Rufus Teague Honey Sweet

In today's crowded sauce market, so many products are hybrid blends that borrow from the traditions of various BBQ regions. Not so for Rufus Teague. Rufus Teague BBQ products are unapologetically Kansas City. Though sold nationally, their products are produced in the Missouri BBQ destination and always have been.

Rufus Teague sauces are bottled in large glass flasks and slapped with stylish labels featuring a great vintage photo of Rufus. Rufus Teague's packaging is as good as it gets. The flasks are cool on their own, but the labels put them over the top.

Honey Sweet was the first sauce produced by Rufus Teague. As I mentioned, it's pure Kansas city. The sauce is thick tomato, molasses blend. It's sweetened naturally with sugar and honey. The sauce is all natural and features no HFCS. True to Kansas City form, Honey Sweet balances it's sweetness with natural smoke flavor. Unlike their other sauces, Honey sweet doesn't provide much in the spice department.

I served Rufus Teague Honey Sweet on babyback ribs to prominent Southern Michigan pig farmer and fellow BBQ lover. He gave the sauce high marks and I had to agree. The thick, dark sauce was a great choice for brushing on the smokey bones. Paired with a salty, somewhat spicy, rub, Honey Sweet was the perfect compliment. The flavors are bold enough to command respect, but mild enough to be enjoyed by everyone.

Were I to rank Kansas City style sauces, Rufus Teague's Honey Sweet would be near the front of the line. Though it lacks the spice and layered depth of their great Touch O' Heat, it's still an excellent pork or chicken compliment. It looks great in the bottle and on the meat. Thankfully, it tastes even better.

Rufus Teague BBQ products can be purchased on their website. Check out Honey Sweet's star rating on our "Product Reviews" page.

Granna's Gourmet Jalapeno Pepper Vinegar

Granna's Gourmet (Charleston, SC) started with a single product, bread and butter pickles. Granna's pickles were so beloved among her family and friends that they urged her to package and sell them to the public. In May 2010, Granna's Gourmet was officially launched, targeting local foodies and tourists around the low country. Granna's Gourmet has since expanded to eleven signature products. Their product line can be purchased locally at several retail outlets. They're also available online at

Though I love a good pickle, the Granna's Gourmet product that I recently sampled was their Jalapeno Pepper Vinegar. This simple condiment is a product that is near and dear to my heart. After spending seven years in North Carolina, I grew to love this type of  "table sauce." Pepper, vinegar mixtures can be found on tables in nearly every diner and BBQ joint in the Carolinas. Folks there put it on just about everything from BBQ to french fries.

Granna's Jalapeno Pepper Vinegar is packaged in slender five ounce bottles with a plastic stopper in the mouth that prevents the sauce from pouring quickly. The ingredients are as simple as it gets: vinegar and jalapeno peppers. Granna uses white vinegar making the sauce crystal clear. The jalapenos are cut length wise and float freely in the bottle.

Despite the hefty amount of fiery chilies, Granna's Gourmet Jalapeno Pepper Vinegar isn't really a "hot sauce". Sure, there is a degree of spice, but the sauce is simply intended as a tangy flavor enhancer. It won't scorch your throat or make sweat beads form on your forehead. Use enough of it and your lips will tingle, but that's about the extent of the heat. The infused vinegar takes on the flavor of the jalapenos, but only a portion of their heat.

Since opening the bottle, I've used the sauce on just about everything. I've doused eggs, potatoes, pulled pork, pizza, tacos and even salads with a splash of the vinegar. I view these types of sauces as the univeral condiment. That being said, their is one particular use that has become my favorite. I ALWAYS add several dashes of pepper infused vinegar to greens. When cooking collard, chard, or mustard greens, vinegar is the perfect balance to the greens' naturally bitter flavor. The added spice from the peppers doesn't hurt either.

Sauces like Granna's Gourmet Jalapeno Pepper Vinegar are as tasty as they are simple. They're also pure Carolina (North or South). No self respecting Carolina diner would go without them. Nor would I.

You can learn more about Granna and her gourmet products here. Be sure to check out "Product Reviews" page to see the star rating for Granna's Gourmet Jalapeno Pepper Vinegar.

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.

Angry Nephews BBQ Sauce

Nephew's BBQ Sauce has separated themselves in the crowded market of BBQ sauces with creativity and quality. Nephew's makes unique (and tasty) BBQ sauces that combine sweet fruits with spicy peppers. Innovative flavors like Ghostly Pumpkin and Peachy Potle have built a strong regional fan base for the Garner, NC company.

Perhaps their most highly regarded sauce is the Angry Nephew's variety. This spicy tomato / vinegar sauce was named by Country Living Magazine as one of the best sauces in America. It's also earned praise and acclaim from and several prominent BBQ bloggers.

Angry Nephew's BBQ Sauce is packaged in 16 oz. mason jars. Despite its ketchup base, the sauce is relatively thin. It pours quickly, like paint, from the wide mouthed jar. Angry Nephew's is a deep, rich red and looks great in the jar.

As I mentioned, all Nephew's BBQ Sauces use select combinations of fruit and chili peppers. Angry Nephews is a bit more conventional in that the "fruit" featured is tomato. In this case, the chili pepper is the infamous jolokia chili. Affectionately known as the "ghost pepper," jolokias are recognized as one of (or arguably the) hottest chilis on earth.

Despite the presence of the raging hot ghost chili, Angry Nephew's BBQ sauce isn't quite as scary as the label would indicate. In fact, the initial taste didn't reveal any heat at all. The heat in Angry Nephews is sneaky. It builds slowly in the back of your throat with each bite. Half way through my first test of Angry Nephew's, I found my forehead sweating and my lips tingling. It was enough to make me reach for a glass of milk, but not so overwhelming that I felt the need to stop eating.

One unique aspect of Angry Nephew's BBQ sauce is that it features cola as a primary ingredient. I frequently use cola in BBQ sauces and marinades when cooking at home, but I rarely see it used in commercially produced sauce. I like the bite as well as added sweetness that cola provide. It actually works well for balancing vinegar in sauces.

Speaking of vinegar, Angry Nephew's features apple cider vinegar that produces a detectable tang. Given that Nephew's BBQ Sauces are produced in Central North Carolina, it's only fitting that vinegar plays a role in the flavor. It's practically state law.

For my first test of Angry Nephew's, I used it as a wing sauce. The consistancy was perfect for evenly coating the wing.  I also used the sauce on a slow smoked brisket. I warmed the thin sauce and poured it over the smokey sliced beef. The pairing was BBQ perfection. Every once in a while you stumble across flavor combinations that are a home run. Angry Nephew's BBQ sauce turned out to be the perfect accent to brisket. The spice and tang were just what the bold flavored beef needed. It's now my #1 recommendation for a brisket sauce.

I've really enjoyed all the flavors of Nephew's BBQ Sauce that I've tried, but Angry Nephew's is my clear favorite. It's great on chicken, but really excels when paired with beef. I'll become a staple in my household whenever brisket is on the menu.

Check out all of Nephew's BBQ products on their website. Don't forget to see Angry Nephew's star rating on our "Product Reviews" page.

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