Intensity Academy’s Chai Chipotle Hot Sauce

Share

Hey folks it’s time for installment number two in my review series of the Intensity Academy line of products.  If you missed last week’s review and want the full story on how this series came to be check our my review of their Garlic Goodness sauce.  Don’t worry this week’s review will be much more concise and to the point since I won’t be retelling the full back story of me meeting Tom Was at the Houston Hot Sauce Festival.

chiachipotle

On my way out the door I threw Intensity Academy’s Chai Chipotle Hot Sauce in my backpack since I was taking some pulled pork sandwiches to work for lunch.  I wanted something that would complement the pulled pork and completely overrun it with heat.  I figured based on the name “Chai Chipotle” that I would be fairly safe on the heat front.

The first interesting thing I noticed about this sauce was right there on the label above the name “All Natural Carrot Based Hot Sauce.”  Now being a bit new to the hot sauce world I knew that some hot sauces use carrots for a sweetener and for color, but I thought it was interesting that this sauce was celebrating the carrot so to speak.

Before I knew it, it was lunch time and time to break the seal on the bottle and get down to business.  As always I started with the sniff test.  The first thing you get is definitely a full bodied note of carrots.  It’s almost a fruity note.  It smells very fresh if not refreshing.  There is some vinegar there, but its a light back drop vice being in the forefront.

2013-03-04 11.09.02

Next came the plate test and the finger taste test.  Chai Chipotle is neither what I would consider thick nor would I call it thin.  It definitely has some pureed carrots and a few flecks of habanero in there.  It’s a fairly tame and non complicated looking sauce.  If anything it’s lighter color and lack of variation is the story.  This sauce is what it portends to be, a carrot based hot sauce.

For the initial taste test I put a fair amount on my finger and gave it the ole college try.  At first you get hit by habaneros which kind of surprised me because given the name I was expecting that smokey mellow heat of the chipotles up front.  Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t call this sauce hot, because it’s not.  In fact I would only give it a rating of about 1.75 to 2 on my heat scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being too hot for me to enjoy.  This sauce has some heat and the habanero and chipotle are both there, but they are not searing or unpleasant in anyway.  The surprise for me was more from my preconceived notion of what I thought I would taste heat wise. This of course caused me to grab the bottle and check the ingredients list.  Sure enough chipotle is towards the middle of the list versus at the top of heap, which explains its background note instead of the foreground spotlight.

2013-03-04 11.06.06

As for what else I tasted you definitely get carrots.  A very nice fragrant and fruity full bodied carrot sweet flavor is front and center.  It is followed up with the chipotle smokiness that adds to the body.  And just when you start wondering where the Chai flavor is, you get it right there as part of the ending body note.

2013-03-04 11.14.35By this time I was hungry and it was time to load some on my sandwich and see how Chai Chipotle was on something better than my finger.  As you can see from the picture I did not hold back or shy away.  I wasn’t afraid of the heat element of Chai Chipotle at all.  This sauce is much more about flavor than heat.  I will admit that by the end of the second sammich (that’s right sammich, not sandwich… that’s how we roll here in the South) I was sniffling a tiny bit.  The sauce added a nice body to the pulled pork but in no way over powered it.  The smoke was not over shadowed by the vinegar tang or the heat in anyway.  While I am thinking of it one other surprising thing about this sauce is how much of a background note the vinegar is in Chai Chipotle.  I am so used to most sauces being nothing but peppers, vinegar and water that when that is not the overall flavor make up of a sauce it catches me off guard a bit.  Part of me thinks perhaps the sauce could have a bit more vinegar kick, but this sauce would be PERFECT for someone who doesn’t like that hyper vinegar hit that most hot sauces have as their predominant element.

The following morning I was eating a Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich that consisted of a sausage patty and egg whites on a croissant.  As soon as I took the first bite I thought “hmm I bet this would be better with some of that Chai Chipotle sauce on it.”  So I tried it.  And sure enough it was PERFECT.  Great flavor and just a touch of heat.  That is my problem with some hot sauces I use for breakfast they are just too strong for me in the mornings and my tongue just isn’t ready for them more times than not.

So what’s the final verdict?  Well, it’s another solid offering from Intensity Academy.  Not a thing wrong with this sauce.  It might not be my personal “go to” sauce to put on everything, but I can see why it would be for other people and it will be on my breakfast table from here forward.  It’s a unique sauce in that it strives to be a right down the middle honest offering.  Not too hot, solid fruity sweetness with full bodied flavors and a nice medium consistency.  If you are looking for a non offensive sauce to perhaps start someone on their path to becoming a chilehead, Chai Chipotle could very well be that gateway drug you are looking for.

Until next time folks….Love, Peace and Pork Grease!

