Bandana's Bar-B-Q KC Style Sauce

Much like the other Bandana's Bar-B-Q sauces that I've tried, the KC Style sauce was very familiar. The sauce is very thick and slightly sweet. It very closely resembles the traditional sauces made by companies like KC Masterpiece and Bulls Eye.

Bandana's tomato based sauces are safe choices for brushing on ribs and chicken. For those who enjoy licking thick, sticky sauces from their fingers while devouring a rack of ribs, KC Style, Chicago Sweet and St. Louis Sweet & Smokey will all do the trick. It's the type of sauce, much like Sweet Baby Ray's that I like to keep on hand in case we're entertaining folks with unadventurous palates.

I can't say that I recommend Bandana's KC Style sauce anymore than their others. On the other hand, you could do much worse. Check the "Product Reviews" page to see how Bandana's KC Style sauce rates.

Stage Coach Sauces' Ruby Red Garlic

I had no idea what to expect from Stage Coach Sauces' Ruby Red Garlic Glaze. Through the bottle, it looked a bit like an Asian sweet chili sauce. As the name would indicate, the thick sauce is grapefruit red and speckled with pepper flakes. 

The flavor of Ruby Red Garlic Glaze is difficult to explain. The first thing that comes to mind is a classic Italian salad dressing. However, that doesn't adequately sum up all of it's dimensions. In addition to a vinegar tang, there are also sweet and spicy elements.

Katie first wanted to try the sauce on chicken wings. After baking up 3 lbs of wings, I tossed a dozen of them in the Ruby Red. The glaze was an interesting contrast to the other flavors (BBQ and Buffalo) we were using, but I just didn't feel like chicken wings were the best application for the Ruby Red Garlic Glaze.

Next I decided to use the sauce as a glaze for plank grilled salmon. I grilled wild caught salmon fillets on cedar and cherry planks and brushed each fillet with the Ruby Red Garlic Glaze just before taking the fish off the grill. The sweet and tangy flavors of the glaze turned out to be a perfect match for the smokey salmon. The glaze adds plenty of flavor, but is still subtle enough to allow the flavor of the fish (and even the wood smoke) to come out.

I still have nearly half a bottle remaining and I continue to seek out uses for this unique glaze. At this point, I can certainly recommend Stage Coach Sauces' Ruby Red Garlic Glaze for grilled fish, especially salmon. Check out the "Product Reviews" page to see how Ruby Red Garlic Glaze compares to other sauces.

New Feature: Game Day Recipes

College football is just a week away. With the dawn of a new season, The "Q" Review is excited about our new weekly feature, Game Day Recipes. Every Saturday, through November, I'll post a tailgate friendly recipe. Each recipe will feature step by step instructions and photos that will help make you the star of your tailgate party.

It all starts next Saturday (Sept 3rd) with Grilled Wildfire Wings....

Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce

Looking for sauce that's good on just about everything? Country Bob's may be just what you need. Country Bob's truly is an "all purpose" sauce. I've used Country Bob's on burgers, cheese steaks, potatoes, smoked chicken and even casseroles.

Many products that I've tried are advertised as "all purpose," but Country Bob's is the first sauce I've sampled that truly seems to compliment everything. Most people that I've shared it with have compared it to the classic A1 steak sauce. Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce does have a similar flavor to A1, but it's not an exact match. Country Bob's is a bit thicker. It also has an added dimension of sweetness.

Country Bob's products are available at retailers all over the country. They can also be ordered online. In addition to their all purpose sauce, they also offer BBQ sauce, seasoned salt and spicy all purpose sauce. To see how I rate Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce, check the "Product Reviews" page.

Dizzy Pig BBQ Raging River Rub

The Dizzy Pig BBQ company sent samples of all eleven of their signature spice blends. Thus far, their salt free Raging River has been my favorite. Dizzy Pig's website says that Raging River was developed as a salmon seasoning, but has evolved into an all purpose blend. I decided to use the product as intended on four wild caught (unfortunately, not by me) salmon fillets.

I grilled the seasoned salmon on pre-soaked apple and cedar planks from Maine Grilling Woods. The Raging River blend is definitely a perfect fit for salmon. It's mild and slightly sweet. When tasted on it's own, I also picked up some citrus flavor. I think the sweet rub was a nice compliment to the smokey flavor provided by the wood planks.

