Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

How To Burn A Hole In Your Tongue: Fire In The Hole Cheeseburgers!

Feel The Burn!

Some time ago, back in the sultry days of summer, we received some rubs from the good folks at Miners Mix; a small bandy of spice wizards out way of California, who are quietly putting together, we learned, some of the best flavors in the world. They said if we ever wanted to try a “real rub”, just to let them know. Well, we’ve succumbed, and you’ve probably already read some accounts now of their rubs, and we will kindly remind you that they did not disappoint. Anyways, in passing, they mentioned that they also had some hot rubs, new to their line up, and if we wanted to try some of those too, they would set us up accordingly. Initially, I passed.

You see I am not a pepper head by nature. Nay, I’m Swedish. Which means concerning the spicier things in life, I am what you might call a pansy. A sally-tongued neophyte as easily recoiled by a humble jalapeno pepper, as I might be if my face were melting off. I know – boring. Luckily, however, the smokey co-founder of the Patrons of the Pit is most certainly a hot head, and I mean that in the most kindly of ways. He seems to favor a delightful burn. I mean, a sweaty forehead and runny nose is common place for the man. And it was he who offered to sample these hot rubs for us today. And I eventually caved in, as any grill jockey ought to, and went over to his house the other night for to sample some heat. Some Fire in the Hole Cheese Burgers. Oh man!IMG_0403

A cool, February wind whistled through the Track-Side Pit, where I found my fellow patron grilling up the burgers in the dark. When you grill in Minnesota in February, chances are you’ll be doing it in the dark. Anyways, he declared he tightened up the burgers with Fire in the Hole spice rub, from Miners mix. Now, I’ve heard of these guys!


Fire in the Hole. The name says everything you need to know, folks. All too much, in point of fact! This stuff is something else. Loaded with all matter of hot, make-your-forehead bleed sort-of mojo. Such as: Cayenne, Jalapeno, Habanero, Chipotle, Ancho, and oh yeah, Ghost Pepper powder! Mercy! One fellow at our little burger bash threw a pinch or two of this rub in his mouth, and promptly proclaimed “it burned a hole through my tongue!

Indeed it could.

The Ghost Pepper, originally known as the bhut jolokia,  is a interspecific hybrid chili ghost pepperspepper cultivated out yonder in India or something, and it means business, people. 400 times hotter than Tabasco, they say. At 1 million  Scoville heat units, I’d wager they’re right about that. In point of fact, in 2007, it was lofted as the hottest chili pepper on the planet. That honor now belongs to the dreaded Carolina Reaper. I think I’d rather eat grilled spiders with John from Ecuador than make the acquaintance of a Carolina Reaper. Even so, we must still respect the ghost pepper. Anyways, that digression aside, Miners Mix loads this Fire in the Hole rub up with a nice quantity of ghost pepper powder, and when you note that such powder runs at about $180 per pound, well, let’s just say that the little bottle suddenly becomes the most handsome of all bottles on your spice rack.

Where’s The BEEF!

He plopped it down in front of me. I don’t think I had ever seen a hamburger in my life that was as tall as it was wide, but this one came dang close. A monolith of spicy hot meat in which to come of age with. We’re talking it must have been 3/4 of a pound of ground beef here, and maybe 2 tablespoons of Fire in the Hole rub, worked into every corner of protein. Our fellow patron took it one step further, and impregnated the burger with a molten core of Colby Jack cheese, and that too, was laced with even more spicy goodness. Mercy sakes, call the fire department! And I wasn’t hungry again for two days!


Thus, four men sat around a wooden table of red meat, attempting to open their pie holes to adequate apertures, for to make way with these giant, Juicy Lucys. Some of us had bigger mouths than others, and those somebodies gradually developed a good and abiding burn first.

Now it wasn’t the sort of burn than sends a man running post-haste for a glass of milk, blabbering in tongues of fools, but it was undeniably present, even so. Enough to make your eyebrows go moist, and your face to feel a little funny. A little runny nose deal is to be expected as well. And of course, the all encompassing fire from Hades in your mouth syndrome. Depends on your proclivity and tolerance for the spicy side of life, I suppose. And don’t even get us going on the morning after, whilst reading the paper in the little pit boys room. We need not go there! At any rate, I seemed to be doing better than I thought I would, concerning the heat, and here is where it got down right wonderful to behold.


