SAAS Puts the Spice in Sauce

SaasOne of the perks of being a world-renowned* barbecue blogger is occasionally getting free stuff in the mail.  Usually the bounty is barbecue cookbooks but sometimes its edible.

Recently the good folks at  SAAS Hot Sauce sent me samples of their two fiery and flavorful hot sauces, Original Flavor and Onion & Garlic.  I am still struggling to figure out why these seemingly competent folks would bother to mail their sauce all the way from the, ahem, barbecue capital of Upper Montclair, New Jersey to North Carolina.  Regardless, I feel compelled to say some kind words because they deserve a plug.

Both SAAS sauces I sampled are really, truly excellent.  And, in case you wondered, my kind words can’t be bought for $10 worth of hot sauce.  (Ten bucks worth of beer on the other hand… .) The sauces have a thin consistency that works well as a flavor enhancer at the table or as a marinade, if applied cautiously.  They are generously spiked with habanero peppers, among other ingredients, so they are seriously HOT and have a deep, layered flavor profile.  (I sampled the “spicy hot” varieties, not the mild ones, so cannot comment on the latter.)  If you enjoy heat, give ’em a try.

A word of caution: I don’t think the SAAS spicy hot sauces belong anywhere near traditional barbecue–their flavors are simply too strong–but the sauces would work nicely for spicy chicken wings, adding heat/flavor to Asian cooking (a hipster alternative to the now ubiquitous Sriracha?), and so on.  If you live in the New York area check out SAAS’ sauces at a local grocer, or anyone can order online.

Thanks for the sauce, y’all.  Now can someone please ship me a whole hog for a change?


*Spambots from other countries sometimes visit my website.

Free Copy of Holy Smoke

With all due respect to Bob Garner, who I admire and who has a terrific new book out, the best book published to date on NC barbecue is Holy Smoke.  My barbecue buddy John Shelton Reed, one of the book’s authors, alerted me to an opportunity to win a free copy this Friday (plus an apron!).  Check out UNC’s Press’ page at

T-Shirts from The Pit

According to the News & Observer, Raleigh barbecue restaurant The Pit has joined the ranks of the fashionistas with a new t-shirt featured at Sportiqe Boutiqe.  I don’t yet see the shirt online but assume it will arrive soon, fashionably late.

The cynical side of me wants to say that this new merchandising means you can now order an overpriced ($35) t-shirt to wear while eating overpriced ($11.99) barbecue.  But I’m trying to use a more positive tone on this website in 2012, so I’ll refrain.

Porkless in Seattle No More

Ladies and gents, we have a winner in our free pork contest:  Edd “Cracklin'” McLaughlin of Seattle, Washington.  Although Edd’s name was drawn at random from among eight entrants, he also would have won for distance.  Seattle is a 2,842 mile drive from Greensboro, the home of the NC Barbecue Company, which is providing the prize Battle Box.  Another example of the wonders of the Internet–connecting North Carolina barbecue lovers from coast to coast.

As his contest entry, Edd wrote to say: “I’m stranded out here in the Seattle, Washington area with no access to authentic delicious tasting NC barbecue or the atmosphere of the places where it’s served.  I have a lot of respect for the intensity of its preparation and am always amazed by the subtle smokiness of the finished product, be it Eastern or Piedmont style.  The dips/sauces are other non-existent items out here. I always look forward to the once a year trip I make to NC and NC barbecue is right at the top of the list of reasons why I do.”

It sounds like you’ll truly appreciate this prize, Edd, so congrats on your win and happy eating.  I’ll share your contact info with Ryan Pitz of the NC Barbecue Company and he’ll be in touch to arrange the Battle Box delivery.

Thanks everyone for participating, and I’ll be posting some more of your submissions later this week.

Free Pork by Mail

Thanks to the good folks at the NC BBQ Company, who are offering readers (that’d be you, nimrod) a chance to win some free pork.  In exchange for my blessing to include some past writings in their newsletter, the NC BBQ Company has offered a free Battle Box for a lucky reader.  But there is no such thing as a free lunch, so you have to earn it.

For a chance to win the Battle Box (retail value $55), you must write me at BBQJew at and do one of the following things: tell me why you like NC barbecue; tell me your most or least favorite part of this website; or send me an original (by yourself, wiseguy) BBQ-related photo, essay, poem, video or whatever else you can dream up.  I’ll randomly draw the winner from among all entrants.

Note: All entrants agree to allow me to post their submittals on this website.
Also, your odds of winning vary depending on whether or not my mom submits an entry.

Hebrew Hog Holiday Cards

The latest item I’ve added to the BBQ Jew store is here just in time for the holidays: a Hebrewific holiday card.  Eat your heart out, Hallmark, you couldn’t touch this greeting card if you named MC Hammer your CEO:

Special thanks to Dale Volberg Reed, co-author of Holy Smoke, for her clever “hog sameach” turn of phrase, which inspired this card.  Dale, I officially proclaim you an honorary BBQ Jew for life.  (And, yes, membership has its privileges as you’ll get 10% of my sure-to-be-huge net sale proceeds for this card.)