Share

Gargantuan Garlic Greatness in a Bottle

Share

Every so often I come across a product that I think “nice idea, but I bet the final delivery is lacking.”  That happens to me a lot especially with hot sauces and rubs.  Everyone is trying so hard to just put out products that so many times the final delivery is something muddled and less than awesome.  This phenomenon evidently does not affect the fine folks at Intensity Academy.

I was first introduced to their line at the Houston Hot Sauce Festival in September, but more importantly I met Tom Was co-founder and co-creator of this line of products.  Tom told me how he and his amazing wife Michele started Intensity Academy as a part of their love for all things spicy.  I sampled a couple of products and quickly nabbed a couple of hot sauces (Hot Squared and Hot Cubed) and some of their Chai Thai Teriyaki.  Unfortunately I only had a couple of minutes to sample just a few products before having to run back to our tent since we were cooking ribs for the rib cook off we were competing in for Chile Pepper Magazine.

Later that night I was blessed with getting to sit down and really talk business with Tom and Tracy Carter (JAC’s Tailgaters) and some of their friends.  It was there that I really got to understand more about Intensity Academy.  If Tom, Michele and crew were a recipe for success in a cook book it would read:

  • 4 parts Passion
  • 3 parts No Comprised Ingredients
  • 2 parts Commitment
  • 1 part Perseverance
  • Combined for a perfect 10 of flavor

This recipe is the same one followed by every sauce, rub and bbq company I know of that are doing it right.  Tom and Michele really have crafted, what is in my opinion, one of the most comprehensive and different line of products available out there today.

Fast forward a couple of months to mid January, I was rifling through my cabinet and literally “clanked” into a bottle and looked to see what it was to find it was that bottle of Chai Thai Teriyaki that I bought back in Houston.  I was making some ribs and thought to myself “hmm I bet I could make some pretty bangin’ ribs with that.”  So I raided the pantry and pulled out some ingredients to make an impromptu rub with Asian flair to complement the Teriyaki.  Long story short those ribs were the hit of the night.  They got as much rave review as the Angus ribeye’s I did and that is saying something because those were some of the best steaks I had ever cooked….ever.  They were so good I dreamt about them that night and got up at 2 in the morning to raid the fridge for a couple of those ribs.  They were GOOD.  Stay tuned for more on those ribs in a minute.

Fast forward again about a month and Scott Roberts, blogger extraordinaire of ScottRobertsWeb.com asked me to do an interview with him as part of his Weekly Firecast Series.  I agreed and during the interview happened to mention some of personal favorite products that included Intensity Academy and JAC’s Tailgaters.    Tom happened to listen to this podcast and messaged me on Facebook wanting the recipe to the ribs.  I told him I would have to order more of the Chai Thai Teriyaki so I could formally write it up since I winged it and wanted to do it write if he was going to publish it.  I was planning on ordering more of IA’s products anyway since I had been really wanting to try some of their Chai Chipotle ‘Chup and Green Tea Gourmet ever since I saw them in Houston.

Well yesterday I get home to find a HUGE box sitting on my doorstep.  I was really taken back by it because I didn’t remember ordering anything that would be in a box that size.  So I glanced at the label and saw it was from Tampa, so I knew it had to be from Tom.  I wasted no time in ripping into it like a fat kid into a box Duncan doughnuts.  I found bottle after bottle of awesomeness and thought to myself that I might as well do a full review series of the product line since, well…I had pretty much the whole line right there.

2013-02-22 18.01.43

Being a Friday night it happened to be pizza night at our house.  Mike and Debra brought over some thin crust pie from one of more favorite joints, J. Bella’s.  As I was putting up the bounty of bottles from IA I spied with my little eye the bottle of Garlic Goodness and thought, “I bet that would work on pizza so let’s give a try.”  I was a little bit apprehensive I must admit.  Garlic is not one of my favorite flavors.  I am pretty sensitive to it and can pick it out a mile away typically and I personally think that it get’s used with a bit of a heavy hand by most.  Then I remember Tom mentioning something about there being like 100lbs of garlic in every 50gal batch of this sauce.  So now I was flat out worried that I would not like it, but knew I just had to try it because where others fail someone has to succeed and if anyone could pull it off Tom and Michele hopefully could.

2013-02-23 09.18.32

So I uncapped the bottle and give the sniff test.  All I can say is HOOOOOOOOOOOOLY COW the garlic was so stout smelling that it took my breath.  This stuff is so stout I swear you could just wave some french bread over the bottle and have instant garlic bread lol!  It is strong, it is pungent, it is GARLIC.  You can smell every ounce of the 100lbs of garlic they use in each batch.  It so fresh smelling it’s almost dumbfounding.  So then a small voice in the back of my head whispered “oh yeah fat boy I bet this gives you some wicked heartburn later.”  Irregardless I had to try it.  I just had to know did this taste of dark, murky, dank garlic or did IA manage some sort of culinary miracle and balance this into a great sauce?

