My Blog has moved, follow me over

Since I now have my own website hosted,

I have moved all of my posts to…

http://oshawalaser.com/Blog/

Please click on the above link and visit me there,

Thanks

Wilfred Reinke

aka Oshawa Ogre

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Review- Herman T’s BBQ Sauce Mix

 

A couple of days ago I received in the mail two packages of Herman T’s BBQ Sauce Mixes, one in the Original “Mild” Blend and one package of their Spicy “Hot” Blend. These were sent to me as a trial package. 

I could not wait to try this sauce, I was intrigued by the fact that is a sauce mix rather than out of a bottle. In my house I have four or five different bottles of BBQ sauce open in the fridge at any one time and space becomes a premium. having a sauce that I can keep in the spice cupboard and use only what I need for the meal I am preparing made perfect sense. 

I originally found Herman T’s on twitter   and from there I visited their well designed website  that has a warm and friendly feel to it complete with history and video. 

My first choice was to try the Original “Mild” blend 

Impressive Packaging

 

I was impressed on the quality of the packaging which is a thick foil based packaging that you cut the top off with scissors but you are left with a ziplock style closure so that it can be resealed to keep the product fresh. 

The company claims that the mix has a shelf life of 1 year, I am not sure if that is one year after opening or from manufacture. If it is from manufacture it would be nice to have a manufacture date on the package. 

The size of the package is 4″x7″ x 1 3/4″ thick at the base. 

The ingredients are listed on the label the “Mild” has… 

vinegar, honey, sugars, pepper, garlic, chili powder, chipotle powder & citrus powder. 

Very easy directions are also on the label, which read… 

In sauce pan combine: 

1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of Ketchup along with 1 tbs of the sauce mix, whisk to a boil reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes, best served warm. 

There is 10 Tablespoons of sauce mix in the package enough for 10 cups of sauce

 

I cooked up some Chicken strips on the BBQ that all I did was add a little bit of oil and salt & pepper to the chicken . 

I made up the sauce as directed while grilling the chicken. 

I found that the sauce mix was well mixed within the package. 

Some chicken I left plain and brushed some of the chicken a few minutes before removing from the grill. 

Fresh tasty BBQ sauce in less than 10 minutes

 

I thought that it had a sweet taste, and very pleasant that did not leave any after taste. 

served on BBQ Chicken Strips.... Yum!

 

Since the sauce was served warm it was a very satisfying taste that would go well with just about any dish. 

Next up was the Spicy “Hot” BBQ Sauce Mix 

Oddly enough the Ingredient list for the Spicy “Hot” mix is the same as the Original “Mild” now maybe the proportions of the spices are different which accounts for the different taste. 

  

Time to try some Spicy "Hot" Herman T's BBQ Sauce

 

I really like to put BBQ sauce on a pepperoni Pizza, I find that BBQ sauce will bring out more flavour from the Pepperoni. So I wanted to try this sauce on some take out pizza. 

Easy to mix, 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup Ketchup + 1 tbs sauce mix

 

The directions are exactly same as the “Mild” from above. 

Regular take out pepperoni Pizza

 

Ready in about 6 minutes!

 

Sauced up Pepperoni Pizza that has kick!

 

I have in the past stuck mostly with mild sauces , I do like some kick but not that my mouth is on fire, I lathered the sauce on top of the pizza slices and I found that it definitely could taste the heat, by the time I was finished the 3 slices of pizza I found that I was sweating and I was inside my air-conditioned house! 

In conclusion I would have to say that I really like the fact that it is easy and quick to prepare. These sauces would be great as a dip for chicken wings on football night. 

Cost for the sauce online is $7.95 for each 6oz package or you can buy a 2 pack for $15.00 considering that each package can produce 10 cups of sauce I would say the price is a bargain. 

Shipping in the US for a two pack is only $4.00 and to ship to me in Canada is $6.00 

I will be using more of this sauce mix for future meals, There are many many different BBQ sauces on the market and everyone has their own tastes but I am confident that this will appeal to the majority of BBQ cooks and their family’s.

From Canada Day to Independence Day – Rib-fest in Toronto is our Fireworks

  

  

This past week-end was the 11th annual edition of Canada’s Largest Canada day celebration.  

