Grumpy's Not So Bold BBQ Sauce

Grumpy's BBQ Sauces have been picking up awards from competitions all over the country over the last several years. If you've tried their products, you're probably not surprised. The "Q" Review gained a great deal of respect for this brand after sampling Grumpy's Bold XX. (See the raving 5 star review)

Like all of Grumpy's BBQ sauces, Not So Bold is packaged in 16 oz. glass bottles. This particular variety features an orange label. The dark mahogany sauce is pretty thick and pours moderately slow.

While Bold XX found a perfect balance of spice, sweetness and smoke flavor, Not So Bold toned back the flavor dial quite a bit. The all natural, tomato based sauce is a familiar Midwestern style that is heavy on the sweet thanks to an abundance of brown sugar. Not So Bold is the only sauce that I can remember with brown sugar list first among the ingredients. There is a slight note of hickory smoke flavor, but sugary sweetness is definitely dominant. The ingredient list also features vinegar, hot sauce and cayenne pepper. Tang and spice, however, were undetectable.

I used Not So Bold for both ribs and pulled pork. The thick sauce painted the ribs nicely. Though the flavor wasn't quite as bold as I'd have preferred, it was still adequately tasty and sticky on the bones. Out of the bottle, the sauce was a little thicker than I like for drizzling on smoked pork. To remedy this, I heated the sauce and mixed it with the smokey chopped pork. Paired with a tangy coleslaw, the Grumpy's sauced pork was a hit.

Though it doesn't quite hold up next to Bold XX, Grumpy's Not So Bold is still the type of sauce that nearly everyone can enjoy. It's comparable to the popular line of Sweet Baby Ray's. I give Grumpy's a slight nod over the national brands for the simple fact that they use all natural ingredients.

Check out the full line of Grumpy's BBQ Sauces on their website. The star rating for Not So Bold can be found on our Product Review's page.

Urban Accents Cayman Citrus Dryglaze

Chicago based Urban Accents produces a wide range of gourmet spice blends. Aimed at today's wave of home cooks, Urban Accents's blends feature modern takes on everything from BBQ rubs to seasoned salts. I previously reviewed their Red Pepper and Garlic Beef and Burger Rub as well as their Perfect Pork Cedar Spice Roasting Rub.

In addition to the Urban Accents pork and beef rubs, Snazzy Gourmet ( also sent their Cayman Citrus Heat DryGlaze. Though I wasn't familiar with the term "DryGlaze," I was looking forward to using the sweet and spicy blend. Carribean inspired flavors are among my favorites.

Cayman Citrus Heat is packaged in 2 oz. pouches. The spice blend if finely ground. The spices are primarily red in color thanks to the presence of a variety of chilies.

I used Cayman Citrus Heat on both grilled chicken and turkey. Each time I used the rub, I applied it thoroughly and allowed the meat to rest overnight. The sweet heat was perfect on the mild white meat poultry. The rub has a substantial amount of sugar which caramelized nicely on the grill. With red pepper, chili pepper and jalapeno pepper in the ingredient list, I expected plenty of spice. I definitely wasn't disappointed. Cayman Citrus heat has a sneaky heat that slowly builds in the back of your mouth bite after bite.

The combination of sweet and spicy works so well in this spice blend. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this Dry Glaze is the way the flavors managed to penetrate to the interior of the meat. While most rubs only season the exterior, this spice blend worked almost like a marinade flavoring the poultry throughout.

With yet another top shelf product, Urban Accents has made me a believer. Upscale and vibrant, their spice rubs are as tasty as they are unique. Their a welcome alternative to the familiar blends that I typically use.

Note: Samples of this product were provided by Snazzy Gourmet. Check out to purchase Urban Accents products or any of their other sauces, marinades, rubs and snacks.

Tendergrass Farms Beyond Organic Meats (Pt. 2)

In part 1 of my Tendergrass Farms review, I highlighted their grass fed beef products. Each of the steaks was very good, especially the ribeyes. Though grass fed beef is a major part of the Tendergrass operation, it's not the only thing they have to offer. Tendergrass partner farms also raise pastured pork and poultry.

To round out my order with Tendergrass, I selected a "Beyond Organic" turkey breast and "Beyond Organic" Italian sausages. The turkey breast weighed slightly over two pounds and was vacuum sealed. The cut was just the right size for a standard family of 4. I'd always roasted turkey breasts in the past, but I decided to try something a little different with this one. Since it wasn't any thicker than a typical whole chicken breast, I seasoned it with a sweet and spicy rub and threw it on the grill.

As expected, the turkey breast was mild and lean. It grilled up nicely, taking on the Caribbean inspired flavors of the spice rub. The turkey breast proved to be a very versatile cut. While roasting is obviously the most popular method of preparation, grilling is a perfectly viable option given the size of these particular breasts. Like chicken, they can also be exceptional with a wide variety of flavor profiles. I used a sweet and spicy tropical rub, but anything from Tex Mex to Asian (or even simply salt and pepper) spices will work.