2013-02-23 09.17.48

Next came the plate test.  So I poured a nice glob on a white paper plate.  A couple of things hit you right off.  Firstly the chunks of garlic in there.  Second is that this sauce has a enough body not to ooze all over the plate.  It expanded a little bit but held the shape you see in the picture.  The last thing you notice is what is not as over the top…the intense garlic smell.  Out of the bottle the garlic smell is tamed, it is not shocking, it becomes instead pleasant.  It smells like you chopped up a fresh clove only it smells even better.  If you keep sniffing you can pick up on the vinegar that is in the sauce.  Once I smelled this I had to check the label because it wasn’t just plain old vinegar it had something else going on.

2013-02-23 09.19.26Yup, it was Red Wine Vinegar, my personal favorite vinegar next to balsamic vinegar.  The ingredients on the list are as straight forward as they come.  Nothing you can’t spell, nothing unnatural.

Now came the time of reckoning….the taste test.  As always I started with it raw on my finger.  No, its not as sanitary or “pure” as tasting from a spoon, but I’m not a hot sauce purist, I’m a realist.  I’m real in that I don’t like hot for hot’s sake.  I NEVER like heat without flavor and you will never hear me say “the hotter the better” unless we are talking about swim suit models.  With the sauce raw on my finger I got an immediate garlic hit and it was a very solid hit, but not in any way dark or murky as I thought it might be.  The red wine vinegar does something amazing with this sauce, it allows the garlic to be pungent without being over powering.  It is the horn section to the garlic’s p-funk base line…it is the yin to the garlic’s yang.  Next you get hit with this sense of freshness and then finally some heat.  That freshness note I am betting is from the mix of the red bell pepper, onion and vinegar again.  It really makes the sauce have this lighter note in the middle which is great.  The heat is all habanero and black pepper.  On a heat scale I would say this is about a 3.2 on my scale of 5.  5 being too hot for me.  This is a solid heat that bites quickly and dissipates almost as quickly.  Overall this sauce is surprisingly good, even for someone who admittedly isn’t overly fond of garlic.

Finally was the food test on cheese pizza.  I loaded a fair amount on my slice and man oh man it was good.  It was VERY garlic but it was refreshing and unexpected.  I didn’t really any intense “heat” notes when I added it to the pizza.  So the heat while definitely present when tasted alone, tempers very nicely when added to food.

So where would I use this sauce?  Granted I have only tried Garlic Goodness on pizza so far but I can see this being a staple around my house.  I could see reworking something like 40 Clove Chicken with it or doing some over the top garlic bread by mixing the sauce with some butter.  It could easily be added to ANY soup that calls for garlic.  It would go a very long way on virtually any seafood.  That hit of garlic with a touch of vinegar would be a welcome addition in something like Shrimp Scampi (great recipe that Michele did).  You could very easily make a garlic aioli by replacing the garlic with this sauce and adjusting the amount of lemon juice to compensate for the red wine vinegar.  This sauce would be right at home in pretty much any adobo recipe.  Something like Garlic Chicken Adobo would be greatly helped out with Garlic Goodness.  This sauce in short is at home in ANY recipe that calls for minced garlic.  I plan on amping up some stir fry and some Italian dishes we are cooking this next week.

I can’t say enough how impressed I am by the entire Intensity Academy line, but also Tom and Michele as people and business owners.  Each product is a jewel on it’s own and needs to be tried.  So hit up their site or drop Tom and Michele a note on Facebook and tell them Shane at Draper’s BBQ sent you and you are ready to take some classes at the Academy.

Love, Peace and Pork Grease folks….until next time.

Share

Changes To Draper’s BBQ

Share

It is with a heavy heart I have to take the following action, but in all things sometimes “a man has gotta do what a man has gotta do.”  For the last 7 months I have been the host of Gettin’ Sauced Radio on the BBQ Superstars network.  It has been both an honor and a privilege.

Hosting this show while, fun and rewarding, has taken toll on my personal life.  That much I can handle.  It was not until about a month ago that I realized just how much of a toll it has taken on my family’s life.  That I am ashamed to say is completely my fault for doing as I always do with new projects, jumping in unapologetically with both feet and letting the chips fall where they may.  I have lived my whole life this way and well to be honest it has been my wife for the past 14yrs that has had to pick up the pieces.  So in what may be too little too late I am putting forth the effort to spend some resemblance of quality time with my wife and my two sons.

