It’s not everyday that you get someone that is a well-known commodity in the barbecue community asking you to try out their products. So when Neil “Bigmista” Strawder of Bigmista’s Barbecue asked me to try out his Perfect Pork Rub and review it, I said “Absolutely!” I had been reading great feedback on the product, and I was anxious to try it out!
For those of you familiar with the BBQ industry, you may recognize the name Bigmista’s Barbecue from Season 2 of BBQ Pitmasters (on TLC) and The Ultimate BBQ Showdown (on CBS). Neil and his wife Phyllis started Bigmista’s BBQ in 2006 as a way to raise money to enter BBQ competitions (an idea planted by members of the BBQ Brethren forum). Two years later, the husband-and-wife team decided to make Bigmista’s Barbecue official. However, rather than opening a brick-and-mortar establishment, they started vending at a farmer’s market. The plan was that if all went well, Neil would be able to devote all of his time to Bigmista’s by August of 2009. Their business was obviously a rousing success — they were in 5 different markets by February of 2009, and Neil was able to resign to concentrate full-time on BBQ.
Their booming success has allowed the husband-and-wife team to expand into the BBQ rub market with the introduction of their Perfect Pork Rub. So let’s check it out!
The rub is sold in 14 oz. bags. The ingredient list is a simple one — salt, sugar, garlic, black pepper, and spices. It’s the “spices” in the ingredient list that gives this rub a unique flavor. But first, let’s take a closer look at the rub up close…
As you can see in the close-up, there are lots of difference spices going on here. The granules are fairly homogeneous in size. A taste of this reveals a predominant salt flavor, which works beautifully on pork! There’s enough sugar in here to get a complementary sweetness going on, and I picked up on a slight hint of cinnamon in this rub. I had a plan for this rub already…
To the Meat of the Matter
… and that plan was pork chops! My wife picked up a large pack of pork chops at Sam’s Club, and I decided to grill some up. One for each of us, and one for my lunch for the next day.
I gave the chops a decent amount of the rub about 30 minutes before firing up the grill. I fired up the grill (used the trusty Weber kettle), using about 12-15 Kingsford briquettes. Once the coals were lit, I set up the grill with a two-zone fire. Just for good measure, I also threw on a foil pouch of wine-infused oak wood chips from Greenleaf BBQ. Right before going on the grill, the chops got a very light coat of vegetable oil and another dusting of the Perfect Pork Rub.
The chops were cooked over direct heat for 5 minutes per side (using a grill press), then moved to indirect heat. Two of the chops were sauced with Cajun Sweet Pecan Garlic BBQ Sauce from Daigle Family Co., while the remaining chop was not sauced. After a total of about 15 minutes cooking time, the chops registered an internal temperature in the 150 degree range, so off they came!
I really like the color that this rub provided! The sugars in the rub allowed for a good caramelization on the meat. I naturally took a taste of both the unsauced and sauced chops. Wow! This is really good stuff! The saltiness of the rub is toned down when cooked into the meat, and I was able to pick up the hint of cinnamon again on the unsauced chop. The sauce and the rub also worked together really well, neither one overpowering the other.
If you’re a big pork fan, add this rub to your arsenal. Don’t wait! Do it!
You can find the website for Bigmista’s Barbecue at http://www.bigmista.com, where you can find a link to their online store to purchase the Perfect Pork Rub ($11.00 for a 14 oz. bag). Bigmista’s Barbecue can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.