Oakridge BBQ Blog - BBQ, Reviews, and More

Rub Testing with Beef Sliders

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a cook thread, and probably longer since I bought the custom griddle for my 26.5″ Weber kettle. It’s been setting idly by all winter patiently waiting for its debut. Well, the wait is over…

I’m finalizing the blend of a new rub that will be coming out soon, and thought it would be a great time to test it out on some beef sliders along with that custom griddle. So, here’s how it went…

First, I made some “slider sauce”, which consisted of:

  • 1 CUP Ketchup
  • 1/2 CUP Real Mayo
  • 2 Tbsp Habanero Death Dust




Then, I sliced up some Vidalia onions very thin and made golf ball-sized balls of 80/20 ground beef, seasoned with our new prototype rub.




Next, I lit about 3/4 chimney of Kingsford and spread them evenly under the new griddle. Within a few minutes, the griddle was reading 350-400º across the surface, so it was time to start making sliders.

The process is easy: smash them out on the griddle, and put a layer of super-thin onions on top…



Now for the flip and some cheese….



Top with a bun lid while the bottom bun is toasting next door…



Then, start building the finished burger…



Top with some “slider sauce” and then, the money shot….

These were SOOO GOOD.

New Review from the Australian BBQ Aliance

Michael Rose

ABA Product Reviewer – Michael Rose likes to rub his meat. This time, with Oakridge BBQ Rubs.

When I first started cooking real BBQ I was staunchly against the use of store bought rubs and sauces simply because I figured real Pitmasters made their own. As the years have gone on I’ve come to realise that things like rubs and sauces don’t make the Pitmaster at all (although they can help). Rather, a real Pitmaster is someone who can do things like maintain temperatures for long periods of time and know exactly when a piece of BBQ is ready and ultimately be able to produce good BBQ consistently. Nowadays, it would be rare to find me making my own rubs. Instead I like to seek out the best on the market and mix and match as I go depending on what I am cooking and flavour profile I am seeking.

picOf course with all that said, I need to be confident that the rubs I am buying are full of good quality, natural ingredients and free of nasties such as preservatives and anti-caking agents which, regardless of the claims I can taste!

Oakridge BBQ are an award winning BBQ rub and brine producer out of Kearney Missouri who have been making BBQ rubs for many years. To this day they still make their entire range by hand and while they have seen some major growth in recent years they still insist on only making small batches at any one time so as to ensure the rubs don’t go stale – And of course, there is no nasties in their ingredients.


There are 15 rubs in the entire range covering every kind of meat you can possibly think of (including 2 rubs for game meats) and each rub falls into one of 5 different categories:

  • Gold Edition – This category of rubs leans toward the competition side of things. It contains the ‘Dominator Sweet Rib Rub’ which is my favourite in the entire range and the ‘Game Changer Brine’ which is the secret weapon for many comp teams
  • Signature Edition – These rubs are what they are famous for. This is where you will find the very popular ‘Black Ops Brisket Rub’ and the ‘Jah Love Jamaican Jerk seasoning’
  • Wild Game Edition – Exactly what it says. 2 rubs perfect for poultry and wild game meats
  • Limited Edition – Currently 1 rub in the range the ‘Crucible Ghost Chile Rub’
  • Experimental Edition – The ‘Scorpion Chile Rub’

IMG_3158One of the things you notice with all the rubs in the range is that they are ground to the perfect granular size. Not too fine which would make it clumpy and not too coarse which can result in the rub not adhering correctly. No single ingredient is bigger or smaller than the others in the mix which also means you get a good distribution of the flavours and to ensure the rubs stay nice and fresh they are packaged in resealable foil sachets.

Having tried the entire range over the course of a few months I can honestly say that these rubs are some of the best I’ve come across to date. And while they are all very unique, at the same time there is a familiar salty, spicy, sweet flavour profile undertone across all of them which is sort of like their signature taste.IMG_2952


So if you’re in the market for some new BBQ rubs, my suggestion is to go out and buy the entire  Oak Ridge range! but If I had to give my personal recommendation on only 3 rubs to start with I’d say get a pouch each of the ‘Jah Love Jamaican Jerk’ and the ‘Black Ops Brisket’ rub and then grab yourself the biggest bag of the ‘Dominator Sweet Rib rub’ you can find, cause to be honest, you simply won’t find a better rub on the market – it is that good!

The entire range of Oak Ridge rubs are available exclusively from American BBQ Australia: www.americanbbqaustralia.com.au

Oakridge BBQ on Fox4 Kansas City News

Oakridge BBQ on Fox4 Kansas City News

Oakridge BBQ on Fox4 Kansas City News

My favorite local morning news crew started a new segment last week called ‘Whats in the Box?’ One local company sent in a box of fly swatters. I thought I could maybe do one better. So on Thursday I made up and sent out a sample set of rubs to them. I figured someone in the mail room would intercept it and it would never make it in front of Mark or any of the morning crew. Well, he not only received it but opened it up live on TV. It was like Christmas for Mark; that face is priceless. The funny thing is, I didn’t write that on the side of the box. Enjoy!

