18 December 2009

16 December 2009


We reviewed 40 barbecue sauces this year. It being the end of the year, we thought that it would be a good idea to do a roundup of the best ones that we came across this year. The following list is in no particular order. 

Smithfield's Grilling & Dipping Sauce - Nice simple vinegar-based sauce. 

Cajun Island Sweet Blackened Sauce - Funky Cajun-Asian concoction. 

RedRum Golden BBQ Sauce - Hot hot hot! 

Bill's Black Label BBQ Sauce - Unique peppery Piedmont-style sauce. 

Bone Suckin' Sauce - Another fantastic vinegar-based sauce. 

The Slabs Kyle Style BBQ Sauce - Thicker sweet and spicy sauce. 

Sauer's Barbecue Sauce - Great tangy tomatoey sauce, not too sweet. 

Smoky Mountain Smokers Barbecue Sauce - Delicious sweet and savory sauce.

Thank you for reading this year! Barbecue Sauce of the Week will return in 2010!

On the Next Episode of BBQ Pitmasters......

Myron gets shigged....

Tuffy gets organized....

Pablo Diablo BBQ comes in last place again....

13 December 2009

Christmas Gift Ideas: Ghetto Gourmet

Cookin' with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price

by Artis Leon "Coolio" Ivey, Jr.


Coolio started making thirty-minute meals when he was ten years old and has since developed a whole new cuisine: Ghetto Gourmet. His recipes are built around solid comfort foods with a healthy twist that don't break the bank. Start your Ghetto Gourmet adventure with some "Soul Rolls," follow-up with "Finger-Lickin', Rib-Stickin', Fall-Off-the-Bone-and-into-Your-Mouth Chicken," and finish off with "Banana Ba-ba-ba-bread" sweetened with golden honey. Chapters such as "How to Become a Kitchen Pimp," "Chillin' and Grillin'," and "Pasta Like a Rasta" will guide you through creating 5 star meals at a 1 star price. You can't find fusions like Blasian (black Asian) or Ghettalian (ghetto Italian) in restaurants, but you can have them cooking away in your kitchen faster and easier than ordering takeout. As Coolio says, "All you need is a little bit of food, and a little bit of know-how."

09 December 2009

BBQ SAUCE OF THE WEEK: Fork 'n Halo Original Sin

First of all, I love the packaging and product name of this sauce. It's a very clean-looking label, a memorable brand name, and a great name for this basic version - "Original Sin" (other sauces in this line are called "Heavenly Hickory" and "Fire & Brimstone"). The sauce is manufactured by Wicked Good Barbecue (with the name "Wicked Good," could they be from anywhere but Massachusetts?).

The sauce itself has a very bright flavor - lots of fresh tomato, with notes of apple and mustard. It's also got a lot of sweetness, courtesy of honey and molasses. There is a mild amount of heat, too. The texture is thick and smooth, with a dark, dark amber color. Overall, this is a decent barbecue sauce with a very distinct personality.

Grade: B

03 December 2009

New Design On The Way

We're redesigning the blog!

We apologize for any problems during the transition.

BBQ Pitmasters on TLC

Tonight the BBQ Pitmasters series debuts on TLC. There is great anticipation from within the bbq community, and it will be interesting to see how the show is perceived by the general viewing public. I have been checking out some of the tweets and there are some mixed emotions about the promo.

The show will feature seven competitors, following them at five KCBS events as well as the Big Pig Jig and a grandiose finale tabbed the Johnny Trigg Shootout.

Here are the five KCBS events:

Smokin' in Mesquite Nevada Open BBQ Championship - Mesquite, NV

Decatur Jaycees 15th Annual Riverfest - Decatur, AL
Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-Off - Murphysboro, IL
30th Annual American Royal Barbecue - Kansas City, MO
Diamond State BBQ Championship - Dover, DE

Here is the lineup of the featured competitors with my own commentary:

Paul Petersen is competing as PABLO DIABLO BBQ. Petersen is a classically trained chef that is competing in bbq competitions for the first time as part of this show. He will be cooking on a new Klose pit, but I think the viewers will see that there is a lot more to bbq than just being a good chef. Don't let me spoil it for you, but he definitely doesn't dominate the competition. Knowing that he finished DAL or close to it, it will be interesting to see how the show plays this out.

Lee Ann Whippen, aka Token, of Wood Chicks BBQ is the only female in the competition. This offers the obvious Man vs. Woman in a male dominated competition storyline, but Lee Ann is not someone that was just pulled off the street. She has competed for several years and has won several competitions all across the country. Lee Ann cooks on Big Green Eggs and I think that she will relate to most of the viewers.

Jamie Geer of Jambo Pits just might have to change his phone number after this show airs, because three of his pits will be prominently featured on this show (Jamie, Tuffy, and Johnny). I don't know all that much about Jamie other than his pits have one more contest than any other cooker.

Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke is the owner of Q Barbeque, and the 2007 KCBS Team of the Year. That year, Tuffy won six contests and he still manages to win several contests a year while opening a new bbq restaurant. Tuffy is a really nice guy and it will be interesting to see if the show plays him out to be a nice guy or a bad guy.

Johnny Trigg of Smokin Triggers is so often called the "grandfather of bbq" that it is becoming cliche. Johnny is what you think of when you think of a Texan, and I would say that it is a safe bet that the show will play up his Texas roots.

Harry Soo of Slap Yo Daddy BBQ is most famous for taking first place in all four categories at the Way Out West BBQ Championship in Stockton, CA. Being from California, Harry will be playing the role of the "outsider" considering he does not fit the primary stereotype of a BBQ Pitmaster.

Myron Mixon of Jack's Old South is definitely going to be portrayed as the bad boy of the show. Don't be fooled though - the all black look is not something that was done up for this show. That is his full time look. Myron is a three time winner of Memphis in May, and at the Murphysboro MBN contest he got a chance to strut his stuff.

So tune in tomorrow night at 9pm CST. I will also try to post my thoughts after each episode.

For more information on the show check out this great interview with the executive producer John Markus.

02 December 2009

BBQ SAUCE OF THE WEEK: Mary's Gourmet Original

When you read the ingredients and you see both brown sugar and high fructose corn syrup before any kind of tomato or vinegar related ingredient is listed, you know you're in for a sweet sauce. Such is the case with Mary's Gourmet Foods Original BBQ Sauce. Lord knows I like it sweet, but this is too much. It starts sweet, transitions to sweet, and finishes sweet. There's a hint of vinegar and tomato, but literally not much else. And honestly, I'm not wild about the texture of the sauce either. It's thick as thick can be. Very gloppy. If you took this stuff out of the refrigerator, it would be nearly the consistency of marshmallow fluff. Not recommended.

Grade: D