The travel, the constant work on both sides of the clock and disregard for family as of this moment will be limited.  I do all that I do not for fame or fortune, but in a mostly feeble attempt to leave a legacy for my sons and to give my wife all that she truly deserves for putting up with me.  I have no problem working 20hrs days for weeks on end.  I have no problem going without sleep.  I have no problem giving all I have to give, digging down and giving some more.  I do have a problem though and it is a failing marriage and me not spending enough time with those that I am working so hard for.  In short my severe commitment to the legacy I am trying to build has hurt those I am desperately trying to build it for.  I have to stop and revamp what it is I do, how much I do and when I do it.

So in doing that the first thing I have to let go of is the radio show.  I thank Darryl Mast from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity and I thank every sponsor that I promoted and I thank every person who ever gave my show a listen.

I do not know if or when the show will return or in what format.  I do know however that I love helping people get their products to market and I will do that as much as I can, but I love my wife and children more and they deserve my focus until we can figure out what the future holds for all of us.

Thank you all again very much for everything and please support whatever show ends up taking my time slot on Wednesday nights.  For those that companies that sponsored the show please consider picking another show on the BBQ Superstars network and sponsoring them with your advertising dollars.  They are all worthy shows and deserve the opportunity to earn your business.
Best to all and God bless,

Shane Draper
Gettin’ Sauced Radio
CEO Draper’s BBQ

Share

Houston: The Fan Perspective

Share

Hey folks, I asked our new friend Chad Dodge of Dodge’s BBQ to take a minute and write about his experiences with us at the Houston Hot Sauce Festival.  Check out what he had to say and go follow his Twitter and Facebook accounts (linked above).

 

Social networking used to scare me a little. However, I did recently join twitter, and found out what a blessing it is. Just like most people, I spent the first few days following
people/companies/organizations who shared in the same interests as me.  Two of those first ones, were Scott Roberts and Shane Draper. I was excited to find out through Scott, there was a hot sauce festival in Houston the following week. My oldest daughter and I have a lot in common (Daddy’s girl), and our love of spicy food is one. To quote her:
“We are so there, dad!”  Another bond we share is BBQ. I’ve enjoyed smoking & grilling for years around the home, and she is definitely my number 1 fan. I find out the next day, that Drapers BBQ is competing in a 6-team rib cook off…at the same festival, and Shane tells me to swing by and say hello. I know, right?! Why am I so excited you ask?  Well, BBQ is a passion…and those cooks who compete, have restaurants/food trucks, and cater, are who I look up to. The hardest part was not coming across as a complete tool. 😉

Before I run through our Saturday there, I want to say thank you to all of the sponsors, who made it a fun and unforgettable day. The workers/volunteers were all helpful, the prices for everything were reasonable, and the wide variety of vendors was a plus. All for a good
cause too..the Snowdrop Foundation. Kudos, my friends.

Nothing against the hot sauce sampling, but we made a beeline for the DBQ logo, that I recognized from their website. I waited for Mike to finish explaining the ins and outs of their sauce and rubs to a patron, and then introduced myself. Both he and Shane were very
polite, offered up some samples, and welcomed us into their hospitality suite/tent. We accepted of course, and moved in for a front row seat to the action. I was introduced to Randy, a local cook who had helped DBQ with a pit for that weekend. I asked questions, and listened, as if there were a test at the end. Any nerves I had from being at a cook-off for the first time, were laid to rest quickly, by the “good ol’ boy” feel to the conversation. I didn’t want to overstay our welcome, plus we had to get to the other festivities, so we headed out to get our burn on. We stopped at the the cheesecake on a stick place, so Brianna could get something dipped in chocolate. Dessert first, does happen occasionally. We made the rounds through the vendors, stopping to try their products. A few stuck out for different reasons, like Big Red’s, Volcanic Peppers, Stupid Hot Sauce, and especially the fiery dressed folks from Zane & Zack’s. We then stopped off for an iced lemonade and a water to squelch the flames, and to get a festival shirt for her to sport. When we made it back to the DBQ tent, it was close to turn in time. The guys were scurrying about, putting the finishing touches on their rib entry. I offered a hand, and they let me help Randy wrap the ribs for the people’s choice samples. The entries were whisked away, and everyone took a deep breath, and popped a top. They had to twist my arm pretty hard, but I eventually sampled the ribs. 😉 It was nothing short of perfect, and I could see the “OMG, I can’t let dad know how good these are!” look in my daughter’s eyes. We chatted BBQ a little more, and snapped a couple of photos, then said our thank yous & goodbyes. We made the trek by the other competitors, to say hello & good luck, took a couple more
pics for Brianna to share with her friends, and we were off to tell our adventure to the family.

