Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick-Rubbed Chicken Wings (And More)

Kurt Halls from Caribeque is making magic happen with his seasonings and rubs. Even his smack sauce. I haven’t tried the buffalo barbecue sauce he released over the last year or so, but I eventually hope to.

I bought a 3-pack of the Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick seasoning.

I’d never tried the Spicy Calypso Kick (nor the original Calypso Kick), but I bought the 3-pack on the merits of Caribeque alone. I love the Caribeque Honey Heat rub for pork and chicken as well as the Caribeque “Honey Heat” Smack Sauce that is incredible with just about anything (but with French fries or potato wedges is my favorite).

I gave one of the seasonings to my girlfriend Dana’s dad, the man who is responsible for giving us the Caribeque Honey Heat rub and Smack Sauce.

I was so eager to try out the Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick seasoning that I cut up three chicken breasts, liberally seasoned them with it and pan-fried them in my cast iron skillet with coconut oil. To my tastebuds, the seasoning isn’t very spicy; it’s more sweet than anything (even though it’s sugar free). I don’t know what kind of flavors are at play, but it has a delectable flavor profile that is generous to the tastebuds.

We made chicken tacos/burritos. I should’ve added some diced onions to mine, but I forgot (at the time) because I was so impatient, wanting to try this kickass seasoning! For some spice (I’m a spice fiend), I added Mrs. Renfros habanero salsa to the mix. What a great combination right there ~~ Mrs. Renfros habanero salsa and Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick. One company is based out of Texas (Mrs. Renfros) and the other is out of Florida (Caribeque), but they should collaborate on something!

Indoor cooking, using Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick: a success!

Firing up my STOK drum grill!

This past Thursday, I fired up my STOK drum grill!

I’d purchased a 14-ct family pack of chicken wings from Food Lion since they were a manager’s special item at about $7 bucks.

I’d planned for Thursday to be the day I’d do the grilled wings. You might think it’s blasphemy to grill wings instead of deep frying them, but who gives a shit? Good food is good food! I added some cherry wood to my coals for extra flavor.

I also cooked for my mother and my aunt. My mother despises chicken, so I grilled some burgers for them.

What happened was, I ended up being the only person eating the wings! That was fine by me. They turned out to be delicious. The cherrywood worked out perfectly with them. The Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick gave it a nice flavor all over the skin. It was some fine bird eatin’.

I love Caribeque products. Kurt Halls knows what he’s doing. I’ll be doing another post about them soon.

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Spareribs, Baby Backs, Pork Shoulder, Chicken Thighs, Mac’n’Cheese, Oh My!

I finally had the chance to smoke again on Tuesday. It was heavenly.

I received my Thermapen Mk4 from Thermoworks on Monday. I’m still undecided about it. I’ll write more about it in a future post.

I smoked two racks of spareribs, two racks of baby back ribs, a 4.5 lb. pork shoulder, bologna, chicken thighs, mac and cheese, corn on the cob and cabbage.

A couple of the pictures aren’t great, but I never claimed to be a professional photographer!

Uncle Yammy’s Memphis style chicken & rib seasoning was sprinkled liberally on all the racks of ribs except for one, which I used the KC Masterpiece habanero rub… dry rub that could have also doubled as a sauce if I would have mixed it with beer. I’m not much of a sauce guy, so I used it as a dry rub by default. It was OK… I’ll give it another shot. It tasted like the Lays barbecue potato chips, something I crave every now and again, and reminds me of summer school from my elementary school days.

Tony Chachere’s Creole was sprinkled on the bologna. So good. Don’t write off smoked bologna until you’ve tried it. It’s fantastic.

Garlic Jalapeno by Weber on the chicken thighs. I’m just about out of my favorite — Garlic Habanero — so I went with the jalapeno option. I may have slightly overcooked them, but they were still juicy and flavorful, so it wasn’t the biggest deal in the world.

I used Caribeque Honey Heat on the pork shoulder. I love that stuff. I ordered some Calypso Kick seasoning from Caribeque the other day, and I can’t wait to hot’n’fast smoke some wings seasoned with it on my Weber Smokey Mountain.

Nothing but salt and pepper on the corn on the cob (not pictured). It was a favorite.

I added butter and Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning to the cabbage.

The mac and cheese was pretty good, though that needs some experimentation in the future. I only left it in the smoker for a little over an hour.

It was a successful smoke, albeit I’m still learning the ins and outs of the Weber Smokey Mountain. It ate up my Royal Oak charcoal (briquettes) pretty quickly, but the guys over at TVWBB (The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board) said that I didn’t use enough charcoal to fill the ring completely, and to try a different variation of the Minion Method. Their points were noted.

I used applewood for this smoke.

Father’s Day Grilling: Pork Chops and Pork Steaks

Tell one, tell ’em all!

I drank a BANG energy drink on Sunday morning and started grilling at 11:50 AM. I threw four pork steaks on my STOK drum grill. The plan was to grill a few pork steaks for my mother and my little lady and have them for dinner.

Well, a picture was sent to the group chat with the family. Boom. A family dinner occurred.

No surprise. Nothing wrong with that. I just think it’s amusing. Tell one, tell ’em all! I can’t regurgitate that enough.

One of my family members ended up bringing a family pack of pork chops over so that I could grill them. We also had mashed potatoes, beans and macaroni and cheese.

Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning goes well with just about anything and everything. These pork steaks were no exception to that, nor were the family pack of pork chops. They were juicy and tasty in every facet. I cooked ’em until they were almost overcooked (the majority of my family prefers them that way). The pork chops went faster than the pork steaks!

I added some applewood to the fire for extra flavor. No complaints from anyone!

