Product Review: Low Country BBQ Rub from Fire of Coals

Fire of Coals is a Charlotte-based small batch and hand crafted barbecue rub and sauce company run by Lawrence Heath, who is active in the community barbecue scene, regularly helping out the Charlotte Rescue Mission, churches, and local boyscout troops using his NC-made BQ whole hog trailer. I’ve been following the Fire of Coals Instagram account for a few years now and as it turns out, Lawrence is actually a neighbor of mine.

I found this out when I bought a used burn barrel off a NC barbecue Facebook group and lo and behold, the seller was Lawrence and he lived not a quarter mile from me in south Charlotte. Once we got to talking barbecue it wasn’t too long that we figured out that we followed each other. Small world.

Along with the burn barrel, I also purchased a bag of his “Lowcountry BBQ Rub” which is an all natural ingredient rub made with assorted spices, brown sugar (there is a no sugar variant as well), and curiously enough, coffee grounds from Charlotte-based Enderly Coffee. The packaging states that it is gluten free and works with pork, poultry, beef, and seafood. Over the next couple of weeks I gave the rub a spin on a few different pork items – ribs, a small pork butt, and a pork tenderloin – as well as chicken wings from Joyce Farms and was generally more than pleased with the results.

The ribs were the most successful of the pork items. I’ve gotten into ribs a bit more recently and twice I used the Lowcountry BBQ rub as the base rub before finishing with a couple of different barbecue sauces (Rufus Teague Honey BBQ and Lillie’s Q Memphis). Whether it was due to a new technique, the rub, the sauces, or (more than likely) a combination of each, these were the best ribs I’ve smoked in my life. As in, not even close between these ribs and previous racks I’ve smoked that were overdone and dry.

As for a pork butt, I’ve become really accustomed to simply using salt on them a la Lexington Barbecue. This time around with the Lowcountry Rub on a 5.5 lb smaller pork butt cooking at a higher temp, the pork butt came out well but all things considered I might prefer just salt. Certainly no shots at the Fire of Coals rub, but I might just be getting stuck in my ways.

Finally, I tried the rub on a pork tenderloin cooked in a pan on the oven as well as some smoked wings on my Weber, both to great results. Based on the results of each of these meats, I can see myself continuing to reach for it on future cooks, perhaps giving it a try on some seafood or some beef.

The story behind Fire of Coals is detailed on the rub packaging, stating how Lawrence’s family is originally from “the Cape Fear River Basin area of eastern Carolina and cooked farm raised pork, chicken, beef, wild game, seafood and garden fresh produce for community gatherings on the Heath family farm.” It’s a pretty cool backstory to the company and a reminder that buying from Fire of Coals is supporting local (and in my case, hyper local).

Order the “Lowcountry BBQ Rub” online at Fire of Coals

Product Review: The White Sauce

Monk: Earlier this year, Anna from The White Sauce out of Flintstone, GA (right across the state line from Chattanooga) reached out to me about her family’s White Sauce that was created in 1978 but had just recently begun to be bottled. While I’m not normally a white sauce kind of guy (though I have dabbled in making my own), I figured something that’s stuck around for over 40 years is worth trying.

For a white sauce, chicken wings made the most sense and I just happened to buy a 2.5 lb bag of frozen chicken wings at the beginning of the “shelter at home” order here in NC. I was inspired by Sweet Lew’s in Charlotte, whose smoked chicken wings I’ve tried before are also finished with an Alabama white sauce (though that doesn’t appear to be on the normal menu, just a smoked half chicken). I sprinkled the wings with Matt’s Rub from Midwood Smokehouse and put them on the grill. Once they were nearly done, I tossed the wings in The White Sauce and finished them back on the grill.

The wings came out fantastic. The tangy white sauce was not overly sweet and perfectly counteracted the slight heat of the Matt’s Rub. It also provided a nice change of pace from a sweeter, ketchup-based sauce like Sweet Baby Ray’s or Stubb’s that I tend to use for grilling chicken. I’ve since used it on grilling bone-in chicken breasts and it only cemented how much I enjoy the sauce.

The White Sauce boasts that you can use it on “salads, dips, veggies, potatoes and more” and while I haven’t done that quite yet, I will definitely be using it on wings again. And perhaps eventually on some actual smoked chicken.

Link to The White Sauce website

Description:

Alabama is famous for its “White Sauce”. The traditional white sauce from Alabama is horseradish based and pretty tart, but our white sauce is the perfect blend of creamy and sweet. The White Sauce was first created back in 1978 by our mom as a sauce to put on smoked chicken but over the years it has been used to compliment not just meats, but also salads, dips, veggies, potatoes, and much much more! 

Our dad was a baseball coach in Chattanooga, TN, where the baseball team was responsible for running the concession stand at all home basketball games. Basketball games became synonymous with “Coach’s” smoked turkey sandwiches and white sauce. Even fans from visiting teams would come to games asking if we had the white sauce. We have never seen anyone try it and not like it! No lie!​​

We have sold The White Sauce out of our family’s restaurant in Chattanooga for years, but had not bottled it…until now! The White Sauce is now available for you to purchase and enjoy in your own home!! So order some today!