Raging River could easily become my go-to seasoning blend for grilled salmon. Based on the ingredients and flavor profile, I could also see it being a good spice blend for pork and even summer salads. Check out the "Product Reviews" page to see how Raging River compares to other blends.

Denny Mike's Cow Bell Hell

Denny Mike's strikes again. This weekend, I used yet another quality product from the Denny Mike's lineup, Cow Bell Hell. This spicey red meat rub is recommended for beef, sausage and wild game. I used it to give my brisket a little extra flavor boost.

Cow Bell Hell turned out to be a perfect choice for brisket. It's a savory blend that brings to mind the earthy flavors of Texas BBQ. The rub contains no sugar and therefore, no sweetness. The primary ingredients of paprika, garlic and salt are meshed with several unnamed "spices" for perfectly balanced blend.

Though Cow Bell Hell is a savory rub, the salt content isn't all that high (in comparsion with many other rubs).  The heat level isn't extreme either. It's just enough spice to makes your lips tingle. However, on the large brisket, the heat really wasn't a factor.

Denny Mike's Cow Bell Hell is exactly the type of blend that I like to use on large cuts of beef. I can also see it being quite good on wild game as the label suggests. If you're looking for something to spice up a roast, brisket, beef ribs, burgers or meatloaf, consider Cow Bell Hell.

See how Denny Mike's Cow Bell Hell rates on the "Product Reviews" page.

Smoking Brisket

Though I spend a lot of time grilling and smoking meats, beef brisket is not a cut that I've had much experience with. In fact, this weekend is only the third time I've tried to smoke a brisket. I hadn't had much luck with the first two, but I had recently done some research and was hoping my newly aquired knowledge would allow me to be up for the challenge.

I started with a fresh whole (15 lb) brisket that had been vaccum sealed. With the rapidly rising prices of beef, the brisket was actually less per pound than ground chuck (80/20).
I have limited space in my smoker so I divided the brisket into three parts. I cut the flat (6-7) pounds and set it aside for smoking. I froze the other to pieces to be oven roasted at a later date. After trimming up a little excess fat, I drizzled the brisket flat with olive oil and coated it with Denny Mike's Cow Bell Hell (spicy beef rub). I also injected the beef with a mixture of red wine vinegar, olive oil and worcestershire sauce.
I let the brisket rest overnight so that the rub and spices could work their magic. Brisket is a thick, tough cut that requires a lot of time for the spices to penetrate the meat. The next day, I set up the smoker for low and slow cooking. I added a mixture of cherry and alder wood from Maine Grilling Woods to the coals. Normally I would use mequite or hickory for brisket, but I was out of those paritcular varities.
I smoked the brisket for about 7 hours at 225-250 degrees, basting the meat with the vinegar/worcestshire mixture every hour. After seven hours, I wrapped the meat tightly in foil, added a 1/4 cup of liquid and cooked it for an additional 6 hours. It's important to give meat a chance to rest after removing it from the heat. For brisket, I would recommend letting it rest at least an hour before cutting into it.

The next challenge was slicing the brisket. I don't have very good knives and the task normally requires an ultra sharp slicing knife. All I could do was choose the knife that seemed the sharpest and slice it as evenly as possible. Despite the dull knife shredding bits of the beef, most of it actually sliced pretty well. The end result was a large mound of delicious, uniformly sliced beef.
This brisket was definitely the best I've done so far. The smoke ring wasn't quite as prominent as I was hoping, but the overall appearance, flavor and texture was very good. I served the brisket with Jake's original bbq sauce which paired nicely with the beef.

Free Sauce Giveaway - Dimples BBQ Sauce

Dimples (Raleigh, NC) is offering a free 16 oz bottle of their original BBQ sauce to the winner of this weekend's contest. 


To win, you must "Like" the Dimples' Facebook Page. You then must leave a comment suggesting a BBQ sauce flavor. Tell them The "Q" Review sent you.

Note: This giveaway is courtesy of Dimples BBQ Sauce and is not sponsored by The "Q" Review.

We've gone Mobile!

If you're a techie, gadget geek or teenager, you no doubt own a smart phone. You can now view The "Q" Review's content on the go. Just scan the QR code above with your mobile device and you'll be directed to our mobile site.

