Friday, January 30, 2009

RAMBLING: KCBS Election Results



The Home of BBQ would like to congratulate the winners of the recent Board of Directors elections for the Kansas City BBQ Society.

The results were announced at the KCBS Annual Banquet, held in Nashville, Tennessee.

We sincerely wish the winners the best of luck as they work on the behalf of the membership.


Merl Whitebook - 1248 votes
Don Harwell - 1133 votes
Wayne Lowhman - 1092 votes
Gene Goychochea - 838 votes


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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

REVIEW: Fatman's Jerky Original


Fatman’s Beef Jerky

Manufacturer: Red Meat Foods, LLC
Flavor: original
Weight: sample package
Website: http://www.fatmansbeefjerky.com/

Flavor: 3
Aroma: 2.5
Texture: 4
Appearance: 4
Packaging: 2 (sample package)

Ratings range from 1 to 5

This is our third review of a jerky by Fatman’s. I think that it is now clear that their jerky has a more restrained flavor than most brands and an aroma that is mild. Although the flavors come through in the aroma, the intensity is not commensurate to that found in the flavor.

The slices of meat were thin and remarkably lacking in fat and sinew. The texture was excellent. It was a little crisp, had some ‘chew’ to it and avoided that type of resistance that sometimes makes you think that you are eating a dog’s chew toy. The sizes varied of course, but the average was about 2.25” wide by 1.5” long. Deep reddish brown in color, the jerky was visually attractive.

A white label with black lettering adorns the sample package. Extremely bare boned, it doesn’t do much to catch the eye. There is a small caricature of a chef on the top right of the label, but that is the only bit of flair on display.*

There was a slight difference in the texture of the jerky of the original flavor. The meat was crisper and crunchier. Less chewy that in our previous two reviews, this version was almost flaky and parts seemed to crumble with little instigation.

Being their base flavor, the taste is subtle and not as pronounced as other flavors. What you get here is almost entirely beef and soy sauce. The salt and flavors of the soy sauce take a backseat to that of the meat. The result is a clean, light taste that is less of a burden to the palette than other jerky’s with bold and almost artificial flavors.


*Repeated from our earlier reviews of Fatman’s Jerky


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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

REVIEW: Southern Delight Marinade


Smoky Pecan Peppercorn Marinade

Manufacturer Southern Delight
Website www.southern-delight.com


Quality **** (4.5 out of 5)
Viscosity Not Applicable
Aroma *** (3 out of 5)

Appearance **** (4 out of 5)

Packaging ** (2.5 out of 5)


This is a bit of a departure from our normal reviews, as I used this marinade on poultry that was added to satay chicken and noodles. In addition to enjoying the chicken in the meal, I also tried it before being added to the satay so that I could sample just the poultry and marinade.


The marinade comes in a sturdy, 14 oz. glass bottle. The packaging is a bit mundane. A tad too busy, a tad to generic; there is nothing that really grabs the eye. The only image on the label is that of pecans that unobtrusively underscore the text. The bottle is clear, providing a brown background (due to the color of the sauce). The labeling is yellow, black, red and white. *


The marinade itself is a rich, brown liquid speckled with black and off white bits of spices. Upon opening the bottle the welcome aromas of Worcestershire sauce and vinegar waft out to greet the cook. While not overpowering, the aromas are strong and meld together nicely.


The chicken sat in the Smoky Pecan Peppercorn marinade for roughly four hours

.


The marinated chicken breasts were cut into strips and fried. As would be expected, the chicken was lacking some of the earthy nuttiness and intensity of the Southern Delight sauce. The chicken was juicy, tasty and delicious. There was an excellent balance between sweet and savory and it retained much of what was enjoyed in the sauce, but was a bit more subdued.

The satay was a simple commercial sauce to which I added some rice wine vinegar, Chinese cooking wine, red pepper flakes, scallions and toasted sesame seeds. The meal was served cold. The flavors imparted by the marinade ‘played well with others’, retaining it’s unique identity without overpowering the flavor of the chicken or the accompanying ingredients.


