It’s a catchy name. One that you’ll remember. SuckleBusters! What is a SuckleBuster you ask? Well, you’ll have to read the back story on that, as told by the head SuckleBuster himself, Dan Arnold. It’s a long story. To paraphrase, to be a SuckleBuster is a good thing. And to “bust some great steaks” is coin of high praise indeed, according to Dan. Dan is a friendly chap, whose passion for BBQ is only matched perhaps by his gamut of iconic sauces and rubs, every one of them to a tee, “bustin’ with flavor!” I have long remembered the name, now it was time to find out why.
My patron and I fired up our grills this weekend to do just that. Armed with various degrees of Sucklebuster’s finest, and left to our own devices, we both opted for the canvas of pulled chicken, for to paint the flavor profile masterpiece. And Sucklebusters, let it be said, has many flavors for a BBQ Picasso to play with. From their award-winning Competition Rub, and spicy favorite, Hoochie Mama BBQ Rub , to their super sweet Honey BBQ Sauce, and if you’re feeling wild, and robust of tongue, maybe even their Chipotle BBQ Sauce. They even have a Peach BBQ Sauce that I’d surely fancy to get my hands on some day. Suffice it to say, they will likely have you covered, with what ever flavor you may have a hankering for. But does any of it taste good? None of the fun names matter if it doesn’t. And that is what we’re aiming to find out today. A matter of opinion to be sure, of which the BBQ circles are full of. And this is one of them.
I hit some chicken leg quarters with their tried and true, Competition BBQ Rub, and whilst the coals matured on the pit, I scanned through their website. Apparently a lot of people think SuckleBusters tastes pretty good, judging from its long list of distinguished awards, including a 1st place in the American Royal BBQ Sauce Contest in Kansas City, for their Original BBQ Sauce. One of the same sauces we selected for today’s cook. The award list was long enough in fact, that I suspected if the Noble Peace Prize people were handing out something for BBQ folk, well, SuckleBusters probably would have one of those too. Their sauce scientists seem to have it going on. Which is good news for we who hail from the smokey arts.
Over at my patron’s pit, he was up to the same thing. Procuring some savory SuckleBuster magic of his own, in the form of pulled chicken. He used the hot Chipotle BBQ Sauce and the sweet and spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce, their latest new mustard based creation, which if there is a bigger fan of than my fellow patron, I do not know of any. He loves the mustard stuff. Anyways during the smoke, I did note, even within a couple of hours, the chicken already was developing an abiding, and very suitable bark. Mark one more star for the Competition Rub.
About the Competition Rub, and all the rubs from SuckleBusters, sauces included in fact, is that they are clean. No MSG, or artificial junk that you can’t pronounce. Just real ingredients. Basic and clean. And we here at POTP liked that allot. And suspect perhaps, that is one of the reasons this stuff tastes so good. “No Bad Stuff” as they like to remind you on their site. And we’re glad they do. Another star and tip of the hat, Mr Arnold.
After a few hours of low and slow, we applied the sauces, mixing them in with the pulled chicken, built some rotund sandwiches, and put on some more sauce, just because. The moment of BBQ truth. Every pit master and budding wannabe alike live for this moment. To put your talking where your mouth is, go figure, and commence with the feeding. Now I thought the SuckleBuster Original BBQ Sauce married beautifully with their Competition Rub. Flavors complimenting one another in a fair, but seemingly deliberate fashion. There was just enough zing from the vinegar in the sauce to remind my tongue that something good had just happened here, and like most original formulas I guess,something else lurked in there too, compelling me to keep going back for more. A well-balanced symphony of flavors. None over-powering the other, and rest of it just right. There was just enough spicy heat present, to linger in your mouth after each bite, to make my spicy-challenged Swedish taste buds feel good about themselves. Like maybe I could handle the heat if I had to. A notion my fiery-tongued fellow patron will probably only laugh at. His pulled chicken sandwiches were on the hot side of the Sucklebuster menu. And he loved them accordingly. He had guests over for supper, and served them all pulled chicken slathered in both the Mustard BBQ Sauce and the Chipotle BBQ Sauce. He determined that the heat was indeed “do-able” and very, very good. He said even I could have probably handled the Chipotle BBQ.
At the end of the day, my patron and I had come pretty much to the same conclusion. That this BBQ company with the memorable name also puts out some dang fine BBQ flavors. Yeah, we fancy to make our own home made sauces and rubs, and we do pretty good, but we are not even remotely in the league these guys are privy too. The only downside we could find, because nothing is perfect it seems, is that their seasonings and sauces are not the cheapest ones on the shelf, but like many things in life, with this one you really do get what you pay for. A good sauce will make or break your BBQ. These sauces take your meat by the hand, and usher it into a whole new realm. Their track record speaks for itself I guess. And I suppose if we had to be monogamous to one and only one BBQ Sauce company, SuckleBusters would be it. They’re just good, people, and that’s the plain truth. We give their products a Two Patron Thumbs Up, and will be returning customers for sure.