BBQ Jew’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year/With the hickory coals smelling/And the pit masters telling you, “Barbecue’s near”/It’s the most wonderful time of the year/It’s the pork-porkiest season of all.”  Or at least it could be if you make sure your holiday shopping list includes some of these gifts:

  • Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue. If you don’t own this book yet, shame on you. You’ll certainly learn more about barbecue reading this book than wasting your time on silly websites like  
  • Join “The Fun Tribe”.  For 35 tax-deductible dollars a year (less for students & seniors) you can give the gift of membership in the NC Barbecue Society–known to some as The Fun Tribe,  for reasons that remain a mystery to me despite being a dues-paying member.  NCBS promotes North Carolina’s barbecue culture, sends out a monthly newsletter and offers classes and other special events.  As their website says, “It is time we step up as a state and rightfully claim what many of us have known for a long time, that North Carolina originated barbecue (it’s a Noun), we produce the BEST and we are the Barbecue Capital of the World.”  Amen!
  • BBQ Jew Ornaments. Yes, the rumors are true: Hanukkah is over.  You may not have even known it was here. But rest assured that these BBQ Jew ornaments are for Christmas trees AND Hanukkah bushes. Phew.
  • Long distance pork. Do you know any down on their luck folks who, gasp, don’t live in North Carolina and therefore can’t find good barbecue?* If so, send a styrofoam cooler to their doorstep to say, “I care about your health and well-being enough to ship you frozen meat through the mail.”  I linked to the website of the NC Barbecue Company, a newcomer to the cutthroat (?) mail-order BBQ world (I’ll be sharing more about them on this site soon). You can also use King’s venerable Oink Express or call your favorite local joint to see if they ship–some do if you ask real nice.
  • Other BBQ Jew merch. T-shirts, onesies, fridge magnets? Yup, yup, and yup. The BBQ Jew Store has everything your heart desires and quite a few things it does not.
  • Local pork. Maybe your family and friends are lucky enough to live in North Carolina and smart enough to buy their own ‘cue. But don’t give them too much credit, you know them better than that.  Buy them some barbecue in case they don’t have the sense to do it themselves. Better yet, see if your local joint sells whole shoulders. Many joints sell shoulders around the holidays, and nothing says “happy holidays” like a big ol’ hunk of slow-cooked pork.
  • An education in swine. The NCBS offers barbecue judging and cooking classes, including weekend getaway “Boot Camps”. The Kansas City Barbecue Society offers classes too, including an upcoming judging class in Lexington, NC in February.
  • Sauce. Are the options above too expensive or complicated? Well, if you live in NC, just head down to your local grocery store and buy some North Carolina barbecue sauce. Of the brands that are fairly widely distributed, I highly recommend Scott’s, a classic Eastern-style sauce with serious hot pepper kick to it. (Scott’s is available online too.) And don’t forget a bottle of Texas Pete, the condiment that accompanies the sauce at most barbecue joints throughout the state.

*Texans and residents of Owensboro, Kansas City, Memphis and other such places need not be concerned. I know you good folks have palatable barbecue too, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and other such atrocities notwithstanding.

Decorate Your Christmas Tree the BBQ Jew Way

Need I remind you, my fellow BBQ Jews, that Christmas is just a few weeks away?  If you are like me (i.e., a Jew who married a wonderful Christian woman who feels the holidays are not complete without a sap-stained tree dropping needles on the floor) or even if you’re not, it’s time to buy your Christmas tree.  And you know what’s cool about Christmas trees?  Ornaments, that’s what.  But not just any ornaments. I can tell that you’re a pretty cool guy/gal because you are reading this blog.  Because of that, I know for a fact that only BBQ Jew ornaments will do your Christmas tree justice. 

As luck would have it, you can buy BBQ Jew ornaments here. So what are you waiting for?  Break into your piggy bank (no pun intended) and get your money ready to spend on ornaments at the  BBQ Jew Store .  All major credit cards are accepted and operators are standing by, but Hanukkah gelt is not accepted.

Labor Day Weekend BBQ Jew Merch Sale

Good news, BBQ Jew fan(s).  You can order your favorite–or least favorite–BBQ Jew merchandise at rock bottom prices that are cheap enough make a dead man weep. Okay, not really sure what that means, but you can indeed get aprons at 60% off,  and t-shirts and mugs at 10% off

Visit the online store and enter LABORDAYSALE for the coupon code at checkout.

Father’s Day Merch Sale

Don’t you want dad to be happy after all the years of headaches you brought him?  Now’s your chance to finally make him proud of you.  In honor of Father’s Day, you can get free shipping for orders of $35 or more through tomorrow afternoon.  Just enter the “DADDYFREEGRD” coupon code at the BBQ Jew store.

Dad sure would look nice in a “Devout from Tail to Snout” t-shirt.  And you’d better believe he’d enjoy his next cup of coffee even more if he had a BBQ Jew logo mug to drink it from (oh, and don’t forget, dad always likes his coffeee with a shot of whiskey).  Or maybe all dad wants for Father’s Day is a “Pork is Kosher, Right?” bumper sticker for his F-150.  Heck, get him one of each to make up for all the pain he’s endured since you were born…