Review: Hog Heaven Competition & Raging Bull Rubs

In my book there are two types of BBQ.  Backyard and Competition.  If you’ve ever been to or judge a real, sanctioned BBQ Competition one of the first things you’ll realize is the flavor profiles can be, and often are, much different than the flavor profiles we prefer in our backyard BBQ.  I am not a competition BBQ guy.  I’ve judged a couple of contests, but I just don’t have the desire to do what many of my friends do on their weekends.  I’m not a “comp guy.”

The “Hog Heaven”is labeled as competition rub.  Don’t let that designation scare you off.  If you get a chance to try them I think you’ll be happy…even if you’re just cooking in your backyard.  Just an added note to all rub makers:  Drop the “competition” label off your packaging if you want to sell to the wider backyarder market.  It’s just a guess, but I think you’re losing market share with the competition designation.  Lot’s of people win with “non competition” rubs.

The first thing you’ll notice, about “Hog Heaven”, is that for a rub it’s loaded with much more herbs than I normally expect to see in this type of rub.  I love the herbal flavors mixed with the more tradition rub ingredients.  One thing to remember when using this rub!  It comes packaged in a mylar bag type of package (which I prefer) but you’ve got to mix the rub up.  The herbs have a tendency to settle at the top of the package and if you don’t mix them up you’ll get a load of herbs without the other ingredients.  This shouldn’t be much a problem because you should always shake and/or mix your rubs before applying anyway.

I try to test most of the rubs I receive on pork ribs, this gives me a good basis for comparison between the various rubs.  So first up was “Hog Heaven” and since it’s called a rib rub I figured there wasn’t much sense in changing my normal pattern.  I gave a couple racks of pork ribs, trimmed to St. Louis cut a good dose of the rub.

You’ll notice in the picture the nice layer of herbs mixed with the other rub ingredients.  In the end this will give you a nice flavor to your ribs.  Although I did lightly sauce the ribs I think they would be perfectly good with no sauce at all.  I’d give them a try naked to see how you like them before saucing.  And I think a sauce less on the sweet side would match this rub very well.

I also tried “Hog Heaven” on some grilled chicken.  And I let me tell you!  This is an outstanding rub for chicken.  I didn’t smoke the chicken, which would be the more traditional way with a rub.  I grilled it instead.  No sauce…just rub and some heat.  It was fantastic.  I think I actually prefer this on chicken.  And I can already tell, even though I didn’t try it, that it would compliment fish too.

If you are using this rub on any meat and planning to use a direct heat cooking method make sure you monitor your heat.  Different ingredients in different rubs and seasonings burn at different temperatures.  The herbs in this rub will burn quicker than most rub ingredients (because they’re herbs) so just watch you food and keep the temperature in a moderate range and you’ll be just fine.

The “Raging Bull” beef rub is closer to a traditional rub than the “Hog Heaven,” but it has some different flavor profiles than most beef rubs out there.  One main ingredient, which I’m not going to share, is used in some great steak recipes in some of the best steak houses, so you aren’t going to go wrong.  But be warned it isn’t want you might expect.  If you look at the rub to the right you might be able to pick out some of the ingredients that are a little different.

I don’t know for sure what Steve had in mind for this rub, probably brisket, but I used a chuck roast for my test run.  And it worked fantastic.  Nice bark and more importantly a very nice flavor that just made the beef flavor in the roast jump.  I really like this rub.  It will go on my list of rubs I purchase.

Above you can see the rub when it was first applied to the chuck roast (Left) and then after a couple hours in the smoke(right).  The bark started to form almost immediately.  What was fantastic about this was the flavor of the bark really added to the overall flavor of the meat after I pulled it.

We used the pulled beef in some very nice tacos. (which I forgot to take pictures of).

You can purchase both these rubs from Great Lakes BBQ Supply and I suggest you do.




2 Comments on Review: Hog Heaven Competition & Raging Bull Rubs

  1. Great post, and I love this pic: Very nice photo, sir.

  2. Both sound like great rubs to try this summer – I’m always looking for new ways to serve BBQ to family and friends. Thanks for the tip – I’ll be buying these!

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