Being able to mix dad time with hobbies and good people, made those
few hours on a September Saturday, a WIN-WIN. Thanks!!!

Share

Ernie’s Chicken Cordon DBQ

Share

This weeks recipe features Ernie Rupp’s take on Chicken Cordon Bleu.  Check it out and enjoy!  And as always be sure to keep an eye on our recipe section for more great recipes!

Chicken Cordon DBQ

Serves 6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 45 minutes
Allergy Egg, Wheat
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
In Kansas City, my family and I go to a local resurant that serves this incredible appetizer called Royal Blue Balls. They are breaded deep fried chicken balls stuffed with ham and swiss cheese (mini chicken cordon blue). My youngest son likes them so much he has a whole appetizer for his dinner. I wanted to make a version at home that was not deep fried but still had the great flavor that we enjoy at the resurant. This is my BBQ version of Royal Blue Balls. I hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground chcken breast
  • 1/4lb ham (finely chopped)
  • 3/4 cups swiss cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Draper's AP Rub
  • 6 pieces thick sliced bacon (cut in half for 12 pieces)

Directions

Step 1
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well
Step 2
Mold mixture into golf ball sized balls (makes approximately 12 meat balls)
Step 3
Cut the bacon pieces in half
Step 4
Wrap the bacon around the meat ball and hold in place with a tooth pick
Step 5
cordon dbq 4
Foil a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Then place the meat balls on the sheet.
Step 6
Place in smoker on 250 degrees for the first 45 minutes then increase temp to 350 degrees until chicken is done (165 degrees and bacon is cooked). You may also cook in the oven if you do not want smoke flavor. Cook at 350 degrees until chicken is done and bacon is cooked,
Step 7
CORDON DBQ 3
Remove meatballs from cooker and rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve with DBQ Smokin Sauce and ranch dressing.
Share

DBQ Half Time Snacks

Share

So there you are Sunday afternoon getting settled in to your recliner to watch football and have a nice beer all in the comfort and quiet of your man-cave when you get a phone call.  It’s you’re slacker buddy who’s wife wont let him watch the game at his house so he wants to come over and watch it at your house.  We all know the real reason he wants to come over is to siphon down your expensive beers and see if he can nab some of your left over barbecue.  You only have about 20 minutes before he arrives, what do you serve…..what DO YOU serve???

Here’s your answer.  Go snake a cheap frozen pizza from the freezer and follow the instructions below:

When making this recipe I don’t care for a pizza that’s loaded with toppings like a supreme, I prefer more of a plain pizza and add my own toppings after the fact for the best flavor.  As you can see I used a very cheap supermarket pizza, there is seriously no need to spend $8 on a frozen pizza for this recipe.

Unwrap the pizza (you may count the pepperoni’s or in this case Canadian bacon as my 2yr old son Drew was doing) and arrange the supplied toppings so they are even and not all clumped into one area.

Then take some left over pulled pork or brisket or even smoked chicken and add to the pizza.  I personally prefer the pulled pork here.  Then dust with a coat of your favorite rub (Draper’s AP Rub works awesome here) and then drizzle some of your favorite sweet barbecue sauce on.  You do not want too much sauce here, it is an accent and will quickly over power if you get too heavy handed with it.  You are looking for a sweet complement to all the savory and smokey so drizzle is the key.

Throw your pizza in the oven or even better cook this on a grill fired by wood or charcoal.  The cheese and dough really catch the smoke flavor and it makes everything taste even better.  Follow the cooking instructions found on the package for your pizza.  You may find you dont have to cook as long depending on the pit you are cooking on.  I chose to cook this on a Green Mountain Grills Jim Bowie set at 375 degrees for right at 20 minutes.  As you can see I also used a pizza stone.  If you were cooking with a hotter fire or more direct heat I would say the stone would be required.  For indirect heat and fairly tight grates I can’t personally tell much of a difference in the end product when I do or don’t use the stone.  The crust is still crispy as it should be.

I could have let this pizza cook a little longer to develop more color, but I was hungry so I pulled it as soon as the crust was crispy and the cheese melted.

What makes this so good?  Simple its barbecue and pizza mixed! What else could you want?  In all seriousness its the contradictions in each bite.  Savory, sweet, salty and spicy all at once.  Soft, crunchy, mushy, crispy no matter where you bite.  The outer pieces of the pulled pork get so nice and crisp and remind me of carne asada style, it’s just awesome, easy and a crowd pleaser.

I kept this pizza pretty simple, but you could easily add some chopped bell peppers, tomatoes or jalapenos to the party.  The sky is really the limit where you can take this blank canvass.  Have each of your buddies bring their own frozen pizza with them, let them top their own pies and toss them on the pit to cook and you have a crowd of happy folks that all got just what they wanted.