Team Oakridge 2016 Year Review

Team Oakridge 2016 Year Review

Team Oakridge 2016 Year Review: It seems like I say this every year, but 2016 was yet another banner year for Team Oakridge BBQ!  Not only have our teams dominated at contests all across the United States, we are now starting to see excellent results in numerous continents all across the globe! Congratulations to every single member! Go Team Oakridge BBQ!

Team Oakridge 2016 Year Review

Team Oakridge 2016 Year Review

Team Oakridge is Going to the Jack, Again!

Congratulations to Team Oakridge Members Going to The Jack!

Oakridge BBQ 2016 Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue


Oakridge BBQ would like to wish a heart-felt congratulations and good luck to the members of #TeamOakridge who are competing down in the ‘holler’ this weekend at the 2016 Jack Daniel’s World Championship Barbecue Invitational! We are so proud of all your accomplishments!

Pork Butt Paradise – Ian Paradise & David Daigle, Sterling, MA
Team Unknown BBQ – Jason Whitcomb, Clark Whitcomb & Crew, Winter Haven, FL
Can U Smell My Pits – Michael Pelletier, Hudson, NH
Redneck Scientific – Jerry Stephenson Jr, Clayton, NC
Smokin’ Yankees Belfast – Michael Smith & Stuart, Belfast, Ireland

With Honorable Mentions going to:

iQ BBQ – Richard Wagers, Amersfoort, Netherlands, with 5 Bungs but none drawn.

Team Oakridge Members in the News

Team Oakridge Members in the News:

“They’ve only been at it a few years, but they’re already smoking the competition…”

Team Oakridge BBQ Priorville BBQ

(c)The Daily News Online

Oakridge BBQ sponsored team, Priorville BBQ, was recently featured in a very nice article by The Daily News Online.

BENNINGTON — They’ve only been at it a few years, but they’re already smoking the competition.

Mark and Maria Prior had always been interested in barbecuing and grilling out, but before 2012, never did it competitively. After watching some of the barbecuing shows on television though, the couple — who are a also a full-time pharmacist and nurse — decided to try their hand in a competition.

The two began Priorville Barbecue in 2012 and since then, it’s just been competitions and trophies.

The husband-and-wife team kept expectations modest before their first competition, though.

“Oh we thought we were going to get killed,” Mark Prior said, adding that the goal really was “to not come in last.”

It started out with one competition, then four, then six, and then eight competitions this year.

They even have sponsorships now from Rec Tec Grills and Oakridge BBQ.

Their most recent award came from the Oinktober BBQ competition in Clarence, where Priorville earned first-place, “grand champion” honors.

But not all competitions are right here in Western New York. Mark and Maria are often driving several hours, hundreds of miles away to compete with their barbecue.

Of their awards — and there are a whole dinner-table’s worth of them — the one they are most proud of is the 2014 Empire State Grand Champion, meaning they had the best meat across all categories among some of the best in the state.

What’s cool, though, is that the couple sticks to their roots when it comes to equipment and the overall operation. They have upgraded beyond what they were using before competing, sure, but they are not towing a 40-50 foot, $100,000 rig like some people do.

Which is really to say, expensive meat and equipment is, “certainly not the key to success,” Mark Prior said. “If you cook good food, it doesn’t matter who you are.”

To keep up with the trends and make sure their recipes are improving, they make sure to barbecue year-round. In the winter is when they’ll experiment with recipes and zero in on what to do for next year’s competitions.

“When the snow starts falling, that’s when we’ll start tinkering,” Mark said.

What goes into those changes varies, depending on the prior year. Obviously, if you won with a certain recipe, that might not change too much. But things do ebb and flow, so Mark and Maria need to make sure they keep up with interests.

In this region of New York, Mark Prior said what does well is Kansas City-style barbecue — which hinges on sugary, molasses-based sauces.

“It pretty much follows suit with stuff right out of Kansas City,” he said.

So the couple has won a bunch of local contests and a state competition. The next goal is obvious: a national title.

“Yeah of course,” Mark said of wanting to win at the national level.

Right now, the only place to get Priorville Barbecue is at a competition. The couple doesn’t sell its meat anywhere, but they said there are plans to get into catering in the future.

“We’re thinking of doing a catering gig or, we’ve tossed around opening up a tent at the (Erie County) fair,” Mark said.

But no matter, they are having fun doing what they’re doing.

“We’ve become good friends with so many of the other teams that it’s just like hanging out with a bunch of your friends for the weekend,” Mark said. “It’s so much fun.”