Denny Mike's Hot 'n Nasty

Despite living in New England, Denny Mike's BBQ beginnings can be traced directly to Texas. His bio states the belief that Texas BBQ is the standard by which all other BBQ is measured. His Sweet 'n Spicey sauce may be his original sauce, but Hot 'n Nasty is definitely more representative of the Texas BBQ roots that he proclaims.

Hot 'n Nasty is bold, earthy and definitely hot. Though it won't scorch your mouth, it has enough raw heat to be an adults only condiment. There is no doubt that this sauce would be a hit in Texas. Hot 'n Nasty combines the heat of jalapenos, habenaros and cayenne to produce it's lip tingling taste.

Keeping with the Texas theme, I had to use Hot 'n Nasty on beef. I slow smoked beef back ribs with mesquite wood and charcoal. I brushed the ribs with several coats of Hot 'n Nasty as they finished. The flavors of Hot 'n Nasty were tailor made for beef.

I used the remainder of the bottle on smoked chicken. Rather than glazing the bird, I pulled the meat from the bone after smoking it. I then used the thin Hot 'n Nasty sauce as a dip for the smokey poultry.

Hot 'n Nasty is another quality sauce from Denny Mike's. It contains quality, all natural ingredients and is produced in small batches. Much like the Sweet 'n Spicy sauce, my wife loved this smokey Texas blend. Denny Mike's is quickly becoming a brand of choice in our household.

See how Hot 'n Nasty compares to other great sauces on the "Product Reviews" page.

Featured Sponsor: is owned and operated by Patrick Carlson of Valdosta, GA. Patrick has been free lance cartooning and creating BBQ logos for more than twenty years. In 2004, he parlayed his talents into a full time business. Over the years, Patrick has created hundreds logos and animated characters. In addition to his BBQ logos, Patrick creates other corporate logos and has even authored and illustrated a children's book. 

The "Q" Review was so impressed with Patrick's work that we asked him to create our new logo. I couldn't be happier with my experience with Patrick. He was incredibly helpful and easy to work with. He took my vague suggestions and miraculously turned them into exactly what I was looking for. 

Patrick provides his customers with a variety of digitial files in all the neccesary formats. His logos can be easily applied to business cards, T-Shirts, or signage. Given the quality of work and personal service that Patrick provides, his moderate rates are an excellent value.

If you or your company are in need of a logo or other illustrated design, I highly recommend Patrick and He's talented, professional and easy to work with. Go to his website to view dozens of samples of his work. If you do contact Patrick, tell him The "Q" Review sent you.

We Have our Winners!!!

We have two winners for our inaugural free sauce giveaway courtesy of Country Bob's. The following two "Q" Review readers have each won 2 bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. Please send your mailing address to . Your sauce will be mailed shortly.

1. LD Jackson
2. Brett Thompson

Congrats to the winners and thank you to everyone that entered. Hopefully, this is the first of many product giveaways.

Special thanks to Country Bob's. The "Q" Review owes a debt of gratitude to companies like yours.

Maine Grilling Woods

Fuel is a key element of the BBQ process that is often taken for granted. Creating authentic, slow smoked BBQ requires a quality hard wood fuel source. The folks at Maine Grilling Woods understand this better than most. Maine Grilling Woods is a family owned and operated company that provides high quality grilling and smoking woods to the public.

Of all the products that I have been fortunate enough to sample this summer, none of them had me as excited as the Maine Grilling Woods sampler boxes. Maine Grilling Woods sent sample packs of their wood chunks, chips, round planks (with bark) and traditional rectangular grilling planks. Though I'm fairly experienced using chips and chunks in conjunction with charcoal for slow smoking, I had never used grilling planks prior to receiving the Maine Grilling Woods' products.

I was impressed the moment I opened the package. Each sampler contained a variety of hardwoods:  Sugar Maple, Olive, Oak, Hickory, Mesquite, Alder, Apple, Black Cherry, Cedar and Beechnut. The various woods were individually packaged and convienently labeled. The wood was also the cleanest product I had ever encountered. I normally purchase wood chunks / chips from the big box stores. There is no comparison between what they offer and the product Maine Grilling Woods sells. I was really blown away by the quality and appearance of the wood.