Tendergrass Farms' "Beyond Organic" Italian sausage is vacuum sealed in 12-14 oz. packages containing for rustic links. Using only pastured, organic pork, these sausages do NOT contain the nitrates that are so prevalent in most sausage products. These sausages are were mild and surprisingly lean. They weren't nearly as greasy as sausage products that I usually purchase at our local meat markets. 

I thought the flavor of these sausages was exceptional. We purchase and consume organic sausages on a regular basis and these are among the best we've had. They're perfectly seasoned. Not too salty or too spicy. I cooked the sausages on two occasions: first slicing them up for my jambalaya and later serving them whole on hotdog buns with grilled sweet peppers and onions. 

Tendergrass Farms offers a wide variety of "Beyond Organic" meats raised by small, family farmers that  pride themselves on producing a superior product. Rather than meeting standards set by government, these passionate farmers have raised the bar and set their own standards much higher. Using techniques like rotational grazing and abstaining from antibiotic use can be a difficult and costly way to raise animals, but Tendergrass farmers are committed to these practices. For those that appreciate these methods, operations like Tendergrass Farms are an alternative to mass production. Organic and grass fed meats will certainly cost you more than what you find behind most supermarket meat counters. However, for many, knowing where your food comes from is far more valuable.

If you're interested in learning more about grass fed beef or "Beyond Organic" meats, check out the Tendergrass Farms website,

Tendergrass Farms Beyond Organic Meats (Pt. 1)

Tendergrass Farms is a small collection of family farms committed to raising the highest quality pastured, organic beef, pork and poultry. Their personal standards exceed any outlined by the USDA resulting in a product they call "Beyond Organic". Each of their animals is free to forage in open grassy pastures. Additionally, Tendergrass partner farms abstain from using hormones and antibiotics that most meat producers rely on to increase yields.

This is the second time I've been fortunate enough to sample and review Tendergrass products. Several months ago I reviewed their grass fed beef flat iron steak and their pastured pork spare ribs. The company now has a new look and website. They also have an expanded selection of pastured meats available for purchase online.

Founding Farmer, David Maren provided several products from the vast Tendergrass lineup for review. David and his family raise pastured turkeys for Tendergrass. The quality of products David sent for the first round of reviews was exceptional. I was really excited to see what he had to offer this time around. I used their new e-commerce website to make my selections. The process was incredibly easy. The site is informative and very user friendly. The meat arrived at my doorstep frozen and packed in dry ice just a couple days after placing my order. If you have any reservations about having meat shipped, you needn't be concerned. The folks at Tendergrass know what they're doing. Your order will arrive professionally packed, vacuum sealed and frozen.

I selected three different cuts of grass fed beef for review: ribeye steaks, sirloin steaks and filet mignon. To vary things up a bit, I also chose a pastured turkey breast and two packages of the "Beyond Organic" pork Italian sausages.

Grass Fed Beef Sirloin Steaks: The sirloins were the first product that I sampled. In fact, I pulled them out to thaw as soon as the package arrived. Each steak was approximately 8 oz. and individually sealed. I've always loved sirloin for it's robust beef flavor. These steaks absolutely delivered on that point. They were very lean, but quite juicy despite the fact that I over cooked them a bit.

Grass Fed Sirloin Steak
Grass Fed Ribeyes: It's hard to beat a good ribeye. Few cuts of beef have as much flavor as a well marbled rib steak. Tendergrass grass fed ribeyes have just the right ratio of fat for my liking. Though they're a bit leaner than the ribeyes I typically get from our local meat market, they were still packed with flavor. I marinated the steaks before they hit the broiler, but I don't think I needed to. In addition to an exceptional flavor, the steaks were also quite tender. They sliced very easily. Of all the products that I've sampled from Tendergrass Farms, these grass fed ribeyes may have been my favorite.

Grass Fed Ribeye Steak
Grass Fed Filet Mignon: I finished off the beef selections with the king of steaks, the Filet Mignon. Known for it's butter like tenderness, the filet is a cut usually reserved for special occasions. Thanks to Tendergrass Farms, we turned an ordinary Wednesday into a special occasion, by grilling up four of these petite steaks. Tendergrass filets average around 4 oz. in weight. They are cut in the neighborhood of 1" thick. I seasoned these little gems simply with olive oil, salt and pepper. They grilled for just a couple of minutes on each side. Filet is a cut that you definitely don't want to overcook. Miraculously, I managed to hit medium-rare on all four steaks. True to form, Tendergrass grass fed filets were nearly fork tender. Though I prefer a heartier cut, it's easy to see what the filet is adored by so many. It's truly a delicacy. (Sorry, no pictures for the filets)

There are so many benefits to eating grass fed beef. Not only is it a healthier option, it's also a way to support small, family farms that take pride in providing a higher quality product. You don't have to sacrifice flavor either. Grass fed beef from Tendergrass Farms has all the rich, meaty flavor you expect from a great steak.

