As effective as the companies that make “unitasker” gadgets can be at making the us think that their specialty product is the newest thing that we cannot live without, I tend to be more skeptical than not. I’m more firmly footed in the Alton Brown camp of thinking: if a kitchen tool is good at one and only one thing, it will tend to sit around the vast majority of the time and not be used, rendering it practically useless, and then eventually forgotten.
I recently acquired a Cave Tools Chicken Wing & Leg Rack to put through its paces out on the grill. I think it certainly qualifies as an item that is very much specialty in purpose, as it is at its core a rack on which to hold up chicken off of the BBQ grill grates, and hanging high in the air to catch more of the convection heat in the air as opposed to more of a conduction or radiating heat from the flames or charcoal below.
The Mad Anthony product lineup, 2017, from left to right: Fiery Hot Mustard Sauce, Original Style BBQ Sauce, Original Hot Sauce, and XXXtra Private Reserve Hot Sauce.
As a few of you chileheads know, I was a hugeVan Halen fan in a “past life.” I won’t bore you with how much I ate, breathed and slept the band (thankfully, not slept with the band) during my younger and leaner days. I will state, though, that even though my fanaticism for the mighty Van Halen has waned quite a bit as I’ve approached middle-age-hood, I’ve still carried over a bit of the “5150” spirit because of former VH bassist Michael Anthony‘s involvement in the hot sauce world.
Along with pretzels, consider peanuts to be one of the two most boring and bland entities of the snacking word. Those two things are used waaaayyyy too often as a “filler” in trail mixes and snack mixes. I could honestly do without ’em most of the time.
So when Ricky’s Lucky Nuts offered to send me five of their flavored peanuts – Black Pepper and Sea Salt, Real Coffee, Spicy Chile Chipotle, Sweet Chai, and Thai Red Curry – I admittedly was not too enthusiastic at all about trying them. I thought, “alright, let’s get these quicjly out of the way.” I was ready to award these average or even below-average reviews.
Instead, I was wowed – and even floored – by these five offerings. The flavorings were pretty much spot-on, and dazzling roasted peanuts are miles higher than any hum-drum Planters variety…
Here’s a sauce that I think has a very narrow scope. California Habanero Blends Ginger Garlic Habanero Sweet Mild Heat Hot Sauce certainly wouldn’t be as versatile as it touts itself to be on the bottle, but for what it does do, you may discover it that it adds that little bit of difference you’re craving to spice up hum-drum meals.
As promised a few days ago, below is my review for Buffalo Wild Wings Ghost Pepper Sauce and Salted Caramel BBQ Sauce wings. These two wings sauces, along with their Classic Margarita Sauce is a brand new trio that’s part of B-Dub’s “Sauce Lab” – which is a slick marketing term for “limited time only” flavors for their namesake chicken pieces.
Weekly Firecast Podcast Episode #43 – Talkin’ Chili with Cindy Reed Wilkins of Cin Chili
Former International Chili Cookoff Champion Cindy Reed Wilkins chats with Scott about her Texas roots, her products available via her Cin Chili line, and how you can make the best bowl of chili con carne at home whether you prefer beans or no beans. Scott also gives a brining tip and reviews Blaze Gourmet‘s Hot Blueberry Love Hot Sauce.
I’m excited about the next batch of reviews forthcoming from ScottRobertsWeb.com. The reason is simple: there are some outstanding products coming down the pike that you definitely should take notice of if you call yourself a fan of fiery foods.
The first in this short series comes from a a new company headed up by Houstonian Kerry Stessel under the banner of Hot Line Pepper Products. I first sampled these when Kerry visited ZestFest 2011 in Irving, Texas. As he made his way around the show floor, he stopped by the Bloggers Booth (with its lone person running it being me) and let me taste some out of his test bottles that he brought from his drive up. Now, if you’ve ever attended a hot sauce show, you know that it can be a dizzying proposition to keep track of the dozens – or even hundreds – of new products dished out by vendors. But I remember being impressed by the Hot Line Pepper Products offerings.
Now over two years later, I’m finally giving you this formal review of the four main Hot Line hot sauces – Garlicky Greengo, Hatchanero, Evil Ooze, and Ghost Pepper Sauce, in all their Texas-born glory.
In an already outstanding year in the hot sauce world, leave it to CaJohn’s Fiery Foods to keep the already-raised bar up to stratospheric levels. As unequivocally one of the best spicy food product makers in history, CaJohn’s continues to
Is there impartiality around the Roberts homestead towards DEFCON sauces? You betcha! We are definitely a “DEFCON house”!