I didn't waste any time putting the wood to the test. Shortly after the samples arrived, I used mesquite chunks to hot smoke chicken thighs. I then used hickory and oak chips in a vertical chamber smoker for spare ribs. The wood burned clean and produced a fantastic smoke ring. I've since used the apple and black cherry chips and chunks (mixed with charcoal) for ribs and pork shoulders.

Ribs, pork and chicken smoked with Maine GrillingWoods

As I mentioned before, the grilling planks were somewhat foreign to me. I'd seen chefs grill salmon using cedar planks on television, but I had never actually used them. The first time I used the round / oval planks, I soaked oak and alder overnight. I then placed a chicken thigh on each plank and grilled them over hot coals. The wood absolutely provided an additional smokey flavor. I was also pleased to see that it didn't slow the cooking process much or prevent the skin from crisping on the chicken.

I've since found other uses for the planks. I grilled filet mignon on a round sugar maple plank. I also used two hickory planks to add smoke to a grilled whole chicken on the gas grill. I turned the outside burners on med/high and placed a wet plank over each one. I then stuck the bird on the center of the grill with no heat directly below it. The smoldering planks provided just the smoke flavor I was looking for.

One great thing about the planks is the presentation factor. The round planks are just the right size for single servings of steak, chicken or fish. The rectangular planks are large enough for couples. Serving the protein still on the plank adds flair in addition to flavor.

I still have several varities of wood to test out, but I've used enough of the samples to form a pretty solid opinion of Maine Grilling Woods' product. I have a hard time believing there is a better BBQ wood product anywhere. I look forward experimenting further with plank grilling. I highly recommend Maine Grilling Woods samplers as gifts for the BBQ enthusiast in your life.

Learn more about Maine Grilling Woods by clicking the title of this review. See how I rate their chunks, chips, and planks on the "Product Reviews" page.

Free Sauce Giveaway - Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce

Forget 50 Facebook likes (we'll get there eventually). We've got some sauce to give away. The "Q" Review is proud to partner with Country Bob's for our first ever Free Sauce Giveaway!

Country Bob's is offering up two bottles (each) of their All Purpose Sauce for two lucky "Q" Review readers. I tried the sauce on burgers and really enjoyed it. I think you will too.

How to Enter:
Facebook guidelines won't allow me to enter people into drawings simply by clicking "Like" on The "Q" Review's page so I have one more hoop for your to jump through.

You can enter one of two ways...

1. Comment on this blog post - Include your name and the words "Country Bob's"

2. Comment on The "Q" Review's Facebook page with the words "Country Bob's".

Contest starts now and will conclude Sunday, August 14th @ 8 p.m. Winners will be determined using's number generator and will be announced shortly after 8.

Stop by Country Bob's Facebook page and say a quick thank you...(not required, but appreciated)

Saucy Dog's Barbeque (Jonesville, MI)

Though this country has seen a BBQ boom in the last ten years, my home state of Michigan has been slow to follow. Using Google, I have only been able to locate about a dozen true smokin "Q" joints in the entire state. Compare that to my current location, North Carolina, where there are a dozen establishments in every city.

Fortunately, one of the few "Q" sources in the state can be found just a short drive from my hometown. On our recent trip home to visit family, I got the chance sample some Michigan BBQ at Saucy Dog's Barbeque (Jonesville). I met my brother, Jeremy, on a Tuesday afternoon for lunch. Most of the tables and booths were full. I suppose that's to be expected. Saucy Dog's Barbecue was voted Hillsdale County's best place for lunch.

Saucy Dog's has a pretty robust menu that includes burgers, dogs and fish in addition to slow smoked BBQ. Though I typically order ribs or pulled pork whenever I go to a new joint, I was entering a period of pork overload for the week. I already had dinner plans with a friend of mine that evening and I was pretty certain he would serve pork. I was also booked to smoke ribs for the family just two days later. With all of that in mind, I decided on a combination platter that included 1/2 smoked chicken, beef brisket, beans, slaw and corn bread.

I was particularly interested in the beef. Brisket is a pretty foreign cut in the great lakes region. It's not something you see in grocery stores or on restaurant menus very often. I was interested to see Saucy Dogs' take on what can be a difficult cut to prepare. The hearty serving of brisket came sliced about the width of a #2 pencil, which is exactly how it should be. It was correctly cut acrossed the grain making the beef pull-a-part tender. The beef was slightly dry, but very flavorful. The rub created an excellent salty bark on the exterior.