Whether enjoyed on grilled chicken with some side dishes or in prepping chicken that was used as an ingredient in a larger dish, this marinade is a winner. I am seriously debating if I should use it again on some chicken today. Regardless, I know that what is left in the bottle won’t last long.


* The bottles for the sauce and marinade are almost identical, so this is repeated from our earlier review.

General Notes:


I do the majority of the sauce analysis on this site. I have often been assisted by Will Breakstone of Willie B’s Award Winning BBQ (pitmaster, competitor and caterer). The foods used with the sauces are usually brisket, pulled pork and chicken. On occasion, other foods will be used if recommended by the manufacturer (ex. burgers, fries, meatloaf, etc.).


Most of the food used for the reviews is cooked on a Weber Smoky Mountain or a Lang 84. The basic BBQ accoutrements (such as tool sets, chimney starters, etc.) are by Weber. Knives are by Mercer Cutlery. Fuel is either a cherry/oak mix or whatever charcoal I’m in the mood for.


www.weber.com

www.pigroast.com

www.mercercutlery.com


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Friday, January 23, 2009

Ramblings: BBQ Joint Reviews



I have determined that I would never want to be a professional restaurant critic.


Gary, the proprietor of Pigtrip.net, was generous enough to invite me to join him on trips to four different BBQ joints that he was reviewing. I enjoy joining Gary on these jaunts. The BBQ banter is fun. Critiquing the food, service and ambience is enjoyable. The experience, however, is one that is best enjoyed in moderation.


Feeling an obligation to ‘do the restaurant justice’ pulls you from the simple pleasures of sitting down to a good meal with friends. I recently posted a synopsis of a visit to a local BBQ joint at the BBQ Brethren forums. I was there with my niece and parents. My father had a burger and I had a hot dog. If I were there to review the restaurant I would have had a responsibility to order a sampling of the BBQ fare. Don’t feel like BBQ that day? Have a hankering for a hot dog? Too bad.


From my visits with Gary and my experiences purchasing food from Long Islands various joints to bring back to a friends BBQ place for comparison purposes, I would hazard a guess that my threshold for reviews is about once a month.


I strive to ensure that the information on this site is not geographically specific, ensuring that the posts are as useful to someone in Maine as they are to someone in Alabama. Because of this, we don’t do restaurant reviews. We can, however, discuss the process.


The first step is planning. Are you going to hit more than one place that day? What are their hours? How close are they to each other? Is this a new visit or a return trip? Do you want to repeat the same menu items from your first visit? What time of day are you arriving? Should you go later to allow for meats to have been smoked from that morning? Do you try to avoid the time approaching closing so that you don’t get food that has been sitting in a steam table for hours?


Once you arrive at the restaurant your first concern is anonymity. You want to try the food exactly the way that everyone else gets it. You don’t bring attention to yourself. You take photos surreptitiously. Questions are asked about smoking woods or the type of pit without trying to sound too knowledgeable or overly curious.


Before getting to your table, you take in the ambience. Were you greeted at the door? Is the staff friendly? Is the room too hot or cold? Is the music deafening? Do they have a motif? Did they achieve their d├ęcor goals or does it come across as kitschy?


Once you are seated you try to gauge how long it takes to be approached by your server and to receive water at your table. How is the service? Does the server offer suggestions? Are they knowledgeable about the menu?

Hopefully you are joined by friends so that you can order a large amount of food without it appearing to be a bacchanalian feast. All of the basics are covered. Appetizers will usually include Burnt Ends and maybe some smoked wings. Side dishes will include a sampling of corn bread, beans, coleslaw, collard greens and mac & cheese. Main dishes will include ribs (beef, St. Luis and baby backs), brisket, chicken and pork (usually pulled). Specialties may be tried if they are apropos (such as a smoked meatloaf). Sadly, you are usually too full to try a dessert, although a bread pudding or a cobbler are just as emblematic of BBQ as ribs.