Be sure to check out to learn more about Tendergass Farms. You can also purchase your own grass fed beef or pastured pork and poultry. Check back with The "Q" Review for Pt.2 of our feature on Tendergrass farms where I'll spotlight their pastured turkey and pork.

Fox Bros. Wing Sauce

Fox Bros. BBQ is recognized throughout the South as one of the premier BBQ destinations in Georgia. This Atlanta joint is quickly gaining fame for their mix of sweet Southern "Q" with a spicy, Texas influence. In response to customer demand, Fox Bros. now sells their signature BBQ and Wing sauces in local supermarkets and online at

Fox Bros. Wing Sauce is packaged in 16 oz glass bottles. The packaging is pretty standard and the label a bit uninspiring. The dark red sauce is on the thin side and pours quickly from the large mouth of the bottle.

As I mentioned, Fox Bros. is known for blending sweet with heat. That's exactly what makes Fox Bros. Wing Sauce so unique (and delicious). While a standard wing sauce typically relies completely on a vinegar and chili pepper blend for flavor, Fox Bros. builds on that base with tomato paste and sweeteners. The result is what amounts to a BBQ / Pepper Sauce hybrid that is just the right balance of each.

I first used Fox Bros. Wing Sauce on a rack of ribs. I brushed a few coats of the thin sauce on a rack of baby backs as they finished cooking. There was just enough sugar in the sauce for it to caramelize and darken under the heat. The sweet and spicy blend was really outstanding on the bones. Though it didn't create the bright, glossy shine that I typically look for on ribs, it was easy to overlook because the flavor was so good.

Though I was tempted to use the entire bottle on ribs, I reserved half of it for its intended use. Super Sunday provided the perfect opportunity to cook wings. I warmed up the sauce to bring out the sweetness and take the chill off. I then tossed a couple dozen hot out of the oven wings in the sauce just before serving. Drenched in sauce, the wings were pretty spicy. I kept a glass of milk within reach to occasionally douse the flames. The heat didn't stop my wife and I from devouring all the wings in a matter of minutes.

Fox Bros. Wing Sauce may break with Buffalo tradition, but folks in Atlanta don't seem to mind. The can also count me a new fan of their product. I love the added sweet element that Fox Bros. features. In my opinion it really elevates the sauce above most other wing sauces. This bottle of sauce has solidified Fox Bros. as one of my "must visit" BBQ joints next time I'm in the South.

Note: Samples of this product were provided by Snazzy Gourmet. Check out to purchase Fox Bros. products or any of their other gourmet sauces, marinades, rubs and snacks.

Be sure to click our "Product Reviews" page to see Fox Bros. Wing Sauce's star rating.

Urban Accents Red Pepper and Garlic Beef & Burger Rub

After using and reviewing Urban Accents' "Perfect Pork Rub" last week, I was anxious to put their Beef and Burger rub to the test. I was impressed with Urban Accents' upscale approach to BBQ rubs and was curious to see how their style would be expressed through their beef rub.

Snazzy Gourmet provided The "Q" Review with a 1.5 oz. pouch of Red Pepper and Garlic Beef & Burger Rub. Like the pork rub, Beef & Burger was an aromatic blend of coarse and finely ground herbs and spices. It too, features Urban Accents' contemporary and appealing packaging. The rub is clearly visible through the pouch.

This rub was very different (and far more complex) than any other beef rub that I've used. While typical beef rubs focus mainly on a salt, pepper and garlic blend, "Beef and Burger" steps out of the box with ingredients like dill seed and mushroom powder. The blend is also sugar free. The result is a very earthy (and herby) profile that seems a little too gourmet for the BBQ world I'm used to.

I used Urban Accents' Red Pepper and Garlic Beef & Burger Rub on a smoked pot roast. The flavor of the rub was still front and center despite a long, 10 hour cook time. The aroma of the spice rub also stood out. Even though smoked beef smells great on its own, "Beef & Burger" provided a mouth water boost. The roast smelled as good as anything I've ever pulled off the smoker. I sliced the beef and served without sauce. The rub was so flavorful that I didn't want to mask it with sauce.

The remainder of the sample pouch went on four thick burgers. The weather outside was frightful this week so I had to cook the burgers indoors in my new giant frying pan. Once again, the aroma of "Beef & Burger" stood out. It seemed to fill every room in the house. Though the herby (not sure "herby" is a word, but it's the best I can come up with to describe the flavor) flavor was still prominent, I'm not sure I liked the way it meshed with the fried burgers. When it comes to a burger, I more of a salt and pepper guy.

"Beef & Burger" is far more complex and aromatic than what I typically season beef with. Though I tend to favor a more simple seasoning for burgers, I would strongly recommend "Beef & Burger" for roasts. It would be a fantastic choice on a beef (or pork) roast for Sunday dinners or Holiday affairs.

Note: Samples of this product were provided by Snazzy Gourmet. Check out to purchased "Beef & Burger" or any of their other fantastic gourmet sauces, marinades, rubs and snacks.

Don't forget to scan our "Product Reviews" to see Urban Accents' Red Pepper and Garlic Beef & Burger Rub's star rating.

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