Love, Peace and Pork Grease folks!

Shane

Share

DBQ at the Ky State BBQ Festival

Share

 Hot off the presses from last night’s Getting’ Sauced with Draper’s BBQ and the Kentucky State BBQ Festival (so dubbed KSBF from here forward because that is a lot to read) webpage, I have been asked to do the cooking demonstrations for the 2nd Ever Kentucky State BBQ Festival.  I am both honored and humbled by being asked to do this by Brad Simmon’s and the organizers of the event.

For those that were not able to attend last year’s event and missed Brad and I talking about it last night on the radio show let me attempt to describe just what this festival is all about.  The KSBF is loosely based on the Big Apple Block Party.  The organizers invite the best of the best in the world of barbecue out to cook for thousands of new friends.  In short, Joe Consumer can come out and eat the barbecue of world class pitmasters.  The list of pitmasters for this event is impressive to say the least, a definite who’s who of Q.  To get to share an event with the likes of Carey Bringle (Peg Leg Porker BBQ), Moe Cason (Ponderosa BBQ), Pete and Melissa Cookston (Yazoo’s Delta Q), Shelly Hunt (Desperados Barbecue) and Craig Kimmel (Firehouse BBQ) is an honor.

Add to that being asked to sit in for none other than Dr. BBQ, mister Ray Lampe is humbling to say the least.  Ray did amazing cooking demonstrations last year and to say one could ever replace him would be a mistake.  Ray is one of my personal bbq heroes, I got to tell him that at last years KSBF when were vending barbeque sauce and rub.  Ray was such a great guy he even used our products during his demonstrations.  The first barbecue related book I ever read was Ray’s Big Time Barbecue.  Ray has had a great influence on not only me, but a whole generation of barbecue pitmasters and I will forever be in his debt.  I can only do my best to live up to the excepti”onal standard that Ray set at last year’s KSBF.

So what can you expect from the demos this year?  Great competition tips adapted for the backyard and awesome samples cooked on a pit that anyone can use.  That’s right we will have a limited amount of samples during each class.  Mike and I have been working on a curriculum for our classes that is based on our Salt, Smoke, Meat concept.  I took this simplified concept and compressed it even further to work in a 30min demonstration.

On Saturday, September 8th I will be doing the following demos:

  • 12:30pm – Chicken – I will show you how to make competition lollipop chicken legs and let you taste them.  You will also get recipes and instruction for whole and spatchcocked chicken as well.
  • 2:30pm – Ribs – We will discuss baby backs vs spare ribs, go over how to properly trim ribs and I will give you instructions on how to cook 4hr ribs.
  • 4:45pm – Pulled Pork – We will coverBoston butts vs whole shoulders, proper trimming, proper injection and how to cook including our competition timeline.
  • 5:30pm – Brisket – I will cover picking a proper brisket, how to trim correctly, injection recommendations and of course how to cook a great brisket.

On Sunday, Sept 9th I will be doing these:

  • 11:15am – Tailgating – It’s all about easy and great entertaining with this demo.  Moink balls, wings, bacon explosion I got it all covered.
  • 1:30pm – Holiday on the Pit – Give the oven a break, I will show you how to great turkey and ham on your smoker.

We will be cooking all of this on Green Mountain Grill’s pellet grills.  We are proud to be featuring the GMG as part of the cooking process because they are a very affordable, highly capable and easy to use barbecue pit.  These pits with just a little bit of know how and anyone can be a super star in their backyard.

In addition to the demo’s we will also have our booth set up selling our sauce and rub. Danvillewas great to Draper’s BBQ last year and we sold out of sauce and rub.  We are coming prepared this year and look forward to meeting even more new friends and visiting with the fans we made last year.

As you can see this year’s Kentucky State BBQ Festival is a big event for Draper’s BBQ and we have gone “all in” on it.  We can’t wait to get there and are proud to be apart of this event!  See you there!

Share

Houston We Have Ribs

Share

Picture provided by Chile Pepper Magazine
Photographer – Rick McMillen

Many of you have been asking when you can find the issue of Chile Pepper magazine featuring us.  I got confirmation today that is hitting newsstands as we speak.  So check it out and let us know what you think.

Up until this point we have been a bit tight lipped about the details of the article and the ensuing rib competition.  We can now talk about it a bit more and share some of our experiences.  The article is of course about our competition team, experiences and what we bring to the table as a competitor in the Quest for the Perfect Ribs.  It also features our rib recipe, my favorite broccoli salad recipe and Mike’s sweet potato pie with pig candy recipe.  All in all, the editor of Chile Pepper magazine, Rick McMillen did an awesome job capturing who we are and what we are about as a competition team.  His photography skills are amazing and he was exceptionally easy to work with.  We are pleased to now count Rick as a personal friend and barbecue fanatic.