You sit and discuss while trying to digest. If possible you take notes that you will flesh out when you leave. If this is your second trip of the day you start to plan your menu for the rest of the week. Salads will play a large part. Tofu is no longer classified as a four letter word. You pay the bill and make your way to your car, mission accomplished.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ramblings: 200 Posts


With this post we have passed the 200 post threshold.

I would like to take a minute to thank everyone who has checked in and visited the site. A special thanks go to those that have offered feedback, whether in the form of comments on the site or via email.

The site has had three major structural changes since it's inception. I'm happy with the way the site looks and I have no plans to change it.

Our contests have fallen by the wayside, but that will change next month. February will be a big month for free sauce.

I also regret that our articles on BBQ pairings have not been as prolific as I would have liked. I hope to remedy that in the coming months.

We hope to have 5 interviews up over the next month and a half. I'm sure that you will enjoy them.

We have about 6 outstanding book reviews that are coming your way, including one for Savage BBQ, possibly the most erudite book on BBQ I have ever read.

What would you like to see from the Home of BBQ in the future?

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Recipe: Chris Lilly's Ahi Tuna w/ Salsa





I had intended to have a side by side comparison of Kingsford Competition Briquets (sic) and a leading charcoal used by competitors up on the site by now. Unfortunately, Mother Nature isn’t cooperating. Between persistent snow and temperatures below 30, I have been a bit of a laggard when it comes to grilling.


I’m going to push off the comparison until I have a stretch of weather where the temperature is at least in the high 30’s, but to make amends I’m offering this recipe from renowned BBQ expert and Kingsford pitmaster Chris Lilly. This is our second recipe from Chris in about a week and I’d like to thank Kingsford for passing them along.



Peppered Ahi Tuna with Cantaloupe & Pineapple Salsa


Makes: 6 servings

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 6-8 minutes


Ingredients:

6 Ahi tuna steaks ¾ – 1 inch thick


Pepper Paste

¼ cup coarse ground black pepper

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

¾ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon garlic salt


Cantaloupe and Pineapple Salsa


1 cup diced cantaloupe

½ cup diced red onion

½ cup diced pineapple

¼ cup chopped cilantro

tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons minced jalapeno peppers

2 teaspoons salt



In a small bowl, add the pepper paste ingredients and blend until the mixture forms a paste. Coat the tuna steaks evenly with the pepper paste. Wrap each steak individually with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Combine the cantaloupe and pineapple salsa ingredients in a medium bowl and toss until mixed. Add salt to taste. The salsa can be served at room temperature or refrigerated until ready to use.


Build a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill and open all dampers for maximum heat. Heat the grill to approximately 500 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply a light coat of oil to the hot grill grates.


Remove the tuna steaks from the plastic wrap and place on the grill, directly over the heat. Grill for three minutes on each side or less depending on how you like them. Tuna should be firm with pink in the middle. If you prefer your tuna to be rare to medium-rare, grilling time should be reduced to 1½ to 2 minutes per side.


To serve, slice the tuna into ¼ inch strips and top with a generous amount of salsa.


Recipe created by champion pitmaster, Chris Lilly, on behalf of Kingsford® charcoal


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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Review: Fatman's Green Chile Jerky



Fatman’s Beef Jerky

Manufacturer: Red Meat Foods, LLC

Flavor: Green Chile

Weight: sample package

Website: http://www.fatmansbeefjerky.com/


Flavor: 4

Aroma: 2.5

Texture: 5

Appearance: 4

Packaging: 2 (sample package)

Ratings range from 1 to 5


Much like our previous review of the Jalapeno Lime jerky by Fatman’s, the aroma is very mild here. The scent of the flavorings is so mild as to almost be unnoticeable. What stands out is the aroma of the meat, and event that is subdued. I’m not noting this as a fault, which is why the ‘Aroma’ ranking is right down the middle.