Now, before you rush in to figuratively lynch me and bash the above statement into thinking that I do not take my role as reviewer or critic seriously, I will certainly take a stern critical eye to the things that John and Maggie Dilley (AKA the DEFCON “Creator” and “Createss”) call into being. Their Hobby Horse and Habby Pony Sauces float around the “so-so” level in my preference (simply because I’m not a huge horseradish fan), and their Def-Konichi Asian style tipping sauce (which I believe is now defunct) didn’t exactly pop my taco.
That having been said, I don’t think any soul alive has topped DEFCON for pure wing sauce yumminess (which the exception of Ott’s Buffalo Sauce in the mild category) with the Defense Condition series, which includes Mild (#3), Medium (#2) and Hot (#1) variations. All three are superb, “must-own” products…
Ontario couple Ron Savoie and Adrienne Kenney’s story is one that closely resembles many a person from the upper parts of our North American continent who have sojourned down to the warmer reaches of Central America, Mexico or the Caribbean: one taste of the heat and flavor and they were hooked. In Ron and Adrienne’s case, Costa Rica was the geographic destination that enthralled them; and long story short, they have a full product line under the name of Jungle Heat Imports that include BBQ sauces, hot sauces and snacks.
Earlier this year they had submitted six of their spicy sauces for me to sample of and review, and it’s taken me a while to put each product through its proper paces. Finally below I present a summary of my findings for each one. Enjoy!
With a slogan that reads, “our jerky punches gas station jerky in the face”, you know that The Blue Ox Jerky Co. means business, or at least attempt to give the impression that they do. In a world of hyped-up marketing and a more irreverent style used by newer companies, can Blue Ox’s claims be backed up by their product? I tested out a couple of their beef jerkies to find out. Blue Ox Jerky Co. sent me their Peppercorn Smoked Beef Jerky and BLAZIN’ HOT Smoked Beef Jerky for review, and below are my humble li’l opinions…
Long before ZestFest 2012, there was a bit of conversation about a new wing sauce containing the distinctive flair of honey. This product called Honeyblaze Wing Sauce had received accolades on The Hot Pepper forums, and had been reviewed on
Next up on the ol’ review counter is Señor Roberto’s Mexican Hot Sauce. According to its website, this sauce was originally concocted for a family-owned restaurant in Peoria, Illinois Mexican restaurant called Pepe Taco, which was known for having “Mexican Food for American Tastes.” Rob Schunk, owner of Pepe Taco, retired from the restaurant business but still makes the Señor Roberto’s Hot Sauce. Even though the website claims that this condiment is great for “pizza, wings and much more”, I’m itching to put it through its paces on Mexican cuisine…
My latest review is of Sista Natural Pepper Sauce (Picante Chombo), which is billed by creators Alisina, S.A as a “flavorful Panamanian-Caribbean style” elixir. This product of Panama snagged a 3rd place award at during a recent Scovies, so I was intrigued in seeing what this condiment had to offer.
Sinful Sauces is a Northamptonshire, UK manufacturer that deals with spicy chile sauces, pickles and spreads. They pride themselves at using all-natural ingredients, particularly in their seven deadly sins sauce lineup. The one I’ll be analyzing today is Sinful Sauces’ Bliss Sweet BBQ Chipotle Hot Sauce and see if it truly would provide me with culinary happiness and bliss.
Onions, sugar, tomatoes, red wine vinegar, chipotle (6%), garlic, naga (4%), olive oil, black pepper, spices, salt
4.5 out of 5. Dazzling and mouth-watering! Rich and onion-y, tomato-esque and tangy, sweet and pepper-y, this is so delightfully complex and three-dimensional it’s almost four-dimensional (alright, you physics students needn’t e-mail about the fourth dimension really being time).
Appearance and Texture:
4 out of 5. Bliss Sweet BBQ Chipotle Hot Sauce boasts a nice, smooth, medium-thick consistency, which would make it suitable for either a standard hot sauce or a barbecue sauce. It’s brown in color speckled with fragments of spices and seeds.
Taste Straight Up:
3 out of 5. A lick off the back of the hand offers a subdued sweetness at the forefront that is almost lackluster (weak, sugar water comes to mind) until cool tones of onions, tomatoes and light, smokey chipotle chiles peek out although never rushing to become bold. A backend taste develops showcasing tart and spicy notes from the naga jolokias and the vinegar. The two never coalesce into one, unified flavor yet was still delicious enough to keep my interest…