If the beef was satifactory, then the chicken was exceptional. The 1/2 bird was moist and smokey. The skin was crispy from being finished on the grill. BBQ chicken is difficult to get right in a restaurant. It's not easy to keep the meat (especially the breast) moist while still maintaining crisp skin.

The size of the platter was more than adequate. I took half of the brisket home for Katie to sample (she really enjoyed it). The vinegar slaw was a bit plain, but the baked beans and cornbread were quite good. For the price ($12.99), I was quite satisfied with my Saucy Dog's Barbecue experience.

To see how Saucy Dog's Barbecue compares to other joints from all over the country, click the "BBQ Ratings" page. Be sure to check out The "Q" Review's new Facebook page as well. "Like" the page and you'll be instantly eligible to win free BBQ product during our future giveaways.

Denny Mike's Sweet 'n Spicy BBQ Sauce

Sweet 'n Spicy is Denny Mike's original signature sauce. Like all of Denny Mike's creations, Sweet 'n Spicy is all natural and prepared in small batches ensuring a top quality product. Sweet 'n Spicy is indeed top quality. It's the first Denny Mike's sauce to be reviewed and it set the bar high for the others that follow.

I smoked a whole chicken for dinner this evening and gave Katie the choice between finishing the bird with Denny Mike's Sweet 'n Spicy or Hot 'n Nasty sauces. She chose Sweet 'n Spicy and we were both glad that she did. After the bird had smoked with hickory wood for about an hour and twenty minutes, I brushed it with a coat of Sweet 'n Spicy. I gave it an additional coat fifteen minutes later before removing it from the heat.

As the lable indicates, the sauce is initially sweet, but not excessively. The sauce is sweetened with ingredients like honey, molasses, brown sugar and pineapple juice giving it more than just the typical one note sweetness of corn syrup based sauces. The sweetness is balanced by the heat that follows. Again, it's all in moderation. The heat isn't enough to scare off most people. There is an unusual smokey depth to the sauce's flavor that is tough to pin point. It's more bold than other sweet sauces (Big Dave's or Bone Suckin). I can only assume that unusual ingredients like anchovies and tamarind concentrate are the culprits. Whatever the secret is, it works for Denny Mike's

I personally enjoyed the sauce and recommend it to anyone looking for a quality all natural sauce for ribs, chicken or pork. The sauce is on the thinner side, but still adequate for brushing on meat as a finishing glaze. It seems to work best as a dip or poured over the finished product.

It should be noted that Katie especially enjoyed Denny Mike's Sweet 'n Spicy. While dipping her chicken in the sauce, she noted, "This is how BBQ sauce should taste." In fact, she would later say that it has become her new favorite sauce. That's pretty high praise from someone who has sampled dozens of sauces and developed a fairly descernable palate.

After tasting the Sweet 'n Spicy sauce, I'm really looking forward to Denny Mike's other varities. Check out the "Product Reviews" page to see how Sweet 'n Spicy rates.

The "Q" Review joins Facebook!

The "Q" Review is happy to announce their new Facebook page. Click this link and become a fan of The "Q" Review. I look forward to reaching a greater audience through social media. I will also be using Facebook to partner with top sauce companies for free product giveaways! Stay tuned. The first sauce giveaway is coming up soon.

The Dizzy Pig Shakin the Tree Seasoning

Shakin the Tree is the second of eleven spice blends from The Dizzy Pig Bar-B-Q that I've tested. Shakin the Tree is a fragrant lemon pepper all purpose seasoning. The Dizzy Pig website recommends Shakin the Tree for everything from salmon to steak and potatoes.

I particularly enjoy lemon pepper on seafood so I decided to use the Shakin the Tree rub for baked fish. I thawed some whiting fillets, seasoned them liberally with the spice blend and put them in the oven for eight minutes at 375 degrees. I served the fish with pasta and mixed vegetables.

Shakin the Tree is not just a typical lemon pepper. There is additional depth and even a bit of heat in the background provided by other spices in the blend. Though the Dizzy Pig claims that Shakin the Tree is more mild than most of their spice blends, I thought the flavors were still pretty bold. For thin fillets like whiting, I would recommend using the spice rub in moderation.