The lack of prominence in this category makes me wonder what other manufacturers are doing to ‘bulk up’ the aroma of their jerky. If Fatman’s is the natural state for jerky aromatics (as they are clearly not doing anything to bolster their aroma profile), what does that mean? Should I be concerned about what other manufacturers are adding to their jerky? Are my expectations built on an artificial and forced aroma? Is this pushing me past nuances and subtleties that I should be picking up?


I’ll be considering these questions as we continue our explorations of jerky.


The slices of meat were thin and remarkably lacking in fat and sinew. The texture was excellent. It was a little crisp, had some ‘chew’ to it and avoided that type of resistance that sometimes makes you think that you are eating a dog’s chew toy. The sizes varied of course, but the average was about 2.25” wide by 1.5” long. Deep reddish brown in color, the jerky was visually attractive. *Repeated from our previous review


A green label with black lettering adorns the sample package. Extremely bare boned, it doesn’t do much to catch the eye. There is a small caricature of a chef on the top right of the label, but that is the only bit of flair on display.


I’m not sure if a jerky could be called ‘delicate’. If that is ever appropriate, it would be here. The flavors are well balanced between the meat and the chile. The initial taste is of the meat, which slowly fades as the chile flavor gains prominence. Of the jerky brands that I have tried to date, Fatman’s has the least impactful flavor from soy sauce. The benefits of the soy reside in the background allowing the meat and chile to shine through.


The heat is mild and wouldn’t rise to the level of a ‘burn’ at all. It has a nice duration and lingers after the other flavors are gone. The flavor is truly reminiscent of green chile’s and brings to mind that the manufacturer is located in New Mexico.


This is another winner and I enjoyed it a bit more than the Jalapeno Lime.


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Monday, January 12, 2009

Recipes: Chris Lilly Steak and Vegetable Skewers



Chris Lilly is one of the United States’ most acclaimed pit-masters. He is the vice president of Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ and is their chief cook for their competition team. Chris has won Memphis in May 6 times and won many other awards.


Mr. Lilly is also the corporate pit-master for Kingsford Charcoal. In conjunction with the introduction of Kingsford’s Competition Briquets (sic), we are presenting one of Chris’ recipes.



Steak and Vegetable Skewers with Mustard Horseradish Sauce


Makes: 6 servings

Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 2-6 hours for marinade

Cook time: 8-10 minutes


Ingredients:

2 onions

3 bell peppers

pounds ribeye steak (1 inch thick), cut into cubes


Marinade

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup vegetable oil

cup brown sugar

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup ground ginger

¼ cup garlic salt


Mustard Horseradish Sauce

½ cup whipping cream

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

teaspoon salt


In a small bowl combine the marinade ingredients and mix well. Cut the onions and peppers into one-inch pieces. Divide the marinade between two bowls or two re-sealable plastic bags and add the meat to one and the vegetables to the other. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours.


In a small mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream just until it starts to thicken. Add the remaining ingredients, blend well with a spoon, and serve on the side as a dipping sauce for the skewers.

Remove the vegetables and meat from the marinade and discard any leftover liquid. Thread alternating pieces of onion, pepper, and meat on to the skewers.


Build a charcoal fire for direct grilling. When the coals are hot (approximately 450–500 degrees Fahrenheit), grill the kabobs directly over the coals for 8-10 minutes, turning once. When the meat starts to brown and firm, and the vegetables begin to char on the edges, remove the skewers from the grill.

Recipe created by world champion pitmaster, Chris Lilly, on behalf of Kingsford® charcoal


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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ramblings: KCBS Endorsements



If you are a member of the KCBS, you have until January 17th to cast your votes for the open Board of Directors positions. This should be a matter of interest for anyone that is concerned about organized BBQ and its future. With the introduction of The Great American BBQ Tour and the growth of organized events outside the traditional BBQ hot zones, change is in the air. Your vote is needed to determine whether change will be embraced and encouraged or if the status quo will be reinforced.


