I learned the sad news earlier this week that the makers of the award-winning Smokin' Cole's BBQ Sauce and Smokin' Cole's BBQ Dry Rub had closed their business, and that their delicious sauce and seasoning rub were no longer available. What a shame, as these were outstanding products that had garnered national accolades and a growing fan base in the few years that they were on the market. But unfortunately this has been a very tough economy on small, family-run food businesses, and Smokin' Cole's is the latest casualty. If you were lucky enough to have enjoyed these great products while they were available, I know you will miss them and will join me in wishing all the best to the good folks who made them.
If you're going through Smokin' Cole's withdrawal and would like to try something similar to their bold, rich barbecue sauce and zesty BBQ rub, here are my recommendations:
*Outta the Park BBQ Sauce, an award-winning, all-natural tomato-based barbecue sauce from NC that's rich, flavorful and finishes with a pleasantly peppery kick (and it's currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company)
*Dem Bonz BBQ Sauce, also made in NC, and featuring a big, bold flavor in a thick and tangy tomato base with just the right amount of spice
*Uncle Pete's BBQ Sauce from South Carolina, with an award-winning robust tomato flavor that's subtly sweet & tangy -- available in 3 flavors (Original, Hickory & Spicy) and each comes with FREE recipes when you order from Carolina Sauce
*Bear-Man Tummy Rub from upstate NY, with a mouthwatering sweet-savory flavor and a FREE recipe brochure when you order from Carolina Sauce
*Texas Rib Rangers BBQ Seasonings, authentic Texas barbecue dry rubs for ribs and other meats, available in Original and Spicey.
If you miss your Smokin' Cole's, I hope you'll give one or more of these sauces and seasonings a try. And drop me a note to let me know what you think of them!