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Etobicoke Over 100,000  people go through the gates to enjoy fantastic ribs and entertainment from 13 Professional International Ribbers from both Canada and The US. Joining them are 20 food and 70 specialty Vendors along with a  midway for children of all ages.  

I attended on Saturday July 3rd along with my friend Joe Simeunovich, both of us having a longing for some good BBQ and this day did not disappoint.  

First off it was a fantastic day weather wise, we arrived around noon. ( the location is a huge area called Centennial Park which is just south of Pearson International Airport in Toronto)  

Parking was free and generous spots were available, though we parked about a 3 minute walk away we could of found spots a lot closer as well.  

Admission to the park was also free, with the option of donating a toonnie ( $2.00 Canadian coin) which is given to that big Pink Pig pictured below, and a couple of the 600 volunteers handed out programs at the door and had change available for those that only had bills in their pockets.  

For our donation we also received a free cloth bag to carry our goodies in, which was a nice touch that I had not seen before at a rib-fest.  

As soon as we entered the grounds there was a young lady having an animal balloon hat made for her by a fun gentleman that was entertaining us right away.  

  

An unsuspecting Joe posed for this picture next to this sign which had me chuckling to myself.  

Joe you fell for that one!

 

We were drawn to the booth by some wonderful Latin music that had us in the mood in an instant.  

What the sign was actually for was for this pig that was being roasted during the day to be given away at the end of the night in a draw. Another first for me seeing a Whole Hog being cooked at a Rib-fest.  

 Generally a rule of thumb that a lot of people use is that get in line for ribs that have the most people waiting in line, but Joe liked the fact that Bad Wolf BBQ had the nice Music going and at that moment no one was in line there so he bought a 1/2 rack of their ribs for $13.00, we both shared the ribs and they were wonderful the sauce was a perfect blend of sweet and smoke flavour and the meat was nicely cooked., while eating those we got in line at Crabbys BBQ shack out of London Ontario (there are a fair number of teams that come out of that area and do the Ontario circuit)  

This time I bought and we had about a 15 minute wait in line with maybe 10 people in front of us but the time went by quickly as we chatted with a father and his two daughters behind us. This is a nice thing about Rib-fests, that people are friendly and everyone just wants to enjoy the day and pig out on summertime food (yes pun intended)  

After getting our ribs we stopped by Pappy’s Original Soda Pop Stand where we both ordered a mug of Cherry Soda which comes in a tin Mug that you get to keep for $7.00 and you also get some refreshing ice  and then you pull the tap on your favorite flavour, as you can see it is large mug and you get your monies worth as the soda is refreshing and the perfect taste, though we did find that later in the day when we went for a refill (only $3.00) Joe tried the Orange Soda which was to sweet for his liking. For my refill I tried the Mountain Mist (similar to Mountain Due) which was also refreshing but I think I would stick with the Cherry.  

  

Our Next stop was the “Bob’s Bloomin Onions” booth, I have had a Bloomin Onion once before  2 years ago in Bomanville, and today a lot of the visitors were getting this wonderful snack, though snack may not be the right word since the serving is large enough to feed a whole family!  

Kat about to dig into her Bloomin Onion that matches her hair perfectly

 

A Bloomin Onion is cut in away and dipped in a batter then deep-fried which opens it up like a flower and served with a wonderful dipping sauce for $8.00, extra sauce for only .50 extra, While in line the lady behind me had this hair style that I told her was perfect since it reminded me of what we were about to get. Just have a look for your self. I spoke with Kat while we waited for our orders and she had a fun personality, here with some family members having a great time.  

Bloomin Onion and Cherry Soda from Pappy's... great after Ribs!

 

I also had the pleasure of sitting down for a moment with Bob Steckly the owner operator of this Bloomin Onion that is based out of Fort Erie, he has been running it for the past 6 years or so, Bob told me that the Bloomin Onion started about 15 -20 years ago at an Outback Steakhouse location in Florida and has become a staple food product at Rib-fests ever since. Mr. Steckly was happy to see the superb weather of this season since 2009 was  a very rainy summer and was not the best of seasons for his bank account.  

Bob Steckley of Bob's Bloomin Onion and myself

 

Time to check on our little miss Piggy, she is getting a bit of tan!