I enjoyed Shakin the Tree on the baked fish and would recommend it for a variety of seafoods. I could also see it being very good on chicken and vegetables. For the record, my wife loved it. She's tried nearly every sample that I've received and this was her favorite.

Check back for additional reviews of The Dizzy Pig Bar-B-Q products. You can see how Shakin the Tree rates on the "Product Reviews" page.

Bandana's Bar-B-Q St. Louis Sweet & Smokey Sauce

Though I wasn't blown away by the first Bandana's sauce (Chicago Sweet) that I used, I decided to give them another try when I smoked ribs for the family last week. This time I chose their St. Louis Sweet & Smokey sauce. According to the Bandana's website, the sauce was made for the Midwestern palate and is their best seller.

Since I was smoking St. Louis cut spareribs for a crowd of native Michiganders, it seemed like a safe choice. I tasted the sauce before actually putting it on the ribs and was pleasantly surprised. The thick sauce is exactly as described. The flavors are both sweet and smokey, but mild in both regards. It's not quite as sweet as Sweet Baby Ray's, but it did have a similar flavor profile.

After tasting Bandana's St. Louis Sweet & Smokey sauce it's easy to see why it has become their best seller. It's the type of sauce that won't wow anybody, but just about everyone will like it. It definitely has mass appeal and is undeniably a step up from the Chicago Sweet sauce.

Much like the Chicago Sweet, this sauce was quite thick. It worked well for glazing, producing fingerlicking sticky ribs. If you wanted to use it for pulled or chopped pork, I would suggest cutting the thickness significantly with apple cider vinegar. The extra vinegar tang would be a nice boost to the flavor as well.

Check the Product Reviews page to see how Bandana's St. Louis Sweet & Smokey sauce rates.

Dizzy Pig BBQ Cowlick Beef Rub

Dizzy Pig BBQ began selling their all natural, hand blended spice rubs six years ago. They currently have eleven unique blends ranging from convential all purpose BBQ rubs to exotic combinations with Asian and Caribbean inspired spices. Dizzy Pig BBQ spices are used by competition BBQ teams and restaurants, but are also available for retail sale to the public.

Dizzy Pig sent samples of all eleven varities for review. The first product that I tested was the Cow Lick Steak seasoning. I first used this peppery blend on grilled beef tenderloin. The spicy rub added a nice kick to a cut of beef that can always use a flavor boost. Everyone who tried the Cow Lick rub on their steaks really enjoyed it.

I used the remainder of the sample on some marinated shoulder steaks. The added heat was a welcome addition to the relatively low quality cut. Cow Lick is not a sweet spice rub. In fact, it contains no sugar. Instead, Cow Lick compliments the savory flavor of beef with and earthy pepper blend. It also has a lower salt content than many spice rubs so that the beef flavor is not over powered by the salt.

For those that like a bit of heat to accent their steaks, Dizzy Pig BBQ's Cow Lick Steak seasoning is a fair choice. Though, the rub was only a minor enhancement to the beef's flavor, the added spice was a plus. To learn more about all eleven Dizzy Pig BBQ rubs, click the title of this review. See how they rate on the "Product Reviews" page.

Kozlowski Farms Pomegranate & Pineapple Chipotle Grilling Sauce

Bringing a nice bottle of wine to accompany the food is fairly common practice for someone who is invited to dinner. However, I don't drink wine and know absolutely nothing about pairing wines with food. So, when my good friend, Brian Pridgeon, invited me for dinner, I decided to stick with what I know and brought a bottle of Kozlowski Farms' Pomegranate & Pineapple Roasted Chipotle sauce.

The Pridgeon family owns and operates one of the largest pig farms in Southern Michigan so I figured it was a safe bet he'd be serving pork. I chose the Kozlowski Farms sauce because I really enjoyed the sweet and smokey flavor of their Apricot & Mango Roasted Chipotle sauce. I had similar expectations for the Pomegranate & Pineapple sauce.

As expected, Brian had a nicely trimmed pork loin ready for the grill when I arrived. He lightly coated it with oil and seasoned it generously with McCormick Grillmates Cinnamon Chipotle rub. He then seared the loin on all sides before reducing the heat and allowing the pork to cook through.