I want to also remember to thank Hoyt Liggins for the use of his amazing house down in Millington,TN for the photoshoot.  The location was nothing short of perfect and for those of you that know Hoyt you know his hospitality is second to none.  Hoyt remains one of the best people I have come across and we are blessed to call him a friend.

We begin the next leg of our journey to compete in the Quest for the Perfect Ribs on September 13th, driving to Houston,Texas.  The activity starts the next day where we attend a Meet n’ Greet hosted by McAby Media owners of Chile Pepper magazine.  This will be the first time we get to meet the rest of the CPM team as well as our competitors.

Our competitors for this challenge include:  Bill & Barbara Milroy (Texas Rib Rangers, Denton,Tx), Dann & Dianne Boland (2 Skinny Cooks, St. Charles, Il), Pete & Melissa Cookston (Yazoo’s Delta Q, Memphis, Tn), Harvey Gebhard (Lone Star BBQ Society,  Burnet, Tx) and Vince Carrocci & Alexa Fairbairn (Rhythm ‘n Que, Phoenix, Az).

As you can see for yourself, a laundry list of world class talent makes up the field and we are just proud to be included in an event that includes these amazing pitmasters.

On Saturday, September 15th the gloves come off and the competition takes place center stage at the Houston Hot Sauce Festival.  There are 3 turn-ins that take place.  The first is the main blind box turn-in to the judges.  An hour later we complete a second turn-in for people’s choice.  Finally, three hours after the people’s choice we serve ribs to the attendee’s for dinner.  The official awards ceremony takes place at 7:00pm and the Grand Champion is crowned.

The awards for this challenge are as follows:

Grand Champion – $2,000, 4 page feature story in Chile Pepper magazine, interview with editor in chief recorded and aired for 30 days on chilepepper.com, 2 ¼ page ads and 1 free booth space at the Chile Pepper Extravaganza to be held in New Orleans, La Sept 2013.

1st Place – $500, feature story in Chile Pepper magazine, interview with editor in chief recorded and aired for 15 days on chilepepper.com.

2nd Place – $250, feature story in Chile Pepper magazine.

This will mark the first live competition for Draper’s BBQ using Green Mountain Grills.  Green Mountain Grills has been a great partner and sponsor.  They are instrumental in Draper’s BBQ being able to attend this awesome event.

The test cooks we have done on the GMG’s for this event have been excellent and we expect nothing but a great cook on these cookers.  The GMG’s are easy to control the temp on, easy to maneuver, take up very little space and produce excellent barbecue.  These are essential when you are competing at a high level.

All in all this is shaping up to be one amazing opportunity and we plan to chronicle and document every part of our trip and our experiences.  So be on the look out for updates as we get ready to begin the Quest for the Perfect Rib.

Share

Draper’s BBQ and GMG

Share

Some of you may have heard the rumors, so here is the confirmation.  Draper’s BBQ is now officially sponsored by Green Mountain Grills.  This cooperative agreement is a culmination of several projects where we got to work side-by-side with members of the GMG team.  It became obvious to both us and the GMG leadership that working together on a more formal basis would greatly benefit both companies.

Draper’s up to this point has never accepted an endorsement deal or sponsorship of any kind for our competition team.  We have and will continue to help all companies whose products we believe in and use but our competition focus, for the remainder of 2012 and beyond, will now reside primarily with GMG and the pellet grill market place.

As a part of this partnership we are now also a full GMG dealer and will become an active part of driving GMG to the forefront of the pellet grilling market.  We will do everything we can as a company to support our partners in this endeavor and look forward to becoming West Kentucky’s premier full service pellet grill dealership.  We are fully committed to GMG’s policy of service excellence before, during and after the sale and we will be bringing you a line of barbecue products and classes designed to help all barbecue enthusiast get the most out of their culinary adventures.

If you have any questions about Green Mountain Grills please contact Shane or Mike via email and they would both love to help you in making the right choice for your barbecue and grilling adventures.

Share

Vacation Grillin’

Share

This past week my wife put her foot down and demanded a vacation.  You know those weird things where people/families get time alone together minus distraction, work, phones, email, texts, Facebook…..needless to say I am one of those people who are not good at vacation.  I am good at pretty much everything else, but too much down time with nothing productive to do and I start going crazy in a hurry.

So like a good husband who had been voluntold what to do, I of course packed the truck.  I was told that there would be internet at this cabin, I realize now in retrospect this was a well played ruse to get me to go.  I was fortunate to have cell signal, so internet was pushing it.  I was also told there was a grill there, even though it was a gas grill I at least had something to cook on.  I gave a few minutes of thought about taking a grill or barbecue pit with us, but I didn’t want to make the boss angry.  So I opted for tossing some cherry Mojobricks, a pound of AP Rub and a bottle of Smokin’ Sauce in a bag and away we went to Lake Barkley and our little cabin in the hills.