 

  

From Honey Mustard to Ragin' Cajun Camp 31 has flavourful sauces and rubs

 

BBQ'd Chicken and Ribs Oh My!

 

Camp 31 is one Ribber that I have seen at every Rib-fest so far this season, and as I read on their sign the were voted to have the best ribs at Woodbine Beach Rib-fest that I reviewed just a couple of weeks ago. which can be read here  

   

Woodbine only had 5 Ribbers compared to 13 here at Centennial Park but the overall rib-fest at the Beach was a complete success.  

Camp 31 had out their Sauces for sale and one thing I liked about most of the Ribbers here was that they allowed for samples to be tasted of the various sauces for those that wanted to bring a taste of the Rib-fest home with them to use on their back yard cookouts.  

  

Wherer there is smoke there is fire!.... You hungry yet?

 

The line ups are getting deeper! but worth the wait

 

So you like Southern food? Here is an American team that has the goods!

 

All of a sudden Joe calls me over to try some BBQ Mushrooms that he had bought from Jack on the Bone, and I was blown away  

BBQ'd Mushrooms, Rubbed, Sauced, and sprayed with Jack Daniels... Yum!

 

After trying the Mushrooms Joe and I chatted with the son of the owner of Jack on the Bone Jamey Groetz out of Massilon, Ohio.  

Jamie was on the front line bringing people towards their boot with free samples of their Pulled Pork and sauce to try, and it was working well for them as their line was getting longer and longer. I was very impressed with Jamey, he was very friendly and knows his business and took the time to answer all questions with interesting answers.  

The coolest thing about Jack on the bone is exactly what the name says, just before serving whether it is Ribs or Mushrooms they have a bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey with a spray attachment and the food gets a healthy spritz of Jack, the alcohol evaporates away at 100 degrees but it leaves behind a splendid taste sensation!  

These mushrooms were fantastic, who needs ribs.... ok I still like ribs too!

 

Joe having a conversation with Jamey Groetz of Jack on the Bone BBQ

 

It does not hurt to have the ladies wearing snappy outfits to promote the team! I also got a laugh out of the sign too.

 

Some teams were able to take a needed break in their busy days

 

"Remember tipping is not just for cows!" helps to have a sense of humour

 

No problem finding places to sit to eat their meals and relax for a bit

 

Lots of entertainment coming from the stage, to keep the guests in a great mood

 

Having been at the park for close to 4 hours now, and the heat of the day was staring to take its toll, but there were a number of ways to cool down with plenty of water and Ice cream type products to refresh you.  

Even though when I snapped this picture the Horn Dawgs Smokin BBQ team was also enjoying a few minutes of well deserved break time, they were getting ready for the next rush of customers, I did not even know til now that the Horn Dawgs are based out of Oshawa, I hope to have a chat with them when they are in the Uxbridge Rib-fest coming up July 16th weekend.  

A few minutes to catch their breath before the next rush

 

While having a chance it was time for some grill cleaning

 

Such a popular place that people would use of their day passes to head to Rib-Fest

 

Who needs a mechanical Bull when you have a mechanical pig! One of the girls from Thirsty Cactus and a couple more from Bloomin Onion taking a break to have some fun.

 

Our little Miss Piggy forgot her sunblock today, Only thing missing is an apple!

 

The day was a complete success, lots of happy visitors, fantastic food and booths and vendors that had fun with customers that were gladly opening their wallets, and it is worth every penny.  

Next up, there are Rib-fests to be held in Mississauga with 14 Ribbers   and Uxbridge with 6 Ribbers  both Rib-fests to be held July 16th – 18th 2010 so if your anywhere close to either city make plans to attend.  

London Ontario and Scarborough will hold their Rib-fests July 29th – Aug 2nd  

And I am looking forward to when Rib-fest comes to my home city September 11th -13th 2010  

If you’re not local to any of these areas and you want to find a rib-fest to attend try this handy link I created just for you….  

My review of 2010 Toronto’s Woodbine Beach * Rib-fest Starring Ted Reader

  

Having 2 weeks before attending the Rib-fest in Bomanville and having a good time and having gone there all 3 years that is has been held, I was not sure what to expect out of the big city of Toronto which is about 45 minutes to the south-west of here.  