To read the original article, click here.


Oakridge BBQ Tells All About Sponsorship in The BBQ Times

Oakridge BBQ Tells All About Sponsorship in The BBQ Times

Oakridge BBQ Tells All About Sponsorship in The BBQ Times: I was recently honored to be interviewed for the first installment of a multi-part series on the topic of Competition BBQ Team Sponsorship for August 2016 Edition of The BBQ Times publication, and I’ve been given permission to reprint the article here for all of our subscribers to read. Special thanks to Audrey Evans, Editor & Publisher of The BBQ Times for the opportunity and to Mathew Bougher for the interview!

You can find out more about receiving your own subscription to The BBQ Times by visiting their website here:  bqtimes.com



Another Milestone…

Oakridge BBQ quietly passed yet another milestone this week… Over 100,000 lbs of rub handmade since inception!!

Yup, you read that correctly. Over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND pounds of barbecue rub!

No wonder my arms are so tired!

Oakridge BBQ Experimental Edition Sneak Peek!

Something Exciting This Way Comes…

Oakridge Scorpion label 2016 Front Oakridge Scorpion label 2016 Back


Why Doesn’t Oakridge BBQ use Spice Bottles?

In an effort to help our customers, I will be posting a series of memos to help each of you better understand the answers to several popular questions you may have asked as it regards to Oakridge BBQ and our products. The first question I’ll tackle in Memo #1 is the oldie but goody: “Why don’t they use spice shaker bottles?” or alternately “When is Oakridge BBQ going to start using normal spice shaker bottles?


Oakridge BBQ was a pioneer in the blended spice industry as the VERY FIRST manufacturer to use high-barrier flexible packaging as our standard and only means in which to package our spices. We used stand-up bags before anyone else, even before the big boys like McCormick, Tones, Spice Island, etc. We didn’t know exactly how the public would receive them, but for reasons I’ll outline below, high-barrier flexible packaging was the only packaging capable of fulfilling our business model of creating the highest quality product available in the market today, or tomorrow, or the next day…

Barrier Properties:

Spices are merely dehydrated organic plant matter, which when fresh, retain much of their original volatile oils and resins (the parts that make them smell and taste good). However, as spices are exposed to moisture, oxygen or light, these volatile compounds start to decompose very rapidly. Therefore, the container in which they are packaged in is critically important to the longevity and potency of the spices contained inside. Think about it, how many times have you found old spice bottles on your shelves that have been setting around a little too long, and maybe they were near an open window or fluorescent bulb, and now the contents have bleached out significantly? This is just one example of how important good barrier packaging is for spices. Unknown to most consumers, clear PET bottles, typical of most all spice bottles used in the industry today, not only let light in like an open window, they also allow oxygen and moisture to actually pass through the walls of the container. In the packaging industry, there are fancy scientific tests they perform on all different kinds of materials used in packaging food products. Here’s some basic cliff notes:
  • For Oxygen transmission; Clear PET bottles are 1,530 TIMES more porous than our multi-layer high-barrier flexible packaging.¹
  • For Moisture transmission; Clear PET bottles are 54 TIMES more porous than our multi-layer high-barrier flexible packaging.¹
  • For Light transmission; on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest amount of light transmission, Clear PET bottles are a 9.8 and our multi-layer high-barrier flexible packaging is a 0
  • The slightly milky spice bottles (HDPE) are even worse, by a factor of 100’s of times worse.¹
These are actual industry tested statistics, and they don’t even address the ingress of oxygen and moisture through leaky PSA lid seals, which leak exponentially more than the container material itself! Conversely, our packaging will not only guarantee factory-freshness for two years after they’ve been opened; once factory sealed, our packaging will actually keep our spices fresh for upwards of 10+ years!

Resilient, flexible form factor:

Rigid clear PET spice bottles are far more likely to become damaged at some point during transit, display or storage. When it comes to damage from an unexpected impact, such as a fall or crushing accident, flexible packaging is more resilient, resulting in less damage to the exterior artwork as well as the contents inside and the packaging itself. This means that businesses see fewer returns and complaints from their customers due to damaged packaging and the possible compromise of its contents.² In addition to taking up less space than rigid packaging during shipping, flexible packaging is also much lighter.²

Unique look:

In a saturated market space, you need a look that sets you apart. Our packaging easily tells our story of hand-made, small batch, ultra high quality, premium luxury without ever saying a word.

Ease of use:

Open the zipper, orient the male side of the zipper so it’s down (this prevents spices from clogging the female side of the zipper), gently squeeze the open mouth of the package until it forms a spout, then slowly shake your wrist side to side. It’s just that easy. Then, when you’re done, squeeze the air out of the package and zip it shut.

So, when will we use “standard spice shaker bottles”?

Hopefully, the answer is already clear…  Never.  And now, you know why.



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