After all the awards, however, and the accolades of these wonderful sauces and spices have been spun, after the sun had set on our grills, and our bellies were filled, we both noted something very subtle with our SuckleBuster experience. Subtle, but poignant upon our soul. And that is on every jar of sauce, on every bottle of rub, and maybe some more stuff too, you will find reference to the scripture – Proverbs 5:3-5. Subtle yet bold, like a SuckleBuster ought to be. Now half the world probably won’t care about that. And the other half will probably wonder if they ought to care about that. But we here at POTP are believing folk, and for what ever reason, we think that is very cool indeed. And in that alone, SuckleBusters has our lasting respect, and leaves an abidingly good taste in our mouths. Which after all, is what they’re in the business of in the first place. Amen.
So if you’re looking for some good award-winning sauces and rubs, that don’t have all the chemicals, and you don’t mind dealing with some very kindly people, check out SuckleBusters for your next BBQ.
The Super Bowl, a game that draws crowds together in front of TV’s across America. To bring families and friends together and carry on with banter of who might win the big game and discuss what their team should have done better that season. All while eating sloppy barbecued cuisines that make us men proud because we spent that afternoon over an open flame, a cloud of smoke and a bed of ash. Some areas of the country under a warm sun, in my part of the country it was spent in a warm winter jacket.
Though Kick Off might have started for most at prime time, it started for me around 12:30. A last-minute Super Bowl party was set in place and so I had to pull out all the last-minute calls. I had to be picky with the plays I was going to make and how I was running the ball, for I had only four and a half hours to come up with a menu. Game on!
My day started off with cutting chicken breasts into chicken tenders and giving them an hour bath in apple cider vinegar and apple juice. During that time I gathered my ingredients for the Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce. BOOM… 1:30 exactly and my coals were nice and hot. Into the smoker they went, water pan filled and lid closed to heat up to the blessed 250 degrees. Back inside to prepare the North Carolina Coleslaw, a recipe from Steven Raichlen BBQ bible cook book. Hark, the clock hit 2 pm, 3 hours until my door bell starts to ring, chicken now hits the grill. The chicken was dusted with Grill Mates Apple Rub and was blasted with a heavy dose of mesquite wood smoke. The chimney of the smoker quickly puffed with a thick bellow of smoke and as the smoke rose, the snow quietly began to descend with big flakes turning my pit into the scene from a snow globe. AHHH…2:30, as much as I want to sit outside in my backyard wonderland, I’m on a time crunch and I have people to cook for.
The Carolina Mustard Sauce was fun to cook. I like doing sauces because I’m a sort of mad scientist when reading recipes. I rarely stick to the main recipe, and though I can’t take credit for the idea, I’ll post how I made it.
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup Ballpark Yellow Mustard
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup distilled white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup of orange organic blossom honey
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup of apple juice
- 1/8 teaspoon of horseradish
Bring to a simmer, turn to a low heat and let it simmer for about 5 min. Take it off the heat a settle until room temperature. This will last about 2 weeks in the fridge. Your house will become overwhelmed with the scent of mustard, but the taste is worth is. This one is great over pulled chicken and a great baste for ribs.
OH MAN…3:35, time to take the chicken off the smoke and put in a tin foil pan to speed up the cooking process. It’s a nice trick for doing pulled chicken in a crunch. After putting the chick in the pan, I gave it another splash of apple juice.
Clock check…3:45, Time for the slaw. Whisk in a large bowl mix…
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar (I used apple Cider vinegar)
- 2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 5 tablespoons of mayo
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
To speed things up I used pre-shredded cabbage, carrots and other junk for the slaw. Once everything is whisked together, pour it over the cabbage mix. Stir and chill.
Star Date 4:15…45 minutes until the doorbell goes nuts. Time to make the Caramel Fudge Sea Salt brownies! Ok, I will admit, I’m not good at baking. I won’t pretend either for the blogs sake. I went to the store, bought a box of mix, added eggs, oil and water and baked it as directed.
5pm and the brownies are pulled out of the oven. Let them cool for whatever time you want, pour on caramel and sprinkle on your desired amount of Sea Salt. I tend to be generous with it. It’s an amazing combination if you have never tried it.
5:15 took the chicken off the smoker and began to pull. I poured out some of the greasy fat juice and replaced with more apple juice. Last, I finished it off with a good dusting of the Grill Mates Apple Rub.
5:30…DING DONG… company arrived late. WHEW!
Though, I was a little bummed at the outcome of the game, MY game was on for the day. When everyone dove into the food that I had made, I felt that I chose the right plays. That’s right, I ran the ball at the exact time I needed too and the outcome was a victorious culinary win. I can only hope the rest of you enjoyed your day and evening as much as I did.
Please, share any of your game day creations. We would love to hear!