Having also being  disappointed to hear that the Canadian Open Championships were canceled (without any notice on the website by the way) I wondered if any of the Rib-fest would still be on, how ever after checking the face book page for Ted Reader he posted that he was grilling there all week-end so that was enough for me, I was going!  

I called my good friend Joe Simeunovich (we go back in the Printing trade 30 years) and asked him if he would be interested in going. He was excited to say the least, Joe recently bought a Pellet burning grill that he loves so this kind of show would be of great interest to him.  

At first the plan was to go on the Saturday but the weather forecast was for 70% rain with Thunder storms so I put it off till the Sunday morning, for which I am glad, it was a glorious day to spend in a park. The doors opened at 11am and we pulled in around noon, Now we thought that parking would be nightmare but there was parking for $10.00 right beside the park and it was a huge lot with lots of open spots to park.  

That is my friend Joe in the Black shirt about to get his Cream Soda

 

As soon as we got in, Joe went straight over to Pappy’s Soda Pop booth because he had one of their “Collectible” aluminum cups at home but wanted a second to make a matching pair so he bought a $7.00 cup of Cream Soda (refills are only $3.00)  

Please note anytime you would like to see more detail in the pictures just click on them with your mouse and you will see them full size.  

We then decided we would visit all of the Rib joints before deciding on which one we would try for lunch, here are pictures of all 5 Rib Joints, (there were 7 in Bomanville and the only one that was at both Rib-fests was Camp 31)
I was impressed that Camp 31 had a table out front with open sauces (with forks) to sample their product I did sample them and found them tasty.
The above team Maple BBQ is a somewhat local team from North of Toronto, One nice thing is that the sauce they used was infused with Maple syrup.
We decided that we would start off by sharing a half rack of ribs ($13.00) from Maple as a starter, Their ribs had a nice taste but perhaps they could have cooked a little longer for our liking, but still very nice, the sauce was nice but could have used more kick.
After that we got in line at Thirsty Cactus and they had by far the longest line-ups in the park while in line I took a few extra shots at their booth.
Having sampled the Chipotle BBQ Sauce I was sold, so I bought 2 of the sauce and 1 of their pork rub (separately $6.00 each or 3 assorted for $15.00) and I bought a Half Rack Dinner for $15.00 which had the Beans and Slaw sides. (Joe bought the same as I  for the meal along with a rub)
Here is Joe and I just sat down to eat, we had met a very nice gentleman named Richard at the table that we shared and we talked for about an hour, Richard took this picture of Joe and I and then I took a picture of Richard and Joe, I wrote down my information along with my blog address so I hope that Richard will get to see this.
And here is what my meal looked like (but not for long) I found the sauce really nice, the ribs themselves were very much fall off the bone, which many people like but if it is a competition they would not of scored too high. But heck I am not a judge  looking for a perfectly presented ribs, I was after taste and these ribs fit that bill.
After sitting down to eat, and chat with Richard the first of two bands begun to play, for the Sunday they had two Reggae bands

2-3pm-3:30-4:30pm: The Dream Band
5-6pm-6:30-7:30pm:  Lazo & The Radikals  

(note we ended up leaving at 4:30 pm so we only hear The Dream band play but they were very good and did a great version of Whiter Shade of Pale which I will link here on YouTube,   but do not expect great video, the sound is good but the video was shaky as I was trying to film with one hand)  

Here are some random pictures that I took within the park so that you can see the space and how clean it all was, and how relaxing a day it was, It was really nice that there were a lot of people but we all had the space to move about freely and any lineups were fast, even the washrooms on site (portopotties) were quick to access and were clean, Bravo to the organizers for making the weekend pleasant that way.  

  

At this point Joe and I started getting hungry again so over to get a Corn on the Cob and an Iced Tea for $8.00 and I will tell you that Corn was a delight!, dipped in melted butter and i could see that a lot of kids in the park were enjoying the corn as well.  

There was also a Beer and Jack Daniels Tent but neither Joe or myself are big drinkers and plus I had to drive back to Oshawa so no grown up drinks this time around.  

Now for a great part of the day, One of the reasons I really wanted to make the trip was to meet Ted Reader, he was there with Napoleon Grills and Jack Daniels and his own tent for TedReader.com and he has been in the news a lot of late when he BBQ’d a 590 lb complete burger!, you can read about it here (video too)    

I already have Ted as a friend on Facebook but I thought it would be nice to meet him in person.  

