gourmet Sauce

They are offering free shipping anywhere in the USA on a six pack purchase of their Gourmet Hot Sauce for only $4.95 per Bottle for a total of $29.70.

http://www.buffalotomsgourmetsauce.com

CaJohn’s Fiery Foods

Visit www.cajohns.com on Cyber Monday for 40% off all items! Discount will be available from 12:00 AM EST on Monday morning until 11:59 EST Monday night! Code to redeem offer is TRINIDAD.

http://www.cajohns.com

Dimples BBQ Sauce

Free 16oz bottle of Dimples BBQ Sauce with coupon code “Free Bottle” thru 11/30/12. Shipping cost apply. USA only.

http://www.dimplesbbqsauce.com

Global Warming Salsa

While supplies last (they only have about 30 left) but Global Warming Salsa will offer a variety 4 pack of Global Warming Salsa with a free Tabasco Salsa bowl for $40.00 delivered!
Updated! Order a 4-Pack of with four different Global Warming Salsa varieties…Mild 80 degree, Hot 105 degree, India 107 degree and End of the World…and the first 30 will include the ceramic Tabasco salsa bowls…shipped to your door for $40.00! After the limited amount of Tabasco bowls run out, they will include a signed copy of the book Dan Houston of Global Warming Salsa helped co-author called “Breakin’ Down the Barriers” in place of the salsa bowl!

http://www.globalwarmingsalsa.com

California Barbecue Inc.

From 11/20/2012 to 12/25/12, buy a 9oz Bottle of the Chicken Choker Rub and get a free 4oz Bag.

http://www.CaliforniaBBQInc.com

Sin Bin BBQ

Sin Bin BBQ is offering 15% off their line of 4 BBQ sauces valid from Wed. 11/21/12 thru Christmas 12/25/12! Really sweet deal.

http://sinbbq.com

High River Sauces

They are going to do a free T-Shirt with any case order from November 23rd to December 7th.

http://www.highriversauces.com

Blaze Gourmet

Updated!: Blaze Gourmet will be offering its inaugural “Blue Friday” special through Cyber Monday, which will include a free bottle of their new ‘Hot Blueberry Love’ Hot Sauce with any size order from November 23rd – 26th.

http://www.blazegourmet.com

JAC’s Tailgaters

JAC’s Tailgaters will be holding a 20% off sale starting Black Friday November 23rd through New Years Eve 2012.

http://www.jacstailgaters.com

Race City Sauce Works

From 11/16-12/20, buy $40 or more and get 25% off. Plus from Black Friday thru Cyber Monday they are offering BOGO (but one get one) on all products. (Does not have to be the same item to count).

http://www.racecitysauceworks.com

DEFCON Sauces

All quarts of wing sauce (including the Cluckwing Orange) are 20% off through the end of the year.

http://www.defconsauces.com

High Octane Sauce Company

High Octane Sauce Company has gift sets available for the holidays with special pricing on them.

http://www.highoctanesauceco.com

The Madison Chocolatiers West

The Madison Chocolatiers West will be offering 25% off starting on Thanksgiving Day 12:01am 11/22/12 through midnight 11/26/12 Eastern Time

http://www.madisonchocolatier.com

Crazy Good Sauce

$17.00 4 pack special (retail only) consisting of: ADDICTION SAUCES – HABANERO SAUCE, CRAZY GOOD – SOUTHWEST SWEET HEAT, HOT LINE PEPPER PRODUCTS – EVIL OOZE, BORN TO HULA – GHOST OF ANCHO
We also have a 20% off everything (retail only) with the discount code HOL2012.

http://www.crazygoodsauce.com

Intensity Academy

Intensity Academy – any 4 bottles of sauce for $20, or mixed case price only $48!

http://www.intensityacademy.com

Sizzlin’ Sauces

The plans for Chef Bud and Sizzlin’ Sauces for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday, as well as the rest of the Christmas season, are as follows:

Black Friday (beginning at Midnight on Friday, November 23rd and lasting through Midnight on Saturday, November 24th)
* A free bottle of the award-winning Spittin Fire XXX Private Reserve (a nearly $10 value) by ordering $30.00 or more from SizzlinSauces.com.

Small Business Saturday through Cyber Monday (beginning @ Midnight on Saturday, November 24th, through Monday November 26th @ Midnight)
* A free bottle of Creepin Quag when ordering a three-month Hot Sauce Of The Month Cub subscription at SizzlinSauces.com

Christmas Special (beginning at Midnight, November 30th through Saturday, December 15th @ Midnight)
* A free bottle of Chile Sweet Sensation AND a free bottle of Papa Jack’s Buffalo Hot Sauce when ordering a six-month subscription to Sizzlin Sauces’ Hot Sauce of the Month Club.

http://www.sizzlinsauces.com


For this great shopping list of Black Friday Specials, we teamed up with – ScottRobertsWeb.com, ILoveItSpicy.com, TheHotZoneOnline.com, Chili Pepper Madness, and RG Sauce Review – to promote some of our favorite manufacturers.

These chilehead blogs are always willing to support our favorite sauce companies and producers of the flavor enhancers that we all love. In an effort to help out these hard-working folks this upcoming holiday season, we are listing the various promotions and sales that makers of hot sauces, salsas, BBQ sauces, wing sauces, rubs, spicy chocolates and more are having this Black Friday weekend, Cyber Monday, and for a few even through Christmas and beyond.

If you are a sauce or seasoning maker of any kind and are having a holiday shopping special on your website, and would like to be included in this list, please let Scott Roberts know about it at scott (at) scottrobertsweb.com with the deal details, dates/times and any applicable coupon code(s), and you will be added to the list.


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