Rub it down & start the fire
By NBN Cooking Crew
2 Gringo’s Chupacabra Rub
Anyone want to guess what a Chupacabra is? We must admit we actually tried the rub even before we did our research into the name! We are betting if you’re not from Texas, you might have to look it up before giving an answer, but let us save you a few minutes. The Chupacabra is the Big Foot of Latin culture. We could give a history lesson on this more than interesting animal, but we just want to stick with the facts, so below is what we know about this not-so-new product.
Alton Paris from San Antonio, Texas, told us he started making this rub over eight years ago as he “worked to find the perfect combination of spices for his competition ribs.” Once he got the combination right for himself, he started to share it around with others to see if they agreed. Alton told us “at a family BBQ, we had opened the pit for samples, and my son-in-law proclaimed, ‘That stuff would make a chupacabra taste good.’ Another friend suggested that ‘It's chupalicious.’ So with that and the label, I figured there couldn't be a better way to promote this product.” After doing our research on the name, we must agree with him.
The rub has ample salt content, while delivering a variety of other spices that keep it balanced. We tried it with several beef cuts, and the rub accompanied every cut very well, including hamburgers. Our ribs needed a boost of sweet in addition to the rub for our tastes, but if you don’t have a sweet tooth, then this one could be your new rib doctor. The label also claims that this is a “season all” rub, and we must agree with that statement as well. We added it to French fries, pork & beans, and even grilled corn and found it gave an added kick to everything we kissed with it. There are just a few rubs we have tried that have this much diversity. They offer the rub in several different sizes, up to 25-pound buckets for bulk orders.
The regular rub we received and tested does have MSG in it, but in great fashion, they also treated us with a small bottle of the rub without MSG that is also ready for market. The taste is very close out of the shaker, but the difference is after the products are cooked. The items we tried with the non-MSG actually lacked just a touch the saltiness of the original blend, but again it is really similar to the other. I know that offering both rubs on the market today should really help with all of the bad press that MSG has gotten over the years, but we can open that can of worms up in another article some day.
Since 2012 Alton and family have had the rub on the market. They already have a ton of Texas barbecue competition teams that use their seasoning with great success. They also offer a salsa that we did not get to sample ,and Alton tells us he is working on a “Marigate” that is also a proven winner, too. We cannot wait to hear more when they get it ready to roll. You can find more information about the 2 Gringos family-run and truly Texas based business on their website at www.2GringosSalsa.com or by calling 830-591-7964.
InstaFire Charcoal fire starter
InstaFire Charcoal Starter is the perfect companion for most charcoal grills or charcoal chimneys. No more worrying about lighter fluid burn off or having to clean up newspaper ash. These little packs will burn for about 20 minutes and generate enough heat to start approximately 70 full size charcoal briquettes. In fact, one of our test packets lasted 22:49 from ignition until the last flame went totally out. The only small situation we observed with this product is the contents needed to be stirred to keep the flame burning that long, so it has to be accessible. This might be tough if you place it inside some grills. We do not see any problem getting that burn time from using the product with a charcoal chimney.
InstaFire is a patented blend of volcanic rock, wood pellets, and paraffin wax. This patented formula is what makes InstaFire water resistant for use in even the most severe weather, such as rain, snow, or high winds. InstaFire burns at nearly 1000 degrees and will dry out your wet wood. If you ever light a fire, need a fire, cook with fire, or start charcoal, then you need InstaFire. InstaFire was designed as an emergency fire starter, so you know it will be dependable regardless of the weather.
Because of the wood pellets inside the package, we actually still had embers from our trial package almost 45 minutes after the last flame went out. We found this really useful, as we used it to start up our Weber Kettle grill without the help of a chimney. We did have to find a stick to mix up our starter about every six to seven minutes, but with our grill it was fairly simple. It took just over 37 minutes for our coals to get red hot, but they reached that stage without any nasty chemical smell or near explosion. We used the chimney method and had about 50 briquettes ready to cook on in only 24 minutes. The left over with both methods was a simple clean up and much easier and less worry some then cleaning up newspaper ash.
We really like this new product and intend on using it when we are cooking with charcoal. You can buy this product in bulk as well and we can see where this would work very well inside a big fire box of an indirect smoker. We also think that there would be very little creosol build up from this product but only time would be able to tell us that. You can find more info about InstaFire fire starter by calling 888-482-4868 or at www.instafire.com.
Photo by NBN Cooking Crew
Our test packet flames after burning for 18 minutes.