The Board of Directors represents the membership and will help to dictate how the organization takes its next steps into the future of our hobby. I encourage you to take a few minutes to determine what you would like the KCBS to be in the next few years and vote for the people that you feel will bring that vision to fruition. Read the platforms of the candidates. Contact them if you have any questions. If you don’t receive a response, that provides you with valuable information right there.


The Home of BBQ is endorsing two candidates. The first is based on personal experience in public forums. No one involved in any way with the KCBS has been more open and communicative with the membership than Merl Whitebook. This is a hot button issue for me and he is far and away my first choice. Aside from his willingness to listen to and respond to the membership, Merl is one of the most active members of the BoD and he has both my vote and endorsement.


Gene Goycochea is receiving our recommendation based on his platform and by the caliber of the people who recommend him. Thom Emery is a past president of the California BBQ Association and I respect his opinion immensely. He endorses Gene whole heartedly. From BBQ enthusiasts that I have spoken with, Gene embodies what we want and need in someone representing the membership and the hobby. Coming from the West Coast, I am hoping that he can help to bring some regional diversity.


You should have received an email providing you with a link to the voting site. If you are a member and have not received this email, please write to the address below and they will get things straightened out for you.

elections@kcbs.us


I would appreciate your feedback in the comments section if you support any of the candidates running.


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Friday, January 9, 2009

Ramblings: Kingsford Competition Briquets


Kingsford has released a new brand of charcoal briquette that’s designed for the competitor and those that would like to cook like a competitor. Why does this matter? The vast majority of serious BBQ cooks do not use the most popular brand of charcoal on the market. Why is this and what does it mean for the everyday backyard griller?


In a poll of competition cooks (including numerous state champions), the most popular charcoal brands for their purposes are Wicked Good, Rancher and Royal Oak. Kingsford was listed, but didn’t even approach the popularity of the others. Think that’s odd? Nakedwhiz.com rates charcoal and Kingsford is rated 61st by their readers. Take a moment to let that settle in. Kingsford is ranked 61st by grilling aficionados.


It seems that Kingsford’s current product doesn’t achieve the heat, sustainability, and taste profile that competitors are looking for. Competitors use what garners them the best results with judges. The judging at most competitions is blind. Those who are responsible for adjudication have no idea if you are using lump or not, national or local brands or even if you are using charcoal at all. If this is an accurate barometer of the quality of charcoal, backyard grillers have been getting shortchanged in the fuel department.


To rectify this, the makers of Kingsford have taken steps to ensure that they provide a product that is designed to meet the needs of today’s competitors with the introduction of Kingsford Competition Briquets (sic). These new briquettes should be available to the home consumer by April 1st, just in time for the start of grilling weather. The goal seems to be to match ease of use with quality of cooking.


Touted by Kingsford for its ability to foster high heat while maintaining that heat for longer periods of time, these new briquettes should be able to go from lighting to cooking in under 15 minutes. I will be doing some experimentation over the next few weeks comparing Wicked Good to Kingsford Competition Briquets. I’ll be using the same volume of charcoal, the same lighting method, the same food and the same grill.


I’m excited to see that an industry leader is interested in bridging the gap between the average (albeit commercially successful) and the competition worthy. I hope that our tests show that Kingsford has a product that the competitive cook will use as often as the backyard cook.


Over the next few weeks you will find information about Kingsford Competition Briquets, recipes from Chris Lilly (Kingsford’s Pitmaster) and our test results. Check back often!