The Charcoal Chimney is the Number One, Most Essential Grilling Accessory

The Weber charcoal chimney on my STOK drum grill.

Outside of a top notch thermometer, invest in a Weber charcoal chimney.

A lot of people who switch to gas grilling say that one of the reasons why is because charcoal takes too darn long to heat up, and they don’t feel like investing so much time in the evening to lighting and waiting on charcoal to be ready.

Well, the charcoal chimney takes a 35-40 minute wait into a 10-15 minute wait.

I like to use old newspapers or old charcoal bag fodder to start my fires, but a lot of people don’t, because it does produce a ton of ash. Have no fear, because there’s another alternative that doesn’t produce ash:

I don’t know about your part of the country, but here in southwest Virginia, at Walmart you can get a pack of the Weber lighter cubes for $3. They are down from the original price of $3.92. I keep these around, because they kick ass. They are probably the best way to start your charcoal. Simply place two on your charcoal grate, light them up, place your charcoal chimney full of coals on top and they’ll ignite.

Don’t bother with any other brand for a charcoal chimney. The Weber one is the best. I’ve read negative reviews about the other one not having sufficient airflow or they’ll fall apart. This Weber charcoal chimney is damn sturdy. As the saying goes, “buy the best and only cry once”.

I might sound like I’m thumping the Weber company name, but really, they are a top notch grilling company. The customer service is fantastic, and I personally stand by their products. Like I said in a previous post, I only endorse what I believe in. If I didn’t believe in it, I wouldn’t endorse it! And no, I’m not getting paid to shout the company name! Believe me, I’d love to, but that isn’t the case.

The reason the Weber charcoal chimney is so damn efficient is due to the holes in the side that allow a maximum amount of oxygen to come through and feed the fire. Be sure to wear gloves and maybe some eye protection when you use the chimney. I didn’t use any gloves during my Father’s Day cook, but the handle was pretty damn hot. I did wear sunglasses, however, because I didn’t want ashes flying up into my eyes. Also, title the chimney sideways when you pour out the hot coals; you don’t want to turn it straight over, in front of you, or else the fire could come back up and be in your face.

Happy grillin’!

T-Town Wings (Talladega, Alabama) Review

A few weeks ago, I was in Alabama with my girlfriend, visiting her family and enjoying each other’s company. I love her family to death. They’ve showed nothing but love for me. My little lady and I met online, and I met all of her family at once in May 2015 when I drove to ‘Bama and stayed a few days. I’m grateful to have been taken in and accepted by a family who loves me. While my little lady and I aren’t married, there are a lot of people out there who have struggling relationships with their in-laws. To not deal with this is a relief. There’s a sense of security about being quasi-‘adopted’ by your little lady’s parents. Oh, and they also introduced me to outdoor cookin’, like smokin’ meats.

I’ve had this shirt for years and only wore it for the first time here.

Hole-in-the-wall type restaurants tend to deliver the best food in many cases, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because of a small team of close-knit employees working together in a concentrated way that makes the food taste so damn good, because it’s not some processed garbage being warmed up in a microwave or oven in mass quantities. That’s not to deign T-Town Wings, to call it a hole-in-the-wall place; it’s just to categorize it how it seems to be from the eye of the beholder.

T-Town Wings is a tiny place. There’s maybe about three or four (I can’t remember now) tables in there. They have a pretty damn big menu. I wish I would have taken a picture of it. You can order a whole Boston Butt for $28! But we weren’t there for pork shoulder. We were there for what the name implied. The little lady’s family ordered over 150-some wings. As a wing lover (I’m fatass-minded; I love just about all foods), it was like being in heaven.

The wings were placed in styrofoam boxes. We had to stop by Wal-Mart on the way home to eat ’em, to stop and get drinks. I had only ate at Jack’s (fast food restaurant that’s all over the upper bits of Alabama; so damn good) that day, chicken tenders and fries, and we’d spent the said day at the zoo, so I was famished. As a big eater, I wanted to tell them, “To hell with the drinks! Let’s go eat!” but I had to pretend to be civilized.

We’d ordered barbecue (I’m already going to say this: not my favorite, but I don’t like barbecue sauces on wings, anyway), sweet heat, Cajun (dry rub), hot, atomic (or fire… can’t remember what their ‘hottest’ flavor was) and lemon pepper. I figured the wings would be soggy since they were inside styrofoam boxes for a good bit, since we had to stop at Wally World.

The aftermath of at least 50 wings down yours truly’s ol’ hatch.

That was not the case (they were not soggy at all; very crispy!). I ate at least fifty wings. As stated earlier, I didn’t care for the barbecue albeit I ate a few. The sweet heat wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. I mean, hell yeah, it was good, but not my favorite. Lemon pepper isn’t my jam, either, even though it’s a favorite of my little lady’s… it just seems like the pepper is super strong in it, but I’ve never cared much for the flavor.

The atomic/fire or whatever the hottest flavor was, wasn’t as hot as I’d hoped it would be. It had an OK flavor, but it’s not something I’d care to get again.

The hot and Cajun dry rub flavors were easily my favorite. They had a nice flavor profile to them, and I enjoyed them immensely. I’d love to go back and get some more of the hot and Cajun. I could eat those daily and risk obesity.

I give T-Town Wings a thumbs up. I don’t know if the restaurant is family owned or not, but the man working was pretty damn nice to everybody. I assume he was the manager; he was getting everybody to work in synchrony, efficiently. Seemed, on the forefront, to be a damn good leader of those working in the kitchen. He was also respectful and courteous to all guests.

If, for whatever reason, you are in Talladega, check out T-Town Wings. You won’t be disappointed. I hope to make another return trip there next time I’m in ol’ ‘Bam’er.