We all noticed that after the burn had tapered, it was then we started picking up on the subtleties of the rub. A parade of delightful flavors start showing up in our mouths. In point of fact, from the moment you put the food in your mouth, clear down through your last burp of after taste, the flavors keep coming. And this is what sets this rub apart from a great many others we’ve tried over the years.

Our fellow patron said, and quote,”These guys got it going on!”

He said, “There just hasn’t been many spice rubs that can do that“, and he added, “with such a wide palate of flavors surfacing after the burn”.

Same thing happened with the HOTBANERO spice rub they sent us too. Not as hot as the Fire in the Hole, but A2015-HotBanerospicy enough for Swedes like me. When the burn subsides, you get another show, an encore of flavors, like: chili powder, sugar, rosemary, onion, thyme, and a slight salty flavor. And it’s all really good! And the parade seems to meander from the front of your mouth towards the back. For a while, I was starting to see maybe what all ye pepper heads enjoy so much about spicy foods. Maybe there is more to it after all, than just burning a hole through your tongue. Indeed I wager now that there is.

If you’re a fan of a fine and pleasant burn, accompanied by exquisite flavors, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you go check out these guys. Outstanding work once again, good folk at Miners Mix. Man we love what you do! Amen.




32 responses

  1. koolaidmoms

    That burger looks amazing! I am of the not too hot spicy club but I will be checking out the seasoning for my nothing is hot enough son!

    February 26, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    • Hi koolaidkom! I see you around the site here often, but not often on the comments. Thanks for doing that! Yup, if your son is a pepper head, I think you found him a winner here on fire in the hole.

      Take care!

      February 26, 2016 at 5:32 pm

  2. That burger is beautiful! Yum!

    February 26, 2016 at 7:30 pm

  3. Now you know that I do not actually grill up spiders, although some of them are big enough to make a pretty good meal.

    I do love hot peppers. We have a pepper down here they call aji (pronounced Ah-hee) that has a pretty good burn, but lacks flavor. Habaneros have a great taste and that mix sounds like a great blend of heat and flavor. Perhaps I will order some from Miner’s Mix and have my son bring them down when he comes to visit. Thanks for the information!

    February 26, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    • You have a better tolerance for the spicy things than I, but I’m getting there. It may take years, but I’ll get there. And yeah I know you don’t grill spiders, but I still think I’d rather eat one of those than mess with that reaper pepper I speak of. I’ve seen videos of people trying to eat one. Didn’t turn out too well for them either!

      Well knowing that you are a meat smoking enthusiast, and knowing now that you fancy a hot pepper, well I’m pretty sure you’ll love some of these hot rubs for your future grilling endeavors. We’ve tried a lot of rubs, and anything from these guys are right at the top of the list. Very tasty.

      Take care John and Mary in Ecuador! Blessings!

      February 26, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      • For me, even the mild black pepper can make my mouth burn. I watch John’s forehead sweat and nose drip while I sit as far away as possible from his plate. Yes, just the smell makes my nose burn. And I learned the hard way, burning lips, no smooches allowed for at least three hours after eating 🙂 Love your posts, hugs from Ecuador, Mary

        February 27, 2016 at 8:03 am

      • You are a delicate tongue as well, in point of fact, maybe even more than delicate. Mild black pepper! Mary, Mary. I guess Mr John brings balance in that department, but it ain’t worth it if he has to wait three hours! You two are something else.

        Always good to hear from Mrs Mary in Ecuador! Have fun with your spiders the size of dinner plates!

        February 27, 2016 at 10:48 am

  4. OldCountryGirl

    Wow. This burger looks awesome! So much meat 😉

    February 27, 2016 at 8:09 am

    • That’s a fact. I think I’m still full!

      February 27, 2016 at 10:42 am

      • OldCountryGirl


        February 28, 2016 at 7:54 am

  5. A friend of mine who lives in Australia visited and brought me some chilis. I made a pizza and spread them on it. They were ghost chilis. You can guess the rest….