Ted is a very friendly man he engaged in a nice 10 minute conversation with me before he was to do a demonstration for a Toronto Sun 3 team Grilling competition on Napoleon grills.  

  

And following are some pictures all taken from the Ted Reader area of the park, including a couple of shots of Joe discussing the features of one of the Napoleon BBQ Grills that they were showing to the public, thanks to Courtney (The Blond Girl) for spending some time with us and answering our BBQ questions with skill and knowledge.  

  

As Ted started to do his demonstration There was a person sitting in the front row eating a Harvey’s Hamburger  

Ted gave him a hard time on that wondering why he would come here with all of that great food around him and he is eating a fast food burger!, that cracked us all up.  

He showed us how he makes burgers using a lot of meat and cheese on Cedar planks (which he sells) along with a lot of Southern Comfort, yup you heard me Southern Comfort he also show us a great way of making Beef burgers wrapped in a butterflied Chicken breast, the idea being that he would show us and then 3 teams would compete making similar burgers and after 45 minutes they would be judged by Ted. by the way you should also check out Ted’s website here   

  

The flames you see are just after he poured booze all over the meat, it was just for a few seconds, he had also used his finger to put a hole in the top of the burgers when he made them and poured Southern Comfort in the hole and later when almost cooked he added a big slab of butter in each hole, may not be the best thing for being heart healthy but great taste once in a while should not kill you.  

After the demonstration. ( I did not stick around for the cook off, though maybe I should have found out who won) Joe and I wandered over to the area that was for the amateur cook off, which when we arrived they were in the process of preparing their ribs for judging  I did take a bunch of pictures but they were so focused on their work I did not dare ask them for any comments that I could have used for the blog. Maybe next time I will be a little better prepared to do some reporting as well as being a photographer.  

Here are the teams, note the various types of BBQ’s used, Eggs, Charcoal, Gas & Wood Pellet Traeger Grills  

  

Again, if I had stayed longer maybe I could have found out who one, but Joe and I were really wanting to get one of Ted Readers monster burgers. even though we were still full from lunch.  

on the way over to Ted’s booth I took a couple more pictures of the rib shacks and as you can see the lines were getting longer and longer, this was at about 4pm.  

  

So here we are back at Ted’s Burger booth, and we wanted to try to taste as much as we could, so Joe ordered a Beef Burger and  ordered the Pulled Pork burger and we asked to have them cut in half so that we could share the burgers. Ted had a total of 3 choices , Pork Beef and Chicken, they all looked so good although we wondered if we could eat at all we were so full.  

Ted was offering a Burger and a Coke for $10.00  

And add a really nice BBQ Spatula for $5.00 more (Stainless Steel with Wooden handle)  

and his cook book which retail was $30.00 was on sale for $20.00  

But the deal of the show was all of the above for $25.00 which both Joe and I took advantage of. He was also selling his Sauces for a great price of 2 for $5.00, other vendors were $6.00 each or 3 for $15.00.  

  

  

Funniest moment of the day happened when they called Joe’s name to pick up his order, he took one look a this massive burger and said out loud, Holy F***!, He quickly apologized to the girl who handed him the burger and she said, That is ok, it is the best compliment that we had all week-end! and they had plenty let me tell you.  

Below is my 2 halves (pork on left beef on right) and the extras that came with it.  

  

The Cookbook is a fantastic read and I will review the book on its own in a future blog posting.  

Both Joe and I could only finish part of the burgers, not because of the taste but that we had no empty parts of our bodies to put the food. Overall the day was a complete success, Joe and I had a great time, and some greater food, I will be back again next year.  

If you’re in the Southern Ontario area this summer or next look for a Rib-fest to visit, you will have a wonderful day.

#FF Forward Fridays – My Top 10 BBQ personalities on twitter

Thanks to Wayne & Garth for presenting my Top 10 Tweople in BBQ

Today is Friday and on Twitter the community will make a #FF list in a post to let others know who are some of their favourite people that they follow on the social networking site.