Product Review: Maverick Industries Bluetooth Thermometer and BBQ Tool Set

In early December, Maverick Industries were kind enough to send me some products for review just in time for my annual Christmas smoke. This year, I was doing a small 5lb brisket that my brother had mailed in from Mount Pleasant Meats in Texas as well as a bone-in turkey breast.

Here was the final results of the meats, and while they didn’t turn out quite as I was hoping – I had some temperature issues which led to not being able to rest as long as I wanted – the tools were certainly not at fault and more than held their own.

-Monk

ET-735 Bluetooth Thermometer (link)

On my own dime, I’ve used previous models of the wireless meat thermometer from Maverick, but the bluetooth version is pretty slick. It has the same unit that connects to the probes that attach to the grill surface and meat. But instead of a separate unit that reads out the temperatures and sets alarms if the temps start to fall out of range, I downloaded the Redi Check app from Maverick which accomplishes the same thing. Instead of having to keep up with the other unit to monitor temperatures, I was able to just keep my phone on me as I normally do.

The package comes with two probes but it can accommodate up to 2 more for a total of four- I could have used one more myself for the turkey breast since one of them was dedicated to the grill temperature. In the app, you can set a range for your grill and meat and get notifications if either fall out of range. I set my smoker temp to stay between 225 and 275 and the get notified when the brisket flat hit 165 so I could then wrap it in foil to finish it out. I was then easily able to monitor the smoker temp using the app and could tell when it was time for more charcoal if it started dipping, All in all, the app set up is pretty intuitive and I can’t stress how nice it is not to have to carry around or keep up with another piece of equipment during the multiple hour smoking session.

Official description:
The weather-resistant ET-735 connects to your iOS or Android device via Bluetooth. No need to stand over the grill or smoker while cooking – you can enjoy your company and monitor the temperature of your food and oven from up to 160 feet away. The ET-735 allows you to connect up to four waterproof probes (ideal when cooking with sticky sauces! – comes with 2) and will alert you via its accompanying app once the desired temperature is reached. The app includes 15 preset temperatures for all types of meat, or you can input a custom temperature.

BBQ Tool Set with Instant Read Thermometer

A complaint in some Weber Style grill tools I got years ago was the fact that it didn’t come with a carrying case and the individual tools in the set could easily get separated from one another. This BBQ tool set from Maverick does have a carrying case, and its a nice heavy duty bag at that. The stainless steel fork, spatula, and tongs included in this set are all high quality and handled the rigors of moving the brisket and turkey breast on and off the smoker and onto the tray and cutting board with ease. And bonus! It also comes with a digital instant thermometer in the vein of the Thermapen that gets a temp reading within a few seconds. A very nice set.
Official description:
Set Includes
  • PT-75 Digital Instant – Read BBQ Thermometer, Stainless Steel Fork, Stainless Steel Spatula, Stainless Steel Tongs, and a Convenient Heavy-Duty Tool Bag
  • Ergonomic Handle and Holes for Hanging
  • Tool Bag Includes Customized Pocket to Hold Thermometer

Product Review: Yukon Glory Grill & Tailgate Accessories

Here at Barbecue Bros, we all know that “barbecue” is a noun and not a verb, and that “having cooking out” does not equal “a barbecue” (we all know that, right?). But that doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy meat over flame, even if it is of the direct-heat-via-gas variety. Yukon Glory, a Brooklyn-based grill accessories company, was kind enough to send over a few of their products for me to check out, and after running them through their paces a few times, here are my thoughts.

-Monk

 

Magna-Grill Magnetic Stainless Steel Beer and Cup Holder (link)

When smoking or grilling, a good place to hold your beer is always key. This heavy duty stainless steel cup holder sticks to any metal surface easily to keep a cold one within arm’s reach whether its a can or solo cup. On my grill, I found a spot just to the right of the grilling area to be perfect placement for when I needed to set down my beer to turn the burgers and dogs. And though I haven’t tested it out, there is a scratch resistant film on the magnet that means it can stick to the side of a car without scratching during tailgating. Why didn’t I come up with this idea?

Magnetic Stainless Steel Paper Towel Holder (link)

Similar to the cup holder, this easily affixes to any metal surface to give easy access to a roll of paper towels for messes or spills. Certainly not as flashy as the cup holder, but every bit as functional. As with the cup holder, it has a scratch resistant film so could also be stuck onto a car or truck during a tailgate. Because a messy tailgate is a less fun tailgate.

Stainless Steel Grilling/Serving/Warming/Tray (link)

This 4-in-1 tray and pan can be used as a grilling basket, cooking pan, serving tray, or a warming basket. I used it as a serving tray for burgers and dogs fresh off the grill primarily but can see using the perforated tray for grilling veggies in my near future. Remove the tray, and the pan would be a good way to transport a medium-sized pork butt from my smoker to the chopping block in my kitchen. Well constructed out of stainless steel and thankfully easily cleanable in the dishwasher.

Thanks again to Shaul from Yukon Glory. These accessories will surely be mainstays as I grill or smoke throughout the fall.