    February 27, 2016 at 9:26 am

    • Golly. I can guess the rest indeed. Nope, my tolerance isn’t up to those levels yet. Maybe some day.

      Thanks Conor!

      February 27, 2016 at 10:44 am

  6. Great Review on the Miners Mix, We like those guys. I plan on bringing some burn camping in may, The guys will have plenty of water to cool the burn if needed!, I have till then to gather my courage and try some heat!

    February 27, 2016 at 9:52 am

    • Thanks Gary. Yeah we like those guys too. Who knows, maybe the fire in the hole rub could double as a bear spray if you had too! That would be the ultimate endorsement for a spice rub. Great on hamburgers and black bears too!

      Blessings Gary.

      February 27, 2016 at 10:42 am

      • I like that idea, I would probably spray up-wind though. My grandfather blessed a friendly bear with a dab of hamburger with mostly red pepper. Lost that friendship overnight! this should work.

        February 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm

  7. That meat to bun ration is pretty freaking impressive. Monolith indeed! I’m a little afraid of the chilli rubs, ghost chillies, every chilli mentioned in this post though. I have a pretty high tolerance for chilli heat but I respect all ‘holes’ (let’s say orifices, just to be awkward) equally… and latent burning ain’t fun! Serious respect to Miner’s Mix for ensuring that their hot mixes are complex and deep though. Like you, I’ve tried many that just focus on a shock of heat alone, rather than depth of flavour. Awesome sauce, literally.

    February 28, 2016 at 5:55 am

    • Great comment, Laurasmess! Yeah, the rub has the complex parade thing going on, and I dunno if it was because there was so much meat or what, but the burn seemed tolerable. We didn’t feel like our face was going to fall off or anything. How ever just a pinch of the rub on the tongue and you might wish to rethink your life.

      Here’s to awkward latent burning! Cheers!

      February 28, 2016 at 10:25 am

  8. Ghost chillies are bad!! But, Moruga Scorpion Chilli is even bladder than that! Stick to the cayenne if you can’t handle that one!

    March 2, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    • Haha, wow, you said bladder! I hear you tho, I’ll be sticking with cayenne. I’m a wimp that way!

      March 2, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      • I meant BADDER! Hahaha! Cayenne and jalapeños without seeds!

        March 2, 2016 at 4:43 pm

  9. The flavours,rather than the burn, are important. Ghost chillies, are fruity, so they go well with fish and white meats.. Moruga scorpion, gives off an earthy,dark chocolate scent,with a hint of nutmeg. It goes well with red meat,and chilli.

    March 2, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    • Wow, you sound like you know your way around a spice rack! Nice comment Miss Dinie!

      March 2, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      • Yeah, I do.. Being Caribbean we use a variety of spices.. I’ve really gotten into my chillies in recent years! I used to be a Scotch Bonnet only type of woman.. Then I discovered Ghost and Moruga chillies.. I have yet to try Carolina Reaper!

        March 2, 2016 at 4:50 pm

  10. I love the hot stuff. More importantly, though, I have always wanted to try making a juicy lucy. As I understand it, the juicy lucy is indigenous to Minnesota. I’ve not seen it round these parts. I’m inspired to try it myself this summer.

    March 2, 2016 at 10:18 pm

  11. By the way, check out the episode of Good Mythical Morning in which they eat carolina reapers. Hilarious.

    March 2, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    • I loved that video! Thanks, Todd. And that is precisely why I shant go near such peppers if I can help it. Why do such things exist even? They look like they were pulled right out of the devil’s toilet!

      March 3, 2016 at 9:53 am

  12. Thanks for all the mentions! We love you guys! We tried hard to make sure there was rich flavor behind the heat, so it’s good to hear that it resonates!

    March 21, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    • No, we love you guys! And you certainly did succeed in your quest on those hot rubs. Don’t know how you do it, but the world is a better place because you did! Thanks for all the work it must have took.

      March 21, 2016 at 5:37 pm

  13. Pingback: A Year In BBQ: The Best of 2016 | Patrons of the Pit

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