Now for my self I follow a lot of Sport personalities and I enjoy reading their tweets and finding out first hand what is happening in the World of Sports but today I will talk about another passion of mine and that is BBQ, in the last year or so I have been learning more and more about how to BBQ not just throwing some burgers and dogs on the grill but actually doing some cool cooking recipes on my BBQ.

I have been posting some of my recipes on youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/oshawaogre and that is a lot of fun. but I have really been enjoying using twitter to find a lot of cool recipes and reading other blogs from the BBQ community.

As a matter a fact I can credit the twitter community for giving me the inspiration to start writing in my blog once again.

So today I would like to suggest here some of my favourite twitter people who I really enjoy spending some time with.

Although I put this in a top ten format, I hope that I am not hurting anyones feelings for where they are on the list or if they did not make the top 10. As of today I have over 180 people who I am following and maybe half of them are BBQ related and I value them all, but there are some that I consider fun friends on the site that I talk with every day.

Here are my top 10 as of today.

Making a top 10 was a difficult decision since there are so many other people I would have liked to mention, (which I do on twitter when i send out my #FF’s on the twitter site.

Honourable mention must also go to these people from the BBQ community (sorry if I missed any of you)

@CookingOutdoors – Has a great website in which he shows great recipes for BBQ and Dutch Oven Cooking
@DesertSmokeBBQ  – Another fun-loving BBQ’er
@GrillGrrl  – A great Gal in Florida that show that Women can do what ever men can do on a grill
@Grilliantideas – Once again  a friendly guy that talks a good game on BBQ and Life
@HogsGoneWildBBQ – The name says it all doesn’t it 
@shesmokebbq A fine BBQ Writer that joins the fun and has a great website too
@BBQGrail What can I say he is my hero, he invented the MOINK Ball and is a great BBQ twitter friend

There are many more that i could talk about and i am sure that I will in future posts and there are those that I am yet to follow but first I have to find them.

I am hoping that this post will inspire you to check out these great people who I have met in cyberspace and you too will enjoy their tweets like I do now.

Rockin’ Rotary Rib-fest – Bomanville Ontario Canada – June 12th 2010

On Saturday June 12th 2010 The Oshawa Ogre traveled east (about 15 minutes) to Bomanville, Ontario to attend the annual Rib-fest held by the Rotary Club.  you can visit their website here http://www.bowmanvilleribfest.com/

I have now attended the last 3 years, and I look forward to it every year.

Competitors from 7 different BBQ Rib Teams bring their grills and sell their succulent Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork and sauces for the community to have a great meal, drink a few beers and get together with local friends and listen to the band.

The teams are mostly from the Ontario area of Canada and are part of a circuit that visits various small cities trying to get the top votes from the locals.

My first stop was to get a Funnel Cake .

I have never had the pleasure of eating one of these before so I bought one with Ice cream and Strawberries to share with my friend Bob and his Wife Susan.

It cost $10.00 Canadian and is basically a deep-fried pastry that is poured into the deep-fried with a funnel, hence the name Funnel Cakes., I enjoyed it as a nice treat and now I could take a walk around the park to visit the Rib teams.

It was a very over cast evening here, and it had rained pretty heavy all day but it did not dampen the atmosphere and there was a great turn out. luckily it did not rain while I was in the park.

as with All of the photos in my Blog you can look at the full size pictures by clicking on them with your mouse.

And now I give to you the team that I decided I would give my money to, Boss Hogs out of London Ontario

They use Apple and Cherry hard woods for their grill and my Friends Bob & Susan along with another friend Herman  buy Ribs from them every year, they are very tasty and have a great sauce of which I bought a jar of for.

I paid $22.00 for the full rack of ribs and $6.00 for the extra bottle of sauce

That is me on the left, and on the right are a couple our local finest that came to check out their very first Rib-fest Sorry no donuts here boys!

There was also a midway at the park and some various other booths some serving Caribbean food and even a Pizza Pizza booth, who would go to a Rib-fest to buy Pizza? But they did do some business, there was also a beer tent and a live band, a great way to spend an evening.

I will also be attending the Oshawa Rib-fest later in the season and I am not sure at this point but I may try to attend the Father’s Day Rib-fest June 18th-20th at Woodbine Park in Toronto Called Beach Rib-fest which looks like will have more competitions than the local ones do.