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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Review: Fatman's Jerky Jalapeno Lime


Fatman’s Beef Jerky


Manufacturer: Red Meat Foods, LLC

Flavor: Jalapeno Lime

Weight: sample package

Website: http://www.fatmansbeefjerky.com/


Flavor: 3.5

Aroma: 2.5

Texture: 5

Appearance: 4

Packaging: 2 (sample package)

Ratings range from 1 to 5


A box arrived chock full of sample packages of Fatman’s Beef Jerky from the people at Red Meat Foods. The first flavor that I decided to try was the Jalapeno Lime. I was in the mood for something with a bit of a kick, and I thought that this would satisfy the craving.


Upon opening the package I held it up to the old proboscis and inhaled deeply. I was slightly taken aback by the lack of aroma. I pulled out a piece and gave it a whiff. Same deal. The aroma was faint and not reminiscent of the flavor. It should be noted that the aroma wasn’t poor, it just wasn’t noticeable.


The slices of meat were thin and remarkably lacking in fat and sinew. The texture was excellent. It was a little crisp, had some ‘chew’ to it and avoided that type of resistance that sometimes makes you think that you are eating a dog’s chew toy. The sizes varied of course, but the average was about 2.25” wide by 1.5” long. Deep reddish brown in color, the jerky was visually attractive.


I set myself up for disappointment by anticipating heat from the jerky. The labeling makes no claims as to spice or heat. The flavor was fairly mellow, with significant overtones of both the jalapeno and lime. The balance and overall flavor was excellent. I was pleasantly surprised to note that the meat had the flavor of raw jalapenos. Difficult to capture without the heat, the flavor was complemented perfectly by the lime. The flavor of the meat comes through well and is made more noticeable by the lack of flavor from the curing agent or smoke.


If I was told that the jalapeno flavor was there without any significant burn, I would have assumed that it would have the earthy flavor of chipotle. This was completely different, unique and enjoyable. For those looking for a mild jerky with flavoring of jalapeno, lime and beef; this is the product for you.


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Monday, January 5, 2009

Review: D.L. Jardines's Buckin' Berry

Buckin’ Berry Medium

Manufacturer Jardine Foods Inc.
Website www.Jardinefoods.com


Quality *** (3 out of 5)
Viscosity **** (4 out of 5) This is a measure of thickness, not quality
Aroma **** (4.5 out of 5)

Appearance *** (3.5 out of 5)

Packaging *** (3 out of 5)


I had formulated my opinion on this sauce and was ready to type up this review when I realized that I wasn’t being fair to the manufacturer or to the potential reader. I was going to review this as a BBQ sauce, when it doesn’t claim to be that. It labels itself as a raspberry chipotle sauce. It’s not fair to offer a critique on something that the manufacturer never claims it to be. I went back and tried to reapproach the review with a more objective point of view.


The sauce comes in a 16oz jar that seems to have become de rigueur for the industry of late. The quality of the glass used by sauce manufacturers has increased dramatically over the passed couple of years. The glass is thick and the opening has a wide enough aperture to allow the sauce to pour easily.


The labeling is minimalistic in a successful fashion. There is a plain white label with a black and white drawing of a ranch cook working outside his wagon. The text is in either red or black and there is a gold border surrounding the label.


The aroma is amazing. Clearly one of the finest I have experienced to date. You pick up the sweetness, the raspberry and the chipotle.


The very thick sauce has a dark, red color that is a harbinger of the raspberry flavor that is to come. There are seeds and other ingredients that are visible in the sauce. This product is very visually appealing, with the only detraction being the high sheen given off due to the cane sugar. The gloss is a bit much.


The sauce is oddly too sweet while also being mild in taste. The raspberry flavor takes a back seat to the sweetness and the chipotle is detectable, but not a major player. The thickness and sugar content suggests that this would be best used as a glaze than a true sauce for our purposes. It has the consistency and sugar content of a jam that you would purchase at a craft fair.


As a glaze or with a cheese spread I can see this being a winner. If the sugar was toned down and the chipotle/raspberry were pumped up, I would be happy to use this regularly. As it is, this sauce will find a near permanent home in the back of my refrigerator until it’s time to clean it out.