I will forego the complete retelling of all the madness that was our time on Lake Barkley and instead concentrate on the first meal I had to cook on the grill our first night there.

I remind you I was indeed told that it was a gas grill so I knew going in I would be hampered.  I know, I know I risk sounding like a barbecue snob but let’s be honest 90% of contraptions that are fired by gas and also sold at big box home improvement stores are terrible.  As soon as I got out of my truck I was greeted with the site of what would become the bane of my culinary existence over the next few days, the Char-Broil Classic C-210L.   I knew immediately my chances for turning out non-charred food was minimal.  All I could think was that somehow I must be on a Twighlight Zone version of Chopped or something.  To a grill lover this was the highest form of culinary handicap and unjust on many levels.  Never the less a menu had to be made and food had to be cooked as I refused to cook any of the main dishes inside on the stove during the vacation.

We unpacked and I took a minute to take full stock of the kitchen utensils and the state of the grill.  As you can see from the picture above the utensils were lacking severely and I also found that the ignitor on the grill was broken and I had nothing to start a fire with.  So I did what any man would do, I turned the stove burner on high and lit a piece of cardboard on fire and carried it out to the grill to see if it would at least light.  The burners on the grill at least seemed to be in good working order, it could use a solid cleaning but at least it made fire.

After the dry run it was time to make a grocery list and run out to the store to pick up food.  I decided that everything that was to be cooked on the grill would have to be higher heat short cook time foods.  I put chicken wings, pork steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs and things like that on my list and I knew my in-laws were coming to visit us and bringing ribeyes and all the sides one evening as well.  I already hated the idea of cooking some nice hand cut steaks on this contraption, but it was a bridge I would have to cross later.  Unfortunately, the store didn’t have wings at a reasonable price, rather at a price I was willing to pay for these particular wings anyway.  So I opted for some nice sized chicken leg quarters that were on sale.  I knew these would have to cook longer but decided the savings in the wallet were worth the risk.

Once home it was time to prep the chicken and get ready to start the meal.  I tossed several Mojobricks in the grill around the burner.  I knew they would burn up somewhat quickly but I needed to at least try to impart some resemblance of real smoke flavor into the chicken.  In the pic below you can see the Mojobrick starting to catch fire. You will also notice the burnt cardboard ashes that were used to start the fire and just how dirty this pit was.

I gave the chicken a light coat of AP Rub and tossed them on the fire.  As you can see these were pretty good sized leg quarters.  I then closed the lid and it didn’t take very long at all for the Mojobricks to start filling the air with a great cherry smoke smell.  The pic below gives you a good idea just how much smoke a few Mojo’s can put out.

It was about 20 seconds after the pic above was taken that I learned two things.  First, just how fast a small grill comes up to temp.  Second, how fast a small, dirty gas grill can turn into a bon fire.  I ran and got a large cup of water and kept it on standby from that point on. It was typical to go through two to three glasses of water during each cook.  Anything that hit the drip plate and rolled off dripped right onto the gas flame igniting a healthy flare up each time.  I couldn’t ever get more than about an arms length away from this pit due to flare ups.

Toward end of this first cook I gave up and decided to put the chicken in a pan for it to finish.  This actually worked quite well.  I wish I had figured it out sooner and I’m sure the chicken would have been void of the few char spots it had.  Truth be told though, I like a little bit of char so I wasn’t complaining that much.

I have to admit that I left my trusty Thermapen at home for this trip and it was sorely missed during this cook.  With the flare ups and not knowing what temp the grill was actually cooking at I had no choice but to separate the leg quarter at the joint to get a look at if it was done or not.  Thankfully it was indeed done, if not just a touch over done.  That’s not to say the chicken was dry, but had I left it on for another 10 minutes it likely would have been.

Once I verified the chicken was done I gave it a nice slathering of Smokin’ Sauce and I shut off the gas to the grill and left the lid closed so the sauce could set.

As you can see it’s not the sexiest yardbird ever cooked, but you know what it was kind of nice to eat good ole “regular joe” barbecue.  It had some char to it.  It was just the slightest bit over cooked.  It wasn’t evenly sauced.  It was…..good.  It was just good chicken.  It was refreshing to be reminded what just good barbecued/grilled chicken tasted like. It didn’t require a muffin pan or a bottle of blue butter.  It lacked pretentiousness and fussiness, but it didn’t lack flavor and in the end that is a destination that we should all travel to while on vacation.

Share