Kozlowski Farms' Pomegranate & Pineapple Roasted Chipotle sauce turned out to be a perfect compliment to the salty rub. We used the sweet sauce as a dip for the grilled pork loin. The chipotle flavors in both the sauce and rub blended nicely. Like the apricot & mango sauce, this sauce had a very sweet initial taste. It also finished with a pleasant smokey spice. The pomegranate & pineapple sauce wasn't quite as thick as the apricot & mango, but it was still thick enough to cling to the meat as it was dipped.

The flavors of the two sauces are quite similar despite different fruit being used in each. They're so similar that I'm not sure that I prefer one over the other. Both are exceptional. I can't remember the exact adjective that Brian used when he first tasted it, but he certainly approved. Add dipping sauce for grilled pork loin to the growing list of uses for Kozlowski Farms' chipotle grilling sauces.

Click the title of this review to learn more about Kozlowski Farms and their various gourmet products. You can also read my review of their apricot & mango sauce here. The rating for Kozlowski Farms' Pomegranate & Pineapple Roasted Chipotle Grilling and Dipping Sauce can be found on the "Product Reviews" page.

Bandana's Bar-B-Q Chicago Sweet Sauce

Bandana's Bar-B-Q is a BBQ restaurant chain with locations throughout Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. The first restaurant opened in 1996 in Arnold, MO. Bandana's commitment to wood smoked Southern Bar-B-Q has remained true as they've continued to expand.

Bandana's sent samples of each of their six sauces and two rubs. I used the first of their sauces, Chicago Sweet, for the smoked chicken thighs that I served at a family cookout. The Chicago Sweet sauce was a bit of surprise. The biggest surprise was that it wasn't all that sweet. When a label suggests "sweet" I usually think of a brown sugar, honey sauce. Bandana's Chicago Sweet has an sweet element provided by the corn syrup, but nothing that really sticks out.

Though I can't say that I've experienced Chicago BBQ, I felt like the sauce was remarkably similar to K.C. Masterpiece. The dark color and thick texture very closely resemble that of Masterpiece (and many other inexpensive commercial sauces). The flavor is pretty subdued in all facets. It's not quite bold, sweet, smokey or spicy enough to stand out

The consensus at the cookout was that the sauce was "familiar," but not exceptional. It's a safe choice for brushing on chicken or ribs, but I can't say that I would recommend it. For more information on Bandana's Bar-B-Q, click the title of this review. You can also see how I rate the Chicago Sweet sauce on the Product Reviews page. Check back here at The "Q" Review for future reviews of additional Bandana's products.

Stage Coach Sauces Carolina BBQ

I introduced my family to the Stage Coach brand during last week's Michigan trip. After enjoying their Bonafide BBQ sauce so much, I was really looking forward to putting their other sauces to the test. We opted to use their mustard based Carolina BBQ sauce for grilled brats.

I don't know that grilled brats were what the Stage Coach folks had in mind when they developed their Carolina BBQ sauce, but the mustard sauce was a good fit with the classic midwestern sausage. Mustard sauces are typically used in North and South Carolina for chopped pork and spare ribs. Bratwurst are rarely on the menu at Carolina cookouts.

In my Michigan circle of friends and family, bratwurst is very popular. It's typically grilled and topped with hotdog condiments like ketchup, mustard, onions and relish. We topped our brats with carmelized onions spiced with BBQ rub and this slightly sweet Carolina BBQ sauce.

As with all Stage Coach Sauces products, the Carolina BBQ sauce is all natural mustard. Though it's naturally sweetened, it's not quite as sweet as other mustard sauces (Bone Suckin & Cattleman's) that I have tried. Mustard is most definitely the dominant flavor.

I've stated in previous reviews that mustard isn't my favorite condiment. Though I liked Stage Coach Sauces' Carolina BBQ much better than a typical yellow mustard, I would have liked a bit more sweetness. As is, it's still a nice condiment for burgers, dogs and brats. However, for me to use it as an actual BBQ sauce, I'd need additional sweetness. I also think it could benefit from some heat. In my opinion, the flavor lacked the depth of a Bone Suckin Sweet Hot Mustard witch was quite a bit sweeter and included chunks of jalepenos for spice.

Overall, Carolina BBQ is still a quality product made by a quality company. I would absolutely recommend this product as an alternative to regular yellow mustard. If you're a true mustard lover, you may enjoy it as a BBQ sauce as well.

See how Stage Coach Sauces' Carolina BBQ rates compared with to other sauces. Click Here

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