General Notes:

I do the majority of the sauce analysis on this site. I have often been assisted by Will Breakstone of Willie B’s Award Winning BBQ (pitmaster, competitor and caterer). The foods used with the sauces are usually brisket, pulled pork and chicken. On occasion, other foods will be used if recommended by the manufacturer (ex. burgers, fries, meatloaf, etc.).


Most of the food used for the reviews is cooked on a Weber Smoky Mountain or a Lang 84. The basic BBQ accoutrements (such as tool sets, chimney starters, etc.) are by Weber. Knives are by Mercer Cutlery. Fuel is either a cherry/oak mix or whatever charcoal I’m in the mood for.


www.weber.com

www.pigroast.com

www.mercercutlery.com


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Friday, January 2, 2009

Review: Smoky Pecan Peppercorn


Smoky Pecan Peppercorn

Manufacturer Southern Delight
Website www.southern-delight.com


Quality **** (4 out of 5)
Viscosity *** (3 out of 5) This is a measure of thickness, not quality

Aroma *** (2.5 out of 5)

Appearance *** (4 out of 5)

Packaging ** (2.5 out of 5)


Southern Delight promotes their products as ‘no salt added’. I’m usually a bit wary of products that promote what they are not as opposed to what they are. Low sodium products are needed for a specific niche in the culinary world, but does their emphasis on being salt conscious detract from the overall quality of the sauce? Read on!


The sauce comes in a sturdy, 14 oz. glass bottle. The packaging is a bit mundane. A tad too busy, a tad too generic; there is nothing that really grabs the eye. The only image on the label is that of pecans that unobtrusively underscore the text. The bottle is clear, providing a brown background (due to the color of the sauce). The labeling is yellow, black, red and white.


The rich, earthy, brown sauce pours easily from the bottle. The sauce is a bit looser than a traditional KC style, but is much thicker than the vinegar based sauces. I would estimate that it is on par for viscosity with most Memphis style sauces.


The aroma is mild but pleasant. The tomato, vinegar and molasses are all there, but I’m happy to say that the overarching sweetness of sauces made with ketchup is missing. The separate ingredients make their own statement in the aroma without being overpowered.


The intensity of the flavor mirrors that of the aroma. This is definitely a sauce that is not intended to replace or mask the flavor of the meat, but to add a subtle new layer and to gently enhance what it is put on. A low end sweetness hits you at first and is quickly followed by an earthiness from the pecans. There is a bit of heat that follows and lingers without pulling attention from the rest of the flavors.


Although you have to look for it, there are separate ingredients that are visible in the sauce. If you look past the dark coloring of the sauce, you can make out pepper flakes and other specs. These variations in the coloring parallel a variation in the texture. There is a nice crunch and mouth-feel that you get with Southern Delights sauce.

Southern Delights Smoky Pecan Peppercorn has a unique flavor profile and that in and of itself is welcome. To answer the question from the first paragraph, the care taken to ensure that the sauce is low in sodium does not in any way detract from the quality. This sauce is excellent and I will be enjoying it again soon.


General Notes:

I do the majority of the sauce analysis on this site. I have often been assisted by Will Breakstone of Willie B’s Award Winning BBQ (pitmaster, competitor and caterer). The foods used with the sauces are usually brisket, pulled pork and chicken. On occasion, other foods will be used if recommended by the manufacturer (ex. burgers, fries, meatloaf, etc.).


Most of the food used for the reviews is cooked on a Weber Smoky Mountain or a Lang 84. The basic BBQ accoutrements (such as tool sets, chimney starters, etc.) are by Weber. Knives are by Mercer Cutlery. Fuel is either a cherry/oak mix or whatever charcoal I’m in the mood for.


www.weber.com

www.pigroast.com

www.mercercutlery.com


CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE HOME OF BBQ FRONT PAGE



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